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James E. Boggan, Richard L. Davis, Greg Zorman, and Charles B. Wilson

✓ The authors report the uncomplicated removal of an intrasellar epidermoid cyst that on presentation mimicked a pituitary adenoma. Current controversies regarding the differentiation of this cyst from other cystic lesions of the sellar region are reviewed.

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Amy L. Bowes, Josh King-Robson, William J. Dawes, Greg James, and Kristian Aquilina

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to review the safety of pediatric intraventricular endoscopy across separate age groups and to determine whether intraventricular endoscopy is associated with an increased risk of complications or reduced efficacy in infants younger than 1 year.

METHODS

In this retrospective cohort study, 286 pediatric patients younger than 17 years underwent intraventricular endoscopy at Great Ormond Street Hospital between December 2005 and December 2014. The primary diagnosis, procedure, and complications were recorded.

RESULTS

Neuroendoscopic surgery was performed in 286 pediatric patients (51 neonates 0–6 months [Group 1]; 37 infants 6–12 months [Group 2]; 75 patients 1–5 years [Group 3]; 54 patients 5–10 years [Group 4]; and 69 patients ≥ 10 years [Group 5]; male/female ratio 173:113). The most common procedures included endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) in 159 patients and endoscopic fenestration of intracranial cysts in 64 patients. A total of 348 consecutive neuroendoscopic procedures were undertaken. Nine different complications were identified, of which postoperative seizures (1.7%), CSF leak (3.1%), CSF infection (2.4%), and intracranial hemorrhage (1.7%) were the most common. Specifically, no significant difference in complication rate (11.9%) or infection rate (2.4%) was observed among age groups (p = 0.40 and p = 0.91, respectively). In addition, there were no perioperative deaths; 30-day mortality was 1.1%. After neuroendoscopy for CSF diversion (n = 227), a significantly higher rate of shunt insertion was observed in the youngest group (Group 1, 63.0%) when compared with older groups (Group 2, 46.4%; Group 3, 26.3%; Group 4, 38.6%; and Group 5, 30.8%; p = 0.03). Similarly, for patients who underwent ETV as their initial neuroendoscopic procedure or in combination with additional surgical interventions (n = 171), a significantly higher rate of shunt insertion was also observed within young infants (Group 1, 67.9%; Group 2, 47.6%; Group 3, 19.6%; Group 4, 27.3%; and Group 5, 23.3%; p = 0.003).

CONCLUSIONS

Intraventricular endoscopy is a safe neurosurgical intervention in pediatric patients of all ages, although it might be associated with increased shunt rates after endoscopic surgery, specifically ETV, in younger infants.

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Eric B. Harris, Patrick Massey, James Lawrence, Jeffrey Rihn, Alex Vaccaro, and D. Greg Anderson

Percutaneous pedicle screw fixation for lumbar posterolateral instrumented fusion is an attractive alternative to standard open techniques. The technical aspects of this procedure can be challenging and even frustrating when first learning the technique. However, once these techniques have been mastered, they offer a safe, less invasive, less traumatic, more aesthetic method for performing fusion. The authors have outlined a step-by-step method for performing this surgery, and include a case series that demonstrates excellent results in patients treated with this procedure.

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Greg James, John C. Hartley, Robert D. Morgan, and Jessica Ternier

Object

Infection after both primary and revision shunt surgeries remains a major problem in pediatric neurosurgical practice. Antibiotic-impregnated shunt (AIS) tubing has been proposed to reduce infection rates. The authors report their experience with AIS catheters in their large pediatric neurosurgery department.

Methods

The authors conducted a retrospective case review of consecutive shunt operations performed before (1993–2003) and after (2005–2009) introduction of AIS tubing, with analysis of shunt infection rates and causative organisms identified.

