Because of his exceptional and pioneering contributions to the understanding and treatment of neurosurgical conditions, Walter Dandy is considered to be one of the founders of both neurosurgery and neuroradiology. In the field of hydrocephalus, Dandy developed revolutionary research models, imaging modalities, and operative procedures. His laboratory and clinical experiences at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, including the surgical treatment of hydrocephalus, are well illustrated in the publications he authored. Archival materials housed at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine provide a window into Dandy’s clinical experience and supplement the work published during his lifetime. His operative experience with hydrocephalus spanned 1915–1946 and comprised 381 surgeries. From this clinical experience, Dandy created much of the framework for modern diagnostic imaging and treatment of hydrocephalus.
Ari M. Blitz, A. Karim Ahmed, and Daniele Rigamonti
Eric W. Sankey, C. Rory Goodwin, Ignacio Jusué-Torres, Benjamin D. Elder, Jamie Hoffberger, Jennifer Lu, Ari M. Blitz, and Daniele Rigamonti
Endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) is the treatment of choice for obstructive hydrocephalus; however, the success of ETV in patients who have previously undergone shunt placement remains unclear. The present study analyzed 103 adult patients with aqueductal stenosis who underwent ETV for obstructive hydrocephalus and evaluated the effect of previous shunt placement on post-ETV outcomes.
This study was a retrospective review of 151 consecutive patients who were treated between 2007 and 2013 with ETV for hydrocephalus. One hundred three (68.2%) patients with aqueductal stenosis causing obstructive hydrocephalus were included in the analysis. Postoperative ETV patency and aqueductal and cisternal flow were assessed by high-resolution, gradient-echo MRI. Post-ETV Mini-Mental State Examination, Timed Up and Go, and Tinetti scores were compared with preoperative values. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed comparing the post-ETV outcomes in patients who underwent a primary (no previous shunt) ETV (n = 64) versus secondary (previous shunt) ETV (n = 39).
The majority of patients showed significant improvement in symptoms after ETV; however, no significant differences were seen in any of the quantitative tests performed during follow-up. Symptom recurrence occurred in 29 (28.2%) patients after ETV, after a median of 3.0 (interquartile range 0.8–8.0) months post-ETV failure. Twenty-seven (26.2%) patients required surgical revision after their initial ETV. Patients who received a secondary ETV had higher rates of symptom recurrence (p = 0.003) and surgical revision (p = 0.003), particularly in regard to additional shunt placement/revision post-ETV (p = 0.005). These differences remained significant after multivariate analysis for both symptom recurrence (p = 0.030) and surgical revision (p = 0.043).
Patients with obstructive hydrocephalus due to aqueductal stenosis exhibit symptomatic improvement after ETV, with a relatively low failure rate. Patients with a primary history of shunt placement who undergo ETV as a secondary intervention are at increased risk of symptom recurrence and need for surgical revision post-ETV.
Gary L. Gallia, Anthony O. Asemota, Ari M. Blitz, Andrew P. Lane, Wayne Koch, Douglas D. Reh, and Masaru Ishii
Olfactory neuroblastoma (ONB) is a rare malignant neoplasm of the sinonasal cavity. Surgery has been and remains a mainstay of treatment for patients with this tumor. Open craniofacial resections have been the treatment of choice for many decades. More recently, experience has been growing with endoscopic approaches in the management of patients with ONB. The object of this study is to report the authors’ experience over the past 11 years with ONB patients treated with purely endonasal endoscopic techniques.
The authors performed a retrospective chart review of 20 consecutive patients with ONB who underwent a completely endonasal endoscopic approach for an oncological tumor resection at their institution between January 2006 and January 2017. Patient demographics, tumor stage, pathological grade, frozen section analysis, permanent margin assessment, perioperative complications, postoperative therapy, length of follow-up, and outcomes at last follow-up were collected and analyzed.
