The decision to advise an athlete to retire from sports following sports-related concussion (SRC) remains a persistent challenge for physicians. In the absence of strong empirical evidence to support recommendations, clinical decision making must be individualized and should involve a multidisciplinary team of experts in concussion and traumatic brain injury. Although previous authors have advocated for a more conservative approach to these issues in child and adolescent athletes, there are few reports outlining considerations for this process among this unique population. Here, the authors use multiple case illustrations to discuss 3 subgroups of clinical considerations for sports retirement among pediatric SRC patients including the following: those with structural brain abnormalities identified on neuroimaging, those presenting with focal neurological deficits and abnormalities on physical examination, and those in whom the cumulative or prolonged effects of concussion are suspected or demonstrated. The authors' evolving multidisciplinary institutional approach to return-to-play and retirement decision making in pediatric SRC is also presented.
Michael J. Ellis, Patrick J. McDonald, Dean Cordingley, Behzad Mansouri, Marco Essig and Lesley Ritchie
Michael J. Ellis, Jeff Leiter, Thomas Hall, Patrick J. McDonald, Scott Sawyer, Norm Silver, Martin Bunge and Marco Essig
The goal in this review was to summarize the results of clinical neuroimaging studies performed in patients with sports-related concussion (SRC) who were referred to a multidisciplinar ypediatric concussion program.
The authors conducted a retrospective review of medical records and neuroimaging findings for all patients referred to a multidisciplinary pediatric concussion program between September 2013 and July 2014. Inclusion criteria were as follows: 1) age ≤ 19 years; and 2) physician-diagnosed SRC. All patients underwent evaluation and follow-up by the same neurosurgeon. The 2 outcomes examined in this review were the frequency of neuroimaging studies performed in this population (including CT and MRI) and the findings of those studies. Clinical indications for neuroimaging and the impact of neuroimaging findings on clinical decision making were summarized where available. This investigation was approved by the local institutional ethics review board.
A total of 151 patients (mean age 14 years, 59% female) were included this study. Overall, 36 patients (24%) underwent neuroimaging studies, the results of which were normal in 78% of cases. Sixteen percent of patients underwent CT imaging; results were normal in 79% of cases. Abnormal CT findings included the following: arachnoid cyst (1 patient), skull fracture (2 patients), suspected intracranial hemorrhage (1 patient), and suspected hemorrhage into an arachnoid cyst (1 patient). Eleven percent of patients underwent MRI; results were normal in 75% of cases. Abnormal MRI findings included the following: intraparenchymal hemorrhage and sylvian fissure arachnoid cyst (1 patient); nonhemorrhagic contusion (1 patient); demyelinating disease (1 patient); and posterior fossa arachnoid cyst, cerebellar volume loss, and nonspecific white matter changes (1 patient).
Results of clinical neuroimaging studies are normal in the majority of pediatric patients with SRC. However, in selected cases neuroimaging can provide information that impacts decision making about return to play and retirement from the sport.
Gerald Dieter Griffin
Matthew J. Kuhn, Piero Picozzi, Joseph A. Maldjian, Ilona M. Schmalfuss, Kenneth R. Maravilla, Brian C. Bowen, Franz J. Wippold II, Val M. Runge, Michael V. Knopp, Leo J. Wolansky, Lars Gustafsson, Marco Essig and Nicoletta Anzalone
The goal in this article was to compare 0.1 mmol/kg doses of gadobenate dimeglumine (Gd-BOPTA) and gadopentetate dimeglumine, also known as gadolinium diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid (Gd-DTPA), for enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of intraaxial brain tumors.
Eighty-four patients with either intraaxial glioma (47 patients) or metastasis (37 patients) underwent two MR imaging examinations at 1.5 tesla, one with Gd-BOPTA as the contrast agent and the other with Gd-DTPA. The interval between fully randomized contrast medium administrations was 2 to 7 days. The T1-weighted spin echo and T2-weighted fast spin echo images were acquired before administration of contrast agents and T1-weighted spin echo images were obtained after the agents were administered. Acquisition parameters and postinjection acquisition times were identical for the two examinations in each patient. Three experienced readers working in a fully blinded fashion independently evaluated all images for degree and quality of available information (lesion contrast enhancement, lesion border delineation, definition of disease extent, visualization of the lesion's internal structures, global diagnostic preference) and quantitative enhancement (that is, the extent of lesion enhancement after contrast agent administration compared with that seen before its administration [hereafter referred to as percent enhancement], lesion/brain ratio, and contrast/noise ratio). Differences were tested with the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Reader agreement was assessed using kappa statistics.
