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Asha Das, Charles Simmons and Moise Danielpour

✓In this report the authors describe the clinical features of a rare neonatal anaplastic astrocytoma in the setting of in vitro fertilization (IVF). The infant had been conceived using IVF and was born full term to a 29-year-old prima gravida mother. At birth, the baby boy was irritable and demonstrated poor feeding. Cranial ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging revealed an echogenic mass in the left hemisphere with midline shift and hydrocephalus. Gross-total resection of an anaplastic astrocytoma was followed by chemotherapy with temozolomide and vincristine. Previous cases of neonatal brain tumors occurring in the setting of assisted reproduction are reviewed. A possible association between IVF and congenital neuroepithelial tumors is highlighted.

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Ali Shirzadi, Doniel Drazin, Serguei Bannykh and Moise Danielpour

Giant cell tumors (GCTs) are rare lesions of the cervical spine, with only 14 previously reported pediatric cases in the literature, all occurring in females. The authors present the case of a 15-year-old boy with neck pain who was found to have a lytic GCT of the odontoid process. Following resection, recurrent disease was treated with radiotherapy and chemotherapy and then a final resection. He has remained tumor free for more than 10 years. The rarity of GCTs can make their diagnosis difficult in the cervical spine. Because of their aggressive behavior and relative resistance to adjuvant therapy, GCTs must be monitored diligently and treated aggressively.

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Robert L. Conway, Moise Danielpour and John M. Graham Jr.

✓The authors report on three patients with a congenital brain overgrowth syndrome, macrocephaly–cutis marmorata telangiectatica congenita (M-CMTC), who experienced neurological sequelae associated with herniation of the cerebellar tonsils through the foramen magnum. In two of these patients, the authors document postnatal brain overgrowth that contributed to recurrent descent of the cerebellar tonsils and complicated the surgical treatment in one of the patients. The authors address the neurosurgical concerns related to this syndrome with special attention to acquired tonsillar ectopia and postulate that some patients may be at risk for progressive tonsillar herniation and consequent neurological symptoms due to cerebellar overgrowth. Ectopic cerebellar tonsils have been reported previously in cases of M-CMTC, and this phenomenon may be a secondary event associated with brain overgrowth rather than due to a congenitally small posterior fossa.

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Faris Shweikeh, Miriam Nuño, Moise Danielpour, Mark D. Krieger and Doniel Drazin

Object

Positional plagiocephaly (PP) has been on the rise in recent years. In this review, the authors' aim was to assess the effectiveness of current recommendations to parents on this exceedingly common problem through a comprehensive literature search. Additionally, the current treatment options and the most recent studies on PP are reviewed.

Methods

A search of the existing literature was conducted to obtain all relevant studies on guidelines, recommendations, parental and clinician practices, and epidemiological aspects.

Results

Although the incidence and risk factors for PP have been well delineated, there continues to be debates on its management and association with developmental delays. Current guidelines and recommendations on prevention set by the American Association of Pediatrics may not be easily followed by both parents and clinicians. There is also evidence that certain populations, including those with lower education, socioeconomic status, and in particular geographic regions may be more affected by the condition. Additionally, the marketing and financial aspects of PP treatments exist and should be addressed.

Conclusions

Better awareness and education are necessary to inform the population as a whole, although certain populations should be given special attention. Additionally, current guidelines and recommendations can be modified to foster a better grasp of the condition by both parents and clinicians. Adjusting current recommendations, introducing initiatives, and offering elaborate educational campaigns would help deliver these aims. Educating parents on PP as early as possible through clearer guidelines and close monitoring is central to preventing and managing this common condition.

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Parham Moftakhar, Moise Danielpour, Marcel Maya and Michael J. Alexander

Vein of Galen malformations are rare congenital intracranial vascular malformations. Based on reports in the literature, spontaneous thrombosis or regression of these lesions is rare. Patients have variable outcomes from an asymptomatic course to death. The reasons behind spontaneous thrombosis are not entirely understood. Here the authors present a case of an infant diagnosed with a vein of Galen malformation in utero that subsequently went on to thrombose or regress. A review of the published cases on this phenomenon and the potential causality are discussed.

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Debraj Mukherjee, Barry D. Pressman, Deborah Krakow, David L. Rimoin and Moise Danielpour

Object

Achondroplasia may be associated with compression at the cervicomedullary junction. Determining which patients are at greatest risk for neurological complications of cervicomedullary compression can be difficult. In the current study the authors reviewed their records to determine the incidence and clinical significance of dynamic cervicomedullary stenosis and obstruction of CSF flow along with surgical outcomes following posterior fossa decompression.

