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George W. Koutsouras, Redi Rahmani, Tyler Schmidt, Howard Silberstein and Tarun Bhalla

Neonatal dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) are rare, but if left untreated will advance to life-threatening neurological and cardiovascular compromise. Endovascular treatment is the preferred treatment modality for DAVFs. The goal of endovascular therapy is to obliterate feeding vasculature and prevent secondary complications. Endovascular access can be difficult to obtain in a neonate. The authors present the case of a full-term, normal birth weight neonate with severe congestive heart failure secondary to a congenital DAVF of the torcular herophili that was successfully treated with transumbilical arterial coil embolization and a liquid embolic agent.

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Gabrielle Santangelo, Jonathan Stone, Tyler Schmidt, G. Edward Vates, Howard Silberstein and Pierre Girgis

Penetrating spinal injuries by wood are infrequently reported. They are particularly rare in children. Only 6 cases of wooden fragments causing penetrating intradural spinal injury have been reported. The authors report a case of a 3-year-old girl who suffered a penetrating wound on her lower back after sliding on a wood floor. A portion of the extraspinal part of the wooden splinter was removed prior to presentation; however, a high suspicion for retained foreign body was maintained. Findings on CT were equivocal, but the diagnosis was confirmed on MRI. An incomplete cauda equina syndrome was noted on examination. She was taken to the operating room for removal of the wooden foreign body, repair of a durotomy, and repair of a CSF leak. At 8 months after surgery, the patient had fully recovered without sequelae. The roles of imaging modalities, prophylactic antibiotics, and surgery are discussed.

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Jonathan J. Stone, Corey T. Walker, Maxwell Jacobson, Valerie Phillips and Howard J. Silberstein

Object

Ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt placement remains the mainstay treatment for pediatric hydrocephalus. These devices have a relatively high complication and failure rate, often requiring multiple revisions. The authors present a single institution's experience of pediatric patients treated with VP shunts. With an average follow-up time of 20 years, this study is among the longest reports of VP shunt revision in the literature to date. Hydrocephalus origins, shunt revision rates, and causes of shunt failure are described. Patients who underwent their first shunt revision more than 10 years after initial shunt placement were also explored.

Methods

A retrospective chart review was performed on all pediatric patients who underwent VP shunt placement from January 1990 through November 1996 at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Only patients who had at least 15 years of follow-up since their initial shunting procedure were included.

Results

A total of 234 procedures were performed on 64 patients, with a mean follow-up of 19.9 years. Patients ranged from a few days to 17.2 years old when they received their original shunt, with a median age of 4 months; 84.5% of the patients required 1 or more shunt revisions and 4.7% required 10 or more. Congenital defects, Chiari Type II malformations, tumors, and intraventricular hemorrhage were the most common causes of hydrocephalus. Overall, patients averaged 2.66 revisions, with proximal (27%) and distal (15%) catheter occlusion, disconnection (11%), and infection (9%) comprising the most common reasons for shunt malfunction. Notably, 12.5% of patients did not require their first shunt revision until more than 10 years after initial device placement, a previously undescribed finding due to the short follow-up duration in previous studies.

Conclusions

This long-term retrospective analysis of pediatric VP shunt placement revealed a relatively high rate of complications with need for shunt revision as late as 17 years after initial placement. Catheter occlusion represented a significant percentage of shunt failures. Cerebrospinal fluid shunting has a propensity for mechanical failure and patients with VP shunts should receive follow-up through the transition to adulthood.

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George W. Koutsouras, Redi Rahmani, Tyler Schmidt, Howard Silberstein and Tarun Bhalla

Neonatal dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) are rare, but if left untreated will advance to life-threatening neurological and cardiovascular compromise. Endovascular treatment is the preferred treatment modality for DAVFs. The goal of endovascular therapy is to obliterate feeding vasculature and prevent secondary complications. Endovascular access can be difficult to obtain in a neonate. The authors present the case of a full-term, normal birth weight neonate with severe congestive heart failure secondary to a congenital DAVF of the torcular herophili that was successfully treated with transumbilical arterial coil embolization and a liquid embolic agent.

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Keaton Piper, Hanna Algattas, Ian A. DeAndrea-Lazarus, Kristopher T. Kimmell, Yan Michael Li, Kevin A. Walter, Howard J. Silberstein and G. Edward Vates

OBJECTIVE

Patients undergoing spinal surgery are at risk for developing venous thromboembolism (VTE). The authors sought to identify risk factors for VTE in these patients.

METHODS

The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Project database for the years 2006–2010 was reviewed for patients who had undergone spinal surgery according to their primary Current Procedural Terminology code(s). Clinical factors were analyzed to identify associations with VTE.

RESULTS

Patients who underwent spinal surgery (n = 22,434) were identified. The rate of VTE in the cohort was 1.1% (pulmonary embolism 0.4%; deep vein thrombosis 0.8%). Multivariate binary logistic regression analysis revealed 13 factors associated with VTE. Preoperative factors included dependent functional status, paraplegia, quadriplegia, disseminated cancer, inpatient status, hypertension, history of transient ischemic attack, sepsis, and African American race. Operative factors included surgery duration > 4 hours, emergency presentation, and American Society of Anesthesiologists Class III–V, whereas postoperative sepsis was the only significant postoperative factor. A risk score was developed based on the number of factors present in each patient. Patients with a score of ≥ 7 had a 100-fold increased risk of developing VTE over patients with a score of 0. The receiver-operating-characteristic curve of the risk score generated an area under the curve of 0.756 (95% CI 0.726–0.787).

CONCLUSIONS

A risk score based on race, preoperative comorbidities, and operative characteristics of patients undergoing spinal surgery predicts the postoperative VTE rate. Many of these risks can be identified before surgery. Future protocols should focus on VTE prevention in patients who are predisposed to it.