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Virendra R. Desai, Jeffrey S. Raskin, Arvind Mohan, JoWinsyl Montojo, Valentina Briceño, Daniel J. Curry, and Sandi Lam

OBJECTIVE

Intrathecal baclofen pumps are generally placed in children for the treatment of spasticity and dystonia. Use of implants in this pediatric population with comorbidities is reported to have a high risk of complications and infections. With the aim of reducing baclofen pump–related infections, a quality improvement project was instituted at the authors’ institution.

METHODS

A workflow paradigm unique to baclofen pump implantation aimed at decreasing implant-related infections was implemented. All baclofen pump operations performed at the authors’ institution between August 2012 and June 2016 were reviewed. An infection prevention protocol was created and implemented in August 2014 based on a literature review and the consensus opinion of the pediatric neurosurgeons in the group. Compliance with the prevention bundle was tracked. Case outcomes before and after implementation of the protocol with a minimum of 3 months of follow-up were retrospectively reviewed. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to assess the association of the steps in the prevention bundle with infection and complication outcomes.

RESULTS

A total of 128 baclofen pump surgeries were performed (64 preprotocol and 64 postprotocol). The patient age range was 3 to 27 years. The overall compliance rate with the infection prevention bundle was 82%. The pre- and postimplementation infection rates were 12.5% and 6.3%, respectively (p = 0.225). The total pre- and postimplementation complication rates were 23.4% and 9.4%, respectively (p = 0.032). The absolute and relative risk reductions for infections were 6.3% (95% CI 3.8%–16.3%) and 50%, respectively; for complications, the absolute and relative risk reductions were 14.1% (95% CI 1.5%–26.7%) and 60%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

The total complication rate following intrathecal baclofen pump surgery was significantly lower after implementation of the quality improvement protocol. This study is an example of using checklist standardization to diminish special cause variability.

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Luke Hnenny, Hatem A. Sabry, Jeffrey S. Raskin, Jesse J. Liu, Neil E. Roundy, and Aclan Dogan

Intrathecal catheter placement into the lumbar cistern has varied indications, including drug delivery and CSF diversion. These Silastic catheters are elastic and durable; however, catheter-associated malfunctions are well reported in the literature. Fractured catheters are managed with some variability, but entirely intradural retained fragments are often managed conservatively with observation.

The authors describe a case of a 70-year-old man with an implanted intrathecal morphine pump for failed back surgery syndrome who presented to an outside hospital with a history of headache, neck pain, nausea, and photophobia of 3 days' duration. He also described mild weakness and intermittent numbness of both legs. Unenhanced head CT demonstrated subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). A right C-5 hemilaminectomy was performed.

This case is unique in that there was no indication that the lumbar intrathecal catheter had fractured prior to the patient's presentation with SAH. This case demonstrates that intrathecal catheter fragments are mobile and can precipitate intracranial morbidity. Extrication of known fragments is safe and should be attempted to prevent further neurosurgical morbidity.

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Jonathan N. Sellin, Jeffrey S. Raskin, Kristen A. Staggers, Alison Brayton, Valentina Briceño, Amee J. Moreno, and Andrew Jea

Thoracic and lumbar cortical bone trajectory pedicle screws have been described in adult spine surgery. They have likewise been described in pediatric CT-based morphometric studies; however, clinical experience in the pediatric age group is limited. The authors here describe the use of cortical bone trajectory pedicle screws in posterior instrumented spinal fusions from the upper thoracic to the lumbar spine in 12 children. This dedicated study represents the initial use of cortical screws in pediatric spine surgery.

The authors retrospectively reviewed the demographics and procedural data of patients who had undergone posterior instrumented fusion using thoracic, lumbar, and sacral cortical screws in children for the following indications: spondylolysis and/or spondylolisthesis (5 patients), unstable thoracolumbar spine trauma (3 patients), scoliosis (2 patients), and tumor (2 patients).

Twelve pediatric patients, ranging in age from 11 to 18 years (mean 15.4 years), underwent posterior instrumented fusion. Seventy-six cortical bone trajectory pedicle screws were placed. There were 33 thoracic screws and 43 lumbar screws. Patients underwent surgery between April 29, 2015, and February 1, 2016. Seven (70%) of 10 patients with available imaging achieved a solid fusion, as assessed by CT. Mean follow-up time was 16.8 months (range 13–22 months). There were no intraoperative complications directly related to the cortical bone trajectory screws. One patient required hardware revision for caudal instrumentation failure and screw-head fracture at 3 months after surgery.

Mean surgical time was 277 minutes (range 120–542 minutes). Nine of the 12 patients received either a 12- or 24-mg dose of recombinant human bone morphogenic protein 2. Average estimated blood loss was 283 ml (range 25–1100 ml).

In our preliminary experience, the cortical bone trajectory pedicle screw technique seems to be a reasonable alternative to the traditional trajectory pedicle screw placement in children. Cortical screws seem to offer satisfactory clinical and radiographic outcomes, with a low complication profile.

