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Maria M. Santos and Mark M. Souweidane

The authors report an illustrative case of a purely endoscopic surgical approach to successfully remove a solid choroid plexus papilloma of the third ventricle in an infant. A 10-week-old male infant first presented with transient episodes of forced downward gaze, divergent macrocephaly, a tense anterior fontanel, diastasis of the cranial sutures, and papilledema. Brain MRI revealed a small, multilobulated contrast-enhancing mass situated within the posterior third ventricle, with resultant obstructive hydrocephalus. A purely endoscopic removal of the tumor was performed through a single right frontal bur hole. Intraoperatively, a unique vascular tributary was recognized coming from the tela choroidea and was controlled with coagulation and sharp dissection. Postoperative MRI confirmed complete tumor removal, and the tumor was classified as a choroid plexus papilloma. There has been no evidence of tumor recurrence over 42 months of follow-up. With this case report the authors intended to show that endoscopic surgery can be an additional tool to consider when planning a choroid plexus tumor approach. It seems to be of particular interest in selected cases in which there are concerns about the patient's total blood volume, as in infants with potential hemorrhagic tumors and when it is possible to preoperatively identify a single vascular pedicle that can be approached early in the surgery.

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Ângelo Raimundo da Silva Neto, Gervina Brady Moreira Holanda, Maria Cláudia Saldanha Farias, Gladstone Santos da Costa, and Hougelle Simplício Gomes Pereira

Mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) Type VI, or Maroteaux-Lamy syndrome, is characterized by a deficiency of the enzyme arylsulfatase B (ASB). In patients with this disorder, craniocervical compression, carpal tunnel syndrome, and communicating hydrocephalus are common. Traditionally, hydrocephalus occurring in patients with MPS VI has been treated with shunt placements. Considering obstruction of the outlets from the fourth ventricle at the craniocervical transition, the authors decided to treat a female patient with MPS VI via endoscopic third ventriculostomy. She was 12 years old and had refractory headaches. This seems to be the first reported instance of the neuroendoscopic treatment of hydrocephalus in a patient with MPS VI. The pathophysiology is briefly discussed.

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Maria M. Santos, Derick K. Rubagumya, Imani Dominic, Amos Brighton, Soledad Colombe, Philip O’Donnell, Micaella R. Zubkov, and Roger Härtl

OBJECTIVE

Infant hydrocephalus is estimated to affect more than 100,000 new infants each year in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Bugando Medical Centre (BMC), a government-funded and patient cost-shared referral center, serves over 13 million people in the Lake and Western regions of Tanzania. The goals of this study were to characterize the infant population affected by hydrocephalus who presented to BMC and were treated with a ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS) to determine the rate of early complications associated with this surgical procedure and to assess its potential risk factors.

METHODS

Data were prospectively collected from all patients less than 1 year of age who, over a period of 7 months, were diagnosed with hydrocephalus and admitted to BMC for insertion of a primary VPS. Demographic data, maternal history, preoperative studies, surgical procedure, and surgical complications developing by the time of the first follow-up visit were analyzed. Risk factors associated with the surgical complications were determined.

RESULTS

During the 7-month study period, 125 infants eligible for the study were included in the analysis. Overall, 75% were younger than 6 months of age, and 56% were males. Only 7% of mothers had a gestational ultrasound, 98% did not receive preconception folic acid, and 25% delivered their child at home. In most patients with hydrocephalus the etiology was uncertain (56%), and other patients had postinfectious (22.4%) or myelomeningocele-associated (16%) hydrocephalus. Patients’ mean head circumference on admission was 51.4 ± 6.3 cm. Their median age at shunt surgery was 137 days, and 22.4% of the patients were operated on without having undergone radiological assessment. The majority of shunts were placed in a right parietooccipital location. Thirteen patients had undergone a previous intraventricular endoscopic procedure. Overall, at least one surgical complication was found in 33.6% of patients up to the first follow-up assessment (median follow-up time of 70 days); shunt infection was the most common complication. The postoperative mortality rate was 9%. The risk factors associated with early surgical complications were tumor-related etiology, larger head circumference, and postoperative hospital stays of greater duration.

CONCLUSIONS

In a region of the continent where most infant hydrocephalus cases had an uncertain etiology, most patients presented to the hospital in a late stage, with no prenatal diagnosis and with large head circumferences. Standard preoperative investigations were not uniformly performed, and the surgical complications, led by VPS infection, were disturbingly high. Younger patient age, previous endoscopic procedure, surgeon involved, and cranial location of the VPS had no statistical relation to the surgical complications.

This study shows that the positive results previously reported by SSA mission hospitals, subspecialized in pediatric neurosurgery, are still not generalizable to every hospital in East Africa. To improve maternal and neonatal care in the Lake region of Tanzania, the development of a fluxogram to determine hydrocephalus etiology, a strict perioperative protocol for VPS insertion, and an increase in the number of endoscopic procedures are recommended to BMC.

