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Katherine G. Holste, Frances A. Hardaway, Ahmed M. Raslan, and Kim J. Burchiel

OBJECTIVE

Nervus intermedius neuralgia (NIN) or geniculate neuralgia is a rare facial pain condition consisting of sharp, lancinating pain deep in the ear and can occur alongside trigeminal neuralgia (TN). Studies on the clinical presentation, intraoperative findings, and ultimately postoperative outcomes are extremely limited. The aim of this study was to examine the clinical presentation and surgical findings, and determine pain-free survival after sectioning of the nervus intermedius (NI).

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective chart review and survey of patients who were diagnosed with NIN at one institution and who underwent neurosurgical interventions. Pain-free survival was determined through chart review and phone interviews using a modified facial pain and quality of life questionnaire and represented as Kaplan-Meier curves.

RESULTS

The authors found 15 patients with NIN who underwent microsurgical intervention performed by two surgeons from 2002 to 2016 at a single institution. Fourteen of these patients underwent sectioning of the NI, and 8 of 14 had concomitant TN. Five patients had visible neurovascular compression (NVC) of the NI by the anterior inferior cerebellar artery in most cases where NVC was found. The most common postoperative complaints were dizziness and vertigo, diplopia, ear fullness, tinnitus, and temporary facial nerve palsy. Thirteen of the 14 patients reportedly experienced pain relief immediately after surgery. The mean length of follow-up was 6.41 years (range 8 months to 14.5 years). Overall recurrence of any pain was 42% (6 of 14), and 4 patients (isolated NIN that received NI sectioning alone) reported their pain was the same or worse than before surgery at longest follow-up. The median pain-free survival was 4.82 years ± 14.85 months. The median pain-controlled survival was 6.22 years ± 15.78 months.

CONCLUSIONS

In this retrospective review, sectioning of the NI produced no major complications, such as permanent facial weakness or deafness, and was effective for patients when performed in addition to other procedures. After sectioning of the NI, patients experienced 4.8 years pain free and experienced 6.2 years of less pain than before surgery. Alone, sectioning of the NI was not effective. The pathophysiology of NIN is not entirely understood. It appears that neurovascular compression plays only a minor role in the syndrome and there is a high degree of overlap with TN.

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Zoe E. Teton, Katherine G. Holste, Fran A. Hardaway, Kim J. Burchiel, and Ahmed M. Raslan

OBJECTIVE

Glossopharyngeal neuralgia (GN) is a rare pain condition in which patients experience paroxysmal, lancinating throat pain. Multiple surgical approaches have been used to treat this condition, including microvascular decompression (MVD), and sectioning of cranial nerve (CN) IX and the upper rootlets of CN X, or a combination of the two. The aim of this study was to examine the long-term quality of life and pain-free survival after MVD and sectioning of the CN X/IX complex.

METHODS

A combined retrospective chart review and a quality-of-life telephone survey were performed to collect demographic and long-term outcome data. Quality of life was assessed by means of a questionnaire based on a combination of the Barrow Neurological Institute pain intensity scoring criteria and the Brief Pain Inventory–Facial. Kaplan-Meier analysis was performed to determine pain-free survival.

RESULTS

Of 18 patients with GN, 17 underwent sectioning of the CN IX/X complex alone or sectioning and MVD depending on the presence of a compressing vessel. Eleven of 17 patients had compression of CN IX/X by the posterior inferior cerebellar artery, 1 had compression by a vertebral artery, and 5 had no compression. One patient (6%) experienced no immediate pain relief. Fifteen (88%) of 17 patients were pain free at the last follow-up (mean 9.33 years, range 5.16–13 years). One patient (6%) experienced throat pain relapse at 3 months. The median pain-free survival was 7.5 years ± 10.6 months. Nine of 18 patients were contacted by telephone. Of the 17 patients who underwent sectioning of the CN IX/X complex, 13 (77%) patients had short-term complaints: dysphagia (n = 4), hoarseness (n = 4), ipsilateral hearing loss (n = 4), ipsilateral taste loss (n = 2), and dizziness (n = 2) at 2 weeks. Nine patients had persistent side effects at latest follow-up. Eight of 9 telephone respondents reported that they would have the surgery over again.

