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Tatiana Protzenko Cervante, Eric Arnaud, Francis Brunelle and Federico Di Rocco

OBJECTIVE

The sagittal suture is usually considered an external anatomical landmark, indicating the location of the superior sagittal sinus (SSS) for surgical approaches. Children with unilateral coronal synostosis (UCS) often present with an important deviation of the sagittal suture. Because these patients usually undergo frontal reconstruction or even endoscope-assisted minimally invasive procedures, it is imperative to know the location of the SSS. The aim of this investigation was to study the anatomical relationship between the SSS and the sagittal suture in children with anterior plagiocephaly.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively studied the relationship between the sagittal sinus and the sagittal suture at 5 points: nasion, midpoint nasion-bregma, bregma, midpoint bregma-lambda, and lambda. The study analyzed CT scans of 50 children with UCS admitted to the craniofacial unit of Necker Enfants Malades Hospital between March 2006 and March 2013 and compared them with 50 control children with no evidence of craniosynostosis, bone disease, or genetic syndromes. The authors also analyzed the presence of extracerebral fluid collection and ventricular asymmetry in children with UCS.

RESULTS

Fifty-six percent of patients had anterior right UCS and 44% had left-sided UCS. Type I UCS was seen in 1 patient, Type IIA in 20 patients, Type IIB in 20 patients, and Type III in 9 patients. The authors found that the nasion is usually deviated to the ipsilateral side of the synostosis, the bregma contralaterally, and the lambda ipsilaterally. The gap distances between the reference point and the SSS were 0–7.3 mm (mean 1.4 mm) at the nasion; 0–16.7 mm (mean 3.8 mm) at the midpoint nasion-bregma; 0–12 mm (mean 5.8 mm) at the bregma; 0–9.5 mm (mean 3 mm) at the midpoint bregma-lambda; and 0–11.6 mm (mean 5.5 mm) at the lambda. Conversely, a discrepancy of more than 1 mm between the SSS and the position of the suture was found only in 7 control cases (14%).

Of patients with UCS, 38% presented with an extracerebral fluid collection contralateral to the fused coronal suture. Fifty-two percent had a ventricular asymmetry, which was characterized by reduced ventricular volume ipsilateral to the synostosis in all but 1 patient.

CONCLUSIONS

In this study, the SSS was usually deviated contralaterally to the closed coronal suture. It tended to be in the midline of the cranial vault and could be projected virtually along an imaginary line passing through the midline of the cranial base. The authors recommend a distance of 37 mm from the sagittal suture as a safety margin during surgery.

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Giuseppe Cinalli, Christian Sainte-Rose, Paul Chumas, Michel Zerah, Francis Brunelle, Guillaume LOT, Alain Pierre-Kahn and Dominique Renier

Object. The goal of this study was to analyze the types of failure and long-term efficacy of third ventriculostomy in children.

Methods. The authors retrospectively analyzed clinical data obtained in 213 children affected by obstructive triventricular hydrocephalus who were treated by third ventriculostomy between 1973 and 1997. There were 120 boys and 93 girls. The causes of the hydrocephalus included: aqueductal stenosis in 126 cases; toxoplasmosis in 23 cases, pineal, mesencephalic, or tectal tumor in 42 cases; and other causes in 22 cases. In 94 cases, the procedure was performed using ventriculographic guidance (Group I) and in 119 cases by using endoscopic guidance (Group II). In 19 cases (12 in Group I and seven in Group II) failure was related to the surgical technique. Three deaths related to the technique were observed in Group I. For the remaining patients, Kaplan—Meier survival analysis showed a functioning third ventriculostomy rate of 72% at 6 years with a mean follow-up period of 45.5 months (range 4 days–17 years). No significant differences were found during long-term follow up between the two groups. In Group I, a significantly higher failure rate was seen in children younger than 6 months of age, but this difference was not observed in Group II. Thirty-eight patients required reoperation (21 in Group I and 17 in Group II) because of persistent or recurrent intracranial hypertension. In 29 patients shunt placement was necessary. In nine patients in whom there was radiologically confirmed obstruction of the stoma, the third ventriculostomy was repeated; this was successful in seven cases. Cine phase-contrast (PC) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging studies were performed in 15 patients in Group I at least 10 years after they had undergone third ventriculostomy (range 10–17 years, median 14.3 years); this confirmed long-term patency of the stoma in all cases.

