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H. Isaac Chen, Mark G. Burnett, Jason T. Huse, Robert A. Lustig, Linda J. Bagley and Eric L. Zager

✓Late cerebral radiation necrosis usually occurs within 3 years of stereotactic radiosurgery. The authors report on a case of recurrent radiation necrosis with rapid clinical deterioration and imaging findings resembling those of a malignant glioma. This 68-year-old man, who had a history of a left posterior temporal and thalamic arteriovenous malformation (AVM) treated with linear accelerator radiosurgery 13 years before presentation and complicated by radiation necrosis 11 years before presentation, exhibited new-onset mixed aphasia, right hemiparesis, and right hemineglect. Imaging studies demonstrated hemorrhage and an enlarging, heterogeneously enhancing mass in the region of the previously treated AVM. The patient was treated medically with corticosteroid agents, and stabilized temporarily. Unfortunately, his condition worsened precipitously soon thereafter, requiring the placement of a shunt for relief of obstructive hydrocephalus. Further surgical intervention was offered, but the patient’s family opted for hospice care instead. The patient died 10 weeks after initially presenting to the authors’ institution, and the results of an autopsy demonstrated radiation necrosis.

Symptomatic radiation necrosis can occur more than a decade after stereotactic radiosurgery, necessitating patient follow up during a longer period of time than currently practiced. Furthermore, there is a need for more careful reporting on the natural history of such cases to clarify the pathogenesis of very late and recurrent radiation necrosis after radiosurgery and to define patient groups with a higher risk for these entities.

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Suresh N. Magge, H. Isaac Chen, Greg G. Heuer, Lee R. Carrasco, Phillip B. Storm and M.D.

✓Dislocation of the mandibular condyle into the middle cranial fossa is a rare event due to anatomical and biome chanical factors. The authors report the case of a 12-year-old girl who presented with this condition after colliding with a classmate. One day after her injury, the patient demonstrated an inability to close her mouth completely, and she had minor tenderness to palpation anterior to the tragus, without neurological deficits. Imaging studies demonstrated a frac tured glenoid fossa with intrusion of the mandible into the cranial cavity. Open reduction of the mandibular condyle was performed, and the glenoid fossa was reconstructed with a split-thickness bone graft and titanium screws. Several dural tears noted at the time of surgery were repaired primarily.

Mandibular condyle dislocation into the middle cranial fossa is often misdiagnosed initially because of its low inci dence and nonspecific symptoms. Computed tomography scanning is the most sensitive diagnostic study for detecting this injury. Closed reduction after induction of general anesthesia has been recommended in recently suffered injuries without neurological deficits, but this approach may overlook damage to intracranial structures. Surgical repair is rec ommended if neurological injury is suspected. Treatment options should be tailored to the individual factors of each case.

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H. Isaac Chen, Gregory G. Heuer, Kareem Zaghloul, Scott L. Simon, John B. Weigele and M. Sean Grady

✓Vertebral hemangiomas are common entities that rarely present with neurological deficits. The authors report the unusual case of a large L-3 vertebral hemangioma with epidural extension in a 27-year-old woman who presented with hip flexor and quadriceps weakness, foot drop, and leg pain. The characteristics of the mass on magnetic resonance imaging suggested an aggressive, hypervascular lesion. The patient underwent embolization of the lesion followed by direct intralesional injection of ethanol. Significant resolution of clinical symptoms was observed immediately after the procedure and at her follow-up visits. Follow-up imaging studies obtained 9 months after the procedure also documented a considerable reduction in the size of the hemangioma with minimal loss of vertebral height and a mild kyphosis at the affected level. On repeated imaging studies obtained 21 months postoperatively, the size of the hemangioma and the degree of vertebral body compression were stable. As demonstrated in this case, patients with vertebral hemangiomas can present with acute nerve root compression and signs and symptoms similar to those of disc herniation. Vertebral hemangiomas can be treated effectively with interventional techniques such as embolization and ethanol injection.

