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Mandy Binning, Bradley Duhon and William T. Couldwell

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Mandy Binning, Zakaria Hakma and Erol Veznedaroglu

The patient is a 60-year-old woman who presented to her primary care physician with new onset of headache. She was neurologically intact without cranial nerve deficit. An outpatient CT angiogram (CTA) revealed no subarachnoid hemorrhage, but showed a right-sided posterior communicating artery aneurysm measuring 11 mm by 10 mm. Digitally subtracted cerebral angiography confirmed these measurements and showed that the aneurysm was amenable to endovascular coil embolization. The patient underwent aneurysm coiling without complication and was discharged to home on postoperative Day 1.

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/MjOc3Zpv2K8.

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Mandy J. Binning and William T. Couldwell

The authors report a case of a posterior cerebral artery aneurysm arising from an aberrant arterial branch that was found to be splitting the oculomotor nerve. This 63-year-old man presented with headaches, and CT imaging revealed subarachnoid hemorrhage primarily within the basilar cisterns. Formal angiography and CT angiography revealed a saccular aneurysm arising from the posterior cerebral artery. Intraoperatively, the third cranial nerve was found to be fenestrated with the artery and aneurysm.

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Mandy J. Binning, Oren N. Gottfried, Anne G. Osborn and William T. Couldwell

Object. The fluid content of Rathke cleft cysts (RCCs) displays variable appearances on magnetic resonance (MR) images and can appear indistinguishable from other intrasellar or suprasellar cystic lesions. Intracystic nodules associated with individual RCCs have been noted, but to date their significance has not been fully explored.

Methods. The authors retrospectively reviewed MR imaging studies obtained in patients harboring intrasellar or suprasellar lesions that were consistent with RCCs to identify the presence and imaging characteristics of intracystic nodules.

An intracystic nodule was present in nine (45%) of 20 patients with an RCC. All intracystic nodules were clearly visible and displayed a characteristic low signal intensity on T2-weighted MR images. The nodule was only visualized on T1-weighted images in four cases, in which it exhibited a consistent high signal intensity similar to that of the cyst fluid. The nodules did not enhance following the intravenous administration of a contrast agent.

Conclusions. Although it is difficult to differentiate RCCs from other sellar cystic lesions because of the variable signal intensities displayed on MR images, the intensity of the intracystic nodule seems consistent on T1- and T2-weighted images, and the nodule is always clearly visible on T2-weighted images. With a nonenhancing cystic lesion that does not cause significant symptoms in the patient, the identification of an intracystic nodule with a characteristic signal intensity will aid in the diagnosis of RCC and the selection of conservative management.

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Mandy J. Binning, Janet Lee, Emily A. Thorell and Jay K. Riva-Cambrin

The authors report on a case of intracranial candidiasis in an immunocompetent neonate with a ventriculo-peritoneal shunt. The child was known to be colonized with yeast as she had been treated for oral thrush; however, she did not have systemic candidiasis. Despite initial treatment with antifungal medication, intraventricular fungus balls developed that were visible on imaging and confirmed with pathological analysis. Multiple endoscopic intraventricular operations were required for excision of the initial and recurrent fungus balls, multiple fenestrations of loculations and cysts were performed, and ultimately 3 ventriculoperitoneal shunts were placed. The finding of an intraventricular fungus ball is a unique manifestation of intracranial candidiasis, and to the authors' knowledge has not been previously reported in the English literature.

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Mandy Binning, Brian Ragel, Douglas L. Brockmeyer, Marion L. Walker and John R. W. Kestle

Object

Childhood radiation exposure increases the lifetime risk of cancer from an estimated 0.07 to 0.35%. Neurological evaluation of patients after cranial vault reconstruction for synostosis repair is often complicated by pain medication, sedation, intubation, swelling, and dressings; therefore computed tomography (CT) scans are routinely ordered by some surgeons on the 1st postoperative day. The object of this study was to evaluate the utility of these scans.

