In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Dr. John Howship, a pioneering British surgeon, described the clinical features and pathophysiology of various surgical disorders of the human body. His critical contributions to pediatric neurosurgery came in 1816 when he first described the features of an important childhood condition following head trauma, what he referred to as parietal bone absorption. This condition as depicted by Dr. Howship was soon to be christened by later scholars as traumatic cephalhydrocele, traumatic meningocele, leptomeningeal cyst, meningocele spuria, fibrosing osteitis, cerebrocranial erosion, and growing skull fracture. Nevertheless, the basic features of the condition as observed by Dr. Howship were virtually identical to the characteristics of the above-mentioned disorders. This article describes the life and accomplishments of Dr. Howship and his contributions to the current understanding of growing skull fracture.
Shyamal C. Bir, Piyush Kalakoti, Christina Notarianni and Anil Nanda
Shyamal C. Bir, Sudheer Ambekar, Sunil Kukreja and Anil Nanda
Julius Caesar Arantius is one of the pioneer anatomists and surgeons of the 16th century who discovered the different anatomical structures of the human body. One of his prominent discoveries is the hippocampus. At that time, Arantius originated the term hippocampus, from the Greek word for seahorse (hippos [“horse”] and kampos [“sea monster”]). Arantius published his description of the hippocampus in 1587, in the first chapter of his work titled De Humano Foetu Liber. Numerous nomenclatures of this structure, including “white silkworm,” “Ammon's horn,” and “ram's horn” were proposed by different scholars at that time. However, the term hippocampus has become the most widely used in the literature.
Shyamal C. Bir, Sudheer Ambekar, Christina Notarianni and Anil Nanda
In the 19th century, Dr. Odilon Marc Lannelongue was a pioneering French surgeon who introduced a surgical technique for the treatment of craniosynostosis. In 1890, Dr. Lannelongue performed correction of sagittal synostosis by strip craniectomy. From his procedure, multiple techniques have been developed and endorsed for this condition, ranging from simple suturectomies to extensive calvarial vault remodeling. In addition, even today, endoscopically aided strip craniectomy is performed as a surgical treatment of craniosynostosis. This article describes the life and works of the surgeon who revolutionized the management of craniosynostosis.
Shyamal C. Bir, Subhas Konar, Tanmoy Maiti, Anil Nanda and Bharat Guthikonda
Spinal cord stimulators (SCSs) appear to be safe and efficacious for chronic intractable back pain. Although there are many reports on percutaneous SCSs, there are very few studies on outcomes of paddle lead SCSs. In addition, the predictors of requirement for SCS revision have not been well established. Here, the authors review the outcome of a case series and attempt to identify the predictors of SCS revisions.
The clinical and radiological information of 141 patients with intractable chronic pain who underwent SCS implantation within the past 20 years was retrospectively reviewed. Paddle lead SCSs were used in this series. Statistical analysis was conducted using Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox proportional-hazards regression.
Among 141 cases, 90 (64%) did not require any revision after SCS implantations. Removal of the SCS was required in 14 patients. The average pain score was significantly reduced (preimplantation score of 8 vs postimplantation score of 1.38; p < 0.0001). Younger age, male sex, obesity, a preimplantation pain score ≥ 8, and the presence of neuromuscular pain were identified as predictors of the overall requirement for SCS revision. However, only a preimplantation pain score ≥ 8 was identified as a predictor of early failure of the SCS.
Implantation of a paddle lead SCS is a relatively less invasive, safe, and effective procedure for patients with intractable back pain. Revision of the procedure depends on many factors, including younger age, male sex, associated neuromuscular pain, and severity of the pain. Therefore, patients with these factors, for whom implantation of an SCS is planned, should be closely followed for the possible requirement for revision.
