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Jeffrey V. Rosenfeld

The prognosis for patients with hypothalamic hamartoma has improved dramatically over the last 20 years, for 3 main reasons. First, because of improved understanding of the anatomy and pathophysiology of these varied lesions. Second, due to advances in brain imaging and refinements in microsurgery, including the anterior transcallosal interforniceal approach, endoscopic, and skull-base approaches. And third, because of increasing experience with stereotactic radiosurgery, interstitial radiotherapy, and radiofrequency lesioning. Patients with hypothalamic hamartoma should be managed in comprehensive epilepsy centers where the treatments are individualized and concentrated in the hands of surgeons who can perform the full range of surgery, including approaches to the third ventricle. Total seizure-freedom rates of 52% to 66% have been achieved with surgery.

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Hannah E. Rosenfeld, Rebecca Limb, Patrick Chan, Mark Fitzgerald, William Pierre Litherland Bradley, and Jeffrey V. Rosenfeld

Object

The treatment of morbidly obese individuals with spine trauma presents unique challenges to spine surgeons and trauma staff. This study aims to increase awareness of current limitations in the surgical management of spine trauma in morbidly obese individuals, and to illustrate practical solutions.

Methods

Six morbidly obese patients were treated surgically for spine trauma over a 2-year period at a single trauma center in Australia. All patients were involved in high-speed motor vehicle accidents and had multisystem injuries. All weighed in excess of 265 pounds (120 kg) with a body mass index ≥ 40 (range 47.8–67.1). Cases were selected according to the considerable challenges they presented in all aspects of their management.

Results

Best medical and surgical care may be compromised and outcome adversely affected in morbidly obese patients with spine trauma. The time taken to perform all aspects of care is usually extended, often by many hours. Customized orthotics may be required. Imaging quality is often compromised and patients may not fit into scanners. Surgical challenges include patient positioning, surgical access, confirmation of the anatomical level, and obtaining adequate instrument length. Postoperative nursing care, wound healing, and venous thromboembolism prophylaxis are also significant issues.

Conclusions

Management pathways and hospital guidelines should be developed to optimize the treatment of morbidly obese patients, but innovative solutions may be required for individual cases.

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Jeffrey V. Rosenfeld, Michael A. Murphy, and Chung W. Chow

✓ A case is reported of implantation metastasis occurring 2 months after stereotactic biopsy of a pineoblastoma was performed in an 18-month-old child. Although implantation metastasis is well recognized after needle biopsy of solid tumors, it has not been described following stereotactic biopsy of a brain tumor. Implications for the role of stereotactic biopsy in the management of brain tumors is discussed.

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Jeffrey V. Rosenfeld, Andrew H. Kaye, Stephen Davis, and Michael Gonzales

✓ The authors present the case of a 25-year-old man with idiopathic pachymeningitis hypertrophica that caused cervical radiculopathy. Decompressive surgery produced significant neurological improvement. The etiology and management of the condition are discussed and the literature is reviewed.

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Jeffrey V. Rosenfeld, Gene H. Barnett, Cathy A. Sila, John R. Little, Emmanuel L. Bravo, and Gerald J. Beck

✓ Atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) is a diuretic natriuretic peptide hormone produced by both the heart and brain which has been postulated to play a role in the hemodynamic and sodium instability that frequently follows subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Levels of ANF were measured in 12 patients with nontraumatic SAH and nine control patients with unruptured cerebral aneurysms. At surgery, the mean plasma ANF level (± standard deviation) of the SAH group was significantly higher than that of the control group (158.1 ± 83.8 vs. 57.8 ± 45.3 pg/ml, respectively; p = 0.01). There was no significant difference in serum sodium concentration, blood pressure, or central venous pressure between these groups. Nine patients with SAH due to aneurysm rupture had plasma ANF levels similar to those in three patients with SAH due to other causes. Four patients with moderate to severe SAH had significantly higher mean cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) ANF values (17.7 ± 12.8 pg/ml) than five patients with minimal SAH (0.6 ± 0.9 pg/ml) or the control group of nine patients (3.7 ± 1.3 pg/ml) (p < 0.05). Five patients with moderate to severe SAH had significantly higher plasma ANF values (202.6 ± 72.2 pg/ml) than five with minimal SAH (86.8 ± 29.2 pg/ml) or the control group (57.8 ± 45.3 pg/ml) (p < 0.05). Plasma ANF values were substantially higher than CSF ANF content in the SAH group (p < 0.01) and in the control group (p = 0.05).

