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Raphia K. Rahman, Neil Majmundar, Hira Ghani, Ali San, Monika Koirala, Avi A. Gajjar, Amy Pappert, and Catherine A. Mazzola

OBJECTIVE

Neurocutaneous melanocytosis (NCM), also referred to as neurocutaneous melanosis, is a rare neurocutaneous disorder characterized by excess melanocytic proliferation in the skin, leptomeninges, and cranial parenchyma. NCM most often presents in pediatric patients within the first 2 years of life and is associated with high mortality due to proliferation of melanocytes in the brain. Prognosis is poor, as patients typically die within 3 years of symptom onset. Due to the rarity of NCM, there are no specific guidelines for management. The aims of this systematic review were to investigate approaches toward diagnosis and examine modern neurosurgical management of NCM.

METHODS

A systematic review was performed using the PubMed database between April and December 2021 to identify relevant articles using PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines. Search criteria were created and checked independently among the authors. Inclusion criteria specified unique studies and case reports of NCM patients in which relevant neurosurgical management was considered and/or applied. Exclusion criteria included studies that did not report associated neurological diagnoses and neuroimaging findings, clinical reports without novel observations, and those unavailable in the English language. All articles that met the study inclusion criteria were included and analyzed.

RESULTS

A total of 26 extracted articles met inclusion criteria and were used for quantitative analysis, yielding a cumulative of 74 patients with NCM. These included 21 case reports, 1 case series, 2 retrospective cohort studies, 1 prospective cohort study, and 1 review. The mean patient age was 16.66 years (range 0.25–67 years), and most were male (76%). Seizures were the most frequently reported symptom (55%, 41/74 cases). Neurological diagnoses associated with NCM included epilepsy (45%, 33/74 cases), hydrocephalus (24%, 18/74 cases), Dandy-Walker malformation (24%, 18/74 cases), and primary CNS melanocytic tumors (23%, 17/74 cases). The most common surgical technique was CSF shunting (43%, 24/56 operations), with tethered cord release (4%, 2/56 operations) being the least frequently performed.

CONCLUSIONS

Current management of NCM includes CSF shunting to reduce intracranial pressure, surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy, and palliative care. Neurosurgical intervention can aid in the diagnosis of NCM through tissue biopsy and resection of lesions with surgical decompression. Further evidence is required to establish the clinical outcomes of this rare entity and to describe the diverse spectrum of intracranial and intraspinal abnormalities present.

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Shih-Shan Lang, Nankee K. Kumar, Chao Zhao, David Y. Zhang, Alexander M. Tucker, Phillip B. Storm, Gregory G. Heuer, Avi A. Gajjar, Chong Tae Kim, Ian Yuan, Susan Sotardi, Todd J. Kilbaugh, and Jimmy W. Huh

OBJECTIVE

Severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of disability and death in the pediatric population. While intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring is the gold standard in acute neurocritical care following pediatric severe TBI, brain tissue oxygen tension (PbtO2) monitoring may also help limit secondary brain injury and improve outcomes. The authors hypothesized that pediatric patients with severe TBI and ICP + PbtO2 monitoring and treatment would have better outcomes than those who underwent ICP-only monitoring and treatment.

METHODS

Patients ≤ 18 years of age with severe TBI who received ICP ± PbtO2 monitoring at a quaternary children’s hospital between 1998 and 2021 were retrospectively reviewed. The relationships between conventional measurements of TBI were evaluated, i.e., ICP, cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP), and PbtO2. Differences were analyzed between patients with ICP + PbtO2 versus ICP-only monitoring on hospital and pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) length of stay (LOS), length of intubation, Pediatric Intensity Level of Therapy scale score, and functional outcome using the Glasgow Outcome Score–Extended (GOS-E) scale at 6 months postinjury.

RESULTS

Forty-nine patients, including 19 with ICP + PbtO2 and 30 with ICP only, were analyzed. There was a weak negative association between ICP and PbtO2 (β = −0.04). Conversely, there was a strong positive correlation between CPP ≥ 40 mm Hg and PbtO2 ≥ 15 and ≥ 20 mm Hg (β = 0.30 and β = 0.29, p < 0.001, respectively). An increased number of events of cerebral PbtO2 < 15 mm Hg or < 20 mm Hg were associated with longer hospital (p = 0.01 and p = 0.022, respectively) and PICU (p = 0.015 and p = 0.007, respectively) LOS, increased duration of mechanical ventilation (p = 0.015 when PbtO2 < 15 mm Hg), and an unfavorable 6-month GOS-E score (p = 0.045 and p = 0.022, respectively). An increased number of intracranial hypertension episodes (ICP ≥ 20 mm Hg) were associated with longer hospital (p = 0.007) and PICU (p < 0.001) LOS and longer duration of mechanical ventilation (p < 0.001). Lower minimum hourly and average daily ICP values predicted favorable GOS-E scores (p < 0.001 for both). Patients with ICP + PbtO2 monitoring experienced longer PICU LOS (p = 0.018) compared to patients with ICP-only monitoring, with no significant GOS-E score difference between groups (p = 0.733).

CONCLUSIONS

An increased number of cerebral hypoxic episodes and an increased number of intracranial hypertension episodes resulted in longer hospital LOS and longer duration of mechanical ventilator support. An increased number of cerebral hypoxic episodes also correlated with less favorable functional outcomes. In contrast, lower minimum hourly and average daily ICP values, but not the number of intracranial hypertension episodes, were associated with more favorable functional outcomes. There was a weak correlation between ICP and PbtO2, supporting the importance of multimodal invasive neuromonitoring in pediatric severe TBI.