Conclusions. Third ventriculostomy effectively controls obstructive triventricular hydrocephalus in more than 70% of children and should be preferred to placement of extracranial cerebrospinal shunts in this group of patients. When performed using ventriculographic guidance, the technique has a higher mortality rate and a higher failure rate in children younger than 6 months of age and is, therefore, no longer preferred. When third ventriculostomy is performed using endoscopic guidance, the same long-term results are achieved in children younger than 6 months of age as in older children and, thus, patient age should no longer be considered as a contraindication to using the technique. Delayed failures are usually secondary to obstruction of the stoma and often can be managed by repeating the procedure. Midline sagittal T2-weighted MR imaging sequences combined with cine PC MR imaging flow measurements provide a reliable tool for diagnosis of aqueductal stenosis and for ascertaining the patency of the stoma during follow-up evaluation.

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Giuseppe Cinalli, Christian Sainte-Rose, Paul Chumas, Michel Zerah, Francis Brunelle, Guillaume Lot, Alain Pierre-Kahn and Dominique Renier

Object

The goal of this study was to analyze the types of failure and long-term efficacy of third ventriculostomy in children.

Methods

The authors retrospectively analyzed clinical data obtained in 213 children affected by obstructive triventricular hydrocephalus who were treated by third ventriculostomy between 1973 and 1997. There were 120 boys and 93 girls. The causes of the hydrocephalus included: aqueductal stenosis in 126 cases; toxoplasmosis in 23 cases, pineal, mesencephalic, or tectal tumor in 42 cases; and other causes in 22 cases. In 94 cases, the procedure was performed using ventriculographic guidance (Group I) and in 119 cases by using endoscopic guidance (Group II). In 19 cases (12 in Group I and seven in Group II) failure was related to the surgical technique. Three deaths related to the technique were observed in Group I. For the remaining patients, Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed a functioning third ventriculostomy rate of 72% at 6 years with a mean follow-up period of 45.5 months (range 4 days-17 years). No significant differences were found during long-term follow up between the two groups. In Group I, a significantly higher failure rate was seen in children younger than 6 months of age, but this difference was not observed in Group II. Thirty-eight patients required reoperation (21 in Group I and 17 in Group II) because of persistent or recurrent intracranial hypertension. In 29 patients shunt placement was necessary. In nine patients in whom there was radiologically confirmed obstruction of the stoma, the third ventriculostomy was repeated; this was successful in seven cases. Cine phase-contrast (PC) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging studies were performed in 15 patients in Group I at least 10 years after they had undergone third ventriculostomy (range 10–17 years, median 14.3 years); this confirmed long-term patency of the stoma in all cases.

Conclusions

Third ventriculostomy effectively controls obstructive triventricular hydrocephalus in more than 70% of children and should be preferred to placement of extracranial cerebrospinal shunts in this group of patients. When performed using ventriculographic guidance, the technique has a higher mortality rate and a higher failure rate in children younger than 6 months of age and is, therefore, no longer preferred. When third ventriculostomy is performed using endoscopic guidance, the same long-term results are achieved in children younger than 6 months of age as in older children and, thus, patient age should no longer be considered as a contraindication to using the technique. Delayed failures are usually secondary to obstruction of the stoma and often can be managed by repeating the procedure. Midline sagittal T2-weighted MR imaging sequences combined with cine PC MR imaging flow measurements provide a reliable tool for diagnosis of aqueductal stenosis and for ascertaining the patency of the stoma during follow-up evaluation.

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Marie Bourgeois, Christian Sainte-Rose, Arielle Lellouch-Tubiana, Conor Malucci, Francis Brunelle, Wirginia Maixner, Giuseppe Cinalli, Alain Pierre-Kahn, Dominique Renier, Michel Zerah, Jean-François Hirsch, Francoise Goutières and Jean Aicardi

Object. Surgery in children with epilepsy is a new, evolving field. The important practical issues have been to define strategies for choosing the most suitable candidates and the type and optimal timing of epilepsy surgery. This study was undertaken to elucidate these points.

