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Jun Kim, Vishal J. Patel, Tarek Y. El Ahmadieh, DaiWai M. Olson, and Dale M. Swift

OBJECTIVE

Ventriculoperitoneal shunts (VPSs) for hydrocephalus in patients with achondroplasia are known to have a higher failure rate than in other hydrocephalus populations. However, the etiology of hydrocephalus in this group is considered “communicating,” and, therefore, potentially not amenable to endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV). ETV has, nonetheless, been reported to be successful in a small number of patients with achondroplasia. The authors aimed to investigate the long-term results of ETV in this population.

METHODS

Patients with achondroplasia who had undergone surgical treatment for hydrocephalus (ETV or VPS placement) were identified. In patients who had undergone ETV, medical records and neuroimages were reviewed to determine ventricular volumes and frontal and occipital horn ratios (FOHRs) pre- and postoperatively, as well as the incidence of surgical complications and reoperation. Patients who underwent VPS placement were included for historical comparison, and their medical records were reviewed for basic demographic information as well as the incidence of surgical complications and reoperation.

RESULTS

Of 114 pediatric patients with achondroplasia referred for neurosurgical consultation, 19 (17%) were treated for hydrocephalus; 10 patients underwent ETV only, 7 patients underwent VPS placement only, and 2 patients had a VPS placed followed by ETV. In patients treated with ETV, ventricular volume and FOHRs were normal, if measured at birth, and increased significantly until the time of the ETV. After ETV, all patients demonstrated significant and sustained decreases in ventricular measurements with surveillance up to 15 years. There was a statistically significant difference in rates of repeat CSF surgery between the ETV and VPS cohorts (0/12 vs 7/9, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

ETV was efficacious, safe, and durable in the treatment of hydrocephalus in patients with achondroplasia. Although many studies have indicated that hydrocephalus in these patients is “communicating,” a subset may develop an “obstructive” component that is progressive and responsive to ETV.

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DaiWai M. Olson, Meg Zomorodi, Gavin W. Britz, Ali R. Zomorodi, Anthony Amato, and Carmelo Graffagnino

Object

Cerebral artery vasospasm is a major cause of death and disability in patients recovering from subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Although the exact cause of vasospasm is unknown, one body of research suggests that clearing blood products by CSF drainage is associated with a lower frequency and severity of vasospasm. There are multiple approaches to facilitating CSF drainage, but there is inadequate evidence to determine the best practice. The purpose of this study was to explore whether continuous or intermittent CSF drainage was superior for reducing vasospasm.

Methods

The authors performed a randomized clinical trial. Within 72 hours of admission for SAH, patients with an external ventricular drain (EVD) were randomized to undergo continuous CSF drainage with intermittent intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring (open-EVD group) or continuous ICP monitoring with intermittent CSF drainage (monitor-ICP group).

Results

After 60 patients completed the study, an interim analysis was performed. The complication rate of 52.9% for the open-EVD group was significantly higher than the 23.1% complication rate for the monitor-ICP group (OR 3.75, 95% CI 1.21–11.66, p = 0.022). These results were reported to the Data Safety and Monitoring Board and enrollment was terminated. The odds ratio of vasospasm for the open-EVD versus monitor-ICP group was not significant (OR 0.44, 95% CI 0.13–1.45, p = 0.177).

Conclusions

Continuous CSF drainage with intermittent ICP monitoring is associated with a higher rate of complications than continuous ICP monitoring with intermittent CSF drainage, but there is no difference between the two types of monitoring in vasospasm. Clinical trial registration no.: NCT01169454 (clinicaltrials.gov).

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Pasquale Gallina, Giancarlo Lastrucci, Saverio Caini, and Beradino Porfirio

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Tarek Y. El Ahmadieh, Eva M. Wu, Benjamin Kafka, James P. Caruso, Om J. Neeley, Aaron Plitt, Salah G. Aoun, Daiwai M. Olson, Robert A. Ruchinskas, C. Munro Cullum, Samuel Barnett, Babu G. Welch, H. Hunt Batjer, and Jonathan A. White

OBJECTIVE

A short-term lumbar drain (LD) trial is commonly used to assess the response of normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) patients to CSF diversion. However, it remains unknown whether the predictors of passing an LD trial match the predictors of improvement after ventriculoperitoneal shunting. The aim of this study was to examine outcomes, complication rates, and associations between predictors and outcomes after an LD trial in patients with NPH.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed the records of 254 patients with probable NPH who underwent an LD trial between March 2008 and September 2017. Multivariate regression models were constructed to examine predictors of passing the LD trial. Complications associated with the LD trial procedure were recorded.

