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Madeleine P. de Lotbiniere-Bassett, Jay Riva-Cambrin, and Patrick J. McDonald

OBJECTIVE

An increasing amount of funding in neurosurgery research comes from industry, which may create a conflict of interest (COI) and the potential to bias results. The reporting and handling of COIs have become difficult, particularly as explicit policies themselves and definitions thereof continue to vary between medical journals. In this study, the authors sought to evaluate the prevalence and comprehensiveness of COI policies among leading neurosurgical journals.

METHODS

The authors conducted a cross-sectional study of publicly available online disclosure policies in the 20 highest-ranking neurosurgical journals, as determined by Google Scholar Metrics, in July 2016.

RESULTS

Overall, 89.5% of the highest-impact neurosurgical journals included COI policy statements. Ten (53%) journals requested declaration of nonfinancial conflicts, while 2 journals specifically set a time period for COIs. Sixteen journals required declaration from the corresponding author, 13 from all authors, 6 from reviewers, and 5 from editors. Four journals were included in the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) list of publications that follow the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals (currently known as Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals). Five journal policies included COI declaration verification, management, or enforcement. The neurosurgery journals with more comprehensive COI policies were significantly more likely to have higher h5-indices (p = 0.003) and higher impact factors (p = 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

In 2016, the majority of, but not all, high-impact neurosurgical journals had publically available COI disclosure policies. Policy inclusiveness and comprehensiveness varied substantially across neurosurgical journals, but COI comprehensiveness was associated with other established markers of individual journals’ favorability and influence, such as impact factor and h5-index.

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Patrick J. McDonald, Charles C. Matouk, Blake Papsin, and James T. Rutka

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Michael J. Ellis, Colin J. Kazina, Marc R. Del Bigio, and Patrick J. McDonald

✓Shunt failure is commonly associated with infection or mechanical obstruction of the shunt system. The presence of eosinophilia in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) has been associated with CSF shunt failure and may be related to both latex and shunt allergies. The authors describe the case of a child with a latex allergy who presented with 10 episodes of shunt failure over a period of 93 months. Cerebrospinal fluid sampling demonstrated persistent eosinophilia (3–36%) and negative cultures. Pathological examination of the ventricular catheter on 3 occasions demonstrated mechanical obstruction by inflammatory debris consisting largely of eosinophils and multinucleated giant cells. On the suspicion that the child might have some uncharacterized allergy to the shunt hardware, shunt replacement was performed using an “extracted” shunt system. The child has remained free of shunt malfunction for > 2 years since the last surgery. Immune responses to unpolymerized silicone are discussed.

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Michael J. Ellis, Jeff Leiter, Thomas Hall, Patrick J. McDonald, Scott Sawyer, Norm Silver, Martin Bunge, and Marco Essig

OBJECT

The goal in this review was to summarize the results of clinical neuroimaging studies performed in patients with sports-related concussion (SRC) who were referred to a multidisciplinar ypediatric concussion program.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective review of medical records and neuroimaging findings for all patients referred to a multidisciplinary pediatric concussion program between September 2013 and July 2014. Inclusion criteria were as follows: 1) age ≤ 19 years; and 2) physician-diagnosed SRC. All patients underwent evaluation and follow-up by the same neurosurgeon. The 2 outcomes examined in this review were the frequency of neuroimaging studies performed in this population (including CT and MRI) and the findings of those studies. Clinical indications for neuroimaging and the impact of neuroimaging findings on clinical decision making were summarized where available. This investigation was approved by the local institutional ethics review board.

RESULTS

A total of 151 patients (mean age 14 years, 59% female) were included this study. Overall, 36 patients (24%) underwent neuroimaging studies, the results of which were normal in 78% of cases. Sixteen percent of patients underwent CT imaging; results were normal in 79% of cases. Abnormal CT findings included the following: arachnoid cyst (1 patient), skull fracture (2 patients), suspected intracranial hemorrhage (1 patient), and suspected hemorrhage into an arachnoid cyst (1 patient). Eleven percent of patients underwent MRI; results were normal in 75% of cases. Abnormal MRI findings included the following: intraparenchymal hemorrhage and sylvian fissure arachnoid cyst (1 patient); nonhemorrhagic contusion (1 patient); demyelinating disease (1 patient); and posterior fossa arachnoid cyst, cerebellar volume loss, and nonspecific white matter changes (1 patient).

