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Ricardo Santos de Oliveira, Giuseppe Cinalli, Thomas Roujeau, Christian Sainte-Rose, Alain Pierre-Kahn, and Michel Zerah

Object

The authors of this retrospective review and analysis of the literature cover an institutional series of neurenteric cysts of the central nervous system in children treated in the magnetic resonance imaging era during a 14-year period.

Methods

Sixteen patients 20 days to 14 years of age are described. The most frequent signs and symptoms at presentation were acute spinal cord compression (11 patients), paresis of a cranial nerve (two patients), meningitis or infection (two patients), and intracranial hypertension (one patient). The locations of the cysts were as follows: in the spinal canal in 12 patients (75%), the clivus in two (12.5%), the cavernous sinus in one (6%), and the craniocervical junction in one (6%). The most common location was the ventral aspect of the spinal canal (seven patients). Associated spinal deformities were found in five patients. All patients underwent surgery, with a posterior approach used in all of the spinal cases. Total resection was achieved in 12 of the 16 cases and partial resection in four. Of the four patients who underwent subtotal resection, the cyst recurred in three, requiring further surgery.

Conclusions

Neurenteric cysts are uncommon congenital anomalies that can present acutely in the pediatric population. Total removal is usually possible and is associated with a good prognosis.

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Federico Di Rocco, Matthew R. Garnett, Stephanie Puget, Francisco Pueyerredon, Thomas Roujeau, Francis Jaubert, and Christian Sainte-Rose

✓Rosai–Dorfman disease (RDD) is a rare idiopathic histiocytic disorder that only occasionally involves the central nervous system (CNS). Previous cases of RDD involving the CNS were generally seen in adults. Pediatric cases of RDD are rare, and the disease in these cases typically has an indolent clinical course. In this report, the authors describe a pediatric case of intracranial RDD with rapid clinical and radiological progression.

A previously healthy 13-year-old girl presented with a 15-day history of progressive left-sided headaches, vomiting, and fever. On examination she was pyrexial but otherwise normal. Neuroimaging results demonstrated an extraaxial left frontal lesion with peripheral enhancement. A bur hole was drilled over the lesion to obtain a tissue sample and de-bulk the lesion. The initial histological results showed a nonspecific inflammatory lesion. Postoperatively, the patient was asymptomatic, and neuroimaging results confirmed a significant reduction in the size of the lesion. Repeated neuroimaging 3 months later, however, revealed a large recurrence of the lesion, which was removed macroscopically by a craniotomy. Histological analysis of the tissue confirmed the RDD diagnosis. At the latest follow-up (12 months) the patient had remained asymptomatic with no evidence of recurrence on neuroimaging. This is the first reported case of intracranial RDD with an aggressive clinical course.

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Marie Bourgeois, Darach William Crimmins, Ricardo Santos De Oliveira, Alexis Arzimanoglou, Matthew Garnett, Thomas Roujeau, Federico Di Rocco, and Christian Sainte-Rose

Object

The authors sought to analyze the success rate of surgery in the management of medically intractable epilepsy in children with Sturge–Weber syndrome and to determine whether the extent and timing of surgery affected seizure and developmental outcomes.

Methods

The authors performed a retrospective review of 27 children who underwent surgery at their institution for medically resistant epilepsy, and they examined the outcomes with regard to epilepsy control and neuropsychological development.

Seventeen children (63%) experienced onset of their epilepsy when they were younger than 1 year of age. These patients were significantly more likely to have hemiparesis (p ≤ 0.001) and status epilepticus (p ≤ 0.001) and be developmentally delayed (p ≤ 0.025) than children whose epilepsy started later in life. Eight patients underwent a hemispherectomy (either anatomical or functional), and complete resolution of epilepsy was noted in all. Of the 19 patients in whom a focal resection was performed, 11 (58%) became seizure free. The 10 children in whom there was residual disease were more likely to have continuing epilepsy than the nine whose lesions were completely excised (p ≤ 0.05). Seventeen children exhibited improvement in their developmental status following surgery. This improvement was significantly affected by completeness of resection (p ≤ 0.05) and age at surgery (p ≤ 0.009). Seizure freedom per se was not affected by the timing of surgery.

