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Dimitrios C. Nikas, Alexander Hartov, Karen Lunn, Kyle Rick, Keith Paulsen, and David W. Roberts


The authors present their experience with coregistration of preoperative imaging data to intraoperative ultrasonography in the resection of high-grade gliomas, focusing on methodology and clinical observation.


Images were obtained preoperatively and coregistered to intraoperative hand-held ultrasound images by merging the respective imaging coordinate systems. After patient registration and imaging calibration, the authors computed the location on the magnetic resonance (MR) space of each pixel on an ultrasound image acquired in the operating room. The data were retrospectively reviewed in 11 patients with high-grade gliomas who underwent ultrasonography-assisted resection at our institution between June 2000 and December 2002.

Satisfactory coregistration of intraoperative ultrasound and preoperative MR images was accomplished in all cases. Ultrasound and MR image data were closely congruent. Preoperative setup and intraoperative use of the system were unencumbering.


Based on these preliminary results, intraoperative ultrasonography is an attractive neuronavigational alternative, by which a less expensive and constraining imaging technique is used to acquire updated information. Optimal intraoperative guidance can be provided by the integration of this with other imaging studies.

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Dimitrios C. Nikas, Lorenzo Bello, Amir A. Zamani, and Peter McL. Black

The authors reviewed 175 low-grade hemispheric gliomas surgically treated by one surgeon (P.B.) between 1987 and 1996: 74 astrocytomas (42%), 35 oligodendrogliomas (20%), 52 mixed gliomas (30%), 12 gangliogliomas (7%), and two ependymomas (1%). Patient age ranged from 7.5 to 81.9 years (mean 39.2 years); 84 patients (48%) were males and 91 (52%) females. Postsurgical follow-up review ranged from 0.1 to 225.2 months (mean 36.2 months, median 24.9 months). Either T2-weighted or contrast-enhanced T1-weighted magnetic resonance (MR) images were used to evaluate the percentage of resection achieved and volume of residual disease postoperatively. The majority of patients (55%) had seizures as the presenting symptom, and 45% experienced preoperative symptoms for more than 12 months. Tumor enhancement was present in 21% of cases. In 66% of surgical procedures at least one of the following technical adjuncts was used: monitored local anesthesia, real-time MR imaging, stereotactic guidance with computerized tomography, three dimensional reconstruction, cortical mapping with cortical stimulation, somatosensory or visual evoked potential recording, corticography, or intraoperative ultrasound. Intraoperative MR imaging was used for 40 (22.9%) of the craniotomies and nine (5.14%) biopsies. There were no surgery-related deaths. Complications appeared in 6% of the patients. Progression to a higher-grade tumor occurred in 9.2% of patients within the 3-year follow-up period.

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Dimitrios C. Nikas, Alexander F. Post, Asim F. Choudhri, Catherine A. Mazzola, Laura Mitchell, and Ann Marie Flannery


The objective of this systematic review is to answer the following question: Does ventricle size after treatment have a predictive value in determining the effectiveness of surgical intervention in pediatric hydrocephalus?


The US National Library of Medicine PubMed/MEDLINE database and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews were searched using MeSH headings and key words relevant to change in ventricle size after surgical intervention for hydrocephalus in children. An evidentiary table was assembled summarizing the studies and the quality of evidence (Classes I–III).


Six articles satisfied inclusion criteria for the evidentiary tables for this part of the guidelines. All were Class III retrospective studies.


Recommendation: There is insufficient evidence to recommend a specific change in ventricle size as a measurement of the effective treatment of hydrocephalus and as a measurement of the timing and effectiveness of treatments including ventriculoperitoneal shunts and third ventriculostomies. Strength of Recommendation: Level III, unclear clinical certainty.

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Brandon G. Rocque, Bonita S. Agee, Eric M. Thompson, Mark Piedra, Lissa C. Baird, Nathan R. Selden, Stephanie Greene, Christopher P. Deibert, Todd C. Hankinson, Sean M. Lew, Bermans J. Iskandar, Taryn M. Bragg, David Frim, Gerald Grant, Nalin Gupta, Kurtis I. Auguste, Dimitrios C. Nikas, Michael Vassilyadi, Carrie R. Muh, Nicholas M. Wetjen, and Sandi K. Lam


In children, the repair of skull defects arising from decompressive craniectomy presents a unique set of challenges. Single-center studies have identified different risk factors for the common complications of cranioplasty resorption and infection. The goal of the present study was to determine the risk factors for bone resorption and infection after pediatric cranioplasty.


The authors conducted a multicenter retrospective case study that included all patients who underwent cranioplasty to correct a skull defect arising from a decompressive craniectomy at 13 centers between 2000 and 2011 and were less than 19 years old at the time of cranioplasty. Prior systematic review of the literature along with expert opinion guided the selection of variables to be collected. These included: indication for craniectomy; history of abusive head trauma; method of bone storage; method of bone fixation; use of drains; size of bone graft; presence of other implants, including ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt; presence of fluid collections; age at craniectomy; and time between craniectomy and cranioplasty.


A total of 359 patients met the inclusion criteria. The patients’ mean age was 8.4 years, and 51.5% were female. Thirty-eight cases (10.5%) were complicated by infection. In multivariate analysis, presence of a cranial implant (primarily VP shunt) (OR 2.41, 95% CI 1.17–4.98), presence of gastrostomy (OR 2.44, 95% CI 1.03–5.79), and ventilator dependence (OR 8.45, 95% CI 1.10–65.08) were significant risk factors for cranioplasty infection. No other variable was associated with infection.

Of the 240 patients who underwent a cranioplasty with bone graft, 21.7% showed bone resorption significant enough to warrant repeat surgical intervention. The most important predictor of cranioplasty bone resorption was age at the time of cranioplasty. For every month of increased age the risk of bone flap resorption decreased by 1% (OR 0.99, 95% CI 0.98–0.99, p < 0.001). Other risk factors for resorption in multivariate models were the use of external ventricular drains and lumbar shunts.


This is the largest study of pediatric cranioplasty outcomes performed to date. Analysis included variables found to be significant in previous retrospective reports. Presence of a cranial implant such as VP shunt is the most significant risk factor for cranioplasty infection, whereas younger age at cranioplasty is the dominant risk factor for bone resorption.

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Ann Marie Flannery, Catherine A. Mazzola, Paul Klimo Jr., Ann-Christine Duhaime, Lissa C. Baird, Mandeep S. Tamber, David D. Limbrick Jr., Dimitrios C. Nikas, Joanna Kemp, Alexander F. Post, Kurtis I. Auguste, Asim F. Choudhri, Laura S. Mitchell, and Debby Buffa