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Marie-Lise C. van Veelen, Dalibor Mihajlović, Ruben Dammers, Hester Lingsma, Leon N. A. van Adrichem and Irene M. J. Mathijssen

OBJECT

Various techniques to correct sagittal synostosis have been described. The authors of this study assess the results of 2 techniques for late complete cranial remodeling and test the hypothesis that adding a widening bridge would improve outcome.

METHODS

In this retrospective study, the authors evaluated patients with nonsyndromic sagittal synostosis—those who underwent frontobiparietal remodeling (FBR) and those who underwent modified FBR (MFBR) involving the introduction of a bony bridge to increase the width of the skull. Outcomes for both groups are described in terms of the aesthetic results assessed on photographs and any changes in the cranial index (CI) and head circumference over time, the presence of papilledema, and complaints of headache. The effect of the surgical technique on CI and head circumference over time was assessed using linear regression analysis, with adjustment for preoperative CI and head circumference.

RESULTS

Sixty-nine patients with isolated sagittal synostosis were included in this study: 35 underwent MFBR and 34 underwent the original technique of FBR. The mean follow-up period was 7 years. In the 1st year after surgery, mean CI improved by 9% in the FBR group and by 12% in the MFBR group. One year after surgery, CI in the MFBR group was on average 4.7% higher than that in the FBR group (p < 0.001). During follow-up, CI decreased in both groups; however, at all time points CI was significantly higher in the MFBR group than in the FBR group. The impact of surgical technique on CI was less important than the impact of preoperative CI (R2= 0.26 vs 0.54), and this applied at all time points during follow-up. Head circumference declined during follow-up in both groups. It was influenced by preoperative head circumference, but not by surgical technique. Aesthetic outcome, prevalence of headache (42%), and papilledema (7%) were comparable in both groups.

CONCLUSIONS

Adding a widening bridge to late complete remodeling significantly improved CI and helped to prevent CI from decreasing in the long term. This addition did not affect the head circumference growth curve. Despite a mean head circumference remaining at +1 SD, patients continued to develop papilledema postoperatively (7%).

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San Y. C. V. Pols, Marie Lise C. van Veelen, Femke K. Aarsen, Antonia Gonzalez Candel and Coriene E. Catsman-Berrevoets

OBJECTIVE

Postoperative cerebellar mutism syndrome (pCMS) occurs in 7%–50% of children after cerebellar tumor surgery. Typical features include a latent onset of 1–2 days after surgery, transient mutism, emotional lability, and a wide variety of motor and neurobehavioral abnormalities. Sequelae of this syndrome usually persist long term. The principal causal factor is bilateral surgical damage (regardless of tumor location) to any component of the proximal efferent cerebellar pathway, which leads to temporary dysfunction of cerebral cortical regions as a result of diaschisis. Tumor type, cerebellar midline location, and brainstem involvement are risk factors for pCMS that have been identified repeatedly, but they do not explain its latent onset. Ambiguous or negative results for other factors, such as hydrocephalus, postoperative meningitis, length of vermian incision, and tumor size, have been reached. The aim of this study was to identify perioperative clinical, radiological, and laboratory factors that also increase risk for the development of pCMS. The focus was on factors that might explain the delayed onset of pCMS and thus might provide a time window for taking precautionary measures to prevent pCMS or reduce its severity. The study was focused specifically on children who had undergone surgery for medulloblastoma.

METHODS

In this single-center retrospective cohort study, the authors included 71 children with medulloblastoma, 28 of whom developed pCMS after primary resection. Clinical and laboratory data were collected prospectively and analyzed systematically. Variables were included for univariate and multivariate analysis.

RESULTS

Univariate regression analysis revealed 7 variables that had a significant influence on pCMS onset, namely, tumor size, maximum tumor diameter > 5 cm, tumor infiltration or compression of the brainstem, significantly larger decreases in hemoglobin (p = 0.010) and hematocrit (p = 0.003) in the pCMS group after surgery than in the no-pCMS group, significantly more reported incidents of severe bleeding in the tumor bed during surgery in the pCMS group, preoperative hydrocephalus, and a mean body temperature rise of 0.5°C in the first 4 days after surgery in the pCMS group. Multiple regression analysis revealed that tumor size, tumor infiltration into or compression of the brainstem, and higher mean body temperature in the first 4 postoperative days were independent and highly significant predictors for pCMS.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors confirmed earlier findings that tumor-associated preoperative conditions, such as a maximum tumor diameter ≥ 5 cm and infiltration into or compression of the brainstem, are associated with a higher risk for the development of pCMS. Most importantly, the authors found that a 0.5°C higher mean body temperature in the first 4 postoperative days increased the odds ratio for the development of pCMS almost 5-fold. These data suggest that an important focus for the prevention of pCMS in children who have undergone medulloblastoma surgery might be rigorous maintenance of normothermia as standard care after surgery.

