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Frederick A. Boop

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Frederick A. Boop

The 2016 scientific meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) focused on the theme “A World of Innovation.” In his presidential address, 2016 AANS President Frederick Boop compared the historical development of the specialty of neurological surgery with that of the development of global communications. In the early years, general surgeons training in the United States would spend post-residency time abroad learning from surgical masters in Europe and other places. Since Harvey Cushing’s day, neurosurgeons from around the world continue to travel abroad, with many now coming to America for training at centers of excellence.

Current clinical practice is defined by multi-national, multi-center clinical trials, and the AANS subsidiary NeuroPoint Alliance has positioned itself to serve as an international center for the oversight of such trials. The Neurosurgery Research & Education Foundation and the Journal of Neurosurgery Publishing Group have made it possible for a neurosurgeon anywhere with Internet access to learn relevant surgical anatomy, learn new neurosurgical procedures, and watch masters in the field perform operations via high-definition surgical videos at no cost via learning platforms such as the Rhoton Collection, the Neurosurgical Atlas, and Neurosurgical Focus video supplements. At the same time, patients are now traveling abroad to seek medical specialty care. Although the globalization of health care poses certain threats, it also presents neurosurgeons with a world of opportunities.

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Frederick A. Boop

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Kristian Aquilina and Frederick A. Boop

Primary neoplasms of the pituitary gland are uncommon in children. Physiological enlargement of the gland, however, is universal and can sometimes be confused with a tumor. Due to widespread availability of MR imaging, the number of children referred to pediatric neurosurgeons with an enlarged pituitary associated with nonspecific symptoms, most commonly headache, is increasing. In this review, the authors illustrate two common causes of pituitary enlargement in children, namely physiological hypertrophy of puberty, more commonly seen in females, and secondary hyperplasia caused by hypothyroidism. The importance of early and accurate diagnosis, without recourse to extensive endocrine investigations or inappropriate surgery, is underscored.

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Frederick A. Boop

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Frederick A. Boop

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Frederick A. Boop

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Aska Arnautovic, Bruno Splavski, Frederick A. Boop and Kenan I. Arnautovic

OBJECT

Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I) is a hindbrain disorder associated with elongation of the cerebellar tonsils, which descend below the foramen magnum into the spinal canal. It occurs in children and adults. Clinical symptoms mainly develop from alterations in CSF flow at the foramen magnum and the common subsequent development of syringomyelia.

METHODS

The authors reviewed English-language reports of pediatric, adult, and combined (adult and pediatric) surgical series of patients with CM-I published from 1965 through August 31, 2013, to investigate the following: 1) geographical distribution of reports; 2) demographics of patients; 3) follow-up lengths; 4) study durations; 5) spectrum and frequency of surgical techniques; 6) outcomes for neurological status, syrinx, and headache; 7) frequency and scope of complications; 8) mortality rates; and 9) differences between pediatric and adult populations. Research and inclusion criteria were defined, and all series that contained at least 4 cases and all publications with sufficient data for analysis were included.

RESULTS

The authors identified 145 operative series of patients with CM-I, primarily from the United States and Europe, and divided patient ages into 1 of 3 categories: adult (> 18 years of age; 27% of the cases), pediatric (≤ 18 years of age; 30%), or unknown (43%). Most series (76%) were published in the previous 21 years. The median number of patients in the series was 31. The mean duration of the studies was 10 years, and the mean follow-up time was 43 months. The peak ages of presentation in the pediatric studies were 8 years, followed by 9 years, and in the adult series, 41 years, followed by 46 years. The incidence of syringomyelia was 65%. Most of the studies (99%) reported the use of posterior fossa/foramen magnum decompression. In 92%, the dura was opened, and in 65% of these cases, the arachnoid was opened and dissected; tonsillar resection was performed in 27% of these patients. Postoperatively, syringomyelia improved or resolved in 78% of the patients. Most series (80%) reported postoperative neurological outcomes as follows: 75% improved, 17% showed no change, and 9% experienced worsening. Postoperative headaches improved or resolved in 81% of the patients, with a statistical difference in favor of the pediatric series. Postoperative complications were reported for 41% of the series, most commonly with CSF leak, pseudomeningocele, aseptic meningitis, wound infection, meningitis, and neurological deficit, with a mean complication rate of 4.5%. Complications were reported for 37% of pediatric, 20% of adult, and 43% of combined series. Mortality was reported for 11% of the series. No difference in mortality rates was seen between the pediatric and adult series.

CONCLUSIONS

Before undergoing surgical treatment for CM-I, symptomatic patients and their families should be given clear information about the success of treatment and potential complications. Furthermore, surgeons may benefit from comparing published data with their own. In the future, operative CM-I reports should provide all details of each case for the purpose of comparison.