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Successful surgical repair and recovery in a 2-week-old infant after birth-related cervical fracture dislocation

Sara Saleh, Kyle I. Swanson, and Taryn Bragg

Cervical spine injuries are the most common spine injuries in the pediatric population. The authors present the youngest known patient who underwent cervical spine fusion to repair birth trauma–induced cervical fracture dislocation, resulting in spondyloptosis and spinal cord injury. A 2-week-old boy was found to have spondyloptosis and spinal cord injury after concerns arose from reduced movement of the extremities. The patient’s birth was complicated by undiagnosed abdominal dystocia, which led to cervical distraction injury. At 15 days of age, the boy underwent successful C-5 corpectomy, with anterior C4–6 and posterior C2–7 arthrodesis, using an autologous rib graft for a C-5 fracture dislocation. MRI performed 2 weeks postoperatively revealed significant improvement in the alignment of the spinal canal. The patient was discharged from the hospital in a custom Minerva brace and underwent close follow-up in addition to occupational therapy and physical therapy. At the latest follow-up 4.5 years later, the patient was able to walk and ride a tricycle by himself. The authors describe the patient’s surgery and the challenges faced in achieving successful repair and cervical spine stabilization in such a young patient. The authors suggest that significant neurological recovery after spinal cord injury in infants is possible with appropriate, timely, and interdisciplinary management.

Open access

Conservative management of intraventricular migration of a gelatin sponge: illustrative case

Katherine G. Holste, Bridger Rodoni, Arushi Tripathy, Jaes C. Jones, Sara Saleh, and Hugh J. L. Garton

BACKGROUND

Gelatin sponges, such as Gelfoam, are used as hemostatic agents during surgery and are generally absorbed over the course of 4–6 weeks in most body cavities. The time course of the dissolution of Gelfoam sponges within the cerebral ventricles has not been described.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors present a case of intraventricular migration of Gelfoam after ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement in a 6-week-old infant. The infant was imaged regularly after ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement, and the Gelfoam sponge persisted within the ventricles on all images until 11 months after surgery. At no time during follow-up did the patient have any symptoms of hydrocephalus requiring retrieval of the sponge or shunt revision.

LESSONS

This is the first case describing time until absorption of a gelatin sponge within the ventricle and successful conservative management.

Free access

Editorial. The use of big data for improving understanding of the natural history of neurosurgical disease

Katherine G. Holste, Zoey Chopra, Sara Saleh, Yamaan S. Saadeh, Paul Park, and Cormac O. Maher

Free access

Subdural hematoma prevalence and long-term developmental outcomes in patients with benign expansion of the subarachnoid spaces

Katherine G. Holste, Clare M. Wieland, Mohannad Ibrahim, Hemant A. Parmar, Sara Saleh, Hugh J. L. Garton, and Cormac O. Maher

OBJECTIVE

Benign expansion of the subarachnoid spaces (BESS) is a condition seen in macrocephalic infants. BESS is associated with mild developmental delays which tend to resolve within a few years. It is accepted that patients with BESS are at increased risk of spontaneous subdural hematomas (SDHs), although the exact pathophysiology is not well understood. The prevalence of spontaneous SDH in BESS patients is poorly defined, with only a few large single-center series published. In this study the authors aimed to better define BESS prevalence and developmental outcomes through the longitudinal review of a large cohort of BESS patients.

METHODS

A large retrospective review was performed at a single institution from 1995 to 2020 for patients 2 years of age or younger with a diagnosis of BESS by neurology or neurosurgery and head circumference > 85th percentile. Demographic data, head circumference, presence of developmental delay, occurrence of SDH, and need for surgery were extracted from patient charts. The subarachnoid space (SAS) size was measured from the available MR images, and the sizes of those who did and did not develop SDH were compared.

RESULTS

Free text search revealed BESS mentioned within the medical records of 1410 of 2.6 million patients. After exclusion criteria, 480 patients remained eligible for the study. Thirty-two percent (n = 154) of patients were diagnosed with developmental delay, most commonly gross motor delay (53%). Gross motor delay resolved in 86% of patients at a mean age of 22.2 months. The prevalence of spontaneous SDH in this BESS population over a period of 25 years was 8.1%. There was no significant association between SAS size and SDH formation.

