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Kris A. Smith and Harold L. Rekate

✓ Tethering of the spinal cord in the lumbar and sacral regions of children with congenital anomalies is a well-recognized problem; however, tethering in the cervical region has rarely been reported. A search of the literature revealed no reports of symptomatic postoperative cervical spinal cord tethering. The authors present five cases of delayed postoperative cervical spinal cord tethering and discuss the benefit of detethering in these patients. All five patients were young (16 to 42 years of age) at presentation. All had done well after an initial surgical procedure but returned between 1 and 31 years postoperatively with symptoms including severe headache, upper-extremity pain, and progressive neurological deficits. In each case, magnetic resonance imaging indicated dorsal tethering of the cord in the cervical region. Surgical exploration with microscopic sharp detethering of the cervical cord was performed on each patient with favorable results. To avoid retethering, wide Tutoplast duraplasty is recommended.

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Kris A. Smith and Robert F. Spetzler

✓ The use of the supratentorial—infraoccipital approach is reported in seven patients with posteromedial temporal lobe lesions. No patient had permanent morbidity. Gross total resection of three low-grade gliomas and two gangliogliomas was achieved in five patients; one patient had subtotal resection of a low-grade glioma with adjacent gliosis, and one was initially thought to have a glioma but proved to have encephalomalacia on final pathological analysis. The patients ranged in age from 5 to 34 years. All seven patients presented with seizures, and four had uncontrolled seizures preoperatively. Six have been seizure-free since surgery (mean follow-up period 15 months), and one is well controlled on anticonvulsant medication. An anatomical study was performed to delineate the microsurgical anatomy relevant to operating on the medial temporal lobe through this posterior approach. A viewing wand intraoperative navigational system was utilized with this approach and proved helpful in gaining access as far anterior as the uncus through this occipital craniotomy. This approach is favorable in selected patients with posterior, medial, temporal lobe tumors because resection of otherwise difficult lesions may be accomplished without sacrificing lateral temporal lobe cortex or transecting the optic radiations.

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Prospective trial of gross-total resection with Gliadel wafers followed by early postoperative Gamma Knife radiosurgery and conformal fractionated radiotherapy as the initial treatment for patients with radiographically suspected, newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme

L. Fernando Gonzalez and Kris A. Smith

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Courtney M. Schusse, Kris Smith and Cornelia Drees


Hemispherectomy is a surgical technique that is established as a standard treatment in appropriately selected patients with drug-resistant epilepsy. It has proven to be successful in pediatric patients with unilateral hemispheric lesions but is underutilized in adults. This study retrospectively evaluated the clinical outcomes after hemispherectomy in adult patients with refractory epilepsy.


This study examined 6 cases of hemispherectomy in adult patients at Barrow Neurological Institute. In addition, all case series of hemispherectomy in adult patients were identified through a literature review using MEDLINE and PubMed. Case series of patients older than 18 years were included; reports of patients without clear follow-up duration or method of validated seizure outcome quantification were excluded. Seizure outcome was based on the Engel classification.


A total of 90 cases of adult hemispherectomy were identified, including 6 newly added by Barrow Neurological Institute. Sixty-five patients underwent functional hemispherectomy; 25 patients had anatomical hemispherectomy. Length of follow-up ranged from 9 to 456 months. Seizure freedom was achieved in 80% of patients. The overall morbidity rate was low, with 9 patients (10%) having new or additional postoperative speech or language dysfunction, and 19 patients (21%) reporting some worsening of hemiparesis. No patients lost ambulatory or significant functional ability, and 2 patients had objective ambulatory improvement. Among the 41 patients who underwent additional formal neuropsychological testing postoperatively, overall stability or improvement was seen.


Hemispherectomy is a valuable surgical tool for properly selected adult patients with pre-existing hemiparesis and intractable epilepsy. In published cases, as well as in this series, the procedure has overall been well tolerated without significant morbidity, and the majority of patients have been rendered free of seizures.

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Kris A. Smith, Gary E. Kraus, Blake A. Johnson and Robert F. Spetzler

✓ The case of a giant posterior communicating artery (PCoA) aneurysm is reported in which the initial presentation was coma secondary to obstructive hydrocephalus. The primary radiological diagnosis was a probable craniopharyngioma. A cerebral angiogram revealed a partially thrombosed giant PCoA aneurysm on the right side. The patient underwent pterional craniotomy with aneurysm clipping and thrombectomy to relieve mass effect, and has made a good recovery. Review of the literature documents that giant PCoA aneurysms are rare. This is believed to be the first reported case of a PCoA aneurysm presenting as a third ventricle mass with obstructive hydrocephalus. The magnetic resonance imaging characteristics of those third ventricle masses that mandate vascular workup are discussed.

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M. Yashar S. Kalani, Sudarshan Iyer, Stephen W. Coons and Kris A. Smith

Intradural spinal teratomas are rare tumors of the spinal cord that are infrequently encountered in children. Although the mechanistic basis for the formation of these tumors is unclear, several lines of evidence suggest that a dysembryogenic process in the embryo results in their formation. The authors present a case of spinal intradural teratoma in an 18-year-old, previously healthy man and review the literature linking the development of these tumors to defects in neurulation and embryogenesis.

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Ryan Smith, Kris A. Smith, Christopher A. Biggs and Adrienne C. Scheck


The goal of this study was to develop an assay that makes possible the assessment of the glioma cell response to single-fraction high-dose Gamma Knife surgery. In this assay, the isolation of radioresistant cell subpopulations facilitates mechanistic studies of radioresistance.


A tissue-equivalent paraffin phantom with an aperture capable of holding an Opticell cell culture cassette was developed for treatment with the Leksell Gamma Knife model C. A second apparatus, which the authors also created, uses the manufacturer-supplied polystyrene phantom, thereby allowing this assay to be performed in the Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion. After treatment, the cells were morphologically assessed to determine their response to radiation treatment. Two specific parameters were used to determine radiosensitivity: 1) the diameter of the clearing zone, defined as the central region of cell death; and 2) the number of surviving colonies within this central high-dose clearing zone.


Radioresistance was compared in 2 different cell lines from glioblastomas. The first cell line, ME, was established from a primary tumor before its treatment, and the second cell line, DIV, was established from a tumor that recurred after treatment with chemotherapy and fractionated radiotherapy. The ME cell line had the most robust response to radiosurgery, as characterized by a consistently larger clearing zone (28.33 ± 1.1 mm). In contrast, the clearing zone produced when the DIV cell line was used was 24.0 ± 1 mm, indicating an approximate response difference of 5 Gy. The mean number of surviving colonies within the clearing zone for the ME cell line was 1.33 ± 1 compared with that for the DIV cell line, which was 66.67 ± 2.


The authors developed a biological dosimeter to model the response of cells from glioblastomas to single-fraction high-dose radiation. This system also allows the identification and isolation of radioresistant cells.

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