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A. Leland Albright and Elizabeth C. Tyler-Kabara

✓Six children with secondary dystonia as the primary movement disorder in their extremities but with coexisting spasticity were treated with combined ventral and dorsal rhizotomies, resulting in long-term improvement in their dystonia and no adverse side effects. Combined rhizotomies can be considered in the treatment of children who are not candidates for intrathecal baclofen, particularly severely disabled children who have dystonia and spasticity in their extremities, but hypotonia in their neck and trunk.

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Elizabeth C. Tyler-Kabara and Douglas Kondziolka

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Elizabeth C. Tyler-Kabara

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Elizabeth Tyler-Kabara, Douglas Kondziolka, John C. Flickinger, and L. Dade Lunsford

✓ The purpose of this report was to review the results of stereotactic radiosurgery in the management of patients with residual neurocytomas after initial resection or biopsy procedures. Four patients underwent stereotactic radiosurgery for histologically proven neurocytoma. Clinical and imaging studies were performed to evaluate the response to treatment.

Radiosurgery was performed to deliver doses to the tumor margin of 14, 15, 16, and 20 Gy, depending on tumor volume and proximity to critical adjacent structures. More than 3 years later, imaging studies revealed significant reductions in tumor size. No new neurological deficits were identified at 53, 50, 42, and 38 months of follow up. The authors' initial experience shows that stereotactic radiosurgery appears to be an effective treatment for neurocytoma.

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Douglas Kondziolka, Lawrence Wechsler, Elizabeth Tyler-Kabara, and Cristian Achim

Cellular therapy has been evaluated in small animals, subhuman primates, and now humans for the potential repair of brain injury due to stroke. Experimental striate stroke models have proven useful for the purpose of evaluating different treatment paradigms. Early clinical trials involving neuronal transplantation in patients suffering motor-related stroke in the basal ganglia region have begun.

This research will be described in this report.

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Brent R. O'Neill, Alexander K. Yu, and Elizabeth C. Tyler-Kabara

Object

The term VACTERL represents a nonrandom association of birth defects including vertebral malformations, anal atresia, cardiac anomalies, tracheoesophageal fistulas (TEFs), renal anomalies, and limb malformations. Clinical experience and a few published case series suggest that a tethered spinal cord (TSC) occurs commonly in children with VACTERL, but to date, no study has defined the prevalence of TSC in patients with VACTERL. Such information would guide decisions about the appropriateness of screening spinal imaging.

Methods

The authors reviewed the charts of all patients discharged from the neonatal intensive care unit at Children's Hospital Pittsburgh in the past 14 years with the diagnosis of VACTERL, TEF, or anal atresia. During that period, the authors' protocol has been to use spinal ultrasound to screen this population for TSC. The charts were reviewed for the presence of a TSC requiring surgery and for the features of VACTERL.

Results

Thirty-three patients with VACTERL and adequate spinal imaging studies were identified. In 13 (39%) of these, a TSC requiring surgery was identified. Among patients without VACTERL, the incidence of TSC was 7.9% in those with anal atresia and 2.4% in those with TEF. False-negative ultrasounds were identified in 21.4% of patients with TSC.

Conclusions

Children with VACTERL should undergo MR imaging screening for TSC. In infants with anal atresia without VACTERL, the incidence of TSC is much lower than in those with VACTERL.

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Jeffrey P. Blount, R. Shane Tubbs, Mamehri Okor, Elizabeth C. Tyler-Kabara, John C. Wellons III, Paul A. Grabb, and W. Jerry Oakes

Object

The authors describe the technique of transecting the spinal cord in children born with myelomeningocele who have undergone multiple detherings and are functionally paraplegic.

Methods

The authors' technique involves identifying the neural placode and sectioning the normal spinal cord just superior to this site. No postoperative complications have been identified in 14 patients undergoing this procedure over an 11-year period. No patient at last follow up was found to have symptoms referable to a tethered spinal cord. The advantage of this procedure is to excise the normally pia-coated cord, which is unlikely to retether compared with the neural placode, which is often covered with scar tissue and does not have a well-formed pial surface—hence, predisposing it to frequent dorsal adhesions.

Conclusions

The authors believe that this technique is of benefit in a small, carefully selected group of myelodys-plastic patients with repetitive tethering of the spinal cord.

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R. Shane Tubbs, Elizabeth C. Tyler-Kabara, John C. Wellons III, Jeffrey P. Blount, and W. Jerry Oakes

✓The authors present three cases of infants born with myelodysplasia. Each infant underwent closure of a myelomeningocele and within 2 to 4 days placement of a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt. In each case, on opening the peritoneal cavity, the authors observed egress of a dark or creamy dark fluid. None of the patients had a history of abdominal birth trauma. The decision was made to continue the procedures and send samples of the unusual fluids to the laboratory for culture and analysis. The cultures proved to be nondiagnostic and the characteristics of the fluid samples were most consistent with those of blood-tinged chyle. The authors hypothesize that, occasionally, the mechanical tautness that is created with repair of myelomeningoceles is sufficient to rupture small lymphatic vessels and accompanying blood vessels of the abdomen. An alternative hypothesis is that abdominal compression due to closure of the myelomeningocele may temporarily compress the liver, leading to raised intraportal pressures and resulting in weeping of chyle from the gastrointestinal tract. This abnormal fluid accumulation did not lead to chronic ascites, VP shunt infection, or dysfunction at long-term follow-up examination and abdominal visceral function has not been an issue.

