James M. Drake
John H. Chi, Heather J. Fullerton, and Nalin Gupta
Congenital hydrocephalus has an estimated population incidence of 0.2 to 0.8/1000 live births. With improvements in techniques for cerebrospinal fluid shunting, treatment of hydrocephalus has become safe and routine, yet data describing mortality from congenital hydrocephalus or demonstrating improvements in mortality with the advent of modern treatment are scarce. The authors' analysis sought to rectify this situation.
The authors performed an electronic search of National Center for Health Statistics death certificate databases to identify deaths from 1979 to 1998 attributed to congenital hydrocephalus, spina bifida with hydrocephalus, and acquired hydrocephalus (both obstructive and communicating) in all children in the US aged 1 day to 20 years. Mortality rates were defined as deaths per 100,000 person-years and were analyzed for differences on the basis of age, race, sex, and year.
The authors identified 10,406 deaths attributed to childhood hydrocephalus within the 20-year study period. The overall mortality rate was 0.71 per 100,00 person-years. Mortality rates were highest in infants, with 3979 deaths; they were similar between girls and boys. Compared with white infants, black infants had higher relative risk (RR) for death caused by congenital hydrocephalus (RR 1.46, p value < 0.0001) and acquired hydrocephalus (RR 2.58, p value < 0.0001) but not for that caused by hydrocephalus with spina bifida (RR 0.65, p value < 0.0001). From 1979 to 1998, the mortality rate due to congenital hydrocephalus declined 66.3%, from spina bifida with hydrocephalus it declined by 30.4%, and from acquired hydrocephalus it declined by 67.5%.
Mortality rates from childhood hydrocephalus have declined in US children over the previous 20 years. Black race is associated with higher mortality rates in infants for both congenital and acquired hydrocephalus, whereas sex has no effect.
Steven W. Hetts, Parham Moftakhar, Neil Maluste, Heather J. Fullerton, Daniel L. Cooke, Matthew R. Amans, Christopher F. Dowd, Randall T. Higashida, and Van V. Halbach
Intracranial dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) are rare in children. This study sought to better characterize DAVF presentation, angioarchitecture, and treatment outcomes.
Children with intracranial DAVFs between 1986 and 2013 were retrospectively identified from the neurointerventional database at the authors' institution. Demographics, clinical presentation, lesion angioarchitecture, treatment approaches, angiographic outcomes, and clinical outcomes were assessed.
DAVFs constituted 5.7% (22/423) of pediatric intracranial arteriovenous shunting lesions. Twelve boys and 10 girls presented between 1 day and 18 years of age; boys presented at a median of 1.3 years and girls presented at a median of 4.9 years. Four of 8 patients ≤ 1 year of age presented with congestive heart failure compared with 0/14 patients > 1 year of age (p = 0.01). Five of 8 patients ≤ 1 year old presented with respiratory distress compared with 0/14 patients > 1 year old (p = 0.0021). Ten of 14 patients > 1 year old presented with focal neurological deficits compared with 0/8 patients ≤ 1 year old (p = 0.0017). At initial angiography, 16 patients harbored a single intracranial DAVF and 6 patients had 2–6 DAVFs. Eight patients (38%) experienced DAVF obliteration by the end of treatment. Good clinical outcome (modified Rankin Scale score 0–2) was documented in 77% of patients > 1 year old at presentation compared with 57% of patients ≤ 1 year old at presentation. Six patients (27%) died.
Young children with DAVFs presented predominantly with cardiopulmonary symptoms, while older children presented with focal neurological deficits. Compared with other pediatric vascular shunts, DAVFs had lower rates of angiographic obliteration and poorer clinical outcomes.
Parham Moftakhar, Daniel L. Cooke, Heather J. Fullerton, Nerissa U. Ko, Matthew R. Amans, Jared A. Narvid, Christopher F. Dowd, Randall T. Higashida, Van V. Halbach, and Steven W. Hetts
Although the development and prevalence of cerebral vasospasm (CV) has been extensively investigated in adults, little data exist on the development of CV in children. The authors hypothesized that even though children have highly vasoreactive arteries, because of a robust cerebral collateral blood flow, they rarely develop symptomatic CV.
