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Efrem M. Cox, Kathleen E. Knudson, Sunil Manjila and Alan R. Cohen

The authors present the first report of spinal congenital dermal sinus with paramedian dual ostia leading to 2 intradural epidermoid cysts. This 7-year-old girl had a history of recurrent left paramedian lumbosacral subcutaneous abscesses, with no chemical or pyogenic meningitis. Admission MRI studies demonstrated bilateral lumbar dermal sinus tracts and a tethered spinal cord. At surgery to release the tethered spinal cord the authors encountered paramedian dermal sinus tracts with dual ostia, as well as 2 intradural epidermoid cysts that were not readily apparent on MRI studies. Congenital dermal sinus should be considered in the differential diagnosis of lumbar subcutaneous abscesses, even if the neurocutaneous signatures are located off the midline.

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Sunil Manjila, Efrem M. Cox, Gabriel A. Smith, Mark Corriveau, Nipun Chhabra, Freedom Johnson and Robert T. Geertman

Object

There are several surgical techniques for reducing blood loss—open surgical and endoscopic—prior to resection of giant anterior skull base meningiomas, especially when preoperative embolization is risky or not technically feasible. The authors present examples of an institutional experience using surgical ligation of the anterior and posterior ethmoidal arteries producing persistent tumor blush in partially embolized tumors.

Methods

The authors identified 12 patients who underwent extracranial surgical ligation of ethmoidal arteries through either a transcaruncular or a Lynch approach. Of these, 3 patients had giant olfactory groove or planum sphenoidale meningiomas. After approval from the institution privacy officer, the authors studied the medical records and imaging data of these 3 patients, with special attention to surgical technique and outcome. The variations of ethmoidal artery foramina pertaining to this surgical approach were studied using preserved human skulls from the Hamann-Todd Osteological Collection at the Museum of Natural History, Cleveland, Ohio.

Results

The extracranial ligation was performed successfully for control of the ethmoidal arteries prior to resection of hypervascular giant anterior skull base meningiomas. The surgical anatomy and landmarks for ethmoidal arteries were reviewed in anthropology specimens and available literature with reference to described surgical techniques.

Conclusions

Extracranial surgical ligation of anterior, and often posterior, ethmoidal arteries prior to resection of large olfactory groove or planum sphenoidale meningiomas provides a safe and feasible option for control of these vessels prior to either open or endoscopic resection of nonembolized or partially embolized tumors.

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Joshua D. Burks, Katie L. Gant, James D. Guest, Aria G. Jamshidi, Efrem M. Cox, Kim D. Anderson, W. Dalton Dietrich, Mary Bartlett Bunge, Barth A. Green, Aisha Khan, Damien D. Pearse, Efrat Saraf-Lavi and Allan D. Levi

OBJECTIVE

In cell transplantation trials for spinal cord injury (SCI), quantifiable imaging criteria that serve as inclusion criteria are important in trial design. The authors’ institutional experience has demonstrated an overall high rate of screen failures. The authors examined the causes for trial exclusion in a phase I, open-lab clinical trial examining the role of autologous Schwann cell intramedullary transplantation. Specifically, they reviewed the imaging characteristics in people with chronic SCI that excluded applicants from the trial, as this was a common cause of screening failures in their study.

METHODS

The authors reviewed MRI records from 152 people with chronic (> 1 year) SCI who volunteered for intralesional Schwann cell transplantation but were deemed ineligible by prospectively defined criteria. Rostral-caudal injury lesion length was measured along the long axis of the spinal cord in the sagittal plane on T2-weighted MRI. Other lesion characteristics, specifically those pertaining to lesion cavity structure resulting in trial exclusion, were recorded.

RESULTS

Imaging records from 152 potential participants with chronic SCI were reviewed, 42 with thoracic-level SCI and 110 with cervical-level SCI. Twenty-three individuals (55%) with thoracic SCI and 70 (64%) with cervical SCI were not enrolled in the trial based on imaging characteristics. For potential participants with thoracic injuries who did not meet the screening criteria for enrollment, the average rostral-caudal sagittal lesion length was 50 mm (SD 41 mm). In applicants with cervical injuries who did not meet the screening criteria for enrollment, the average sagittal lesion length was 34 mm (SD 21 mm).

CONCLUSIONS

While screening people with SCI for participation in a cell transplantation clinical trial, lesion length or volume can exclude potential subjects who appear appropriate candidates based on neurological eligibility criteria. In planning future cell-based therapy trials, the limitations incurred by lesion size should be considered early due to the screening burden and impact on candidate selection.