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Marina Pitsika, Jack Fletcher, Ian C. Coulter, and Christopher J. A. Cowie

OBJECTIVE

Perioperative management of hydrocephalus in children with posterior fossa tumors (PFTs) remains challenging. The modified Canadian Preoperative Prediction Rule for Hydrocephalus (mCPPRH) has been previously described as a useful tool in predicting which children are at higher risk for permanent hydrocephalus following PFT resection and can be used in guiding treatment. The aim of this study was to externally validate this predictive model.

METHODS

A retrospective review of the children treated in a single unit was conducted, recording all of the mCPPRH parameters (age, preoperative radiological diagnosis, presence of moderate/severe hydrocephalus, transependymal edema, and metastatic disease at the time of diagnosis), the need for a CSF diversion procedure at 6 months, time to surgery, and management of hydrocephalus. A receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was plotted using the mCPPRH, age, Evans index (EI), and frontooccipital horn ratio (FOHR), and an area under the curve (AUC) was calculated. A point-biserial correlation was run to determine the relationship between time to surgery, the insertion of an external ventricular drain (EVD), or initial EVD clamping and the development of postoperative persistent hydrocephalus.

RESULTS

From a total of 75 patients (mean age 6.99 years, 62.7% male) who were included in the study, 8 (10.7%) required permanent CSF diversion following PFT resection. The AUC of the ROC curve was 0.618 for the mCPPRH (p = 0.18, SE 0.088, 95% CI 0.446–0.791), 0.633 for age (p = 0.26, SE 0.119, 95% CI 0.4–0.867), 0.604 for the EI (p = 0.34, SE 0.11, 95% CI 0.389–0.818), and 0.663 for the FOHR (p = 0.17, SE 0.121, 95% CI 0.427–0.9). A significant positive correlation between EVD insertion (r = 0.239, p = 0.03) and insertion of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt was found. A negative correlation between the postoperative clamping of the EVD (r = −0.158, p = 0.4) and the time to PFT surgery (r = −0.06, p = 0.6) did not reach statistical significance.

CONCLUSIONS

The implementation of the mCPPRH score failed to reliably predict which children would require permanent CSF diversion following PFT resection when applied to this cohort. Clinical judgment remains the mainstay of choosing the perioperative treatment of hydrocephalus.

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Nebras M. Warsi, Jignesh Tailor, Ian C. Coulter, Husain Shakil, Adriana Workewych, Renée Haldenby, Sara Breitbart, Samuel Strantzas, Michael Vandenberk, Michael C. Dewan, and George M. Ibrahim

OBJECTIVE

Selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) is a procedure primarily performed to improve function in a subset of children with limitations related to spasticity. There is substantial variability in operative techniques among centers and surgeons. Here, the authors provide a technical review of operative approaches for SDR.

METHODS

Ovid MEDLINE, Embase, and PubMed databases were queried in accordance with PRISMA guidelines. All studies included described a novel surgical technique. The technical nuances of each approach were extracted, including extent of exposure, bone removal, and selection of appropriate nerve roots. The operative approach preferred at the authors’ institution (the “2 × 3 exposure”) is also detailed.

RESULTS

Five full-text papers were identified from a total of 380 articles. Operative approaches to SDR varied significantly with regard to level of exposure, extent of laminectomy, and identification of nerve roots. The largest exposure involved a multilevel laminectomy, while the smallest exposure involved a keyhole interlaminar approach. At the Hospital for Sick Children, the authors utilize a two-level laminoplasty at the level of the conus medullaris. The benefits and disadvantages of the spectrum of techniques are discussed, and illustrative figures are provided.

CONCLUSIONS

Surgical approaches to SDR vary considerably and are detailed and illustrated in this review as a guide for neurosurgeons. Future studies should address the long-term impact of these techniques on functional outcomes and complications such as spinal deformity.

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Paul M. Brennan, Angelos G. Kolias, Alexis J. Joannides, Jonathan Shapey, Hani J. Marcus, Barbara A. Gregson, Patrick J. Grover, Peter J. Hutchinson, and Ian C. Coulter

OBJECTIVE

Symptomatic chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) will become an increasingly common presentation in neurosurgical practice as the population ages, but quality evidence is still lacking to guide the optimal management for these patients. The British Neurosurgical Trainee Research Collaborative (BNTRC) was established by neurosurgical trainees in 2012 to improve research by combining the efforts of trainees in each of the United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland's neurosurgical units (NSUs). The authors present the first study by the BNTRC that describes current management and outcomes for patients with CSDH throughout the UK and Ireland. This provides a resource both for current clinical practice and future clinical research on CSDH.

METHODS

Data on management and outcomes for patients with CSDH referred to UK and Ireland NSUs were collected prospectively over an 8-month period and audited against criteria predefined from the literature: NSU mortality < 5%, NSU morbidity < 10%, symptomatic recurrence within 60 days requiring repeat surgery < 20%, and unfavorable functional status (modified Rankin Scale score of 4–6) at NSU discharge < 30%.

RESULTS

Data from 1205 patients in 26 NSUs were collected. Bur-hole craniostomy was the most common procedure (89%), and symptomatic recurrence requiring repeat surgery within 60 days was observed in 9% of patients. Criteria on mortality (2%), rate of recurrence (9%), and unfavorable functional outcome (22%) were met, but morbidity was greater than expected (14%). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that failure to insert a drain intraoperatively independently predicted recurrence and unfavorable functional outcome (p = 0.011 and p = 0.048, respectively). Increasing patient age (p < 0.00001), postoperative bed rest (p = 0.019), and use of a single bur hole (p = 0.020) independently predicted unfavorable functional outcomes, but prescription of high-flow oxygen or preoperative use of antiplatelet medications did not.

CONCLUSIONS

This is the largest prospective CSDH study and helps establish national standards. It has confirmed in a real-world setting the effectiveness of placing a subdural drain. This study identified a number of modifiable prognostic factors but questions the necessity of some common aspects of CSDH management, such as enforced postoperative bed rest. Future studies should seek to establish how practitioners can optimize perioperative care of patients with CSDH to reduce morbidity as well as minimize CSDH recurrence. The BNTRC is unique worldwide, conducting multicenter trainee-led research and audits. This study demonstrates that collaborative research networks are powerful tools to interrogate clinical research questions.

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Adriaan R. E. Potgieser, J. Marc C. van Dijk, and Jan D. M. Metzemaekers