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George I. Jallo

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George I. Jallo, Ian Suk and László Bognár

✓Many subfrontal and orbitofrontal craniotomy techniques have been proposed and developed for anterior cranial fossa lesions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the surgical experience with the frontolateral keyhole craniotomy through a superciliary skin incision in children.

The keyhole craniotomy is a modification of the traditional pterional approach. This modified approach, a craniotomy with a 2.5 × 3—cm bone opening just above the eyebrow through a superciliary incision, has been previously described in adults for many lesions situated in the anterior cranial fossa, including tumors and aneurysms. The authors review their experience in using this approach in 27 children for a variety of intracranial lesions.

This approach was used for 28 procedures in children ranging in age from 1 to 16 years (mean age 10 years). The lesions included arachnoid cysts, cerebrospinal fluid fistulas, and tumors; no vascular lesions were treated.

The authors have found this craniotomy to be a safe and simple approach for treating anterior cranial fossa and suprasellar lesions in children.

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George I. Jallo, Karl F. Kothbauer and I. Rick Abbott

The traditional treatment for all forms of hydrocephalus has been the implantation of ventricular shunt systems; however, these systems have inherent tendencies toward complications such as malfunction and infection. A significant advance in the treatment of hydrocephalus has been the evolution of endoscopy. The recent technological advances in this field have led to a renewed interest in endoscopic third ventriculostomy as the treatment of choice for obstructive hydrocephalus. Although several different endoscopes are available, the authors favor a rigid one to perform a blunt fenestration of the third ventricle floor. This description of the technique stresses the nuances for successful completion of this procedure.

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Jonathan Pindrik, George I. Jallo and Edward S. Ahn

This case series highlights multiple complications and subsequent removal of retained shunt hardware in pediatric patients after successful endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV). Removal or retention of existing shunt hardware following ETV represents an important dilemma. Prior studies have reported infections and organ perforation related to nonfunctioning shunts but none in the context of successful ETV. Data obtained in 3 children with hydrocephalus treated at the authors' institution were retrospectively reviewed after the patients experienced complications due to retained shunt hardware following ETV. Etiologies of hydrocephalus included tectal glioma and intraventricular hemorrhage. All 3 patients had a history of multiple shunt revisions and underwent urgent ETV in the setting of a shunt malfunction. In each case, the entire shunt system was left in situ, but it became the source of subsequent complications. Two of the 3 patients presented with the shunt infected by gram-negative bacilli 10 days and 4.5 months postoperatively, respectively. The remaining patient experienced wound dehiscence over the shunt valve 4.5 months after ETV. In all patients, the complications were managed successfully by removing the shunt hardware. None of the patients required repeat shunt insertion from the time of removal throughout the follow-up period (mean 24 months, range 9–36 months). During the study period, a total of 6 patients with indwelling shunt hardware underwent ETV with the expectation of being shunt independent. Among these 6 patients, 3 experienced no complications from the retained hardware whereas 3 patients (50%) ultimately experienced adverse consequences related to retained hardware. This case series illustrates complications involving retained shunt hardware after successful ETV. These examples support consideration of shunt removal at the time of ETV in the appropriate context.

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Intrinsic brainstem epidermoid cyst

Case report and review of the literature

Pablo F. Recinos, Chanland Roonprapunt and George I. Jallo

✓ Brainstem epidermoid cysts are rare lesions, with only 18 reported cases in the literature and only five purely intrinsic epidermoid cysts within this group. The authors present the case of a 3-year-old girl with a history of chronic headaches, progressive diplopia, and relapsing and remitting mild right hemiparesis who was found to harbor an intrinsic brainstem epidermoid cyst at the pontomedullary junction. Initial working diagnoses included intrinsic brainstem astrocytoma and cavernoma. After tumor enlargement and progressive symptoms, a diffusion-weighted (DW) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging sequence was performed and a definitive diagnosis of an intrinsic brainstem epidermoid cyst was made in the patient. The patient underwent a suboccipital craniotomy and complete resection of the cyst with the aid of intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring. Three years after the operation, the patient is neurologically intact and no evidence of tumor recurrence has been found. The rarity of brainstem epidermoid cysts can make their diagnosis difficult; thus a DW MR imaging sequence of the brain is a useful diagnostic modality. Intrinsic brainstem epidermoid cysts can be removed safely, in a manner similar to that used for the surgical treatment of focal tumors.

