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  • Author or Editor: Elsa V. Arocho-Quinones x
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Elsa V. Arocho-Quinones, Sean M. Lew, and Andrew B. Foy

OBJECTIVE

The management of children with ping-pong skull fractures may include observation, nonsurgical treatments, or surgical intervention depending on the age, clinical presentation, imaging findings, and cosmetic appearance of the patient. There have been 16 publications on nonsurgical treatment using negative pressure with various devices. Herein, the authors report their experience with vacuum-assisted elevation of ping-pong skull fractures and evaluate the variables affecting procedural outcomes.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective chart review of all ping-pong skull fractures treated via vacuum-assisted elevation at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin between 2013 and 2017. Data collected included patient age, head circumference, mode of injury, time to presentation, imaging findings, procedural details, treatment outcomes, and complications.

RESULTS

Four neonates and 5 infants underwent vacuum-assisted elevation of moderate to severe ping-pong skull fractures during the study period. Modes of injury included birth-related trauma, falls, and blunt trauma. All patients had normal neurological examination findings and no evidence of intracranial hemorrhage. All fractures were deemed severe enough to require elevation by the treating neurosurgeon. All fractures involved the parietal bone. Skull depressions ranged from 23 to 62 mm in diameter and from 4 to 14 mm in depth. Bone thickness ranged from 0.6 to 1.8 mm. The time from fracture to intervention ranged from 7 hours to 8 days. The Kiwi OmniCup vacuum delivery system was used in all cases. Negative pressures were increased sequentially to a maximum of 500 mm Hg. A greater number of sequential vacuum applications was required for patients with a skull thickness greater than 1 mm at the site of depression and for those undergoing treatment more than 72 hours from fracture onset. Successful fracture elevation was attained in 7 of 9 patients. Two patients required subsequent surgical elevation of their fractures. Postprocedure imaging studies revealed no evidence of complications.

CONCLUSIONS

Increasing bone thickness and time from fracture onset to intervention appeared to be the greatest limiting factors to the successful elevation of moderate to severe ping-pong fractures via this vacuum-assisted approach. This procedure is a well-tolerated option that should be considered prior to performing an open repair in cases deemed to require fracture elevation. Future efforts will focus on larger-volume studies to better delineate inclusion and exclusion criteria, and volumetric analysis for better fracture-to-suction device customization.

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Elsa V. Arocho-Quinones, Amie Kolimas, Peter S. LaViolette, Bruce A. Kaufman, Andrew B. Foy, Marike Zwienenberg, and Sean M. Lew

OBJECTIVE

Split laminotomy is a technique for accessing the spinal canal from the posterior midline that minimizes muscle dissection and bone removal. Benefits of this approach in minimizing postoperative pain and muscle atrophy in the adult population have been reported, but pediatric data are limited. Herein, the authors evaluate the benefits of the split laminotomy technique in pediatric patients.

METHODS

Data obtained in patients who underwent posterior spine surgery at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin for an intradural midline pathology between April 2008 and June 2015 were reviewed retrospectively. Each patient was assigned to one of two groups, the split-laminotomy or conventional-laminotomy group. The primary outcomes assessed were mean daily pain score, total opioid use over a period of 72 hours after surgery, and the degree of paraspinal muscle atrophy and fat infiltration found on short-term (1–4 months) and long-term (1–4 years) follow-up spine MRI studies.

RESULTS

A total of 117 patients underwent lumbar-level surgery (83 conventional laminotomy, 34 split laminotomy), and 8 patients underwent thoracic-level surgery (4 in each group). No significant difference in the mean daily pain scores between groups was found. The daily opioid use was significantly lower in the split-laminotomy group on postoperative day 0 (POD0) and POD1 but not on POD2 (p = 0.01, 0.01, and 0.10, respectively). The total opioid use over the 72-hour postoperative period was significantly lower in the split-laminotomy group (p = 0.0008). The fat/muscle ratio was significantly higher in both the short-term and long-term follow-up periods in the conventional-laminotomy group (p = 0.01 and 0.0002, respectively). The rate of change of paraspinal muscle fat infiltration was significantly lower in the split-laminotomy group than in the conventional-laminotomy group (p = 0.007). The incidence of complications was not significantly different between groups (p = 0.08).

