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Cameron Brimley, Vivek P. Buch, Jared M. Pisapia and Benjamin C. Kennedy

Hemispheric disconnection in the form of hemispherectomy or hemispherotomy is the most effective way of treating intractable hemispheric epilepsy. Anatomical hemispherectomy approaches have largely been abandoned in most cases due to a higher risk of superficial hemosiderosis, intraoperative blood loss, hydrocephalus, prolonged hospital stay, and mortality compared to the variety of tissue-sparing hemispherotomy techniques. Disconnective hemispherotomy approaches utilize the lateral ventricle as a key component of the surgical corridor. Without a lateral ventricle, disconnective surgery becomes significantly challenging, typically leading to a hemispherectomy. The authors present the case of a patient with severe hemispheric dysplasia without a lateral ventricle on the pathologic side and detail a novel surgical technique for a prone, occipital interhemispheric, tissue-sparing, purely disconnective aventricular hemispherotomy with an excellent surgical outcome.

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Christian A. Bowers, Jaron H. McMullin, Cameron Brimley, Linsey Etherington, Faizi A. Siddiqi and Jay Riva-Cambrin


Occasionally after a craniotomy, the bone flap is discarded (as in the case of osteomyelitis) or is resorbed (especially after trauma), and an artificial implant must be inserted in a delayed fashion. Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) implants and hard-tissue replacement patient-matched implants (HTR-PMI) are both commonly used in such cases. This study sought to compare the failure rate of these 2 implants and identify risk factors of artificial implant failure in pediatric patients.


This was a retrospective cohort study examining all pediatric patients who received PEEK or HTR-PMI cranioplasty implants from 2000 to 2013 at a single institution. The authors examined the following variables: age, sex, race, mechanism, surgeon, posttraumatic hydrocephalus, time to cranioplasty, bone gap width, and implant type. The primary outcome of interest was implant failure, defined as subsequent removal and replacement of the implant. These variables were analyzed in a bivariate statistical fashion and in a multivariate logistic regression model for the significant variables.


The authors found that 78.3% (54/69) of implants were successful. The mean patient age was 8.2 years, and a majority of patients were male (73%, 50/69); the mean follow-up for the cohort was 33.3 months. The success rate of the 41 HTR-PMI implants was 78.1%, and the success rate of the 28 PEEK implants was 78.6% (p = 0.96). Implants with a bone gap of > 6 mm were successful in 33.3% of cases, whereas implants with a gap of < 6 mm had a success rate of 82.5% (p = 0.02). In a multivariate model with custom-type implants, previous failed custom cranial implants, time elapsed from previous cranioplasty attempt, and bone gap size, the only independent risk factor for implant failure was a bone gap > 6 mm (odds ratio 8.3, 95% confidence interval 1.2–55.9).


PEEK and HTR-PMI implants appear to be equally successful when custom implantation is required. A bone gap of > 6 mm with a custom implant in children results in significantly higher artificial implant failure.