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David S. Hersh, Julie E. Hoover-Fong, Natalie Beck, Amir H. Dorafshar and Edward S. Ahn

OBJECTIVE

Recent reports have described early endoscopic suturectomy as a treatment option for patients with syndromic craniosynostosis, but such patients often require subsequent calvarial remodeling. The authors describe their experience with this patient population and seek to identify predictors of sufficiency of endoscopic surgery alone.

METHODS

The medical records of patients with syndromic craniosynostosis who underwent endoscopic repair were retrospectively reviewed. Demographic data, operative details, and follow-up data were collected.

RESULTS

A total of 6 patients with syndromic craniosynostosis underwent endoscopic surgery followed by helmet therapy during the study period. Of these, 3 patients were male. The involved syndromes included Crouzon, Pfeiffer, Jackson-Weiss, Muenke, Saethre-Chotzen, and craniosynostosis-3 (n = 1 each). The patients underwent endoscopic surgery at a median age of 2.1 months (range 0.9–4.1 months). The median estimated blood loss was 30 ml (range 20–100 ml), with 2 patients requiring a transfusion. The median length of stay in the hospital was 1.5 days (range 1–4 days), and the median follow-up was 29.0 months (range 16.8–81.7 months), with 1 patient (16.7%) requiring an open revision. Three patients (50%) were classified as Whitaker Category I at the last follow-up. The patients for whom additional open surgery was performed or recommended (Whitaker Category IV) were the oldest patients in the cohort, ranging from 2.6 to 4.1 months at the time of surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

This series demonstrates that endoscopic surgery can be sufficient to treat syndromic craniosynostosis without subsequent open calvarial remodeling over a median follow-up period of at least 2 years. The findings suggest that younger age at the time of endoscopic surgery may be an important factor in determining the sufficiency of this procedure. Even among patients who require subsequent open calvarial remodeling, early endoscopic surgery may allow for growth and development of the brain and skull while delaying the need for open remodeling until the patient is older and can better tolerate the procedure.

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Elizabeth Le, Bizhan Aarabi, David S. Hersh, Kathirkamanthan Shanmuganathan, Cara Diaz, Jennifer Massetti and Noori Akhtar-Danesh

OBJECT

Studies of preclinical spinal cord injury (SCI) in rodents indicate that expansion of intramedullary lesions (IMLs) seen on MR images may be amenable to neuroprotection. In patients with subaxial SCI and motor-complete American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) Impairment Scale (AIS) Grade A or B, IML expansion has been shown to be approximately 900 μm/hour. In this study, the authors investigated IML expansion in a cohort of patients with subaxial SCI and AIS Grade A, B, C, or D.

METHODS

Seventy-eight patients who had at least 2 MRI scans within 6 days of SCI were enrolled. Data were analyzed by regression analysis.

RESULTS

In this cohort, the mean age was 45.3 years (SD 18.3 years), 73 patients were injured in a motor vehicle crash, from a fall, or in sport activities, and 77% of them were men. The mean Injury Severity Score (ISS) was 26.7 (SD 16.7), and the AIS grade was A in 23 patients, B in 7, C in 7, and D in 41. The mechanism of injury was distraction in 26 patients, compression in 22, disc/osteophyte complex in 29, and Chance fracture in 1. The mean time between injury onset and the first MRI scan (Interval 1) was 10 hours (SD 8.7 hours), and the mean time to the second MRI scan (Interval 2) was 60 hours (SD 29.6 hours). The mean IML lengths of the first and second MR images were 38.8 mm (SD 20.4 mm) and 51 mm (SD 36.5 mm), respectively. The mean time from the first to the second MRI scan (Interval 3) was 49.9 hours (SD 28.4 hours), and the difference in IML lengths was 12.6 mm (SD 20.7 mm), reflecting an expansion rate of 366 μm/ hour (SD 710 μm/hour). IML expansion in patients with AIS Grades A and B was 918 μm/hour (SD 828 μm/hour), and for those with AIS Grades C and D, it was 21 μm/hour (SD 304 μm/hour). Univariate analysis indicated that AIS Grade A or B versus Grades C or D (p < 0.0001), traction (p= 0.0005), injury morphology (p < 0.005), the surgical approach (p= 0.009), vertebral artery injury (p= 0.02), age (p < 0.05), ISS (p < 0.05), ASIA motor score (p < 0.05), and time to decompression (p < 0.05) were all predictors of lesion expansion. In multiple regression analysis, however, the sole determinant of IML expansion was AIS grade (p < 0.005).

CONCLUSIONS

After traumatic subaxial cervical spine or spinal cord injury, patients with motor-complete injury (AIS Grade A or B) had a significantly higher rate of IML expansion than those with motor-incomplete injury (AIS Grade C or D).