The authors retrospectively reviewed their university hospital's neurointerventional database for children (that is, patients ≤ 18 years) who were examined or treated for aneurysmal or traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) during the period 1990–2013. Images from digital subtraction angiography (DSA) were analyzed for the extent of CV and collateralization of the cerebral circulation. Results from transcranial Doppler (TCD) ultrasonography were correlated with those from DSA. Cerebral vasospasm on TCD ultrasonography was defined according to criteria developed for adults. Clinical outcomes of CV were assessed with the pediatric modified Rankin Scale (mRS).
Among 37 children (21 boys and 16 girls ranging in age from 8 months to 18 years) showing symptoms of an aneurysmal SAH (comprising 32 aneurysms and 5 traumatic pseudoaneurysms), 17 (46%) had CV confirmed by DSA; CV was mild in 21% of these children, moderate in 50%, and severe in 29%. Only 3 children exhibited symptomatic CV, all of whom had poor collateralization of cerebral vessels. Among the 14 asymptomatic children, 10 (71%) showed some degree of vessel collateralization. Among 16 children for whom TCD data were available that could be correlated with the DSA findings, 13 (81%) had CV according to TCD criteria. The sensitivity and specificity of TCD ultrasonography for diagnosing CV were 95% and 59%, respectively. The time to CV onset detected by TCD ultrasonography was 5 ± 3 days (range 2–10 days). Twenty-five (68%) of the children had good long-term outcomes (that is, had mRS scores of 0–2).
Children have a relatively high incidence of angiographically detectable, moderate-to-severe CV. Children rarely develop symptomatic CV and have good long-term outcomes, perhaps due to robust cerebral collateral blood flow. Criteria developed for detecting CV with TCD ultrasonography in adults overestimate the prevalence of CV in children. Larger studies are needed to define TCD ultrasonography–based CV criteria for children.
James S. Waldron, Steven W. Hetts, Jennifer Armstrong-Wells, Christopher F. Dowd, Heather J. Fullerton, Nalin Gupta, and Michael T. Lawton
Microcephalic osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism type II (MOPD II) is a rare genetic syndrome characterized by extremely small stature and microcephaly, and is associated in 25% of patients with intracranial aneurysms and moyamoya disease. Although aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage and stroke are leading causes of morbidity and death in these patients, MOPD II is rarely examined in the neurosurgical literature. The authors report their experience with 3 patients who presented with MOPD II, which includes a patient with 8 aneurysms (the most aneurysms reported in the literature), and the first report of a patient with both moyamoya disease and multiple aneurysms. The poor natural history of these lesions indicates aggressive microsurgical and/or endovascular therapy. Microsurgery, whether for aneurysm clip placement or extracranial-intracranial bypass, is challenging due to tight surgical corridors and diminutive arteries in these patients, but is technically feasible and strongly indicated when multiple aneurysms must be treated or cerebral revascularization is needed.
M. Travis Caton, Kazim Narsinh, Amanda Baker, Adib A. Abla, Jarod L. Roland, Van V. Halbach, Christine K. Fox, Heather J. Fullerton, and Steven W. Hetts
The authors recently reported a series of children with vertebral artery (VA) compression during head turning who presented with recurrent posterior circulation stroke. Whether VA compression occurs during head positioning for cranial surgery is unknown.
The authors report a case of a child with incidental rotational occlusion of the VA observed during surgical head positioning for treatment of an intracranial arteriovenous fistula. Intraoperative angiography showed dynamic V3 occlusion at the level of C2 with distal reconstitution via a muscular branch “jump” collateral, supplying reduced flow to the V4 segment. She had no clinical history or imaging suggesting acute or prior stroke. Sequential postoperative magnetic resonance imaging scans demonstrated signal abnormality of the left rectus capitus muscle, suggesting ischemic edema.
