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Adedamola Adepoju and Matthew A. Adamo

OBJECTIVE

Skull fracture is associated with several intracranial injuries. The object of this study was to determine the rate of fracture associated with venous thrombosis, intracranial arterial dissection (ICAD), and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage in pediatric patients. Further, the authors aimed to highlight the features of pediatric skull fracture that predict poor neurological outcomes.

METHOD

In this retrospective study, the authors evaluated the records of 258 pediatric patients who had incurred a traumatic skull fracture in the period from 2009 to 2015. All the patients had undergone CT imaging, which was used to characterize the type of skull fracture and other important features, including intracranial hemorrhage. Patients with fracture extending to a dural sinus or proximal to major intracranial vessels had undergone vascular imaging to evaluate for venous thrombosis or arterial dissection. Clinical data were also reviewed for patients who had CSF leakage.

RESULTS

Two hundred fifty-eight patients had 302 skull fractures, with 11.6% having multiple fractures. Falling was the most common mechanism of injury (52.3%), and the parietal bone was most frequently involved in the fracture (43.4%). Diastatic fracture was associated with increased intracranial hemorrhage (p < 0.05). The rate of venous thrombosis was 0.4%, and the rate of ICAD was also 0.4%. The rate of CSF leakage was 2.3%. Skull base fracture was the only significant risk factor associated with an increased risk of CSF leakage (p < 0.05). There was a significant difference in fracture-related morbidity in patients younger than versus older than 2 years of age. Patients younger than 2 years had fewer intracranial hemorrhages (21.8% vs 38.8%) and fewer neurosurgical interventions (3.0% vs 12.7%) than the patients older than 2 years (p < 0.001). Moreover, skull fracture in the younger group was mostly caused by falling (81.2% vs 33.1%); in the older group, fracture was most often caused by vehicle-related accidents (35.7% vs 4.0%) and being struck by or against an object (19.1% vs 7.9%). Additionally, skull fracture location was analyzed based on the mechanism of injury. Parietal bone fracture was closely associated with falling, and temporal bone fracture was associated with being struck by or against an object (p < 0.05). Frontal bone fracture was more associated with being struck by or against an object and vehicle-related injury (p < 0.05) than with falling. Vehicle-related accidents and being struck by or against an object, as opposed to falling, were associated with increased surgical intervention (13.3% vs 16.2% vs 3.7%, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

Pediatric skull fracture usually has a benign outcome in patients who fall and are younger than 2 years of age. Poor prognostic factors include diastasis, an age > 2 years, and fracture caused by vehicle-related accidents or being struck by or against an object. In this series, the rates of venous thrombosis and ICAD were low, and the authors do not advocate vascular imaging unless these disease entities are clinically suspected. Patients with skull base fracture should be closely monitored for CSF leakage.

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Matthew A. Adamo and Ian F. Pollack

Object

Sagittal synostosis accounts for the most common form of craniosynostosis, occurring with an incidence of 1 in 2000–5000 live births. In most cases of single-suture, nonsyndromic sagittal synostosis, a single operation is all that is required to achieve a reasonable cosmetic result. However, there are a number of patients who may experience symptomatic postoperative calvarial growth restriction secondary to fibrosis of newly formed bone and pericranium that replace the surgically removed sagittal suture, or due to fusion of other previously open sutures leading to increased intracranial pressure, necessitating a second operation.

Methods

A retrospective review was conducted of all cases involving infants who had undergone an extended sagittal strip craniectomy with bilateral parietal wedge osteotomies at our institution between 1990 and 2006 for single-suture, nonsyndromic sagittal craniosynostosis. The frequency with which subsequent operations were required for cranial growth restriction was then defined.

Results

There were a total of 164 patients with single-suture nonsyndromic sagittal synostosis. Follow-up data were available for 143 of these patients. The average age at time of initial operation was 5.25 months, and the mean duration of follow-up was 43.85 months. There were 2 patients (1.5%) who required a second operation for symptomatic postoperative calvarial growth restriction.