Results

The historical control group consisted of 1592 consecutive shunt operations (657 primary insertions), and the AIS study group consisted of 500 consecutive shunt operations (184 primary insertions). Patients ranged in age from 0–17 years. In the historical group, 135 infections were identified (8.4%). In the AIS study group, 25 infections were identified (5%), representing a significant reduction (p < 0.005). The latency to diagnosis of infection was 23 days in the historical group and 139 days in the AIS study group. The infection rates in infants 0–6 months of age were 12.2% (historical group) and 6.7% (AIS group, p < 0.005), and in infants 7–12 months of age the rates were 7.9% (historical group) and 2.7% (AIS group, p < 0.005). In the historical control group, the frequency rank order of causative organisms was coagulase-negative staphylococcus (51.9%), Staphylococcus aureus (31.6%), streptococcus or enterococcus spp. (8.8%), gram-negative organisms (4.4%), and Propionibacterium acnes (2.2%). Organisms responsible for infections in AIS were S. aureus (40%), followed by streptococcus or enterococcus spp. (20%), P. acnes and coagulase-negative staphylococcus (both 16%), and gram-negative organisms (4%). No unusually antibiotic-resistant bacteria were identified in either group. The authors further subdivided the AIS group into those undergoing primary AIS insertion (Subgroup 1), those undergoing revision of non-AIS systems using AIS components (Subgroup 2), and those undergoing revision of AIS systems using AIS components (Subgroup 3). Infection rates were 1.6% in Subgroup 1, 2.5% in Subgroup 2, and 11.7% in Subgroup 3. Staphylococcus aureus was the most common organism identified in infections of the Subgroups 2 and 3.

Conclusions

Use of AIS tubing significantly improves shunt infection rates in both general pediatric and infant populations with no evidence of increased antibiotic resistance, which is in agreement with previous studies. However, the increased infection rate in revision surgery in children with AIS catheters in situ raises questions about their long-term application.

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Patrick J Grover, Lauren Harris, Ayman M Qureshi, Adam Rennie, Fergus Robertson, and Greg James

This is the eighth case report of a pediatric dissecting posterior inferior cerebellar artery aneurysm. The authors present the case of a 13-year-old boy who presented with posttraumatic posterior fossa subdural, subarachnoid, and intraventricular hemorrhage with hydrocephalus. Initial vascular imaging findings were negative; however, a high level of suspicion is necessary. The aneurysm was identified on day 20, after recurrence of hydrocephalus, and was treated with endovascular vessel sacrifice. The patient made a good recovery. It is important to consider arterial dissection in pediatric traumatic brain injury, especially with suspicious findings on initial CT scan and clinical presentation out of proportion to the mechanism of injury. Delayed vascular imaging is imperative for appropriate management.

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Anuj V. Peddada, D. James Sceats, Gerald A. White, Gyongyver Bulz, Greg L. Gibbs, Barry Switzer, Susan Anderson, and Alan T. Monroe

This case report of 74-year-old man with trigeminal neuralgia is presented to underscore the importance of evaluating the entire treatment plan, especially when delivering large doses where even a low percentage of the prescription dose can contribute a substantial dose to an unintended target. The patient was treated using the CyberKnife stereotactic radiosurgery system utilizing a nonisocentric beam treatment plan with a 5-mm fixed collimator generating 111 beams to deliver 6000 cGy to the 79% isodose line with a maximum dose of 7594 cGy to the target. Two weeks after treatment the patient's trigeminal neuralgia symptoms resolved; however, the patient developed oral mucositis due to the treatment. This case report reviews the cause of mucositis and makes recommendations on how to prevent unintended targets from receiving treatment.

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Adikarige Haritha Dulanka Silva, Sanjay Bhate, Vijeya Ganesan, Dominic Thompson, and Greg James

OBJECTIVE

Obtaining operative experience for the treatment of rare conditions in children represents a challenge for pediatric neurosurgeons. Starting in November 2017, a surgeon was mentored in surgical revascularization (SR) for pediatric moyamoya with a view to service development and sustainability. The aim of this audit was to evaluate early outcomes of SR for pediatric moyamoya during and following a surgical mentorship.

