The spontaneous resolution of isolated tonsillar ectopia in Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I) is a known and reported entity in 2 previous single study case reports. However, it has not been previously described in monozygotic twins. Two children, ~ 1 year of age with CM-I and presumed episodes of pallid syncope or breath-holding spells presented for neurosurgical evaluation. Although Chiari decompression was considered, the authors decided to proceed with conservative management with close follow-up due to the uncertain nature of these episodes. Approximately 4 years later, both children's symptoms had resolved. Repeated MR imaging examinations also showed spontaneous resolution of the malformation in both girls. These cases emphasize that when patients with CM-I present with atypical symptoms, spontaneous resolution or improvement is possible, which may influence the decision to pursue a trial of nonsurgical management. The possible pathophysiological mechanisms and genetic influences of CM-I are also briefly discussed.
Jeffrey H. Miller, David D. Limbrick Jr., Matthew Callen and Matthew D. Smyth
Brandon A. Miller, Afshin Salehi, David D. Limbrick Jr. and Matthew D. Smyth
The ROSA device is a robotic stereotactic arm that uses a laser system to register the patient’s head or spine with MR or CT images. In this study, the authors analyze their experience with this system in pediatric neurosurgical applications and present selected cases that exemplify the usefulness of this system.
The authors reviewed all cases that utilized the ROSA system at their institution. Patient demographics, pathology, complications, electrode placement, laser ablation, and biopsy accuracy were analyzed. Patient disposition and condition at follow-up were also analyzed.
Seventeen patients underwent 23 procedures using the ROSA system. A total of 87 electroencephalography electrodes were placed, with 13% deviating more than 3 mm from target. Six patients underwent stereotactic needle biopsy, and 9 underwent laser interstitial thermotherapy (LITT). One patient who underwent LITT required a subsequent craniotomy for tumor resection. Another patient experienced an asymptomatic extraaxial hematoma that spontaneously resolved. No patient suffered neurological complications during follow-up. Follow-up from the last procedure averaged 180 days in epilepsy patients and 309 days in oncology patients.
The precision, ease of use, and versatility of the ROSA system make it well suited for pediatric neurosurgical practice. Further work, including long-term analysis of results and cost-effectiveness, will help determine the utility of this system and if its applications can be expanded.
Matthew J. Mcgirt, Graeme Woodworth, George Thomas, Neil Miller, Michael Williams and Daniele Rigamonti
Object. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunts effectively reverse symptoms of pseudotumor cerebri postoperatively, but long-term outcome has not been investigated. Lumboperitoneal (LP) shunts are the mainstay of CSF shunts for pseudotumor cerebri; however, image-guided stereotaxy and neuroendoscopy now allow effective placement of a ventricular catheter without causing ventriculomegaly in these cases. To date it remains unknown if CSF shunts provide long-term relief from pseudotumor cerebri and whether a ventricular shunt is better than an LP shunt. The authors investigated these possibilities.
Methods. The authors reviewed the records of all shunt placement procedures that were performed for intractable headache due to pseudotumor cerebri at one institution between 1973 and 2003. Using proportional hazards regression analysis, predictors of treatment failure (continued headache despite a properly functioning shunt) were assessed, and shunt revision and complication rates were compared between LP and ventricular (ventriculoperitoneal [VP] or ventriculoatrial [VAT]) shunts.
Forty-two patients underwent 115 shunt placement procedures: 79 in which an LP shunt was used and 36 in which a VP or VAT shunt was used. Forty patients (95%) experienced a significant improvement in their headaches immediately after the shunt was inserted. Severe headache recurred despite a properly functioning shunt in eight (19%) and 20 (48%) patients by 12 and 36 months, respectively, after the initial shunt placement surgery. Seventeen patients without papilledema and 19 patients in whom preoperative symptoms had occurred for longer than 2 years experienced recurrent headache, making patients with papilledema or long-term symptoms fivefold (relative risk [RR] 5.2, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.5–17.8; p < 0.01) or 2.5-fold (RR 2.51, 95% CI 1.01–9.39; p = 0.05) more likely to experience headache recurrence, respectively. In contrast to VP or VAT shunts, LP shunts were associated with a 2.5-fold increased risk of shunt revision (RR 2.5, 95% CI 1.5–4.3; p < 0.001) due to a threefold increased risk of shunt obstruction (RR 3, 95% CI 1.5–5.7; p < 0.005), but there were similar risks between the two types of shunts for overdrainage (RR 2.3, 95% CI 0.8–7.9; p = 0.22), distal catheter migration (RR 2.1, 95% CI 0.3–19.3; p = 0.55), and shunt infection (RR 1.3, 95% CI 0.3–13.2; p = 0.75).