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David S. Hersh, Rajiv R. Iyer, Tomas Garzon-Muvdi, Ann Liu, George I. Jallo and Mari L. Groves

OBJECTIVE

Spinal deformity has become a well-recognized complication of intramedullary spinal cord tumor (IMSCT) resection. In particular, laminectomy can result in biomechanical instability caused by loss of the posterior tension band. Therefore, laminoplasty has been proposed as an alternative to laminectomy. Here, the authors describe the largest current series of pediatric patients who have undergone laminoplasty for IMSCT resection and investigate the need for surgical fusion after both laminectomy and laminoplasty.

METHODS

The medical records of pediatric patients who underwent resection of an IMSCT at a single institution between November 2003 and May 2014 were reviewed retrospectively. Demographic, clinical, radiological, surgical, histopathological, and follow-up data were collected.

RESULTS

Sixty-six consecutive patients underwent resection of an IMSCT during the study period. Forty-three (65%) patients were male. The patients had a median age of 12.9 years (interquartile range [IQR] 7.2–16.5 years) at the time of surgery. Patients typically presented with a tumor that involved the cervical and/or thoracic spine. Nineteen (29%) patients underwent laminectomy, and 47 (71%) patients underwent laminoplasty. Patients in each cohort had a similar rate of postoperative deformity. Overall, 10 (15%) patients required instrumented spinal fusion for spinal deformity. Four patients required revision of the primary fusion.

CONCLUSIONS

These findings show that among pediatric patients with an IMSCT, postoperative surgical fusion rates remain high, even after laminoplasty. Known risk factors, such as the age of the patient, location of the tumor, and the number of involved levels, might play a larger role than replacement of the laminae in determining the rate of surgical fusion after IMSCT resection.

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Nickalus R. Khan, Kenneth Moore, Jaafar Basma, David S. Hersh, Asim F. Choudhri, Brandy Vaughn and Paul Klimo Jr.

OBJECTIVE

An ischemic stroke following an elective craniotomy in a child is perceived to be a rare event. However, to date there are few papers on this topic. The purpose of this study was to investigate the occurrence of stroke following elective intracranial surgery at a children’s hospital.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of all patients who developed a perioperative stroke following an elective craniotomy from 2010 through 2017. Data were collected using an institutional database that contained demographic, medical, radiological, and outcome variables.

RESULTS

A total of 1591 elective craniotomies were performed at the authors’ institution during the study period. Of these, 28 (1.8%) were followed by a perioperative stroke. Radiographic diagnosis of the infarction occurred at a median of 1.7 days (range 0–9 days) from the time of surgery, and neurological deficits were apparent within 24 hours of surgery in 18 patients (62.5%). Infarcts tended to occur adjacent to tumor resection sites (86% of cases), and in a unilateral (89%), unifocal (93%), and supratentorial (93%) location. Overall, 11 (39.3%) strokes were due to a perforating artery, 10 (35.7%) were due to a large vessel, 4 (14.3%) were venous, and 3 (10.7%) were related to hypoperfusion or embolic causes. Intraoperative MRI (iMRI) was used in 11 of the 28 cases, and 6 (55%) infarcts were not detected, all of which were deep.

CONCLUSIONS

The incidence of stroke following an elective craniotomy is low, with nearly all cases (86%) occurring after tumor resection. Perforator infarcts were most common but may be missed on iMRI.

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David S. Hersh, Jonathan Chun, Howard L. Weiner, Steven Pulitzer, Henry Rusinek, Jonathan Roth, Orrin Devinsky and Sarah S. Milla

Object

In patients with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), the tuber-to-brain proportion (TBP) is a marker of seizure severity and cognitive function. However, few studies have quantified the TBP. Furthermore, authors of these studies have measured the TBP at only a single time point, despite the fact that tuber cells were found to express proliferation markers, suggesting that they may be dynamic lesions. Authors of the present study used a semi-automated tuber segmentation program to determine whether the TBP changes over time.

Methods

Axial FLAIR MR images were retrospectively identified for patients with TSC who had undergone imaging at the authors' institution between February 1998 and June 2009. Using FireVoxel software, the TBP was measured for each patient at a minimum interval of 2 years.

Results

Twelve patients meeting the study inclusion criteria were identified. The mean TBP was 1.88% (range 0.38%–3.70%). Eight patients demonstrated minimal changes and 3 patients demonstrated small increases in TBP. The remaining patient exhibited a decrease of 1.00%, which correlated with a visible decrease in the size of 2 cerebellar lesions.

Conclusions

Semi-automated brain segmentation is a valuable tool in the longitudinal study of tubers. A subset of patients with TSC, particularly those with cerebellar lesions, may exhibit changes in the TBP over time.

