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Anna L. Huguenard, Vivek P. Gupta, Alan C. Braverman, and Ralph G. Dacey

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Anna L. Huguenard, Brandon A. Miller, Samir Sarda, Meredith Capasse, Andrew Reisner, and Joshua J. Chern

OBJECT

Of the 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in the US, a third occur in patients under 14 years of age. The rate of posttraumatic epilepsy (PTE) may be as high as 19% after severe pediatric TBI, but the risk for seizures after mild TBI is unknown. Although the rate of seizures after mild TBI may be low, current practice is often driven by high clinical concern for posttraumatic seizures. In this study, the authors evaluated electroencephalography (EEG) results and antiepileptic drug (AED) use in a large cohort of children with mild TBI to estimate the incidence of posttraumatic seizures in this population.

METHODS

Patients presenting to Children’s Hospital of Atlanta for mild TBI from 2010 to 2013 were evaluated. Five thousand one hundred forty-eight patients with mild TBI were studied and divided into 3 groups: 4168 who were discharged from the emergency department, 868 who were admitted without neurosurgical intervention, and 112 who underwent neurosurgical procedures (craniotomy for hematoma evacuation or elevation of depressed skull fractures) but were discharged without an extended stay. Demographic information, CT characteristics, EEG reports, and prescriptions for AEDs were analyzed. Long-term follow-up was sought for all patients who underwent EEG. Correlation between EEG result and AED use was also evaluated.

RESULTS

All patients underwent head CT, and admitted patients were more likely to have an abnormal study (p < 0.0001). EEG evaluations were performed for less than 1.0% of patients in all 3 categories, without significant differences between groups (p = 0.97). Clinicians prescribed AEDs in less than 2.0% of patients for all groups, without significant differences between groups (p = 0.094). Even fewer children continue to see a neurologist for long-term seizure management. The EEG result had good negative predictive value, but only an abnormal EEG reading that was diagnostic of seizures correlated significantly with AED prescription (p = 0.04).

CONCLUSIONS

EEG utilization and AED prescription was low in all 3 groups, indicating that seizures following mild TBI are likely rare events. EEG has good negative predictive value for patients who did not receive AEDs, but has poorer positive predictive value for AED use.

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Martha-Conley E. Ingram, Anna L. Huguenard, Brandon A. Miller, and Joshua J. Chern

Object

Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) is the most common cause of hydrocephalus in the pediatric population and is particularly common in preterm infants. The decision to place a ventriculoperitoneal shunt or ventricular access device is based on physical examination findings and radiographic imaging. The authors undertook this study to determine if head circumference (HC) measurements correlated with the Evans ratio (ER) and if changes in ventricular size could be detected by HC measurements.

Methods

All cranial ultrasound (CUS) reports at the authors' institution between 2008 and 2011 were queried for terms related to hydrocephalus and IVH, from which a patient cohort was determined. A review of radiology reports, HC measurements, operative interventions, and significant clinical events was performed for each patient in the study. Additional radiographic measurements, such as an ER, were calculated by the authors. Significance was set at a statistical threshold of p < 0.05 for this study.

Results

One hundred forty-four patients were studied, of which 45 (31%) underwent CSF diversion. The mean gestational age and birth weight did not differ between patients who did and those who did not undergo CSF diversion. The CSF diversion procedures were reserved almost entirely for patients with IVH categorized as Grade III or IV. Both initial ER and HC were significantly larger for patients who underwent CSF diversion. The average ER and HC at presentation were 0.59 and 28.2 cm, respectively, for patients undergoing CSF diversion, and 0.34 and 25.2 cm for those who did not undergo CSF diversion. There was poor correlation between ER and HC measurements regardless of gestational age (r = 0.13). Additionally, increasing HC was not found to correlate with increasing ERs on consecutive CUSs (φ = −0.01, p = 0.90). Patients who underwent CSF diversion after being followed with multiple CUSs (10 of 45 patients) presented with smaller ERs and HC than those who underwent CSF diversion after a single CUS. Just prior to CSF diversion surgery, the patients who received multiple CUSs had ERs, but not HC measurements, that were similar to those in patients who underwent CSF diversion after a single CUS.

Conclusions

The HC measurement does not correlate with the ER or with changes in ER and therefore does not appear to be an adequate surrogate for serial CUSs. In patients who are followed for longer periods of time before CSF shunting procedures, the ER may play a larger role in the decision to proceed with surgery. Clinicians should be aware that the ER and HC are not surrogates for one another and may reflect different pathological processes. Future studies that take into account other physical examination findings and long-term clinical outcomes will aid in developing standardized protocols for evaluating preterm infants for ventriculoperitoneal shunt or ventricular access device placement.