Methods

The authors reviewed 34 consecutive cases involving symptomatic children with achondroplasia undergoing cervicomedullary decompression performed by a single surgeon over 11 years. Of these patients, 29 had undergone preoperative dynamic MRI of the cervicomedullary junction with cine (cinema) CSF flow studies; 13 of these patients underwent postoperative dynamic MRI studies. Clinical outcomes included changes in polysomnography, head circumference percentile, and fontanel characteristics. Radiographic outcomes included changes in dynamic spinal cord diameter, improvement in CSF flow at the foramen magnum, and change in the Evans ratio.

Results

Patients were predominantly female, with a mean age at presentation of 6.6 years and mean follow-up of 3.7 years (range 1–10 years).

All patients had moderate to excellent improvement in postoperative polysomnography, slight decrease in average head circumference percentile (from 46.9th percentile to 45.7th percentile), and no subjective worsening of fontanel characteristics. The Evans ratio decreased by 2%, spinal cord diameter increased an average of 3.1 mm, 5.2 mm, and 0.2 mm in the neutral, flexed, and extended positions, respectively, and CSF flow improved qualitatively in all 3 positions. There were no postoperative infections, CSF leaks, or other major complications. None of the patients undergoing initial foramen magnum decompression performed at our medical center required reoperation.

Conclusions

Patients with achondroplasia and symptomatic cervicomedullary compression have increased risk of dynamic stenosis at the foramen magnum evident upon dynamic cine MRI. Operative decompression may be offered with low risk of complications or need for reoperation.

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Parham Moftakhar, Xuemo Fan, Carole H. Hurvitz, Keith L. Black and Moise Danielpour

Central nervous system medulloepitheliomas are extremely rare and malignant (World Health Organization Grade IV) primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNETs) that arise in childhood. Unlike other PNETs, medulloepitheliomas have a dismal prognosis, with only 2 reported cases in the literature in which the patient survived beyond 5 years after treatment. The authors report on the third known case of a child who survived longer than 5 years. A review of all the published cases of medulloepithelioma is also presented, and alternative treatment strategies for PNET tumors, including high-dose chemotherapy with stem-cell rescue, are discussed.

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Moise Danielpour, William R. Wilcox, Yasemin Alanay, Barry D. Pressman and David L. Rimoin

✓Achondroplasia is the most common of the heritable skeletal dysplasias. Compression at the cervicomedullary junction can result in myelopathy, hypotonia, sleep apnea, and even sudden death. However, most children with achondroplasia do not suffer from severe neurological symptoms and achieve normal motor and intellectual development without surgical intervention. At the authors' institution, magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow studies have been incorporated in the assessment of children with achondroplasia for cervicomedullary junction compression. The authors recently identified four children with achondroplasia who had normal findings on MR imaging and flow studies obtained in the neutral position. On flexion studies, however, three had complete blockage of CSF flow, and more dramatic posterior cervicomedullary compression was demonstrated on extension studies. Some of these patients had severe neurological abnormalities and sleep apnea, while others just developed headaches and/or had apnea episodes when sleeping or in a car seat. Three children underwent decompressive surgery with dramatic improvement or resolution of signs and symptoms. The fourth patient had increased CSF pressure on MR images obtained in the flexed position, possibly due to venous outflow obstruction. Her condition improved dramatically after placement of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt. The increased risk of dynamic cord compression and alterations in CSF dynamics in patients with achondroplasia constitute indications for surgical intervention.

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Samuel W. Moore, Annie J. Sasco, Pierre Dechelotte and Daniel Satgé

In this report the authors describe the clinical features of a rare neonatal anaplastic astrocytoma in the setting of in vitro fertilization (IVF). The infant had been conceived using IVF and was born full term to a 29-year-old prima gravida mother. At birth, the baby boy was irritable and demonstrated poor feeding. Cranial ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging revealed an echogenic mass in the left hemisphere with midline shift and hydrocephalus. Gross-total resection of an anaplastic astrocytoma was followed by chemotherapy with temozolomide and vincristine. Previous cases of neonatal brain tumors occurring in the setting of assisted reproduction are reviewed. A possible association between IVF and congenital neuroepithelial tumors is highlighted.