METHODS

A retrospective cohort study with chart/database review of consecutive moyamoya surgeries performed by a new attending surgeon (between November 2017 and March 2020) was compared to a previously published cohort from the authors’ institution in terms of clinical and angiographic outcomes, complications, operating time, and length of stay. A standardized technique of encephaloduroarteriomyosynangiosis with the superficial temporal artery was used.

RESULTS

Twenty-two children underwent 36 indirect SRs during the study period. Patient demographics were similar between cohorts. The first group of 6 patients had 11 SRs performed jointly by the new attending surgeon mentored by an established senior surgeon (group A), followed by 10 patients with 16 SRs performed independently by the new attending surgeon (group B). The last 6 patients had 9 SRs with the new attending surgeon mentoring a senior fellow (group C) in performing SR.

Good angiographic collateralization (Matsushima grades A and B) was observed in 80% of patients, with similar proportions across all 3 groups. A total of 18/19 symptomatic patients (95%) derived symptomatic benefit. There was no perioperative death and, compared to the historical cohort, a similar proportion had a recurrent arterial ischemic event (i.e., acute ischemic stroke) necessitating a second SR (1/22 vs 3/73). Operative times were longest in group C, with no difference in length of hospital stay among the 3 groups.

CONCLUSIONS

Early outcomes demonstrate the feasibility of mentorship for safely incorporating new neurosurgeons in sustaining and developing a tertiary-level surgical service.

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Daniel R. Fassett, James S. Harrop, Mitchell Maltenfort, Shiveindra B. Jeyamohan, John D. Ratliff, D. Greg Anderson, Alan S. Hilibrand, Todd J. Albert, Alexander R. Vaccaro, and Ashwini D. Sharan

Object

The authors undertook this study to evaluate the incidence of spinal cord injury (SCI) in geriatric patients (≥ 70 years of age) and examine the impact of patient age, extent of neurological injury, and spinal level of injury on the mortality rate associated with traumatic SCI.

Methods

A prospectively maintained SCI database (3481 patients) at a single institution was retrospectively studied for the period from 1978 through 2005. Parameters analyzed included patient age, admission American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) motor score, level of SCI, mechanism of injury, and mortality data. The data pertaining to the 412 patients 70 years of age and older were compared with those pertaining to the younger cohort using a chi-square analysis.

Results

Since 1980, the number of SCI-related hospital admissions per year have increased fivefold in geriatric patients and the percentage of geriatric patients within the SCI population has increased from 4.2 to 15.4%. In comparison with younger patients, geriatric patients were found to be less likely to have severe neurological deficits (greater percentage of ASIA Grades C and D injuries), but the mortality rates were higher in the older age group both for the period of hospitalization (27.7% compared with 3.2%, p < 0.001) and during 1-year follow-up. The mortality rates in this older population directly correlate with the severity of neurological injury (1-year mortality rate, ASIA Grade A 66%, Grade D 23%, p < 0.001). The mortality rate in elderly patients with SCI has not changed significantly over the last two decades, and the 1-year mortality rate was greater than 40% in all periods analyzed.

Conclusions

Spinal cord injuries in older patients are becoming more prevalent. The mortality rate in this patient group is much greater than in younger patients and should be taken into account when aggressive interventions are considered and in counseling families regarding prognosis.

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Rani Nasser, Sanjay Yadla, Mitchell G. Maltenfort, James S. Harrop, D. Greg Anderson, Alexander R. Vaccaro, Ashwini D. Sharan, and John K. Ratliff

Object

The overall incidence of complications or adverse events in spinal surgery is unknown. Both prospective and retrospective analyses have been performed, but the results have not been critically assessed. Procedures for different regions of the spine (cervical and thoracolumbar) and the incidence of complications for each have been reported but not compared. Authors of previous reports have concentrated on complications in terms of their incidence relevant to healthcare providers: medical versus surgical etiology and the relevance of perioperative complications to perioperative events. Few authors have assessed complication incidence from the patient's perspective. In this report the authors summarize the spine surgery complications literature and address the effect of study design on reported complication incidence.

