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Jeffrey Leonard and Bruce Kaufman

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Jeffrey R. Leonard and Neill M. Wright

✓ The authors describe the cases of three children in whom atlantoaxial instability was caused by os odontoideum, all requiring surgical fixation. Although C1–2 rod/cantilever constructs involving C-2 pedicle screws and C1–2 transarticular screws have been widely applied in adults, only C1–2 transarticular screw fixation has been reported in children. Both of these constructs potentially place the vertebral artery (VA) at risk because of the variable location of the transverse foramen. Atlantoaxial fixation with C-2 translaminar screws has recently been reported in adult cases in which the risk of VA injury was reduced. The authors report the successful results of rigid atlantoaxial fixation in three children in whom bilateral crossing C-2 translaminar screws were placed, and they discuss the possible advantages of this technique in the pediatric population.

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Manish N. Shah, Jeffrey R. Leonard and Arie Perry

Rosette-forming glioneuronal tumor (RGNT) of the fourth ventricle is a rare, recently described WHO Grade I neoplasm. The authors report 6 examples of RGNT arising primarily from the cerebellar vermis. All the patients were female, and the mean age of presentation was 24.8 years. The original diagnoses included pilocytic astrocytoma, ependymoma, cerebellar dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor (DNT), and oligodendroglioma. The cases showed classic pathological characteristics, although in 2 cases the lesions included DNT-like “floating neurons” involving Purkinje cells, a feature which has not been previously reported to the authors' knowledge. The clinical outcome was excellent with no recurrences after complete resection. These cases expand the known clinical and histological spectrum of this rare tumor type. Given the lack of fourth ventricle involvement in most of these cases, the authors suggest revising the name to RGNT of the posterior fossa.

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Nicholas Theodore and Harold L. Rekate

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Ivan Stoev, Alexander K. Powers, Joan A. Puglisi, Rebecca Munro and Jeffrey R. Leonard

Object

The sacroiliac (SI) joint can be a pain generator in 13%–27% of cases of back pain in adults. These numbers are largely unknown for the pediatric population. In children and especially girls, development of the pelvic girdle makes the SI joint prone to misalignment. Young athletes sustain repeated stress on their SI joints, and sometimes even minor trauma can result in lasting pain that mimics radiculopathy. The authors present a series of 48 pediatric patients who were evaluated for low-back pain and were found to have SI joint misalignment as the cause of their symptoms. They were treated with a simple maneuver described in this paper that realigned their SI joint and provided significant improvement of symptoms.

Methods

A retrospective review of the electronic records identified 48 patients who were referred with primary complaints of low-back pain and were determined to have SI joint misalignment during bedside examination maneuvers described here. Three patients did not have a record of their response to treatment and were excluded. Patients were evaluated by a physical therapist and had the realignment procedure performed on the day of initial consultation. The authors collected data regarding the immediate effect of the procedure, as well as the duration of pain relief at follow-up visits.

Results

Eighty percent of patients experienced dramatic improvement in symptoms that had a lasting effect after the initial treatment. The majority of them were given a home exercise program, and only 2 of the 36 patients who experienced significant relief had to be treated again. Fifty-three percent of all patients had immediate and complete resolution of symptoms. Three of the 48 patients had missing data from the medical records and were excluded from computations.

Conclusions

Back pain is multifactorial, and the authors' data demonstrate the potential importance of SI joint pathology. Although the technique described here for treatment of misaligned SI joints in the pediatric patients is not effective in all, the authors have observed significant improvement in 80% of cases. Often it is difficult to determine the exact cause of back pain, but when the SI joint is suspected as the primary pathology, the authors have described a simple and effective bedside treatment that should be attempted prior to the initiation of further testing and surgery.

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Nathan P. Dean, Susan Boslaugh, P. David Adelson, Jose A. Pineda and Jeffrey R. Leonard

Object

The aim of this study was to evaluate physician agreement with published recommendations and guidelines for the management of severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) in children and to identify markers associated with physician responses matching published guidelines.