CONCLUSIONS

Sectioning of the CN IX/X complex with or without MVD of the glossopharyngeal nerve is a safe and effective surgical therapy for GN with initial pain freedom in 94% of patients and an excellent long-term pain relief (mean 7.5 years).

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Katherine G. Holste, Mark M. Zaki, Clare M. Wieland, Yamaan S. Saadeh, and Paul Park

OBJECTIVE

Image guidance requires placement of a dynamic reference frame (DRF), often either onto local spinous process or by freehand intraosseous DRF placement into the ilium via the posterior superior iliac spine (PSIS). There is a paucity of studies in the literature that describe the complications of intraosseous DRF placement. The aim of this study was to describe the radiographic location, prevalence and nature of complications, and long-term clinical outcomes of attempted DRF placement into the PSIS.

METHODS

All lumbosacral spine surgical procedures performed between August 2019 and February 2021 at a single institution were queried, and operations in which a DRF was targeted to the PSIS were included. Patient demographic characteristics, indications for surgery, surgical outcomes, and complications were extracted. Intraoperative CT scans were reviewed by 2 independent researchers to determine the accuracy of DRF placement into the PSIS and to assess for DRF malposition.

RESULTS

Of 497 lumbar spine operations performed between August 2019 and February 2021 by 4 surgeons, 85 utilized intraoperative navigation with a PSIS pin. Thirteen operations were excluded due to an inability to visualize the entirety of the pin on intraoperative CT. Of 72 DRFs evaluated, 77.8% had been correctly placed in the PSIS. Of the 22.2% of DRFs not placed into the PSIS, 11 entered the sacrum, 6 crossed the sacroiliac joint, and 2 were deep enough to enter the pelvis. Pain at the pin site was present in 4 patients, of whom 3 had resolution of pain at the last follow-up evaluation. There were no significant complications due to DRF placement: no sacral fractures, significant navigation errors, retroperitoneal hematomas, or neurological deficits. Over a mean ± SD follow-up period of 9 ± 5.2 months, there were no incidences of pin site infection. Interrater reliability between the reviewers was 95.8%.

CONCLUSIONS

This was the first study to examine radiological and clinical outcomes after DRF placement in the PSIS. In this study, a majority of pins were correctly placed within the PSIS, although 22.2% of pins were malpositioned. There were no serious complications, and a majority of those patients with persistent pin site pain had resolution at last follow-up.

Free access

Katherine G. Holste, Zoey Chopra, Sara Saleh, Yamaan S. Saadeh, Paul Park, and Cormac O. Maher

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Katherine G. Holste, Clare M. Wieland, Mohannad Ibrahim, Hemant A. Parmar, Sara Saleh, Hugh J. L. Garton, and Cormac O. Maher

OBJECTIVE

Benign expansion of the subarachnoid spaces (BESS) is a condition seen in macrocephalic infants. BESS is associated with mild developmental delays which tend to resolve within a few years. It is accepted that patients with BESS are at increased risk of spontaneous subdural hematomas (SDHs), although the exact pathophysiology is not well understood. The prevalence of spontaneous SDH in BESS patients is poorly defined, with only a few large single-center series published. In this study the authors aimed to better define BESS prevalence and developmental outcomes through the longitudinal review of a large cohort of BESS patients.

METHODS

A large retrospective review was performed at a single institution from 1995 to 2020 for patients 2 years of age or younger with a diagnosis of BESS by neurology or neurosurgery and head circumference > 85th percentile. Demographic data, head circumference, presence of developmental delay, occurrence of SDH, and need for surgery were extracted from patient charts. The subarachnoid space (SAS) size was measured from the available MR images, and the sizes of those who did and did not develop SDH were compared.

RESULTS

Free text search revealed BESS mentioned within the medical records of 1410 of 2.6 million patients. After exclusion criteria, 480 patients remained eligible for the study. Thirty-two percent (n = 154) of patients were diagnosed with developmental delay, most commonly gross motor delay (53%). Gross motor delay resolved in 86% of patients at a mean age of 22.2 months. The prevalence of spontaneous SDH in this BESS population over a period of 25 years was 8.1%. There was no significant association between SAS size and SDH formation.

