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Sylvia Shitsama, Nunthasiri Wittayanakorn, Humphrey Okechi and A. Leland Albright

Object

Severe hydrocephalus and hydranencephaly are common congenital conditions in Kenya. In patients with these conditions, ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunts are associated with appreciable complications and endoscopic third ventriculostomies (ETVs) have limited success. Endoscopic choroid plexus coagulation (CPC) to diminish CSF production is a potential treatment option. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of CPC without ETV in infants with severe hydrocephalus or hydranencephaly.

Methods

Medical records of infants with severe congenital hydrocephalus or hydranencephaly who underwent CPC in Kijabe Hospital from November 2010 to April 2013 were reviewed retrospectively. Thirty-three patients with complete medical records and preoperative radiographic images were identified. After CPC, the infants were followed in the Kijabe Hospital outpatient department, in mobile clinics, or by telephone. Success of the CPC was defined as resolution of preoperative symptoms, stabilization of head size, and avoidance of VP shunt placement.

Results

Patients were followed from 30 to 608 days (median of 120 days). Three patients were lost to follow-up. Of the 30 evaluable patients, CPC was considered to be successful in 13 (43.3%), including 8 of 20 patients with severe hydrocephalus and 5 of 10 with hydranencephaly. Failure of CPC was evident from increased head circumference in 14 (82%) of 17 patients and from CSF leakage in 3. Of the 17 failures, 13 occurred within 3 months of surgery. Six patients died: 3 whose CPC procedures were failures, 2 whose CPC was successful, and 1 postoperatively. Of the 17 in whom CPC failed, 10 subsequently underwent VP shunt insertion.

Conclusions

CPC stabilizes macrocephaly in approximately 40% of infants with severe congenital hydrocephalus and hydranencephaly and can be considered as an alternative to VP shunt placement.

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Ronnie E. Baticulon, Michael C. Dewan, Nunthasiri Wittayanakorn, Philipp R. Aldana and Wirginia J. Maixner

OBJECTIVE

There are limited data on the pediatric neurosurgical workforce in Asia and Australasia. The training and clinical practice of pediatric neurosurgeons need to be characterized in order to identify gaps in knowledge and skills, thereby establishing a framework from which to elevate pediatric neurosurgical care in the region.

METHODS

An online survey for pediatric neurosurgeons was created in REDCap (Research Electronic Database Capture), collecting demographic information and data on pediatric neurosurgical training and clinical practice. The link to answer the survey was sent to the mailing lists of the Asian Australasian Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery and the Japanese Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery, disseminated during the 2019 Asian Australasian Pediatric Neurosurgery Congress, and spread through social media. The survey was open to neurosurgeons who operated on patients ≤ 18 years old in Asian Australasian countries, whether or not they had completed fellowship training in pediatric neurosurgery. Descriptive statistics were computed and tabulated. Data were stratified and compared based on surgeon training and World Bank income group.

RESULTS

A total of 155 valid survey responses were analyzed, representing neurosurgeons from 21 countries. A total of 107 (69%) considered themselves pediatric neurosurgeons, of whom 66 (43%) had completed pediatric neurosurgery training. Neurosurgeons in East Asia commonly undergo a fellowship in their home countries, whereas the rest train mostly in North America, Europe, and Australia. A majority (89%) had operating privileges, and subspecialty pediatric training usually lasted from 6 months to 2 years. On average, trained pediatric neurosurgeons perform a higher number of pediatric neurosurgical operations per year compared with nonpediatric-trained respondents (131 ± 129 vs 56 ± 64 [mean ± SD], p = 0.0001). The mean number of total neurosurgical operations per year is similar for both groups (184 ± 129 vs 178 ± 142 [mean ± SD], p = 0.80). Respondents expressed the desire to train further in pediatric epilepsy, spasticity, vascular malformations, craniofacial disorders, and brain tumors.

CONCLUSIONS

Both pediatric and general neurosurgeons provide neurosurgical care to children in Asia and Australasia. There is a need to increase pediatric neurosurgery fellowship programs in the region. Skill sets and training needs in pediatric neurosurgery vary depending on the country’s economic status and between pediatric-trained and nonpediatric-trained surgeons.