Endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) has become the procedure of choice for treatment of obstructive hydrocephalus. While patient selection is the most critical factor in determining the success of an ETV procedure, the technical challenge lies in the proper site of fenestration and the successful creation of a patent stoma. Positioning of a single balloon catheter at the level or below the floor of the third ventricle to achieve an optimal ventriculostomy can at times be challenging. Here, the authors describe the use of a double-barrel balloon catheter (NeuroBalloon catheter), which facilitates positioning across, as well as dilation of, the floor of the third ventricle. The surgical technique and nuances of using the NeuroBalloon catheter and the experience in more than 1000 cases are described. The occurrence of vascular injury was less than 0.1%, and the risk of balloon rupture was less than 2%. The authors found that the placement and deployment of this balloon catheter facilitate the creation of an adequate ventriculostomy in a few simple steps.
Raphael Guzman, Arjun V. Pendharkar, Michel Zerah and Christian Sainte-Rose
Giuseppe Cinalli, Laurent Vinikoff, Michel Zerah, Dominique Renier and Alain Pierre-Kahn
Dominique Renier, Eric Arnaud, Giuseppe Cinalli, Guy Sebag, Michel Zerah and Daniel Marchac
✓ The factors involved in the mental development of patients with Apert's syndrome were studied by the authors, focusing on the age of the patient at operation, associated brain malformations, and the quality of the family environment. Overall, 32% of patients with significant follow-up review had an intelligence quotient (IQ) greater than 70. Age at operation appeared to be the main factor associated with changes in mental development: final IQ was greater than 70 in 50% of patients operated on before 1 year of age versus only 7.1% in patients operated on later in life (p = 0.01). Malformations of the corpus callosum and size of the ventricles played no role in the final IQ, whereas anomalies of the septum pellucidum had a significant effect, with the proportion of patients with an IQ over 70 increasing more than twofold in patients with a normal septum compared with patients with septal anomalies (p < 0.04). Quality of the family environment was the third factor involved in intellectual achievement: only 12.5% of institutionalized children reached a normal IQ level compared to 39.3% of children from a normal family background.
Darach William Crimmins, Alain Pierre-Kahn, Christian Sainte-Rose and Michel Zerah
The authors sought to determine the natural history of and optimal treatment for suprasellar cysts (SSCs).
Three hundred forty-two patients harboring intracranial cysts presented to the authors’ neurosurgery unit between January 1986 and August 2004. The patients’ records were reviewed to assess symptomatology, results of imaging studies, and outcome according to mode of treatment.
Thirty-three patients (9.6%) were eligible for this study. Nine SSCs were diagnosed prenatally and 24 were identified postnatally (range 0 months–18.2 years, mean 5.6 years). The mean follow-up period was 66.8 ± 44.6 months (standard deviation). Seven cysts were left untreated, six (66%) detected before birth and one (4.5%) after birth. Of the 26 patients who required surgery, three were admitted elsewhere for complications of shunt surgery. A ventriculocystostomy (VC) was performed in all three of these patients, but the treatment failed in two. The primary treatment in the remaining 23 children was: open fenestration in two patients, VC in seven, ventriculocystocisternostomy (VCC) in 13, and cystoperitoneal (CP) shunt in one patient. Both open fenestration procedures were successful, as was the CP shunt insertion. The success rate of primary endoscopic surgery, although not statistically significant, was higher for VCCs (11 [85%] of 13 patients) than for VCs (four [57%] of seven patients). None of the patients’ preoperative endocrine disorders resolved postoperatively. The distribution of intellectual and developmental quotients paralleled the normal range. Intellectual performance was unrelated to patient-specific factors or to treatment modalities.
Most SSCs are of moderate size, are stable and asymptomatic, and have a favorable outcome. Treatment is required when the cyst evolves or the patient is symptomatic, but endocrine disturbances alone are not an indication for surgery. When hydrocephalus is present, endoscopic fenestration is the primary treatment of choice. The goal of the procedure should be to open the cyst into both the ventricles and the cisterns. Intellectual capability after treatment at outcome is not related to age at diagnosis, initial or final cyst size, presence or absence of hydrocephalus, or type of endoscopic treatment.
Report of two cases
Abhaya V. Kulkarni, Alain Pierre-Kahn and Michel Zerah
✓ Spinal lipomas of the conus (SLCs) are relatively common closed neural tube defects. Many of these lesions are treated surgically at the time of diagnosis and, therefore, little has been documented about their true natural progression. In addition, the changes, if any, of SLCs in pediatric patients have not been widely studied or documented using magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. In this report, the authors describe two asymptomatic infants in whom serial MR imaging revealed substantial spontaneous regression of SLCs, a phenomenon that has been very rarely reported in the literature. These are the first MR imaging—documented cases of near-complete spontaneous regression of SLCs in infants.
