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Rodrigo Panico Gorayeb, Sergio Cavalheiro, and Samuel Tau Zymberg

Object. The authors analyzed data obtained in 36 patients younger than 1 year of age who were treated with endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) for obstructive hydrocephalus at their institution.

Methods. There were 17 boys and 19 girls who ranged in age from 3 days to 11 months (mean 4.7 months). The causes of the hydrocephalus were Chiari Type II malformation (11 cases), aqueductal stenosis (11 cases), and other (14 cases). The success rate was 64% (p < 0.05, confidence interval 0.48–0.8) and there were four complications, mainly meningitis. The follow-up period ranged from 22 to 69 months (mean 47.4 months).

Conclusions. Based on the 64% success rate in children younger than 1 year of age, ETV should be the treatment of choice for obstructive hydrocephalus in this age group, although larger studies involving specific causes of hydrocephalus are needed.

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Sergio Cavalheiro, Heloisa Galvão do Amaral Campos, and Marcos Devanir Silva da Costa

Fetal brain tumors are rare. This report describes a giant posterior fossa capillary hemangioma treated with 3 mg/kg/day of propranolol for 6 months. Total regression was confirmed at 1 year, and no additional tumors were observed during the subsequent 2 years. No side effects relating to the use of this drug were detected; thus, the authors believe that propranolol may be useful for treating all intracranial capillary hemangiomas.

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Sergio Cavalheiro, María Laura Canullo, Marcos Devanir Silva da Costa, Patricia Alessandra Dastoli, Jardel Mendonça Nicácio, and João Norberto Stavale

Glioependymal cysts are a rare, congenital, and benign condition. The authors report a case of a 2-year-old female patient who presented with a large exophytic glioependymal cyst located in the left cerebral peduncle, which began with a history of deteriorating function of the left third cranial nerve (CN III). A left 3-piece fronto-orbitozygomatic approach and a microsurgical complete excision of the cyst were performed without complications by accessing the midbrain through the perioculomotor entry zone. The patient’s CN III function completely recovered after 3 months. Because there are currently no widely approved and used classification systems for these cysts, their reporting, naming, and classification are quite confusing in the literature. Thus, their origin, classification, and most common locations warrant further investigation. In addition to reporting this case, the authors present their review of the literature.

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Eduardo A. Iunes, Enrico A. Barletta, Telmo A. B. Belsuzarri, Franz J. Onishi, André Y. Aihara, Sergio Cavalheiro, and Andrei F. Joaquim

OBJECTIVE

The goal of this study was to evaluate the incidence of pseudarthrosis after the treatment of cervical degenerative disc disease (CDDD) with anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) in which self-locking, stand-alone intervertebral cages filled with hydroxyapatite were used.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective cohort study of 49 patients who underwent 1- to 3-level ACDF with self-locking, stand-alone intervertebral cages without plates, with a minimum 2 years of follow-up. The following data were extracted from radiological and clinical charts: age, sex, time and type of pre- and postoperative signs and symptoms, pain status (visual analog scale [VAS]), functional status (Neck Disability Index [NDI]), history of smoking, bone quality (bone densitometry), and complications. Pseudarthrosis was diagnosed by a blinded neuroradiologist using CT scans. Clinical improvement was assessed using pre- and postoperative comparison of VAS and NDI scores. The Wilcoxon test for paired tests was used to evaluate statistical significance using a p value of < 0.05.

RESULTS

Three patients (6%) developed symptomatic pseudarthrosis requiring reoperation, with only 1 patient showing clinical worsening due to pseudarthrosis, while the other 2 with pseudarthrosis had associated disc disease at an adjacent level. The rate of symptomatic pseudarthrosis according to the number of operated levels was 0% for 1 level, 8.7% (2/23 patients) for 2 levels, and 7.7% (1/13 patients) for 3 levels. The total pseudarthrosis rate (including both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients) was 16.4%. Considering the clinical outcomes, there was a significant improvement of 75.6% in neck pain and 95.7% in arm pain, as well as a 64.9% improvement in NDI scores. Complications were observed in 18.4% of patients, with adjacent-level degenerative disease being the most prevalent at 14.3%.

CONCLUSIONS

ACDF with self-locking, stand-alone cages filled with a hydroxyapatite graft can be used for the surgical treatment of 1- to 3-level CDDD with clinical and radiological outcomes significantly improved after a minimum 2-year follow-up period. Comparative studies are necessary.

