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Sherise Ferguson and Maciej S. Lesniak

Throughout his illustrious career, Percival Bailey made numerous contributions to the fields of neurology, neuroanatomy, psychiatry, neuropathology, and, of course, neurosurgery. His expertise, his curiosity about the nervous system, and his desire to examine it from all angles were unique. With the exception of Harvey Cushing, Dr. Bailey made some of the greatest contributions in the area of neuro-oncology at the turn of the last century. In this essay the authors summarize the key episodes of Bailey's life and discuss his impact on the classification and treatment of human brain tumors.

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Sherise D. Ferguson, Nancy Michael, and David M. Frim

✓Despite advances in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) diversionary techniques, shunt failure due to infection or malfunction remains a persistent problem in hydrocephalus care. The aim of this study was to evaluate the independent predictors of early shunt survival after implantation in a large cohort of patients. The authors retrospectively reviewed the records of all patients who had undergone shunt implantation procedures at their institution during an 8-year period. They analyzed the independent predictors of shunt survival in 116 failed shunt placement procedures (infection or malfunction) by performing univariate and multivariate factorial analyses. Analysis of the 116 failed shunts in the 396 new shunt placement procedures performed revealed that age was a significant independent predictor of shunt survival time in failures due to malfunction (p < 0.05) as well as infection (p < 0.05). In addition, a significant relationship between patient race and shunt survival was also found. As suggested by data in other studies focused on this outcome, early shunt failure occurs sooner in younger patients. Interestingly, this study is one of few whose data have revealed that race may affect shunt failure after implantation. Specifically, shunt failure due to infection resulted in significantly shorter shunt survival time in non-white patients compared with that in white patients. Among the shunts that failed due to malfunction, however, white patients had shorter shunt survival times.

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Sherise D. Ferguson, Nicholas B. Levine, Dima Suki, Andrew J. Tsung, Fredrick F. Lang, Raymond Sawaya, Jeffrey S. Weinberg, and Ian E. McCutcheon

OBJECTIVE

Fourth ventricle tumors are rare, and surgical series are typically small, comprising a single pathology, or focused exclusively on pediatric populations. This study investigated surgical outcome and complications following fourth ventricle tumor resection in a diverse patient population. This is the largest cohort of fourth ventricle tumors described in the literature to date.

METHODS

This is an 18-year (1993–2010) retrospective review of 55 cases involving patients undergoing surgery for tumors of the fourth ventricle. Data included patient demographic characteristics, pathological and radiographic tumor characteristics, and surgical factors (approach, surgical adjuncts, extent of resection, etc.). The neurological and medical complications following resection were collected and outcomes at 30 days, 90 days, 6 months, and 1 year were reviewed to determine patient recovery. Patient, tumor, and surgical factors were analyzed to determine factors associated with the frequently encountered postoperative neurological complications.

RESULTS

There were no postoperative deaths. Gross-total resection was achieved in 75% of cases. Forty-five percent of patients experienced at least 1 major neurological complication, while 31% had minor complications only. New or worsening gait/focal motor disturbance (56%), speech/swallowing deficits (38%), and cranial nerve deficits (31%) were the most common neurological deficits in the immediate postoperative period. Of these, cranial nerve deficits were the least likely to resolve at follow-up. Multivariate analysis showed that patients undergoing a transvermian approach had a higher incidence of postoperative cranial nerve deficits, gait disturbance, and speech/swallowing deficits than those treated with a telovelar approach. The use of surgical adjuncts (intraoperative navigation, neurophysiological monitoring) did not significantly affect neurological outcome. Twenty-two percent of patients required postoperative CSF diversion following tumor resection. Patients who required intraoperative ventriculostomy, those undergoing a transvermian approach, and pediatric patients (< 18 years old) were all more likely to require postoperative CSF diversion. Twenty percent of patients suffered at least 1 medical complication following tumor resection. Most complications were respiratory, with the most common being postoperative respiratory failure (14%), followed by pneumonia (13%).

CONCLUSIONS

The occurrence of complications after fourth ventricle tumor surgery is not rare. Postoperative neurological sequelae were frequent, but a substantial number of patients had neurological improvement at long-term followup. Of the neurological complications analyzed, postoperative cranial nerve deficits were the least likely to completely resolve at follow-up. Of all the patient, tumor, and surgical variables included in the analysis, surgical approach had the most significant impact on neurological morbidity, with the telovelar approach being associated with less morbidity.

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Wajd N. Al-Holou, Dima Suki, Tiffany R. Hodges, Richard G. Everson, Jacob Freeman, Sherise D. Ferguson, Ian E. McCutcheon, Sujit S. Prabhu, Jeffrey S. Weinberg, Raymond Sawaya, and Frederick F. Lang

OBJECTIVE

Many neurosurgeons resect nonenhancing low-grade gliomas (LGGs) by using an inside-out piecemeal resection (PMR) technique. At the authors’ institution they have increasingly used a circumferential, perilesional, sulcus-guided resection (SGR) technique. This technique has not been well described and there are limited data on its effectiveness. The authors describe the SGR technique and assess the extent to which SGR correlates with extent of resection and neurological outcome.

METHODS

The authors identified all patients with newly diagnosed LGGs who underwent resection at their institution over a 22-year period. Demographics, presenting symptoms, intraoperative data, method of resection (SGR or PMR), volumetric imaging data, and postoperative outcomes were obtained. Univariate analyses used ANOVA and Fisher’s exact test. Multivariate analyses were performed using multivariate logistic regression.

RESULTS

Newly diagnosed LGGs were resected in 519 patients, 208 (40%) using an SGR technique and 311 (60%) using a PMR technique. The median extent of resection in the SGR group was 84%, compared with 77% in the PMR group (p = 0.019). In multivariate analysis, SGR was independently associated with a higher rate of complete (100%) resection (27% vs 18%) (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.1–2.6; p = 0.03). SGR was also associated with a statistical trend toward lower rates of postoperative neurological complications (11% vs 16%, p = 0.09). A subset analysis of tumors located specifically in eloquent brain demonstrated SGR to be as safe as PMR.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors describe the SGR technique used to resect LGGs and show that SGR is independently associated with statistically significantly higher rates of complete resection, without an increase in neurological complications, than with PMR. SGR technique should be considered when resecting LGGs.