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Brandon W. Smith, Kate W. C. Chang, Sravanthi Koduri, and Lynda J. S. Yang


The decision-making in neonatal brachial plexus palsy (NBPP) treatment continues to have many areas in need of clarification. Graft repair was the gold standard until the introduction of nerve transfer strategies. Currently, there is conflicting evidence regarding outcomes in patients with nerve grafts versus nerve transfers in relation to shoulder function. The objective of this study was to further define the outcomes for reconstruction strategies in NBPP with a specific focus on the shoulder.


A cohort of patients with NBPP and surgical repairs from a single center were reviewed. Demographic and standard clinical data, including imaging and electrodiagnostics, were gathered from a clinical database. Clinical data from physical therapy evaluations, including active and passive range of motion, were examined. Statistical analysis was performed on the available data.


Forty-five patients met the inclusion criteria for this study, 19 with graft repair and 26 with nerve transfers. There were no significant differences in demographics between the two groups. Understandably, there were no patients in the nerve grafting group with preganglionic lesions, resulting in a difference in lesion type between the cohorts. There were no differences in preoperative shoulder function between the cohorts. Both groups reached statistically significant improvements in shoulder flexion and shoulder abduction. The nerve transfer group experienced a significant improvement in shoulder external rotation, from −78° to −28° (p = 0.0001), whereas a significant difference was not reached in the graft group. When compared between groups, there appeared to be a trend favoring nerve transfer in shoulder external rotation, with the graft patients improving by 17° and the transfer patients improving by 49° (p = 0.07).


In NBPP, patients with shoulder weakness experience statistically significant improvements in shoulder flexion and abduction after graft repair or nerve transfer, and patients with nerve transfers additionally experience significant improvement in external rotation. With regard to shoulder external rotation, there appear to be some data supporting the use of nerve transfers.

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Sravanthi Koduri, D. Andrew Wilkinson, Julius M. Griauzde, Joseph J. Gemmete, and Cormac O. Maher

Moyamoya syndrome predisposes patients to ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke due to progressive narrowing of intracranial vessels with subsequent small-vessel collateralization. Dural arteriovenous fistulae (DAVFs) are most commonly noted after venous sinus or cortical vein thrombosis and are believed to be primarily due to venous hypertension and elevated sinus pressures, although there is no known association with moyamoya syndrome, or with surgical treatment for moyamoya disease (MMD). The authors present the case of a 14-year-old girl with Down syndrome treated using pial synangiosis for MMD who subsequently was noted to have bilateral DAVFs. This case provides a new perspective on the origins and underlying pathophysiology of both moyamoya syndrome and DAVFs, and also serves to highlight the importance of monitoring the moyamoya population closely for de novo cerebrovascular changes after revascularization procedures.