Methods

A systematic evidence-based review was completed to identify within the published literature complication rates in spinal surgery. The MEDLINE database was queried using the key words “spine surgery” and “complications.” This initial search revealed more than 700 articles, which were further limited through an exclusion process. Each abstract was reviewed and papers were obtained. The authors gathered 105 relevant articles detailing 80 thoracolumbar and 25 cervical studies. Among the 105 articles were 84 retrospective studies and 21 prospective studies. The authors evaluated the study designs and compared cervical, thoracolumbar, prospective, and retrospective studies as well as the durations of follow-up for each study.

Results

In the 105 articles reviewed, there were 79,471 patients with 13,067 reported complications for an overall complication incidence of 16.4% per patient. Complications were more common in thoracolumbar (17.8%) than cervical procedures (8.9%; p < 0.0001, OR 2.23). Prospective studies yielded a higher incidence of complications (19.9%) than retrospective studies (16.1%; p < 0.0001, OR 1.3). The complication incidence for prospective thoracolumbar studies (20.4%) was greater than that for retrospective series (17.5%; p < 0.0001). This difference between prospective and retrospective reviews was not found in the cervical studies. The year of study publication did not correlate with the complication incidence, although the duration of follow-up did correlate with the complication incidence (p = 0.001).

Conclusions

Retrospective reviews significantly underestimate the overall incidence of complications in spine surgery. This analysis is the first to critically assess differing complication incidences reported in prospective and retrospective cervical and thoracolumbar spine surgery studies.

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Ahmed Elawadly, Luke Smith, Alessandro Borghi, Khaled I. Abdelaziz, Adikarige Haritha Dulanka Silva, David J. Dunaway, Noor ul Owase Jeelani, Juling Ong, and Greg James

OBJECTIVE

Endoscopic strip craniectomy with postoperative helmet orthosis therapy (ESCH) has emerged as a less invasive alternative to fronto-orbital remodeling for correction of trigonocephaly. However, there is no standardized objective method for monitoring morphological changes following ESCH. Such a method should be reproducible and avoid the use of ionizing radiation and general anesthesia for diagnostic imaging. The authors analyzed a number of metrics measured using 3D stereophotogrammetry (3DSPG) following ESCH, an imaging alternative that is free of ionizing radiation and can be performed on awake children.

METHODS

3DSPG images obtained at two time points (perisurgical and 1-year follow-up [FU]) of children with metopic synostosis who had undergone ESCH were analyzed and compared to 3DSPG images of age-matched control children without craniofacial anomalies. In total, 9 parameters were measured, the frontal angle and anteroposterior volume in addition to 7 novel parameters: anteroposterior area ratio, anteroposterior width ratios 1 and 2, and right and left anteroposterior diagonal ratios 30 and 60.

RESULTS

Six eligible patients were identified in the operated group, and 15 children were in the control group. All 9 parameters differed significantly between perisurgical and age-matched controls, as well as from perisurgical to FU scans. Comparison of FU scans of metopic synostosis patients who underwent surgery to scans of age-matched controls without metopic synostosis revealed that all parameters were statistically identical, with the exception of the right anteroposterior diagonal ratio 30, which was not fully corrected in the treated patients. The left anterior part of the head showed the most change in surface area maps.

CONCLUSIONS

In this pilot study, ESCH showed satisfactory results at 1 year, with improvements in all measured parameters compared to perisurgical results and normalization of 8 of 9 parameters compared to an age-matched control group. The results indicate that these parameters may be useful for craniofacial units for monitoring changes in head shape after ESCH for trigonocephaly and that 3DSPG, which avoids the use of anesthesia and ionizing radiation, is a satisfactory monitoring method.