Conclusions

Medically intractable epilepsy in children can be treated effectively by surgery. The degree of resection or disconnection of diseased tissue, but not patient age at the time of surgery, is an important factor in achieving epilepsy control. Early surgery is more likely to improve developmental outcome.

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Stéphanie Puget, Charles Kondageski, Alison Wray, Nathalie Boddaert, Thomas Roujeau, Federico Di Rocco, Michel Zerah, and Christian Sainte-Rose

✓ The authors describe the case of a 12-year-old girl with Marfan syndrome, sacral dural ectasia, and tonsillar herniation, who presented with headache. Initially, it was hypothesized that the headaches were secondary to the tonsillar herniation, and the patient consequently underwent surgical decompression of the foramen magnum. Postoperatively, the patient's condition did not improve, and additional magnetic resonance (MR) imaging demonstrated evidence of a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak at the level of the dural ectasia. It was surmised that the girl's symptoms were due to spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) and that the tonsillar herniation was caused by the leakage. The patient responded well to application of a blood patch at the level of the demonstrated leak, and her headache resolved. This appears to be the first reported case of a patient with Marfan syndrome presenting with a symptomatic spontaneous CSF leak complicated by tonsillar herniation. In this rare association of SIH and connective tissue disorders, recognition of the clinical signs and typical MR imaging features of SIH may lead to more appropriate and less invasive treatment, potentially avoiding surgery.

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Bertrand Baussart, Federico Di Rocco, Matthew R. Garnett, Nathalie Boddaert, Arielle Lellouch-Tubiana, Jacques Grill, Stephanie Puget, Thomas Roujeau, Michel Zerah, and Christian Sainte-Rose

Object

The aim of this study was to retrospectively review the clinical presentation, the roles of surgery and adjuvant therapy, and the treatment-related morbidity in children with a ganglioglioma in the posterior fossa and to try and determine the prognostic factors.

Methods

Between 1991 and 2006, 10 children were treated for a posterior fossa ganglioglioma at the authors' institution. The mean age of the children, the duration of symptoms prior to diagnosis, and the follow-up were 8.2, 2.4, and 3.9 years, respectively. Nine of the children presented with symptoms of raised intracranial pressure. Preoperative imaging showed enhancement in all patients; in eight it was in a patchy distribution. The operations consisted of radical resection (> 75%) in seven children, biopsy in two, and a total macroscopic excision in one.

Results

The surgical procedure did not cause deterioration in the neurological condition in any of the children. There was no recurrence in the child who underwent total macroscopic excision of the tumor, and there has been no tumor progression in three children, two of whom have had no evidence of enhancement of the postoperative residual tumor. The tumor has progressed in six children, requiring further surgery in three, chemotherapy in four, and radiotherapy and second-line chemotherapy in one child to control the tumor.

Conclusions

The imaging of gangliogliomas in the posterior fossa showed patchy enhancement. The patients in whom it was possible to achieve a radical resection, aimed at removing at least the enhancing portion of the tumor, have not required further treatment. A second excision, for progressive tumors, is an effective adjuvant therapy.

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Forniceal glioma in children

Clinical article

Thomas Blauwblomme, Pascale Varlet, John R. Goodden, Marie Laure Cuny, Helene Piana, Thomas Roujeau, Federico DiRocco, Jacques Grill, Virginie Kieffer, Nathalie Boddaert, Christian Sainte-Rose, and Stéphanie Puget

Object

Five to ten percent of pediatric brain tumors are located in the ventricles. Among them, forniceal lesions are rare and their management has not often been described. The aim of this study was to review the clinical, radiological, and histopathological features as well as the feasibility of surgical excision and the outcomes in these patients.

Methods

From a retrospective analysis of 250 cases of supratentorial pediatric glioma, the records of 8 children presenting with forniceal lesions were selected and reviewed.

