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Endoscope-assisted posterior quadrant disconnection plus corpus callosotomy: case report

Melissa A. LoPresti, Kathryn Wagner, and Sandi Lam

Intractable epilepsy impacts many children. Surgically resective and palliative treatments have developed to increase seizure freedom or palliate the seizure burden in those with medically refractory epilepsy. However, surgical epilepsy treatment can confer significant morbidity and death. Endoscope-assisted surgical approaches may be helpful in reducing the morbidity related to traditional open surgical approaches while allowing for good visualization of surgical targets. Here, the authors report a case utilizing an endoscope-assisted keyhole approach to perform a posterior quadrantectomy and corpus callosotomy, achieving the surgical goals of disconnection and reducing the need for large craniotomy exposure. They present the case of a 17-year-old male with medically refractory epilepsy treated with endoscope-assisted posterior quadrantectomy and corpus callosotomy through two mini-craniotomies to achieve a functional disconnection. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first reported case of an endoscope-assisted approach for a posterior quadrantectomy for surgical epilepsy treatment in an adult or a pediatric patient. The case is reported to highlight the technical nuances and benefits of this approach in select patients as well as the expansion of applications of endoscope-assisted epilepsy surgery.

Free access

Endoscope-assisted posterior quadrant disconnection plus corpus callosotomy: case report

Melissa A. LoPresti, Kathryn Wagner, and Sandi Lam

Intractable epilepsy impacts many children. Surgically resective and palliative treatments have developed to increase seizure freedom or palliate the seizure burden in those with medically refractory epilepsy. However, surgical epilepsy treatment can confer significant morbidity and death. Endoscope-assisted surgical approaches may be helpful in reducing the morbidity related to traditional open surgical approaches while allowing for good visualization of surgical targets. Here, the authors report a case utilizing an endoscope-assisted keyhole approach to perform a posterior quadrantectomy and corpus callosotomy, achieving the surgical goals of disconnection and reducing the need for large craniotomy exposure. They present the case of a 17-year-old male with medically refractory epilepsy treated with endoscope-assisted posterior quadrantectomy and corpus callosotomy through two mini-craniotomies to achieve a functional disconnection. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first reported case of an endoscope-assisted approach for a posterior quadrantectomy for surgical epilepsy treatment in an adult or a pediatric patient. The case is reported to highlight the technical nuances and benefits of this approach in select patients as well as the expansion of applications of endoscope-assisted epilepsy surgery.

Free access

Pinning in pediatric neurosurgery: the modified rubber stopper technique

Melissa A. LoPresti, Joshua Nguyen, and Sandi K. Lam

Head immobilization devices with skull pins are commonly used by neurosurgeons to stabilize the head for microsurgical techniques and to maintain accurate intraoperative neuronavigation. Pediatric patients, who may have open fontanelles, unfused sutures, and thin skulls, are vulnerable to complications during placement in pins. We review the various methods of pinning in pediatric neurosurgery and revisit the modified rubber stopper technique using a commonly available rubber stopper from a medication bottle over a standard adult pin of a Mayfield head clamp to prevent the pins from plunging through the thin pediatric skull.

Free access

Letter to the Editor. Modified rubber stopper technique

Donald A. Ross

Free access

Folate fortification and supplementation in prevention of folate-sensitive neural tube defects: a systematic review of policy

Nathan A. Shlobin, Melissa A. LoPresti, Rebecca Y. Du, and Sandi Lam

OBJECTIVE

Neural tube defects (NTDs) are common congenital neurological defects, resulting in mortality, morbidity, and impaired quality of life for patients and caregivers. While public health interventions that increase folate consumption among women who are or plan to become pregnant are shown to reduce folate-sensitive NTDs, public health policy reflecting the scientific evidence lags behind. The authors aimed to identify the types of policies applied, associated outcomes, and impact of folate fortification and supplementation on NTDs worldwide. By identifying effective legislation, the authors aim to focus advocacy efforts to more broadly effect change, reducing the burden of NTDs in neurosurgery.