Methods

An Internet survey was created based on recommendations and guidelines published in 2003 and was sent to US physicians and neurosurgeons caring for pediatric patients with severe TBI. Agreement with each recommendation was tabulated. Characteristics of the surveyed physicians and their institutions were compared to identify markers of conformity with first-tier recommendations (intracranial pressure [ICP] treatment threshold, monitoring cerebral perfusion pressure, use of sedation/neuromuscular blockade, and use of hyperosmolar therapy).

Results

One hundred ninety-four US physicians responded: 36 neurosurgeons and 158 nonsurgeons. Overall, physician responses matched most recommendations more than 60% of the time. The serum osmolality threshold of hypertonic saline, use of prophylactic hyperventilation, and differences in ICP thresholds based on a child's age comprised the recommendations with the least agreement. No physician variable was linked to increased agreement with first-tier recommendations.

Conclusions

Overall, physician responses coincided with the published guidelines and recommendations. Examples of variable conformance most likely reflect the paucity of available data and lack of randomized controlled trials in the field of severe TBI.

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Chester K. Yarbrough, Jacob K. Greenberg, Matthew D. Smyth, Jeffrey R. Leonard, Tae Sung Park and David D. Limbrick Jr.

Object

Historically, assessment of clinical outcomes following surgical management of Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I) has been challenging due to the lack of a validated instrument for widespread use. The Chicago Chiari Outcome Scale (CCOS) is a novel system intended to provide a less subjective evaluation of outcomes for patients with CM-I. The goal of this study was to externally validate the performance of the CCOS.

Methods

Patients undergoing surgery for CM-I between 2001 and 2012 were reviewed (n = 292). Inclusion criteria for this study were as follows: 1) patients receiving primary posterior fossa decompression; 2) at least 5.5 months of postoperative clinical follow-up; and 3) patients ≤ 18 years of age at the time of surgery. Outcomes were evaluated using the CCOS, along with a “gestalt” impression of whether patients experienced significant improvement after surgery. A subgroup of 118 consecutive patients undergoing operations between 2008 and 2010 was selected for analysis of interrater reliability (n = 73 meeting inclusion/exclusion criteria). In this subgroup, gestalt and CCOS scores were independently determined by 2 reviewers, and interrater reliability was assessed using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and kappa (κ) statistic.

Results

The median CCOS score was 14, and 67% of patients had improved gestalt scores after surgery. Overall, the CCOS was effective at identifying patients with improved outcome after surgery (area under curve = 0.951). The interrater reliability of the CCOS (ICC = 0.71) was high, although the reliability of the component scores ranged from poor to good (ICC 0.23–0.89). The functionality subscore demonstrated a low ICC and did not add to the predictive ability of the logistic regression model (likelihood ratio = 1.8, p = 0.18). When analyzing gestalt outcome, there was moderate agreement between raters (κ = 0.56).

Conclusions

In this external validation study, the CCOS was effective at identifying patients with improved outcomes and proved more reliable than the authors' gestalt impression of outcome. However, certain component subscores (functionality and nonpain symptoms) were found to be less reliable, and may benefit from further definition in score assignment. In particular, the functionality subscore does not add to the predictive ability of the CCOS, and may be unnecessary. Overall, the authors found the CCOS to be an improvement over the previously used assessment of outcome at their institution.

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William W. Ashley Jr., Robert C. McKinstry, Jeffrey R. Leonard, Matthew D. Smyth, Benjamin C. Lee and Tae Sung Park

Object

The authors examine the use of rapid-sequence magnetic resonance (rsMR) imaging to make the diagnosis of malfunctioning and/or infected shunts in patients with hydrocephalus. Computerized tomography (CT) scanning is usually used in this context because it rapidly acquires high-quality images, yet it exposes pediatric patients to particularly high levels of radiation. Standard MR imaging requires longer image acquisition time, is associated with movement artifact, and, in children, usually requires sedation. Standard MR imaging provides greater structural resolution, yet visualization of ventricular catheters is relatively poor.