Results

The median age of patients in the cohort was 13.5 years. Presenting features included intracranial hypertension (7 cases), hypothalamic dysfunction (2), and memory dysfunction (3). Complete resection was possible in only 1 case, where the lesion was mainly exophytic; the remaining patients had either a partial resection or biopsy. On histological review, the tumors were confirmed as pilocytic astrocytoma (4 lesions), WHO Grade II astrocytoma (3), and ganglioglioma (1). Postoperatively, working and retrograde memory was normal for all patients, but the authors found a mild alteration in verbal episodic memory in 5 patients. Despite fatigability for 5 patients, academic achievement was normal for all but 2, both of whom had preoperative school difficulties. Additional treatment was required for 5 patients for tumor progression, with a median interval of 19 months from surgery. At a median follow-up duration of 4.9 years, all patients had stable disease.

Conclusions

In this series, forniceal gliomas were found to be low-grade gliomas. They are surgically challenging, and only exophytic lesions may be cured surgically. Due to the high rate of progression of residual disease, adjuvant therapy is recommended for infiltrative tumors, and it yielded excellent results.

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Stephanie Puget, Darach W. Crimmins, Matthew R. Garnett, Jacques Grill, Ricardo Oliveira, Nathalie Boddaert, Alison Wray, Arielle Lelouch-Tubiana, Thomas Roujeau, Federico Di Rocco, Michel Zerah, and Christian Sainte-Rose

Object

Two to five percent of pediatric brain tumors are located in the thalamus. The optimal management for these tumors remains unclear. The aim of this study was to determine whether clinical and neuroimaging features could guide treatment, and to what extent these features, together with histological diagnosis and treatment modalities, influenced survival.

Methods

The records of 69 children who presented with a thalamic tumor between 1989 and 2003 were retrospectively reviewed. Three groups of tumors were analyzed separately: 1) unilateral thalamic tumors (54 lesions); 2) thalamopeduncular tumors (six); and 3) bilateral thalamic tumors (nine).

In the patients in whom a unilateral thalamic tumor was diagnosed, 33 had an astrocytic tumor. Of the 54 patients, 32 had a low-grade and 22 had a high-grade tumor. The survival rate was significantly better for patients with the following characteristics: symptom duration longer than 2 months (p < 0.001), lesions with low-grade histological features (p = 0.003), and tumor excision greater than 90% at surgery (p = 0.04). The perioperative morbidity and mortality rates were 37 and 4%, respectively. Fifty-four percent of the patients in this group had a long-term and independent survival. The thalamopeduncular tumors were mostly pilocytic astrocytomas, which had a good prognosis following surgery. The bilateral thalamic tumors in this series were mainly low-grade astrocytic lesions, and more than half of the children attained long-term survival (mean follow-up duration 4.5 years).

Conclusions

The majority of tumors arising in the thalamus are astrocytic, of which less than half are high-grade lesions. Histological evaluations should be performed in all patients in whom resection is being considered for discrete lesions. Long-term survival is possible in patients with these tumors.

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Thomas Roujeau, Guilherme Machado, Matthew R. Garnett, Catherine Miquel, Stephanie Puget, Birgit Geoerger, Jacques Grill, Nathalie Boddaert, Federico Di Rocco, Michel Zerah, and Christian Sainte-Rose

Object

Empirical radiotherapy is the current treatment for children with diffuse pontine lesions that have imaging characteristics of an infiltrative malignant astrocytoma. The use of chemotherapeutic agents is, however, currently under investigation in the treatment of these tumors. To be included into a trial, patients need a definitive histological diagnosis. The authors present their prospective study of the stereotactic biopsy of these lesions during a 4-year period.

Methods

A suboccipital, transcerebellar approach was used to obtain biopsy samples in 24 children.

Results

Two patients suffered deficits. Both had a transient (< 2 months) new cranial nerve palsy; one of these patients also experienced an exacerbation of a preoperative hemiparesis. No patient died during the perioperative period. A histological diagnosis was made in all 24 patients as follows: 22 had a malignant infiltrative astrocytoma, one had a low-grade astrocytoma, and one had a pilocytic astrocytoma. The diagnosis of the latter two patients affected the initial treatment after the biopsy.

Conclusions

The findings of this study imply that stereotactic biopsy sampling of a diffuse pontine tumor is a safe procedure, is associated with minimal morbidity, and has a high diagnostic yield. A nonmalignant tumor was identified in two of the 24 patients in whom the imaging findings were characteristic of a malignant infiltrative astrocytoma. With the advent of new treatment protocols, stereotactic biopsy sampling, which would allow specific tumor characterization of diffuse pontine lesions, may become standard.