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Sergio Cavalheiro, Fábio Veiga de Castro Sparapani, Antonio Fernandes Moron, Marcia Cristina da Silva, and João Norberto Stávale

✓ The authors present the case of a 34-week-old fetus with a meningeal hemangiopericytoma that was diagnosed in utero by using abdominal magnetic resonance imaging. After birth, the neonate underwent transfontanelle ultrasonography and computerized tomography scanning of the head, which confirmed the presence of an extradural hyperdense lesion. Six hours after birth the neonate underwent a craniotomy, which resulted in complete resection of the mass. The postoperative period was uneventful and the newborn was discharged 7 days later. At 2-year follow-up examination there was no evidence of recurrence of the lesion. The authors have found no mention in the literature of this entity diagnosed in the prenatal period.

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Francisco Vaz Guimarães Filho, Giselle Coelho, Sergio Cavalheiro, Marcos Lyra, and Samuel T. Zymberg

Object

Ideal surgical training models should be entirely reliable, atoxic, easy to handle, and, if possible, low cost. All available models have their advantages and disadvantages. The choice of one or another will depend on the type of surgery to be performed. The authors created an anatomical model called the S.I.M.O.N.T. (Sinus Model Oto-Rhino Neuro Trainer) Neurosurgical Endotrainer, which can provide reliable neuroendoscopic training. The aim in the present study was to assess both the quality of the model and the development of surgical skills by trainees.

Methods

The S.I.M.O.N.T. is built of a synthetic thermoretractable, thermosensible rubber called Neoderma, which, combined with different polymers, produces more than 30 different formulas. Quality assessment of the model was based on qualitative and quantitative data obtained from training sessions with 9 experienced and 13 inexperienced neurosurgeons. The techniques used for evaluation were face validation, retest and interrater reliability, and construct validation.

Results

The experts considered the S.I.M.O.N.T. capable of reproducing surgical situations as if they were real and presenting great similarity with the human brain. Surgical results of serial training showed that the model could be considered precise. Finally, development and improvement in surgical skills by the trainees were observed and considered relevant to further training. It was also observed that the probability of any single error was dramatically decreased after each training session, with a mean reduction of 41.65% (range 38.7%–45.6%).

Conclusions

Neuroendoscopic training has some specific requirements. A unique set of instruments is required, as is a model that can resemble real-life situations. The S.I.M.O.N.T. is a new alternative model specially designed for this purpose. Validation techniques followed by precision assessments attested to the model's feasibility.

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Eduardo A. Iunes, Enrico A. Barletta, Telmo A. B. Belsuzarri, Franz J. Onishi, André Y. Aihara, Sergio Cavalheiro, and Andrei F. Joaquim

OBJECTIVE

The goal of this study was to evaluate the incidence of pseudarthrosis after the treatment of cervical degenerative disc disease (CDDD) with anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) in which self-locking, stand-alone intervertebral cages filled with hydroxyapatite were used.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective cohort study of 49 patients who underwent 1- to 3-level ACDF with self-locking, stand-alone intervertebral cages without plates, with a minimum 2 years of follow-up. The following data were extracted from radiological and clinical charts: age, sex, time and type of pre- and postoperative signs and symptoms, pain status (visual analog scale [VAS]), functional status (Neck Disability Index [NDI]), history of smoking, bone quality (bone densitometry), and complications. Pseudarthrosis was diagnosed by a blinded neuroradiologist using CT scans. Clinical improvement was assessed using pre- and postoperative comparison of VAS and NDI scores. The Wilcoxon test for paired tests was used to evaluate statistical significance using a p value of < 0.05.

RESULTS

Three patients (6%) developed symptomatic pseudarthrosis requiring reoperation, with only 1 patient showing clinical worsening due to pseudarthrosis, while the other 2 with pseudarthrosis had associated disc disease at an adjacent level. The rate of symptomatic pseudarthrosis according to the number of operated levels was 0% for 1 level, 8.7% (2/23 patients) for 2 levels, and 7.7% (1/13 patients) for 3 levels. The total pseudarthrosis rate (including both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients) was 16.4%. Considering the clinical outcomes, there was a significant improvement of 75.6% in neck pain and 95.7% in arm pain, as well as a 64.9% improvement in NDI scores. Complications were observed in 18.4% of patients, with adjacent-level degenerative disease being the most prevalent at 14.3%.

CONCLUSIONS

ACDF with self-locking, stand-alone cages filled with a hydroxyapatite graft can be used for the surgical treatment of 1- to 3-level CDDD with clinical and radiological outcomes significantly improved after a minimum 2-year follow-up period. Comparative studies are necessary.

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Sergio Cavalheiro, Fábio Veiga de Castro Sparapani, José Orlando Bidó Franco, Marcia Cristina da Silva, and Fernando Menezes Braga

✓ The authors present a case of a gigantic cystic craniopharyngioma that was treated with intratumoral injections of bleomycin. The mass had eroded the skull base and extended to the sphenoid bone. A total of eight intratumoral injections through an Ommaya reservoir were given. Six months after treatment, there was complete regression of the lesion and improvement in both visual and endocrinological symptomatology.