Methods. To identify the factors that correlated with outcome, the authors analyzed a series of 200 children (aged 1–15 years (mean 8.7 years) who underwent surgery between 1981 and 1996 at the Hôpital Necker—Enfants Malades. In 171 cases (85.5%) the epilepsy was medically refractory and was associated with focal cortical lesions. Surgery consisted of resection of the lesion without specifically attempting to identify and remove the “epileptogenic area.”

In the group of children whose seizures were medically refractory, the mean follow-up period was 5.8 years. According to Engel's classification, 71.3% of these children became seizure free (Class Ia,) whereas 82% were in Class I. A multivariate statistical analysis revealed that among all the factors studied, the success of surgery in a patient in whom there was a good clinical/electroencephalogram/imaging correlation depended on the patient's having undergone a minimally traumatic operation, a complete resection of the lesion, and a short preoperative seizure duration.

After the surgical control of epilepsy, behavior disorders were more improved (31% of all patients) than cognitive function (25%). The patient age at onset, duration and frequency of seizures, intractability of the disease to therapy, and seizure characteristics were correlated with cognitive, behavioral, and academic performance pre- and postoperatively. Multivariate statistical analysis revealed that cognitive dysfunction correlated highly with the duration of epilepsy prior to surgery, whereas behavioral disorders correlated more with seizure frequency.

Conclusions. These data must be taken into account when selecting patients for surgical treatment and when deciding the timing of surgery. Early surgical intervention allows for optimum brain development.

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Giuseppe Cinalli, Christian Sainte-Rose, Eve Marie Kollar, Michel Zerah, Francis Brunelle, Paul Chumas, Eric Arnaud, Daniel Marchac, Alain Pierre-Kahn and Dominique Renier

Object. A retrospective study of 1727 cases of craniosynostosis was undertaken to determine the interrelationship between abnormal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) hydrodynamics and craniosynostosis.

Methods. The patients were divided into two groups: nonsyndromic craniosynostosis and syndromic craniosynostosis. Cases of occipital plagiocephaly without suture synostosis and cases of shunt-induced craniosynostosis were excluded from the study. The majority of patients (1297) were treated surgically for their cranial deformity; 95% of these patients had a postoperative follow-up review period lasting 5 years. Clinical and radiographic charts covering the time from presentation through the follow-up period were reviewed.

Conclusions. Abnormal intracranial CSF hydrodynamics was found in 8.1% of the patients (3.4% of whom had received shunts and 4.5% of whom had not). Three types of CSF hydrodynamic disturbance were observed: progressive hydrocephalus with ventricular dilation, nonprogressive ventriculomegaly, and dilation of the subarachnoid spaces. Hydrocephalus occurred much more frequently in patients with syndromic craniosynostosis (12.1%) than in those with isolated craniosynostosis (0.3%). In fact, patients with kleeblattschädel exhibited hydrocephalus as a constant feature and patients with Crouzon's syndrome were far more likely to have hydrocephalus than those with other syndromes. In Apert's syndrome, ventricular dilation occurred very frequently, but it was almost always nonprogressive in nature. In most cases of syndromic craniosynostosis, venous sinus obstruction and/or chronic tonsillar herniation were found. Their role in the pathophysiology of hydrocephalus in craniosynostosis is discussed.

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Giuseppe Cinalli, Christian Sainte-Rose, Eve Marie Kollar, Michel Zerah, Francis Brunelle, Paul Chumas, Eric Arnaud, Daniel Marchac, Alain Pierre-Kahn and Dominique Renier

Object

A retrospective study of 1727 cases of craniosynostosis was undertaken to determine the interrelationship between abnormal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) hydrodynamics and craniosynostosis.

Methods

The patients were divided intwo two groups: nonsyndromic craniosynostosis and syndromic craniosynostosis. Cases of occipital plagiocephaly without suture synostosis and cases of shunt-induced craniosynostosis were excluded from the study. The majority of patients (1297) were treated surgically for their cranial deformity; 95% of these patients had a postoperative follow-up review lasting 5 years. Clinical and radiographic charts covering the time from presentation through the follow-up period were reviewed.