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Victoria Gonzalez, Laura Cif, Brigitte Biolsi, Sara Garcia-Ptacek, Anne Seychelles, Emily Sanrey, Irene Descours, Christine Coubes, Ana-Maria Ribeiro de Moura, Astrid Corlobe, Syril James, Thomas Roujeau, and Philippe Coubes

Object

To date, experience of globus pallidus internus (GPi) deep brain stimulation (DBS) in the treatment of Huntington's disease (HD) has been limited to a small number of case reports. The aim of this study was to analyze long-term motor outcome of a cohort of HD patients treated with GPi DBS.

Methods

Seven patients with pharmacologically resistant chorea and functional impairment were included in a prospective open-label study from 2008 to 2011. The main outcome measure was the motor section of the Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale. The primary end point was reduction of chorea.

Results

Patients underwent MRI-guided bilateral GPi implantation. The median duration of follow-up was 3 years. A significant reduction of chorea was observed in all patients, with sustained therapeutic effect; the mean improvement on the chorea subscore was 58.34% at the 12-month follow-up visit (p = 0.018) and 59.8% at the 3-year visit (p = 0.040). Bradykinesia and dystonia showed a nonsignificant trend toward progressive worsening related to disease evolution and partly to DBS. The frequency of stimulation was 130 Hz for all patients. DBS-induced bradykinesia was managed by pulse-width reduction or bipolar settings. Levodopa mildly improved bradykinesia in 4 patients. Regular off-stimulation tests confirmed a persistent therapeutic effect of DBS on chorea.

Conclusions

GPi DBS may provide sustained chorea improvement in selected HD patients with pharmacologically resistant chorea, with transient benefit in physical aspects of quality of life before progression of behavioral and cognitive disorders. DBS therapy did not improve dystonia or bradykinesia. Further studies including quality of life measures are needed to evaluate the impact of DBS in the long-term outcome of HD.

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Edouard Mazerand, Sandro Benichi, Maxime Taverne, Giovanna Paternoster, Alice Rolland, Pierre Antherieu, Julien Todeschi, Lawrence Kamdem Noumoye, Vianney Gilard, Maxime Bretonnier, Luc Le Fournier, Vincent Jecko, Edouard Gimbert, François Proust, Sergio Boetto, Thomas Roujeau, Syril James, Roman H. Khonsari, Laurent Riffaud, Matthieu Delion, Michel Zerah, and Didier Scavarda

OBJECTIVE

Chiari malformation type I (CM-I) is frequent in children and remains a surgical challenge. Several techniques have been described for posterior fossa decompression. No decision algorithm has been validated, and strategies are highly variable between institutions. The goal of this study was to define therapeutic guidelines that take into consideration patient specificities.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively collected data from patients who were < 18 years of age, were diagnosed with CM-I, and were treated surgically between 2008 and 2018 in 8 French pediatric neurosurgical centers. Data on clinical features, morphological parameters, and surgical techniques were collected. Clinical outcomes at 3 and 12 months after surgery were assessed by the Chicago Chiari Outcome Scale. The authors used a hierarchical clustering method to define clusters of patients by considering their anatomical similarities, and then compared outcomes between surgical strategies in each of these clusters.

RESULTS

Data from 255 patients were collected. The mean age at surgery was 9.6 ± 5.0 years, syringomyelia was reported in 60.2% of patients, the dura mater was opened in 65.0% of patients, and 17.3% of patients underwent a redo surgery for additional treatment. The mean Chicago Chiari Outcome Scale score was 14.4 ± 1.5 at 3 months (n = 211) and 14.6 ± 1.9 at 12 months (n = 157). The hierarchical clustering method identified three subgroups with potentially distinct mechanisms underlying tonsillar herniation: bony compression, basilar invagination, and foramen magnum obstruction. Each cluster matched with specific outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS

This French multicenter retrospective cohort study enabled the identification of three subgroups among pediatric patients who underwent surgery for CM-I, each of which was associated with specific outcomes. This morphological classification of patients might help in understanding the underlying mechanisms and providing personalized treatment.