CONCLUSIONS

Results of clinical neuroimaging studies are normal in the majority of pediatric patients with SRC. However, in selected cases neuroimaging can provide information that impacts decision making about return to play and retirement from the sport.

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Michael J. Ellis, Patrick J. McDonald, Dean Cordingley, Behzad Mansouri, Marco Essig, and Lesley Ritchie

The decision to advise an athlete to retire from sports following sports-related concussion (SRC) remains a persistent challenge for physicians. In the absence of strong empirical evidence to support recommendations, clinical decision making must be individualized and should involve a multidisciplinary team of experts in concussion and traumatic brain injury. Although previous authors have advocated for a more conservative approach to these issues in child and adolescent athletes, there are few reports outlining considerations for this process among this unique population. Here, the authors use multiple case illustrations to discuss 3 subgroups of clinical considerations for sports retirement among pediatric SRC patients including the following: those with structural brain abnormalities identified on neuroimaging, those presenting with focal neurological deficits and abnormalities on physical examination, and those in whom the cumulative or prolonged effects of concussion are suspected or demonstrated. The authors' evolving multidisciplinary institutional approach to return-to-play and retirement decision making in pediatric SRC is also presented.

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Mandeep S. Tamber, John R. W. Kestle, Ron W. Reeder, Richard Holubkov, Jessica Alvey, Samuel R. Browd, James M. Drake, Abhaya V. Kulkarni, David D. Limbrick Jr., Patrick J. McDonald, Curtis J. Rozzelle, Tamara D. Simon, Robert Naftel, Chevis N. Shannon, John C. Wellons III, William E. Whitehead, Jay Riva-Cambrin, and for the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network

OBJECTIVE

Analysis of temporal trends in patient populations and procedure types may provide important information regarding the evolution of hydrocephalus treatment. The purpose of this study was to use the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network’s Core Data Project to identify meaningful trends in patient characteristics and the surgical management of pediatric hydrocephalus over a 9-year period.

METHODS

The Core Data Project prospectively collected patient and procedural data on the study cohort from 9 centers between 2008 and 2016. Logistic and Poisson regression were used to test for significant temporal trends in patient characteristics and new and revision hydrocephalus procedures.

RESULTS

The authors analyzed 10,149 procedures in 5541 patients. New procedures for hydrocephalus (shunt or endoscopic third ventriculostomy [ETV]) decreased by 1.5%/year (95% CI −3.1%, +0.1%). During the study period, new shunt insertions decreased by 6.5%/year (95% CI −8.3%, −4.6%), whereas new ETV procedures increased by 12.5%/year (95% CI 9.3%, 15.7%). Revision procedures for hydrocephalus (shunt or ETV) decreased by 4.2%/year (95% CI −5.2%, −3.1%), driven largely by a decrease of 5.7%/year in shunt revisions (95% CI −6.8%, −4.6%). Concomitant with the observed increase in new ETV procedures was an increase in ETV revisions (13.4%/year, 95% CI 9.6%, 17.2%). Because revisions decreased at a faster rate than new procedures, the Revision Quotient (ratio of revisions to new procedures) for the Network decreased significantly over the study period (p = 0.0363). No temporal change was observed in the age or etiology characteristics of the cohort, although the proportion of patients with one or more complex chronic conditions significantly increased over time (p = 0.0007).

CONCLUSIONS

Over a relatively short period, important changes in hydrocephalus care have been observed. A significant temporal decrease in revision procedures amid the backdrop of a more modest change in new procedures appears to be the most notable finding and may be indicative of an improvement in the quality of surgical care for pediatric hydrocephalus. Further studies will be directed at elucidation of the possible drivers of the observed trends.

