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Eliza H. Hersh, Michael S. Virk, Huibo Shao, A. John Tsiouris, Gregory A. Bonci, and Theodore H. Schwartz

Object

Subdural implantation of electrodes is commonly performed to localize an epileptic focus. Whether to temporarily explant the bone plate and whether to treat patients with perioperative steroid agents is unclear. The authors' aim was to evaluate the utility and risk of bone plate explantation and perioperative steroid use.

Methods

The authors reviewed the records of all patients who underwent unilateral craniotomy for electrode implantation performed between November 2001 and June 2011 at their institution. Patients were divided into 3 groups: Group 1 (n = 24), bone explanted, no perioperative steroid use; Group 2 (n = 42), bone left in place, no perioperative steroid use; Group 3 (n = 25), bone left in place, steroid agents administered perioperatively. Complications, mass effect, and seizure rates were examined by means of statistical analysis.

Results

Of 324 cranial epilepsy surgeries, 91 were unilateral subdural electrode implants that met our inclusion criteria. A total of 11 infections were reported, and there was a significantly higher rate of infection when the bone was explanted (8 cases [33.3%]) than when the bone was left in place (3 cases [4.5%], p < 0.01). Leaving the bone in place also increased the rate of asymptomatic subdural hematomas and frequency of seizures, although there was no increase in midline shift, severity of headache, or rate of emergency reoperation. The use of steroid agents did not appear to have an effect on any of the outcome measures.

Conclusions

Temporary bone flap explantation during craniotomy for implantation of subdural electrodes can result in high rates of infection, possibly due to the frequent change of hands in transferring the bone to the bone bank. Leaving the bone in place may increase the frequency of seizures and appearance of asymptomatic subdural hematomas but does not increase the rate of complications. These results may be institution dependent.

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Heather J McCrea, Jacques Lara-Reyna, Imali Perera, Rafael Uribe, Silky Chotai, Nicole Savage, Eliza H Hersh, Therese Haussner, and Mark M Souweidane

OBJECTIVE

The rarity of colloid cysts in children makes it difficult to characterize this entity and offer meaningful advice on treatment. Infrequent case reports exist, but to date there has been no age-specific assessment. The purpose of this study was to define any differences between children and adults who are evaluated and treated for colloid cysts of the third ventricle.

METHODS

Patients with colloid cysts were reviewed and stratified by age. Individuals ≤ 18 years of age were defined as pediatric patients and those > 18 years of age as adults. Clinical and radiographic data, treatment, and postoperative outcomes were compared between both groups. Bivariate analysis was conducted using the Fisher exact test for categorical variables and Mann-Whitney U-test for continuous variables.

RESULTS

Of 132 endoscopic resections (121 primary, 10 secondary, and 1 tertiary) of a colloid cyst, 9 (6.8%) were performed in pediatric patients (mean age 14.1 years, range 9–18 years) and 123 (93.2%) were performed in adult patients (mean age 43.8 years, range 19–73 years). Cases were found incidentally more commonly in pediatric than adult patients (66.7% vs 37.4%, p > 0.05), and pediatric patients had lower rates of hydrocephalus than adult patients (11.1% vs 63.4%, p < 0.05). Acute decompensation at presentation was found in 8 adults (6.5%) but no children. Complete cyst removal (88.9% vs 90.2%, p > 0.05) and length of stay (1.6 days vs 2.9 days, p > 0.05) were not significantly different between the groups. Postoperative complications (6.5% in adults, 0% in children) and recurrence (2.4% in adults, 0% in children) were rare in both groups, and there were no treatment-related deaths. The mean postoperative radiological follow-up was longer in pediatric patients (45 months, range 4–89 months) than adults (44.1 months, range 1–171 months).

CONCLUSIONS

While differences exist between children and adults regarding colloid cyst presentation, these are in keeping with the predicted evolution of a slow-growing lesion. Consistent with this observation, children had lower rates of hydrocephalus and a smaller mean maximal cyst diameter. Contrary to the published literature, however, sudden deterioration was not observed in pediatric patients but occurred in adult patients. In this limited pediatric sample size, the authors have not recorded any postoperative complications or recurrences to date. These encouraging results with endoscopic removal may positively impact future decisions related to children given their protracted life expectancy and projected rates of progression.