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Rory K. J. Murphy, Wilson Z. Ray and Susan E. Mackinnon

Complete loss of median nerve motor function is a rare but devastating injury. Loss of median motor hand function and upper-extremity pronation can significantly impact a patient's ability to perform many activities of daily living independently. The authors report the long-term follow-up in a case of median nerve motor fiber transection that occurred during an arthroscopic elbow procedure, which was then treated with multiple nerve transfers. Motor reconstruction used the nerves to the supinator and extensor carpi radialis brevis to transfer to the anterior interosseous nerve and pronator. Sensory sensation was restored using the lateral antebrachial cutaneous (LABC) nerve to transfer to a portion of the sensory component of the median nerve, and a second cable of LABC nerve as a direct median nerve sensory graft. The patient ultimately recovered near normal motor function of the median nerve, but had persistent pain symptoms 4 years postinjury.

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Rory K. J. Murphy, Matthew R. Reynolds, David B. Mansur and Matthew D. Smyth

Cavernous sinus (CS) hemangiomas are rare vascular abnormalities that constitute 0.4%–2% of all lesions within the CS. Cavernous sinus hemangiomas are high-flow vascular tumors that tend to hemorrhage profusely during resection, leading to incomplete resection and high morbidity and mortality. While Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) has proven to be an effective treatment of CS hemangiomas in the adult population, few reports of GKS for treatment of CS hemangiomas exist in the pediatric literature. Here, the authors present the first case of a 15-year-old girl with a biopsy-proven CS hemangioma who achieved complete resolution of her symptoms and a complete imaging-defined response following GKS. If suspicion for a CS hemangioma is high in a pediatric patient, GKS may be considered as an effective treatment modality, thus avoiding the morbidities of open resection.

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Terrence F. Holekamp, Matthew E. Mollman, Rory K. J. Murphy, Grant R. Kolar, Neha M. Kramer, Colin P. Derdeyn, Christopher J. Moran, Richard J. Perrin, Keith M. Rich, Giuseppe Lanzino and Gregory J. Zipfel

Nonhemorrhagic neurological deficits are underrecognized symptoms of intracranial dural arteriovenous fistulas (dAVFs) having cortical venous drainage. These symptoms are the consequence of cortical venous hypertension and portend a clinical course with increased risk of neurological morbidity and mortality. One rarely documented and easily misinterpreted type of nonhemorrhagic neurological deficit is progressive dementia, which can result from venous hypertension in the cortex or in bilateral thalami. The latter, which is due to dAVF drainage into the deep venous system, is the less common of these 2 dementia syndromes. Herein, the authors report 4 cases of dAVF with venous drainage into the vein of Galen causing bithalamic edema and rapidly progressive dementia. Two patients were treated successfully with endovascular embolization, and the other 2 patients were treated successfully with endovascular embolization followed by surgery. The radiographic abnormalities and presenting symptoms rapidly resolved after dAVF obliteration in all 4 cases. Detailed descriptions of these 4 cases are presented along with a critical review of 15 previously reported cases. In our analysis of these 19 published cases, the following were emphasized: 1) the clinical and radiographic differences between dAVF-induced thalamic versus cortical dementia syndromes; 2) the differential diagnosis and necessary radiographic workup for patients presenting with a rapidly progressive thalamic dementia syndrome; 3) the frequency at which delays in diagnosis occurred and potentially dangerous and avoidable diagnostic procedures were used; and 4) the rapidity and completeness of symptom resolution following dAVF treatment.

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Rory K. J. Murphy, Betty Liu, Abhinav Srinath, Matthew R. Reynolds, Jingxia Liu, Martha C. Craighead, Bernard C. Camins, Rajat Dhar, Terrance T. Kummer and Gregory J. Zipfel

OBJECT

External ventricular drains (EVDs) are commonly used for CSF diversion but pose a risk of ventriculitis, with rates varying in frequency from 2% to 45%. Results of studies examining the utility of prolonged systemic antibiotic therapy for the prevention of EVD-related infection have been contradictory, and no study to date has examined whether this approach confers additional benefit in preventing ventriculitis when used in conjunction with antibiotic-coated EVDs (ac-EVDs).

METHODS

A prospective performance analysis was conducted over 4 years to examine the impact of discontinuing systemic antibiotic prophylaxis after insertion of an ac-EVD on rates of catheter-related ventriculitis. Ventriculitis and other nosocomial infections were ascertained by a qualified infection disease nurse using definitions based on published standards from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, comparing the period when patients received systemic antibiotic therapy for the duration of EVD treatment (Period 1) compared with only for the peri-insertion period (Period 2). Costs were analyzed and compared across the 2 time periods.

RESULTS

Over the 4-year study period, 866 patients were treated with ac-EVDs for a total of 7016 catheter days. There were 8 cases of ventriculitis, for an overall incidence of 0.92%. Rates of ventriculitis did not differ significantly between Period 1 and Period 2 (1.1% vs 0.4%, p = 0.22). The rate of nosocomial infections, however, was significantly higher in Period 1 (2.0% vs 0.0% in Period 2, p = 0.026). Cost savings of $162,516 were realized in Period 2 due to decreased drug costs and savings associated with the reduction in nosocomial infections.

CONCLUSIONS

Prolonged systemic antibiotic therapy following placement of ac-EVDs does not seem to reduce the incidence of catheter-related ventriculitis and was associated with a higher rate of nosocomial infections and increased cost.