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James E. Baumgartner, Kelly Seymour-Dempsey, John F. Teichgraeber, James J. Xia, Amy L. Waller, and Jaime Gateno

Object. Scaphocephaly is a common craniofacial abnormality that results from craniosynostosis of the sagittal suture. The authors have treated a group of infants who presented with nonsynostotic scaphocephaly, or a so-called sticky sagittal suture. The purpose of this study was to describe these patients with nonsynostotic scaphocephaly, the natural history of the disease, and its treatment.

Methods. At the University of Texas—Houston Medical School between 1996 and 2002, nine patients presented with nonsynostotic scaphocephaly. When the abnormality in patients was diagnosed prior to 12 months of age, the majority (seven of eight) were successfully managed by molding helmet therapy. The only child in this group in whom this therapy failed to correct the deformity was noted on repeated computerized tomography scanning to have true sagittal synostosis, which required surgical correction. One child with nonsynostotic scaphocephaly, who presented after 1 year of age, required surgical correction followed by postoperative molding helmet therapy.

Conclusions. Patients with nonsynostotic scaphocephaly appear to have sagittal synostosis. If treated early (at < 12 months of age), head shape in these patients can be normalized by molding helmet therapy. Surgery is reserved for older patients (> 12 months of age) or those with sagittal synostosis.

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Gun-Ha Kim, Joo Hee Seo, Seema Schroff, Po-Ching Chen, Ki Hyeong Lee, and James Baumgartner

OBJECTIVE

Hemispherectomy can produce remarkable seizure control of medically intractable hemispheric epilepsy in children, but some patients continue to have seizures after surgery. A frequent cause of treatment failure is incomplete surgical disconnection of the abnormal hemisphere. This study explores whether intraoperative 3-T MRI with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) during hemispherectomy can identify areas of incomplete disconnection and allow complete disconnection during a single surgery.

METHODS

The charts of 32 patients with epilepsy who underwent hemispherectomy between January 2012 and July 2014 at the Florida Hospital for Children were reviewed. Patients were grouped as having had curative or palliative hemispherectomy. To assess the completeness of disconnection when the surgeon considered the operation completed, intraoperative 3-T MRI-DTI was performed. If incomplete disconnection was identified, additional surgery was performed until MRI-DTI sequences confirmed satisfactory disconnection. Seizure outcome data were collected via medical records at last follow-up.

RESULTS

Of 32 patients who underwent hemispherectomy, 23 had curative hemispherectomy and 9 had palliative hemispherectomy. In 11 of 32 surgeries, the first intraoperative MRI-DTI sequences suggested incomplete disconnection and additional surgery followed by repeat MRI-DTI was performed. Complete disconnection was accomplished in 30 of 32 patients (93.8%). Two of 32 disconnections (6.3%) were incomplete on postoperative imaging. Cross-sectional results showed that 21 of 23 patients (91.3%) who had curative hemispherectomy remained free of seizures (International League Against Epilepsy Class 1) at a median follow-up of 1.7 years (range 0.4–2.9 years). The longitudinal seizure freedom after curative hemispherectomy was 95.2% (SE 0.05) at 6 months, 90.5% (SE 0.06) at 1 year, and 90.5% (SE 0.05) at 2 years.

CONCLUSIONS

Intraoperative 3-T MRI-DTI sequences can identify incomplete disconnection during hemispherectomy and allow higher rates of complete disconnection in a single surgery. Higher rates of complete disconnection seem to achieve better seizure-free outcome following modified functional hemispherectomy.

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Po Ching Chen, Steven A. Messina, Eduardo Castillo, James Baumgartner, Joo Hee Seo, Holly Skinner, Elakkat D. Gireesh, and Ki Hyeong Lee

OBJECTIVE

Generalized-onset seizures are usually conceptualized as engaging bilaterally distributed networks with no clear focus. However, the authors previously reported a case series demonstrating that in some patients with generalized-onset seizures, focal seizure onset could be discovered after corpus callosotomy. The corpus callosum is considered to be a major pathway for seizure generalization in this group of patients. The authors hypothesized that, in patients with generalized-onset seizures, the structure of the corpus callosum could be different between patients who have lateralized seizures and those who have nonlateralized seizures after corpus callosotomy. The authors aimed to evaluate the structural difference through statistical analysis of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) scalars between these two groups of patients.

METHODS

Thirty-two patients diagnosed with generalized-onset motor seizures and without an MRI lesion were included in this study. Among them, 16 patients developed lateralized epileptic activities after corpus callosotomy, and the remaining 16 patients continued to have nonlateralized seizures after corpus callosotomy. Presurgical DTI studies were acquired to quantify the structural integrity of the corpus callosum.

RESULTS

The DTI analysis showed significant reduction of fractional anisotropy (FA) and increase in radial diffusivity (RD) in the body of the corpus callosum in the lateralized group compared with the nonlateralized group.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors’ findings indicate the existence of different configurations of bilateral epileptic networks in generalized epilepsy. Generalized seizures with focal onset relying on rapid spread through the corpus callosum might cause more structural damage related to demyelination in the corpus callosum, showing reduced FA and increased RD. This study suggests that presurgical DTI analysis of the corpus callosum might predict the seizure lateralization after corpus callosotomy.

