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Michael J. Cools, Carolyn S. Quinsey, and Scott W. Elton

OBJECTIVE

The choice of graft material for duraplasty in decompressions of Chiari malformations remains a matter of debate. The authors present a detailed technique for harvesting ligamenta nuchae, as well as the clinical and radiographic outcomes of this technique, in a case series.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective study evaluating the outcomes of Chiari malformation type I decompression and duraplasty in children aged 0–18 years at a single institution from 2013 to 2016. They collected both intraoperative and postoperative variables and compared them qualitatively to published data.

RESULTS

During the study period, the authors performed 25 Chiari malformation decompressions with ligamentum nuchae graft duraplasties. Of the 25 patients, 10 were females, and the mean age at surgery was 8.6 years (range 13 months to 18 years). The median operative time was 163 minutes (IQR 152–187 minutes), with approximately 10 minutes needed by a resident surgeon to harvest the graft. The mean length of stay was 3 nights (range 2–6 nights), and the mean follow-up was 12.6 months (range 0.5–43.5 months). One patient (4%) developed a CSF leak that was repaired using an oversewing patch. There were no postoperative pseudomeningoceles or infections. Of the 19 patients presenting with a syrinx, imaging showed improvement in 10 (53%) and 8 (42%) had stable syrinx size on imaging. Of 16 patients presenting with a symptomatic Chiari malformation, 14 (87.5%) experienced resolution of symptoms and in 1 (4%) symptoms remained the same. One patient (4%) presented with worsening syrinx and symptoms 1.5 months after initial surgery and underwent repeat decompression.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors describe a series of clinical and imaging outcomes of patients who underwent Chiari malformation decompression and duraplasty with a harvested ligamentum nuchae. The rates of postoperative CSF leak are similar to established techniques of autologous and artificial grafts, with similarly successful outcomes. Further study will be needed with larger patient cohorts to more directly compare duraplasty graft outcomes.

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Carolyn S. Quinsey, Katie Krause, Lissa C. Baird, Christina M. Sayama, and Nathan R. Selden

OBJECTIVE

The relationship between a tethered cord (TC) and neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) and NF2 is not known. The purpose of this study was to define the incidence of TC in pediatric neurosurgical patients who present with NF.

METHODS

The authors performed a single-institution (tertiary care pediatric hospital) 10-year retrospective analysis of patients who were diagnosed with or who underwent surgery for a TC and/or NF. Clinical and radiological characteristics were analyzed, as was histopathology.

RESULTS

A total of 424 patients underwent surgery for a TC during the study period, and 67 patients with NF were seen in the pediatric neurosurgery clinic. Of these 67 patients, 9 (13%) were diagnosed with a TC, and filum lysis surgery was recommended. Among the 9 patients with NF recommended for TC-release surgery, 4 (44%) were female, the mean age was 8 years (range 4–14 years), the conus position ranged from L1–2 to L-3, and 3 (33%) had a filum lipoma, defined as high signal intensity on T1-weighted MR images. All 9 of these patients presented with neuromotor, skeletal, voiding, and/or pain-related symptoms. Histopathological examination consistently revealed dense fibroconnective tissue and blood vessels.

CONCLUSIONS

Despite the lack of any known pathophysiological relationship between NF and TC, the incidence of a symptomatic TC in patients with NF1 and NF2 who presented for any reason to this tertiary care pediatric neurosurgery clinic was 13%. Counseling patients and families regarding TC symptomatology might be indicated in this patient population.

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Randaline R. Barnett, Allie L. Harbert, Hengameh B. Pajer, Angela Wabulya, Valerie L. Jewells, Scott W. Elton, and Carolyn S. Quinsey

OBJECTIVE

In this study, the authors sought to investigate variables associated with postoperative seizures following endoscopic third ventriculostomy and choroid plexus cauterization (ETV/CPC) for treatment of pediatric hydrocephalus.

METHODS

A retrospective analysis of 37 patients who underwent ETV/CPC for treatment of hydrocephalus at an academic medical center from September 2016 to March 2021 was conducted. Demographics, etiology of hydrocephalus, operative details, electroencephalography (EEG) data, MRI findings, need for subsequent procedures, perioperative laboratory tests, medical history, and presence of clinical postoperative seizures were collected. Postoperative seizures were defined as clinical seizures within 24 hours of surgery. Eighteen patients received levetiracetam intraoperatively as well as over the next 7 days postoperatively for seizure prophylaxis.

RESULTS

Of 37 included patients, 9 (24%) developed clinical seizures within 24 hours after surgery, 5 of whom subsequently had electroclinical seizures captured on video-EEG. The clinical seizures in 4 of those 5 patients (80%) may have been associated with the hemisphere of the brain through which the endoscope was introduced. The median corrected age of the cohort was 3.4 months. The median corrected age of patients who did not develop postoperative seizures was 2.3 months compared with 0.7 months for patients who did develop postoperative seizures (p > 0.99). Postoperative seizures occurred in 43% (3/7) of prenatally repaired myelomeningocele patients versus 29% (2/7) of postnatally repaired myelomeningocele patients. Of the 18 patients who received prophylactic levetiracetam, none (0%) developed postoperative seizures compared with 9 of the 19 patients (47%) who did not receive prophylactic levetiracetam (p = 0.014).

CONCLUSIONS

Postoperative seizures were recorded in 24% of the pediatric patients who underwent ETV/CPC for hydrocephalus, which is higher than previously reported rates in the literature of 5%. Since 80% of the postoperative electrographic seizures may have been associated with the hemisphere through which the endoscope was introduced, the surgical entry site may contribute to postoperative seizure development. In patients who received prophylactic perioperative levetiracetam, the postoperative seizure incidence dropped to 0% compared with 47% in those who did not receive prophylactic perioperative levetiracetam. This finding indicates that the use of prophylactic perioperative levetiracetam may be efficacious in the prevention of clinical seizures in this patient population.

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Michael P. Catalino, Carolyn S. Quinsey, and G. Stephen DeCherney

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Michael P. Catalino, Carolyn S. Quinsey, and G. Stephen DeCherney

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Brice A. Kessler, Jo Ling Goh, Hengameh B. Pajer, Anthony M. Asher, Weston T. Northam, Sheng-Che Hung, Nathan R. Selden, and Carolyn S. Quinsey

OBJECTIVE

Rapid-sequence MRI (RSMRI) of the brain is a limited-sequence MRI protocol that eliminates ionizing radiation exposure and reduces imaging time. This systematic review sought to examine studies of clinical RSMRI use for pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) and to evaluate various RSMRI protocols used, including their reported accuracy as well as clinical and systems-based limitations to implementation.

METHODS

PubMed, EMBASE, and Web of Science databases were searched, and clinical articles reporting the use of a limited brain MRI protocol in the setting of pediatric head trauma were identified.

RESULTS

Of the 1639 articles initially identified and reviewed, 13 studies were included. An additional article that was in press at the time was provided by its authors. The average RSMRI study completion time was variable, spanning from 1 minute to 16 minutes. RSMRI with “blood-sensitive” sequences was more sensitive for detection of hemorrhage compared with head CT (HCT), but less sensitive for detection of skull fractures. Compared with standard MRI, RSMRI had decreased sensitivity for all evidence of trauma.

CONCLUSIONS

Protocols and uses of RSMRI for pediatric TBI were variable among the included studies. While traumatic pathology missed by RSMRI, such as small hemorrhages and linear, nondisplaced skull fractures, was frequently described as clinically insignificant, in some cases these findings may be prognostically and/or forensically significant. Institutions should integrate RSMRI into pediatric TBI management judiciously, relying on clinical context and institutional capabilities.