Methods

The authors analyzed a series of 67 rsMR imaging examinations performed without sedation in pediatric patients with hydrocephalus whose mean age was 4 years at the time of the examination. The mean study duration was 22 minutes. Catheter visualization was good or excellent in more than 75% of studies reviewed, and image quality was good or excellent in more than 60% of studies reviewed. The authors analyzed cancer risk with a model used for atomic bomb survivors. Fifty percent of their patients with hydrocephalus had undergone more than four brain imaging studies (CT or MR imaging) in their lifetimes. For the many patients who had undergone more than 15 studies, the total estimated lifetime attributable cancer mortality risk was calculated to be at least 0.35%.

Conclusions

Rapid-sequence MR imaging yields reliable visualization of the ventricular catheter and offers superior anatomical detail while limiting radiation exposure. The authors' protocol is rapid and each image is acquired separately; therefore, motion artifact is reduced and the need for sedation is eliminated. They recommend the use of rsMR imaging for nonemergent evaluation of pediatric hydrocephalus.

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Wilson Z. Ray, Amy Lee, Spiros L. Blackburn, Gregg T. Lueder and Jeffrey R. Leonard

✓The authors report on an 8-month-old infant with an orbital capillary hemangioma. The patient had been treated with high-dose corticosteroid therapy and had had a recent decrease in dose. The patient presented to the emergency department with increased irritability and bulging fontanelles. On lumbar puncture the opening pressure was > 55 cm H2O. Ophthalmological examination revealed interval development of papilledema. The child was treated with high-volume lumbar puncture, subsequent drainage of 10 ml of cerebrospinal fluid, resumption of the previous steroid dose, and acetazolomide therapy. The patient's symptoms resolved and follow-up ophthalmological examination revealed interval resolution of papilledema. The authors present the youngest reported case of pseudotumor development after corticosteroid tapering.

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S. Kathleen Bandt, Jacob K. Greenberg, Chester K. Yarbrough, Kenneth B. Schechtman, David D. Limbrick and Jeffrey R. Leonard

Object

There has been an increase in civilian gun violence since the late 1980s, with a disproportionately high increase occurring within the pediatric population. To date, no definite treatment paradigm exists for the management of these patients, nor is there a full understanding of the predictors of favorable clinical outcome in this population.

Methods

The authors completed a retrospective review of all victims of intracranial gunshot injury from birth to age 18 years at a major metropolitan Level 1 trauma center (n = 48) from 2002 to 2011. The predictive values of widely accepted adult clinical and radiographic factors for poor prognosis were investigated.

Results

Eight statistically significant factors (p < 0.05) for favorable outcome were identified. These factors include single hemispheric involvement, absence of a transventricular trajectory, < 3 lobes involved, ≥ 1 reactive pupil on arrival, systolic blood pressure > 100 mm Hg on arrival, absence of deep nuclei and/or third ventricular involvement, initial ICP < 30 mm Hg when monitored, and absence of midline shift. Of these 8 factors, 5 were strong predictors of favorable clinical outcome as defined by Glasgow Outcome Scale score of 4 or 5. These predictive factors included absence of a transventricular trajectory, < 3 lobes involved, ≥ 1 reactive pupil on arrival, absence of deep nuclei and/or third ventricular involvement, and initial ICP < 30 mm Hg. These findings form the basis of the St. Louis Scale for Pediatric Gunshot Wounds to the Head, a novel metric to inform treatment decisions for pediatric patients who sustain these devastating injuries.

Conclusions

The pediatric population tends to demonstrate more favorable outcomes following intracranial gunshot injury when compared with the adult population; therefore some patients may benefit from more aggressive treatment than is considered for adults. The St. Louis Scale for Pediatric Gunshot Wounds to the Head may provide critical data toward evidence-based guidelines for clinical decision making.