✓ A patient is reported who developed multiple basal-cell carcinomas of the skin, a breast carcinoma, an astrocytoma of the spinal cord, and a bronchial carcinoid tumor following multiple fluoroscopies during artificial pneumothorax treatment for pulmonary tuberculosis. A review of the literature revealed no previously documented cases of radiation-induced gliomas of the spinal cord.
✓ The purpose of this report was to outline the various options currently used for treatment of spastic cerebral palsy (CP) and to discuss factors involved in selecting the appropriate treatment modalities for the individual child. In a review of the literature and his personal observations, the author presents an outline of treatment options and the criteria for using each. Therapeutic options include the following: physiotherapy; occupational therapy; oral spasmolytic and antidystonic drugs; botulinum toxin injections; orthopedic procedures; continuous infusion of intrathecal baclofen (ITB); selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR); and selective peripheral neurotomy. The most commonly used neurosurgical procedures are ITB pump placement and SDR, and these are discussed in the most detail. The author's personal schema for assessment of the child to determine the nature of the hypertonia, the impact of the hypertonia, and the appropriate therapeutic intervention is presented. There are factors that help guide the optimal treatment modalities for the child with spastic CP. The treatment of these children is optimized in the setting of a multidisciplinary team.
Paul Steinbok and Juliette Hukin
Craniopharyngioma is a benign tumor histopathologically and in theory should be curable by radical resection. In practice, this tumor behaves like a chronic disease, with many issues related to the effect of the tumor itself and the various treatments on the adjacent structures, such as the pituitary stalk and gland, hypothalamus, visual apparatus, and suprasellar arteries. A multimodality approach to the management of these tumors may produce the optimal outcome, balancing disease control and quality of life. In this paper, the role of intracystic therapies is reviewed, with the major focus on intracystic bleomycin and interferon-α.
Paul Steinbok and Kenneth Berry
✓ The authors report a case of inversion of part of the cerebral mantle into the frontal horn of the lateral ventricle following ventriculoperitoneal shunting for noncommunicating hydrocephalus. The abnormally positioned cerebral mantle continued to grow and caused no detectable neurological dysfunction.
Michael C. Boyd and Paul Steinbok
✓ Choroid plexus tumors are uncommon neoplasms of the central nervous system. A series of 11 cases from the Vancouver General and British Columbia Children's Hospitals, treated during the last 12 years, are reviewed. Some of the management problems commonly encountered with these tumors are discussed. Many of these tumors are associated with severe hydrocephalus at the time of diagnosis, and the perioperative management of this hydrocephalus remains a matter of some debate. The timing of and the necessity for shunting are major considerations. Large subdural fluid collections are often discovered in the postoperative period, and these occasionally cause symptoms of increased intracranial pressure. Reasons for this problem are suggested and possible steps for its prevention are proposed.
The similarity between papillary ependymomas and choroid plexus papillomas has sometimes caused difficulty in pathological diagnosis. Choroid plexus carcinomas, of which there were two in this series, also present a diagnostic challenge. Differential diagnosis affects the further treatment and prognosis for the patient.
Report of four cases
Richard C. Chan and Paul Steinbok
✓ The authors report four patients who suffered the delayed onset of Lhermitte's sign following head and/or neck trauma with no significant neurological deficits. The average onset from the time of the injury was 2½ months. In all patients, there was a full range of movement of the cervical spine with no tenderness and no neurological deficits. Myelography was performed in three of the four patients and was normal. The duration of Lhermitte's sign ranged from 4 months to 1 year (mean 8 months). Complete recovery occurred in all cases. The pathogenesis, differential diagnosis, and management of patients with Lhermitte's sign are discussed.
Paul Steinbok and D. Douglas Cochrane
✓ Between 4% and 8% of cases of spina bifida cystica occur in a cervical or cervicothoracic location. Despite a large body of literature concerning spinal dysraphism, there has been little written specifically about patients afflicted with this disorder in a cervical location. Eight children who presented at birth with posterior cervical or cervicothoracic lumps, all of which represented a dysraphic state, are discussed. Two types of abnormalities were noted. Three patients had hydromyelia with an associated myelocystocele herniating posteriorly into a meningocele sac. In these three patients there was an associated Chiari II malformation and hydrocephalus. The other five children had a meningocele in which a band of tissue extended from the posterior aspect of the spinal cord through a defect in the bone and fascia to the posterior part of the meningocele sac itself. No patient had a lesion that could be described as a meningomyelocele. The investigation and surgical management of these conditions are discussed and the need for intradural exploration to untether the spinal cord in the cervical region is stressed.