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Robert E. Gross, Edward K. Sung, Patrick Mulligan, Nealen G. Laxpati, Darlene A. Mayo, and John D. Rolston

OBJECTIVE

Various techniques are available for stereotactic implantation of depth electrodes for intracranial epilepsy monitoring. The goal of this study was to evaluate the accuracy and effectiveness of frameless MRI-guided depth electrode implantation.

METHODS

Using a frameless MRI-guided stereotactic approach (Stealth), depth electrodes were implanted in patients via burr holes or craniotomy, mostly into the medial temporal lobe. In all cases in which it was possible, postoperative MR images were coregistered to planning MR images containing the marked targets for quantitative analysis of intended versus actual location of each electrode tip. In the subset of MR images done with sufficient resolution, qualitative assessment of anatomical accuracy was performed. Finally, the effectiveness of implanted electrodes for identifying seizure onset was retrospectively examined.

RESULTS

Sixty-eight patients underwent frameless implantation of 413 depth electrodes (96% to mesial temporal structures) via burr holes by one surgeon at 2 institutions. In 36 patients (203 electrodes) planning and postoperative MR images were available for quantitative analysis; an additional 8 procedures with 19 electrodes implanted via craniotomy for grid were also available for quantitative analysis. The median distance between intended target and actual tip location was 5.19 mm (mean 6.19 ± 4.13 mm, range < 2 mm–29.4 mm). Inaccuracy for transtemporal depths was greater along the electrode (i.e., deep), and posterior, whereas electrodes inserted via an occipital entry deviated radially. Failure to localize seizure onset did not result from implantation inaccuracy, although 2 of 62 patients (3.2%)—both with electrodes inserted occipitally—required reoperation. Complications were mostly transient, but resulted in long-term deficit in 2 of 68 patients (3%).

CONCLUSIONS

Despite modest accuracy, frameless depth electrode implantation was sufficient for seizure localization in the medial temporal lobe when using the orthogonal approach, but may not be adequate for occipital trajectories.

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Andrew Reisner, Alexis D. Smith, David M. Wrubel, Bryan E. Buster, Michael S. Sawvel, Laura S. Blackwell, Nealen G. Laxpati, Barunashish Brahma, and Joshua J. Chern

OBJECTIVE

The management of hydrocephalus resulting from intraventricular hemorrhage related to extreme prematurity remains demanding. Given the complexities of controlling hydrocephalus in this population, less commonly used procedures may be required. The authors examined the utility of ventriculogallbladder (VGB) shunts in a series of such children.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed the medical records of all children who underwent surgery for hydrocephalus in the period from 2011 through 2019 at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Six patients who underwent VGB shunt placement were identified among a larger cohort of 609 patients who had either a new shunt or a newly changed distal terminus site. The authors present an analysis of this series, including a case of laparoscopy-assisted distal VGB shunt revision.

RESULTS

The mean age at initial shunt placement was 5.1 months (range 3.0–9.4 months), with patients undergoing a mean of 11.8 shunt procedures (range 5–17) prior to the initial VGB shunt placement at a mean age of 5.3 years (range 7.9 months–12.8 years). All 6 patients with VGB shunt placement had hydrocephalus related to extreme prematurity (gestational age < 28 weeks). At the time of VGB shunt placement, all had complex medical and surgical histories, including poor venous access due to congenital or iatrogenic thrombosis or thrombophlebitis and a peritoneum hostile to distal shunt placement related to severe necrotizing enterocolitis. VGB complications included 1 case of shunt infection, identified at postoperative day 6, and 2 cases of distal shunt failure due to retraction of the distal end of the VGB shunt. In all, there were 3 conversions back to ventriculoperitoneal or ventriculoatrial shunts due to the 2 previously mentioned complications, plus 1 patient who outgrew their initial VGB shunt. Three of 6 patients remain with a VGB shunt, including 1 who underwent laparoscopy-assisted distal shunt revision 110.5 months after initial VGB shunt insertion.

CONCLUSIONS

Placement of VGB shunts should be considered in the armamentarium of procedures that may be used in the particularly difficult cohort of children with hydrocephalus related to extreme prematurity. VGB shunts show utility as both a definitive treatment and as a “bridge” procedure until the patient is larger and comorbid abdominal and/or vascular issues have resolved sufficiently to allow conversion back to ventriculoperitoneal or ventriculoatrial shunts, if needed.