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Lumboperitoneal shunts

Review of 34 cases

Howard M. Eisenberg, Robin I. Davidson and John Shillito Jr.

✓ A series of 34 lumboperitoneal shunts performed at Children's Hospital Medical Center, Boston, for communicating hydrocephalus is reviewed. The ease of placement and revision of this shunt, the relatively benign complications that occurred, and the fact that 21 of these 34 patients are still using lumboperitoneal shunts with good control of the hydrocephalus have justified continuing use of this method as the initial bypass procedure in the treatment of communicating hydrocephalus.

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Howard M. Eisenberg, J. Gordon McComb and Antonio V. Lorenzo

✓ With the use of a ventricular perfusion technique, a cerebrospinal fluid formation rate of 1.4 ml/min was determined in a 5-month-old child with a choroid plexus papilloma and hydrocephalus. This rate was slightly greater than four times the rate observed in normal children. The clinical course, as well as a measured absorption rate, indicated that the patient's capacity for absorption was normal.

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Howard M. Eisenberg, James E. McLennan and Keasley Welch

✓ Cats were made hydrocephalic by cisternal instillation of kaolin. Three to 8 weeks later it was found by perfusion between the ventricular system and the spinal subarachnoid space that communication had been reestablished through a demonstrably dilated central canal of the spinal cord. Absorption of fluid from the ventricular system, measured both by ventriculospinal perfusion and, after ligation of the spinal cord, by perfusion between the lateral ventricles, was found to be indistinguishable from zero over a wide range of ventricular pressure.

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Howard M. Eisenberg, Mohammed Sarwar and Sydney Schochet Jr.

✓ A case of a symptomatic Rathke's cleft cyst in a 10-year-old boy is described. The importance of the intraoperative differentiation between this rare tumor and a craniopharyngioma is discussed.

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Patrick J. Kelly, Ralph J. Gorten, Robert G. Grossman and Howard M. Eisenberg

✓ In a retrospective study of 44 patients with verified ruptured intracranial aneurysms, the results of radionuclide cerebral perfusion scintigraphy (dynamic brain scanning) and the presence or absence of arteriographic spasm were correlated with the clinical outcome. The data indicated that patients with normal dynamic scans had a better outcome as a group and following intracranial surgery than those in whom perfusion was reduced. Patients with normal perfusion had a higher incidence of preoperative rebleeding from their aneurysms, while patients with reduced perfusion had a higher incidence of infarction, especially after intracranial surgery. There was no correlation between the presence or absence of arteriographic spasm and the results of the dynamic scans, and no correlation between the presence or absence of spasm and the outcome of the group as a whole. However, in some individual cases with severe spasm, reduced perfusion on the dynamic scan and a poor outcome were noted. It was concluded that the results of the dynamic scan correlated better with eventual patient outcome than the presence or absence of arteriographic spasm. It is therefore suggested that patients in Grades I and II with normal dynamic scans be operated on promptly to prevent rebleeding, and that surgery in patients in Grades I and II with abnormal dynamic scans be delayed until the dynamic scan returns to normal.

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Howard M. Eisenberg, John W. Turner, Graham Teasdale, Jack Rowan, Robert Feinstein and Robert G. Grossman

✓ The electrical excitability of the cortex was monitored during craniotomy in 10 patients with ruptured aneurysms, to test their ability to tolerate hypotensive anesthesia. Excitability was assessed by measuring the direct cortical response, a response evoked and recorded from the surface of the brain. Previous animal experiments had shown that this response can be used as an index of cerebral blood flow. In the 10 patients the response progressively declined as the blood pressure was lowered and increased when the pressure was restored. Observation of the direct cortical response during aneurysm operations is a practical method for evaluating the electrophysiological responsiveness of the cortex during hypotension, and the authors suggest that decreases in the amplitude of the response are related to decreases in local cerebral blood flow.

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The National Traumatic Coma Data Bank

Part 1: Design, purpose, goals, and results

Lawrence F. Marshall, Donald P. Becker, Sharon A. Bowers, Carol Cayard, Howard Eisenberg, Cynthia R. Gross, Robert G. Grossman, John A. Jane, Selma C. Kunitz, Rebecca Rimel, Kamran Tabaddor and Joseph Warren

✓ This paper describes the pilot phase of the National Traumatic Coma Data Bank, a cooperative effort of six clinical head-injury centers in the United States. Data were collected on 581 hospitalized patients with severe non-penetrating traumatic head injury. Severe head injury was defined on the basis of a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score of 8 or less following nonsurgical resuscitation or deterioration to a GCS score of 8 or less within 48 hours after head injury.

A common data collection protocol, definitions, and data collection instruments were developed and put into use by all centers commencing in June, 1979. Extensive information was collected on pre-hospital, emergency room, intensive care, and recovery phases of patient care. Data were obtained on all patients from the time of injury until the end of the pilot study.

The pilot phase of the Data Bank provides data germane to questions of interest to neurosurgeons and to the lay public. Questions are as diverse as: what is the prognosis of severe brain injury; what is the impact of emergency care; and what is the role of rehabilitation in the recovery of the severely head-injured patient?

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Methylprednisolone and neurological function 1 year after spinal cord injury

Results of the National Acute Spinal Cord Injury Study

Michael B. Bracken, Mary Jo Shepard, Karen G. Hellenbrand, William F. Collins, Linda S. Leo, Daniel F. Freeman, Franklin C. Wagner, Eugene S. Flamm, Howard M. Eisenberg, Joseph H. Goodman, Phanor L. Perot Jr., Barth A. Green, Robert G. Grossman, John N. Meagher, Wise Young, Boguslav Fischer, Guy L. Clifton, William E. Hunt and Nathan Rifkinson

✓ A multi-center double-blind randomized clinical trial was conducted by the National Acute Spinal Cord Injury Study Group to examine the efficacy of high-dose methylprednisolone (1000-mg bolus and 1000 mg daily thereafter for 10 days) compared with that of a standard dose (100-mg bolus and 100 mg daily for 10 days). No significant difference was observed in neurological recovery of motor function, pinprick response, or touch sensation 1 year after injury between the two treatment groups, after adjustment for other potentially confounding factors. Analyses that specifically took into account the patients' total steroid dose and relative weight confirmed the lack of a steroid treatment effect. The case fatality rate was 10.7% during the 1st year after injury, and this was not associated with the steroid treatment protocol or the patient's gender. Deaths did occur significantly more frequently among patients who were completely (15.3%) and partially (8.6%) plegic than among those who were paretic (2.5%, p = 0.0005), and among patients aged 50 years or older (38.6%, p = 0.0001).