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Andrew K. Chan, Rory R. Mayer, Praveen V. Mummaneni, and Dean Chou

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Yimo Lin, I-Wen Pan, Rory R. Mayer, and Sandi Lam


Research conducted using large administrative data sets has increased in recent decades, but reports on the fidelity and reliability of such data have been mixed. The goal of this project was to compare data from a large, administrative claims data set with a quality improvement registry in order to ascertain similarities and differences in content.


Data on children younger than 12 months with nonsyndromic craniosynostosis who underwent surgery in 2012 were queried in both the Kids’ Inpatient Database (KID) and the American College of Surgeons Pediatric National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (Peds NSQIP). Data from published clinical craniosynostosis surgery series are reported for comparison.


Among patients younger than 12 months of age, a total of 1765 admissions were identified in KID and 391 in Peds NSQIP in 2012. Only nonsyndromic patients were included. The mean length of stay was 3.2 days in KID and 4 days in Peds NSQIP. The rates of cardiac events (0.5% in KID, 0.3% in Peds NSQIP, and 0.4%-2.2% in the literature), stroke/intracranial bleeds (0.4% in KID, 0.5% in Peds NSQIP, and 0.3%-1.2% in the literature), infection (0.2% in KID, 0.8% in Peds NSQIP, and 0%-8% in the literature), wound disruption (0.2% in KID, 0.5% in Peds NSQIP, 0%-4% in the literature), and seizures (0.7% in KID, 0.8% in Peds NSQIP, 0%-0.8% in the literature) were low and similar between the 2 data sets. The reported rates of blood transfusion (36% in KID, 64% in Peds NSQIP, and 1.7%-100% in the literature) varied between the 2 data sets.


Both the KID and Peds NSQIP databases provide large samples of surgical patients, with more cases reported in KID. The rates of complications studied were similar between the 2 data sets, with the exception of blood transfusion events where the retrospective chart review process of Peds NSQIP captured almost double the rate reported in KID.

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Ziev B. Moses, Rory R. Mayer, Benjamin A. Strickland, Ryan M. Kretzer, Jean-Paul Wolinsky, Ziya L. Gokaslan, and Ali A. Baaj


Parallel advancements in image guidance technology and minimal access techniques continue to push the frontiers of minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS). While traditional intraoperative imaging remains widely used, newer platforms, such as 3D-fluoroscopy, cone-beam CT, and intraoperative CT/MRI, have enabled safer, more accurate instrumentation placement with less radiation exposure to the surgeon. The goal of this work is to provide a review of the current uses of advanced image guidance in MISS.


The authors searched PubMed for relevant articles concerning MISS, with particular attention to the use of image-guidance platforms. Pertinent studies published in English were further compiled and characterized into relevant analyses of MISS of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbosacral regions.


Fifty-two studies were included for review. These describe the use of the iso-C system for 3D navigation during C1–2 transarticular screw placement, the use of endoscopic techniques in the cervical spine, and the role of navigation guidance at the occipital-cervical junction. The authors discuss the evolving literature concerning neuronavigation during pedicle screw placement in the thoracic and lumbar spine in the setting of infection, trauma, and deformity surgery and review the use of image guidance in transsacral approaches.


Refinements in image-guidance technologies and minimal access techniques have converged on spinal pathology, affording patients the ability to undergo safe, accurate operations without the associated morbidities of conventional approaches. While percutaneous transpedicular screw placement is among the most common procedures to benefit from navigation, other areas of spine surgery can benefit from advances in neuronavigation and further growth in the field of image-guided MISS is anticipated.

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Sandi K. Lam, Christian M. Niedzwecki, Bradley Daniels, Rory R. Mayer, Mili M. Vakharia, and Andrew Jea

Pediatric idiopathic intervertebral disc calcification (PIIVDC) is a rare condition; most cases are reported to be selflimited with conservative management. In this study, we describe a case of PIIVDC presenting with acute incomplete spinal cord injury with Brown-Séquard-plus syndrome that was treated with surgery and demonstrate the subsequent rehabilitation time course.

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John F. Burke, Andrew K. Chan, Rory R. Mayer, Joseph H. Garcia, Brenton Pennicooke, Michael Mann, Sigurd H. Berven, Dean Chou, and Praveen V. Mummaneni

The clamshell thoracotomy is often used to access both hemithoraxes and the mediastinum simultaneously for cardiothoracic pathology, but this technique is rarely used for the excision of spinal tumors. We describe the use of a clamshell thoracotomy for en bloc excision of a 3-level upper thoracic chordoma in a 20-year-old patient. The lesion involved T2, T3, and T4, and it invaded both chest cavities and indented the mediastinum. After 2 biopsies to confirm the diagnosis, the patient underwent a posterior spinal fusion followed by bilateral clamshell thoracotomy for 3-level en bloc resection with simultaneous access to both chest cavities and the mediastinum. To demonstrate how the clamshell thoracotomy was used to facilitate the tumor resection, an operative video and illustrations are provided, which show in detail how the clamshell thoracotomy can be used to access both hemithoraxes and the mediastinum.

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Rory R. Mayer, Steven W. Hwang, Gaddum D. Reddy, David L. Morales, William E. Whitehead, Daniel J. Curry, Robert J. Bollo, Thomas G. Luerssen, and Andrew Jea


Left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) are continuous or pulsatile flow devices that could potentially be life-saving measures for patients with end-stage heart failure. These devices have clear advantages over extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and are often used in adults. They are only recently being commonly used in the pediatric age group. As the use of LVADs becomes more mainstream in children, it is important to determine the complication profile associated with these devices. Furthermore, with the increasing application of LVADs in children, pediatric neurosurgeons are seeing a correlative increase in associated neurological complications. In this study, the authors reviewed the incidence of neurological complications due to LVAD use in the pediatric age group and the role of neurosurgery in treatment.


The authors examined data regarding patients with LVADs from the Texas Children's Hospital Heart Center database (July 01, 2007, to June 30, 2011) and recorded neurological complications requiring neurosurgical consultation. They identified 2 children who underwent craniotomies during LVAD treatment.


Intracranial hemorrhage occurred in 3 (6.5%) of the 46 patients treated with an LVAD at the authors' institution. Of these patients, 2 were treated with craniotomies for life-threatening intracranial hemorrhages. The 3 patients in the neurosurgical cohort presented with cerebral infarction, decreased level of consciousness, and/or seizure. At the last follow-up (286, 503, and 550 days), 1 patient (Case 2) had no decline in neurological status, underwent a successful heart transplant, and was discharged home; 1 patient (Case 1) died of refractory cardiac failure; and 1 patient (Case 3) was on an LVAD for destination therapy (that is, the LVAD is not a bridge to transplantation but rather the final treatment). This patient was discharged from the hospital, but he died of overwhelming fungemia at 286 days while on VAD support.


Intracranial hemorrhage is a serious and feared complication of LVAD treatment. While the surgical risk is substantial due to systemic anticoagulation and significant medical comorbidities, neurosurgical evacuation of hemorrhage plays an important life-saving role that can yield successful and acceptable outcomes.