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Mandeep S. Tamber, John R. W. Kestle, Ron W. Reeder, Richard Holubkov, Jessica Alvey, Samuel R. Browd, James M. Drake, Abhaya V. Kulkarni, David D. Limbrick Jr., Patrick J. McDonald, Curtis J. Rozzelle, Tamara D. Simon, Robert Naftel, Chevis N. Shannon, John C. Wellons III, William E. Whitehead, Jay Riva-Cambrin, and for the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network

OBJECTIVE

Analysis of temporal trends in patient populations and procedure types may provide important information regarding the evolution of hydrocephalus treatment. The purpose of this study was to use the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network’s Core Data Project to identify meaningful trends in patient characteristics and the surgical management of pediatric hydrocephalus over a 9-year period.

METHODS

The Core Data Project prospectively collected patient and procedural data on the study cohort from 9 centers between 2008 and 2016. Logistic and Poisson regression were used to test for significant temporal trends in patient characteristics and new and revision hydrocephalus procedures.

RESULTS

The authors analyzed 10,149 procedures in 5541 patients. New procedures for hydrocephalus (shunt or endoscopic third ventriculostomy [ETV]) decreased by 1.5%/year (95% CI −3.1%, +0.1%). During the study period, new shunt insertions decreased by 6.5%/year (95% CI −8.3%, −4.6%), whereas new ETV procedures increased by 12.5%/year (95% CI 9.3%, 15.7%). Revision procedures for hydrocephalus (shunt or ETV) decreased by 4.2%/year (95% CI −5.2%, −3.1%), driven largely by a decrease of 5.7%/year in shunt revisions (95% CI −6.8%, −4.6%). Concomitant with the observed increase in new ETV procedures was an increase in ETV revisions (13.4%/year, 95% CI 9.6%, 17.2%). Because revisions decreased at a faster rate than new procedures, the Revision Quotient (ratio of revisions to new procedures) for the Network decreased significantly over the study period (p = 0.0363). No temporal change was observed in the age or etiology characteristics of the cohort, although the proportion of patients with one or more complex chronic conditions significantly increased over time (p = 0.0007).

CONCLUSIONS

Over a relatively short period, important changes in hydrocephalus care have been observed. A significant temporal decrease in revision procedures amid the backdrop of a more modest change in new procedures appears to be the most notable finding and may be indicative of an improvement in the quality of surgical care for pediatric hydrocephalus. Further studies will be directed at elucidation of the possible drivers of the observed trends.

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Christopher M. Bonfield, Chevis N. Shannon, Ron W. Reeder, Samuel Browd, James Drake, Jason S. Hauptman, Abhaya V. Kulkarni, David D. Limbrick Jr., Patrick J. McDonald, Robert Naftel, Ian F. Pollack, Jay Riva-Cambrin, Curtis Rozzelle, Mandeep S. Tamber, William E. Whitehead, John R. W. Kestle, John C. Wellons III, and for the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network (HCRN)

OBJECTIVE

Hydrocephalus may be seen in patients with multisuture craniosynostosis and, less commonly, single-suture craniosynostosis. The optimal treatment for hydrocephalus in this population is unknown. In this study, the authors aimed to evaluate the success rate of ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS) treatment and endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) both with and without choroid plexus cauterization (CPC) in patients with craniosynostosis.

METHODS

Utilizing the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network (HCRN) Core Data Project (Registry), the authors identified all patients who underwent treatment for hydrocephalus associated with craniosynostosis. Descriptive statistics, demographics, and surgical outcomes were evaluated.

RESULTS

In total, 42 patients underwent treatment for hydrocephalus associated with craniosynostosis. The median gestational age at birth was 39.0 weeks (IQR 38.0, 40.0); 55% were female and 60% were White. The median age at first craniosynostosis surgery was 0.6 years (IQR 0.3, 1.7), and at the first permanent hydrocephalus surgery it was 1.2 years (IQR 0.5, 2.5). Thirty-three patients (79%) had multiple different sutures fused, and 9 had a single suture: 3 unicoronal (7%), 3 sagittal (7%), 2 lambdoidal (5%), and 1 unknown (2%). Syndromes were identified in 38 patients (90%), with Crouzon syndrome being the most common (n = 16, 42%). Ten patients (28%) received permanent hydrocephalus surgery before the first craniosynostosis surgery. Twenty-eight patients (67%) underwent VPS treatment, with the remaining 14 (33%) undergoing ETV with or without CPC (ETV ± CPC). Within 12 months after initial hydrocephalus intervention, 14 patients (34%) required revision (8 VPS and 6 ETV ± CPC). At the most recent follow-up, 21 patients (50%) required a revision. The revision rate decreased as age increased. The overall infection rate was 5% (VPS 7%, 0% ETV ± CPC).