Subhas K. Konar, Shyamal C. Bir, Tanmoy K. Maiti, Papireddy Bollam and Anil Nanda
Isadore Max Tarlov, an early neurosurgeon, made several important contributions to the field of spine surgery. He described sacral perineural cysts, now known as Tarlov cysts. Dr. Tarlov also introduced the knee-chest patient position to facilitate exposure and hemostasis in lumbar surgery. In addition, he developed the use of fibrin glue in nerve repair. His book on mechanisms of spinal compression was published in 1957. He published a book of essays titled Principles of Parsimony in Medical Practice that remains highly relevant in today's medical world.
Tanmoy K. Maiti, Shyamal C. Bir, Devi Prasad Patra, Piyush Kalakoti, Bharat Guthikonda and Anil Nanda
Spinal meningiomas are benign tumors with a wide spectrum of clinical and radiological features at presentation. The authors analyzed multiple clinicoradiological factors to predict recurrence and functional outcome in a cohort with a mean follow-up of more than 4 years. The authors also discuss the results of clinical studies regarding spinal meningiomas in the last 15 years.
The authors retrospectively reviewed the clinical and radiological details of patients who underwent surgery for spinal tumors between 2001 and 2015 that were histopathologically confirmed as meningiomas. Demographic parameters, such as age, sex, race, and association with neurofibromatosis Type 2, were considered. Radiological parameters, such as tumor size, signal changes of spinal cord, spinal level, number of levels, location of tumor attachment, shape of tumor, and presence of dural tail/calcification, were noted. These factors were analyzed to predict recurrence and functional outcome. Furthermore, a pooled analysis was performed from 13 reports of spinal meningiomas in the last 15 years.
A total of 38 patients were included in this study. Male sex and tumors with radiological evidence of a dural tail were associated with an increased risk of recurrence at a mean follow-up of 51.2 months. Ventral or ventrolateral location, large tumors, T2 cord signal changes, and poor preoperative functional status were associated with poor functional outcome at 1-year follow-up.
Spine surgeons must be aware of the natural history and risk factors of spinal meningiomas to establish a prognosis for their patients.
Subhas K. Konar, Shyamal C. Bir, Tanmoy K. Maiti and Anil Nanda
The incidence of primary spinal cord glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in the pediatric age group is very rare. Only a few case series and case reports have been published in the literature; therefore, overall survival (OS) outcome and the as-yet poorly defined management options are not discussed in detail. The authors performed a cumulative survival analysis of all reported cases of pediatric spinal cord GBM to identify the predictive factors related to final survival outcome.
A comprehensive search for relevant articles was performed on PubMed's electronic database MEDLINE for the period from 1950 to 2015 using the search words “malignant spinal cord tumor” and “spinal glioblastoma multiforme.” This study was limited to patients younger than 18 years of age. Survival rates for children with various tumor locations and treatments were collected from the published articles and analyzed.
After an extensive literature search, 29 articles met the study inclusion criteria. From the detailed information in these articles, the authors found 53 children eligible for the survival analysis. The majority (45%) of the children were more than 12 years old. Thirty-four percent of the cases were between 7 and 12 years of age, and 21% were younger than 7 years. In the Kaplan-Meier survival analysis, children younger than 7 years of age had better survival (13 months) than the children older than 7 years (7–12 years: 10 months, > 12 years: 9 months; p = 0.01, log-rank test). Fifty-five percent of the children were female and 45% were male. A cervical tumor location (32%) was the most common, followed by thoracic (28.3%). Cervicothoracic (18.9%) and conus (18.8%) tumor locations shared the same percentage of cases. Cervical tumors had a worse outcome than tumors in other locations (p = 0.003, log-rank test). The most common presenting symptom was limb weakness (53%), followed by sensory disturbances (25%). Median OS was 10 months. The addition of adjuvant therapy (radiotherapy [RT] and/or chemotherapy [CT]) after surgery significantly improved OS (p = 0.01, log-rank test). Children who underwent gross-total resection and RT had better outcomes than those who underwent subtotal resection and RT (p = 0.04, log-rank test). Cerebrospinal fluid spread, hydrocephalus, brain metastasis, and spinal metastasis were not correlated with OS in primary spinal GBM.