RESULTS

The mean patient age was 77 years and 56.7% were male. The mean durations of gait disturbance, cognitive decline, and urinary incontinence were 29 months, 32 months, and 28 months, respectively. Of the 254 patients, 30% and 16% reported objective and subjective improvement after the LD trial, respectively. Complications included a sheared LD catheter, meningitis, lumbar epidural abscess, CSF leak at insertion site, transient lower extremity numbness, slurred speech, refractory headaches, and hyponatremia. Multivariate analyses using MAX-R revealed that a prior history of stroke predicted worse outcomes, while disproportionate subarachnoid spaces (uneven enlargement of supratentorial spaces) predicted better outcomes after the LD trial (r2 = 0.12, p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

The LD trial is generally safe and well tolerated. The best predictors of passing the LD trial include a negative history of stroke and having disproportionate subarachnoid spaces.

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Eva M. Wu, Tarek Y. El Ahmadieh, Benjamin Kafka, James P. Caruso, Om J. Neeley, Aaron R. Plitt, Salah G. Aoun, Daiwai Olson, Robert A. Ruchinskas, C. Munro Cullum, Babu G. Welch, H. Hunt Batjer, and Jonathan A. White

OBJECTIVE

Objective assessment tests are commonly used to predict the response to ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunting in patients with normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH). Whether subjective reports of improvement after a lumbar drain (LD) trial can predict response to VP shunting remains controversial. The goal in this study was to compare clinical characteristics, complication rates, and shunt outcomes of objective and subjective LD responders who underwent VP shunt placement.

METHODS

This was a retrospective review of patients with NPH who underwent VP shunt placement after clinical improvement with the LD trial. Patients who responded after the LD trial were subclassified into objective LD responders and subjective LD responders. Clinical characteristics, complication rates, and shunt outcomes between the 2 groups were compared with chi-square test of independence and t-test.

RESULTS

A total of 116 patients received a VP shunt; 75 were objective LD responders and 41 were subjective LD responders. There was no statistically significant difference in patient characteristics between the 2 groups, except for a shorter length of stay after LD trial seen with subjective responders. The complication rates after LD trial and VP shunting were not significantly different between the 2 groups. Similarly, there was no significant difference in shunt response between objective and subjective LD responders. The mean duration of follow-up was 1.73 years.

CONCLUSIONS

Reports of subjective improvement after LD trial in patients with NPH can be a reliable predictor of shunt response. The currently used objective assessment scales may not be sensitive enough to detect subtle changes in symptomatology after LD trial.

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Salah G. Aoun, Sonja E. Stutzman, Phuong-Uyen N. Vo, Tarek Y. El Ahmadieh, Mohamed Osman, Om Neeley, Aaron Plitt, James P. Caruso, Venkatesh Aiyagari, Folefac Atem, Babu G. Welch, Jonathan A. White, H. Hunt Batjer, and Daiwai M. Olson

OBJECTIVE

Cerebral vasospasm causing delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI) is a source of significant morbidity after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Transcranial Doppler is used at most institutions to detect sonographic vasospasm but has poor positive predictive value for DCI. Automated assessment of the pupillary light reflex has been increasingly used as a reliable way of assessing pupillary reactivity, and the Neurological Pupil Index (NPi) has been shown to decrease hours prior to the clinical manifestation of ischemic injury or herniation syndromes. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of automated pupillometry in the setting of SAH, as a potential adjunct to TCD.

METHODS

Our analysis included patients that had been diagnosed with aneurysmal SAH and admitted to the neuro–intensive care unit of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center between November 2015 and June 2017. A dynamic infrared pupillometer was used for all pupillary measurements. An NPi value ranging from 3 to 5 was considered normal, and from 0 to 2.9 abnormal. Sonographic vasospasm was defined as middle cerebral artery velocities greater than 100 cm/sec with a Lindegaard ratio greater than 3 on either side on transcranial Doppler. Most patients had multiple NPi readings daily and we retained the lowest value for our analysis. We aimed to study the association between DCI and sonographic vasospasm, and DCI and NPi readings.

RESULTS

A total of 56 patients were included in the final analysis with 635 paired observations of daily TCD and NPi data. There was no statistically significant association between the NPi value and the presence of sonographic vasospasm. There was a significant association between DCI and sonographic vasospasm, χ2(1) = 6.4112, p = 0.0113, OR 1.6419 (95% CI 1.1163–2.4150), and between DCI and an abnormal decrease in NPi, χ2(1) = 38.4456, p < 0.001, OR 3.3930 (95% CI 2.2789–5.0517). Twelve patients experienced DCI, with 7 showing a decrease of their NPi to an abnormal range. This change occurred > 8 hours prior to the clinical decline 71.4% of the time. The NPi normalized in all patients after treatment of their vasospasm.

CONCLUSIONS

Isolated sonographic vasospasm does not seem to correlate with NPi changes, as the latter likely reflects an ischemic neurological injury. NPi changes are strongly associated with the advent of DCI and could be an early herald of clinical deterioration.