Conclusions

Recurrence of synostosis with resultant increased intracranial pressure in cases of single-suture, nonsyndromic sagittal craniosynostosis is an uncommon event, but does occur sporadically and unpredictably. Therefore, we recommend routine neurosurgical follow up for at least 5 years, with regular ophthalmological examinations to assess for papilledema.

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Matthew A. Adamo and Eric M. Deshaies

✓In patients who develop fulminant cerebral edema and elevated intracranial pressures, viral encephalitis can result in devastating neurological and cognitive sequelae despite antiviral therapy. The benefits of decompressive craniectomy, if any, in this group of patients are unclear. In this manuscript, the authors report their experience with 2 patients who presented with herpes simplex virus requiring surgical decompression resulting in excellent neurocognitive outcomes. They also review the literature on decompressive craniectomy in patients with fulminating infectious encephalitis.

Four published articles consisting of 13 patients were identified in which the authors had reported their experience with decompressive craniectomy for fulminant infectious encephalitis. Herpes simplex virus was confirmed in 6 cases, Mycoplasma pneumoniae in 2, and an unidentified viral infection in 5 others. All patients developed clinical signs of brainstem dysfunction and underwent surgical decompression resulting in good (Glasgow Outcome Scale [GOS] Score 4) or excellent (GOS Score 5) functional recoveries.

The authors conclude that infectious encephalitis is a neurosurgical disease in cases in which there is clinical and imaging evidence of brainstem compression. Surgical decompression results in excellent recovery of functional independence in both children and adults despite early clinical signs of brainstem dysfunction.

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Matthew A. Adamo, Doniel Drazin and A. John Popp

Short-lasting, unilateral neuralgiform headache attacks with conjunctival injection and tearing (SUNCT) syndrome was first described in 1978 as one of the trigeminal autonomic cephalgias. In this paper the authors present a patient with a growth hormone–secreting pituitary adenoma who experienced resolution of SUNCT syndrome after transsphenoidal tumor resection.

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Heather Smith, AmiLyn Taplin, Sohail Syed and Matthew A. Adamo

OBJECTIVE

Malignant disease of the CNS is the primary etiology for deaths resulting from cancer in the pediatric population. It has been well documented that outcomes of pediatric neurosurgery rely on the extent of tumor resection. Therefore, techniques that improve surgical results have significant clinical implications. Intraoperative ultrasound (IOUS) offers real-time surgical guidance and a more accurate means for detecting residual tumor that is inconspicuous to the naked eye. The objective of this study was to evaluate the correlation of extent of resection between IOUS and postoperative MRI. The authors measured the correlation of extent of resection, negative predictive value, and sensitivity of IOUS and compared them with those of MRI.

METHODS

This study consisted of a retrospective review of the medical charts of all pediatric patients who underwent neurosurgical treatment of a tumor between August 2009 and July 2015 at Albany Medical Center. Included were patients who were aged ≤ 21 years, who underwent brain or spinal tumor resection, for whom IOUS was used during the tumor resection, and for whom postoperative MRI (with and without contrast) was performed within 1 week of surgery.

RESULTS

Sixty-two patients met inclusion criteria for the study (33 males, mean age 10.0 years). The IOUS results very significantly correlated with postoperative MRI results (φ = 0.726; p = 0.000000011; negative predictive value 86.3% [95% CI 73.7%–94.3%]). These results exemplify a 71% overall gross-total resection rate and 80% intended gross-total resection rate with the use of IOUS (i.e., excluding cases performed only for debulking purposes).

CONCLUSIONS

The use of IOUS may play an important role in achieving a greater extent of resection by providing real-time information on tumor volume and location in the setting of brain shift throughout the course of an operation. The authors support the use of IOUS in pediatric CNS tumor surgery to improve clinical outcomes at low cost with minimal additional operating-room time and no identified additional risk.

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Mark Calayag, Alexandra R. Paul and Matthew A. Adamo

OBJECT

The authors review their ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt revisions over a 3-year period to determine the rate of intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) and subsequent need for re-revision.

METHODS

Review of medical records identified 35 pediatric patients who underwent 52 VP shunt revisions between 2009 and 2012. The presence and amount of IVH as determined by CT and the time to re-revision were documented. The reason for shunting, catheter position, and time between initial VP shunt placement and subsequent revisions were also recorded.

