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Cormac O. Maher, James A. Garrity and Fredric B. Meyer


Ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunts have not been widely used for idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) because of the difficulty of placing a shunt into normal or small-sized ventricles. The authors report their experience with stereotactic placement of VP shunts for IIH.


The authors reviewed the clinical records of all patients in whom stereotaxis was used to guide the placement of a VP shunt for IIH at their institution. All shunts were placed using stereotactic guidance to target the frontal horn of the lateral ventricle. Patients were contacted at a mean postoperative interval of 15.1 months. No patients were lost to follow up.

The authors identified 13 patients who underwent placement of a stereotactically guided VP shunt for IIH over a 6-year period. A trial of either acetazolamide or steroid therapy had failed in all patients. Prior surgical treatments included optic nerve sheath fenestrations in seven patients and cerebrospinal fluid diversionary procedures, other than stereotactic VP shunt procedures, in nine patients. Twelve patients reported excellent or good durable symptomatic relief at the time of follow up. No patient suffered progression of visual deficits. Four patients experienced persistent headaches following the procedure. Three patients required a revision of the VP shunt for technical failure.


Stereotactically guided VP shunt placement is an effective and durable treatment option in many cases of IIH that are refractory to more traditional medical and surgical approaches.

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Satoshi Kiyofuji, Amanda M. Casabella, Christopher S. Graffeo, Avital Perry, James A. Garrity and Michael J. Link


Sphenoorbital meningioma (SOM) is a unique skull base tumor, characterized by infiltrative involvement and hyperostosis primarily of the lesser wing of sphenoid bone, with frequent involvement of the orbital compartment. SOM often manifests with proptosis and visual impairment. Surgical technique and outcome are highly variable among studies reported in the literature. The authors present a single-surgeon experience with SOM.


A retrospective review of a prospectively maintained institutional database was performed. A blinded imaging review by 2 study team members was completed to confirm SOM, after which chart review was carried out to capture demographics and outcomes. All statistical testing was completed using JMP Pro version 14.1.0, with significance defined as p < 0.05.


Forty-seven patients who underwent surgery between 2000 and 2017 were included. The median age at surgery was 47 years (range 36–70 years), 81% of patients were female, and the median follow-up was 43 months (range 0–175 months). All operations were performed via a frontotemporal craniotomy, orbitooptic osteotomy, and anterior clinoidectomy, with extensive resection of all involved bone and soft tissue. Preoperatively, proptosis was noted in 44 patients, 98% of whom improved. Twenty-eight patients (60%) had visual deficits before surgery, 21 (75%) of whom improved during follow-up. Visual field defect other than a central scotoma was the only prognostic factor for improvement in vision on multivariate analysis (p = 0.0062). Nine patients (19%) had recurrence or progression during follow-up.


SOM is a unique skull base tumor that needs careful planning to optimize outcome. Aggressive removal of involved bone and periorbita is crucial, and proptosis and visual field defect other than a central scotoma can improve after surgery.

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Cervical spinal cord delivery of a rabies G protein pseudotyped lentiviral vector in the SOD-1 transgenic mouse

Invited submission from the Joint Section Meeting on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves, March 2004

Kiana Tanase, Qingshan Teng, Ajit A. Krishnaney, James K. Liu, Mary E. Garrity-Moses and Nicholas M. Boulis

Object. Lentiviral vectors may constitute a vehicle for long-term therapeutic gene expression in the spinal cord. In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, spinal cord sclerosis and altered axonal transport pose barriers to therapeutic gene distribution. In the present study the authors characterize gene expression distribution and the behavioral impact of the rabies G (RabG) protein pseudotyped lentiviral vector EIAV.LacZ through cervical spinal cord injection in control and Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase—1 (SOD-1) transgenic mice.

Methods. Seven-week-old SOD-1 transgenic mice and their wild-type littermates underwent exposure of the cervicomedullary junction and microinjection of RabG.EIAV.LacZ or vehicle. The Basso-Beattie-Bresnahan locomotor score, grip strength meter, and Rotarod assays were used to assess the effects of disease progression, spinal cord microinjection, and lentiviral gene expression. Spinal cords were removed when the mice were in the terminal stage of the disease. The distribution of LacZ gene expression was histologically evaluated and quantified.

Direct cervical spinal cord microinjection of RabG.EIAV.LacZ results in extensive central nervous system uptake in SOD-1 transgenic mice; these findings were statistically similar to those in wild-type mice (p > 0.05). Gene expression lasts for the duration of the animal's survival (132 days). The SOD-1 mutation does not prevent retrograde axonal transport of the vector. Three behavioral assays were used to demonstrate that long-term gene expression does not alter sensorimotor function. In comparison with normative data, vector injection and transgene expression do not accelerate disease progression.

Conclusions. Direct spinal cord injection of RabG.EIAV vectors represents a feasible method for delivering therapeutic genes to upper cervical spinal cord and brainstem motor neurons. Distribution is not affected by the SOD-1 mutation or disease phenotype.