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Alessa Schütz, Michael Murek, Lennart Henning Stieglitz, Corrado Bernasconi, Sonja Vulcu, Jürgen Beck, Andreas Raabe, and Philippe Schucht

OBJECTIVE

Decompressive craniectomy (DC) is an established treatment for refractory intracranial hypertension. It is usually followed by autologous cranioplasty (AC), the reinsertion of a patient’s explanted bone flap. A frequent long-term complication of AC is bone flap resorption (BFR), which results in disfigurement as well as loss of the protective covering of the brain. This study investigates risk factors for BFR after AC, including medical conditions and antihypertensive drug therapies, with a focus on angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs), which have been associated with a beneficial effect on bone healing and bone preservation in orthopedic, osteoporosis, and endocrinology research.

METHODS

In this single-center, retrospective study 183 consecutive cases were evaluated for bone flap resorption after AC. Information on patient demographics, medical conditions, antihypertensive therapy, and BFR—defined as an indication for revision surgery established by a neurosurgeon based on clinical or radiographic assessments—was collected. A Kaplan-Meier analysis of time from AC to diagnosis of BFR was performed, and factors associated with BFR were investigated using the log-rank test and Cox regression.

RESULTS

A total of 158 patients were considered eligible for inclusion in the data analysis. The median follow-up time for this group was 2.2 years (95% CI 1.9–2.5 years). BFR occurred in 47 patients (29.7%), with a median time to event of 3.7 years (95% CI 3.3–4.1 years). An ACEI prescription was recorded in 57 cases (36.1%). Univariate Kaplan-Meier analysis and the log-rank test revealed that ACEI therapy (2-year event free probability [EFP] 83.8% ± 6.1% standard error vs 63.9% ± 5.6%, p = 0.02) and ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt treatment (2-year EFP 86.9% ± 7.1% vs 66% ± 5.0%, p = 0.024) were associated with a lower probability of BFR. Multiple Cox regression analysis showed ACEI therapy (HR 0.29, p = 0.012), VP shunt treatment (HR 0.278, p = 0.009), and male sex (HR 0.500, p = 0.040) to be associated with a lower risk for BFR, whereas bone fragmentation (HR 1.92, p = 0.031) was associated with a higher risk for BFR.

CONCLUSIONS

Hypertensive patients treated with ACEIs demonstrate a lower rate of BFR than patients treated with other hypertensive medications and nonhypertensive patients. Our results are in line with previous reports on the positive influence of ACEIs on bone healing and preservation. Further analysis of the association between ACEI treatment and BFR development is needed and will be evaluated in a multicenter prospective trial.

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Solon Schur, Jeremy T. Moreau, Hui Ming Khoo, Andreas Koupparis, Elisabeth Simard Tremblay, Kenneth A. Myers, Bradley Osterman, Bernard Rosenblatt, Jean-Pierre Farmer, Christine Saint-Martin, Sophie Turpin, Jeff Hall, Andre Olivier, Andrea Bernasconi, Neda Bernasconi, Sylvain Baillet, Francois Dubeau, Jean Gotman, and Roy W. R. Dudley

OBJECTIVE

In an attempt to improve postsurgical seizure outcomes for poorly defined cases (PDCs) of pediatric focal epilepsy (i.e., those that are not visible or well defined on 3T MRI), the authors modified their presurgical evaluation strategy. Instead of relying on concordance between video-electroencephalography and 3T MRI and using functional imaging and intracranial recording in select cases, the authors systematically used a multimodal, 3-tiered investigation protocol that also involved new collaborations between their hospital, the Montreal Children’s Hospital, and the Montreal Neurological Institute. In this study, the authors examined how their new strategy has impacted postsurgical outcomes. They hypothesized that it would improve postsurgical seizure outcomes, with the added benefit of identifying a subset of tests contributing the most.

METHODS

Chart review was performed for children with PDCs who underwent resection following the new strategy (i.e., new protocol [NP]), and for the same number who underwent treatment previously (i.e., preprotocol [PP]); ≥ 1-year follow-up was required for inclusion. Well-defined, multifocal, and diffuse hemispheric cases were excluded. Preoperative demographics and clinical characteristics, resection volumes, and pathology, as well as seizure outcomes (Engel class Ia vs > Ia) at 1 year postsurgery and last follow-up were reviewed.

RESULTS

Twenty-two consecutive NP patients were compared with 22 PP patients. There was no difference between the two groups for resection volumes, pathology, or preoperative characteristics, except that the NP group underwent more presurgical evaluation tests (p < 0.001). At 1 year postsurgery, 20 of 22 NP patients and 10 of 22 PP patients were seizure free (OR 11.81, 95% CI 2.00–69.68; p = 0.006). Magnetoencephalography and PET/MRI were associated with improved postsurgical seizure outcomes, but both were highly correlated with the protocol group (i.e., independent test effects could not be demonstrated).

CONCLUSIONS

A new presurgical evaluation strategy for children with PDCs of focal epilepsy led to improved postsurgical seizure freedom. No individual presurgical evaluation test was independently associated with improved outcome, suggesting that it may be the combined systematic protocol and new interinstitutional collaborations that makes the difference rather than any individual test.