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Dean Chou, Phillip B. Storm and James N. Campbell

Object. Autologous bone graft harvesting from the iliac crest remains the gold standard for fusion surgery. One disadvantage of autologous bone harvesting is the patient's enduring postoperative pain at the donor site. Nerve injury is one of the postulated mechanisms that may account for this pain. The object of this study was to determine whether the lateral cutaneous branch of the subcostal nerve is vulnerable to injury in the process of obtaining grafts from the anterior iliac crest.

Methods. Anatomical dissections were performed on 10 cadaveric specimens to ascertain the size of the T-12 subcostal nerve and its position in relation to the iliac crest.

Conclusions. The lateral cutaneous branch of the subcostal nerve may lie as close as 6 cm from the anterior superior iliac spine. This nerve is very vulnerable to injury when harvesting bone from the anterior iliac crest. Knowledge of the anatomy may decrease the risk of injury to this nerve.

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Douglas A. Hardesty, Matthew R. Sanborn, Whitney E. Parker and Phillip B. Storm

Object

The incidence of, and risk factors for, perioperative seizures and the need for perioperative antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in previously seizure-free children with brain tumors remains unclear. The authors have undertaken a review of previously seizure-free pediatric patients with brain tumors undergoing resection to identify the incidence of seizures in the perioperative period, and to characterize risk factors for perioperative seizures in this population.

Methods

A retrospective review was conducted of all patients between 0 and 19 years of age without prior seizures who underwent intracranial tumor resection at the authors' institution between January 2005 and December 2009.

Results

Of the 223 patients undergoing 229 operations, 7.4% experienced at least 1 clinical seizure during the surgical admission. Over half of all tumors were supratentorial. Only 4.4% of patients received prophylactic AEDs. Independent factors associated with perioperative seizures included supratentorial tumor, age < 2 years, and hyponatremia due to syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone or cerebral salt wasting. Tumor type, lobe affected, operative blood loss, and length of surgery were not independently associated with seizure incidence.

Conclusions

Perioperative seizures in previously seizure-free children undergoing resection of brain tumors are associated with supratentorial tumor location, age < 2 years, and postoperative hyponatremia. Perioperative seizures are not associated with tumor pathology, tumor size, or frontotemporal location. Due to the low incidence of seizures in this series in patients more than 2 years old with normal serum sodium, the authors recommend that pediatric patients with brain tumors not routinely receive perioperative prophylactic AEDs. However, the role for prophylaxis in patients younger than 2 years of age deserves further study.

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Cranial fetus in fetu

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Gregory G. Heuer, Erin S. Schwartz and Phillip B. Storm

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Matthew R. Sanborn, Michael L. DiLuna, Robert G. Whitmore and Phillip B. Storm

Fractures through the ring of the C-1 vertebrae are very rare in the pediatric patient population. In this report, the authors describe the case of a widely displaced fracture of the C-1 anterior arch in a 6-year-old boy. The fracture was initially treated using a fluoroscopy-guided, transoral, closed reduction with subsequent halo vest immobilization. Although conservative management of C-1 fractures is generally adequate and efficacious in the pediatric population, mechanistic and anatomical considerations in this case were concerning for potential instability in extension, and prompted an unusual method of closed reduction followed by treatment in a halo vest.

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Joel A. Bauman, Douglas A. Hardesty, Gregory G. Heuer and Phillip B. Storm

An alternative method of bone grafting for pediatric posterior cervical and occipitocervical fixation is presented in detail. Full-thickness autografts from small craniectomies of the occipital bone are used to augment posterior segmental fusion in pediatric patients. Twelve patients have been treated successfully without bone graft donor site complications. The technical differences from previously reported uses of calvarial autograft in spine fusion are reviewed.

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Allan J. Belzberg, Michael J. Dorsi, Phillip B. Storm and John L. Moriarity

Background

Brachial plexus injuries (BPIs) are often devastating events that lead to upper-extremity paralysis, rendering it a painful extraneous appendage. Fortunately, there are several nerve repair techniques that provide restoration of some function. Although there is general agreement in the medical community concerning which patients may benefit from surgical intervention, the actual repair technique for a given lesion is less clear.

