✓The authors report an unusual case of cortical herniation into a chronic subdural hematoma (SDH). The patient was successfully treated with good outcome. A 4-month-old boy with a history of macrocrania and very large bilateral chronic SDHs underwent subduroperitoneal shunt treatment shortly after presentation. Eight months later he developed a new-onset seizure disorder, which was localized by electroencephalography to the right frontal region. Neuroimaging demonstrated the development of a focal herniation of the brain through a subdural membrane into the subdural space. The patient underwent a craniotomy to resect the seizure focus and the herniated cortex. The subdural shunt was subsequently replaced. After 2 years of follow-up, the patient remains free of seizures, is on no medication regimen, and is neurologically and developmentally normal. To the authors' knowledge, this is only the fourth report in the medical literature of cortical herniation through a chronic subdural membrane and the first in which successful treatment with a good outcome is described.
Leslie Acakpo-Satchivi and Thomas G. Luerssen
R. Shane Tubbs, Douglas Barnhart and Leslie Acakpo-Satchivi
✓ Acceptable cavities for the distal portion of a cerebrospinal fluid diversion shunt include the peritoneal, pleural, and atrial cavities. The authors report on a patient in whom placement into the peritoneal cavity failed, the pleural cavity was not an option, and access to the right atrium was not technically possible via standard cannulation techniques into the veins of the neck and shoulder regions. A right ventriculoatrial shunt was thus placed into the right atrium via the ipsilateral femoral vein. Eight months postoperatively, the patient's condition was at baseline and there were no signs of shunt malfunction. This technique may prove useful when other measures have failed.
Andrew S. Ferrell, R. Shane Tubbs, Leslie Acakpo-Satchivi, John P. Deveikis and Mark R. Harrigan
Foix-Alajouanine syndrome has become a well-known entity since its initial report in 1926. The traditional understanding of this clinical syndrome is as a progressive spinal cord venous thrombosis related to a spinal vascular lesion, resulting in necrotic myelopathy. However, spinal venous thrombosis is extremely rare and not a feature of any common spinal vascular syndrome. A translation and review of the original 42-page French report revealed 2 young men who had presented with progressive and unrelenting myelopathy ultimately leading to their deaths. Pathological analysis demonstrated endomesovasculitis of unknown origin, including vessel wall thickening without evidence of luminal narrowing, obliteration of cord vessels, or thrombosis. Foix and Alajouanine also excluded the presence of intramedullary arteriovenous malformations. At the time, dural arteriovenous fistulas (dAVFs) had not been described, and therefore this type of lesion was not specifically sought. In retrospect, it seems possible that both patients had progressive myelopathy due to Type I dAVFs. In the decades since that original report, numerous authors have included spinal cord venous thrombosis as a central feature of Foix-Alajouanine syndrome. The inclusion of thrombosis in the clinical picture of this syndrome is not only incorrect but may leave one with the impression of therapeutic futility, thus possibly preventing successful surgical or endovascular therapy.
R. Shane Tubbs, Leslie Acakpo-Satchivi, Jeffrey P. Blount, W. Jerry Oakes and John C. Wellons III
✓ Complications following cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) diversion procedures are protean. The formation of pseudoaneurysms after the placement of a ventricular catheter as part of a CSF diversion procedure is presumably quite rare.
The authors report the case of a child in whom a pericallosal artery pseudoaneurysm developed following the endoscopic insertion of a ventricular catheter as part of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement procedure. Significant intraventricular bleeding signaled vascular injury. Angiography revealed a right pericallosal artery pseudoaneurysm. The patient subsequently underwent surgical trapping of his pseudoaneurysm and physical therapy for left leg monoparesis.
This appears to be the first reported case of pseudoaneurysm formation following the placement of a ventricular catheter for a CSF diversion procedure. This case underlines a rare but serious risk involved with the routine placement of CSF shunts.
Roberto C. Heros
Cuong J. Bui, R. Shane Tubbs, Chevis N. Shannon, Leslie Acakpo-Satchivi, John C. Wellons III, Jeffrey P. Blount and W. Jerry Oakes
There is scant literature regarding the long-term outcome in patients with cranial vault encephaloceles, and what literature there is may underestimate long-term deficits. The goal of this study was to address this lack of information.
The authors performed a retrospective chart review of cranial vault encephaloceles performed at our institution between 1989 and 2003. Fifty-two total patients were identified and 44 of these cases were reviewed. Additionally, 34 of the 44 patients were contacted and given an outcome survey (Hydrocephalus Outcome Questionnarie [HOQ]) to evaluate physical, emotional, cognitive, and overall health outcomes.
The mean age for patients in this cohort was 9.6 years (range 4–17 years) and the mean follow-up time was 9.2 years. There was an equal sex distribution and there were no deaths. Hydrocephalus was found in 60% of occipital and 14% of frontal encephaloceles, and epilepsy was confirmed in 17% of occipital and 7% of frontal lesions. Outcome assessments performed using the HOQ showed that 50% of the patients with occipital encephaloceles had overall HOQ health scores of 0.5 or less and 55% had HOQ cognitive scores of 0.3 or less, compared with 0% of patients in both categories who had frontal encephaloceles. It was also found that the presence of hydrocephalus and epilepsy independently and significantly lowered the overall health scores.
