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Novel pressure-sensing skin for detecting impending tissue damage during neuroendoscopy

Laboratory investigation

Patrick J. Codd, Arabagi Veaceslav, Andrew H. Gosline, and Pierre E. Dupont


Endoscopy plays an increasingly important role in minimally invasive neurosurgery. Visual feedback from the endoscope tip helps the surgeon prevent unwanted tissue contact. However, critical feedback regarding tissue deformation and trauma from proximal endoscope components is currently unavailable. A system for force feedback along the endoscope length could provide significant clinical benefit by warning of impending damage.

The authors manufactured and tested a novel pressure-sensing polymer skin for use in pressure feedback during intracranial endoscopy.


A photolithography process on a silicon wafer was used to produce a pattern of 80-μm-tall extrusions to serve as a positive mold for the sensor array. A thin layer of polydimethylsiloxane polymer was molded onto these features. Demolding the polymer from the wafer and sealing with another polymer layer resulted in microchannels. These microchannels were filled with a conductive liquid metal and connected to recording hardware. Spiral channel patterns were designed to create a 3 × 3 array of pressure-sensor pads, which were wrapped around a standard neuroendoscope operating sheath. Pressure readings from the compressed sensor array were translated into a color-coded graphic user interface. Calibration experiments were conducted, and the sensor was evaluated through cortical compression tests on explanted ovine brain.


The sensing endoscope operating sheath was successfully calibrated to detect and display pressures within a range consistent with normal and tissue-threatening compressions.


Force-feedback mechanisms for the neuroendoscopist are critically lacking with contemporary endoscopes. The authors designed a pressure-sensing skin technology for improved pressure feedback during endoscopy as a means for minimizing collateral tissue damage during endoscopy.

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A recurrent cerebral arteriovenous malformation in an adult

Case report

Patrick J. Codd, Alim P. Mitha, and Christopher S. Ogilvy

Arteriovenous malformations are generally considered to be cured following angiographically proven complete resection. However, rare instances of AVM recurrence despite negative findings on postoperative angiography have been reported in both children and adults. In this paper, the authors present the case of a 33-year-old woman with 2 AVM recurrences. This patient represents the oldest case of recurrent AVM, and the first adult double recurrence reported in the literature. The case is presented, the radiological and surgical features are considered, and the literature on recurrent AVMs is reviewed.

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Seckel syndrome and moyamoya

Case report

Patrick J. Codd, R. Michael Scott, and Edward R. Smith

Seckel syndrome is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by intrauterine and postnatal growth delay, microcephaly with mental retardation, and facial dysmorphisms including micrognathia, a recessed forehead, and a large beaked nose. Occurring in 1 in 10,000 children without sex preference, it is the most common primordial microcephalic osteodysplastic dwarfism and has been associated with a variety of congenital brain malformations and intracranial aneurysms. Moyamoya syndrome is an idiopathic, chronic, progressive cerebrovascular disorder marked by stenosis of the intracranial internal carotid arteries and concurrent development of hypertrophied collateral vessels. These tortuous arterial collaterals appear radiographically as “puffs of smoke,” giving the syndrome its name. In this report, the authors describe the case of a 16-year-old girl with coincident Seckel and moyamoya syndromes. To their knowledge, this is the first reported case of such an association being treated with surgical revascularization.

The patient presented with persistent headaches and a 2-year history of progressive hand, arm, and face numbness. Imaging studies revealed multiple completed cerebral infarcts, global ischemic changes, and vascular anatomy consistent with moyamoya syndrome. Bilateral pial synangioses successfully revascularized each hemisphere with resolution of the patient's symptoms. The patient died 1 year later of complications related to treatment of a rapidly progressing intracranial aneurysm.

This report documents the first case associating moyamoya and Seckel syndromes. In addition, the report reveals the rapid development of an intracranial aneurysm in a patient with this syndrome. When coupled with previous reports of other types of cerebrovascular disease in patients with Seckel syndrome or other primordial dwarfisms, the authors' findings are important because they suggest that physicians treating patients with dwarfism should consider the diagnosis of moyamoya syndrome when symptoms suggestive of cerebral ischemia are present. Prompt diagnosis and treatment of moyamoya syndrome, including the use of proven surgical revascularization procedures such as pial synangiosis, may significantly improve the long-term outcomes of these patients.

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Vertebra plana due to an aneurysmal bone cyst of the lumbar spine

Case report and review of the literature

Patrick J. Codd, Ron I. Riesenburger, Paul Klimo Jr., Jonathan R. Slotkin, and Edward R. Smith

✓ Aneurysmal bone cysts (ABCs) are benign, highly vascular osseous lesions characterized by cystic, blood-filled spaces surrounded by thin perimeters of expanded bone. Children and young adults are most often affected by spinal ABCs; more than 75% of patients are younger than 20 years old at presentation. Although ABCs have been documented in all areas of the axial and appendicular skeleton, ABCs of the spine present unique challenges due to the risk of vertebral destabilization, pathological fracture and vertebral body (VB) collapse, and neurological compromise. The authors describe the case of an 8-year-old child who presented with low-back pain and was subsequently found to have a lumbar ABC causing vertebra plana of the L-3 VB. They also review the literature on ABCs of the spine. This case highlights the importance of considering an ABC in the differential diagnosis when vertebra plana is seen in pediatric patients.

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Primary pediatric intraspinal sarcomas

Report of 3 cases

Paul Klimo Jr., Patrick J. Codd, Holcombe Grier, and Liliana C. Goumnerova

Sarcomas that arise from within the spinal canal are rare, particularly within the pediatric population. In general, these primary intraspinal sarcomas are highly aggressive, posing unique treatment challenges with respect to surgery and choice of adjuvant therapy. The goal must be to obtain the most complete resection possible to minimize the risk of recurrence and metastasis, while preventing potential neurological deficits that may result from aggressive surgery.

Among these primary intraspinal sarcomas are malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors and members of the Ewing sarcoma family of tumors. The authors present 3 cases of unique spinal sarcomas in children—2 malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors in patients without neurofibromatosis and an intradural extraosseous Ewing sarcoma arising from the sensory component of a lumbar spinal nerve—and discuss their management and outcome with a review of the current literature.

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Masson’s tumor of the pineal region: case report

Lefko T. Charalambous, Anirudh Penumaka, Jordan M. Komisarow, Amanda C. Hemmerich, Thomas J. Cummings, Patrick J. Codd, and Allan H. Friedman

Intracranial intravascular papillary endothelial hyperplasia (IPEH), also referred to as Masson’s tumor, is a condition that rarely occurs in the nervous system. IPEH most frequently occurs extracranially in the skin of the face, skull, neck, and trunk and can easily be mistaken clinically, radiologically, and histologically for angiosarcoma, organizing hematoma, or other vascular malformations. IPEH accounts for roughly 2% of all vascular tumors and is extremely rare intracranially, with only 23 reported cases compared with more than 300 cases of IPEH occurring in the skin and subcutaneous tissue. To date, it has never been reported to occur in the pineal region. The authors report the case of a patient with an IPEH in the pineal region who underwent complex resection and experienced reversal of neurological symptoms.

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2017 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting Los Angeles, CA • April 22–26, 2017