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Marie-Lise C. van Veelen-Vincent, Alain Pierre-Kahn, Chantale Kalifa, Christian Sainte-Rose, Michel Zerah, John Thorne and Dominique Renier

Object. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of patient-related factors, extent of surgery, and adjuvant therapy on survival in children presenting with intracranial ependymoma.

Methods. Between 1980 and 1999, 83 children (mean age 36 months) underwent surgery for intracranial ependymomas. Complete resection, verified on postoperative computerized tomography scans, was achieved in 73%. Adjuvant therapy modalities have changed over the years: before 1990 all patients received radiotherapy, whereas after 1990 the children younger than 3 years of age and later those younger than 5 years of age were treated first with chemotherapy and received radiotherapy only after their first tumor recurrence. The follow-up period averaged 70 x 49 months.

Conclusions. Overall survival, intraoperative deaths excluded, was 73 ± 11% and 51 ± 14% at 5 and 10 years, respectively. The event-free survival rate at 5 and 10 years was 48 ± 12% and 46 ± 12%, respectively. Most of the events were local recurrences. Despite multiple reinterventions, the overall survival rate in this group dropped to 14%. On univariate analysis, the only significant prognostic factors were complete resection and radiotherapy. Both of these factors combined increased the 5- and 10-year survival rates to 93 and 75%, respectively. Age of the patients was not a statistically independent prognostic factor. The patients in the chemotherapy group did not fare as well as those in the radiotherapy group. A subgroup (36%) within the chemotherapy group, however, survived tumor free after a mean follow-up period of 67 months. It is not clear whether this subgroup either responded well to chemotherapy or needed no adjuvant therapy. Further research is warranted to answer this question.

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Stephanie D. C. van de Beeten, Martijn J. Cornelissen, Renee M. van Seeters, Marie-Lise C. van Veelen, Sarah L. Versnel, Sjoukje E. Loudon and Irene M. J. Mathijssen

OBJECTIVE

Unicoronal synostosis results in frontal plagiocephaly and is preferably treated before the patient is 1 year of age to prevent intracranial hypertension (ICH). However, data on the prevalence of ICH in these patients is currently lacking. This study aimed to establish the prevalence of preoperative and postoperative signs of ICH in a large cohort of patients with unicoronal synostosis and to test whether there is a correlation between papilledema and occipitofrontal head circumference (OFC) curve stagnation in unicoronal synostosis.

METHODS

The authors included all patients with unicoronal synostosis treated before 2 years of age at a single center between 2003 and 2013. The presence of ICH was evaluated by routine fundoscopy. The OFC growth curve was analyzed for deflection and in relationship to signs of ICH.

RESULTS

In total, 104 patients were included in this study, 84 (81%) of whom were considered to have nonsyndromic unicoronal synostosis. Preoperatively, none of the patients had papilledema as determined by fundoscopy (mean age at surgery 11 months). Postoperatively, 5% of patients with syndromic synostosis and 3% of those with nonsyndromic synostosis had papilledema, and this was confirmed by optical coherence tomography. Raised intracranial pressure was confirmed in 1 patient with syndromic unicoronal synostosis. Six of 78 patients had OFC stagnation, which was not significantly correlated to papilledema (p = 0.22). One child with syndromic unicoronal synostosis required repeated surgery for ICH (0.96%).

CONCLUSIONS

Papilledema was not found in patients with unicoronal synostosis when they underwent surgery before the age of 1 year and was also very rare during follow-up. There was no relationship between papilledema and OFC stagnation.

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Jochem K. H. Spoor, Pravesh S. Gadjradj, Alex J. Eggink, Philip L. J. DeKoninck, Bart Lutters, Jeroen R. Scheepe, Jetty van Meeteren, Peter C. J. de Laat, Marie Lise van Veelen and Tjeerd H. R. de Jong

OBJECTIVE

Myelomeningocele (MMC) is the most common form of spina bifida, with a lifelong impact on the quality of life for infants born with this condition. In recent decades, fetal surgery has evolved from an experimental therapy to standard of care for many centers in the world. In this study, the authors aimed to provide an overview of the current management and outcomes for infants with MMC managed at their institution. This then provides a center-specific historical cohort for comparison with future antenatal-treated MMC cases.