From these data it is concluded that: 1) plasma ANF is elevated significantly after SAH; 2) this rise appears unrelated to the cause of hemorrhage, serum sodium concentration, blood pressure, or central venous pressure, but is related to the extent of the hemorrhage; 3) ANF concentrations in the CSF are significantly lower than in plasma, and are elevated after moderate to severe SAH; and 4) the source of CSF ANF is probably the plasma, and the source of plasma ANF is likely the heart.

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Jeffrey V. Rosenfeld, David Wallace, Geoffrey L. Klug, and Andrew Danks

✓ Computerized tomography-guided transnasal stereotactic tissue diagnosis of a lytic lesion in the clivus was performed successfully using the Cosman-Roberts-Wells frame, thus avoiding a major craniotomy. The authors recommend stereotaxis as the preferred technique for biopsy in this region.

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George K. C. Wong and Wayne W. S. Poon

Object

The authors explored the relationship among the duration of external ventricular drainage, revision of external ventricular drains (EVDs), and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) infection to shed light on the practice of electively revising these drains.

Methods

In a retrospective study of 199 patients with 269 EVDs in the intensive care unit at a major trauma center in Australasia, the authors found 21 CSF infections. Acinetobacter accounted for 10 (48%) of these infections. Whereas the duration of drainage was not an independent predictor of infection, multiple insertions of EVDs was a significant risk factor. Second and third EVDs in previously uninfected patients were more likely to become infected than first EVDs. An EVD infection was initially identified a mean of 5.5 ±0.7 days postinsertion (standard error of the mean); these data—that is, the number of days—were normally distributed.

Conclusions

This pattern of infection is best explained by EVD-associated CSF infections being acquired by the introduction of bacteria on insertion of the drain rather than by subsequent retrograde colonization. Elective EVD revision would be expected to increase infection rates in light of these results, and thus the practice has been abandoned by the authors' institution.

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Iman Feiz-Erfan, Eric M. Horn, Harold L. Rekate, Robert F. Spetzler, Yu-Tze Ng, Jeffrey V. Rosenfeld, and John F. Kerrigan III

Object

The authors provide evidence that direct resection of hypothalamic hamartomas (HHs) can improve associated gelastic and nongelastic seizures.

Methods

Ten children younger than 17 years of age underwent resection of HHs (nine sessile and one pedunculated) that were causing refractory epilepsy. Lesions were approached from above transventricularly through a transcallosal anterior interforniceal approach in six cases, endoscopically through the foramen of Monro in one, and from below with a frontotemporal craniotomy including an orbitozygomatic osteotomy in three. Medical charts were reviewed retrospectively, and follow-up data were obtained through office records and phone calls.

Follow-up periods ranged between 12 and 84 months (mean 16.8 months). All patients in whom the approach was from above had sessile HHs. Five were free from seizures at follow up and two had a reduction in seizures of at least 95%. The transventricular route allowed excellent exposure and visualization of the local structures during resection. Among the three patients in whom the approach was from below, one became free of seizure after two procedures and one had a 75% reduction in epilepsy; the latter two had sessile HHs. The exposure was inadequate, and critical tissue borders were not readily apparent. Although the HH was adequately exposed and resected, the epilepsy persisted in the third patient, who had a pedunculated lesion. The overall rate of major permanent hypothalamic complications appeared to be slightly lower for the orbitozygomatic osteotomy group.

Conclusions

Sessile lesions are best approached from above. Approaches from below adequately expose pedunculated hamartomas. The likelihood of curing seizures seems to be higher when lesions are approached from above rather than from below.