Object

The authors sought to identify and better define areas of agreement and disagreement among experienced peripheral nerve surgeons regarding the management of BPIs.

Methods

The authors developed a detailed survey in two parts: one part addressing general issues related to BPI and the other presenting four clinical cases. The survey was mailed to 126 experienced peripheral nerve physicians of whom 49 (39%) participated in the study. The respondents represented 22 countries and multiple surgical subspecialties. They performed a mean of 34 brachial plexus reconstructions annually. Areas of significant disagreement included the timing and indications for surgical intervention in birth-related palsy, management of neuroma-in-continuity, the best transfers to achieve elbow flexion and shoulder abduction, the use of intra- or extraplexal donors for motor neurotization, and the use of distal compared with proximal coaptation during nerve transfer.

Conclusions

Experienced peripheral nerve surgeons disagreed in important respects as to the management of BPI. The decisions made by the various treating physicians underscored the many areas of disagreement regarding the treatment of BPI including the diagnostic approach to defining the injury, timing of and indications for surgical intervention in birth-related palsy, management of neuroma-in-continuity, choice of nerve transfers to achieve elbow flexion and shoulder abduction, use of intra- or extraplexal donors for neurotization, and the use of distal or proximal coaptation during nerve transfer.

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Allan J. Belzberg, Michael J. Dorsi, Phillip B. Storm and John L. Moriarity

Object. Brachial plexus injuries (BPIs) are often devastating events that lead to upper-extremity paralysis, rendering the limb a painful extraneous appendage. Fortunately, there are several nerve repair techniques that provide restoration of some function. Although there is general agreement in the medical community concerning which patients may benefit from surgical intervention, the actual repair technique for a given lesion is less clear. The authors sought to identify and better define areas of agreement and disagreement among experienced peripheral nerve surgeons as to the management of BPIs.

Methods. The authors developed a detailed survey in two parts: one part addressing general issues related to BPI and the other presenting four clinical cases. The survey was mailed to 126 experienced peripheral nerve physicians and 49 (39%) participated in the study. The respondents represent 22 different countries and multiple surgical subspecialties. They performed a mean of 33 brachial plexus reconstructions annually. Areas of significant disagreement included the timing and indications for surgical intervention in birth-related palsy, treatment of neuroma-in-continuity, the best transfers to achieve elbow flexion and shoulder abduction, the use of intra- or extraplexal donors for motor neurotization, and the use of distal or proximal coaptation during nerve transfer.

Conclusions. Experienced peripheral nerve surgeons disagree in important ways as to the management of BPI. The decisions made by the various treating physicians underscore the many areas of disagreement regarding the treatment of BPI, including the diagnostic approach to defining the injury, timing of and indications for surgical intervention in birth-related palsy, the treatment of neuroma-in-continuity, the choice of nerve transfers to achieve elbow flexion and shoulder abduction, the use of intra- or extraplexal donors for neurotization, and the use of distal or proximal coaptation during nerve transfer.

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Shih-Shan Lang, Joel A. Bauman, Michael W. Aversano, Matthew R. Sanborn, Arastoo Vossough, Gregory G. Heuer and Phillip B. Storm

Object

Electrolyte and endocrinological complications of endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) are infrequent but serious events, likely due to transient hypothalamic-pituitary dysfunction. While the incidence of diabetes insipidus is relatively well known, hyponatremia is not often reported. The authors report on a series of 5 patients with post-ETV hyponatremia.

Methods

The records of patients undergoing ETV between 2008 and 2010 were reviewed. All ETVs were performed with a rigid neuroendoscope via a frontal bur hole, standard third ventricle floor blunt perforation, Fogarty catheter dilation, and intermittent normal saline irrigation. Postoperative MR images were evaluated for endoscope tract injury as well as the trajectory from the bur hole center to the fenestration site.

