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Coleman P. Riordan and R. Michael Scott

OBJECTIVE

In patients with syringomyelia and type I Chiari malformation (CM-I) who have required reoperation because of persistent, recurrent, or expanding syrinx, the senior author placed a stent from the fourth ventricle to the cervical subarachnoid space in hopes of promoting circulation of CSF out of the ventricle and away from the central canal of the spinal cord. This study was undertaken to determine the long-term success of this operative stratagem in eliminating the syrinx, as well as to document the complications that occurred following stent placement. The technique utilized for placement of fourth ventricle stents is presented.

METHODS

The surgical database of the senior author was reviewed to identify all patients who underwent stent placement at a reexploration of a suboccipital decompression for a CM-I conducted for a recurrent or ineffectively treated syringomyelia. The clinical and radiological data of these patients were analyzed to determine long-term efficacy and complications of the procedure.

RESULTS

Fourteen patients (average age 10.7 ± 5.2 years, range 2.6–20.1 years) were identified who met these inclusion criteria. They each presented with recurrent, residual, or expanding syringomyelia following a prior decompression for a CM-I. The reoperation with stent placement was complicated by late stent dislodgement and recurrence or persistence of the syrinx in 2 patients (14%) and by neurological deficit in 1 patient (7%). There was 1 perioperative CSF leak (7%). In 1 other patient (7%), the stent dislodged after surgery but required no further intervention, as the syrinx remained collapsed. Two patients (14%) required late reoperation for stent replacement when syrinxes recurred. At the most recent imaging follow-up, the stent was positioned appropriately in 12 patients (86%; average follow-up 6.9 years, range 0.5–18.1 years), and the recurrent or residual syrinx was eliminated or reduced in size by 75% or greater in 13 patients (93%).

CONCLUSIONS

The placement of a stent from the fourth ventricle to the cervical subarachnoid space was a highly effective treatment for patients with recurrent, residual, or expanding syringomyelia following an initial decompression of an associated CM-I. The sole neurological complication in this series was related to lysis of arachnoid scar rather than stent placement itself, but inability to maintain fixation of the stent in situ led to further surgery to replace the stent in 2 patients.

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Coleman P. Riordan, Armide Storey, David J. Cote, Edward R. Smith and R. Michael Scott

OBJECTIVE

There are limited data on the long-term outcomes for children undergoing surgical revascularization for moyamoya disease (MMD) in North America. The authors present a series of pediatric MMD patients who underwent a standard revascularization procedure, pial synangiosis, more than 20 years previously at a single institution by a single surgical team.

METHODS

This study is a retrospective review of all patients aged 21 years or younger treated for MMD at Boston Children’s Hospital who were operated on more than 20 years previously by the senior author (R.M.S.). Radiographic and operative reports, outpatient clinical records, and communications with patients and families were reviewed to document current clinical status, ability to perform daily activities, and concurrent or new medical conditions.

RESULTS

A total of 59 patients (38 female [64.4%], 21 male [35.6%]; median age at surgery 6.2 years [IQR 0.5–21 years]) were identified who were diagnosed with MMD and underwent surgical revascularization procedures more than 20 years previously. Clinically, all but 2 patients (96.6%) presented with the following symptoms alone or in combination: 43 (73%) presented with stroke, 22 (37%) with transient ischemic attack, 12 (20%) with seizures, 7 (12%) with headache, 3 (5%) with choreiform movements, and 2 (3%) with hemorrhage; MMD was incidentally detected in 2 patients (3%). Five patients had unilateral MMD at presentation, but 3 of these ultimately progressed to develop bilateral MMD after an average of 16 months; therefore, pial synangiosis was ultimately performed in a total of 116 hemispheres during the study period. Clinical follow-up was available at a median interval of 20.6 years (IQR 16.1–23.2 years). Modified Rankin Scale scores were stable or improved in 43 of 50 patients with evaluable data; 45 of 55 are currently independent. There were 6 patient deaths (10.2%; 3 due to intracranial hemorrhage, 2 due to tumor-related complications, and 1 due to pulmonary artery stenosis), 4 of whom had a history of previous cranial radiation. One patient (1.7%) experienced a late stroke. Synangiosis vessels remained patent on all available late MRI and MRA studies. Four patients reported uneventful pregnancies and vaginal deliveries years following their revascularization procedures.