Occipital encephaloceles carry a worse prognosis than frontal encephaloceles, with higher rates of hydrocephalus and seizure. Based on this study, the presence of hydrocephalus and epilepsy are significant additive adverse prognostic factors. Approximately half of the patients with occipital encephaloceles will be severely debilitated and will probably be unable to live and function independently in society. These data may be useful to clinicians in counseling patients and predicting long-term outcome following repair of cranial vault encephaloceles.
Cuong J. Bui, R. Shane Tubbs, Gigi Pate, Traci Morgan, Douglas C. Barnhart, Leslie Acakpo-Satchivi, John C. Wellons III, W. Jerry Oakes and Jeffrey P. Blount
There is conflicting information in the literature regarding the increased risk of ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt infection after abdominal surgical procedures such as gastrostomy tube (GT) placement and Nissen fundoplication (NF) in the young patient. To further elucidate this potential association, the authors reviewed their institutional experience with such cases.
The authors retrospectively reviewed the records of all patients with shunted hydrocephalus who also underwent NF procedures and/or GT placements over a 9-year period.
During this 9-year period, 3065 cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunts were placed and 1630 NF procedures/GT placements were performed. Ninety-six patients were identified who received both a CSF shunt and NF procedures/GT placements. Seventy-nine patients had a functioning VP shunt (without recent [< 6 months] CSF infection or shunt revision) at the time of their abdominal procedure (NF procedure or GT placement). Of this latter cohort, there were 38 males and 41 females with a mean age of 6.4 months; 12.7% of these patients developed a shunt infection and 60% of these infections were due to Staphylococcus species.
Based on this study, an NF procedure/GT placement in a child with a VP shunt appears to carry approximately the same risk of shunt infection as a shunt placement operation. Moreover, the microbiology observed in these patients with infection did not differ significantly from the usual microorganisms responsible for VP shunt infections in infants/neonates. Finally, but not conclusively, an open NF procedure/GT placement may carry a higher infection risk than a laparoscopic-assisted NF procedure/GT placement.
Leslie Acakpo-Satchivi, R. Shane Tubbs, Audie L. Woolley, Cuong J. Bui, Peter Liechty, Yuki Hammers, John Wellons III, Jeffrey P. Blount and W. Jerry Oakes
R. Shane Tubbs, Mohammadali M. Shoja, Leslie Acakpo-Satchivi, John C. Wellons III, Jeffrey P. Blount, W. Jerry Oakes and Bermans J. Iskandar
Surgical exposure of the extracranial part of the vertebral artery (VA) is occasionally necessary. Historically, the greater portion of the extracranial portion of the VA has been approached by traversing the anterior cervical triangle. The authors speculated that this entire segment of the VA could be reached with equal efficacy via the posterior cervical triangle (PCT).
Six adult cadavers underwent dissection of the left and right VAs via the PCT. The entire extracranial VA was easily exposed through this approach. Only three of 12 sides required the transection of the clavicular head of the sternocleidomastoid muscle for exposure of the most proximal segment of the VA as it originated from the subclavian artery. No gross injury to the VA or other regional vessels or nerves was noted.
The authors found that the extracranial VA can be exposed easily through the PCT. Following confirmation of this technique in vivo, this approach may be added to the surgeon’s armamentarium for exposing the extracranial segment of the VA.
R. Shane Tubbs, Marios Loukas, Mohammadali M. Shoja, Leslie Acakpo-Satchivi, John C. Wellons III, Jeffrey P. Blount and W. Jerry Oakes
Facial nerve injury with resultant facial muscle paralysis is disfiguring and disabling. Reanimation of the facial nerve has been performed using different regional nerves. The nerve to the mylohyoid has not been previously explored as a donor nerve for facial nerve reanimation procedures.
Five fresh adult human cadavers (10 sides) were dissected to identify an additional nerve donor candidate for facial nerve neurotization. Using a curvilinear cervicofacial skin incision, the nerve to the mylohyoid and facial nerve were identified. The nerve to the mylohyoid was transected at its point of entrance into the anterior belly of the digastric muscle. Measurements were made of the length and diameter of the nerve to the mylohyoid, and this nerve was repositioned superiorly to the various temporofacial and cervicofacial parts of the extracranial branches of the facial nerve.
All specimens had a nerve to the mylohyoid. The mean length of this nerve available inferior to the mandible was 5.5 cm and the mean diameter was 1 mm. In all specimens, the nerve to the mylohyoid reached the facial nerve stem and the temporofacial and cervicofacial trunks without tension. No gross evidence of injury to surrounding neurovascular structures was identified.
To the authors' knowledge, the use of the nerve to the mylohyoid for facial nerve reanimation has not been explored previously. Based on the results of this cadaveric study, the use of the nerve to the mylohyoid may be considered for facial nerve reanimation procedures.