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Open access

Giselle Coelho, Eduardo Vieira, Jose Hinojosa, and Hans Delye

Craniosynostosis is a premature fusion of cranial sutures, and it requires surgery to decrease cranial pressure and remodel the affected areas. However, mastering these procedures requires years of supervised training. Several neurosurgical training simulators have been created to shorten the learning curve. Laboratory training is fundamental for acquiring familiarity with the necessary techniques and skills to properly handle instruments. This video presents a novel simulator for training on the endoscopic treatment for scaphocephaly and trigonocephaly, covering all aspects of the procedure, from patient positioning to performing osteotomies.

The video can be found here: https://vimeo.com/512526147.

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Santiago Candela-Cantó, Jordi Muchart, Alia Ramírez-Camacho, Victoria Becerra, Mariana Alamar, Anna Pascual, Carolina Forero, Mónica Rebollo Polo, Josep Munuera, Javier Aparicio, Jordi Rumià, and José Hinojosa

OBJECTIVE

Real-time, MRI-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy (MRgLITT) has been reported as a safe and effective technique for the treatment of epileptogenic foci in children and adults. After the recent approval of MRgLITT by the European Medicines Agency in April 2018, the authors began to use it for the treatment of hypothalamic hamartomas (HHs) in pediatric patients with the assistance of a robotic arm. In this study, the authors report their initial experience describing the surgical technique, accuracy of the robotic arm, safety, and efficacy.

METHODS

The laser fiber was placed with the assistance of the stereotactic robotic arm. The accuracy of the robotic arm for this procedure was calculated by comparing the intraoperative MRI to the preoperative plan. Common demographic and seizure characteristics of the patients, laser ablation details, complications, and short-term seizure outcomes were prospectively collected.

RESULTS

Sixteen procedures (11 first ablations and 5 reablations) were performed in 11 patients between 15 months and 17 years of age (mean age 6.4 years) with drug-resistant epilepsy related to HHs. The mean target point localization error was 1.69 mm. No laser fiber needed to be repositioned. The mean laser power used per procedure was 4.29 W. The trajectory of the laser fiber was accidentally ablated in 2 patients, provoking transient hemiparesis in one of these patients. One patient experienced postoperative somnolence and syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion, and 2 patients had transient oculomotor (cranial nerve III) palsy. Fifty-four percent of the patients were seizure free after the first ablation (mean follow-up 22 months, range 15–33 months). All 5 patients who experienced an epilepsy relapse underwent a second treatment, and 4 remain seizure free at least 5 months after reablation.

CONCLUSIONS

In the authors’ experience, the robotic arm was sufficiently accurate for laser fiber insertion, even in very young patients. MRgLITT appears to be an effective treatment for selected cases of HH. MRgLITT for HH is a minimally invasive procedure with appealing safety features, as it allows delivery of energy precisely under real-time MRI control. Nonetheless, complications may occur, especially in voluminous HHs. The amount of delivered energy and the catheter cooling system must be closely monitored during the procedure. A larger sample size and longer follow-up duration are needed to judge the efficacy and safety of MRgLITT for HH more rigorously. This initial experience was very promising.

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Jonathan Roth, Yurii Perekopaiko, Danil A. Kozyrev, Shlomi Constantini, and

OBJECTIVE

Colloid cysts (CCs) are rare at all ages, and particularly among children. The current literature on pediatric CC is limited, and often included in mixed adult/pediatric series. The goal of this multinational, multicenter study was to combine forces among centers and investigate the clinical course of pediatric CCs.

METHODS

A multinational, multicenter retrospective study was performed to attain a large sample size, focusing on CC diagnosis in patients younger than 18 years of age. Collected data included clinical presentation, radiological characteristics, treatment, and outcome.