METHODS

A systematic review was conducted exploring folate fortification and supplementation policies using the PubMed and Scopus databases. Titles and abstracts from articles identified were read and selected for full-text review. Studies meeting inclusion criteria were reviewed in full and analyzed for study design, aim, population, interventions, and outcomes.

RESULTS

Of 1637 resultant articles, 54 were included. Mandatory folate fortification was effective at reducing folate-sensitive NTDs. Mandatory fortification also decreased hospitalization rates and deaths after discharge and increased 1st-year survival for infants with NTDs. Recommended folate supplementation also resulted in decreased NTDs; however, issues with compliance and adherence were a concern and impacted effectiveness. Folate fortification and/or supplementation resulted in decreased NTD prevalence, although more change was attributed to fortification. Dual policies may hold the most promise. Furthermore, reductions in NTDs were associated with significant cost savings over time.

CONCLUSIONS

Both mandatory folate fortification and recommended supplementation policies were found to effectively decrease folate-sensitive NTD rates when applied. A comprehensive approach incorporating mandatory folate fortification, appropriate folate supplementation, and improved infrastructure and access to prenatal care may lead to decreased NTDs worldwide. This approach should be context-specific, emphasize education, and account for regional access to healthcare and social determinants of health. With wide implications for NTDs, associated health outcomes, quality of life of patients and caregivers, and economic impacts, policy changes can drastically improve global NTD outcomes. As caretakers of children with NTDs, the authors as neurosurgeons advocate for a comprehensive policy, the engagement of stakeholders, and a broader global impact.

Open access

Endoscopic placement of a triventricular stent for complex hydrocephalus and isolated fourth ventricle: illustrative case

V. Jane Horak, Beste Gulsuna, Melissa A LoPresti, and Michael DeCuypere

BACKGROUND

Hydrocephalus is commonly encountered in pediatric neurosurgery. The etiology is diverse, and complexity in management increases in patients with loculated or trapped ventricles. The authors sought to examine a treatment option of endoscopic placement of a triventricular stent in a pediatric patient with complex hydrocephalus and a trapped fourth ventricle.

OBSERVATIONS

In this case, the authors present the treatment of complex hydrocephalus with a trapped fourth ventricle in a pediatric patient using endoscopic placement of a triventricular aqueductal stent. The patient had a complex neurosurgical history, which included over 15 surgeries for shunted hydrocephalus. This case highlights the unique approach used, and the authors discuss surgical nuances of the technique, as well as learning points.

LESSONS

Complex hydrocephalus can be difficult to manage because patients often have multiple catheters, loculated or trapped ventricles, and extensive surgical histories. Endoscopic placement of a triventricular stent can decrease shunt system complexity, restore normal cerebrospinal fluid pathway circulation across the cerebral aqueduct, and promote communication between the ventricles. The authors’ treatment modality resulted in the successful resolution of the trapped fourth ventricle and symptomatic improvement in hydrocephalus.

Open access

Approaches to ventriculoperitoneal shunt scalp erosion: countersinking into the calvarium. Illustrative case

Denise Brunozzi, Melissa A LoPresti, Jennifer L McGrath, and Tord D Alden

BACKGROUND

Ventriculoperitoneal shunting (VPS) is a standard procedure for the treatment of hydrocephalus, and the management of its complications is common in the practice of pediatric neurosurgery. Shunt exposure, though a rare complication, can occur because of thin, fragile skin, a young patient age, protuberant hardware, poor scalp perfusion, and a multitude of other patient factors.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors report a complex case of VPS erosion through the scalp in a young female with Pfeiffer syndrome treated with external ventricular drainage, empirical antibiotics, and reinternalization with countersinking of replaced shunt hardware into the calvarium to prevent internal skin pressure points, reduce wound tension, and allow wound healing.

