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Huan Wang and Darren B. Orbach

✓Intracranial aneurysms in young infants are extremely rare, with few published reports on the etiology, evaluation, treatment strategies, and follow-up of this condition in this population. The authors report the case of a traumatic dissecting aneurysm at the vertebrobasilar junction (VBJ) in a 3-month-old infant caused by nonaccidental trauma. Therapeutic occlusion of the VBJ was contemplated, but coil embolization of the main aneurysm sac proved feasible, and anticoagulation and antiplatelet agents were initiated. The patient made a full neurological recovery, and follow-up studies demonstrated stable aneurysm occlusion. Management and follow-up strategies for this challenging condition are discussed.

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Bradley A. Gross, Armide Storey, Darren B. Orbach, R. Michael Scott, and Edward R. Smith

OBJECT

Outcomes of microsurgical treatment of arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) in children are infrequently reported across large cohorts.

METHODS

The authors undertook a retrospective review of departmental and hospital databases to obtain the medical data of all patients up to 18 years of age who were diagnosed with cerebral AVMs. Demographic and AVM angioarchitectural characteristics were analyzed, and for the patients who underwent surgery, the authors also analyzed the estimated intraoperative blood loss, postoperative angiographically confirmed obliteration rates, and neurological complications and outcomes classified according to the modified Rankin Scale (mRS).

RESULTS

Of 117 children with cerebral AVMs, 94 underwent microsurgical resection (80%). Twenty (21%) of these 94 patients underwent adjunctive preoperative embolization. The overall postoperative angiographically confirmed obliteration rate was 94%. As part of a new protocol, the last 50 patients in this series underwent immediate perioperative angiography, improving the subsequent obliteration rate from 86% to 100% (p = 0.01). No other factors, such as a hemorrhagic AVM, size of the AVM, location, drainage, or Spetzler-Martin grade, had a statistically significant impact on the obliteration rate. Perioperative neurological deficits occurred in 17% of the patients, but the vast majority of these (77%) were predictable visual field cuts. Arteriovenous malformations that were hemorrhagic or located in noneloquent regions were each associated with lower rates of postoperative neurological complications (p = 0.05 and 0.002, respectively). In total, 94% of the children had good functional outcomes (mRS Scores 0–2), and these outcomes were significantly influenced by the mRS score on presentation before surgery (p = 0.01). A review of 1- and 5-year follow-up data indicated an overall annual hemorrhage rate of 0.3% and a recurrence rate of 0.9%.

CONCLUSIONS

Microsurgical resection of AVMs in children is associated with high rates of angiographically confirmed obliteration and low rates of significant neurological complications. Implementation of a protocol using perioperative angiography in this series led to complete radiographically confirmed obliteration of all AVMs, with low annual repeat hemorrhage and recurrence rates.

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Huan Wang, Albert K. Oh, and Darren B. Orbach

Patients with the congenital neurocutaneous disorder PHACES are at a markedly increased risk of ischemic infarction during childhood. Although intracranial arterial anomalies have been well described, venous abnormalities have not been documented. The authors report on a unique case of a 3-month-old girl with PHACES and a skull base osteodural arteriovenous fistula. A separate arteriovenous shunt at T-5 may also have been present. Imaging findings and treatment strategies are discussed.

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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.

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Katie Pricola Fehnel, Jennifer Klein, Benjamin C. Warf, Edward R. Smith, and Darren B. Orbach

Pediatric hydrocephalus is a well-studied and still incompletely understood entity. One of the physiological means by which hydrocephalus and intracranial hypertension evolve is through perturbations to normal vascular dynamics. Here the authors report a unique case of an extracranial vascular anomaly resulting in persistently elevated intracranial pressures (ICPs) independent of CSF diversion in a patient with a Joubert syndrome–related disorder. The patient developed worsening intracranial hypertension after successful CSF diversion of Dandy-Walker malformation–associated hydrocephalus via endoscopic third ventriculostomy–choroid plexus cauterization (ETV/CPC). Vascular workup and imaging revealed an extracranial arteriovenous fistula of the superficial temporal artery at the site of a prior scalp intravenous catheter. Following microsurgical obliteration of the lesion, ICP normalized from > 30 cm H2O preoperatively to 11 cm H2O postoperatively. A repeat lumbar puncture at 4 months postoperatively again demonstrated normal pressure, and the patient remained asymptomatic for 9 months. Recurrent symptoms at 9 months were attributed to inadequate CSF diversion, and the patient underwent ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement. This is the first report of an extracranial-to-extracranial vascular anastomosis resulting in intracranial hypertension. This case report demonstrates the need to consider extracranial vascular anomalies as potential sources of persistently elevated ICP in the syndromic pediatric population.

