✓ 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.
Jeffrey R. Leonard and Neill M. Wright
Amrita Hari-Raj, Lauren Q. Malthaner, Junxin Shi, Jeffrey R. Leonard, and Julie C. Leonard
CSF shunt placement is the primary therapy for hydrocephalus; however, shunt malfunctions remain common and lead to neurological deficits if missed. There is a lack of literature characterizing the epidemiology of children with possible shunt malfunctions presenting to United States emergency departments (EDs).
A retrospective study was conducted of the 2006–2017 National Emergency Department Sample. The data were queried using an exhaustive list of Current Procedural Terminology and International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision and International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision codes representing children with hydrocephalus diagnoses, diagnostic imaging for shunt malfunctions, and shunt-related surgical revision procedures.
In 2017, there were an estimated 16,376 ED visits for suspected shunt malfunction. Children were more commonly male (57.9%), ages 0–4 years (42.2%), and publicly insured (55.8%). Many did not undergo diagnostic imaging (37.2%), and of those who did, most underwent head CT scans (43.7%). Between 2006 and 2017, pediatric ED visits for suspected shunt malfunction increased 18% (95% CI 12.1–23.8). The use of MRI increased substantially (178.0%, 95% CI 176.9–179.2). Visits resulting in discharge home from the ED increased by 76.3% (95% CI 73.1–79.4), and those involving no surgical intervention increased by 32.9% (95% CI 29.2–36.6).
Between 2006 and 2017, ED visits for children to rule out shunt malfunction increased, yet there was a decline in surgical intervention and an increase in discharges home from the ED. Possible contributing factors include improved clinical criteria for shunt evaluation, alternative CSF diversion techniques, changing indications for shunt placement, and increased use of advanced imaging in the ED.
Report of 6 cases
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.
Nicholas Theodore and Harold L. Rekate
Ziyad A. Makoshi and Jeffrey R. Leonard
Ivan Stoev, Alexander K. Powers, Joan A. Puglisi, Rebecca Munro, and Jeffrey R. Leonard
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.
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.
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.
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.
Donncha F. O'Brien, Tae-Sung Park, Joan A. Puglisi, David R. Collins, Eric C. Leuthardt, and Jeffrey R. Leonard
A retrospective study was performed to determine the following: 1) whether children who walk independently after selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) undergo fewer subsequent orthopedic operations than those who walk with assistance; and 2) the effect of age at SDR on the rate of orthopedic operations.
The cases of 158 children with spastic diplegia who were 2 to 14 years of age when they underwent SDR were followed over a 5- to 9-year period. Patients were grouped by age at the time of SDR as follows: 2 to 3 years (Group 1), 4 to 7 years (Group 2), and 8 to 14 years (Group 3). Follow-up data showed that children in all age groups who walked independently after SDR underwent fewer orthopedic operations than did children who walked with assistance. Overall rates of orthopedic surgery 5 to 9 years after SDR at last follow up were 24% for independent walkers and 51% for assisted walkers. Two-way categorical analysis (age group by ambulation) yielded a highly significant effect of ambulation (p = 0.0003). Children in Group 1 needed the fewest orthopedic operations at follow-up evaluation. In the older age groups (Groups 2 and 3), those who walked independently at the time of SDR underwent fewer orthopedic operations after SDR than did walkers who required assistance (p = 0.01).
These data are of value in advising parents about the likelihood of orthopedic surgery based on the child's gait status both at the time of SDR and at follow-up evaluation. Orthopedic surgery is more likely in patients destined to be nonambulators.
Jeffrey R. Leonard, Dan X. Cai, Dennis J. Rivet, Bruce A. Kaufman, T. S. Park, Beth K. Levy, and Arie Perry
Object. Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant central nervous system neoplasm found in children. A distinct variant designated large cell/anaplastic (LC/A) medulloblastoma is characterized by frequent dissemination of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) at presentation and a more aggressive clinical course. The authors report on their examination of the clinicopathological and genetic features of seven such cases encountered at their institution.
Methods. Eighty cases of medulloblastomas were reviewed and seven (8.8%) of these were believed to fit the histological and immunohistochemical criteria for LC/A medulloblastoma. In three cases (43%) either desmoplastic or classic medulloblastoma was the underlying subtype, and in two cases (28%) the LC/A tumor was found within the setting of medullomyoblastoma. Fluorescence in situ hybridization was used in six of the seven cases to characterize the presence of isochromosome 17q, deletion of chromosome 22q (a deletion characteristically found in atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors), and c-myc amplification. The patients' clinical histories revealed CSF dissemination in all cases and lymph node metastasis in one case. Isochromosome 17q was found in five (83%) of six cases. Evidence of chromosomal gains indicated aneuploidy in three tumors (50%), and amplification of c-myc was found in three tumors (50%). No 22q deletions were encountered.
Conclusions. A high percentage of LC/A medulloblastomas arise within a background of typical medulloblastomas or medullomyoblastomas. As is the case in conventional medulloblastomas, the presence of 17q is a common early tumorigenic event; however, in a significant percentage of specimens there is also evidence of aneuploidy and/or amplification of c-myc. These findings indicate that LC/A morphological characteristics reflect a more advanced tumor stage than that found in pure medulloblastomas or in typical medullomyoblastomas.
Ammar H. Hawasli, Thomas L. Beaumont, Timothy W. Vogel, Albert S. Woo, and Jeffrey R. Leonard
Acalvaria is a rare congenital malformation characterized by an absence of skin and skull. The authors describe a newborn at an estimated 38 weeks gestational age who was delivered via cesarean section from a 32-year-old mother. Upon delivery, the child was noted to have a frontal encephalocele and an absence of calvaria including skull and skin overlying the brain. A thin membrane representing dura mater was overlying the cortical tissue. After multiple craniofacial operations, including repair of the encephalocele and application of cultured keratinocytes over the rostral defect, the patient demonstrated significant closure of the calvarial defect and was alive at an age of more than 17 months with near-average development.
Chester K. Yarbrough, Jacob K. Greenberg, Matthew D. Smyth, Jeffrey R. Leonard, Tae Sung Park, and David D. Limbrick Jr.
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.
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.
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).
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.