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Erin N. Kiehna, Jeffrey P. Blount, Catherine McClung Smith, Eylem Ocal, and Sandip Chatterjee

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William Fuell, Lucas Bradley, Gresham T. Richter, Noojan Kazemi, Gregory Albert, Richard McCarthy, and Eylem Ocal

The authors report an unusual case of an odontoid synchondrosis fracture causing chronic translational anterior atlanto-axial subluxation and present a discussion of the unique management of this case. Traumatic translational anterior atlanto-axial subluxation is a rare manifestation within pediatrics. Patients with preexisting abnormalities in ligamentous or bony structures may present with unusual symptomatology, which could result in delay of treatment. A 6-year-old male patient with autism who presented with acute respiratory arrest was noted to have an odontoid synchondrosis fracture and severe anterior translational atlanto-axial subluxation. Initial attempts at reduction with halo traction were tried for first-line treatment. However, because of concern regarding possible inadvertent worsening of the impingement, the presence of comorbid macrocephaly, and possible instability with only C1–2 fusion, a posterior C1 laminectomy was performed. Further release of the C1–2 complex and odontoid peg from extensive fibrous tissue allowed for complete reduction. Acute injuries of the C1–2 complex may not present as expected, and the presence of pain is not a reliable symptom. Halo traction is an appropriate initial treatment, but some patients may require surgical realignment and stabilization.

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Blake C. Phillips, Michael Gelsomino, Ambre' L. Pownall, Eylem Ocal, Horace J. Spencer, Mark S. O'Brien, and Gregory W. Albert

Object

Many patients with myelomeningocele (MMC) develop hydrocephalus, and most will undergo CSF diversion. The goal of this retrospective study was to determine whether there was a change in the shunt rate over the 7 consecutive years of the study. The authors will also identify the criteria used to determine the need for shunt placement.

Methods

During a 7-year period, 73 patients underwent MMC closure at Arkansas Children's Hospital. The shunt rate for each year was calculated. Clinical characteristics were evaluated, including apneic and bradycardic spells, CSF leak, level of the MMC, head circumference, and rate of head growth. In addition, radiological images were reviewed, and the frontooccipital horn ratio (FOHR), ventricular index (VI), and thalamooccipital distance (TOD) were calculated. Comparisons were made between those patients who underwent shunt placement and those who did not.

Results

One patient was excluded due to death in the perinatal period. Of the 72 remaining patients, 54 (75%) underwent placement of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt. This rate did not change significantly over time. Between the cohorts with and without a shunt there was no significant difference in age, sex, or race. There was no significant difference in apneic episodes or bradycardic episodes. There was a statistically significant difference in fontanelle characteristics, head circumference at birth, and rate of head growth. Patients who required CSF diversion had a mean head growth of 0.32 cm/day compared with those who did not receive a shunt (0.13 cm/day; p < 0.05). All radiological parameters were found to be statistically significant.

Conclusions

In this study, several classic indicators of hydrocephalus in the neonate were not found to be significantly associated with the need for CSF diversion. Fontanelle characteristics, head circumference at birth, and head growth velocity were associated with the need for shunt placement. Imaging information including the VI, TOD, and FOHR are statistically significant measures to evaluate prior to placement of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt. The optimal patient with MMC for CSF diversion will have full to tense fontanelle, increasing head circumference of more than 3 mm/day, and radiological evidence of an elevated VI, TOD, and/or FOHR.

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Eylem Ocal, Eliana E. Kim, Milagros Niquen-Jimenez, Gleice Salibe de Oliveira, Souad Bakhti, Suchanda Bhattacharjee, Giselle Coelho, Wirginia Maixner, Martina Messing-Jünger, Nabila Taghlit, and Nelci Zanon

Pediatric neurosurgery is an ever-evolving field, and at the heart of it are talented and hardworking neurosurgeons who harness technology and research to enhance the standard of neurosurgical care for children. Recent studies have found that female neurosurgeons tend to choose a career focused on pediatric neurosurgery more than other subspecialties. However, the achievements and contributions of women in pediatric neurosurgery are not well known. To address this, an international working group of pediatric neurosurgeons was established from the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS) Women in Neurosurgery (WINS) group and Pediatric Neurosurgery Committee. The working group reviewed the current literature and collected information through personal communications with the global WINS network. Despite the increasing number of women entering neurosurgical training, the number of female pediatric neurosurgeons is still a mere handful worldwide. In this article, the authors summarize the current status of female pediatric neurosurgeons across the globe, highlighting their achievements as well as the gender bias and challenges that they face at every level of progression of their career. A better organized pediatric neurosurgery workforce, with more female representation and mentorship, would encourage future generations of diverse genders toward a career in this field.

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Rebecca A. Reynolds and John C. Wellons III