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Ehab El Refaee, Joerg Baldauf and Henry W. S. Schroeder

Occlusion of both foramina of Monro following third ventriculostomy is a very rare complication. The authors present the case of a 30-year-old female who underwent endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) for occlusive hydrocephalus due to aqueductal stenosis. Thirty months after the ETV, she reported recurrent headaches. Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated bilateral enlargement of the lateral ventricles with a collapsed third ventricle caused by bilateral stenosis of the foramina of Monro. Left-sided endoscopic foraminoplasty and stenting of the left foramen of Monro were performed with immediate neurological improvement.

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Joachim M. K. Oertel, Joerg Baldauf, Henry W. S. Schroeder and Michael R. Gaab

Object

There are frequent applications for endoscopy in neurosurgery. However, endoscopic surgery in children has peculiar characteristics and is associated with different rates of success. In this study, the authors report on their experience with 134 consecutive endoscopy procedures performed in 126 patients < 18 years of age.

Methods

Between April 1993 and October 2007, 134 endoscopic procedures were performed in 126 children. Indications for surgery included brain tumors in 48 children, cystic lesions in 24, aqueductal stenosis in 23, various malformations in 20, hemorrhage and infarction in 6, and isolated ventricles in 5 children. In this long-term followup study, data were analyzed with respect to clinical and radiological success rates, as well as shunt dependence both in relation to lesion origin, and to the type of endoscopic procedure performed (endoscopic third ventriculostomy [ETV], septostomy, aqueductoplasty, or cystocisternostomy). Finally, the influence of patient age on the success rate was evaluated.

Results

In 114 patients, restoration of CSF circulation was the goal of endoscopy, but in 2 patients only ventriculoscopy was performed followed by ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement. In 12 of 114 patients, tumor biopsy sampling or resection was performed simultaneously with shunt placement. In another 12 patients, only endoscopic tumor resection without CSF circulation restoration was done. The follow-up period ranged from 1 to 6 years. Thirteen tumor biopsies, 7 partial tumor resections, and 4 endoscopically complete tumor resections were performed. An intraoperative switch to microsurgery was made in 2 patients because of recurrent hemorrhage and an overly time-consuming endoscopic surgery. Cerebrospinal fluid circulation was successfully restored in 81 (72%) of 112 patients, with the use of endoscopy in the setting of tumor-related hydrocephalus providing the best results (86% success rate). However, of the various endoscopic procedures, cyst openings (cystocisternostomy, cystoventriculostomy, and ventriculocystocisternostomy) provided the best results—superior even to ETV—with a success rate of 77% and no complications. In contrast, endoscopic aqueductoplasty had a high failure and complication rate. Patients < 6 months old who underwent ETV, septostomy, or aqueductoplasty had poor results and became more frequently shunt dependent than older children.

Conclusions

Overall, endoscopy can be considered safe and effective in children. Based on the authors' data, acute hydrocephalus cases such as those caused by tumors are the best candidates for endoscopic CSF flow restoration. Interestingly, cyst openings to the ventricles or cisterns were the most successful endoscopic techniques with the lowest complication rate. Aqueductoplasty should be reserved for selected cases. Finally, the success rate of endoscopic techniques remains poor in infants < 6 months of age; this was not only true of ETV, but also other techniques such as septostomy and aqueductoplasty.

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Jan U. Mueller, Joerg Baldauf, Sascha Marx, Michael Kirsch, Henry W. S. Schroeder and Dirk T. Pillich

OBJECTIVE

Loosening and pullout of pedicle screws are well-known problems in pedicle screw fixation surgery. Augmentation of pedicle screws with bone cement, first described as early as 1975, increases the pedicle-screw interface and pullout force in osteoporotic vertebrae. The aim of the present study was to identify cement leakage and pulmonary embolism rates in a large prospective single-center series of pedicle screw augmentations.

METHODS

All patients who underwent cement-augmented pedicle screw placement between May 2006 and October 2010 at the authors' institution were included in this prospective cohort study. Perivertebral cement leakage and pulmonary cement embolism were evaluated with a CT scan of the area of operation and with a radiograph of the chest, respectively.

RESULTS

A total of 98 patients underwent placement of cement-augmented pedicle screws; 474 augmented screws were inserted in 237 vertebrae. No symptomatic perivertebral cement leakage or symptomatic pulmonary cement embolism was observed, but asymptomatic perivertebral cement leakage was seen in 88 patients (93.6%) and in 165 augmented vertebrae (73.3%). Cement leakage most often occurred in the perivertebral venous system. Clinically asymptomatic pulmonary cement embolism was found in 4 patients (4.1%).