RESULTS

One hundred thirty-four children with CCs were included. Patient age at diagnosis ranged from 2.4 to 18 years (mean 12.8 ± 3.4 years, median 13.2 years, interquartile range 10.3–15.4 years; 22% were < 10 years of age). Twenty-two cases (16%) were diagnosed incidentally, including 48% of those younger than 10 years of age. Most of the other patients had symptoms related to increased intracranial pressure and hydrocephalus. The average follow-up duration for the entire group was 49.5 ± 45.8 months. Fifty-nine patients were initially followed, of whom 28 were eventually operated on at a mean of 19 ± 32 months later due to cyst growth, increasing hydrocephalus, and/or new symptoms. There was a clear correlation between larger cysts and symptomatology, acuteness of symptoms, hydrocephalus, and need for surgery. Older age was also associated with the need for surgery. One hundred three children (77%) underwent cyst resection, 60% using a purely endoscopic approach. There was 1 death related to acute hydrocephalus at presentation. Ten percent of operated patients had some form of complication, and 7.7% of operated cases required a shunt at some point during follow-up. Functional outcome was good; however, the need for immediate surgery was associated with educational limitations. Twenty operated cases (20%) experienced a recurrence of their CC at a mean of 38 ± 46 months after the primary surgery. The CC recurrence rate was 24% following endoscopic resection and 15% following open resections (p = 0.28).

CONCLUSIONS

CCs may present in all pediatric age groups, although most that are symptomatic present after the age of 10 years. Incidentally discovered cysts should be closely followed, as many may grow, leading to hydrocephalus and other new symptoms. Presentation of CC may be acute and may cause life-threatening conditions related to hydrocephalus, necessitating urgent treatment. The outcome of treated children with CCs is favorable.

Open access

Barry Ting Sheen Kweh, Jin Wee Tee, Sander Muijs, F. Cumhur Oner, Klaus John Schnake, Lorin Michael Benneker, Emiliano Neves Vialle, Frank Kanziora, Shanmuganathan Rajasekaran, Gregory Schroeder, Alexander R. Vaccaro, and

OBJECTIVE

Optimal management of A3 and A4 cervical spine fractures, as defined by the AO Spine Subaxial Injury Classification System, remains controversial. The objectives of this study were to determine whether significant management variations exist with respect to 1) fracture location across the upper, middle, and lower subaxial cervical spine and 2) geographic region, experience, or specialty.

METHODS

A survey was internationally distributed to 272 AO Spine members across six geographic regions (North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East). Participants’ management of A3 and A4 subaxial cervical fractures across cervical regions was assessed in four clinical scenarios. Key characteristics considered in the vignettes included degree of neurological deficit, pain severity, cervical spine stability, presence of comorbidities, and fitness for surgery. Respondents were also directly asked about their preferences for operative management and misalignment acceptance across the subaxial cervical spine.

RESULTS

In total, 155 (57.0%) participants completed the survey. Pooled analysis demonstrated that surgeons were more likely to offer operative intervention for both A3 (p < 0.001) and A4 (p < 0.001) fractures located at the cervicothoracic junction compared with fractures at the upper or middle subaxial cervical regions. There were no significant variations in management for junctional incomplete (p = 0.116) or complete (p = 0.342) burst fractures between geographic regions. Surgeons with more than 10 years of experience were more likely to operatively manage A3 (p < 0.001) and A4 (p < 0.001) fractures than their younger counterparts. Neurosurgeons were more likely to offer surgical stabilization of A3 (p < 0.001) and A4 (p < 0.001) fractures than their orthopedic colleagues. Clinicians from both specialties agreed regarding their preference for fixation of lower junctional A3 (p = 0.866) and A4 (p = 0.368) fractures. Overall, surgical fixation was recommended more often for A4 than A3 fractures in all four scenarios (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

The subaxial cervical spine should not be considered a single unified entity. Both A3 and A4 fracture subtypes were more likely to be surgically managed at the cervicothoracic junction than the upper or middle subaxial cervical regions. The authors also determined that treatment strategies for A3 and A4 subaxial cervical spine fractures varied significantly, with the latter demonstrating a greater likelihood of operative management. These findings should be reflected in future subaxial cervical spine trauma algorithms.

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Oral Presentations

2010 AANS Annual Meeting Philadelphia, Pennsylvania May 1–5, 2010