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Suresh N. Magge, H. Isaac Chen, Michael F. Stiefel, Linda Ernst, Ann Marie Cahill, Robert Hurst and Phillip B. Storm

✓The authors report the case of an 18-month-old girl who presented with a ruptured anterior communicating artery aneurysm, and who was later diagnosed with Takayasu arteritis. Her initial aneurysm was successfully treated with clip application. However, over a 6-month period she had multiple ruptures from new and rapidly recurring aneurysms adjacent to the clips. These aneurysms were treated with repeated craniotomy and clip application and then with endovascular coil placement. Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage is a rare presentation of Takayasu arteritis. To the authors' knowledge, this is the youngest reported patient with Takayasu arteritis to present with a ruptured cerebral aneurysm.

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Suresh N. Magge, H. Isaac Chen, Rohan Ramakrishna, Liyi Cen, Zhen Chen, J. Paul Elliott, H. Richard Winn and Peter D. Le Roux

Object

Vasospasm is a leading cause of morbidity and death following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). It is important to predict which patients are at risk for vasospasm so that interventions can be made. There are several potential risk factors for vasospasm, one of which is age. However, the effect of age on vasospasm, particularly symptomatic vasospasm, remains controversial.

Methods

Three hundred ninety-one patients were retrospectively identified from a prospective observational database of patients with SAH who had been admitted to a single center. Demographic and clinical data were recorded, and cerebral angiograms obtained at admission and between 5 and 10 days later were compared. The relationship between age and angiographic and symptomatic vasospasms was examined using logistic regression techniques.

Results

Mild (86 patients), moderate (69 patients), severe (56 patients), and no angiographic vasospasms (180 patients) were documented by comparing admission and follow-up angiograms in each patient. Symptomatic vasospasm was identified in 69 patients (17.6%). Angiographic vasospasm was more frequent as age decreased. Except in patients < 30 years old, the frequency of symptomatic vasospasm also increased with decreasing age (p = 0.0001). After adjusting for variables known to be associated with vasospasm, an advanced age was associated with a reduced incidence of any angiographic vasospasm (OR 0.96, 95% CI 0.94–0.97), severe angiographic vasospasm (OR 0.96, 95% CI 0.95–0.98), and symptomatic vasospasm (OR 0.98, 95% CI 0.96–0.99).

Conclusions

Results in this study show that a younger age is associated with an increased incidence of angiographic and symptomatic vasospasm.

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John Y. K. Lee, H. Isaac Chen, Christopher Urban, Anahita Hojat, Ephraim Church, Sharon X. Xie and John T. Farrar

Object

Outcomes in clinical trials on trigeminal pain therapies require instruments with demonstrated reliability and validity. The authors evaluated the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) in its existing form plus an additional 7 facial-specific items in patients referred to a single neurosurgeon for a diagnosis of facial pain. The complete 18-item instrument is referred to as the BPI-Facial.

Methods

This study was a cross-sectional analysis of patients who completed the BPI-Facial. The diagnosis of classic versus atypical trigeminal neuralgia (TN) was made before analyzing the questionnaire results. A hypothesis-driven factor analysis was used to determine the principal components of the questionnaire. Item reliability and questionnaire validity were tested for these specific constructs.

Results

Data from 156 patients were analyzed, including 114 patients (73%) with classic and 42 (27%) with atypical TN. Using orthomax rotation factor analysis, 3 factors with an eigenvalue > 1.0 were identified—pain intensity, interference with general activities, and facial-specific pain interference—accounting for 97.6% of the observed item variance. Retention of the 3 factors was confirmed via a Cattell scree plot. Internal reliability was demonstrated by calculating Cronbach's α: 0.86 for pain intensity, 0.89 for interference with general activities, 0.95 for facial-specific pain interference, and 0.94 for the entire instrument.

Initial validity of the BPI-Facial instrument was supported by the detection of statistically significant differences between patients with classic versus atypical pain. Patients with atypical TN rated their facial pain as more intense (atypical 6.24 vs classic 5.03, p = 0.013) and as having greater interference in general activities (atypical 6.94 vs classic 5.43, p = 0.0033). Both groups expressed high levels of facial-specific pain interference (atypical 6.34 vs classic 5.95, p = 0.527).

