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Ross C. Puffer, David J. Daniels, David F. Kallmes, Harry J. Cloft and Giuseppe Lanzino

Object

The authors conducted a study to review their experience with tentorial dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) treated with transarterial endovascular embolization in which Onyx was used.

Methods

The authors reviewed prospectively collected data in 9 patients with tentorial DAVFs treated with Onyx embolization between 2008 and 2011. Information reviewed included clinical presentation, angiographic features, treatment, and clinical and radiologically documented outcome. Clinical follow-up was available in every patient. Radiological follow-up studies were available in 8 of 9 patients (mean follow-up 4.6 months).

Results

Six of 9 patients had complete angiographic obliteration (in 5 this was confirmed by a follow-up angiogram obtained 3–6 months later), and 2 patients had near-complete obliteration (faint filling of the venous drainage in the late venous phase). One patient had partial obliteration and required surgical disconnection. In all patients with complete obliteration, transarterial embolization was performed through the posterior branch of the middle meningeal artery. There were no procedural complications, and no morbidity or mortality resulted from Onyx embolization.

Conclusions

Transarterial Onyx embolization is a valid, effective, and safe alternative to surgical disconnection in many patients with tentorial DAVFs. The presence of an adequate posterior branch of the middle meningeal artery is critical to achieve a microcatheter position distal enough to increase the likelihood of complete obliteration.

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David J. Daniels, Ananth K. Vellimana, Gregory J. Zipfel and Giuseppe Lanzino

Object

In this paper the authors' goal was to review the clinical features and outcome of patients with intracranial dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) who presented with hemorrhage.

Methods

A retrospective study of 28 patients with DAVFs who presented with intracranial hemorrhage to 2 separate institutions was performed. The information reviewed included clinical presentation, location and size of hemorrhage, angiographic features, treatment, and clinical and radiologically documented outcomes. Clinical and radiological follow-up were available in 27 of 28 patients (mean follow-up 17 months).

Results

The vast majority of patients were male (86%), and the most common presenting symptom was sudden-onset headache. All DAVFs had cortical venous drainage, and about one-third were associated with a venous varix. The most common location was tentorial (75%). Treatment ranged from endovascular (71%), surgical (43%), Gamma Knife surgery (4%), or a combination of modalities. The majority of fistulas (75%) were completely obliterated, and most patients experienced excellent clinical outcome (71%, modified Rankin Scale score of 0 or 1). There were no complications in this series.

Conclusions

Case series, including the current one, suggest that the vast majority of patients who present with intracranial hemorrhage from a DAVF are male. The most common location for DAVFs presenting with hemorrhage is tentorial. Excellent outcomes are achieved with individualized treatment, which includes various therapeutic strategies alone or in combination. Despite the hemorrhagic presentation, almost two-thirds of patients experience a full recovery with no or minimal residual symptoms.

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Victor M. Lu, Kevin Phan, Sean P. Crowley and David J. Daniels

OBJECTIVE

Surgery is the definitive treatment of Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I). It involves posterior fossa decompression, which can be performed along with C-1 laminectomy, reconstructive duraplasty, or tonsil shrinkage. The aim of this study was to provide an updated systematic review and meta-analysis of the latest available evidence regarding posterior fossa decompression only (PFDO) versus posterior fossa decompression with duraplasty (PFDD) in the treatment of CM-I in children.

METHODS

A literature search was performed in compliance with the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines for article identification, screening, eligibility, and inclusion. Relevant articles were identified from 6 electronic databases from their inception to April 2016. These articles were screened against established criteria for inclusion into this study.

RESULTS

From 12 relevant studies identified, 1492 pediatric patients treated via PFDD were compared with 1963 pediatric patients treated by PFDO for CM-I. PFDD was associated with greater overall clinical improvement (p = 0.009), along with longer length of stay (p < 0.0001) and more postoperative complications (p = 0.0001) compared with PFDO. No difference was observed between PFDD and PFDO in terms of revision surgery incidence (p = 0.13), estimated blood loss (p = 0.14), syrinx improvement (p = 0.09), or scoliosis improvement (p = 0.95).

CONCLUSIONS

It appears that the addition of duraplasty to posterior decompression in the definitive treatment of CM-I in children may alter surgical and performance outcomes. In particular, parameters of overall clinical improvement, length of stay, and postoperative complication may differ between children undergoing PFDD and those undergoing PFDO. Current evidence in the literature is of low to very low quality that, as of yet, has not been able to completely control for inherent selection bias both in study design and surgeon preference. Future, large prospective registries and randomized controlled trials are warranted to validate the findings of this study.

