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Wesley J. Whitson, Perry A. Ball, S. Scott Lollis, Jason D. Balkman and David F. Bauer

Object

Mycoplasma hominis is a rare cause of infection after neurosurgical procedures. The Mycoplasma genus contains the smallest bacteria discovered to date. Mycoplasma are atypical bacteria that lack a cell wall, a feature that complicates both diagnosis and treatment. The Gram stain and some types of culture media fail to identify these organisms, and typical broad-spectrum antibiotic regimens are ineffective because they act on cell wall metabolism. Mycoplasma hominis commonly colonizes the genitourinary tract in a nonvirulent manner, but it has caused postoperative, postpartum, and posttraumatic infections in various organ systems.

The authors present the case of a 17-year-old male with a postoperative intramedullary spinal cord abscess due to M. hominis and report the results of a literature review of M. hominis infections after neurosurgical procedures. Attention is given to time to diagnosis, risk factors for infection, ineffective antibiotic regimens, and final effective antibiotic regimens to provide pertinent information for the practicing neurosurgeon to diagnose and treat this rare occurrence.

Methods

A PubMed search was performed to identify reports of M. hominis infections after neurosurgical procedures.

Results

Eleven cases of postneurosurgical M. hominis infection were found. No other cases of intramedullary spinal cord abscess were found. Initial antibiotic coverage was inadequate in all cases, and diagnosis was delayed in all cases. Multiple surgical interventions were often needed. Once appropriate antibiotics were started, patients typically experienced rapid resolution of their neurological symptoms. In 27% of cases, a suspicious genitourinary source other than urinary catheterization was identified.

Conclusions

Postoperative M. hominis infections are rarely seen after neurosurgical procedures. They are typically responsive to appropriate antibiotic therapy. Mycoplasma infection may cause prolonged hospitalization and multiple returns to the operating room due to delay in diagnosis. Early clinical suspicion with appropriate antibiotic coverage could help prevent these significant complications.

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S. Scott Lollis, Pablo A. Valdes, Zhongze Li, Perry A. Ball and David W. Roberts

Object

The authors sought to determine a cause-specific mortality profile for US neurosurgeons during the period 1979–2005.

Methods

Neurosurgeons who died during the study period were identified from the Physician Master File database. Using the National Death Index, the reported cause of death was identified for 93.7% of decedents. Standardized mortality ratios were used to compare mortality risk in the study cohort to that of the US population.

Results

There was a marked reduction in mortality from virtually all causes in comparison with the control population. This finding is consistent with prior studies of mortality in physicians. The small number of deaths among female neurosurgeons precluded meaningful analysis for this group. Increased mortality risk for male neurosurgeons was seen from leukemia, nervous system disease (particularly Alzheimer disease), and aircraft accidents. Deaths from viral hepatitis and HIV infection, considered to be occupational hazards for surgeons, were less frequent than in the general population. Suicide, drug-related deaths, and alcohol-related deaths were less frequent than in the general population.

Conclusions

Neurosurgeons may be at higher risk for death from leukemia, aircraft accidents, and diseases of the nervous system, particularly Alzheimer disease; however, the mortality profile of neurosurgeons is favorable when compared with the general population.

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M. Scott Perry, David J. Donahue, Saleem I. Malik, Cynthia G. Keator, Angel Hernandez, Rohit K. Reddy, Freedom F. Perkins Jr., Mark R. Lee and Dave F. Clarke

OBJECTIVE

Seizure onset within the insula is increasingly recognized as a cause of intractable epilepsy. Surgery within the insula is difficult, with considerable risks, given the rich vascular supply and location near critical cortex. MRI-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy (LiTT) provides an attractive treatment option for insular epilepsy, allowing direct ablation of abnormal tissue while sparing nearby normal cortex. Herein, the authors describe their experience using this technique in a large cohort of children undergoing treatment of intractable localization-related epilepsy of insular onset.

METHODS

The combined epilepsy surgery database of Cook Children’s Medical Center and Dell Children’s Hospital was queried for all cases of insular onset epilepsy treated with LiTT. Patients without at least 6 months of follow-up data and cases preoperatively designated as palliative were excluded. Patient demographics, presurgical evaluation, surgical plan, and outcome were collected from patient charts and described.