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Khan W. Li, Clarke Nelson, Ian Suk and George I. Jallo

Neuroendoscopy began with a desire to visualize the ventricles and deeper structures of the brain. Unfortunately, the technology available to early neuroendoscopists was not sufficient in most cases for these purposes. The unique perspective that neuroendoscopy offered was not fully realized until key technological advances made reliable and accurate visualization of the brain and ventricles possible. After this technology was incorporated into the device, neuro-endoscopic procedures were rediscovered by neurosurgeons. Endoscopic third ventriculostomy and other related procedures are now commonly used to treat a wide array of neurosurgically managed conditions. A seemingly limitless number of neurosurgical applications await the endoscope. In the future, endoscopy is expected to become routine in modern neurosurgical practice and training.

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Matthew J. McGirt, Shlomi Constantini and George I. Jallo

Object

Postoperative progressive spinal deformity often complicates functional outcome after resection of pediatric intramedullary spinal cord tumors (IMSCTs). The authors propose a preoperative grading scale that correlates with the postoperative development of progressive spinal deformity requiring subsequent fusion.

Methods

The data obtained in 164 patients who underwent resection of an IMSCT at a single institution were retrospectively collected and analyzed to determine the development of progressive spinal deformity requiring fusion. A grading scale (range of scores I–V) was created based on the presence or absence of 4 preoperative variables: preoperative scoliosis, involvement of the thorocolumbar junction, age < 13 years, and number of surgeries for an IMSCT. The grading scale was then retrospectively applied to this series of 164 children to assess the correlation of variables with subsequent spinal deformity.

Results

Nine patients presented with Grade I status, 41 patients with Grade II, 58 patients with Grade III, 44 patients with Grade IV, and 12 patients with Grade V. Overall, 44 patients (27%) developed progressive spinal deformity requiring fusion at a mean follow-up of 5 years after surgery. A higher preoperative grade was associated with an increasing need for subsequent fusion for progressive spinal deformity (Grade I [0%], Grade II [5%], Grade III [26%], Grade IV [40%], and Grade V status [75%]).

Conclusions

Application of this grading scheme to a series of resected pediatric IMSCTs has demonstrated its correlation with the incidence of postoperative progressive spinal deformity requiring fusion. The application of a standardized grading scheme will assist in the process of surgical decision making and postoperative evaluation.

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James L. Frazier, Edward S. Ahn and George I. Jallo

✓ Brain abscesses occur infrequently but continue to be problematic for the pediatric neurosurgical community. The incidence of brain abscesses in children has not changed much, although individual reports may show an increase or decrease in the number of reported cases depending on the patient population studied. An increase could be attributed to earlier detection due to advancements in imaging modalities and/or to an increase in the number of children with immunodeficient states caused by AIDS, chemotherapy for malignant lesions, and immunosuppressive therapy for organ transplantation. A decrease in the incidence of brain abscesses could be attributed to practices such as antibiotic treatment for otitis media, sinusitis, and/or prophylactic antimicrobial treatment for congenital heart disease in children. The morbidity and mortality rates associated with brain abscesses have not changed dramatically in the antibiotic and imaging era, and their preferred management can vary among healthcare providers. These lesions have been successfully treated by neurosurgeons. The causes of brain abscesses are highly variable in children, which is also the case in adults, but the predisposing factors in the pediatric population differ in prevalence. Cyanotic congenital heart disease, hematogenous dissemination, contiguous infection, and penetrating traumatic injuries are the most common causes of brain abscesses in children. In this review, the authors discuss the causes and medical and surgical management of brain abscesses in children.

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Wesley Hsu, Khan W. Li, Markus Bookland and George I. Jallo

In the early 1920s, Walter E. Dandy began translating the field of endoscopy to neurosurgery. In the ensuing years, Dandy, who would become known as the “Father of Neuroendoscopy,” applied his own ingenuity in combination with guidance from prominent medical contemporaries in the development of the early neuroendoscope. This paper reviews his contributions to the early evolution of this growing and important field of neurosurgery.