Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 4 of 4 items for

  • Author or Editor: Ephraim W. Church x
Clear All Modify Search
Open access

Ephraim W. Church and Gary K. Steinberg

This operative technique video demonstrates laser microsurgery for brainstem cavernous malformations (CMs). In case 1 we demonstrate CO2 laser microsurgery for a symptomatic pontine CM using far lateral craniotomy and olivary zone entry. Case 2 demonstrates the subtemporal approach and removal of a paratrigeminal CM, and case 3 is a dorsal midbrain CM. We illustrate several advantages of laser microsurgery including improved visualization in narrow corridors, precise cutting with reduced thermal damage, and effective sealing of small vessels. Over the past decade at Stanford University School of Medicine, over 120 brainstem CMs have been removed using laser microsurgery with good results.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/DwwqWGv_vzo.

Restricted access

Ephraim W. Church, Rabia Qaiser, Teresa E. Bell-Stephens, Mark G. Bigder, Eric K. Chow, Summer S. Han, Yasser Y. El-Sayed and Gary K. Steinberg

OBJECTIVE

Moyamoya disease (MMD) disproportionately affects young to middle-aged women. The main treatment for this challenging disease is cerebral bypass surgery. Vascular neurosurgeons often need to counsel women regarding pregnancy following bypass for MMD, but there is a paucity of data. The authors set out to examine neurological and obstetric outcomes in an extensive cohort of MMD patients who had pregnancies following cerebral revascularization at the Stanford Medical Center.

METHODS

The authors identified all patients at their institution who underwent cerebral bypass for MMD from 1990 through 2018 and who later became pregnant. Some of these patients also had pregnancies prior to undergoing bypass surgery, and the authors examined these pregnancies as well. They performed a chart review and brief telephone survey to identify obstetric complications, transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), and strokes. Neurological and obstetric outcomes were compared to published rates. They also compared pre- and post-bypass pregnancy complication rates using logistic regression techniques.

RESULTS

There were 71 pregnancies among 56 women whose mean age was 30.5 years. Among 59 post-bypass pregnancies, there were 5 (8%) perinatal TIAs. There were no MRI-confirmed strokes or strokes with residual deficits. Among 12 pre-bypass pregnancies, there were 3 (25%) TIAs and 2 (17%) MRI-confirmed strokes. There were no hemorrhagic complications in either group. In the generalized estimating equations analysis, performing cerebral revascularization prior to pregnancy versus after pregnancy was associated with lower odds of perinatal stroke or TIA (OR 0.15, p = 0.0061). Nine pregnancies (13%) were complicated by preeclampsia, and there was one (1%) instance of eclampsia. The overall rate of cesarean delivery was 39%. There were 2 miscarriages, both occurring in the first trimester. There were no maternal deaths.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors present neurological and obstetric outcomes data in a large cohort of MMD patients. These data indicate that post-bypass pregnancy is accompanied by low complication rates. There were no ischemic or hemorrhagic strokes among post-bypass pregnant MMD patients. The rate of obstetric complications was low overall. The authors recommend close collaboration between the vascular neurosurgeon and the obstetrician regarding medical management, including blood pressure goals and continuation of low-dose aspirin.

Full access

Karen L. Skjei, Ephraim W. Church, Brian N. Harding, Mariarita Santi, Katherine D. Holland-Bouley, Robert R. Clancy, Brenda E. Porter, Gregory G. Heuer and Eric D. Marsh

OBJECT

Mutations in the sodium channel alpha 1 subunit gene (SCN1A) have been associated with a wide range of epilepsy phenotypes including Dravet syndrome. There currently exist few histopathological and surgical outcome reports in patients with this disease. In this case series, the authors describe the clinical features, surgical pathology, and outcomes in 6 patients with SCN1A mutations and refractory epilepsy who underwent focal cortical resection prior to uncovering the genetic basis of their epilepsy.

METHODS

Medical records of SCN1A mutation-positive children with treatment-resistant epilepsy who had undergone resective epilepsy surgery were reviewed retrospectively. Surgical pathology specimens were reviewed.

RESULTS

All 6 patients identified carried diagnoses of intractable epilepsy with mixed seizure types. Age at surgery ranged from 18 months to 20 years. Seizures were refractory to surgery in every case. Surgical histopathology showed evidence of subtle cortical dysplasia in 4 of 6 patients, with more neurons in the molecular layer of the cortex and white matter.

CONCLUSIONS

Cortical resection is unlikely to be beneficial in these children due to the genetic defect and the unexpected neuropathological finding of mild diffuse malformations of cortical development. Together, these findings suggest a diffuse pathophysiological mechanism of the patients’ epilepsy which will not respond to focal resective surgery.

Restricted access

Ephraim W. Church, Mark G. Bigder, Eric S. Sussman, Santosh E. Gummidipundi, Summer S. Han, Jeremy J. Heit, Huy M. Do, Robert L. Dodd, Michael P. Marks and Gary K. Steinberg

OBJECTIVE

Perforator arteries, the absence of an aneurysm discrete neck, and the often-extensive nature of posterior circulation fusiform aneurysms present treatment challenges. There have been advances in microsurgical and endovascular approaches, including flow diversion, and the authors sought to review these treatments in a long-term series at their neurovascular referral center.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective chart review from 1990 to 2018. Primary outcomes were modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores and Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) scores at follow-up. The authors also examined neurological complication rates. Using regression techniques, they reviewed independent and dependent variables, including presenting features, aneurysm location and size, surgical approach, and pretreatment and posttreatment thrombosis.

RESULTS

Eighty-four patients met the inclusion criteria. Their mean age was 53 years, and 49 (58%) were female. Forty-one (49%) patients presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage. Aneurysms were located on the vertebral artery (VA) or posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) in 50 (60%) patients, basilar artery (BA) or vertebrobasilar junction (VBJ) in 22 (26%), and posterior cerebral artery (PCA) in 12 (14%). Thirty-one (37%) patients were treated with microsurgical and 53 (63%) with endovascular approaches. Six aneurysms were treated with endovascular flow diversion. The authors found moderate disability or better (mRS score ≤ 3) in 85% of the patients at a mean 14-month follow-up. The GOS score was ≥ 4 in 82% of the patients. The overall neurological complication rate was 12%. In the regression analysis, patients with VA or PICA aneurysms had better functional outcomes than the other groups (p < 0.001). Endovascular strategies were associated with better outcomes for BA-VBJ aneurysms (p < 0.01), but microsurgery was associated with better outcomes for VA-PICA and PCA aneurysms (p < 0.05). There were no other significant associations between patient, aneurysm characteristics, or treatment features and neurological complications (p > 0.05). Patients treated with flow diversion had more complications than those who underwent other endovascular and microsurgical strategies, but the difference was not significant in regression models.

CONCLUSIONS

Posterior circulation fusiform aneurysms remain a challenging aneurysm subtype, but an interdisciplinary treatment approach can result in good outcomes. While flow diversion is a useful addition to the armamentarium, traditional endovascular and microsurgical techniques continue to offer effective options.