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Doniel Drazin, Ziya L. Gokaslan and J. Patrick Johnson

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Matthew A. Adamo, Doniel Drazin and A. John Popp

Short-lasting, unilateral neuralgiform headache attacks with conjunctival injection and tearing (SUNCT) syndrome was first described in 1978 as one of the trigeminal autonomic cephalgias. In this paper the authors present a patient with a growth hormone–secreting pituitary adenoma who experienced resolution of SUNCT syndrome after transsphenoidal tumor resection.

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Lindsey Ross, Doniel Drazin, Paula Eboli and Gregory P. Lekovic

Object

The authors present a series of 4 patients with rare facial nerve tumors. The relevant literature is reviewed and is discussed regarding diagnostic features, the role of operative management, and surgical approach.

Methods

A retrospective chart review was conducted for patients with tumors of the facial nerve that were treated between 2008 and 2011. Patients undergoing observation with serial MRI and those who were treated with up-front radiosurgery and for whom tissue diagnosis was not available were excluded. In addition, patients with suspected vestibular schwannoma, facial nerve schwannoma, neurofibromatosis Type 2, and metastatic disease were also excluded. The charts of 4 patients (2 men and 2 women) with “atypical” tumors were reviewed and analyzed.

Results

A total of 12 patients with tumors of the facial nerve were identified during the study period. Patient characteristics, preoperative imaging, operative approach, tumor histology, and outcomes are described.

Conclusions

Atypical facial nerve tumors must be distinguished from the more common facial nerve schwannoma. How the authors of this study treat rare facial nerve tumors is based on their experience with the more common facial nerve schwannomas, characterized by a slow progression of symptoms and growth. Less is known about the rare lesions, and thus a conservative approach may be warranted. Open questions include the role of radiosurgery, facial nerve decompression, and indications for resection of tumor and cable grafting for these rare lesions.

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Doniel Drazin, Ziya L. Gokaslan, Ehud Mendel and J. Patrick Johnson

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Ali Shirzadi, Doniel Drazin, Serguei Bannykh and Moise Danielpour

Giant cell tumors (GCTs) are rare lesions of the cervical spine, with only 14 previously reported pediatric cases in the literature, all occurring in females. The authors present the case of a 15-year-old boy with neck pain who was found to have a lytic GCT of the odontoid process. Following resection, recurrent disease was treated with radiotherapy and chemotherapy and then a final resection. He has remained tumor free for more than 10 years. The rarity of GCTs can make their diagnosis difficult in the cervical spine. Because of their aggressive behavior and relative resistance to adjuvant therapy, GCTs must be monitored diligently and treated aggressively.

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Matthew A. Adamo, Doniel Drazin and John B. Waldman

Object

Infants with severe traumatic brain injury represent a therapeutic challenge. The internal absence of open space within the infant cranial vault makes volume increases poorly tolerated. This report presents 7 cases of decompressive craniectomy in infants with cerebral edema.

Methods

The authors reviewed the medical charts of infants with brain injuries who presented to Albany Medical Center Hospital between January 2004 and July 2007. Variables that were examined included patient age, physical examination results at admission, positive imaging findings, surgery performed, complications, requirement of permanent CSF diversion, and physical examination results at discharge and outpatient follow-up using the King's Outcome Scale for Childhood Head Injury. Seven infants met the inclusion criteria for the study. Six infants experienced nonaccidental trauma, and 1 had a large infarction of the middle cerebral artery territory secondary to a carotid dissection. At admission, all patients were minimally responsive, 4 had equal and minimally reactive pupils, 3 had anisocoria with the enlarged pupil on the same side as the brain lesion, and all had right-sided hemiparesis. Six patients received a left hemicraniectomy, whereas 1 received a left frontal craniectomy. In all cases, bone was cultured and stored at the bone bank.