CONCLUSIONS

Perivertebral cement leakage often occurs in pedicle screw augmentation, but in most cases, it is clinically asymptomatic. Cement augmentation should be performed under continuous fluoroscopy to avoid high-volume leakage. Alternative strategies, such as use of expandable screws, should be examined in more detail for patients at high risk of screw loosening.

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Joachim M. K. Oertel, Yvonne Mondorf, Joerg Baldauf, Henry W. S. Schroeder and Michael R. Gaab

Object

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) is well accepted for obstructive hydrocephalus of various etiologies. Nevertheless, it is seldom considered in intracranial hemorrhage even in cases involving obstruction of the CSF circulation.

Methods

Between May 1993 and April 2008, 34 endoscopic procedures were performed for hemorrhage-related obstructive hydrocephalus with an intraventricular component. All patients were prospectively followed up. Special attention was paid to presurgical clinical status, type of hemorrhage, type of surgery, postsurgical clinical status, postsurgical ventricular size, and necessity of ventriculoperitoneal shunt implantation.

Results

An ETV was performed for treatment of obstructive hydrocephalus due to intracranial hemorrhage in 34 patients (15 male, 19 female; mean age 60.8 years [range 3 months–83 years]). Hydrocephalus was caused by 17 cerebellar, 6 thalamic, 5 intraventricular, 3 basal ganglia, 2 subarachnoid, and 1 pontine hemorrhage. Thirty-three patients (97.1%) presented with impaired consciousness. Intraventricular blood was present in all cases. In 16 cases (47.1%), blood clots had to be evacuated to achieve access to the third ventricle floor. The mean operation time was 58.2 minutes (range 25–120 minutes). Three complications occurred (rate of 8.8%) with 2 being asymptomatic (5.9%) and 1 being transient (2.9%). There was no procedure-related permanent morbidity, and no procedure-related mortality. After surgery, there was clinical improvement in 17 cases (50.0%) and radiological evidence of improvement in 22 cases (64.7%). Two patients required postoperative ventriculoperitoneal shunting (5.9%). Seven patients died of hemorrhage while in the hospital (20.6%), and another 4 died during follow-up (11.8%). Fifteen patients (44.1%) showed a persistent clinical improvement at the final follow-up (mean 12.2 months after surgery).

Conclusions

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy represents a safe treatment option in intraventricular hemorrhage–related obstructive hydrocephalus yielding similar results as an external drainage but with less risk of infection and a very low subsequent shunt placement rate. In cases with a predominant obstructive component, ETV should be considered in hydrocephalus due to intracerebral hemorrhage. However, performing an ETV with a blurred field of vision and distorted ventricular anatomy is a challenge for any endoscopic neurosurgeon and should be reserved for experienced neuroendoscopists.

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Sascha Marx, Steffen K. Fleck, Ehab El Refaee, Jotham Manwaring, Christina Vorbau, Michael J. Fritsch, Michael R. Gaab, Henry W. S. Schroeder and Joerg Baldauf

OBJECTIVE

Since its revival in the early 1990s, neuroendoscopy has become an integral component of modern neurosurgery. Endoscopic stent placement for treatment of CSF pathway obstruction is a rarely used and underestimated procedure. The authors present the first series of neuroendoscopic intracranial stenting for CSF pathway obstruction in adults with associated results and complications spanning a long-term follow-up of 20 years.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed a prospectively maintained clinical database for endoscopic stent placement performed in adults between 1993 and 2013.

RESULTS

Of 526 endoscopic intraventricular procedures, stents were placed for treatment of CSF disorders in 25 cases (4.8%). The technique was used in the management of arachnoid cysts (ACs; n = 8), tumor-related CSF disorders (n = 13), and hydrocephalus due to stenosis of the foramen of Monro (n = 2) or aqueduct (n = 2). The mean follow-up was 87.1 months. No deaths or infections occurred that were related to endoscopic placement of intracranial stents. Late stent dislocation or migration was observed in 3 patients (12%).

CONCLUSIONS

Endoscopic intracranial stent placement in adults is rarely required but is a safe and helpful technique in select cases. It is indicated when reliable and long-lasting restoration of CSF pathway obstructions cannot be achieved with standard endoscopic techniques. In the treatment of tumor-related hydrocephalus, it is a good option to avoid reclosure of the restored CSF pathway by tumor growth. Currently, routine stent placement after endoscopic fenestration of ACs is not recommended. Stent placement for treatment of CSF disorders due to tumor is a good option for avoiding CSF shunting. To avoid stent migration and dislocation, and to allow for easy removal if needed, the device should be fixed to a bur hole reservoir.