A case of cervical spinal cord injury in 12-year-old angular craniopagus twins is presented, with a description of the planning and execution of surgical treatment along with subsequent clinical outcome. The injury occurred following a fall from a standing position, resulting in quadriparesis in one of the twins. Imaging revealed severe craniocervical stenosis resulting from a C1–2 dislocation, and T2-weighted hyperintensity of the cervical spinal cord. After custom halo fixation was obtained, a posterior approach was utilized to decompress and instrument the occiput, cervical, and upper thoracic spine with intraoperative reduction of the dislocation. Early neurological improvement was noted during the acute postoperative phase, and 27 months of follow-up demonstrated intact instrumentation with continued neurological improvement to near baseline. The complexity of managing such an injury, inclusive of the surgical, anesthetic, biomechanical, and ethical considerations, is described in detail.
Michael P. Wemhoff, Kevin Swong, Daphne Li, Neal Mugve, Lisa A. Gramlich and Russ P. Nockels
Daniel M. Heiferman, Daphne Li, Joseph C. Serrone, Matthew R. Reynolds, Anand V. Germanwala, Clarence B. Watridge and Adam S. Arthur
Dr. Francis Murphey of the Semmes-Murphey Clinic in Memphis recognized that a focal sacculation on the dome of an aneurysm may be angiographic evidence of a culpable aneurysm in the setting of subarachnoid hemorrhage with multiple intracranial aneurysms present. This has been referred to as a Murphey’s “teat,” “tit,” or “excrescence.” With variability in terminology, misspellings in the literature, and the fact that Dr. Murphey did not formally publish this important work, the authors sought to clarify the meaning and investigate the origins of this enigmatic cerebrovascular eponym.
Daphne Li, Tahaamin Shokuhfar, Julia Pantalone, Brian Rothstein, Tord D. Alden, Ali Shaibani and Amanda M. Saratsis
Diffuse villous hyperplasia of the choroid plexus (DVHCP) is a rare cause of communicating hydrocephalus. DVHCP may be diagnosed radiographically and through histological evaluation. It may be associated with genetic abnormalities, particularly involving chromosome 9. Due to CSF overproduction, patients with DVHCP often fail management with shunting alone and may require adjuvant interventions. The authors present the case of a child with partial trisomy 9p and delayed diagnosis of hydrocephalus with radiographic evidence of DVHCP who was successfully managed with ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS) placement, adjuvant bilateral endoscopic choroid plexus coagulation (CPC), and the novel application of anterior choroidal artery embolization. In addition, a systematic MEDLINE search was conducted using the keywords “diffuse villous hyperplasia,” “choroid plexus hypertrophy,” and “idiopathic cerebrospinal fluid overproduction.” Clinicopathological characteristics and outcomes of the present case were reviewed and compared to those in the literature.
A 14-month-old girl with partial trisomy 9p presented with macrocephaly and radiographic evidence of communicating hydrocephalus and DVHCP. Ventriculoperitoneal shunting resulted in distal failure due to inadequate CSF absorption, and ventriculoatrial shunt (VAS) placement was not possible due to multiple cardiac anomalies. Daily CSF production was reduced via endoscopic third ventriculostomy and bilateral CPC, followed by distal choroidal artery embolization, enabling VPS re-internalization. The embolization was complicated by radiographic evidence of an iatrogenic cerebral infarct, but this was clinically occult. Thirty-two additional cases of communicating hydrocephalus due to DVHCP are reported in the literature: 27 pediatric, 3 adult, and 2 postmortem. Genetic abnormalities were noted in 14, with 7 (50%) involving chromosome 9. Twelve patients underwent plexectomy (9 bilateral, 2 unilateral, 1 partial), and 10 underwent CPC (4 bilateral, 3 unilateral, and 3 unspecified), with or without shunting. Eight patients were successfully managed with shunting alone (6 VASs, 2 VPSs), and none underwent arterial embolization.
DVHCP is a rare cause of communicating hydrocephalus that may be associated with genetic abnormalities. A thorough review of the literature highlights diagnostic criteria and interventional options involved in managing this cause of CSF overproduction. The present case demonstrates that angiographic confirmation of prominent choroidal arteries may contribute to the diagnosis DVHCP. In addition, embolization of the distal choroidal arteries may be considered as a potential adjuvant treatment in patients for whom conventional treatments have failed or are not feasible.
Daphne Li, Daniel M. Heiferman, Hasan R. Syed, João Gustavo Santos, Robin M. Bowman, Arthur J. DiPatri Jr., Tadanori Tomita, Nitin R. Wadhwani and Tord D. Alden
Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors (ATRTs) are rare malignant central nervous system tumors, commonly occurring before 3 years of age. Median overall survival (OS) of patients with these tumors is about 1 year, despite aggressive multimodal therapy. Pediatric primary spinal ATRTs are even more rare, with fewer than 50 cases reported. The authors present a series of four patients who were treated at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago in the period from 1996 to 2017.
These patients, with ages 2–11 years, presented with pain and a decline in motor functions. They were found to have lesions in the lumbar, thoracic, and/or cervical spine. One patient’s tumor was intramedullary with exophytic components, while another patient’s tumor had both intra- and extradural components. All patients underwent resection followed by chemotherapy (systemic and intrathecal). Two patients had fractionated radiation therapy and one had an autologous stem cell transplant. Three patients are known to be deceased (OS 8.5–45 months). The fourth patient was in remission 19 years after her initial diagnosis. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the largest series of pediatric primary spinal ATRTs documented at a single institution. These cases illustrate a variety of presentations of spinal ATRT and add to the body of literature on this aggressive pathology.
A systematic MEDLINE search was also conducted using the keywords “atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor,” “pediatric spinal rhabdoid tumor,” and “malignant rhabdoid tumor spine.” Reports were included for patients younger than 21 years, without evidence of intracranial or systemic disease at the time of diagnosis. Clinical characteristics and outcomes of the four institutional cases were compared to those in the literature. This review yielded an additional 48 cases of primary pediatric spinal ATRTs reported in the English-language literature. Patients (ages 2 months to 19 years) presented with symptoms of pain, regression of motor function, and spinal cord compression. The majority of tumors were intradural (14 extramedullary, 8 intramedullary, 1 both). Eleven cases in the literature described tumors limited to extradural structures, while 10 tumors involved the intra- and extradural spine. Four reports did not specify tumor location. Although rare, spinal ATRT should be considered in the differential diagnosis of pediatric patients presenting with a new spinal mass.