Results

Postoperatively, 3 patients who developed draining CSF fistulas needed insertions of external ventricular drains, with incisions oversewn using nylon sutures and a liquid bonding agent. After prolonged CSF drainage and wound care, these patients all developed epidural and subdural empyemas necessitating surgical drainage and debridement. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus was found in 2 patients and Enterococcus in the third. All patients developed hydrocephalus necessitating the insertion of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt, and all had bone replaced within 1–6 months from the time of the original operation. Two patients required reoperation due to bone resorption. At outpatient follow-up visits, all had scores of 3 or 4 on the King's Outcome Scale for Childhood Head Injury. Each patient was awake, interactive, and could sit, as well as either crawl or walk with assistance. All had persistent, improving right-sided hemiparesis and spasticity.

Conclusions

Despite poor initial examination results, infants with severe traumatic brain injury can safely undergo decompressive craniectomy with reasonable neurological recovery. Postoperative complications must be anticipated and treated appropriately. Due to the high rate of CSF fistulas encountered in this study, it appears reasonable to recommend both the suturing in of a dural augmentation graft and the placement of either a subdural drain or a ventriculostomy catheter to relieve pressure on the healing surgical incision. Also, one might want to consider using a T-shaped incision as opposed to the traditional reverse question mark-shaped incision because wound healing may be compromised due to the potential interruption of the circulation to the posterior and inferior limb with this latter incision.

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Miriam Nuño, Lindsey Pelissier, Kunal Varshneya, Matthew A. Adamo and Doniel Drazin

OBJECT

Head trauma is the leading cause of death in abused children, particularly prior to the age of 2 years. An awareness of factors associated with this condition as well as with a higher risk of mortality is important to improve outcomes and prevent the occurrence of these events. The objective of this study was to evaluate outcomes and factors associated with poor outcomes in infants with diagnosed abusive head trauma (AHT). Patient characteristics, socioeconomic factors, and secondary conditions such as retinal bleeding, contusion, and fractures were considered.

METHODS

Data were obtained from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. From the Kids’ Inpatient Database (KID) sample, the authors identified infants no older than 23 months who had been diagnosed with AHT in 2000, 2003, 2006, and 2009. All statistical analyses were conducted in SAS 9.2. Descriptive statistics were provided, and multivariate logistic regression models were applied to evaluate factors associated with mortality and nonroutine discharge.

RESULTS

A total of 5195 infants were analyzed in this study. Most infants (85.5%) had ages ranging between 0 and 11 months and were male (61.6%). Overall mortality was 10.8%, with a rate of 9.8% in the 0- to 11-month-old cohort and 16.5% in the 12- to 23-month-olds (p = 0.0003). The overall nonroutine discharge rate of 25.6% increased significantly from 23.3% to 39.0% with increasing age (0–11 vs 12–23 months of age, p < 0.0001). Assuming a multivariate model that adjusted for multiple confounders, the authors found that older infants (12–23 vs 0–11 months, OR 1.81, 95% CI 1.18–2.77) with a secondary diagnosis of retinal bleeding (OR 2.85, 95% CI 2.02–4.00) or shaken baby syndrome (OR 2.09, 95% CI 1.48–2.94) had an increased risk of mortality; these factors were similarly associated with an increased odds of a nonroutine discharge. A higher income ($30,001–$35,000 vs $1–$24,999) was associated with a reduction in the odds of mortality (OR 0.46, 95% CI 0.29–0.72). In the subset of cases (1695 [32.6%]) that specified the perpetrator involved in infant injury, the authors found that the father, stepfather, or boyfriend was most frequently reported (67.4%). A trend for a higher AHT incidence was documented in the early ages (peak at 2 months) compared with older ages.

CONCLUSIONS

Despite the higher incidence of AHT among infants during the earlier months of life, higher mortality was documented in the 12- to 23-month-olds. Retinal bleeding and shaken baby syndrome were secondary diagnoses associated with higher mortality and nonroutine discharge. Males (67.4%) were overwhelmingly documented as the perpetrators involved in the injury of these infants.

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Doniel Drazin, Jens R. Chapman, Andrew Dailey and John Street

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Doniel Drazin, Terrence T. Kim, David W. Polly Jr and J. Patrick Johnson

Image-guided surgery (IGS) has been evolving since the early 1990s and is now used on a daily basis in the operating theater for spine surgery at many institutions. In the last 5 years, spinal IGS has greatly benefitted from important enhancements including portable intraoperative CT (iCT) coupled with high-speed computerized stereotactic navigation systems and optical-based camera tracking technology.