Conclusions

Abnormal intracranial CSF hydrodynamics was found in 8.1% of the patients (3.4% of whom had received shunts and 4.5% of whom had not). Three types of CSF hydrodynamic disturbance were observed: progressive hydrocephalus with ventricular dilation, nonprogressive ventriculomegaly, and dilation of the subarachnoid spaces. Hydrocephalus occurred much more frequently in patients with syndromic craniosynostosis (12.1%) than in those with isolated craniosynostosis (0.3%). In fact, patients with kleeblattschädel exhibited hydrocephalus as a constant feature and patients with Crouzon's syndrome were far more likely to have hydrocephalus than those with other syndromes. In Apert's syndrome, ventricular dilation occurred very frequently, but it was almost always nonprogressive in nature. In most cases of syndromic craniosynostosis, venous sinus obstruction and/or chronic tonsillar herniation were found. Their role in the pathophysiology of hydrocephalus in craniosynostosis is discussed.

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Liana Beni-Adani, Christian Sainte-Rose, Michel Zerah, Francis Brunelle, Shlomo Constantini, Domonique Renier, Arielle Lellouch-Tubiana, Juliane Leger and Alain Pierre-Kahn

Object

The authors discuss the indications for and timing of a diagnostic neurosurgical procedure in children with diabetes insipidus (DI) and a thickened pituitary stalk (TPS) on magnetic resonance (MR) imaging.

Methods

Seven children with a TPS who presented with DI eventually underwent surgery for diagnostic purposes. The ages at onset of DI were 6 to 16 years, and the follow-up period until surgery was 26.9 ± 11.9 months. In four of seven children, the stalk appeared normal on the first MR image, but it was thickened and variably enhancing on later images in all instances. The reason for eventual surgery was endocrinological deterioration in two of seven children, radiological progression in two children, and a combination of the two in three children. Three children experienced visual disturbances and four children had optic nerve, chiasma, or hypothalamus involvement. All children suffered additional endocrinological abnormalities pursuant to the initial DI. A definitive diagnosis was achieved in six of seven children: germinomas in five and Langerhans cell histiocytosis in one. One child had lymphocytic infiltrate. None of the children deteriorated neurologically or endocrinologically after the operation. On follow up, vision deficit was irreversible in all children who demonstrated visual abnormalities before treatment.

Conclusions

Surgery should be performed in children with a TPS and DI for early diagnosis and disease-oriented therapy when there is further endocrinological, radiological, or clinical deterioration. The complication rate is low in open biopsies, and histological diagnosis is achieved in most of the cases. All children who present with central DI must undergo head MR imaging, and even if results are normal, close radiological and clinical follow up is mandatory.

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Marie Bourgeois, Christian Sainte-Rose, Arielle Lellouch-Tubiana, Conor Malucci, Francis Brunelle, Wirginia Maixner, Giuseppe Cinalli, Alain Pierre-Kahn, Dominique Renier, Michel Zerah, Jean-François Hirsch, Francoise Goutières and Jean Aicardi

Surgery in children with epilepsy is a new, evolving field. The important practical issues have been to define strategies for choosing the most suitable candidates, as well as the type and the optimum timing of epilepsy surgery. This study was undertaken to illustrate these points.

To identify the factors that correlated with outcome, the authors analyzed a series of 200 children (aged 1–15 years, mean 8.7 years) who underwent surgery at the Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades between 1981 and 1996. In 171 cases (85.5%) the epilepsy was medically refractory and was associated with focal cortical lesions. Surgery consisted of resection of the lesion without specifically attempting to identify and remove the "epileptogenic area."

In the group of children whose seizures were medically refractory, the mean follow-up period was 5.8 years. According to Engel's classification, 71.3% of these children became seizure free (Ia), whereas 82% were in Class I. A multivariate statistical analysis revealed that among all the factors studied, the success of surgery in a patient in whom there was a good clinical-electroencephalogram-imaging correlation, depended on the patients' having undergone a minimally traumatic operation, a complete resection of the lesion, and a short preoperative seizure duration.

After the surgical control of epilepsy, behavior disorders were more improved (31% of all patients) than cognitive function (25%). The patient age at onset, duration and frequency of seizures, intractability of the disease to therapy, and seizure characteristics, were correlated with cognitive, behavioral, and academic performance pre- and postoperatively. Multivariate statistical analysis revealed that cognitive dysfunction correlated highly with the duration of epilepsy prior to surgery, whereas behavioral disorders correlated more with seizure frequency.

These data must be taken into account when selecting patients for surgical treatment and when deciding the timing of surgery. Early surgical intervention allows for optimum brain development.

