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Grace M. Thiong’o, Susan S. Ferson, and A. Leland Albright

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to review treatment options for infants with hydranencephaly and to consider the pros and cons of each treatment modality.

METHODS

This paper is a review of hydranencephaly as well as a retrospective analysis evaluating the outcomes of 52 infants with hydranencephaly who were treated at the Kijabe Hospital, Kijabe, Kenya, in one of four ways: ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS) insertion, endoscopic choroid plexus coagulation (CPC), open choroid plexectomy (CPlx), and palliative care. The primary outcome measure was control of head size, with the aim of improving patient care. One-year mortality was a secondary outcome.

RESULTS

Of the 52 patients analyzed, 11 underwent VPS insertion, 17 CPC, 14 CPlx, and 10 were treated palliatively. Head size was controlled at the 3-month evaluation interval in 5 of 7 infants treated with VPS, 10 of 16 of those treated with CPC, 6 of 9 of those treated with CPlx, and 1 of 4 treated palliatively. The number of infants in each category with complete follow-up data that were needed to analyze change in head size was lower than the total number of patients included in each category. Mortality at 1 year of age was 9 of 11 in the VPS group, 14 of 17 in the CPC group, 6 of 14 in the CPlx group, and 7 of 10 in the palliative group.

CONCLUSIONS

Head size decreased by 1 cm or more in similar proportions (62%–71%) of infants with hydranencephaly who were treated by VPS insertion, CPC, and CPlx, and progressed in those who received palliative care. Mortality at 1 year of age was similar in infants treated by a VPS, CPC, and palliative care (70%–82%), but lower (43%) in those treated with CPlx.

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Grace M. Thiong’o, Thomas Looi, James T. Rutka, Abhaya V. Kulkarni, and James M. Drake

OBJECTIVE

Early adaptors of surgical simulation have documented a translation to improved intraoperative surgical performance. Similar progress would boost neurosurgical education, especially in highly nuanced epilepsy surgeries. This study introduces a hands-on cerebral hemispheric surgery simulator and evaluates its usefulness in teaching epilepsy surgeries.

METHODS

Initially, the anatomical realism of the simulator and its perceived effectiveness as a training tool were evaluated by two epilepsy neurosurgeons. The surgeons independently simulated hemispherotomy procedures and provided questionnaire feedback. Both surgeons agreed on the anatomical realism and effectiveness of this training tool. Next, construct validity was evaluated by modeling the proficiency (task-completion time) of 13 participants, who spanned the experience range from novice to expert.

RESULTS

Poisson regression yielded a significant whole-model fit (χ2 = 30.11, p < 0.0001). The association between proficiency when using the training tool and the combined effect of prior exposure to hemispherotomy surgery and career span was statistically significant (χ2 = 7.30, p = 0.007); in isolation, pre-simulation exposure to hemispherotomy surgery (χ2 = 6.71, p = 0.009) and career length (χ2 = 14.21, p < 0.001) were also significant. The mean (± SD) task-completion time was 25.59 ± 9.75 minutes. Plotting career length against task-completion time provided insights on learning curves of epilepsy surgery. Prediction formulae estimated that 10 real-life hemispherotomy cases would be needed to approach the proficiency seen in experts.

CONCLUSIONS

The cerebral hemispheric surgery simulator is a reasonable epilepsy surgery training tool in the quest to increase preoperative practice opportunities for neurosurgical education.