Eighteen patients presented with newly diagnosed disease, with a modified Kadish stage of A in 2 cases, B in 3, C in 11, and D in 2. Two patients presented with recurrent tumors. An average of 25.3 specimens per patient were examined by frozen section analysis. Although analysis of intraoperative frozen section margins was negative in all but 1 case, microscopic foci of tumor were found in 7 cases (35%) on permanent histopathological analysis. Perioperative complications occurred in 7 patients (35%) including 1 patient who developed a cerebrospinal fluid leak; there were no episodes of meningitis. All but 1 patient received postoperative radiotherapy, and 5 patients received postoperative chemotherapy. With a mean follow-up of over 5 years, 19 patients were alive and 1 patient died from an unrelated cause. There were 2 cases of tumor recurrence. The 5-year overall, disease-specific, and recurrence-free survival rates were 92.9%, 100%, and 92.9%, respectively.
The current results provide additional evidence for the continued use of endoscopic procedures in the management of this malignancy.
Rajiv R. Iyer, Noah Gorelick, Karen Carroll, Ari M. Blitz, Sarah Beck, Caroline M. Garrett, Audrey Monroe, Betty Tyler, Sean T. Zuckerman, Jeffrey R. Capadona, Horst A. von Recum, and Mark G. Luciano
Ventricular shunt infection remains an issue leading to high patient morbidity and cost, warranting further investigation. The authors sought to create an animal model of shunt infection that could be used to evaluate possible catheter modifications and innovations.
Three dogs underwent bilateral ventricular catheter implantation and inoculation with methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). In 2 experimental animals, the catheters were modified with a polymer containing chemical “pockets” loaded with vancomycin. In 1 control animal, the catheters were polymer coated but without antibiotics. Animals were monitored for 9 to 11 days, after which the shunts were explanted. MRI was performed after shunt implantation and prior to catheter harvest. The catheters were sonicated prior to microbiological culture and also evaluated by electron microscopy. The animals’ brains were evaluated for histopathology.
All animals underwent successful catheter implantation. The animals developed superficial wound infections, but no neurological deficits. Imaging demonstrated ventriculitis and cerebral edema. Harvested catheters from the control animal demonstrated > 104 colony-forming units (CFUs) of S. aureus. In the first experimental animal, one shunt demonstrated > 104 CFUs of S. aureus, but the other demonstrated no growth. In the second experimental animal, one catheter demonstrated no growth, and the other grew trace S. aureus. Brain histopathology revealed acute inflammation and ventriculitis in all animals, which was more severe in the control.
The authors evaluated an animal model of ventricular shunting and reliably induced features of shunt infection that could be microbiologically quantified. With this model, investigation of pathophysiological and imaging correlates of infection and potentially beneficial shunt catheter modifications is possible.
Debebe Theodros, C. Rory Goodwin, Matthew T. Bender, Xin Zhou, Tomas Garzon-Muvdi, Rafael De la Garza-Ramos, Nancy Abu-Bonsrah, Dimitrios Mathios, Ari M. Blitz, Alessandro Olivi, Benjamin Carson, Chetan Bettegowda, and Michael Lim
Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is characterized by intermittent, paroxysmal, and lancinating pain along the distribution of the trigeminal nerve. Microvascular decompression (MVD) directly addresses compression of the trigeminal nerve. The purpose of this study was to determine whether patients undergoing MVD as their first surgical intervention experience greater pain control than patients who undergo subsequent MVD.
A retrospective review of patient records from 1998 to 2015 identified a total of 942 patients with TN and 500 patients who underwent MVD. After excluding several cases, 306 patients underwent MVD as their first surgical intervention and 175 patients underwent subsequent MVD. Demographics and clinicopathological data and outcomes were obtained for analysis.
In patients who underwent subsequent MVD, surgical intervention was performed at an older age (55.22 vs 49.98 years old, p < 0.0001) and the duration of symptoms was greater (7.22 vs 4.45 years, p < 0.0001) than for patients in whom MVD was their first surgical intervention. Patients who underwent initial MVD had improved pain relief and no improvement in pain rates compared with those who had subsequent MVD (95.8% and 4.2% vs 90.3% and 9.7%, respectively, p = 0.0041).
Patients who underwent initial MVD had significantly lower rates of facial numbness in the pre- and postoperative periods compared with patients who underwent subsequent MVD (p < 0.0001). The number of complications in both groups was similar (p = 0.4572).
The results demonstrate that patients who underwent other procedures prior to MVD had less pain relief and a higher incidence of facial numbness despite rates of complications similar to patients who underwent MVD as their first surgical intervention.