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Audrey A. Grossen, Griffin L. Ernst, and Andrew M. Bauer

OBJECTIVE

Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) accounts for a relatively small portion of strokes but has the potential to cause permanent neurological deficits. Vasospasm with delayed ischemic neurological deficit is thought to be responsible for much of the morbidity associated with aSAH. This has illuminated some treatment options that have the potential to target specific components of the vasospasm cascade. Intrathecal management via lumbar drain (LD) or external ventricular drain (EVD) offers unique advantages in this patient population. The aim of this review was to provide an update on intrathecal vasospasm treatments, emphasizing the need for larger-scale trials and updated protocols using data-driven evidence.

METHODS

A search of PubMed, Ovid MEDLINE, and Cochrane databases included the search terms (subarachnoid hemorrhage) AND (vasospasm OR delayed cerebral ischemia) AND (intrathecal OR intraventricular OR lumbar drain OR lumbar catheter) for 2010 to the present. Next, a meta-analysis was performed of select therapeutic regimens. The primary endpoints of analysis were vasospasm, delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI), cerebral infarction, and functional outcome.

RESULTS

Twenty-nine studies were included in the analysis. There were 10 studies in which CSF drainage was the primary experimental group. Calcium channel antagonists were the focus of 7 studies. Fibrinolytics and other vasodilators were each examined in 6 studies. The meta-analysis included studies examining CSF drainage via LD (n = 4), tissue plasminogen activator in addition to EVD (n = 3), intraventricular nimodipine (n = 2), and cisternal magnesium (n = 2). Results showed that intraventricular nimodipine decreased vasospasm (OR 0.59, 95% CI 0.37–0.94; p = 0.03). Therapies that significantly reduced DCI were CSF drainage via LD (OR 0.47, 95% CI 0.25–0.88; p = 0.02) and cisternal magnesium (OR 0.27, 95% CI 0.07–1.02; p = 0.05). CSF drainage via LD was also found to significantly reduce the incidence of cerebral infarction (OR 0.35, 95% 0.24–0.51; p < 0.001). Lastly, functional outcome was significantly better in patients who received CSF drainage via LD (OR 2.42, 95% CI 1.39–4.21; p = 0.002).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors’ results showed that intrathecal therapy is a safe and feasible option following aSAH. It has been shown to attenuate cerebral vasospasm, reduce the incidence of DCI, and improve clinical outcome. The authors support the use of intrathecal management in the prevention and rescue management of cerebral vasospasm. More randomized controlled trials are warranted to determine the best combination of pharmaceutical agents and administration route in order to formulate a standardized treatment approach.

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Audrey Grossen, Theresa Gavula, Deepti Chrusciel, Alexander Evans, Rene McNall-Knapp, Ashley Taylor, Benay Fossey, Margaret Brakefield, Carrick Carter, Nadine Schwartz, Naina Gross, Andrew Jea, and Virendra Desai

OBJECTIVE

Neurocutaneous syndromes have variable multisystem involvement. The multiorgan involvement, potential pathologies, and various treatment options necessitate collaboration and open discussion to ensure optimal treatment in any given patient. These disorders provide quintessential examples of chronic medical conditions that require a lifelong, multidisciplinary approach. The objectives of this study were to 1) perform a systematic review, thoroughly assessing different multidisciplinary clinic layouts utilized in centers worldwide; and 2) characterize an institutional experience with the management of these conditions, focusing on the patient demographics, clinical presentation, complications, and therapeutic strategies seen in a patient population.

METHODS

A systematic review of studies involving multidisciplinary clinics and their reported structure was performed according to PRISMA guidelines using the PubMed database. Then a retrospective chart review of patients enrolled in the Oklahoma Children’s Hospital Neurocutaneous Syndromes Clinic was conducted.

RESULTS

A search of the PubMed database yielded 251 unique results. Of these, 15 papers were included in the analysis, which identified 16 clinics that treated more than 2000 patients worldwide. The majority of these clinics treated patients with neurofibromatosis (13/16). The remaining clinics treated patients with von Hippel–Lindau syndrome (n = 1), tuberous sclerosis complex (n = 1), and multiple neurocutaneous syndromes (n = 1). The most commonly represented subspecialties in these clinics were genetics (15/16) and neurology (13/16). Five clinics (31%) solely saw pediatric patients, 10 clinics saw a combination of children and adults, and the final clinic had separate pediatric and adult clinics. The retrospective chart review of the Neurocutaneous Syndromes Clinic demonstrated that 164 patients were enrolled and seen in the clinic from April 2013 to December 2021. Diagnoses were made based on clinical findings or results of genetic testing; 115 (70%) had neurofibromatosis type 1, 9 (5.5%) had neurofibromatosis type 2, 35 (21%) had tuberous sclerosis complex, 2 (1%) had von Hippel–Lindau syndrome, 2 (1%) had Gorlin syndrome, and the remaining patient (0.6%) had Aarskog-Scott syndrome. Patient demographics, clinical presentation, complications, and therapeutic strategies are also discussed.

CONCLUSIONS

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first detailed description of a comprehensive pediatric neurocutaneous clinic in the US that serves patients with multiple syndromes. There is currently heterogeneity between described multidisciplinary clinic structures and practices. More detailed accounts of clinic compositions and practices along with patient data and outcomes are needed in order to establish the most comprehensive and efficient multidisciplinary approach for neurocutaneous syndromes.