CONCLUSIONS

This is the largest prospective study reported on children with craniosynostosis and hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus in children with craniosynostosis most commonly occurs in syndromic patients and multisuture fusion. It is treated at varying ages; however, most patients undergo surgery for craniosynostosis prior to hydrocephalus treatment. While VPS treatment is performed more frequently, VPS and ETV are both reasonable options, with decreasing revision rates with increasing age, for the treatment of hydrocephalus associated with craniosynostosis.

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Jonathan Pindrik, Jay Riva-Cambrin, Abhaya V. Kulkarni, Jessica S. Alvey, Ron W. Reeder, Ian F. Pollack, John C. Wellons III, Eric M. Jackson, Curtis J. Rozzelle, William E. Whitehead, David D. Limbrick Jr., Robert P. Naftel, Chevis Shannon, Patrick J. McDonald, Mandeep S. Tamber, Todd C. Hankinson, Jason S. Hauptman, Tamara D. Simon, Mark D. Krieger, Richard Holubkov, John R. W. Kestle, and for the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network

OBJECTIVE

Few studies have addressed surgical resource utilization—surgical revisions and associated hospital admission days—following shunt insertion or endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) with or without choroid plexus cauterization (CPC) for CSF diversion in hydrocephalus. Study members of the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network (HCRN) investigated differences in surgical resource utilization between CSF diversion strategies in hydrocephalus in infants.

METHODS

Patients up to corrected age 24 months undergoing initial definitive treatment of hydrocephalus were reviewed from the prospectively maintained HCRN Core Data Project (Hydrocephalus Registry). Postoperative courses (at 1, 3, and 5 years) were studied for hydrocephalus-related surgeries (primary outcome) and hospital admission days related to surgical revision (secondary outcome). Data were summarized using descriptive statistics and compared using negative binomial regression, controlling for age, hydrocephalus etiology, and HCRN center. The study population was organized into 3 groups (ETV alone, ETV with CPC, and CSF shunt insertion) during the 1st postoperative year and 2 groups (ETV alone and CSF shunt insertion) during subsequent years due to limited long-term follow-up data.

RESULTS

Among 1090 patients, the majority underwent CSF shunt insertion (CSF shunt, 83.5%; ETV with CPC, 10.0%; and ETV alone, 6.5%). Patients undergoing ETV with CPC had a higher mean number of revision surgeries (1.2 ± 1.6) than those undergoing ETV alone (0.6 ± 0.8) or CSF shunt insertion (0.7 ± 1.3) over the 1st year after surgery (p = 0.005). At long-term follow-up, patients undergoing ETV alone experienced a nonsignificant lower mean number of revision surgeries (0.7 ± 0.9 at 3 years and 0.8 ± 1.3 at 5 years) than those undergoing CSF shunt insertion (1.1 ± 1.9 at 3 years and 1.4 ± 2.6 at 5 years) and exhibited a lower mean number of hospital admission days related to revision surgery (3.8 ± 10.3 vs 9.9 ± 27.0, p = 0.042).

CONCLUSIONS

Among initial treatment strategies for hydrocephalus, ETV with CPC yielded a higher surgical revision rate within 1 year after surgery. Patients undergoing ETV alone exhibited a nonsignificant lower mean number of surgical revisions than CSF shunt insertion at 3 and 5 years postoperatively. Additionally, the ETV-alone cohort demonstrated significantly fewer hospital admission days related to surgical management of hydrocephalus within 3 years after surgery. These findings suggest a time-dependent benefit of ETV over CSF shunt insertion regarding surgical resource utilization.