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Ricardo Santos de Oliveira, Marcelo Campos Moraes Amato, María Sol Brassesco, Elvis Terci Valera, Carlos Eduardo Barros Jucá, Luciano Neder, Luiz Gonzaga Tone, and Hélio Rubens Machado

The authors report the first case of an intracranial inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor (IMT) associated with the placement of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt, which occurred in a 7-year-old boy. Neuroradiological features showed a mass surrounding the ventricular catheter. The lesion was completely resected. Histological study revealed the mass to be an IMT. The patient's postoperative course was complicated by a local recurrence requiring a second surgery. Cytogenetic analysis of the sample by comparative genome hybridization revealed several chromosomal amplifications and regional losses. The occurrence of IMT in the CNS has rarely been reported. For treatment of this condition, the authors recommend a total removal of the shunt with a mass excision to prevent local recurrence.

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Marco Zenteno, Jorge Santos-Franco, Yolanda Aburto-Murrieta, Jose-María Modenesi-Freitas, Guadalupe Ramírez-Guzmán, Sergio Gómez-Llata, and Angel Lee

✓Endovascular treatment of intracranial aneurysms has evolved since the introduction of detachable coils. Sole stenting is a brand-new technique that has recently emerged as a definitive treatment for saccular or fusiform aneurysms at particular locations. Superior cerebellar artery aneurysms are rare, and few treated cases have been reported. Most of them have been treated surgically, and endovascular cases usually have been managed with occlusion of the parent vessel. The authors report on the first two endovascularly treated cases with complete cure of the aneurysm as well as preservation of the parent vessel and distal circulation via the sole stenting technique. The results together with several aspects of the technique, such as the correction of the angle of the vessel and modification of the shear stress, are discussed.

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Marco Antonio Zenteno, Jorge Arturo Santos-Franco, Jose Maria Freitas-Modenesi, Camilo Gómez, Luis Murillo-Bonilla, Yolanda Aburto-Murrieta, Ricardo Díaz-Romero, Edgar Nathal, Sergio Gómez-Llata, and Angel Lee

Object

The use of intracranial stents in stent-assisted coil embolization is now a current neurosurgical practice worldwide. The clinical utility of these stents in the sole stenting (SS) technique, however, has not been thoroughly described, and the published reports of this experience are scarce. This study was designed to evaluate SS treatment of dissecting and nondissecting aneurysms of the posterior circulation.

Methods

This prospective and descriptive study was conducted in 20 consecutive patients who harbored single aneurysms of the posterior circulation and who were treated using the SS approach in the last 3 years. The clinical and radiological assessment and follow-up of the patients were evaluated using the modified Rankin scale as well as with computed tomography angiography and digital subtraction angiography at discharge and at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months.

Results

Eleven of the 20 patients had subarachnoid hemorrhages, 3 presented with ischemia, 1 presented with brainstem compression, and the remaining 5 patients had incidentally discovered, asymptomatic lesions. Only 1 patient had a complication (occipital infarction) attributable to the SS procedure. One patient died of rebleeding 2 weeks after the procedure. At 1 month, 40% of the patients had a subtotal or total occlusion, which increased to 55% at 3 months and 85% at 6 months, with a final subtotal or total occlusion rate of 80% at 1 year. The SS procedure in 1 case was considered a failure at 6 months because no change had been noted since the 1-month follow-up. One case showed partial occlusion and 1 case showed recanalization.

Conclusions

Use of SS for aneurysms in the posterior circulation complex is a safe and effective technique, demonstrating an occlusion rate of 80% at the 1-year follow up.

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Halinder S. Mangat, Xian Wu, Linda M. Gerber, Hamisi K. Shabani, Albert Lazaro, Andreas Leidinger, Maria M. Santos, Paul H. McClelland, Hanna Schenck, Pascal Joackim, Japhet G. Ngerageza, Franziska Schmidt, Philip E. Stieg, and Roger Hartl

OBJECTIVE

Given the high burden of neurotrauma in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), in this observational study, the authors evaluated the treatment and outcomes of patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) accessing care at the national neurosurgical institute in Tanzania.

METHODS

A neurotrauma registry was established at Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute, Dar-es-Salaam, and patients with severe TBI admitted within 24 hours of injury were included. Detailed emergency department and subsequent medical and surgical management of patients was recorded. Two-week mortality was measured and compared with estimates of predicted mortality computed with admission clinical variables using the Corticoid Randomisation After Significant Head Injury (CRASH) core model.

RESULTS

In total, 462 patients (mean age 33.9 years) with severe TBI were enrolled over 4.5 years; 89% of patients were male. The mean time to arrival to the hospital after injury was 8 hours; 48.7% of patients had advanced airway management in the emergency department, 55% underwent cranial CT scanning, and 19.9% underwent surgical intervention. Tiered medical therapies for intracranial hypertension were used in less than 50% of patients. The observed 2-week mortality was 67%, which was 24% higher than expected based on the CRASH core model.

CONCLUSIONS

The 2-week mortality from severe TBI at a tertiary referral center in Tanzania was 67%, which was significantly higher than the predicted estimates. The higher mortality was related to gaps in the continuum of care of patients with severe TBI, including cardiorespiratory monitoring, resuscitation, neuroimaging, and surgical rates, along with lower rates of utilization of available medical therapies. In ongoing work, the authors are attempting to identify reasons associated with the gaps in care to implement programmatic improvements. Capacity building by twinning provides an avenue for acquiring data to accurately estimate local needs and direct programmatic education and interventions to reduce excess in-hospital mortality from TBI.