CONCLUSIONS

This study was of the largest series reported thus far of pediatric patients who underwent split laminotomy and the only controlled study that has involved children. The authors’ results reinforce the short-term benefit of split laminotomy in minimizing acute postoperative pain and long-term benefits of decreasing muscle atrophy and fatty degeneration, which are known to be associated with the development of chronic pain and spinal instability. Additional efforts for assessing long-term effects in the development of chronic pain, spinal instability, and spinal deformity are still necessary.

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Surya Sri Krishna Gour, Mohit Agrawal, and Sachin A. Borkar

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Elsa V. Arocho-Quinones, Sean M. Lew, Michael H. Handler, Zulma Tovar-Spinoza, Matthew Smyth, Robert Bollo, David Donahue, M. Scott Perry, Michael L. Levy, David Gonda, Francesco T. Mangano, Phillip B. Storm, Angela V. Price, Daniel E. Couture, Chima Oluigbo, Ann-Christine Duhaime, Gene H. Barnett, Carrie R. Muh, Michael D. Sather, Aria Fallah, Anthony C. Wang, Sanjiv Bhatia, Kadam Patel, Sergey Tarima, Sarah Graber, Sean Huckins, Daniel M. Hafez, Kavelin Rumalla, Laurie Bailey, Sabrina Shandley, Ashton Roach, Erin Alexander, Wendy Jenkins, Deki Tsering, George Price, Antonio Meola, Wendi Evanoff, Eric M. Thompson, Nicholas Brandmeir, and the Pediatric Stereotactic Laser Ablation Workgroup

OBJECTIVE

This study aimed to assess the safety and efficacy of MR-guided stereotactic laser ablation (SLA) therapy in the treatment of pediatric brain tumors.

METHODS

Data from 17 North American centers were retrospectively reviewed. Clinical, technical, and radiographic data for pediatric patients treated with SLA for a diagnosis of brain tumor from 2008 to 2016 were collected and analyzed.

RESULTS

A total of 86 patients (mean age 12.2 ± 4.5 years) with 76 low-grade (I or II) and 10 high-grade (III or IV) tumors were included. Tumor location included lobar (38.4%), deep (45.3%), and cerebellar (16.3%) compartments. The mean follow-up time was 24 months (median 18 months, range 3–72 months). At the last follow-up, the volume of SLA-treated tumors had decreased in 80.6% of patients with follow-up data. Patients with high-grade tumors were more likely to have an unchanged or larger tumor size after SLA treatment than those with low-grade tumors (OR 7.49, p = 0.0364). Subsequent surgery and adjuvant treatment were not required after SLA treatment in 90.4% and 86.7% of patients, respectively. Patients with high-grade tumors were more likely to receive subsequent surgery (OR 2.25, p = 0.4957) and adjuvant treatment (OR 3.77, p = 0.1711) after SLA therapy, without reaching significance. A total of 29 acute complications in 23 patients were reported and included malpositioned catheters (n = 3), intracranial hemorrhages (n = 2), transient neurological deficits (n = 11), permanent neurological deficits (n = 5), symptomatic perilesional edema (n = 2), hydrocephalus (n = 4), and death (n = 2). On long-term follow-up, 3 patients were reported to have worsened neuropsychological test results. Pre-SLA tumor volume, tumor location, number of laser trajectories, and number of lesions created did not result in a significantly increased risk of complications; however, the odds of complications increased by 14% (OR 1.14, p = 0.0159) with every 1-cm increase in the volume of the lesion created.

CONCLUSIONS

SLA is an effective, minimally invasive treatment option for pediatric brain tumors, although it is not without risks. Limiting the volume of the generated thermal lesion may help decrease the incidence of complications.