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Ning Lin, Edward R. Smith, R. Michael Scott, and Darren B. Orbach

OBJECT

The safe treatment of children using catheter-based angiography and embolization poses unique challenges because of the technical factors regarding the size and fragility of access and target vessels, as well as unique pediatric cerebrovascular pathologies. The complication rates for neurointerventional procedures in children have not been established.

METHODS

The records of a consecutive cohort of pediatric patients who underwent neuroangiography and/or embolization between 2007 and 2013 were reviewed retrospectively to identify both intraprocedural and postprocedural complications. Demographic and clinical risk factors were analyzed with a multivariate logistic regression model.

RESULTS

The 697 consecutive procedures consisted of 429 diagnostic angiograms and 268 embolizations (mean age of patients 11.1 years; range 4 days to 18 years; 217 females). There were 130 intracranial, 122 extracranial, and 16 spinal embolizations. Pathologies included 28 intracranial arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), 12 spinal AVMs, 19 aneurysms, 29 vein of Galen malformations, 29 dural arteriovenous fistulas, 96 extracranial AVMs, 39 tumors, 3 strokes, and 13 others. Overall, 2 intraprocedural and 1 postprocedural complication (0.7%) occurred in the diagnostic group, all of which were nonneurological events. In the embolization group, 7 intraprocedural and 11 postprocedural complications (6.7%) were observed. Of these complications, 15 were nonneurological events (5.6%), 1 was a short-term neurological event (0.4%), and 2 were long-term neurological events (0.7%).

CONCLUSIONS

Neither the technical challenges posed by children’s access and target vessels nor the unique neuro-vascular pathologies seen in children need result in an elevated morbidity rate related to neuroangiography and embolization. At a dedicated high-volume center, the complication rates may be lower than those for comparable procedures performed in adults.

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Alaa Montaser, Jessica Driscoll, Hudson Smith, Madeline B. Karsten, Emily Day, Tina Mounlavongsy, Darren B. Orbach, and Edward R. Smith

OBJECTIVE

Isolated anterior cerebral artery (ACA) territory ischemia in pediatric moyamoya disease (MMD) is rare but has been increasingly recognized, particularly in children manifesting progression of disease in a delayed fashion after middle cerebral artery revascularization surgery. Surgical treatment is complicated by limited graft choices, with the small number of case series largely focused on complex, higher-risk operations (omental flap transfers, large interhemispheric rotational grafts); direct bypass (often untenable in children due to vessel size); or, alternatively, the technically simpler method of multiple burr holes (of limited efficacy outside of infants). Faced with the problem of a growing cohort of pediatric patients with MMD that could benefit from anterior cerebral revascularization, the authors sought to develop a solution that was specifically designed for children and that would be lower risk than the more complex approaches adapted from adult populations but more effective than simple burr holes. In this study, the authors aimed to describe the long-term clinical and radiographic outcomes of a novel approach of pial pericranial dural (PiPeD) revascularization, building on the principles of pial synangiosis but unique in using the pericranium and the dura mater as the primary vascular supply, and employing a larger craniotomy with arachnoid dissection to provide robust full-territory revascularization in all ages with reduced risk relative to more complex procedures.

METHODS

The medical records of all pediatric patients with MMD who presented at a single center between July 2009 and August 2019 were retrospectively reviewed to identify patients with MMD with anterior cerebral territory ischemia. Clinical characteristics, surgical indications, operative techniques, and long-term clinical and radiographic follow-up data were collected and analyzed.

RESULTS

A total of 25 operations (5.6% of total procedures) were performed in 21 patients (mean age 9.4 years [range 1–16.5 years]; 12 female and 9 male). Almost one-third of the patients had syndromic associations, with no familial cases. Complications included 1 patient (4.7%) with a superficial infection, with no postoperative strokes, hemorrhage, seizures, or deaths. Long-term follow-up was available in 18 of 21 patients (mean 24.9 months [range 4–60 months]). Radiographic engraftment was present in 90.9% (20/22 hemispheres), and no new strokes were evident on MRI on long-term follow-up, despite radiographic progression of the disease.