METHODS

This is a retrospective, single-institution cohort study including all consecutive MMC cases between January 1, 2000, and June 1, 2018, at Erasmus MC. Outcome data included closure of the defect (location, timing, and surgical parameters), hydrocephalus management, Chiari malformation type II (CMTII) management, incidence of spinal cord tethering and outcome, motor outcomes, and continence.

RESULTS

A total of 93 patients were included with predominantly lumbosacral lesions. Two patients died during follow-up. Hydrocephalus was present in 84%, with a 71% ventriculoperitoneal shunt reoperation rate. Surgery was performed in 12% for a tethered spinal cord at a mean age of 8 years. Decompression surgery was performed in 3 patients for CMTII. Special education in 63% was significantly associated with hydrocephalus (p < 0.015). Nineteen percent of patients were able to walk independently, and 47% were nonambulators. Social continence for urine was obtained in 75% of patients, 4% had fecal incontinence.

CONCLUSIONS

This study provides an overview of current MMC outcomes at the authors’ center and will serve as a historical cohort for comparison with future fetal surgery cases operated on at the center in the coming years. Apart from a relatively low surgical untethering rate, the authors’ outcome data are comparable to those in the literature. Hydrocephalus is highly prevalent in postnatally treated MMC patients; in this study as in much of the literature, hydrocephalus is correlated with a low cognitive function. Fetal surgery for MMC halves the need for shunt treatment in a select group of MMC pregnancies, constituting a major indication for us to undergo the transition to a fetal surgery center. The fetal benefits of open antenatal surgery for MMC are well established, yet long-term data on especially tethered spinal cord are eagerly awaited.

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Marie-Lise C. van Veelen-Vincent, Ernst J. Delwel, Rozemarijn Teeuw, Erkan Kurt, Dirk A. de Jong, Michel P. Brocaar, Bernard K. H. Pauw, Cees J. J. Avezaat and Bert G. A. van Zanten

Object. Following shunt placement for treatment of normal-pressure hydrocephalus (NPH), several patients suffered hearing loss. The authors undertook a study to analyze this outcome.

Methods. Sixteen patients in whom NPH was diagnosed were treated by placement of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt. Their hearing was assessed pre- and postoperatively by using pure tone audiometry. Two thirds of the ears tested showed a postoperative hearing loss of more than 10 dB. Recovery of the hearing loss occurred 6 to 12 weeks after shunt placement in 75% of the ears examined.

Conclusions. Although shunt insertion for treatment of NPH results in a decrease in hearing, most of the loss can be recovered.

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Caroline Driessen, Natalja Bannink, Maarten Lequin, Marie-Lise C. van Veelen, Nicole C. Naus, Koen F. M. Joosten and Irene M. J. Mathijssen

Object

Children with syndromic or complex craniosynostosis are evaluated for increased intracranial pressure (ICP) using funduscopy to detect papilledema. However, papilledema is a late sign of increased ICP. Because papilledema might be preceded by an increase in optic nerve sheath (ONS) diameter, the authors conducted a prospective study to establish the validity and applicability of measuring the ONS using ultrasonography.

Methods

From January 2007 to December 2009, 175 bilateral ultrasonography ONS measurements were performed in 128 patients with syndromic or complex craniosynostosis during the daytime. The measurements were correlated with ONS diameter assessed on CT and simultaneous funduscopy, when available. Furthermore, results were compared by using thresholds for ONS diameters on ultrasonography that are available in the literature.

Results

The mean ONS diameter on ultrasonography was 3.1 ± 0.5 mm. The CT measurement was significantly correlated with the ultrasonography measurement (r = 0.41, p < 0.001). The mean ONS diameter in 38 eyes with papilledema was 3.3 ± 0.5 mm, compared with 3.1 ± 0.5 mm in the eyes of patients without papilledema (p = 0.039). Relative to the age-related thresholds, the ONS diameter was too large in 11 eyes (3%), particularly in patients with Crouzon syndrome. Compared with funduscopy, ultrasonography sensitivity was 11%, specificity was 97%, and positive and negative predictive values were 40% and 86%, respectively.