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Victor M. Lu, Mohammed A. Alvi, Kerrie L. McDonald and David J. Daniels

OBJECTIVE

Pediatric high-grade gliomas (pHGGs), including diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, present a prognostic challenge given their lethality and rarity. A substitution mutation of lysine for methionine at position 27 in histone H3 (H3K27M) has been shown to be highly specific to these tumors. Data are accumulating regarding the poor outcomes of patients with these tumors; however, the quantification of pooled outcomes has yet to be done, which could assist in prioritizing management. The aim of this study was to quantitatively pool data in the current literature on the H3K27M mutation as an independent prognostic factor in pHGG.

METHODS

Searches of seven electronic databases from their inception to March 2018 were conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Data were extracted and pooled using a meta-analysis of proportions. Meta-regression was used to identify potential sources of heterogeneity.

RESULTS

Six observational studies satisfied the selection criteria for inclusion. They reported the survival outcomes of a pooled cohort of 474 pHGG patients, with 258 (54%) and 216 (46%) patients positive and negative, respectively, for the H3K27M mutation. Overall, the presence of the mutation was independently and significantly associated with a worse prognosis (HR 3.630, p < 0.001). Overall survival was significantly shorter (by 2.300 years; p = 0.008) when the H3K27M mutation was present in pHGG. Meta-regression did not identify any study covariates of heterogeneous concern.

CONCLUSIONS

According to the current literature, pHGG patients positive for the H3K27M mutation are more than 3 times more susceptible to succumbing to this disease by more than 2 years, compared to patients negative for the mutation. More robust outcome data are required to improve our quantitative understanding of this pathological entity in order to assist in prioritizing clinical management. Future larger prospective studies are required to overcome inherent biases in the current literature to validate the quantitative findings of this study.

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T. David Luo, Michelle J. Clarke, Amy K. Zimmerman, Michael Quinn, David J. Daniels and Amy L. McIntosh

OBJECT

Action motorsports, including motocross, have been gaining popularity among children and adolescents, raising concerns for increased risk of concussions in participating youth. The authors undertook this study to test the following hypotheses: 1) that there is a high rate of concussion symptoms associated with a number of preventable or adjustable risk factors, and 2) that a high percentage of these symptoms are not be reported to adults and medical personnel.

METHODS

The authors identified all motocross riders under the age of 18 at a regional racetrack during the riding season between May and October 2010. The participants completed questionnaires pertaining to demographic characteristics and variables associated with motocross. The questionnaire results were compared with the incidence of self-reported concussion symptoms.

RESULTS

Two hundred two riders were identified who met the criteria for participation in the study, and 139 of them completed the study questionnaire. Of these 139 riders, 67 (48%) reported at least 1 concussion symptom during the season. The majority of riders (98%) reported “always” wearing a helmet, and 72% received professional help with fitting of their helmets. Proper helmet fitting was associated with a 41% decreased risk of concussion symptoms (RR 0.59, 95% CI 0.44–0.81, p < 0.01). Sixty-six riders (47%) reported having received sponsor support for motocross participation. Sponsor support conferred a relative risk for concussion symptoms of 1.48 (95% CI 1.05–2.08, p = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS

Nearly half of all motocross competitors under the age of 18 reported concussion symptoms. Preventive measures are necessary to limit the negative impact from concussions. The risk of concussive injury can be decreased for pediatric motocross riders if they receive professional help with proper helmet fitting and through implementation of stricter guidelines regarding sponsorship.

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David J. Daniels, T. David Luo, Ross Puffer, Amy L. McIntosh, A. Noelle Larson, Nicholas M. Wetjen and Michelle J. Clarke

OBJECT

Motocross racing is a popular sport; however, its impact on the growing/developing pediatric spine is unknown. Using a retrospective cohort model, the authors compared the degree of advanced degenerative findings in young motocross racers with findings in age-matched controls.

METHODS

Patients who had been treated for motocross-related injury at the authors' institution between 2000 and 2007 and had been under 18 years of age at the time of injury and had undergone plain radiographic or CT examination of any spinal region were eligible for inclusion. Imaging was reviewed in a blinded fashion by 3 physicians for degenerative findings, including endplate abnormalities, loss of vertebral body height, wedging, and malalignment. Acute pathological segments were excluded. Spine radiographs from age-matched controls were similarly reviewed and the findings were compared.

RESULTS

The motocross cohort consisted of 29 riders (mean age 14.7 years; 82% male); the control cohort consisted of 45 adolescents (mean age 14.3 years; 71% male). In the cervical spine, the motocross cohort had 55 abnormalities in 203 segments (average 1.90 abnormalities/patient) compared with 20 abnormalities in 213 segments in the controls (average 0.65/patient) (p = 0.006, Student t-test). In the thoracic spine, the motocross riders had 51 abnormalities in 292 segments (average 2.04 abnormalities/patient) compared with 25 abnormalities in 299 segments in the controls (average 1.00/patient) (p = 0.045). In the lumbar spine, the motocross cohort had 11 abnormalities in 123 segments (average 0.44 abnormalities/patient) compared with 15 abnormalities in 150 segments in the controls (average 0.50/patient) (p = 0.197).