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Philippe Pencalet, Christian Sainte-Rose, Arielle Lellouch-Tubiana, Chantal Kalifa, Francis Brunelle, Spiros Sgouros, Philippe Meyer, Giuseppe Cinalli, Michel Zerah, Alain Pierre-Kahn and Dominique Renier

Object

Choroid plexus tumors are rare intraventricular tumors (1% of all intracranial tumors) that occur mainly in children. The physiopathological characteristics of associated hydrocephalus, surgical management, and oncological issues related to these tumors remain a matter of debate. To understand more about these tumors, the authors have reviewed their experience with the management of 38 children with choroid plexus tumors.

Methods

There were 25 cases of papilloma and 13 of carcinoma. The mean age of the patients at presentation was 22.5 months and one-half of the patients were younger than 2 years of age. Hydrocephalus was present in 33 patients and poorly correlated with the size, site, and pathological characteristics of the tumor. In nine children, a ventriculoperitoneal shunt was required after tumor excision, calling into question the notion that cerebrospinal fluid oversecretion is the only cause of hydrocephalus.

Complete excision was achieved in 96% of the cases of papilloma and 61.5% of the cases of carcinoma. These surgical procedures were complicated by the risks of perioperative hemorrhage, which proved to be fatal in two cases, and postoperative brain collapse, which led to subdural fluid collections requiring subdural shunt placement in six patients. Preoperative embolization was partially successful in four cases and significantly assisted surgery. Preoperative controlled drainage of excessively dilated ventricles and intraoperative gluing of the cortical incision have been used to address the problem of postoperative brain collapse.

Patients with carcinomas were treated postoperatively by chemotherapy alone (seven cases), radiotherapy (one case), or chemotherapy plus radiotherapy (one case). The overall 5-year survival rate was 100% for patients with papillomas and 40% for those with carcinomas.

Conclusions

Total surgical excision is curative in cases of papillomas. For carcinomas, the most effective treatment remains total surgical excision; however, adjuvant treatment in the form of chemotherapy in patients younger than 3 years, supplemented by radiation therapy in older children, can moderately reduce the risk of recurrence.

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Philippe Pencalet, Christian Sainte-Rose, Arielle Lellouch-Tubiana, Chantal Kalifa, Francis Brunelle, Spiros Sgouros, Philippe Meyer, Giuseppe Cinalli, Michel Zerah, Alain Pierre-Kahn and Dominique Renier

Object. Choroid plexus tumors are rare intraventricular tumors (1% of all intracranial tumors) that occur mainly in children. The pathophysiological characteristics of associated hydrocephalus, surgical management, and oncological issues related to these tumors remain a matter of debate. To understand more about these tumors, the authors have reviewed their experience with the management of 38 children with choroid plexus tumors.

Methods. There were 25 cases of papilloma and 13 of carcinoma. The mean age of the patients at presentation was 22.5 months, and one-half of the patients were younger than 2 years of age. Hydrocephalus was present in 33 patients and poorly correlated with the size, site, and pathological characteristics of the tumor. In nine children, a ventriculoperitoneal shunt was required after tumor excision, calling into question the notion that cerebrospinal fluid oversecretion is the only cause of hydrocephalus.

Complete excision was achieved in 96% of the cases of papilloma and 61.5% of the cases of carcinoma. These surgical procedures were complicated by the risks of intraoperative hemorrhage, which proved to be fatal in two cases, and postoperative brain collapse, which led to subdural fluid collections requiring subdural shunt placement in six patients. Preoperative embolization was partially successful in four cases and significantly assisted surgery. Preoperative controlled drainage of excessively dilated ventricles and intraoperative gluing of the cortical incision have been used to address the problem of postoperative brain collapse.

Patients with carcinomas were treated postoperatively by chemotherapy alone (seven cases), radiotherapy (one case), or chemotherapy plus radiotherapy (one case). The overall 5-year survival rate was 100% for patients with papillomas and 40% for those with carcinomas.

Conclusions. Total surgical excision is curative in cases of papillomas. For carcinomas, the most effective treatment remains total surgical excision; however, adjuvant treatment in the form of chemotherapy in patients younger than age 3 years, supplemented by radiation therapy in older children, can moderately reduce the risk of recurrence.