Adjuvant therapy after surgery had a beneficial effect on overall outcome of spinal GBM in the pediatric age group. Gross-total resection followed by RT produced a better outcome than subtotal resection with RT. Further large-scale prospective study is required to establish the genetic and molecular factors related to OS in primary GBM of the spinal cord in pediatric patients.
Anil Nanda, Shyamal C. Bir, Tanmoy K. Maiti, Subhas K. Konar, Symeon Missios and Bharat Guthikonda
The clinical significance of the Simpson system for grading the extent of meningioma resection and its role as a predictor of the recurrence of World Health Organization (WHO) Grade I meningiomas have been questioned in the past, echoing changes in meningioma surgery over the years. The authors reviewed their experience in resecting WHO Grade I meningiomas and assessed the association between extent of resection, as evaluated using the Simpson classification, and recurrence-free survival (RFS) of patients after meningioma surgery.
Clinical and radiological information for patients with WHO Grade I meningiomas who had undergone resective surgery over the past 20 years was retrospectively reviewed. Simpson and Shinshu grading scales were used to evaluate the extent of resection. Statistical analysis was conducted using Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox proportional-hazards regression.
Four hundred fifty-eight patients were eligible for analysis. Overall tumor recurrence rates for Simpson resection Grades I, II, III, and IV were 5%, 22%, 31%, and 35%, respectively. After Cox regression analysis, Simpson Grade I (extensive resection) was revealed as a significant predictor of RFS (p = 0.003). Patients undergoing Simpson Grade I and II resections showed significant improvement in RFS compared with patients undergoing Grade III and IV resections (p = 0.005). Extent of resection had a significant effect on recurrence rates for both skull base (p = 0.047) and convexity (p = 0.012) meningiomas. Female sex and a Karnofsky Performance Scale score > 70 were also identified as independent predictors of RFS after resection of WHO Grade I meningioma.
In this patient cohort, a significant association was noted between extent of resection and rates of tumor recurrence. In the authors' experience the Simpson grading system maintains its relevance and prognostic value and can serve an important role for patient education. Even though complete tumor resection is the goal, surgery should be tailored to each patient according to the risks and surgical morbidity.
Shyamal C. Bir, Devi Prasad Patra, Tanmoy K. Maiti, Hai Sun, Bharat Guthikonda, Christina Notarianni and Anil Nanda
Adult-onset hydrocephalus is not commonly discussed in the literature, especially regarding its demographic distribution. In contrast to pediatric hydrocephalus, which is related to a primary CSF pathway defect, its development in adults is often secondary to other pathologies. In this study, the authors investigated the epidemiology of adult-onset hydrocephalus as it pertains to different etiologies and in reference to age, sex, and race distributions.
The authors retrospectively reviewed the clinical notes of 2001 patients with adult-onset hydrocephalus who presented to Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center within a 25-year span. Significant differences between the groups were analyzed by a chi-square test; p < 0.05 was considered significant.
The overall mean (± SEM) incidence of adult hydrocephalus in this population was 77 ± 30 per year, with a significant increase in incidence in the past decade (55 ± 3 [1990–2003] vs 102 ± 6 [2004–2015]; p < 0.0001). Hydrocephalus in a majority of the patients had a vascular etiology (45.5%) or was a result of a tumor (30.2%). The incidence of hydrocephalus in different age groups varied according to various pathologies. The incidence was significantly higher in males with normal-pressure hydrocephalus (p = 0.03) or head injury (p = 0.01) and higher in females with pseudotumor cerebri (p < 0.0001). In addition, the overall incidence of hydrocephalus was significantly higher in Caucasian patients (p = 0.0002) than in those of any other race.
Knowledge of the demographic variations in adult-onset hydrocephalus is helpful in achieving better risk stratification and better managing the disease in patients. For general applicability, these results should be validated in a large-scale meta-analysis based on a national population database.