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Odette A. Harris, Carrie R. Muh, Monique C. Surles, Yi Pan, Grace Rozycki, Jana Macleod and Kirk Easley

Object

Hypothermia has been extensively evaluated in the management of traumatic brain injury (TBI), but no consensus as to its effectiveness has yet been reached. Explanatory hypotheses include a possible confounding effect of the neuroprotective benefits by adverse systemic effects. To minimize the systemic effects, the authors evaluated a selective cerebral cooling system, the CoolSystem Discrete Cerebral Hypothermia System (a “cooling cap”), in the management of TBI.

Methods

A prospective randomized controlled clinical trial was conducted at Grady Memorial Hospital, a Level I trauma center. Adults admitted with severe TBI (Glasgow Coma Scale [GCS] score ≤ 8) were eligible. Patients assigned to the treatment group received the cooling cap, while those in the control group did not. Patients in the treatment group were treated with selective cerebral hypothermia for 24 hours, then rewarmed over 24 hours. Their intracranial and bladder temperatures, cranial-bladder temperature gradient, Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) and Functional Independence Measure (FIM) scores, and mortality rates were evaluated. The primary outcome was to establish a cranial-bladder temperature gradient in those patients with the cooling cap. The secondary outcomes were mortality and morbidity per GOS and FIM scores.

Results

The cohort comprised 25 patients (12 in the treatment group, 13 controls). There was no significant intergroup difference in demographic data or median GCS score at enrollment (treatment group 3.0, controls 3.0; p = 0.7). After the third hour of the study, the mean intracranial temperature of the treatment group was significantly lower than that of the controls at all time points except Hours 4 (p = 0.08) and 6 (p = 0.08). However, the target intracranial temperature of 33°C was achieved in only 2 patients in the treatment group. The mean intracranial-bladder temperature gradient was not significant for the treatment group (p = 0.07) or the controls (p = 0.67). Six (50.0%) of 12 patients in the treatment group and 4 (30.8%) of 13 in the control group died (p = 0.43). The medians of the maximum change in GOS and FIM scores during the study period (28 days) for both groups were 0. There was no significant difference in complications between the groups (p value range 0.20–1.0).

Conclusions

The cooling cap was not effective in establishing a statistically significant cranial-bladder temperature gradient or in reaching the target intracranial temperature in the majority of patients. No significant difference was achieved in mortality or morbidity between the 2 groups. As the technology currently stands, the Discrete Cerebral Hypothermia System cooling cap is not beneficial for the management of TBI. Further refinement of the equipment available for the delivery of selective cranial cooling will be needed before any definite conclusions regarding the efficacy of discrete cerebral hypothermia can be reached.

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Erratum

Discrete cerebral hypothermia in the management of traumatic brain injury

Odette A. Harris and Carrie R. Muh

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Huan Wang, William Olivero and William Elkins

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Kimberly B. Hoang, Kristopher G. Hooten and Carrie R. Muh

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH), formerly known as pseudotumor cerebri, is a disease of elevated intracranial pressure that is thought to develop due to impaired CSF absorption related to elevated venous sinus pressure in the setting of increased intraabdominal and thoracic pressures. Symptoms can be disabling and, if left untreated, can lead to permanent visual loss. Previous treatments directed toward vision preservation include CSF diversion through shunting and optic nerve sheath fenestration. Recently, attention has been turned toward surgical weight loss strategies as an alternative to shunt treatment. The authors present a report of 3 patients with adolescent-onset IIH that was treated at the authors’ institution (Duke University) in whom bariatric surgery was pursued successfully. The patients had previously undergone CSF shunting at ages 12, 15, and 23 years. They were shunt dependent for a collective average of 3.3 years prior to bariatriwc surgery. All patients reported “low-pressure” or postural headaches after bariatric surgery that correlated with dramatic reduction in their weight. Two of the 3 patients had their shunts removed and continued to be shunt free 1.5 years later at last follow-up; the third patient remained shunt dependent with the pressure set at 200 mm H2O. Given the significant complications inherent to multiple shunt revisions, earlier intervention for weight loss, including bariatric surgery, in these patients might have prevented complications and the associated health care burden. The authors recommend a multidisciplinary approach for IIH treatment with early consideration for weight loss interventions in select patients.