CONCLUSIONS

Revascularization for MMD by pial synangiosis appears to confer protection from stroke for pediatric patients over long-term follow-up. A history of cranial radiation was present in 4 of the 6 patients who died and in the lone patient with late stroke. Most patients can expect productive, independent lives following revascularization surgery in the absence of significant preoperative neurological deficits and comorbidities.

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Abbas Rattani, Coleman P. Riordan, John G. Meara and Mark R. Proctor

OBJECTIVE

Unilateral lambdoid synostosis is the premature fusion of a lambdoid suture or sutures and represents the least common form of craniosynostosis, occurring in 1 in 40,000 births. Cranial vault remodeling (CVR) and endoscopic suturectomy with helmet therapy (ES) are surgical approaches that are used to allow for normal brain growth and improved craniofacial symmetry. The authors conducted a comparative outcomes analysis of patients with lambdoid synostosis undergoing either CVR or ES.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective consecutive cohort study of patients with nonsyndromic lambdoid synostosis who underwent surgical correction identified from a single-institution database of patients with craniosynostosis seen between 2000 and 2018. Cranial growth was measured in head circumference percentile and z score.

RESULTS

Nineteen patients (8 female and 11 male) with isolated unilateral lambdoid synostosis were identified (8 right and 11 left). Six underwent CVR and 13 underwent ES. No statistically significant differences were noted between surgical groups with respect to suture laterality, the patient’s sex, and length of follow-up. Patients treated with ES presented and underwent surgery at a younger age than those treated with CVR (p = 0.0002 and p = 0.0001, respectively). Operating and anesthesia time, estimated blood loss, and ICU and total hospital days were significantly lower in ES (all p < 0.05). No significant differences were observed in pre- and postoperative head circumference percentiles or z scores between groups up to 36 months postoperatively. No patients required reoperation as of last follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS

Endoscopic management of lambdoid synostosis is safe, efficient, and efficacious in terms of intraoperative and long-term cranial growth outcomes when compared to CVR. The authors recommend this minimally invasive approach as an option for correction of lambdoid synostosis in patients presenting early in their course.

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Coleman P. Riordan, Darren B. Orbach, Edward R. Smith and R. Michael Scott

OBJECTIVE

The most significant adverse outcome of intracranial hemorrhage from an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is death. This study reviews a single-center experience with pediatric AVMs to quantify the incidence and characterize clinical and radiographic factors associated with sudden death from the hemorrhage of previously undiagnosed AVMs in children.

METHODS

A single-center database review of the period from 2006 to 2017 identified all patients with a first-time intracranial hemorrhage from a previously undiagnosed AVM. Clinical and radiographic data were collected and compared between patients who survived to hospital discharge and those who died at presentation.

RESULTS

A total of 57 patients (average age 10.8 years, range 0.1–19 years) presented with first-time intracranial hemorrhage from a previously undiagnosed AVM during the study period. Of this group, 7/57 (12%) patients (average age 11.5 years, range 6–16 years) suffered hemorrhages that led directly to their deaths. Compared to the cohort of patients who survived their hemorrhage, patients who died were 4 times more likely to have an AVM in the posterior fossa. No clear pattern of antecedent triggering activity (sports, trauma, etc.) was identified, and 3/7 (43%) experienced cardiac arrest in the prehospital setting. Surviving patients were ultimately treated with resection of the AVM in 42/50 (84%) of cases.

CONCLUSIONS

Children who present with hemorrhage from a previously undiagnosed intracranial AVM had a 12% chance of sudden death in our single-institution series of pediatric cerebrovascular cases. Clinical triggers of hemorrhage are unpredictable, but subsequent radiographic evidence of a posterior fossa AVM was present in 57% of fatal cases, and all fatal cases were in locations with high risk of potential herniation. These data support a proactive, aggressive approach toward definitive treatment of AVMs in children.