Stéphanie Meuric, Raja Brauner, Christine Trivin, Jean-Claude Souberbielle, Michel Zerah and Christian Sainte-Rose
This study was performed to optimize the management of craniopharyngiomas, particularly by identifying factors predicting weight changes to prevent obesity.
A series of 35 patients who had undergone surgery at a mean age of 7.4 ± 3.7 years (standard deviation [SD]) and had been followed up until 14.9 ± 5 years of age by the same endocrinologist were assigned to one of three groups according to their hypothalamic involvement: Group 1 (10 patients) had no involvement, Group 2 (eight patients) had compression without involvement, and Group 3 (17 patients) had severe involvement.
Abnormal height and/or weight evolution indicated the craniopharyngioma in only 17% of the patients, although these elements were present at diagnosis in 85%. Before surgery, 85% of the patients lacked growth hormone, 24% lacked thyroid-stimulating hormone, 15% lacked adrenocorticotropin hormone, and 12% lacked antidiuretic hormone. All had complete hypothalamic—pituitary deficiencies after surgery.
The body mass index (BMI) before surgery (mean SD 1.1 ± 1.6) was positively correlated with BMI 1 year after surgery (mean SD 3.1 ± 2), which correlated with the BMI at the last evaluation (mean SD 3.1 ± 1.9; p < 0.0001 for both). Before surgery, patients in Group 3 had a greater BMI than did Group 1 (p < 0.02). The BMI of Group 1 patients did not change, but those of Groups 2 and 3 patients increased during the 1st year after surgery (p < 0.02 and p = 0.0003, respectively), with no further change. The changes occurred mainly during the first 3 months after surgery in Group 1, during the first 6 months in Group 2, and throughout the year in Group 3.
The degree of hypothalamic involvement by the craniopharyngioma determines the presentation and predicts weight changes after surgery.
Ricardo Santos de Oliveira, Giuseppe Cinalli, Thomas Roujeau, Christian Sainte-Rose, Alain Pierre-Kahn and Michel Zerah
The authors of this retrospective review and analysis of the literature cover an institutional series of neurenteric cysts of the central nervous system in children treated in the magnetic resonance imaging era during a 14-year period.
Sixteen patients 20 days to 14 years of age are described. The most frequent signs and symptoms at presentation were acute spinal cord compression (11 patients), paresis of a cranial nerve (two patients), meningitis or infection (two patients), and intracranial hypertension (one patient). The locations of the cysts were as follows: in the spinal canal in 12 patients (75%), the clivus in two (12.5%), the cavernous sinus in one (6%), and the craniocervical junction in one (6%). The most common location was the ventral aspect of the spinal canal (seven patients). Associated spinal deformities were found in five patients. All patients underwent surgery, with a posterior approach used in all of the spinal cases. Total resection was achieved in 12 of the 16 cases and partial resection in four. Of the four patients who underwent subtotal resection, the cyst recurred in three, requiring further surgery.
Neurenteric cysts are uncommon congenital anomalies that can present acutely in the pediatric population. Total removal is usually possible and is associated with a good prognosis.
Report of two cases and review of the literature
Giuseppe Cinalli, Michel Zerah, Michel Carteret, François Doz, Laurent Vinikoff, Arielle Lellouch-Tubiana, Beatrice Husson and Alain Pierre-Kahn
✓ The authors report the cases of two children who presented in the first months of life with progressive macrocrania related to chronic pericerebral fluid collection. This condition resolved spontaneously without treatment after a few months in the first case, whereas it required several aspirations of blood-stained fluid via the fontanel in the second case. Both patients developed normally without evidence of disease in the earliest years of life and presented at the ages of 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 years, respectively, with symptoms and signs of rapidly progressing intracranial hypertension. In both cases contrast-enhanced computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging revealed masses in the subdural space of the skull base and the cranial vault associated with significant subdural fluid collections. In the first case the lesion was misdiagnosed in the initial phase and treated, by means of multiple craniotomies, as an organized subdural hematoma. After a diagnosis of liposarcoma had been made, the patient was treated with chemotherapy, which resulted in a good resolution of the lesions at 3-month follow-up review. In the second case a biopsy allowed the diagnosis of fibrohistiocytic sarcoma and the patient was treated with chemotherapy. The authors review the literature of the few reported cases and discuss the possible pathophysiological association between pericerebral fluid collection and the subsequent development of a subdural sarcoma.
Giuseppe Cinalli, Christian Sainte-Rose, Paul Chumas, Michel Zerah, Francis Brunelle, Guillaume LOT, Alain Pierre-Kahn and Dominique Renier
Object. The goal of this study was to analyze the types of failure and long-term efficacy of third ventriculostomy in children.