Conclusions. Based on their 30-year experience in the treatment of these patients, the authors found that CSF shunts were extremely effective in the acute treatment of pseudotumor cerebri—associated intractable headache, providing long-term relief in the majority of patients. Lack of papilledema and long-standing symptoms were risk factors for treatment failure. The use of ventricular shunts for pseudotumor cerebri was associated with a lower risk of shunt obstruction and revision than the use of LP shunts. Using ventricular shunts in patients with papilledema or symptoms lasting less than 2 years should be considered for those with pseudotumor cerebri—associated intractable headache.
Jarod L. Roland, Richard L. Price, Ashwin A. Kamath, S. Hassan Akbari, Eric C. Leuthardt, Brandon A. Miller and Matthew D. Smyth
The authors describe 2 cases of triventricular hydrocephalus initially presenting as aqueductal stenosis that subsequently developed tumors of the pineal and tectal region. The first case resembled late-onset idiopathic aqueductal stenosis on serial imaging. Subsequent imaging revealed a new tumor in the pineal region causing mass effect on the midbrain. The second case presented in a more typical pattern of aqueductal stenosis during infancy. On delayed follow-up imaging, an enlarging tectal mass was discovered. In both cases hydrocephalus was successfully treated by cerebrospinal fluid diversion prior to tumor presentation. The differential diagnoses, diagnostic testing, and treatment course for these unusual cases are discussed. The importance of follow-up MRI in cases of idiopathic aqueductal stenosis is emphasized by these exemplar cases.
Chandan G. Reddy, Goutam G. Reddy, Hiroto Kawasaki, Hiroyuki Oya, Lee E. Miller and Matthew A. Howard III
Control signals for brain-machine interfaces may be obtained from a variety of sources, each with their own relative merits. Electrocorticography (ECoG) provides better spatial and spectral resolution than scalp electroencephalography and does not include the risks attendant upon penetration of the brain parenchyma associated with single and multiunit recordings. For these reasons, subdural electrode recordings have been proposed as useful primary or adjunctive control signals for brain-machine interfaces. The goal of the present study was to determine if 2D control signals could be decoded from ECoG.
Six patients undergoing invasive monitoring for medically intractable epilepsy using subdural grid electrodes were asked to perform a motor task involving moving a joystick in 1 of 4 cardinal directions (up, down, left, or right) and a fifth condition (“trigger”). Evoked activity was synchronized to joystick movement and analyzed in the theta, alpha, beta, gamma, and high-gamma frequency bands.
Movement-related cortical potentials could be accurately differentiated from rest with very high accuracy (83–96%). Further distinguishing the movement direction (up, down, left, or right) could also be resolved with high accuracy (58–86%) using information only from the high-gamma range, whereas distinguishing the trigger condition from the remaining directions provided better accuracy.
Two-dimensional control signals can be derived from ECoG. Local field potentials as measured by ECoG from subdural grids will be useful as control signals for a brain-machine interface.
Brian J. Karlovits, Matthew R. Quigley, Stephen M. Karlovits, Lindsay Miller, Mark Johnson, Olivier Gayou and Russell Fuhrer
Whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT) has been the traditional approach to minimize the risk of intracranial recurrence following resection of brain metastases, despite its potential for late neurotoxicity. In 2007, the authors demonstrated an equivalent local recurrence rate to WBRT by using stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) to the operative bed, sparing 72% of their patients WBRT. They now update their initial experience with additional patients and more mature follow-up.
The authors performed a retrospective review of all cases involving patients with limited intracranial metastatic disease (≤ 4 lesions) treated at their institution with SRS to the operative bed following resection. No patient had prior cranial radiation and WBRT was used only for salvage.
