Conversion of external ventricular drains to ventriculoperitoneal shunts after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage: effects of site and protein/red blood cell counts on shunt infection and malfunction
Stylianos Rammos, Jeffrey Klopfenstein, Lori Augspurger, Huan Wang, and Jennifer Poston
L. Fernando Gonzalez, Jeffrey D. Klopfenstein, Neil R. Crawford, Curtis A. Dickman, and Volker K. H. Sonntag
✓ Occipitoatlantal dislocation and atlantoaxial vertical distraction are caused by similar mechanisms, and few individuals survive these injuries. It is hypothesized that the injurious vertical force manifests as a traumatic lesion at different levels of the same ligamentous complex. The authors report the cases of two patients who presented with this combined lesion, describe surgical alternatives for stabilization, and introduce a new technique that combines the use of transarticular screws in a “dual” construct, without involving the unaffected spine.
Louis J. Kim, Harold L. Rekate, Jeffrey D. Klopfenstein, and Volker K. H. Sonntag
Object. The reduction of basilar invagination associated with Chiari I malformations in pediatric patients is often possible. Eleven children ranging in age from 1.5 to 17 years underwent a novel treatment method involving decompression, manual reduction, and posterior instrumentation-augmented fusion. Outcomes were evaluated retrospectively.
Methods. After decompression of the lesion, manual craniocervical distraction and extension were performed, followed by posterior occipitocervical fusion involving rigid internal fixation. All patients were symptomatic at presentation. Intraoperative monitoring included somatosensory evoked potentials, fluoroscopy, and direct intradural demonstration of the craniocervical junction. No new neurological deficits occurred immediately after surgery. Perioperatively, symptoms in seven patients improved significantly and in four they remained unchanged. Three patients required subsequent transoral resections. During long-term follow up (mean 39.4 months, range 3–92 months) symptoms improved markedly in nine, remained unchanged in one, and progressively worsened in one patient.
Conclusions. In selected cases, manual cervical distraction and extension, posterior fixation, and fusion appear to provide a safe, effective standalone treatment for basilar invagination associated with Chiari malformation in children.
Louis J. Kim, Volker K. H. Sonntag, Jonathan T. Hott, Jeffrey A. Nemeth, Jeffrey D. Klopfenstein, and Lisa Tweardy
Louis J. Kim, Jeffrey D. Klopfenstein, Ming Cheng, Murugasu Nagul, Stephen Coons, Christina Fredenberg, David G. Brachman, and William L. White
✓ Despite diagnostic advances, it remains difficult to identify intrasellar and ectopic parasellar adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)—secreting microadenomas. The authors present the case of a 61-year-old woman with Cushing disease in whom a significant central-to-peripheral and lateralized right-sided ACTH gradient was demonstrated on inferior petrosal sinus sampling; no discernible abnormality was seen on magnetic resonance imaging. She underwent transnasal transsphenoidal surgery. No tumor was found on sellar exploration and a total hypophysectomy was performed, yet her hypercortisolemia persisted. The patient died of cardiac events 17 days postsurgery. Autopsy revealed an isolated, right-sided, intracavernous ACTH-secreting adenoma with no intrasellar communication.
This case represents the first failed transsphenoidal surgery for Cushing disease in which there is postmortem confirmation of a suspected intracavernous sinus lesion. It supports the hypothesis that Cushing disease associated with nondiagnostic imaging studies, a strong ACTH gradient on venography, and negative findings on sellar exploration may be caused by an ectopic intracavernous ACTH-secreting adenoma. There are no premortem means of confirming the presence of such lesions, but these tumors could underlie similar cases of failed surgery. Radiation therapy targeting the sella turcica and both cavernous sinuses, possibly supplemented with medical treatment, is suggested for similar patients in whom transsphenoidal hypophysectomy has failed. Adrenalectomy may also be appropriate if a rapid reduction in ACTH is necessary.
Jeffrey D. Klopfenstein, Louis J. Kim, Iman Feiz-Erfan, Jonathan S. Hott, Pam Goslar, Joseph M. Zabramski, and Robert F. Spetzler
The goal of this study was to compare rapid and gradual weaning from external ventricular drainage in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) in a prospective, randomized trial.
Between December 2001 and December 2002, 81 patients with aneurysmal SAH in whom external ventricular drains (EVDs) had been placed were enrolled in the study: 41 patients were randomized to the rapidly weaned group and 40 were randomized to the gradually weaned group. The two groups were well matched with respect to age, sex, posterior aneurysm location, Fisher grade, Hunt and Hess grade, intraventricular hemorrhage on admission, and hydrocephalus on admission. Rapid weaning was defined as weaning that occurred within 24 hours with immediate closure of the EVD, whereas gradual weaning took place over a 96-hour period with daily, sequential height elevations of the EVD system followed by drain closure for 24 hours. All patients in whom EVD weaning failed underwent shunt placement. Rates of shunt implantation, days in the intensive care unit (ICU), and overall duration of hospitalization were compared. There was no significant difference in rates of shunt implantation between the rapidly weaned (63.4%) and gradually weaned (62.5%) groups. Nevertheless, patients in the gradually weaned group spent a mean of 2.8 more days in the ICU (p = 0.0002) and 2.4 more days in the hospital (p = 0.0314) than patients in the rapidly weaned group.
Compared with rapid weaning, gradual, multistep EVD weaning provided no advantage to patients with aneurysmal SAH in preventing the need for long-term shunt placement and prolonged ICU and hospital stays.