Methods. The authors retrospectively analyzed clinical data obtained in 213 children affected by obstructive triventricular hydrocephalus who were treated by third ventriculostomy between 1973 and 1997. There were 120 boys and 93 girls. The causes of the hydrocephalus included: aqueductal stenosis in 126 cases; toxoplasmosis in 23 cases, pineal, mesencephalic, or tectal tumor in 42 cases; and other causes in 22 cases. In 94 cases, the procedure was performed using ventriculographic guidance (Group I) and in 119 cases by using endoscopic guidance (Group II). In 19 cases (12 in Group I and seven in Group II) failure was related to the surgical technique. Three deaths related to the technique were observed in Group I. For the remaining patients, Kaplan—Meier survival analysis showed a functioning third ventriculostomy rate of 72% at 6 years with a mean follow-up period of 45.5 months (range 4 days–17 years). No significant differences were found during long-term follow up between the two groups. In Group I, a significantly higher failure rate was seen in children younger than 6 months of age, but this difference was not observed in Group II. Thirty-eight patients required reoperation (21 in Group I and 17 in Group II) because of persistent or recurrent intracranial hypertension. In 29 patients shunt placement was necessary. In nine patients in whom there was radiologically confirmed obstruction of the stoma, the third ventriculostomy was repeated; this was successful in seven cases. Cine phase-contrast (PC) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging studies were performed in 15 patients in Group I at least 10 years after they had undergone third ventriculostomy (range 10–17 years, median 14.3 years); this confirmed long-term patency of the stoma in all cases.
Conclusions. Third ventriculostomy effectively controls obstructive triventricular hydrocephalus in more than 70% of children and should be preferred to placement of extracranial cerebrospinal shunts in this group of patients. When performed using ventriculographic guidance, the technique has a higher mortality rate and a higher failure rate in children younger than 6 months of age and is, therefore, no longer preferred. When third ventriculostomy is performed using endoscopic guidance, the same long-term results are achieved in children younger than 6 months of age as in older children and, thus, patient age should no longer be considered as a contraindication to using the technique. Delayed failures are usually secondary to obstruction of the stoma and often can be managed by repeating the procedure. Midline sagittal T2-weighted MR imaging sequences combined with cine PC MR imaging flow measurements provide a reliable tool for diagnosis of aqueductal stenosis and for ascertaining the patency of the stoma during follow-up evaluation.
Senta Kurschel, Stéphanie Puget, Marie Bourgeois, Michel Zerah, Petra Ofner and Dominique Renier
In this study the authors' goal was to identify the complication rate of subduroperitoneal (SDP) shunts for the treatment of subdural hematomas (SDHs) in infants and to determine the influences on and predictive factors for these complications.
The authors present a case series spanning the years 1994 to 2003 and include a statistical analysis of 161 children 2 years of age or younger with SDH who were treated using a unilateral valveless SDP shunt. The patient history, characteristics, and treatment methods including prior therapies, neuroimaging findings, and clinical outcomes were measures of evaluation.
Thirty-six children (22.4%) suffered complications related to SDP shunts: obstruction in 27 (16.8%), infections in eight (5%), disconnection in four (2.5%), migration in three (1.9%), wound complications (leakage and skin ulceration) in two (1.2%), and symptomatic subdural rebleeding in one (0.6%) necessitating bur hole evacuation. Seventeen children (10.6%) underwent placement of a second SDP shunt because of ipsilateral or contralateral persistent fluid collections, or premature shunt removal. With the exception of 12 patients (7.4%), shunt removal was performed systematically and resulted in the following minor complications in 30 children (18.6%): an adherent proximal catheter in 16 (9.9%), transient symptoms of intracranial hypertension in six (3.7%), subcutaneous cerebrospinal fluid accumulation in four (2.5%), local infections in three (1.9%), and hydrocephalus requiring placement of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt in one (0.6%).
Status epilepticus at presentation and neuroimaging findings such as areas of hyperdensity on computed tomography (CT) scans representing fresh blood in the subdural fluid collections before shunt insertion and at follow up were predictors of shunt-related complications. Correlations were also discovered for the following CT findings: ischemic lesions before shunt treatment, cerebral atrophy and ventricular dilation during the last follow up, and residual medium to large collections before shunt removal. Children who attained a good outcome were less affected by shunt-related complications, unlike those who presented with focal deficits and/or visual impairment.
Subduroperitoneal shunt placement for the treatment of SDH in infants is—despite the complication rate—an effective and often inevitable treatment option, especially for most large and symptomatic SDHs; a certain number of complications could be reduced with careful and precise surgical techniques. Close observation for detection of risks is mandatory, and seizure control is essential to prevent further brain injury that may result in large subdural fluid collections that are difficult to treat.