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Brandon G. Rocque, Bonita S. Agee, Eric M. Thompson, Mark Piedra, Lissa C. Baird, Nathan R. Selden, Stephanie Greene, Christopher P. Deibert, Todd C. Hankinson, Sean M. Lew, Bermans J. Iskandar, Taryn M. Bragg, David Frim, Gerald Grant, Nalin Gupta, Kurtis I. Auguste, Dimitrios C. Nikas, Michael Vassilyadi, Carrie R. Muh, Nicholas M. Wetjen and Sandi K. Lam

OBJECTIVE

In children, the repair of skull defects arising from decompressive craniectomy presents a unique set of challenges. Single-center studies have identified different risk factors for the common complications of cranioplasty resorption and infection. The goal of the present study was to determine the risk factors for bone resorption and infection after pediatric cranioplasty.

METHODS

The authors conducted a multicenter retrospective case study that included all patients who underwent cranioplasty to correct a skull defect arising from a decompressive craniectomy at 13 centers between 2000 and 2011 and were less than 19 years old at the time of cranioplasty. Prior systematic review of the literature along with expert opinion guided the selection of variables to be collected. These included: indication for craniectomy; history of abusive head trauma; method of bone storage; method of bone fixation; use of drains; size of bone graft; presence of other implants, including ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt; presence of fluid collections; age at craniectomy; and time between craniectomy and cranioplasty.

RESULTS

A total of 359 patients met the inclusion criteria. The patients’ mean age was 8.4 years, and 51.5% were female. Thirty-eight cases (10.5%) were complicated by infection. In multivariate analysis, presence of a cranial implant (primarily VP shunt) (OR 2.41, 95% CI 1.17–4.98), presence of gastrostomy (OR 2.44, 95% CI 1.03–5.79), and ventilator dependence (OR 8.45, 95% CI 1.10–65.08) were significant risk factors for cranioplasty infection. No other variable was associated with infection.

Of the 240 patients who underwent a cranioplasty with bone graft, 21.7% showed bone resorption significant enough to warrant repeat surgical intervention. The most important predictor of cranioplasty bone resorption was age at the time of cranioplasty. For every month of increased age the risk of bone flap resorption decreased by 1% (OR 0.99, 95% CI 0.98–0.99, p < 0.001). Other risk factors for resorption in multivariate models were the use of external ventricular drains and lumbar shunts.

CONCLUSIONS

This is the largest study of pediatric cranioplasty outcomes performed to date. Analysis included variables found to be significant in previous retrospective reports. Presence of a cranial implant such as VP shunt is the most significant risk factor for cranioplasty infection, whereas younger age at cranioplasty is the dominant risk factor for bone resorption.

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Kristopher G. Hooten, Klaus Werner, Mohamad A. Mikati and Carrie R. Muh

Cortical tubers associated with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) are potential epileptic foci that are often amenable to resective or ablative surgeries, and controlling seizures at a younger age may lead to improved functional outcomes. MRI-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy (MRgLITT) has become a popular minimally invasive alternative to traditional craniotomy. Benefits of MRgLITT include the ability to monitor the ablation in real time, a smaller incision, shorter hospital stay, reduced blood loss, and reduced postoperative pain. To place the laser probe for LITT, however, stereotaxy is required—which classically involves head fixation with cranial pins. This creates a relative minimum age limit of 2 years old because it demands a mature skull and fused cranial sutures. A novel technique is presented for the application of MRgLITT in a 6-month-old infant for the treatment of epilepsy associated with TSC. To the authors’ knowledge this is the youngest patient treated with laser ablation. The authors used a frameless navigation technique with a miniframe tripod system and intraoperative reference points. This technique expands the application of MRgLITT to younger patients, which may lead to safer surgical interventions and improved outcomes for these children.