CONCLUSIONS

Increased degenerative changes in the cervical and thoracic spine were identified in adolescent motocross racers compared with age-matched controls. The long-term consequences of these changes are unknown; however, athletes and parents should be counseled accordingly about participation in motocross activities.

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David J. Daniels, Michelle J. Clarke, Ross Puffer, T. David Luo, Amy L. McIntosh and Nicolas M. Wetjen

OBJECT

Off-road motorcycling is a very popular sport practiced by countless people worldwide. Despite its popularity, not much has been published on the severity and distribution of central nervous system–related injuries associated with this activity in the pediatric population. The purpose of this study was to confirm, characterize, and document the rate of head and spine injuries associated with off-road motorcycling in this population.

METHODS

All patients aged 18 years or less who were treated for a motorbike injury at the authors' institution (a Level 1 regional trauma center) between 2000 and 2007 were identified through in-house surgical and trauma registries. Type, mechanism, and severity of CNS-related injuries were assessed, including: incidence of traumatic brain injury (TBI), loss of consciousness (LOC), Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score, head CT findings, neurological deficits, spinal fractures, cervical strain, and use of protective gear, including helmets.

RESULTS

During the 8-year period of study, 298 accidents were evaluated in 248 patients. The patients' mean age at the time of injury was 14.2 ± 2.7 years. Head injury or TBI was identified in 60 (20.1%) of 298 cases (involving 58 of 248 patients). Fifty-seven cases were associated with LOC, and abnormalities were identified on head CT in 10 patients; these abnormalities included skull fractures and epidural, subdural, subarachnoid, and intraparenchymal hemorrhages. The GCS score was abnormal in 11 cases and ranged from 3 to 15, with an overall mean of 14.5. No patients required cranial surgery. Helmet use was confirmed in 43 (71.6%) of the cases involving TBI. Spine fractures were identified in 13 patients (4.3%) and 5 required surgical fixation for their injury.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors found a high occurrence of head injuries following pediatric off-road motorcycle riding or motocross accidents despite the use of helmets. Additionally, this study severely underestimates the rate of mild TBIs in this patient population. Our data indicate that motocross is a high-risk sport despite the use of protective gear. Riders and parents should be counseled accordingly about the risks prior to participation.

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Ryan M. Naylor, Anton Wohl, Aditya Raghunathan, Laurence J. Eckel, Gesina F. Keating and David J. Daniels

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to describe the clinical presentation, imaging appearance, and differential outcomes based on tumor location in 7 patients with desmoplastic infantile astrocytoma and desmoplastic infantile gangliogliomas (DIA/DIG).

METHODS

Data of 7 patients with histopathology-proven DIA/DIGs and preoperative imaging were retrospectively reviewed, and age, sex, clinical presentation, imaging characteristics, tumor location, surgical procedure, postoperative morbidity, and overall mortality were recorded.

RESULTS

Two subgroups of patients with DIA/DIGs were found to exist based on whether their tumor was located in the cerebral hemispheres or suprasellar region. Nearly all patients presented with rapidly enlarging head circumference regardless of tumor location. However, ocular abnormalities, including nystagmus and preference for downward gaze, were specific for patients with suprasellar disease. These patients experienced significant postoperative complications and had poor long-term outcomes. In contrast, patients with hemispheric tumors underwent more extensive resection than patients with suprasellar tumors, had uneventful postoperative courses, and had no documented long-term comorbidities.

CONCLUSIONS

Postoperative course and long-term outcome for patients with DIA/DIGs were correlated to the anatomical location and radiographic appearance of their tumor at presentation, despite having histologically and molecularly indistinguishable, WHO grade I tumors.

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Edwin A. Takahashi, Laurence J. Eckel, Felix E. Diehn, Kara M. Schwartz, Christopher H. Hunt and David J. Daniels

Cervical pseudomeningocele is a rare complication of trauma. It develops when an extradural collection of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) develops after a dural breach. The authors present the unusual case of a 33-year-old man with progressive headache, neck pain, mental status changes, and cardiopulmonary instability after polytrauma sustained from a motorcycle-versus-deer collision, without improvement during a 5-day hospitalization. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a collection of CSF anterior to the cervical thecal sac compatible with an anterior cervical pseudomeningocele. A nontargeted epidural blood patch was performed with subsequent resolution of the patient's symptoms. Anterior cervical pseudomeningoceles are usually asymptomatic; however, these lesions can cause orthostatic headaches, neck pain, and cardiopulmonary compromise, as it did in the featured patient. Pseudomeningoceles should be included in the differential diagnosis for posttrauma patients with progressive neurological decline or postural headache, and blood patch may be an effective minimally invasive treatment.