Stylianos Rammos, Jeffrey Klopfenstein, Lori Augsburger, Huan Wang, Anne Wagenbach, Jennifer Poston, and Giuseppe Lanzino
The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence of shunt infection in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) after converting an external ventricular drain (EVD) to a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt using the existing EVD site. The second purpose was to assess the risk of shunt malfunction after converting the EVD to a permanent shunt irrespective of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) protein and red blood cell (RBC) counts.
Data obtained in 80 consecutive adult patients (18 men and 62 women, mean age 60.8 years, range 33–85 years) who underwent direct conversion of an EVD to a VP shunt for post-SAH hydrocephalus between August 2002 and March 2007 were retrospectively reviewed. In each patient, the existing EVD site was used to pass the proximal shunt catheter. In no patient was VP shunt insertion delayed based on preoperative RBC or protein counts.
The mean period of external ventricular drainage before VP shunt placement was 14.1 days (range 3–45 days). No patient suffered ventriculitis. The mean perioperative CSF protein level was 124 mg/dl (range 17–516 mg/dl). The mean and median perioperative RBC values in CSF were 14,203 RBCs/mm3 and 4600 RBCs/mm3 (range 119–290,000/mm3), respectively. No patient was lost to follow-up. The mean follow-up duration was 24 months (range 2–53 months). Three patients (3.8%) had shunt malfunction related to obstruction of the shunt system after 15 days, 2 months, and 18 months, respectively. There were no shunt-related infections. No patient suffered a clinically significant hemorrhage from ventricular catheter placement after VP shunt insertion.
In adult patients with aneurysmal SAH, conversion of an EVD to a VP shunt can be safely done using the same EVD site. In this defined patient population, protein and RBC counts in the CSF do not seem to affect shunt survival adversely. Thus, conversion of an EVD to VP shunt should not be delayed because of an elevated protein or RBC count.
Iman Feiz-Erfan, Eric M. Horn, Nicholas Theodore, Joseph M. Zabramski, Jeffrey D. Klopfenstein, Gregory P. Lekovic, Felipe C. Albuquerque, Shahram Partovi, Pamela W. Goslar, and Scott R. Petersen
Skull base fractures are often associated with potentially devastating injuries to major neural arteries in the head and neck, but the incidence and pattern of this association are unknown.
Between April and September 2002, 1738 Level 1 trauma patients were admitted to St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Among them, a skull base fracture was diagnosed in 78 patients following computed tomography (CT) scans. Seven patients had no neurovascular imaging performed and were excluded. Altogether, 71 patients who received a diagnosis of skull base fractures after CT and who also underwent a neurovascular imaging study were included (54 men and 17 women, mean age 29 years, range 1–83 years). Patients underwent CT angiography, magnetic resonance angiography, or digital subtraction angiography of the head and craniovertebral junction, or combinations thereof.
Nine neurovascular injuries were identified in six (8.5%) of the 71 patients. Fractures of the clivus were very likely to be associated with neurovascular injury (p < 0.001). A high risk of neurovascular injury showed a strong tendency to be associated with fractures of the sella turcica–sphenoid sinus complex (p = 0.07).
The risk of associated blunt neurovascular injury appears to be significant in Level 1 trauma patients in whom a diagnosis of skull base fracture has been made using CT. The incidence of neurovascular trauma is particularly high in patients with clival fractures. The authors recommend neurovascular imaging for Level 1 trauma patients with a high-risk fracture pattern of the central skull base to rule out cerebrovascular injuries.
Iman Feiz-Erfan, Patrick P. Han, Robert F. Spetzler, Eric M. Horn, Jeffrey D. Klopfenstein, Randall W. Porter, Mauro A. T. Ferreira, Stephen P. Beals, Salvatore C. Lettieri, and Edward F. Joganic
Craniofacial surgery can be performed to treat midline and anterior skull base lesions by creating a bicoronal scalp incision without the need for an additional transfacial procedure. Originally described as the transbasal approach, several modifications for further exposure of the skull base have been described. The authors present data on the application and outcomes of a modified transbasal approach. The radical transbasal approach consists of a bifrontal craniotomy and a frontoorbitonasal osteotomy.
Between 1992 and 2002, 41 patients (28 male and 13 female patients with a mean age of 38.3 years [range 7–77 years]) underwent 44 radical transbasal procedures. Twenty-three malignant and 18 benign lesions involving the midline skull base were treated. These cases were reviewed retrospectively.
Gross-total resection of 30 lesions was achieved. Seven lesions were resected subtotally and six partially; one lesion was debulked. Complications occurred in 26 (59.1%) of the 44 operations and mostly consisted of cerebrospinal fluid leakage. The surgery-related mortality rate was 6.8% (three patients). Based on their pre- and postoperative Karnofsky Performance Scale scores, 86.4% of patients improved or remained the same.
The radical transbasal approach increases the midline craniofacial corridor by allowing the globes to be safely retracted laterally. It also enhances exposure of the maxillary sinus from above. The morbidity and mortality rates associated with this procedure are high but consistent with the known rates for craniofacial surgery. This approach is best suited for the treatment of anterior skull base tumors that extend into the nasal cavity, orbit, ethmoid sinus, nasopharynx, and upper clivus. The approach may allow resection of tumors involving the maxillary sinus area without the need for an additional transfacial approach.