From November 2000 to June 2009, 52 patients with a median age of 61 years met inclusion criteria. A single metastasis was resected in each patient. Thirty-four of the patients each had 1 lesion, 13 had 2 lesions, 3 had 3 lesions, and 2 had 4 lesions. A median dose of 1500 cGy (range 800–1800 cGy) was delivered to the resection bed targeting a median volume of 3.85 cm3 (range 0.08–22 cm3). With a median follow-up of 13 months, the median survival was 15.0 months. Four patients (7.7%) had a local recurrence within the surgical site. Twenty-three patients (44%) ultimately developed distant brain recurrences at a median of 16 months postresection, and 16 (30.7%) received salvage WBRT (8 for diffuse disease [> 3 lesions], 4 for local recurrence, and 4 for diffuse progression following salvage SRS). The median time to WBRT administration postresection was 8.7 months (range 2–43 months). On univariate analysis, patient factors of a solitary tumor (19.0 vs 12 months, p = 0.02), a recursive partitioning analysis (RPA) Class I (21 vs 13 months, p = 0.03), and no extracranial disease on presentation (22 vs 13 months, p = 0.01) were significantly associated with longer survival. Cox multivariate analysis showed a significant association with longer survival for the patient factors of no extracranial disease on presentation (p = 0.01) and solitary intracranial metastasis (p = 0.02). Among patients with no extracranial disease, a solitary intracranial metastasis conferred significant additional survival advantage (43 vs 10.5 months, p = 0.05, log-rank test). No factor (age, RPA class, tumor size or histological type, disease burden, extent of resection, or SRS dose or volume) was related to the need for salvage WBRT.
Adjuvant SRS to the metastatic intracranial operative bed results in a local recurrence rate equivalent to adjuvant WBRT. In combination with SRS for unresected lesions and routine imaging surveillance, this approach achieves robust overall survival (median 15 months) while sparing 70% of the patients WBRT and its potential acute and chronic toxicity.
Douglas H. Smith, Masahiro Nonaka, Reid Miller, Matthew Leoni, Xiao-Han Chen, David Alsop and David F. Meaney
Object. Immediate and prolonged coma following brain trauma has been shown to result from diffuse axonal injury (DAI). However, the relationship between the distribution of axonal damage and posttraumatic coma has not been examined. In the present study, the authors examine that relationship.
Methods. To explore potential anatomical origins of posttraumatic coma, the authors used a model of inertial brain injury in the pig. Anesthetized miniature swine were subjected to a nonimpact-induced head rotational acceleration along either the coronal or axial plane (six pigs in each group). Immediate prolonged coma was consistently produced by head axial plane rotation, but not by head coronal plane rotation. Immunohistochemical examination of the injured brains revealed that DAI was produced by head rotation along both planes in all animals. However, extensive axonal damage in the brainstem was found in the pigs injured via head axial plane rotation. In these animals, the severity of coma was found to correlate with both the extent of axonal damage in the brainstem (p < 0.01) and the applied kinetic loading conditions (p < 0.001). No relationship was found between coma and the extent of axonal damage in other brain regions.
Conclusions. These results suggest that injury to axons in the brainstem plays a major role in induction of immediate posttraumatic coma and that DAI can occur without coma.
Matthew D. Alvin, Jacob A. Miller, Daniel Lubelski, Benjamin P. Rosenbaum, Kalil G. Abdullah, Robert G. Whitmore, Edward C. Benzel and Thomas E. Mroz
Cost-effectiveness research in spine surgery has been a prominent focus over the last decade. However, there has yet to be a standardized method developed for calculation of costs in such studies. This lack of a standardized costing methodology may lead to conflicting conclusions on the cost-effectiveness of an intervention for a specific diagnosis. The primary objective of this study was to systematically review all cost-effectiveness studies published on spine surgery and compare and contrast various costing methodologies used.
The authors performed a systematic review of the cost-effectiveness literature related to spine surgery. All cost-effectiveness analyses pertaining to spine surgery were identified using the cost-effectiveness analysis registry database of the Tufts Medical Center Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy, and the MEDLINE database. Each article was reviewed to determine the study subject, methodology, and results. Data were collected from each study, including costs, interventions, cost calculation method, perspective of cost calculation, and definitions of direct and indirect costs if available.
Thirty-seven cost-effectiveness studies on spine surgery were included in the present study. Twenty-seven (73%) of the studies involved the lumbar spine and the remaining 10 (27%) involved the cervical spine. Of the 37 studies, 13 (35%) used Medicare reimbursements, 12 (32%) used a case-costing database, 3 (8%) used cost-to-charge ratios (CCRs), 2 (5%) used a combination of Medicare reimbursements and CCRs, 3 (8%) used the United Kingdom National Health Service reimbursement system, 2 (5%) used a Dutch reimbursement system, 1 (3%) used the United Kingdom Department of Health data, and 1 (3%) used the Tricare Military Reimbursement system. Nineteen (51%) studies completed their cost analysis from the societal perspective, 11 (30%) from the hospital perspective, and 7 (19%) from the payer perspective. Of those studies with a societal perspective, 14 (38%) reported actual indirect costs.
Changes in cost have a direct impact on the value equation for concluding whether an intervention is cost-effective. It is essential to develop a standardized, accurate means of calculating costs. Comparability and transparency are essential, such that studies can be compared properly and policy makers can be appropriately informed when making decisions for our health care system based on the results of these studies.