Methods

Medical records and CT scans were reviewed for patients at the authors' institution who underwent cranial vault reconstruction to repair synostosis between January 1, 2003, and July 31, 2005.

Results

Of the 111 patients identified in the review, 84 had a CT scan on postoperative Day 1, and seven of these patients underwent shunt insertion for treatment of hydrocephalus. Thirty-three patients underwent bifrontal craniotomies, whereas 51 underwent total vault reconstruction (TVR). Postoperative CT scans revealed minor contusions in three (9%) of 33 patients in the bifrontal craniotomy group and in seven (14%) of 51 patients in the TVR group. No significant sub-dural or epidural hematomas were observed. In the seven patients who required shunt placement, two (29%) had CT evidence of shunt malfunction, leading to shunt revision.

Conclusions

None of the CT findings analyzed in this series was associated with clinical events such as seizures, prolonged intensive care unit stay, or reoperation in patients without shunt placement after cranial reconstructive procedures, although a relatively high incidence of CT evidence of shunt malfunction was found in patients with shunts. These data do not support the routine use of CT scanning after cranial reconstructive procedures unless the patient has received a shunt for hydrocephalus. Patients who experience unexpected intraoperative or postoperative events should be examined using CT.

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Mandy J. Binning, Brian T. Ragel, Marion L. Walker and John R. W. Kestle

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Mandy J. Binning, James K. Liu, John Gannon, Anne G. Osborn and William T. Couldwell

Object

Rathke cleft cysts (RCCs) are infrequently symptomatic, and apoplexy is one of the most unusual presentations. Only a few cases of apoplexy associated with RCCs have been reported, and their clinical, imaging, surgical, and pathological features are poorly understood. In the cases that have been reported, intracystic hemorrhage has been a consistent finding. The authors report 6 cases of RCCs in which the presenting clinical and imaging features indicated pituitary apoplexy, both with and without intracystic hemorrhage.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed charts and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging studies obtained in patients who underwent transsphenoidal surgery for RCC. Six patients were identified who presented with symptoms and MR imaging characteristics consistent with pituitary apoplexy but were found intraoperatively to have an RCC. All 6 patients presented with a sudden headache, 2 with visual loss, and 1 with diplopia. Review of the preoperative MR images demonstrated mixed signal intensities in the sellar masses suggestive of a hemorrhagic pituitary tumor. In all patients there was a presumed clinical diagnosis of pituitary tumor apoplexy and an imaging-documented diagnosis of hemorrhagic pituitary tumor.

Results

All 6 patients underwent transsphenoidal resection to treat the suspected pituitary apoplexy. Intraoperative and histopathological findings were consistent with the diagnosis of an RCC in all cases. Only 2 cases showed evidence of hemorrhage intraoperatively. In all cases, an intracystic nodule was found within the RCC at surgery, and this intracystic nodule was present on the initial MR imaging when retrospectively reviewed. The imaging characteristics of the intracystic nodules were similar to those of acute hemorrhage seen in cases of pituitary apoplexy.

Conclusions

The clinical and imaging features of RCCs appear similar to those of hemorrhagic pituitary tumors, making them often indistinguishable from pituitary apoplexy.

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Mandy J. Binning, James K. Liu, John R. W. Kestle, Douglas L. Brockmeyer and Marion L. Walker

✓Optic pathway gliomas represent approximately 3–5% of childhood intracranial tumors. They usually occur in children during the first decade of life and are seen in 11–30% of patients with neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1). Although these tumors are typically low-grade gliomas, the clinical course and natural history are highly variable, making treatment paradigms difficult. Overall, however, they are often indolent tumors that can be observed over time for progression without initial treatment, especially in patients with NF1. Chemotherapy is the first-line treatment for progressive tumors, and radiation therapy is reserved for patients with progressive disease who are older than 5–7 years. Surgery is reserved for large tumors causing mass effect or hydrocephalus and tumors confined to the orbit or unilateral optic nerve.

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Mandy J. Binning, Michael T. Walsh, Ronald I. Apfelbaum, Steven S. Chin and William T. Couldwell