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Jason A. Ellis, Juan C. Mejia Munne, and Christopher J. Winfree

OBJECT

Trigeminal branch stimulation has been used in the treatment of craniofacial pain syndromes. The risks and benefits of such an approach have not been clearly delineated in large studies, however. The authors report their experience in treating craniofacial pain with trigeminal branch stimulation and share the lessons they have learned after 93 consecutive electrode placements.

METHODS

A retrospective review of all patients who underwent trigeminal branch electrode placement by the senior author (C.J.W.) for the treatment of craniofacial pain was performed.

RESULTS

Thirty-five patients underwent implantation of a total of 93 trial and permanent electrodes between 2006 and 2013. Fifteen patients who experienced improved pain control after trial stimulation underwent implantation of permanent stimulators and were followed for an average of 15 months. At last follow-up 73% of patients had improvement in pain control, whereas only 27% of patients had no pain improvement. No serious complications were seen during the course of this study.

CONCLUSIONS

Trigeminal branch stimulation is a safe and effective treatment for a subset of patients with intractable craniofacial pain.

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Jason A. Ellis, Richard Leung, and Christopher J. Winfree

Implanted intrathecal drug delivery systems may malfunction as a result of fracture of the intrathecal catheter. A suspected catheter fracture not seen on plain radiographs of the catheter system will typically prompt a contrast-enhanced imaging study of the pump. Injection of iodinated contrast medium into the pump system with routine fluoroscopy can sometimes fail to reveal subtle leaks. The authors present a case demonstrating the utility of high-resolution, 3D-CT for intrathecal pump-catheter system interrogation when routine fluoroscopy is unrevealing. In this case, a catheter leak was suspected on the basis of the patient's history, but no obvious fracture was noted on plain radiographs. An intraoperative fluoroscopic study that included multiple injections of contrast medium into the catheter system failed to conclusively show a catheter leak. The authors therefore performed a post-injection 3D-CT study, which clearly demonstrated a leak from the intrathecal catheter just deep to the thoracolumbar fascia. The leak was visible on source images and was especially obvious after 3D reconstruction. This led to surgical revision of the catheter and subsequent resumption of normal pump function. The authors therefore suggest that if a leak is suspected in an implanted intrathecal catheter and routine contrast fluoroscopy is unrevealing, post-injection 3D-CT scanning should be performed to further investigate the possibility of a subtle leak.

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Jason A. Ellis, Paul C. McCormick II, Neil A. Feldstein, and Saadi Ghatan

OBJECT

Cystic lesions in the atrium (trigone) of the lateral ventricle may become symptomatic due to obstruction of physiological CSF circulation and/or from mass effect on adjacent structures. A minimally invasive approach that not only allows for straightforward access to multiple regions of the atrial cyst wall, but also enables direct inspection of the entire lateral ventricular system, has not been elaborated. In this paper the authors describe their experience with the endoscopic transoccipital horn approach for treating cystic lesions in the atrium of the lateral ventricle.

METHODS

A retrospective review was performed of all patients who underwent endoscopic surgical treatment for cysts in the atrium of the lateral ventricle between 1999 and 2014.

RESULTS

The cohort consisted of 13 consecutive patients who presented with symptomatic lateral ventricular entrapment due to the presence of an atrial cyst. There were 9 male and 4 female patients, with a median age of 5 years. Headache was the most common complaint at presentation. The transoccipital horn approach facilitated successful cyst reduction and fenestration in all cases. Temporal and occipital horn entrapment was reversed in all cases, with reestablishment of a physiological CSF flow pattern throughout the ventricles. Hydrocephalus was also reversed in all patients presenting with this neuroimaging finding at presentation. No cyst or ventricular entrapment was noted to recur during a mean follow-up period of 36 months. No patient in the study cohort required repeat surgery or permanent CSF diversion postoperatively.

CONCLUSIONS

The endoscopic transoccipital horn approach represents a safe and effective treatment strategy for patients with symptomatic atrial cysts of the lateral ventricle. Using this minimally invasive technique, all poles of the lateral ventricular system can be visualized and the unobstructed flow of CSF can be confirmed after cyst resection obviating the need for additional diversion.

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Jason A. Ellis, Juan C. Mejia Munne, Neil A. Feldstein, and Philip M. Meyers

Sinus pericranii is an uncommon congenital cranial venous malformation that may become symptomatic in the pediatric population. Both dominant and accessory sinus pericranii, as determined by the intracranial venous drainage pattern, have been described. The dominant variety drain a significant proportion of the intracranial venous outflow while the accessory variety have minimal or no role in this. Classic teachings hold that dominant sinus pericranii should never be treated while accessory sinus pericranii may be safely obliterated. This determination of dominance is solely based on a qualitative assessment of standard venous phase catheter cerebral angiography, leaving some doubt regarding the actual safety of obliteration. In this paper the authors describe a simple and unique method for determining whether intracranial venous outflow may be compromised by sinus pericranii treatment. This involves performing catheter angiography while the lesion is temporarily obliterated by external compression. Analysis of intracranial venous outflow in this setting allows visualization of angiographic changes that will occur once the sinus pericranii is permanently obliterated. Thus, the safety of surgical intervention can be more fully appraised using this technique.

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Jason A. Ellis, Hannah Goldstein, E. Sander Connolly Jr., and Philip M. Meyers

Carotid-cavernous fistulas (CCFs) are vascular shunts allowing blood to flow from the carotid artery into the cavernous sinus. The characteristic clinical features seen in patients with CCFs are the sequelae of hemodynamic dysfunction within the cavernous sinus. Once routinely treated with open surgical procedures, including carotid ligation or trapping and cavernous sinus exploration, endovascular therapy is now the treatment modality of choice in many cases. The authors provide a review of CCFs, detailing the current classification and clinical management of these lesions. Therapeutic options including conservative management, open surgery, endovascular intervention, and radiosurgical therapy are presented. The complications and treatment results as reported in the contemporary literature are also reviewed.