This report demonstrates that rotational VA compression during neurosurgical head positioning can occur in children but may be asymptomatic due to the presence of muscular VA–VA “jump” collaterals and contralateral VA flow. Although unilateral VA compression may be tolerated by children with codominant VAs, diligence when rotating the head away from a dominant VA is prudent during patient positioning to avoid posterior circulation ischemia or thromboembolism.
Joseph H. Garcia, Ramin A. Morshed, Ethan A. Winkler, Yi Li, Christine K. Fox, Heather J. Fullerton, Caleb Rutledge, Angad S. Beniwal, Michael T. Lawton, Adib A. Abla, Nalin Gupta, and Steven W. Hetts
Moyamoya is a progressive arteriopathy that predisposes patients to stroke due to stenosis of the intracranial internal carotid arteries and their proximal branches. Despite the morbidity caused by this condition, the ability to accurately predict prognosis for individual patients remains challenging. The goal of this study was to develop a systematic scoring method based on parenchymal findings on preoperative brain MRI to predict long-term outcomes for surgically treated pediatric patients with moyamoya.
A retrospective surgical cohort of pediatric patients (≤ 18 years of age at the time of the initial surgery) with moyamoya from a single center were studied. Radiological variables with existing correlations between outcomes in moyamoya or other vascular diseases were chosen to score preoperative MRI based on easily defined parenchymal findings that could be rapidly assessed and used to make a numeric score. Calculated scores were correlated with clinical outcome measures using the Pearson correlation coefficient and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC).
A total of 35 children with moyamoya disease or moyamoya syndrome were included in the study, with a median follow-up time of 2.6 years from the time of surgery. The pediatric moyamoya MRI score (PMMS) consists of ischemic changes (0–2; 0 = none, 1 = focal, 2 = diffuse), encephalomalacia (0–2; 0 = none, 1 = focal, 2 = diffuse), and hemorrhage (0–1; 0 = not present, 1 = present). PMMSs were highly correlated with pediatric modified Rankin Scale scores at the last follow-up (r = 0.7, 95% CI 0.44–0.84; p < 0.001) as a six-point scale, and when dichotomized (AUROC = 0.85).
The PMMS was found to be a simple tool based on preoperative MRI data that could be quickly and easily calculated and correlated with disability. This scoring method may aid future development of predictive models of outcomes for children with moyamoya disease and moyamoya syndrome.
Joseph H. Garcia, Ethan A. Winkler, Ramin A. Morshed, Alex Lu, Simon G. Ammanuel, Satvir Saggi, Elaina J. Wang, Steve Braunstein, Christine K. Fox, Heather J. Fullerton, Helen Kim, Daniel L. Cooke, Steven W. Hetts, Michael T. Lawton, Adib A. Abla, and Nalin Gupta
Children with cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) can present with seizures, potentially increasing morbidity and impacting clinical management. However, the factors that lead to seizures as a presenting sign are not well defined. While AVM-related seizures have been described in case series, most studies have focused on adults and have included patients who developed seizures after an AVM rupture. To address this, the authors sought to analyze demographic and morphological characteristics of AVMs in a large cohort of children.
The demographic, clinical, and AVM morphological characteristics of 189 pediatric patients from a single-center database were studied. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression models were used to test the effect of these characteristics on seizures as an initial presenting symptom in patients with unruptured brain AVMs.
Overall, 28 of 189 patients initially presented with seizures (14.8%). By univariate comparison, frontal lobe location (p = 0.02), larger AVM size (p = 0.003), older patient age (p = 0.04), and the Supplemented Spetzler-Martin (Supp-SM) grade (0.0006) were associated with seizure presentation. Multivariate analysis confirmed an independent effect of frontal lobe AVM location and higher Supp-SM grade. All patients presenting with seizures had AVMs in the cortex or subcortical white matter.
While children and adults share some risk factors for seizure presentation, their risk factor profiles do not entirely overlap. Pediatric patients with cortical AVMs in the frontal lobe were more likely to present with seizures. Additionally, the Supp-SM grade was highly associated with seizure presentation. Future clinical research should focus on the effect of therapeutic interventions targeting AVMs on seizure control in these patients.