Conclusions

Ultrasonography is a valid and easy way of quantifying the ONS. Although the ONS diameter is larger in children with papilledema, it cannot be used as a daytime screening tool instead of funduscopy. The ONS diameter is possibly a more real-time indicator of ICP.

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Irene Mathijssen, Robbin de Goederen, Sarah L. Versnel, Koen F. M. Joosten, Marie-Lise C. van Veelen and Robert C. Tasker

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Martijn J. Cornelissen, Robbin de Goederen, Priya Doerga, Iris Cuperus, Marie-Lise van Veelen, Maarten Lequin, Paul Govaert, Irene M. J. Mathijssen, Jeroen Dudink and Robert C. Tasker

OBJECTIVE

In addition to craniocerebral disproportion, other factors, such as Chiari malformation type I, obstructive sleep apnea, and venous outflow obstruction, are considered to have a role in the occurrence of intracranial hypertension in craniosynostosis. This pilot study examined cerebral venous flow velocity to better characterize the complex intracranial venous physiology of craniosynostosis.

METHODS

The authors performed a prospective cohort study of craniosynostosis patients (n = 34) referred to a single national (tertiary) craniofacial unit. Controls (n = 28) consisted of children who were referred to the unit’s outpatient clinic and did not have craniosynostosis. Transfontanelle ultrasound scans with venous Doppler flow velocity assessment were performed at the first outpatient clinic visit and after each surgery, if applicable. Mean venous blood flow velocities of the internal cerebral vein (ICVv) and the superior sagittal sinus (SSSv) were recorded and blood flow waveform was scored.

RESULTS

Preoperatively, SSSv was decreased in craniosynostosis patients compared with controls (7.57 vs 11.31 cm/sec, p = 0.009). ICVv did not differ significantly between patients and controls. Postoperatively, SSSv increased significantly (7.99 vs 10.66 cm/sec, p = 0.023). Blood flow waveform analyses did not differ significantly between patients and controls.

CONCLUSIONS

Premature closure of cranial sutures was associated with decreased SSSv but not ICVv; indicating an effect on the superficial rather than deep venous drainage. Further Doppler ultrasound studies are needed to test the hypothesis that at an early stage of craniosynostosis pathology SSSv, but not pulsatility, is abnormal, and that abnormality in both SSSv and the superficial venous waveform reflect a more advanced stage of evolution in suture closure.

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Priya N. Doerga, Maarten H. Lequin, Marjolein H. G. Dremmen, Bianca K. den Ottelander, Katya A. L. Mauff, Matthias W. Wagner, Juan A. Hernandez-Tamames, Sarah L. Versnel, Koen F. M. Joosten, Marie-Lise C. van Veelen, Robert C. Tasker and Irene M. J. Mathijssen

OBJECTIVE

In comparison with the general population, children with syndromic craniosynostosis (sCS) have abnormal cerebral venous anatomy and are more likely to develop intracranial hypertension. To date, little is known about the postnatal development change in cerebral blood flow (CBF) in sCS. The aim of this study was to determine CBF in patients with sCS, and compare findings with control subjects.

METHODS

A prospective cohort study of patients with sCS using MRI and arterial spin labeling (ASL) determined regional CBF patterns in comparison with a convenience sample of control subjects with identical MRI/ASL assessments in whom the imaging showed no cerebral/neurological pathology. Patients with SCS and control subjects were stratified into four age categories and compared using CBF measurements from four brain lobes, the cerebellum, supratentorial cortex, and white matter. In a subgroup of patients with sCS the authors also compared longitudinal pre- to postoperative CBF changes.

RESULTS

Seventy-six patients with sCS (35 female [46.1%] and 41 male [53.9%]), with a mean age of 4.5 years (range 0.2–19.2 years), were compared with 86 control subjects (38 female [44.2%] and 48 male [55.8%]), with a mean age of 6.4 years (range 0.1–17.8 years). Untreated sCS patients < 1 year old had lower CBF than control subjects. In older age categories, CBF normalized to values observed in controls. Graphical analyses of CBF by age showed that the normally expected peak in CBF during childhood, noted at 4 years of age in control subjects, occurred at 5–6 years of age in patients with sCS. Patients with longitudinal pre- to postoperative CBF measurements showed significant increases in CBF after surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

Untreated patients with sCS < 1 year old have lower CBF than control subjects. Following vault expansion, and with age, CBF in these patients normalizes to that of control subjects, but the usual physiological peak in CBF in childhood occurs later than expected.