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Salma M. Bakr, Ajay Patel, Mohamed A. Zaazoue, Kathryn Wagner, Sandi K. Lam, Daniel J. Curry, and Jeffrey S. Raskin

OBJECTIVE

The grid-based orthogonal placement of depth electrodes (DEs), initially defined by Jean Talairach and Jean Bancaud, is known as stereo-electroencephalography (sEEG). Although acceptance in the United States was initially slow, advances in imaging and technology have spawned a proliferation of North American epilepsy centers offering sEEG. Despite publications highlighting minimal access techniques and varied indications, standard work for phase I targeted DE has not been defined. In this article, the authors propose the term “dynamic sEEG” and define standard work tools and related common data elements to promote uniformity in the field.

METHODS

A multidisciplinary approach from July to August 2016 resulted in the production of 4 standard work tools for dynamic sEEG using ROSA: 1) a 34-page illustrated manual depicting a detailed workflow; 2) a planning form to collocate all the phase I data; 3) a naming convention for DEs that encodes the data defining it; and 4) a reusable portable perioperative planning and documentation board. A retrospective review of sEEG case efficiency was performed comparing those using standard work tools (between July 2016 and April 2017) with historical controls (between March 2015 and June 2016). The standard work tools were then instituted at another epilepsy surgery center, and the results were recorded.

RESULTS

The process for dynamic sEEG was formally reviewed, including anesthesia, positioning, perioperative nursing guidelines, surgical steps, and postoperative care for the workflow using cranial fixation and ROSA-guided placement. There was a 40% improvement in time per electrode, from 44.7 ± 9.0 minutes to 26.9 ± 6.5 minutes (p = 0.0007) following the development and use of the manual, the naming convention, and the reusable portable perioperative planning and documentation board. This standardized protocol was implemented at another institution and yielded a time per electrode of 22.3 ± 4.4 minutes.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors propose the term dynamic sEEG for stereotactic depth electrodes placed according to phase I workup data with the intention of converting to ablation. This workflow efficiency can be optimized using the standard work tools presented. The authors also propose a novel naming convention that encodes critical data and allows portability among providers. Use of a planning form for common data elements optimizes research, and global adoption could facilitate multicenter studies correlating phase I modality and seizure onset zone identification.

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Aaron Chance, Jesse J. Liu, Jeffrey S. Raskin, Viktor Zherebitskiy, Sakir H. Gultekin, and Ahmed M. Raslan

Complex neurocristopathy, a disorder resulting from the aberrant proliferation of tissues derived from neural crest cells, has been previously reported in 2 patients, both involving ophthalmic melanoma and other tumors. One patient had a periorbital neurofibroma, sphenoid wing meningioma, and choroid juxtapapillary meningioma. The other patient had a choroidal melanoma and an optic nerve sheath meningioma. The authors describe clinical and pathological findings in a patient who underwent resection of 2 distinct lesions: primary CNS melanoma at T-12 and an L-5 schwannoma. Clinical and histopathological findings of the case are reviewed. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first patient to present with complex neurocristopathy involving both a spinal melanoma and schwannoma.

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Andrew L. Ko, Alp Ozpinar, Jeffrey S. Raskin, Stephen T. Magill, Ahmed M. Raslan, and Kim J. Burchiel

OBJECT

Lesioning of the dorsal root entry zone (DREZotomy) is an effective treatment for brachial plexus avulsion (BPA) pain. The role of preoperative assessment with MRI has been shown to be unreliable for determining affected levels; however, it may have a role in predicting pain outcomes. Here, DREZotomy outcomes are reviewed and preoperative MRI is examined as a possible prognostic factor.

METHODS

A retrospective review was performed of an institutional database of patients who had undergone brachial plexus DREZ procedures since 1995. Preoperative MRI was examined to assess damage to the DREZ or dorsal horn, as evidenced by avulsion of the DREZ or T2 hyperintensity within the spinal cord. Phone interviews were conducted to assess the long-term pain outcomes.

RESULTS

Between 1995 and 2012, 27 patients were found to have undergone cervical DREZ procedures for BPA. Of these, 15 had preoperative MR images of the cervical spine available for review. The outcomes were graded from 1 to 4 as poor (no significant relief), good (more than 50% pain relief), excellent (more than 75% pain relief), or pain free, respectively. Overall, DREZotomy was found to be a safe, efficacious, and durable procedure for relief of pain due to BPA. The initial success rate was 73%, which declined to 66% at a median follow-up time of 62.5 months. Damage to the DREZ or dorsal horn was significantly correlated with poorer outcomes (p = 0.02). The average outcomes in patients without MRI evidence of DREZ or dorsal horn damage was significantly higher than in patients with such damage (3.67 vs 1.75, t-test; p = 0.001). A longer duration of pain prior to operation was also a significant predictor of treatment success (p = 0.004).

CONCLUSIONS

Overall, the DREZotomy procedure has a 66% chance of achieving meaningful pain relief on long-term follow-up. Successful pain relief is associated with the lack of damage to the DREZ and dorsal horn on preoperative MRI.