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David S. Hersh, Nir Shimony, Mari L. Groves, Gerald F. Tuite, George I. Jallo, Ann Liu, Tomas Garzon-Muvdi, Thierry A. G. M. Huisman, Ryan J. Felling, Joseph A. Kufera and Edward S. Ahn

OBJECTIVE

Pediatric cerebral venous sinus thrombosis has been previously described in the setting of blunt head trauma; however, the population demographics, risk factors for thrombosis, and the risks and benefits of detection and treatment in this patient population are poorly defined. Furthermore, few reports differentiate between different forms of sinus pathology. A series of pediatric patients with skull fractures who underwent venous imaging and were diagnosed with intrinsic cerebral venous sinus thrombosis or extrinsic sinus compression is presented.

METHODS

The medical records of patients at 2 pediatric trauma centers were retrospectively reviewed. Patients who were evaluated for blunt head trauma from January 2003 to December 2013, diagnosed with a skull fracture, and underwent venous imaging were included.

RESULTS

Of 2224 pediatric patients with skull fractures following blunt trauma, 41 patients (2%) underwent venous imaging. Of these, 8 patients (20%) had intrinsic sinus thrombosis and 14 patients (34%) displayed extrinsic compression of a venous sinus. Three patients with intrinsic sinus thrombosis developed venous infarcts, and 2 of these patients were treated with anticoagulation. One patient with extrinsic sinus compression by a depressed skull fracture underwent surgical elevation of the fracture. All patients with sinus pathology were discharged to home or inpatient rehabilitation. Among patients who underwent follow-up imaging, the sinus pathology had resolved by 6 months postinjury in 80% of patients with intrinsic thrombosis as well as 80% of patients with extrinsic compression. All patients with intrinsic thrombosis or extrinsic compression had a Glasgow Outcome Scale score of 4 or 5 at their last follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS

In this series of pediatric trauma patients who underwent venous imaging for suspected thrombosis, the yield of detecting intrinsic thrombosis and/or extrinsic compression of a venous sinus was high. However, few patients developed venous hypertension or infarction and were subsequently treated with anticoagulation or surgical decompression of the sinus. Most had spontaneous resolution and good neurological outcomes without treatment. Therefore, in the setting of pediatric skull fractures after blunt injury, venous imaging is recommended when venous hypertension or infarction is suspected and anticoagulation is being considered. However, there is little indication for pervasive venous imaging after pediatric skull fractures, especially in light of the potential risks of CT venography or MR venography in the pediatric population and the unclear benefits of anticoagulation.

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Sonia Ajmera, Ryan P. Lee, Andrew Schultz, David S. Hersh, Jacob Lepard, Raymond Xu, Hassan Saad, Olutomi Akinduro, Melissa Justo, Brittany D. Fraser, Mustafa Motiwala, Pooja Dave, Brian Jimenez, David A. Wallace, Olufemi Osikoya, Sebastian Norrdahl, Jennings H. Dooley, Nickalus R. Khan, Brandy N. Vaughn, Cormac O. Maher and Paul Klimo Jr.

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to analyze the publication output of postgraduate pediatric neurosurgery fellows for a 10-year period as well as identify 25 individual highly productive pediatric neurosurgeons. The correlation between academic productivity and the site of fellowship training was studied.

METHODS

Programs certified by the Accreditation Council for Pediatric Neurosurgery Fellowships that had 5 or more graduating fellows from 2006 to 2015 were included for analysis. Fellows were queried using Scopus for publications during those 10 years with citation data through 2017. Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated, comparing program rankings of faculty against fellows using the revised Hirsch index (r-index; primary) and Hirsch index (h-index; secondary). A list of 25 highly accomplished individual academicians and their fellowship training locations was compiled.

RESULTS

Sixteen programs qualified with 152 fellows from 2006 to 2015; 136 of these surgeons published a total of 2009 articles with 23,735 citations. Most publications were pediatric-specific (66.7%) clinical articles (93.1%), with middle authorship (55%). Co-investigators were more likely from residency than fellowship. There was a clustering of the top 7 programs each having total publications of around 120 or greater, publications per fellow greater than 12, more than 1200 citations, and adjusted ir10 (revised 10-year institutional h-index) and ih10 (10-year institutional h-index) values of approximately 2 or higher. Correlating faculty and fellowship program rankings yielded correlation coefficients ranging from 0.53 to 0.80. Fifteen individuals (60%) in the top 25 (by r5 index) list completed their fellowship at 1 of these 7 institutions.

CONCLUSIONS

Approximately 90% of fellowship-trained pediatric neurosurgeons have 1 or more publications, but the spectrum of output is broad. There is a strong correlation between where surgeons complete their fellowships and postgraduate publications.