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Jason A. Ellis, Richard C. E. Anderson, Jonathan O'Hanlon, Robert R. Goodman, Neil A. Feldstein, and Saadi Ghatan

Object

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) may be refractory to available medical and surgical therapies. Patients with this condition may suffer from intractable headaches, experience visual deterioration, or have other symptoms related to elevated intracranial pressure. Internal cranial expansion (ICE) is a novel surgical procedure that the authors have developed for the treatment of patients with this condition. Here, they describe ICE and present their initial experience in using this surgical procedure for the treatment of patients with refractory IIH.

Methods

The authors conducted a retrospective review of 10 consecutive patients who underwent ICE for the treatment of IIH during a 5-year period. Preoperative and postoperative clinical parameters including patient symptoms, presence of papilledema, and available ICP or CSF opening pressures were compared. Procedural details and complications were noted. Intracranial volume increases were calculated using available pre- and postoperative CT scans.

Results

Follow-up for the 10 patients in this series ranged from 1 to 39.6 months (mean 15.5 months). Technically successful ICE was performed in all patients within the cohort. Surgical complications included a single postoperative seizure in one patient and a sagittal sinus tear with no clinical sequelae in another patient. At the time of last follow-up, 7 (70%) of 10 patients were either symptomatically improved or asymptomatic. Six (67%) of 9 patients with preoperative headaches had reduction or resolution of this symptom, and all patients (4 of 4) with preoperative papilledema had a reduction in or complete resolution of this sign. Postoperative ICP or CSF opening pressures were normal in all patients (4 of 4) tested. Postoperative intracranial volume expansion ranged between 3.8% and 12%.

Conclusions

Internal cranial expansion is a safe and effective surgery for the treatment of patients with refractory IIH. This surgery expands the intracranial volume and thus promotes ICP normalization, which may lead to the reduction or complete resolution of the signs and symptoms of IIH. Internal cranial expansion may be used as part of a multidisciplinary management approach in the treatment of refractory IIH.

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Jason A. Ellis, Robert J. Rothrock, Gaetan Moise, Paul C. McCormick II, Kurenai Tanji, Peter Canoll, Michael G. Kaiser, and Paul C. McCormick

Primary spinal primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNETs) are uncommon malignancies that are increasingly reported in the literature. Spinal PNETs, like their cranial counterparts, are aggressive tumors and patients with these tumors typically have short survival times despite maximal surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Because no standard management guidelines exist for treating these tumors, a multitude of therapeutic strategies have been employed with varying success. In this study the authors perform a comprehensive review of the literature on primary spinal PNETs and provide 2 new cases that highlight the salient features of their clinical management.

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Mohammed Abdulaziz, Grant W. Mallory, Mohamad Bydon, Rafael De la Garza Ramos, Jason A. Ellis, Nadia N. Laack, W. Richard Marsh, William E. Krauss, George Jallo, Ziya L. Gokaslan, and Michelle J. Clarke

OBJECT

While extent of resection has been shown to correlate with outcomes after myxopapillary ependymoma (MPE) resection, the effect of capsular violation has not been well studied. The role of adjuvant radiation also remains controversial. In this paper the authors' goals were to evaluate outcomes following resection of MPE based on intraoperative capsular violation and to explore the role of adjuvant radiotherapy in cases of capsular violation.

METHODS

A retrospective review of patients undergoing resection of MPE at 2 academic institutions between 1990 and 2013 was performed. Cases with dissemination at presentation, less than 12 months of follow-up, or incomplete records were excluded. Extent of resection was defined as en bloc if all visible tumor was removed without capsular violation, gross-total resection (GTR) if all visible tumor was removed, but with capsular violation, and subtotal resection (STR) if a known residual was left at the time of surgery. Postoperative MR images were reviewed to confirm the extent of resection. Primary outcomes were progression-free survival (PFS) and overall recurrence rates. The effects of extent of resection, capsular violation, and adjuvant radiotherapy on recurrence rates and PFS were analyzed using Kaplan-Meier statistics. Associations between recurrence and preoperative variables were evaluated using Fisher exact methods and t-tests where appropriate.

RESULTS

Of the 107 patients reviewed, 58 patients (53% were male) met inclusion criteria. The mean age at surgery was 40.8 years (range 7–68 years). The median follow-up was 51.5 months (range 12–243 months). Extent of resection was defined as en bloc in 46.5% (n = 27), GTR in 34.5% (n = 20), and STR in 18.9% (n = 11). No recurrences were noted in the en bloc group, compared with 15% (n = 3) and 45% (n = 5) in the GTR and STR groups. En bloc resection was achieved most frequently in tumors involving the conus. Twelve patients (20%) underwent adjuvant radiotherapy following either STR or GTR. The overall recurrence rate was 13.8% (n = 8), and the 5-year PFS was 81%. Capsular violation was associated with a higher recurrence rate (p = 0.005). Adjuvant radiotherapy showed a nonsignificant trend of lower recurrence rates (16.7% vs 31.6%, p = 0.43) and longer PFS at 5 years (83.3% vs 49.9%, p = 0.16) in cases of capsular violation.

CONCLUSIONS

A strong correlation between capsular violation and recurrence was found following removal of MPE and should be assessed when defining extent of resection in future studies. Although the use of adjuvant radiotherapy in cases of capsular violation showed a trend toward improved PFS, further investigation is needed to establish its role as salvage therapy also appears to be effective at halting disease progression.