CONCLUSIONS

This study represents results for one of the largest cohorts of patients with BESS at a single institution. Gross motor delay was the most common developmental delay diagnosed, and a majority of patients had resolution of their delay. These data support that children with BESS have a higher prevalence of SDH than the general pediatric population, although SAS size was not significantly associated with SDH development.

Open access

Katherine G. Holste, Bridger Rodoni, Arushi Tripathy, Jaes C. Jones, Sara Saleh, and Hugh J. L. Garton

BACKGROUND

Gelatin sponges, such as Gelfoam, are used as hemostatic agents during surgery and are generally absorbed over the course of 4–6 weeks in most body cavities. The time course of the dissolution of Gelfoam sponges within the cerebral ventricles has not been described.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors present a case of intraventricular migration of Gelfoam after ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement in a 6-week-old infant. The infant was imaged regularly after ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement, and the Gelfoam sponge persisted within the ventricles on all images until 11 months after surgery. At no time during follow-up did the patient have any symptoms of hydrocephalus requiring retrieval of the sponge or shunt revision.

LESSONS

This is the first case describing time until absorption of a gelatin sponge within the ventricle and successful conservative management.

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Silky Chotai, Jeffrey L. Nadel, Katherine G. Holste, James M. Mossner, Brandon W. Smith, Joseph R. Kapurch, Karin M. Muraszko, Hugh J. L. Garton, Cormac O. Maher, and Jennifer M. Strahle

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to understand the natural history of scoliosis in patients with Chiari malformation type I (CM-I) with and without syringomyelia.

METHODS

A retrospective review of data was conducted. Patients with CM-I were identified from a cohort of 14,118 individuals age 18 years or younger who had undergone MRI over an 11-year period at the University of Michigan. Patients eligible for study inclusion had a coronal curve ≥ 10° on radiography, associated CM-I with or without syringomyelia, and at least 1 year of clinical follow-up prior to any surgery. Curve magnitude at initial diagnosis, prior to posterior fossa decompression (PFD; if applicable), and at the last follow-up (prior to any surgical correction of scoliosis) was recorded, and clinical and radiographic characteristics were noted. The change in curve magnitude by 10° was defined as curve progression (increase by 10°) or regression (decrease by 10°).

RESULTS

Forty-three patients met the study inclusion criteria and were analyzed. About one-third (35%) of the patients presented with symptoms attributed to their CM-I. The mean degree of scoliosis at presentation was 32.6° ± 17.7°. Twenty-one patients (49%) had an associated syrinx. The mean tonsil position below the level of the foramen magnum was 9.8 ± 5.8 mm. Patients with a syrinx were more likely to have a curve > 20° (86% vs 41%, p = 0.002). Curve magnitude remained stable (≤ ±10°) in 77% of patients (33/43), progressed in 16% (7/43), and regressed in 7% (3/43). Mean age was higher (14.8 ± 0.59 years) among patients with regressed curves (p = 0.026). All regressed curves initially measured ≤ 20° (mean 14° ± 5.3°), and none of the patients with regressed curves had a syrinx. The change in curve magnitude was statistically similar in patients with (7.32° ± 17.7°) and without (5.32° ± 15.8°) a syrinx (p = 0.67). After a mean follow-up of 3.13 ± 2.04 years prior to surgery, 27 patients (63%) ultimately underwent posterior fossa or scoliosis correction surgery. For those who eventually underwent PFD only, the rate of change in curve magnitude prior to surgery was 0.054° ± 0.79°. The rate of change in curve magnitude was statistically similar before (0.054° ± 0.79°) and after (0.042° ± 0.33°) surgery (p = 0.45) for patients who underwent PFD surgery only.

CONCLUSIONS

The natural history of scoliosis in the presence of CM-I is variable, though most curves remained stable. All curves that regressed were ≤ 20° at initial diagnosis, and most patients in such cases were older at scoliosis diagnosis. Patients who underwent no surgery or PFD only had similar profiles for the change in curve magnitude, which remained relatively stable overall, as compared to patients who underwent PFD and subsequent fusion, who demonstrated curve progression. Among the patients with a syrinx, no curves regressed, most remained stable, and some progressed. Understanding this variability is a first step toward building a prediction model for outcomes for these patients.

Free access

Iulia Peciu-Florianu, Maximilien Vermandel, Nicolas Reyns, and Constantin Tuleasca