CONCLUSIONS

This study represents results for one of the largest cohorts of patients with BESS at a single institution. Gross motor delay was the most common developmental delay diagnosed, and a majority of patients had resolution of their delay. These data support that children with BESS have a higher prevalence of SDH than the general pediatric population, although SAS size was not significantly associated with SDH development.

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Overdrainage-related ependymal bands: a postulated cause of proximal shunt obstruction

Mark R. Kraemer, Joyce Koueik, Susan Rebsamen, David A. Hsu, M. Shahriar Salamat, Susan Luo, Sara Saleh, Taryn M. Bragg, and Bermans J. Iskandar

OBJECTIVE

Ventricular shunts have an unacceptably high failure rate, which approaches 50% of patients at 2 years. Most shunt failures are related to ventricular catheter obstruction. The literature suggests that obstructions are caused by in-growth of choroid plexus and/or reactive cellular aggregation. The authors report endoscopic evidence of overdrainage-related ventricular tissue protrusions (“ependymal bands”) that cause partial or complete obstruction of the ventricular catheter.

METHODS

A retrospective review was completed on patients undergoing shunt revision surgery between 2008 and 2015, identifying all cases in which the senior author reported endoscopic evidence of ependymal tissue in-growth into ventricular catheters. Detailed clinical, radiological, and surgical findings are described.

RESULTS

Fifty patients underwent 83 endoscopic shunt revision procedures that revealed in-growth of ventricular wall tissue into the catheter tip orifices (ependymal bands), producing partial, complete, or intermittent shunt obstructions. Endoscopic ventricular explorations revealed ependymal bands at various stages of development, which appear to form secondarily to siphoning. Ependymal bands are associated with small ventricles when the shunt is functional, but may dilate at the time of obstruction.

CONCLUSIONS

Ventricular wall protrusions are a significant cause of proximal shunt obstruction, and they appear to be caused by siphoning of surrounding tissue into the ventricular catheter orifices.

Free access

Analysis of the effect of intraoperative neuromonitoring during resection of benign nerve sheath tumors on gross-total resection and neurological complications

Thomas J. Wilson, Forrest Hamrick, Saud Alzahrani, Christopher F. Dibble, Sravanthi Koduri, Courtney Pendleton, Sara Saleh, Zarina S. Ali, Mark A. Mahan, Rajiv Midha, Wilson Z. Ray, Lynda J. S. Yang, Eric L. Zager, and Robert J. Spinner

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to examine the role of intraoperative neuromonitoring (IONM) during resection of benign peripheral nerve sheath tumors in achieving gross-total resection (GTR) and in reducing postoperative neurological complications.

METHODS

Data from consecutive adult patients who underwent resection of a benign peripheral nerve sheath tumor at 7 participating institutions were combined. Propensity score matching was used to balance covariates. The primary outcomes of interest were the association between IONM and GTR and the association of IONM and the development of a permanent postoperative neurological complication. The secondary outcomes of interest were the association between IONM and GTR and the association between IONM and the development of a permanent postoperative neurological complication in the subgroup of patients with tumors involving a motor or mixed nerve. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression were then performed on the propensity score–matched samples to assess the ability of the independent variables to predict the outcomes of interest.

RESULTS

A total of 337 patients who underwent resection of benign nerve sheath tumors were included. In multivariate analysis, the use of IONM (OR 0.460, 95% CI 0.199–0.978; p = 0.047) was a significant negative predictor of GTR, whereas none of the variables, including IONM, were associated with the occurrence of a permanent postoperative neurological complication. Within the subgroup of motor/mixed nerve tumors, in the multivariate analysis, IONM (OR 0.263, 95% CI 0.096–0.723; p = 0.010) was a significant negative predictor of a GTR, whereas IONM (OR 3.800, 95% CI 1.925–7.502; p < 0.001) was a significant positive predictor of a permanent postoperative motor deficit.

CONCLUSIONS

Overall, 12% of the cohort had a permanent neurological complication, with new or worsened paresthesias most common, followed by pain and then weakness. The authors found that formal IONM was associated with a reduced likelihood of GTR and had no association with neurological complications. The authors believe that these data argue against IONM being considered standard of care but do not believe that these data should be used to universally argue against IONM during resection of benign nerve sheath tumors.