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Elakkat D. Gireesh, Kihyeong Lee, Holly Skinner, Joohee Seo, Po-Ching Chen, Michael Westerveld, Richard D. Beegle, Eduardo Castillo, and James Baumgartner

OBJECTIVE

The goal of this study was to assess the success rate and complications of stereo-electroencephalogra-phy (sEEG) and laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) in the treatment of nonlesional refractory epilepsy in cingulate and insular cortex.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed the treatment response in 9 successive patients who underwent insular or cingulate LITT for nonlesional refractory epilepsy at their center between 2011 and 2019. Localization of seizures was based on inpatient video-EEG monitoring, neuropsychological testing, 3-T MRI, PET scan, magnetoencephalography scan, and/or ictal SPECT scan. Eight patients underwent sEEG, and 1 patient had implantation of both sEEG electrodes and subdural grids for localization of epileptogenic zones. LITT was performed in 5 insular cases (4 left and 1 right) and 3 cingulate cases (all left-sided). One patient also underwent both insular and cingulate LITT on the left side. All of the patients who underwent insular LITT as well as 2 of the 3 who underwent cingulate LITT were right-hand dominant. The patient who underwent insular plus cingulate LITT was also right-hand dominant.

RESULTS

Following LITT, 67% of the patients were seizure free (Engel class I) at follow-up (mean 1.35 years, range 0.6–2.8 years). All patients responded favorably to treatment (Engel class I–III). Two patients developed small intracranial hemorrhages during the sEEG implantation that did not require surgical management. One patient developed a large intracranial hemorrhage during an insular LITT procedure that did require surgical management. That patient experienced aphasia, incoordination, and hemiparesis, which resolved with inpatient rehabilitation. No permanent neurological deficits were noted in any of the patients at last follow-up. Neuropsychological status was stable in this cohort before and after LITT.

CONCLUSIONS

sEEG can be safely used to localize seizures originating from insular and cingulate cortex. LITT can successfully treat seizures arising from these deep-seated structures. The insula and cingulum should be evaluated more frequently for seizure onset zones.

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James E. Baumgartner, Jacob R. Rachlin, Jay H. Beckstead, Timothy C. Meeker, Robert M. Levy, William M. Wara, and Mark L. Rosenblum

✓ The incidence of primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma has increased rapidly in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and is predicted to exceed 1800 cases annually by 1991. To characterize the natural history and response to radiation therapy (RT) of these lesions, the authors have reviewed the clinical histories of 55 AIDS patients with biopsy-proven primary CNS lymphomas. The tumors responded both clinically and radiologically to whole-brain RT consisting of 4000 rad in 267-rad fractions over 3 weeks or an equivalent neuroret dose. The mean duration of survival from the appearance of symptoms consistent with the mass lesion was significantly greater in patients who received RT than in those who did not (42 vs. 134 days, p < 0.5; median 27 vs. 119 days). Autopsy findings showed that patients who did not receive RT died from tumor progression, whereas those who completed RT died of opportunistic infections. Patients with AIDS who are suspected of having primary CNS lymphoma should therefore immediately undergo biopsy and, if the diagnosis is confirmed, whole-brain RT. With early diagnosis and treatment, these tumors respond to, and patients benefit from, RT. Survival of such patients may in future be prolonged by more effective treatments for systemic opportunistic infections.

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Matthew T. Harting, James E. Baumgartner, Laura L. Worth, Linda Ewing-Cobbs, Adrian P. Gee, Mary-Clare Day, and Charles S. Cox Jr.

Preliminary discoveries of the efficacy of cell therapy are currently being translated to clinical trials. Whereas a significant amount of work has been focused on cell therapy applications for a wide array of diseases, including cardiac disease, bone disease, hepatic disease, and cancer, there continues to be extraordinary anticipation that stem cells will advance the current therapeutic regimen for acute neurological disease. Traumatic brain injury is a devastating event for which current therapies are limited. In this report the authors discuss the current status of using adult stem cells to treat traumatic brain injury, including the basic cell types and potential mechanisms of action, preclinical data, and the initiation of clinical trials.

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Matthew T. Harting, Fernando Jimenez, Hasan Xue, Uwe M. Fischer, James Baumgartner, Pramod K. Dash, and Charles S. Cox Jr.

Object

Cell therapy has shown preclinical promise in the treatment of many diseases, and its application is being translated to the clinical arena. Intravenous mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapy has been shown to improve functional recovery after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Herein, the authors report on their attempts to reproduce such observations, including detailed characterizations of the MSC population, non–bromodeoxyuridine-based cell labeling, macroscopic and microscopic cell tracking, quantification of cells traversing the pulmonary microvasculature, and well-validated measurement of motor and cognitive function recovery.

Methods

Rat MSCs were isolated, expanded in vitro, immunophenotyped, and labeled. Four million MSCs were intravenously infused into Sprague-Dawley rats 24 hours after receiving a moderate, unilateral controlled cortical impact TBI. Infrared macroscopic cell tracking was used to identify cell distribution. Immunohistochemical analysis of brain and lung tissues 48 hours and 2 weeks postinfusion revealed transplanted cells in these locations, and these cells were quantified. Intraarterial blood sampling and flow cytometry were used to quantify the number of transplanted cells reaching the arterial circulation. Motor and cognitive behavioral testing was performed to evaluate functional recovery.

Results

At 48 hours post–MSC infusion, the majority of cells were localized to the lungs. Between 1.5 and 3.7% of the infused cells were estimated to traverse the lungs and reach the arterial circulation, 0.295% reached the carotid artery, and a very small percentage reached the cerebral parenchyma (0.0005%) and remained there. Almost no cells were identified in the brain tissue at 2 weeks postinfusion. No motor or cognitive functional improvements in recovery were identified.

Conclusions

The intravenous infusion of MSCs appeared neither to result in significant acute or prolonged cerebral engraftment of cells nor to modify the recovery of motor or cognitive function. Less than 4% of the infused cells were likely to traverse the pulmonary microvasculature and reach the arterial circulation, a phenomenon termed the “pulmonary first-pass effect,” which may limit the efficacy of this therapeutic approach. The data in this study contradict the findings of previous reports and highlight the potential shortcomings of acute, single-dose, intravenous MSC therapy for TBI.