Significantly better diagnostic information/imaging performance (p < 0.0001, all readers) was obtained with Gd-BOPTA for all visualization end points. Global preference for images obtained with Gd-BOPTA was expressed for 42 (50%), 52 (61.9%), and 56 (66.7%) of 84 patients (readers 1, 2, and 3, respectively) compared with images obtained with Gd-DTPA contrast in four (4.8%), six (7.1%), and three (3.6%) of 84 patients. Similar differences were noted for all other visualization end points. Significantly greater quantitative contrast enhancement (p < 0.04) was noted after administration of Gd-BOPTA. Reader agreement was good (κ > 0.4).
Lesion visualization, delineation, definition, and contrast enhancement are significantly better after administration of 0.1 mmol/kg Gd-BOPTA, potentially allowing better surgical planning and follow up and improved disease management.
W. Alan C. Mutch, Michael J. Ellis, Lawrence N. Ryner, M. Ruth Graham, Brenden Dufault, Brian Gregson, Thomas Hall, Martin Bunge, Marco Essig, Joseph A. Fisher, James Duffin and David J. Mikulis
A neuroimaging assessment tool to visualize global and regional impairments in cerebral blood flow (CBF) and cerebrovascular responsiveness in individual patients with concussion remains elusive. Here the authors summarize the safety, feasibility, and results of brain CO2 stress testing in adolescents with postconcussion syndrome (PCS) and healthy controls.
This study was approved by the Biomedical Research Ethics Board at the University of Manitoba. Fifteen adolescents with PCS and 17 healthy control subjects underwent anatomical MRI, pseudo-continuous arterial spin labeling MRI, and brain stress testing using controlled CO2 challenge and blood oxygen level–dependent (BOLD) MRI. Post hoc processing was performed using statistical parametric mapping to determine voxel-by-voxel regional resting CBF and cerebrovascular responsiveness of the brain to the CO2 stimulus (increase in BOLD signal) or the inverse (decrease in BOLD signal). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were generated to compare voxel counts categorized by control (0) or PCS (1).
Studies were well tolerated without any serious adverse events. Anatomical MRI was normal in all study participants. No differences in CO2 stimuli were seen between the 2 participant groups. No group differences in global mean CBF were detected between PCS patients and healthy controls. Patient-specific differences in mean regional CBF and CO2 BOLD responsiveness were observed in all PCS patients. The ROC curve analysis for brain regions manifesting a voxel response greater than and less than the control atlas (that is, abnormal voxel counts) produced an area under the curve of 0.87 (p < 0.0001) and 0.80 (p = 0.0003), respectively, consistent with a clinically useful predictive model.
Adolescent PCS is associated with patient-specific abnormalities in regional mean CBF and BOLD cerebrovascular responsiveness that occur in the setting of normal global resting CBF. Future prospective studies are warranted to examine the utility of brain MRI CO2 stress testing in the longitudinal assessment of acute sports-related concussion and PCS.
Manmeet Ahluwalia, Gene H. Barnett, Di Deng, Stephen B. Tatter, Adrian W. Laxton, Alireza M. Mohammadi, Eric Leuthardt, Roukoz Chamoun, Kevin Judy, Anthony Asher, Marco Essig, Jorg Dietrich and Veronica L. Chiang
The outcome of patients undergoing laser ablation for the treatment of brain metastases that had become problematic after stereotactic radiosurgery was prospectively studied. This trial is important because the number of cancer patients undergoing brain radiosurgery is rising exponentially, making this clinical scenario an increasingly likely problem. This study shows the aggregate results that were achieved across multiple centers in the United States.