RESULTS

Twenty patients (mean age 12.8 years, range 6.1–18.6 years) underwent a total of 24 LiTT procedures; 70% of these patients had normal findings on MRI. Patients underwent a mean follow-up of 20.4 months after their last surgery (range 7–39 months), with 10 (50%) in Engel Class I, 1 (5%) in Engel Class II, 5 (25%) in Engel Class III, and 4 (20%) in Engel Class IV at last follow-up. Patients were discharged within 24 hours of the procedure in 15 (63%) cases, in 48 hours in 6 (24%) cases, and in more than 48 hours in the remaining cases. Adverse functional effects were experienced following 7 (29%) of the procedures: mild hemiparesis after 6 procedures (all patients experienced complete resolution or had minimal residual dysfunction by 6 months), and expressive language dysfunction after 1 procedure (resolved by 3 months).

CONCLUSIONS

To their knowledge, the authors present the largest cohort of pediatric patients undergoing insular surgery for treatment of intractable epilepsy. The patient outcomes suggest that LiTT can successfully treat intractable seizures originating within the insula and offers an attractive alternative to open resection. This is the first description of LiTT applied to insular epilepsy and represents one of only a few series describing the use of LiTT in children. The results indicate that seizure reduction after LiTT compares favorably to that after conventional open surgical techniques.

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Elsa V. Arocho-Quinones, Sean M. Lew, Michael H. Handler, Zulma Tovar-Spinoza, Matthew Smyth, Robert Bollo, David Donahue, M. Scott Perry, Michael L. Levy, David Gonda, Francesco T. Mangano, Phillip B. Storm, Angela V. Price, Daniel E. Couture, Chima Oluigbo, Ann-Christine Duhaime, Gene H. Barnett, Carrie R. Muh, Michael D. Sather, Aria Fallah, Anthony C. Wang, Sanjiv Bhatia, Kadam Patel, Sergey Tarima, Sarah Graber, Sean Huckins, Daniel M. Hafez, Kavelin Rumalla, Laurie Bailey, Sabrina Shandley, Ashton Roach, Erin Alexander, Wendy Jenkins, Deki Tsering, George Price, Antonio Meola, Wendi Evanoff, Eric M. Thompson, Nicholas Brandmeir and the Pediatric Stereotactic Laser Ablation Workgroup

OBJECTIVE

This study aimed to assess the safety and efficacy of MR-guided stereotactic laser ablation (SLA) therapy in the treatment of pediatric brain tumors.

METHODS

Data from 17 North American centers were retrospectively reviewed. Clinical, technical, and radiographic data for pediatric patients treated with SLA for a diagnosis of brain tumor from 2008 to 2016 were collected and analyzed.

RESULTS

A total of 86 patients (mean age 12.2 ± 4.5 years) with 76 low-grade (I or II) and 10 high-grade (III or IV) tumors were included. Tumor location included lobar (38.4%), deep (45.3%), and cerebellar (16.3%) compartments. The mean follow-up time was 24 months (median 18 months, range 3–72 months). At the last follow-up, the volume of SLA-treated tumors had decreased in 80.6% of patients with follow-up data. Patients with high-grade tumors were more likely to have an unchanged or larger tumor size after SLA treatment than those with low-grade tumors (OR 7.49, p = 0.0364). Subsequent surgery and adjuvant treatment were not required after SLA treatment in 90.4% and 86.7% of patients, respectively. Patients with high-grade tumors were more likely to receive subsequent surgery (OR 2.25, p = 0.4957) and adjuvant treatment (OR 3.77, p = 0.1711) after SLA therapy, without reaching significance. A total of 29 acute complications in 23 patients were reported and included malpositioned catheters (n = 3), intracranial hemorrhages (n = 2), transient neurological deficits (n = 11), permanent neurological deficits (n = 5), symptomatic perilesional edema (n = 2), hydrocephalus (n = 4), and death (n = 2). On long-term follow-up, 3 patients were reported to have worsened neuropsychological test results. Pre-SLA tumor volume, tumor location, number of laser trajectories, and number of lesions created did not result in a significantly increased risk of complications; however, the odds of complications increased by 14% (OR 1.14, p = 0.0159) with every 1-cm3 increase in the volume of the lesion created.

CONCLUSIONS

SLA is an effective, minimally invasive treatment option for pediatric brain tumors, although it is not without risks. Limiting the volume of the generated thermal lesion may help decrease the incidence of complications.

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Oral Presentations

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