Conclusions

The BPI-Facial is a rigorous measure of facial pain in patients with TN and appears to have sound psychometric properties and is responsive to differences between classic and atypical TN. Future studies must assess the instrument's test-retest reliability, validity in additional populations, and responsiveness with respect to changes in patient outcomes following neurosurgical interventions and medical therapies.

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H. Isaac Chen, Leif-Erik Bohman, Laurie A. Loevner and Timothy H. Lucas

Object

Resection of the hippocampus is the standard of care for medically intractable epilepsy in patients with mesial temporal sclerosis. Although temporal craniotomy in this setting is highly successful, the procedure carries certain immutable risks and may be associated with cognitive deficits related to cortical and white matter disruption. Alternative surgical approaches may reduce some of these risks by preserving the lateral temporal lobe. This study examined the feasibility of transorbital endoscopic amygdalohippocampectomy (TEA) as an alternative to open craniotomy in cadaveric specimens.

Methods

TEA dissections were performed in 4 hemispheres from 2 injected cadaveric specimens fixed in alcohol. Quantitative predictions of the limits of exposure based on predissection imaging were compared with intradissection measurements. The extent of resection and angles of exposure during the dissection and on postdissection imaging were recorded. These measurements were validated with MRI studies from 10 epilepsy patients undergoing standard surgical evaluations.

Results

The transorbital approach permitted direct access to the mesial temporal structures through the lateral orbital wall. Up to 97% of the hippocampal formation was resected with no brain retraction and minimal (mean 6.0 ± 1.4 mm) globe displacement. Lateral temporal lobe white matter tracts were preserved.

Conclusions

TEA permits hippocampectomy comparable to standard surgical approaches without disrupting the lateral temporal cortex or white matter. This novel approach is feasible in cadaveric specimens and warrants clinical investigation in carefully selected cases.

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Jared M. Pisapia, Nikhil R. Nayak, Ryan D. Salinas, Luke Macyszyn, John Y. K. Lee, Timothy H. Lucas, Neil R. Malhotra, H. Isaac Chen and James M. Schuster

OBJECTIVE

As odontoid process fractures become increasingly common in the aging population, a technical understanding of treatment approaches is critical. 3D image guidance can improve the safety of posterior cervical hardware placement, but few studies have explored its utility in anterior approaches. The authors present in a stepwise fashion the technique of odontoid screw placement using the Medtronic O-arm navigation system and describe their initial institutional experience with this surgical approach.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed all cases of anterior odontoid screw fixation for Type II fractures at an academic medical center between 2006 and 2015. Patients were identified from a prospectively collected institutional database of patients who had suffered spine trauma. A standardized protocol for navigated odontoid screw placement was generated from the collective experience at the authors' institution. Secondarily, the authors compared collected variables, including presenting symptoms, injury mechanism, surgical complications, blood loss, operative time, radiographically demonstrated nonunion rate, and clinical outcome at most recent follow-up, between navigated and nonnavigated cases.

RESULTS

Ten patients (three female; mean age 61) underwent odontoid screw placement. Most patients presented with neck pain without a neurological deficit after a fall. O-arm navigation was used in 8 patients. An acute neck hematoma and screw retraction, each requiring surgery, occurred in 2 patients in whom navigation was used. Partial vocal cord paralysis occurred after surgery in one patient in whom no navigation was used. There was no difference in blood loss or operative time with or without navigation. One patient from each group had radiographic nonunion. No patient reported a worsening of symptoms at follow-up (mean duration 9 months).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors provide a detailed step-by-step guide to the navigated placement of an odontoid screw. Their surgical experience suggests that O-arm–assisted odontoid screw fixation is a viable approach. Future studies will be needed to rigorously compare the accuracy and efficiency of navigated versus nonnavigated odontoid screw placement.