LESSONS

Recessing the shunt hardware, or countersinking the implant, into the calvarium is a simple technique often used in functional neurosurgical implantation surgeries, providing a safe surgical strategy to optimize wound healing in select cases in which the skin flap is unfavorable.

Open access

Cronobacter brain abscess and refractory epilepsy in a newborn: role of epilepsy surgery. Illustrative case

Meredith Yang, John Tsiang, Melissa A. LoPresti, and Sandi Lam

BACKGROUND

Neonatal meningitis due to Cronobacter is associated with powdered infant formula. Prompt recognition of this rare but aggressive infection is critical.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors report a unique case of neonatal Cronobacter meningoencephalitis complicated by brain abscess and status epilepticus, requiring surgical intervention in a preterm 4-week-old male and related to contaminated powdered infant formula. They discuss the medical and surgical management in this patient, as well as the role of epilepsy surgery in acute drug-resistant epilepsy. This is paired with a literature review examining Cronobacter infections in infants to provide a summative review of the existing literature.

LESSONS

Cronobacter contamination in powdered infant formula and breast pumps is rare but can cause life-threatening infections. When evaluating patients with Cronobacter central nervous system infections, serial neuroimaging, infection control, and prompt surgical management are essential. Future studies are needed regarding the role of epilepsy surgery in the acute infectious period.

Free access

Endoscopic ultrasonic aspiration of an intraparenchymal hematoma in a newborn

Melissa A. LoPresti, Eric A. Goethe, James C. Bayley, Brandon Bertot, Peter T. Kan, and Sandi Lam

Neonatal intracerebral hemorrhage is associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. Treatment is largely conservative, though interventions to evacuate intraventricular and intraparenchymal hematomas (IPHs) have been applied. Endoscopic ultrasonic aspiration for the treatment of IPH has increasingly been shown to be a useful strategy in adults; however, it has not been studied in children, and the technology has been more commonly applied to intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH). Here, the authors describe, to the best of their knowledge, the first use of endoscopic ultrasonic aspiration for IPH in a newborn.

An 8-week-old female presented with IPH secondary to left M3 aneurysm rupture, which was treated with coil embolization for aneurysm securement and vessel sacrifice, followed by IPH evacuation using endoscopic ultrasonic aspiration. Through applying this approach in a newborn, the authors gained technical insight not previously reported in the application of this technique in similar cases in adults or in cases of IVH. They highlight this case to share learning points and technical challenges regarding the application of endoscopic ultrasonic aspiration in a newborn along with learning points for imaging and visualization. Endoscopic ultrasonic aspiration can be used to treat IPH in select newborns. Further study is needed to improve efficacy and ease when applying this approach in very young patients.

Open access

Flexible neuroendoscopy for endoscopic third ventriculostomy and fourth ventricular arachnoid cyst fenestration in an infant

Luis Fernandez, Melissa A. LoPresti, Jae Eun Lee, Michael DeCuypere, and Sandi K. Lam

Arachnoid cysts of the fourth ventricle are rarely reported. Management options include CSF diversion, cyst fenestration, or cyst excision. Fenestration can be done via open microsurgical technique or endoscopically with or without simultaneous third ventriculostomy; and both rigid and flexible endoscopy have been used successfully. However, application of this treatment modality in pediatric patients is not well described. Therefore, to their knowledge, the authors report the first successful treatment of a fourth ventricular arachnoid cyst with a single frontal burr hole entry point for third ventriculostomy and fourth ventricular arachnoid cyst fenestration performed using flexible neuroendoscopy. The patient was a 13-month-old boy presenting with progressive macrocephaly. The authors review their technique, discuss special considerations when using this approach, and include an annotated intraoperative video for demonstration to help instruct and guide management. The authors demonstrate with an example that a single frontal burr hole entry point for flexible endoscopic third ventriculostomy and navigation through a dilated cerebral aqueduct for fourth ventricular arachnoid cyst fenestration is a viable treatment for symptomatic fourth ventricular arachnoid cysts in children.