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Suresh N. Magge, Arthur R. Bartolozzi IV, Neil D. Almeida, Deki Tsering, John S. Myseros, Chima O. Oluigbo, Gary F. Rogers and Robert F. Keating

OBJECTIVE

Sagittal craniosynostosis is managed with a wide variety of operative strategies. The current investigation compares the clinical outcomes of two widely performed techniques: pi craniectomy and minimally invasive endoscopic strip craniectomy (ESC) followed by helmet therapy.

METHODS

This IRB-approved retrospective study examined patients diagnosed with nonsyndromic, single-suture sagittal craniosynostosis treated with either pi craniectomy or ESC. Included patients had a minimum postoperative follow-up of 5 months.

RESULTS

Fifty-one patients met the inclusion criteria (pi 21 patients, ESC 30 patients). Compared to patients who underwent ESC, the pi patients were older at the time of surgery (mean age 5.06 vs 3.11 months). The mean follow-up time was 23.2 months for ESC patients and 31.4 months for pi patients. Initial cranial index (CI) was similar between the groups, but postoperatively the ESC patients experienced a 12.3% mean increase in CI (from 0.685 to 0.767) compared to a 5.34% increase for the pi patients (from 0.684 to 0.719), and this difference was statistically significant (p < 0.001). Median hospital length of stay (1 vs 2 days) and operative duration (69.5 vs 93.3 minutes) were significantly less for ESC (p < 0.001 for both). The ESC patients showed a trend toward better results when surgery was done at younger ages. Craniectomy width in ESC cases was positively associated with CI improvement (slope of linear regression = 0.69, p = 0.026).

CONCLUSIONS

While both techniques effectively treated sagittal craniosynostosis, ESC showed superior results compared to pi craniectomy. ESC showed a trend for better outcomes when done at younger ages, although the trend did not reach statistical significance. A wider craniectomy width (up to 2 cm) was associated with better outcomes than smaller craniectomy widths among the ESC patients.

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Elsa V. Arocho-Quinones, Sean M. Lew, Michael H. Handler, Zulma Tovar-Spinoza, Matthew Smyth, Robert Bollo, David Donahue, M. Scott Perry, Michael L. Levy, David Gonda, Francesco T. Mangano, Phillip B. Storm, Angela V. Price, Daniel E. Couture, Chima Oluigbo, Ann-Christine Duhaime, Gene H. Barnett, Carrie R. Muh, Michael D. Sather, Aria Fallah, Anthony C. Wang, Sanjiv Bhatia, Kadam Patel, Sergey Tarima, Sarah Graber, Sean Huckins, Daniel M. Hafez, Kavelin Rumalla, Laurie Bailey, Sabrina Shandley, Ashton Roach, Erin Alexander, Wendy Jenkins, Deki Tsering, George Price, Antonio Meola, Wendi Evanoff, Eric M. Thompson, Nicholas Brandmeir and the Pediatric Stereotactic Laser Ablation Workgroup

OBJECTIVE

This study aimed to assess the safety and efficacy of MR-guided stereotactic laser ablation (SLA) therapy in the treatment of pediatric brain tumors.

METHODS

Data from 17 North American centers were retrospectively reviewed. Clinical, technical, and radiographic data for pediatric patients treated with SLA for a diagnosis of brain tumor from 2008 to 2016 were collected and analyzed.

RESULTS

A total of 86 patients (mean age 12.2 ± 4.5 years) with 76 low-grade (I or II) and 10 high-grade (III or IV) tumors were included. Tumor location included lobar (38.4%), deep (45.3%), and cerebellar (16.3%) compartments. The mean follow-up time was 24 months (median 18 months, range 3–72 months). At the last follow-up, the volume of SLA-treated tumors had decreased in 80.6% of patients with follow-up data. Patients with high-grade tumors were more likely to have an unchanged or larger tumor size after SLA treatment than those with low-grade tumors (OR 7.49, p = 0.0364). Subsequent surgery and adjuvant treatment were not required after SLA treatment in 90.4% and 86.7% of patients, respectively. Patients with high-grade tumors were more likely to receive subsequent surgery (OR 2.25, p = 0.4957) and adjuvant treatment (OR 3.77, p = 0.1711) after SLA therapy, without reaching significance. A total of 29 acute complications in 23 patients were reported and included malpositioned catheters (n = 3), intracranial hemorrhages (n = 2), transient neurological deficits (n = 11), permanent neurological deficits (n = 5), symptomatic perilesional edema (n = 2), hydrocephalus (n = 4), and death (n = 2). On long-term follow-up, 3 patients were reported to have worsened neuropsychological test results. Pre-SLA tumor volume, tumor location, number of laser trajectories, and number of lesions created did not result in a significantly increased risk of complications; however, the odds of complications increased by 14% (OR 1.14, p = 0.0159) with every 1-cm3 increase in the volume of the lesion created.

CONCLUSIONS

SLA is an effective, minimally invasive treatment option for pediatric brain tumors, although it is not without risks. Limiting the volume of the generated thermal lesion may help decrease the incidence of complications.