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C. Corbett Wilkinson, Nicholas V. Stence, Cesar A. Serrano, Sarah J. Graber, Lígia Batista-Silverman, Emily Schmidt-Beuchat and Brooke M. French

OBJECTIVE

Recently, the authors investigated the normal course of fusion of minor lateral calvarial sutures on “3D” volume-rendered head CT reconstructions in pediatric trauma patients. While evaluating these reconstructions, they found many more fused sagittal sutures than expected given the currently accepted prevalence of sagittal craniosynostosis. In the present study, using the same set of head CT reconstructions, they investigated the course of fusion of the sagittal as well as the lambdoid, coronal, and metopic sutures.

METHODS

They reviewed all volume-rendered head CT reconstructions performed in the period from 2010 through mid-2012 at Children’s Hospital Colorado for trauma patients aged 0–21 years. Each sagittal, lambdoid, coronal, or metopic suture was graded as open, partially fused, or fused. The cephalic index (CI) was calculated for subjects with fused and partially fused sagittal sutures.

RESULTS

After exclusions, 331 scans were reviewed. Twenty-one subjects (6%) had fusion or partial fusion of the sagittal suture. Four of the 21 also had fusion of the medial lambdoid and/or coronal sutures. In the 17 subjects (5%) with sagittal suture fusion and no medial fusion of adjacent sutures, the mean CI was 77.6. None of the 21 subjects had been previously diagnosed with craniosynostosis. Other than in the 21 subjects already mentioned, no other sagittal or lambdoid sutures were fused at all. Nor were other coronal sutures fused medially. Coronal sutures were commonly fused inferiorly early during the 2nd decade of life, and fusion progressed superiorly and medially as subjects became older; none were completely fused by 18 years of age. Fusion of the metopic suture was first seen at 3 months of life; fusion was often not complete until after 2 years.

CONCLUSIONS

The sagittal and lambdoid sutures do not usually begin to fuse before 18 years of age. However, more sagittal sutures are fused before age 18 than expected given the currently accepted prevalence of craniosynostosis. This finding is of unknown significance, but likely many of them do not need surgery. The coronal suture often begins to fuse inferiorly early in the 2nd decade of life but does not usually complete fusion before 18 years of age. The metopic suture often starts to fuse by 3 months of age, but it may not completely fuse until after 2 years of age.

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C. Corbett Wilkinson, Cesar A. Serrano, Brooke M. French, Sarah J. Graber, Emily Schmidt-Beuchat, Lígia Batista-Silverman, Noah P. Hubbell and Nicholas V. Stence

OBJECTIVE

Several years ago, the authors treated an infant with sagittal and bilateral parietomastoid suture fusion. This made them curious about the normal course of fusion of “minor” lateral sutures (sphenoparietal, squamosal, parietomastoid). Accordingly, they investigated fusion of these sutures on 3D volume-rendered head CT reconstructions in a series of pediatric trauma patients.

METHODS

The authors reviewed all volume-rendered head CT reconstructions obtained from 2010 through mid-2012 at Children’s Hospital Colorado in trauma patients aged 0–21 years. Each sphenoparietal, squamosal, and parietomastoid suture was graded as open, partially fused, or fused. In several individuals, one or more lateral sutures were fused atypically. In these patients, the cephalic index (CI) and cranial vault asymmetry index (CVAI) were calculated. In a separately reported study utilizing the same reconstructions, 21 subjects had fusion of the sagittal suture. Minor lateral sutures were assessed, including these 21 individuals, excluding them, and considering them as a separate subgroup.

RESULTS

After exclusions, 331 scans were reviewed. Typically, the earliest length of the minor lateral sutures to begin fusion was the anterior squamosal suture, often by 2 years of age. The next suture to begin fusion—and first to complete it—was the sphenoparietal. The last suture to begin and complete fusion was the parietomastoid. Six subjects (1.8%) had posterior (without anterior) fusion of one or more squamosal sutures. Six subjects (1.8%) had fusion or near-complete fusion of one squamosal and/or parietomastoid suture when the corresponding opposite suture was open or nearly open. The mean CI and CVAI values in these subjects and in age- and sex-matched controls were normal and not significantly different. No individuals had a fused parietomastoid suture with open squamosal and/or sphenoparietal sutures.

CONCLUSIONS

Fusion and partial fusion of the sphenoparietal, squamosal, and parietomastoid sutures is common in children and adolescents. It usually does not represent craniosynostosis and does not require cranial surgery. The anterior squamosal suture is often the earliest length of these sutures to fuse. Fusion then spreads anteriorly to the sphenoparietal suture and posteriorly to the parietomastoid. The sphenoparietal suture is generally the earliest minor lateral suture to complete fusion, and the parietomastoid is the last. Atypical patterns of fusion include posterior (without anterior) squamosal suture fusion and asymmetrical squamosal and/or parietomastoid suture fusion. However, these atypical fusion patterns may not lead to atypical head shapes or a need for surgery.