RESULTS

After 13 (25%) of the 52 revisions, IVH was evident on postoperative CT scans. The majority of patients had a trace amount of IVH, with only 2% having IVH greater than 5 ml. After 2 (15%) of the 13 revisions associated with IVH, re-revision was required within 1 month. In contrast, the re-revision rate in patients without IVH was 18%. All of the patients who developed IVH had occipital catheters.

CONCLUSIONS

Some degree of IVH can be expected after approximately one-quarter of all VP shunt revision procedures in pediatric patients, but the rate of significant IVH is low. Furthermore, the presence of IVH does not necessitate an early shunt revision.

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Matthew A. Adamo, Doniel Drazin and John B. Waldman

Object

Infants with severe traumatic brain injury represent a therapeutic challenge. The internal absence of open space within the infant cranial vault makes volume increases poorly tolerated. This report presents 7 cases of decompressive craniectomy in infants with cerebral edema.

Methods

The authors reviewed the medical charts of infants with brain injuries who presented to Albany Medical Center Hospital between January 2004 and July 2007. Variables that were examined included patient age, physical examination results at admission, positive imaging findings, surgery performed, complications, requirement of permanent CSF diversion, and physical examination results at discharge and outpatient follow-up using the King's Outcome Scale for Childhood Head Injury. Seven infants met the inclusion criteria for the study. Six infants experienced nonaccidental trauma, and 1 had a large infarction of the middle cerebral artery territory secondary to a carotid dissection. At admission, all patients were minimally responsive, 4 had equal and minimally reactive pupils, 3 had anisocoria with the enlarged pupil on the same side as the brain lesion, and all had right-sided hemiparesis. Six patients received a left hemicraniectomy, whereas 1 received a left frontal craniectomy. In all cases, bone was cultured and stored at the bone bank.

Results

Postoperatively, 3 patients who developed draining CSF fistulas needed insertions of external ventricular drains, with incisions oversewn using nylon sutures and a liquid bonding agent. After prolonged CSF drainage and wound care, these patients all developed epidural and subdural empyemas necessitating surgical drainage and debridement. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus was found in 2 patients and Enterococcus in the third. All patients developed hydrocephalus necessitating the insertion of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt, and all had bone replaced within 1–6 months from the time of the original operation. Two patients required reoperation due to bone resorption. At outpatient follow-up visits, all had scores of 3 or 4 on the King's Outcome Scale for Childhood Head Injury. Each patient was awake, interactive, and could sit, as well as either crawl or walk with assistance. All had persistent, improving right-sided hemiparesis and spasticity.

Conclusions

Despite poor initial examination results, infants with severe traumatic brain injury can safely undergo decompressive craniectomy with reasonable neurological recovery. Postoperative complications must be anticipated and treated appropriately. Due to the high rate of CSF fistulas encountered in this study, it appears reasonable to recommend both the suturing in of a dural augmentation graft and the placement of either a subdural drain or a ventriculostomy catheter to relieve pressure on the healing surgical incision. Also, one might want to consider using a T-shaped incision as opposed to the traditional reverse question mark-shaped incision because wound healing may be compromised due to the potential interruption of the circulation to the posterior and inferior limb with this latter incision.

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Eric M. Deshaies, Matthew A. Adamo and Alan S. Boulos

Object

The HydroCoil embolization system is a helical platinum coil coated with a polymeric hydrogel that expands when it contacts aqueous solutions to increase filling volumes, improve mesh stability, and possibly elicit a healing response within the aneurysm. In this paper, the authors report the 1-year recurrence and complication rates of 67 aneurysms embolized with the HydroCoil system.

Methods

Sixty-four consecutive patients (67 total aneurysms) with small (≤ 7 mm), large (8–15 mm), very large (16–24 mm), and giant (≥ 25 mm) aneurysms in the anterior and posterior intracranial circulations were treated with HydroCoils between March 2003 and September 2004. All aneurysms were embolized by the senior author (A.S.B) with HydroCoils alone or in combination with bare platinum coils, until either there was no further angiographic contrast filling of the aneurysm or the microcatheter was pushed out of the dome by the coil mass. Balloon assistance was used in three cases and combined Neuroform stent–coil embolization in eight other cases. To evaluate the safety and 1-year efficacy of the HydroCoil system, periprocedural complications were recorded, and angiographic recurrences were categorized using the Raymond–Roy Occlusion Classification (RROC) system.