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Joyce Koueik, Carolina Sandoval-Garcia, John R. W. Kestle, Brandon G. Rocque, David M. Frim, Gerald A. Grant, Robert F. Keating, Carrie R. Muh, W. Jerry Oakes, Ian F. Pollack, Nathan R. Selden, R. Shane Tubbs, Gerald F. Tuite, Benjamin Warf, Victoria Rajamanickam, Aimee Teo Broman, Victor Haughton, Susan Rebsamen, Timothy M. George and Bermans J. Iskandar

OBJECTIVE

Despite significant advances in diagnostic and surgical techniques, the surgical management of Chiari malformation type I (CM-I) with associated syringomyelia remains controversial, and the type of surgery performed is surgeon dependent. This study’s goal was to determine the feasibility of a prospective, multicenter, cohort study for CM-I/syringomyelia patients and to provide pilot data that compare posterior fossa decompression and duraplasty (PFDD) with and without tonsillar reduction.

METHODS

Participating centers prospectively enrolled children suffering from both CM-I and syringomyelia who were scheduled to undergo surgical decompression. Clinical data were entered into a database preoperatively and at 1–2 weeks, 3–6 months, and 1 year postoperatively. MR images were evaluated by 3 independent, blinded teams of neurosurgeons and neuroradiologists. The primary endpoint was improvement or resolution of the syrinx.

RESULTS

Eight clinical sites were chosen based on the results of a published questionnaire intended to remove geographic and surgeon bias. Data from 68 patients were analyzed after exclusions, and complete clinical and imaging records were obtained for 55 and 58 individuals, respectively. There was strong agreement among the 3 radiology teams, and there was no difference in patient demographics among sites, surgeons, or surgery types. Tonsillar reduction was not associated with > 50% syrinx improvement (RR = 1.22, p = 0.39) or any syrinx improvement (RR = 1.00, p = 0.99). There were no surgical complications.

CONCLUSIONS

This study demonstrated the feasibility of a prospective, multicenter surgical trial in CM-I/syringomyelia and provides pilot data indicating no discernible difference in 1-year outcomes between PFDD with and without tonsillar reduction, with power calculations for larger future studies. In addition, the study revealed important technical factors to consider when setting up future trials. The long-term sequelae of tonsillar reduction have not been addressed and would be an important consideration in future investigations.

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Carrie R. Muh, Naomi D. Chou, Shervin Rahimpour, Jordan M. Komisarow, Tracy G. Spears, Herbert E. Fuchs, Sandra Serafini and Gerald A. Grant

OBJECTIVE

To determine resection margins near eloquent tissue, electrical cortical stimulation (ECS) mapping is often used with visual naming tasks. In recent years, auditory naming tasks have been found to provide a more comprehensive map. Differences in modality-specific language sites have been found in adult patients, but there is a paucity of research on ECS language studies in pediatric patients. The goals of this study were to evaluate word-finding distinctions between visual and auditory modalities and identify which cortical subregions most often contain critical language function in a pediatric population.

METHODS

Twenty-one pediatric patients with epilepsy or temporal lobe pathology underwent ECS mapping using visual (n = 21) and auditory (n = 14) tasks. Fisher’s exact test was used to determine whether the frequency of errors in the stimulated trials was greater than the patient’s baseline error rate for each tested modality and subregion.

RESULTS

While the medial superior temporal gyrus was a common language site for both visual and auditory language (43.8% and 46.2% of patients, respectively), other subregions showed significant differences between modalities, and there was significant variability between patients. Visual language was more likely to be located in the anterior temporal lobe than was auditory language. The pediatric patients exhibited fewer parietal language sites and a larger range of sites overall than did adult patients in previously published studies.

CONCLUSIONS

There was no single area critical for language in more than 50% of patients tested in either modality for which more than 1 patient was tested (n > 1), affirming that language function is plastic in the setting of dominant-hemisphere pathology. The high rates of language function throughout the left frontal, temporal, and anterior parietal regions with few areas of overlap between modalities suggest that ECS mapping with both visual and auditory testing is necessary to obtain a comprehensive language map prior to epileptic focus or tumor resection.