David C. Perry, Virginia E. Sturm, Matthew J. Peterson, Carl F. Pieper, Thomas Bullock, Bradley F. Boeve, Bruce L. Miller, Kevin M. Guskiewicz, Mitchel S. Berger, Joel H. Kramer and Kathleen A. Welsh-Bohmer
Mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been proposed as a risk factor for the development of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, depression, and other illnesses. This study’s objective was to determine the association of prior mild TBI with the subsequent diagnosis (that is, at least 1 year postinjury) of neurological or psychiatric disease.
All studies from January 1995 to February 2012 reporting TBI as a risk factor for diagnoses of interest were identified by searching PubMed, study references, and review articles. Reviewers abstracted the data and assessed study designs and characteristics.
Fifty-seven studies met the inclusion criteria. A random effects meta-analysis revealed a significant association of prior TBI with subsequent neurological and psychiatric diagnoses. The pooled odds ratio (OR) for the development of any illness subsequent to prior TBI was 1.67 (95% CI 1.44–1.93, p < 0.0001). Prior TBI was independently associated with both neurological (OR 1.55, 95% CI 1.31–1.83, p < 0.0001) and psychiatric (OR 2.00, 95% CI 1.50–2.66, p < 0.0001) outcomes. Analyses of individual diagnoses revealed higher odds of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, mild cognitive impairment, depression, mixed affective disorders, and bipolar disorder in individuals with previous TBI as compared to those without TBI. This association was present when examining only studies of mild TBI and when considering the influence of study design and characteristics. Analysis of a subset of studies demonstrated no evidence that multiple TBIs were associated with higher odds of disease than a single TBI.
History of TBI, including mild TBI, is associated with the development of neurological and psychiatric illness. This finding indicates that either TBI is a risk factor for heterogeneous pathological processes or that TBI may contribute to a common pathological mechanism.
Gloria J. Guzmán Pérez-Carrillo, Christopher Owen, Katherine E. Schwetye, Spencer McFarlane, Ananth K. Vellimana, Soe Mar, Michelle M. Miller-Thomas, Joshua S. Shimony, Matthew D. Smyth and Tammie L. S. Benzinger
Many patients with medically intractable epilepsy have mesial temporal sclerosis (MTS), which significantly affects their quality of life. The surgical excision of MTS lesions can result in marked improvement or even complete resolution of the epileptic episodes. Reliable radiological diagnosis of MTS is a clinical challenge. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the utility of volumetric mapping of the hippocampi for the identification of MTS in a case-controlled series of pediatric patients who underwent resection for medically refractory epilepsy, using pathology as a gold standard.
A cohort of 57 pediatric patients who underwent resection for medically intractable epilepsy between 2005 and 2015 was evaluated. On pathological investigation, this group included 24 patients with MTS and 33 patients with non-MTS findings. Retrospective quantitative volumetric measurements of the hippocampi were acquired for 37 of these 57 patients. Two neuroradiologists with more than 10 years of experience who were blinded to the patients' MTS status performed the retrospective review of MR images. To produce the volumetric data, MR scans were parcellated and segmented using the FreeSurfer software suite. Hippocampal regions of interest were compared against an age-weighted local regression curve generated with data from the pediatric normal cohort. Standard deviations and percentiles of specific subjects were calculated. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) were determined for the original clinical read and the expert readers. Receiver operating characteristic curves were generated for the methods of classification to compare results from the readers with the authors' results, and an optimal threshold was determined. From that threshold the sensitivity, specificity, PPV, and NPV were calculated for the volumetric analysis.
With the use of quantitative volumetry, a sensitivity of 72%, a specificity of 95%, a PPV of 93%, an NPV of 78%, and an area under the curve of 0.84 were obtained using a percentage difference of normalized hippocampal volume. The resulting specificity (95%) and PPV (93%) are superior to the original clinical read and to Reader A and Reader B's findings (range for specificity 74%–86% and for PPV 64%–71%). The sensitivity (72%) and NPV (78%) are comparable to Reader A's findings (73% and 81%, respectively) and are better than those of the original clinical read and of Reader B (sensitivity 45% and 63% and NPV 71% and 70%, respectively).
Volumetric measurement of the hippocampi outperforms expert readers in specificity and PPV, and it demonstrates comparable to superior sensitivity and NPV. Volumetric measurements can complement anatomical imaging for the identification of MTS, much like a computer-aided detection tool would. The implementation of this approach in the daily clinical workflow could significantly improve diagnostic accuracy.