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Open access

Nathaniel R. Ellens and Howard J. Silberstein

BACKGROUND

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is known to cause more severe symptoms in the adult population, but pediatric patients may experience severe neurological symptoms, including encephalopathy, seizures, and meningeal signs. COVID-19 has also been implicated in both ischemic and hemorrhagic cerebrovascular events. This virus inhibits angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, decreasing angiotensin (1–7), decreasing vagal tone, disrupting blood pressure autoregulation, and contributing to a systemic vascular inflammatory response, all of which may further increase the risk of intracranial hemorrhage. However, there has only been one reported case of intracranial hemorrhage developing in a pediatric patient with COVID-19.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors discuss the first case of a pediatric patient with COVID-19 presenting with intracranial hemorrhage. This patient presented with lethargy and a bulging fontanelle and was found to have extensive intracranial hemorrhage with hydrocephalus. Laboratory tests were consistent with hyponatremia and vitamin K deficiency. Despite emergency ventriculostomy placement, the patient died of his disease.

LESSONS

This case demonstrates an association between COVID-19 and intracranial hemorrhage, and the authors have described several different mechanisms by which the virus may potentiate this process. This role of COVID-19 may be particularly important in patients who are already at a higher risk of intracranial hemorrhage, such as those with vitamin K deficiency.

Open access

Nathaniel R. Ellens, Matthew C. Miller, Ismat Shafiq, Zoe R. Williams, and G. Edward Vates

BACKGROUND

Rathke cleft cyst (RCC) has a recurrence rate of 10% to 22%, and preventing recurrence is challenging. For patients who experience persistent recurrence of RCC, placement of steroid-eluting bioabsorbable intrasellar stents has been rarely described. However, recurrences are often delayed, suggesting that dissolvable stents may not be successful long-term. The release of steroids in close proximity to the pituitary gland may also unintentionally influence the hypothalamic-adrenal-pituitary axis.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors present a case of a 66-year-old woman with a persistently recurrent RCC who underwent drainage of her cyst with placement of a nonabsorbable intrasellar stent in the form of a tympanostomy tube. After repeat transsphenoidal drainage of her cyst, a tympanostomy T-tube was placed to stent open the dural aperture. Postoperatively, the patient’s condition showed improvement clinically and radiographically.

LESSONS

Placement of an intrasellar stent for recurrent RCC has rarely been described. Steroid-eluting bioabsorbable stents may dissolve before RCC recurrence and may have an unintentional effect on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. The authors present the first case of nonabsorbable stent placement in the form of a tympanostomy tube for recurrence of RCC. Additional studies and longer follow-up are necessary to evaluate the long-term efficacy of both absorbable and nonabsorbable stent placement.

Restricted access

Derrek Schartz, Thomas K. Mattingly, Redi Rahmani, Nathaniel Ellens, Sajal Medha K. Akkipeddi, Tarun Bhalla, and Matthew T. Bender

OBJECTIVE

Microsurgery for cerebral aneurysms is called definitive, yet some patients undergo a craniotomy that results in noncurative treatment. Furthermore, the overall rate of noncurative microsurgery for cerebral aneurysms is unclear. The objective of this study was to complete a systematic review and meta-analysis to quantify three scenarios of noncurative treatment: aneurysm wrapping, postclipping remnants, and late regrowth of completely obliterated aneurysms.

METHODS

A PRISMA-guided systematic literature review of the MEDLINE and Cochrane Library databases and meta-analysis was completed. Studies were included that detailed rates of aneurysm wrapping, residua confirmed with imaging, and regrowth after confirmed total occlusion. Pooled rates were subsequently calculated using a random-effects model. An assessment of statistical heterogeneity and publication bias among the included studies was also completed for each analysis, with resultant I2 values and p values determined with Egger’s test.

RESULTS

Sixty-four studies met the inclusion criteria for final analysis. In 41 studies, 573/15,715 aneurysms were wrapped, for a rate of 3.5% (95% CI 2.7%–4.2%, I2 = 88%). In 43 studies, 906/13,902 aneurysms had residual neck or dome filling, for a rate of 6.4% (95% CI 5.2%–7.6%, I2 = 93%). In 15 studies, 71/2568 originally fully occluded aneurysms showed regrowth, for a rate of 2.1% (95% CI 1.2%–3.1%, I2 = 58%). Together, there was a total rate of noncurative surgery of 12.0% (95% CI 11.5%–12.5%). Egger’s test suggested no significant publication bias among the studies. Meta-regression analysis revealed that the reported rate of aneurysm wrapping has significantly declined over time, whereas the rates of aneurysm residua and recurrence have not significantly changed.

CONCLUSIONS

Open microsurgery for cerebral aneurysm results in noncurative treatment approximately 12% of the time. This metric may be used to counsel patients and as a benchmark for other treatment modalities. This investigation is limited by the high degree of heterogeneity among the included studies.

Full access

Laura M. Muncie, Nathaniel R. Ellens, Emeline Tolod-Kemp, Claudio A. Feler, and John S. Winestone

OBJECTIVE

This study is a retrospective case series involving C1–2 spinal cord stimulation in patients with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) under general endotracheal anesthesia. Currently, C1–2 paddle lead placement is an accepted practice, which provides effective cervical stimulation to ameliorate upper-extremity and sometimes lower-extremity symptoms experienced by patients with CRPS. However, this technique must be performed under general endotracheal anesthesia rather than in an awake or semiconscious state due to intraoperative safety concerns and patient comfort. The authors aim to provide additional data to support the following novel technique: the use of somatosensory evoked potential (SSEP) diminution data to assist with proper midline placement of C1–2 leads under general anesthesia.

METHODS

SSEP median nerve (MN) and posterior tibial nerve (PTN) data were collected from 6 patients undergoing placement of C1–2 leads under general anesthesia. Fluoroscopy was used as an initial guide for proper anatomical midline placement. This was followed by the activation of the spinal cord stimulator and simultaneous collection of primarily MN SSEPs as well as PTN SSEPs for physiological midline placement. Unilateral and bilateral reductions in SSEPs assisted with the correct lateralization of the lead to ensure effective postoperative coverage according to the patient's individual preoperative symptoms.

RESULTS

Six patients were monitored using SSEPs and repeatable, reliable MN and PTN baseline responses were obtained from all. A reduction in amplitude ranging from 5% to 87% was observed, confirming inhibition of dorsal column conduction, and an average pain relief of 63% at short-term and 64% at long-term follow-up was recorded with 6 of 6 and 5 of 6 patients responding, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

Intraoperative SSEP collision study testing appears to be a safe technique to monitor placement of C1–2 paddle leads intraoperatively under general anesthesia.