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Seerat Poonia, Sarah Graber, C. Corbett Wilkinson, Brent R. O'neill, Michael H. Handler and Todd C. Hankinson

OBJECTIVE

Postoperative management following the release of simple spinal cord–tethering lesions is highly variable. As a quality improvement initiative, the authors aimed to determine whether an institutional protocol of discharging patients on postoperative day (POD) 1 was associated with a higher rate of postoperative CSF leaks than the prior protocol of discharge on POD 2.

METHODS

This was a single-center retrospective review of all children who underwent release of a spinal cord–tethering lesion that was not associated with a substantial fascial or dural defect (i.e., simple spinal cord detethering) during 2 epochs: prior to and following the institution of a protocol for discharge on POD 1. Outcomes included the need for and timing of nonroutine care of the surgical site, including return to the operating room, wound suturing, and nonsurgical evaluation and management.

RESULTS

Of 169 patients identified, none presented with CSF-related complications prior to discharge. In the preintervention group (n = 113), the postoperative CSF leak rate was 4.4% (5/113). The mean length of stay was 2.3 days. In the postintervention group, the postoperative CSF leak rate was 1.9% (1/53) in the patients with postdischarge follow-up. The mean length of stay in that group was 1.3 days.

CONCLUSIONS

At a single academic children's hospital, a protocol of discharging patients on POD 1 following uncomplicated release of a simple spinal cord–tethering lesion was not associated with an increased rate of postoperative CSF leaks, relative to the previous protocol. The rates identified are consistent with the existing literature. The authors' practice has changed to discharge on POD 1 in most cases.

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Elsa V. Arocho-Quinones, Sean M. Lew, Michael H. Handler, Zulma Tovar-Spinoza, Matthew Smyth, Robert Bollo, David Donahue, M. Scott Perry, Michael L. Levy, David Gonda, Francesco T. Mangano, Phillip B. Storm, Angela V. Price, Daniel E. Couture, Chima Oluigbo, Ann-Christine Duhaime, Gene H. Barnett, Carrie R. Muh, Michael D. Sather, Aria Fallah, Anthony C. Wang, Sanjiv Bhatia, Kadam Patel, Sergey Tarima, Sarah Graber, Sean Huckins, Daniel M. Hafez, Kavelin Rumalla, Laurie Bailey, Sabrina Shandley, Ashton Roach, Erin Alexander, Wendy Jenkins, Deki Tsering, George Price, Antonio Meola, Wendi Evanoff, Eric M. Thompson, Nicholas Brandmeir and the Pediatric Stereotactic Laser Ablation Workgroup

OBJECTIVE

This study aimed to assess the safety and efficacy of MR-guided stereotactic laser ablation (SLA) therapy in the treatment of pediatric brain tumors.

METHODS

Data from 17 North American centers were retrospectively reviewed. Clinical, technical, and radiographic data for pediatric patients treated with SLA for a diagnosis of brain tumor from 2008 to 2016 were collected and analyzed.

RESULTS

A total of 86 patients (mean age 12.2 ± 4.5 years) with 76 low-grade (I or II) and 10 high-grade (III or IV) tumors were included. Tumor location included lobar (38.4%), deep (45.3%), and cerebellar (16.3%) compartments. The mean follow-up time was 24 months (median 18 months, range 3–72 months). At the last follow-up, the volume of SLA-treated tumors had decreased in 80.6% of patients with follow-up data. Patients with high-grade tumors were more likely to have an unchanged or larger tumor size after SLA treatment than those with low-grade tumors (OR 7.49, p = 0.0364). Subsequent surgery and adjuvant treatment were not required after SLA treatment in 90.4% and 86.7% of patients, respectively. Patients with high-grade tumors were more likely to receive subsequent surgery (OR 2.25, p = 0.4957) and adjuvant treatment (OR 3.77, p = 0.1711) after SLA therapy, without reaching significance. A total of 29 acute complications in 23 patients were reported and included malpositioned catheters (n = 3), intracranial hemorrhages (n = 2), transient neurological deficits (n = 11), permanent neurological deficits (n = 5), symptomatic perilesional edema (n = 2), hydrocephalus (n = 4), and death (n = 2). On long-term follow-up, 3 patients were reported to have worsened neuropsychological test results. Pre-SLA tumor volume, tumor location, number of laser trajectories, and number of lesions created did not result in a significantly increased risk of complications; however, the odds of complications increased by 14% (OR 1.14, p = 0.0159) with every 1-cm3 increase in the volume of the lesion created.

CONCLUSIONS

SLA is an effective, minimally invasive treatment option for pediatric brain tumors, although it is not without risks. Limiting the volume of the generated thermal lesion may help decrease the incidence of complications.