The 1-year aneurysm recurrence rate independent of size was 15% in patients treated with HydroCoils. Seventy percent of the patients had stable occlusions. The recurrence rate for small aneurysms was 3.7%, and the combined recurrence rate for small and large aneurysms was 6%. Fifteen percent of the aneurysms initially categorized as RROC Type 2 or 3 with stasis of contrast material at the time of initial embolization improved in RROC type, allowing the authors to develop the aneurysm embolization grade to predict recurrence. The neurological complication rate was 14.9%, of which 4.5% represented permanent neurological deficits.

Conclusions

The HydroCoil embolization system is safe and provides excellent 1-year occlusion of small and large aneurysms with initial RROC Type 1, as well as those with RROC Types 2 and 3 with stasis of contrast material at the time of embolization. Very large and giant aneurysms were not as successfully occluded with this system. Treatment of large and giant internal carotid artery aneurysms was more likely to result in cranial nerve palsies and postembolization headaches than treatment in other locations. The aneurysm embolization grade the authors developed using the results of this study accurately predicted 1-year recurrence rates based on the immediate postembolization angiographic characteristics of the treated aneurysm.

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Matthew A. Adamo, Lisa Abraham and Ian F. Pollack

Herpesviruses can cause an acute, subacute, or chronic disease state in both immunocompetent and immunocompromised individuals. Herpes simplex virus (HSV) encephalitis is most often an acute monophasic disease process. Rarely, however, it may progress to a chronic state, and more rarely still to a granulomatous encephalitis. Prior studies have suggested that antiviral immunity with Toll-like receptors determines susceptibility to herpesviruses. The authors report the case of a 14-year-old girl with a remote history of treated HSV encephalitis, who had intractable seizures and worsening MR imaging changes that were concerning for either a neoplastic or an inflammatory process. She was found to have granulomatous herpes simplex encephalitis and had a low cytokine response to Toll-like receptor 3 stimulation.

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Matthew A. Adamo, Doniel Drazin, Caitlin Smith and John B. Waldman

Object

Nonaccidental trauma has become a leading cause of death in infants and toddlers. Compared with children suffering from accidental trauma, many children with nonaccidental trauma present with injuries requiring neurosurgical management and operative interventions.

Methods

A retrospective review was performed concerning the clinical and radiological findings, need for neurosurgical intervention, and outcomes in infants and toddlers with head injuries who presented to Albany Medical Center between 1999 and 2007. The Fisher exact probability test and ORs were computed for Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) scores, hyperdense versus hypodense subdural collections, and discharge and follow-up King's Outcome Scale for Childhood Head Injury (KOSCHI) scores.

Results

There were 218 patients, among whom 164 had sustained accidental trauma, and 54 had sustained nonaccidental trauma (NAT). The patients with accidental traumatic injuries were more likely to present with GCS scores of 13–15 (OR 6.95), and the patients with NATs with of GCS scores 9–12 (OR 6.83) and 3–8 (OR 2.99). Skull fractures were present in 57.2% of accidentally injured patients at presentation, and 15% had subdural collections. Skull fractures were present in 30% of nonaccidentally injured patients, and subdural collections in 52%. Patients with evidence of hypodense subdural collections were significantly more likely to be in the NAT group (OR 20.56). Patients with NAT injuries were also much more likely to require neurosurgical operative intervention. Patients with accidental trauma were more likely to have a KOSCHI score of 5 at discharge and follow-up (ORs 6.48 and 4.58), while patients with NAT had KOSCHI scores of 3a, 3b, 4a, and 4b at discharge (ORs 6.48, 5.47, 2.44, and 3.62, respectively), and 3b and 4a at follow-up.

Conclusions

Infant and toddler victims of NAT have significantly worse injuries and outcomes than those whose trauma was accidental. In the authors' experience, however, with aggressive intervention, many of these patients can make significant neurological improvements at subsequent follow-up visits.