CONCLUSIONS

The use of the pericranium and the dura mater for indirect revascularization provided robust vascularized graft with great flexibility in location and high potential for engraftment, which may obviate more complex and higher-risk operations for ACA territory ischemia. Long-term follow-up demonstrated that PiPeD revascularization conferred durable, long-term radiographic and clinical protection from stroke in pediatric patients with MMD. Based on the results of the current study, the PiPeD technique can be considered an additional tool to the armamentarium of indirect revascularization procedures in select pediatric patients with MMD.

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Bradley A. Gross, Rose Du, Darren B. Orbach, R. Michael Scott, and Edward R. Smith

OBJECT

Cerebral cavernous malformations (CMs) are a source of neurological morbidity from seizures and focal neurological deficits due to mass effect and hemorrhage. Although several natural history reports exist for adults with CMs, similar data for pediatric patients are limited.

METHODS

The authors reviewed hospital databases to identify children with CMs who had not been treated surgically and who had clinical and radiological follow-up. Annual hemorrhage rates were calculated in lesion-years, and risk factors were assessed using the Cox proportional hazards model.

RESULTS

In a cohort of 167 patients with 222 CMs, the mean patient age at the time of diagnosis was 10.1 years old (SD 6.0). Ninety patients (54%) were male. One hundred four patients (62%) presented with hemorrhage from at least 1 CM, 58 (35%) with seizures with or without CM hemorrhage, and 43 (26%) with incidental lesions. Twenty-five patients (15%) had multiple CMs, 17 (10%) had a family history of CMs, and 33 (20%) had radiologically apparent developmental venous anomalies (DVAs). The overall annual hemorrhage rate was 3.3%. Permanent neurological morbidity was 29% per hemorrhage, increasing to 45% for brainstem, thalamic, or basal ganglia CM and decreasing to 15% for supratentorial lobar or cerebellar lesions. The annual hemorrhage rate for incidental CMs was 0.5%; for hemorrhagic CMs, it was 11.3%, increasing to 18.2% within the first 3 years. Hemorrhage clustering within 3 years was statistically significant (HR 6.1, 95% CI 1.72–21.7, p = 0.005). On multivariate analysis, hemorrhagic presentation (HR 4.63, 95% CI 1.53–14.1, p = 0.007), brainstem location (HR 4.42, 95% CI 1.57–12.4, p = 0.005), and an associated radiologically apparent DVA (HR 2.91, 95% CI 1.04–8.09, p = 0.04) emerged as significant risk factors for hemorrhage, whereas age, sex, CM multiplicity, and CM family history did not.

CONCLUSIONS

Prior hemorrhage, brainstem location, and associated DVAs are significant risk factors for symptomatic hemorrhage in children with CMs. Hemorrhage clustering within the first 3 years of a bleed can occur, a potentially important factor in patient management and counseling.

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Peter Weinstock, Sanjay P. Prabhu, Katie Flynn, Darren B. Orbach, and Edward Smith

OBJECT

Despite the availability of multiplanar imaging, understanding relational 3D anatomy for complex cerebrovascular lesions can be difficult. A 3D printed model allows for instantaneous visualization of lesional anatomy from all perspectives, with the added ability to simulate operative approaches with tactile feedback. The authors report their experience with customized 3D printed models of pediatric cerebrovascular lesions as an educational and clinical tool for patients, trainees, and physicians.

METHODS

Via an “in-house” 3D print service, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerized tomography (CT) studies of pediatric patients with arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) were processed with specialized software, and regions of interest were selected by the surgical/endovascular team. Multiple models for each patient were then printed on a 3D printer, with each construct designed to illustrate different aspects of the specific lesion. Intraoperative validation of model fidelity was performed using perioperative imaging, surgical filming, and post hoc analysis of models with intraoperative photography.

RESULTS

Four cases involving pediatric patients (ages 0–16 years) were studied for initial proof of principle. Three of the patients had AVMs and one had a vein of Galen malformation (VOGM). The VOGM was embolized successfully and the AVMs were resected without complication. In the AVM cases, intraprocedural imaging and photography were performed and verified millimeter-level fidelity of the models (n = 5, 98% concordance, range 94%–100% with average of < 2 mm variation in the largest AVM [6-cm diameter]). The use of 3D models was associated with a 30-minute reduction in operative time (12%) in 2 cases when they were compared with matched controls as a feasibility study.

CONCLUSIONS

Patient-specific 3D printed models of pediatric cerebrovascular conditions can be constructed with high fidelity. This proof-of-principle series demonstrates, for the first time, confirmation of model accuracy using intraprocedural assessment and potential benefit through shortened operative time.