Results

Thirty-two patients (20 male and 12 female) underwent ETV. Their median age was 6 years (range 3 weeks–28 years). Hydrocephalus was most commonly due to nontumoral aqueductal stenosis (43%), nontectal tumor (25%), or tectal glioma (13%). Five patients (16%) had multicystic/loculated hydrocephalus. Five patients (16%) developed hyponatremia between 1 and 8 days following ETV, including 2 patients with seizures (1 of whom was still hospitalized at the time of the seizure and 1 of whom was readmitted as a result of the seizure) and 3 patients who were readmitted because of decline in their condition following routine discharge. No hypothalamic injuries were noted on imaging. Univariate risk factors consisted of age of 2 years or less (p = 0.02), presence of cystic lesions (p = 0.02), and ETV trajectory angle 10° or more from perpendicular (p = 0.001).

Conclusions

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy is a well-tolerated procedure but can result in serious complications. Hyponatremia is rare and may be more likely in younger patients or those with cystic loculations. Patients with altered craniometry may be at particular risk with a rigid endoscopic approach requiring greater manipulation of subforniceal or hypothalamic structures.

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Eamon J. McLaughlin, Gregory G. Heuer, Robert G. Whitmore, John K. Birknes, Jean Belasco, Daniel Sterman, David W. Low and Phillip B. Storm

The authors report the case of a 14-year-old girl with a residual malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor after thoracotomy, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. The residual tumor, which involved the intercostal muscles, aorta, and neural foramina of T4–10, was completely resected through a costotransversectomy and multiple hemilaminotomies with the patient in the prone position and was stabilized using a T1–12 pedicle screw fusion. Postoperatively, the patient developed several infections requiring multiple washouts and prolonged antibiotics. Thirty months after surgery, she developed a bronchocutaneous fistula. The hardware was removed, and a vascularized latissimus dorsi free flap was placed over the lung. She continued to have an air leak and presented 3 weeks later with a 40° left thoracic curve. She returned to the operating room for a T2–L2 fusion with a vascularized fibular graft. On postoperative Day 1, she underwent a bronchoscopy and had her left lower lobe airways occluded with multiple novel one-way endobronchial valves. She is now 5 years out from her tumor resection and 3 years out from her definitive fusion. She has no evidence of residual tumor, infection, or pseudarthrosis and continues to remain asymptomatic.

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Peter J. Madsen, Shih-Shan Lang, Jared M. Pisapia, Phillip B. Storm, Robert W. Hurst and Gregory G. Heuer

Object

Pial arteriovenous fistulas (PAVFs) are a rare form of cerebrovascular disease that tend to be overrepresented in the pediatric population. There have been limited studies of the clinical features and outcomes in this group of patients. Here, the authors attempt to better delineate this clinical entity with institutional cases and a review of the literature.

Methods

A retrospective review of cases at our institution was performed to identify all pediatric patients treated for a PAVF between 2000 and 2012.

Results

Five patients treated for a PAVF were identified. Patients had a mean age of 1.9 years at diagnosis, and the most common presenting symptoms were seizure and macrocephaly. Patients were treated primarily with embolization, and 3 patients required both N-butyl cyanoacrylate (NBCA) glue and coiling. Four of the patients had complete obliteration of the PAVF and had a pediatric overall performance category score of either 1 (n = 3) or 2 (n = 1) at follow-up. There was 1 death due to heart failure. Analysis of the literature review suggested that a younger age or presence of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) or congestive heart failure (CHF) at presentation likely predicts a worse prognosis. Older patients presented more often with ICH, whereas younger patients presented significantly more often in CHF. The majority of pediatric patients reported on in the literature were treated with endovascular embolization, most commonly with NBCA glue alone. Most patients (65.4%) in the literature had an excellent outcome without neurological deficit.

Conclusions

Pial AVFs represent a serious yet rare form of cerebrovascular disease. Pediatric patients with ICH or CHF at presentation or those who are very young are likely to have a worse prognosis. Endovascular management of these patients has greatly changed the natural history of this disease, but the complication and mortality rates suggest the need for continued insights and advances in treatment.