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Srinivas Chivukula, Maria Koutourousiou, Carl H. Snyderman, Juan C. Fernandez-Miranda, Paul A. Gardner, and Elizabeth C. Tyler-Kabara

Object

The use of endoscopic endonasal surgery (EES) for skull base pathologies in the pediatric population presents unique challenges and has not been well described. The authors reviewed their experience with endoscopic endonasal approaches in pediatric skull base surgery to assess surgical outcomes and complications in the context of presenting patient demographics and pathologies.

Methods

A retrospective review of 133 pediatric patients who underwent EES at our institution from July 1999 to May 2011 was performed.

Results

A total of 171 EESs were performed for skull base tumors in 112 patients and bony lesions in 21. Eighty-five patients (63.9%) were male, and the mean age at the time of surgery was 12.7 years (range 2.3–18.0 years). Skull base tumors included angiofibromas (n = 24), craniopharyngiomas (n = 16), Rathke cleft cysts (n = 12), pituitary adenomas (n = 11), chordomas/chondrosarcomas (n = 10), dermoid/epidermoid tumors (n = 9), and 30 other pathologies. In total, 19 tumors were malignant (17.0%). Among patients with follow-up data, gross-total resection was achieved in 16 cases of angiofibromas (76.2%), 9 of craniopharyngiomas (56.2%), 8 of Rathke cleft cysts (72.7%), 7 of pituitary adenomas (70%), 5 of chordomas/chondrosarcomas (50%), 6 of dermoid/epidermoid tumors (85.7%), and 9 cases of other pathologies (31%). Fourteen patients received adjuvant radiotherapy, and 5 received chemotherapy. Sixteen patients (15.4%) showed tumor recurrence and underwent reoperation. Bony abnormalities included skull base defects (n = 12), basilar invagination (n = 4), optic nerve compression (n = 3) and trauma (n = 2); preexisting neurological dysfunction resolved in 12 patients (57.1%), improved in 7 (33.3%), and remained unchanged in 2 (9.5%). Overall, complications included CSF leak in 14 cases (10.5%), meningitis in 5 (3.8%), transient diabetes insipidus in 8 patients (6.0%), and permanent diabetes insipidus in 12 (9.0%). Five patients (3.8%) had transient and 3 (2.3%) had permanent cranial nerve palsies. The mean follow-up time was 22.7 months (range 1–122 months); 5 patients were lost to follow-up.

Conclusions

Endoscopic endonasal surgery has proved to be a safe and feasible approach for the management of a variety of pediatric skull base pathologies. When appropriately indicated, EES may achieve optimal outcomes in the pediatric population.

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Maria Koutourousiou, Paul A. Gardner, Juan C. Fernandez-Miranda, Elizabeth C. Tyler-Kabara, Eric W. Wang, and Carl H. Snyderman

Object

The proximity of craniopharyngiomas to vital neurovascular structures and their high recurrence rates make them one of the most challenging and controversial management dilemmas in neurosurgery. Endoscopic endonasal surgery (EES) has recently been introduced as a treatment option for both pediatric and adult craniopharyngiomas. The object of the present study was to present the results of EES and analyze outcome in both the pediatric and the adult age groups.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed the records of patients with craniopharyngioma who had undergone EES in the period from June 1999 to April 2011.

Results

Sixty-four patients, 47 adults and 17 children, were eligible for this study. Forty-seven patients had presented with primary craniopharyngiomas and 17 with recurrent tumors. The mean age in the adult group was 51 years (range 28–82 years); in the pediatric group, 9 years (range 4–18 years). Overall, the gross-total resection rate was 37.5% (24 patients); near-total resection (> 95% of tumor removed) was 34.4% (22 patients); subtotal resection (≥ 80% of tumor removed) 21.9% (14 patients); and partial resection (< 80% of tumor removed) 6.2% (4 patients). In 9 patients, EES had been combined with radiation therapy (with radiosurgery in 6 cases) as the initial treatment. Among the 40 patients (62.5%) who had presented with pituitary insufficiency, pituitary function remained unchanged in 19 (47.5%), improved or normalized in 8 (20%), and worsened in 13 (32.5%). In the 24 patients who had presented with normal pituitary function, new pituitary deficit occurred in 14 (58.3%). Nineteen patients (29.7%) suffered from diabetes insipidus at presentation, and the condition developed in 21 patients (46.7%) after treatment. Forty-four patients (68.8%) had presented with impaired vision. In 38 (86.4%) of them, vision improved or even normalized after surgery; in 5, it remained unchanged; and in 1, it temporarily worsened. One patient without preoperative visual problems showed temporary visual deterioration after treatment. Permanent visual deterioration occurred in no one after surgery. The mean follow-up was 38 months (range 1–135 months). Tumor recurrence after EES was discovered in 22 patients (34.4%) and was treated with repeat surgery (6 patients), radiosurgery (1 patient), combined repeat surgery and radiation therapy (8 patients), interferon (1 patient), or observation (6 patients). Surgical complications included 15 cases (23.4%) with CSF leakage that was treated with surgical reexploration (13 patients) and/or lumbar drain placement (9 patients). This leak rate was decreased to 10.6% in recent years after the introduction of the vascularized nasoseptal flap. Five cases (7.8%) of meningitis were found and treated with antibiotics without further complications. Postoperative hydrocephalus occurred in 7 patients (12.7%) and was treated with ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement. Five patients experienced transient cranial nerve palsies. There was no operative mortality.

Conclusions

With the goal of gross-total or maximum possible safe resection, EES can be used for the treatment of every craniopharyngioma, regardless of its location, size, and extension (excluding purely intraventricular tumors), and can provide acceptable results comparable to those for traditional craniotomies. Endoscopic endonasal surgery is not limited to adults and actually shows higher resection rates in the pediatric population.