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Michel W. Bojanowski, Moujahed Labidi, Nathalie L’Ecuyer and Chiraz Chaalala

Thalamomesencephalic cavernous malformations are located high in the brainstem and may be difficult to reach. We present a case of such a lesion which was successfully approached via the supracerebellar transtentorial route. Our enclosed video provides elements to justify this posterior approach and illustrates the steps required for the cavernoma’s safe removal, which include opening of the tentorium and gentle retraction of the exposed temporal lobe.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/Ex5OfLyBzPY.

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Moujahed Labidi, Pascale Lavoie, Geneviève Lapointe, Sami Obaid, Alexander G. Weil, Michel W. Bojanowski and André Turmel

OBJECT

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) has become the first line of treatment in obstructive hydrocephalus. The Toronto group (Kulkarni et al.) developed the ETV Success Score (ETVSS) to predict the clinical response following ETV based on age, previous shunt, and cause of hydrocephalus in a pediatric population. However, the use of the ETVSS has not been validated for a population comprising adults. The objective of this study was to validate the ETVSS in a “closed-skull” population, including patients 2 years of age and older.

METHODS

In this retrospective observational study, medical charts of all consecutive cases of ETV performed in two university hospitals were reviewed. The primary outcome, the success of ETV, was defined as the absence of reoperation or death attributable to hydrocephalus at 6 months. The ETVSS was calculated for all patients. Discriminative properties along with calibration of the ETVSS were established for the study population. The secondary outcome is the reoperation-free survival.

RESULTS

This study included 168 primary ETVs. The mean age was 40 years (range 3–85 years). ETV was successful at 6 months in 126 patients (75%) compared with a mean ETVSS of 82.4%. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.61, revealing insufficient discrimination from the ETVSS in this population. In contrast, calibration of the ETVSS was excellent (calibration slope = 1.01), although the expected low numbers were obtained for scores < 70. Decision curve analyses demonstrate that ETVSS is marginally beneficial in clinical decision-making, a reduction of 4 and 2 avoidable ETVs per 100 cases if the threshold used on the ETVSS is set at 70 and 60, respectively. However, the use of the ETVSS showed inferior net benefit when compared with the strategy of not recommending ETV at all as a surgical option for thresholds set at 80 and 90.

In this cohort, neither age nor previous shunt were significantly associated with unsuccessful ETV. However, better outcomes were achieved in patients with aqueductal stenosis, tectal compressions, and other tumor-associated hydrocephalus than in cases secondary to myelomeningocele, infection, or hemorrhage (p = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS

The ETVSS did not show adequate discrimination but demonstrated excellent calibration in this population of patients 2 years and older. According to decision-curve analyses, the ETVSS is marginally useful in clinical scenarios in which 60% or 70% success rates are the thresholds for preferring ETV to CSF shunt. Previous history of CSF shunt and age were not associated with worse outcomes, whereas posthemorrhagic and postinfectious causes of the hydrocephalus were significantly associated with reduced success rates following ETV.

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Pascal Lavergne, Moujahed Labidi, Marie-Christine Brunet, Paule Lessard Bonaventure, Akli Zetchi, Sylvine Carrondo Cottin, David Simonyan and André Turmel

OBJECTIVE

Chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) is a common neurosurgical condition that can result in significant morbidity. The incidence of epileptic events associated with CSDH reported in the literature varies considerably and could potentially increase morbidity and mortality rates. The effectiveness of antiepileptic prophylaxis for this indication remains unclear. The primary objective of this study was to assess the relevance of anticonvulsant prophylaxis in reducing seizure events in patients with CSDH.

METHODS

All consecutive cases of CSDH from January 1, 2005, to May 30, 2014, at the Hôpital de l’Enfant-Jésus in Quebec City were retrospectively reviewed. Sociodemographic data, antiepileptic prophylaxis use, incidence of ictal events, and clinical and radiological outcome data were collected. Univariate analyses were done to measure the effect of antiepileptic prophylaxis on ictal events and to identify potential confounding factors. Multivariate logistic regression was performed to evaluate factors associated with epileptic events.

RESULTS

Antiepileptic prophylaxis was administered in 28% of the patients, and seizures occurred in 11%. Univariate analyses showed an increase in the incidence of ictal events in patients receiving prophylaxis (OR 5.92). Four factors were identified as being associated with seizures: septations inside the hematoma, membranectomy, antiepileptic prophylaxis, and a new deficit postoperatively. Antiepileptic prophylaxis was not associated with seizures in multivariate analyses.

CONCLUSIONS

Antiepileptic prophylaxis does not seem to be effective in preventing seizures in patients with CSDH. However, due to the design of this study, it is difficult to conclude definitively about the usefulness of this prophylactic therapy that is widely prescribed for this condition.