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Travis R. Ladner, Ashly C. Westrick, John C. Wellons III and Chevis N. Shannon

OBJECT

The purpose of this study was to design and validate a patient-reported health-related quality of life (HRQOL) instrument for pediatric Chiari Type I malformation (CM-I), the Chiari Health Index for Pediatrics (CHIP).

METHODS

The CHIP has 45 items with 4 components making up 2 domain scores, physical (pain frequency, pain severity, nonpain symptoms) and psychosocial; physical and psychosocial scores are combined to create an overall HRQOL score. Increasing scores (0 to 1) represent increasing HRQOL. Fifty-five patients with CM-I (mean age 12 ± 4 years, 53% male) were enrolled and completed the CHIP and Health Utilities Index Mark 3 (HUI3). Twenty-five healthy controls (mean age 11.9 ± 4 years, 40% male) also completed the CHIP. CHIP scores were compared between these groups via the Mann-Whitney U-test. For CHIP discriminative function, subscore versus presence of CM-I was compared via receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. CHIP scores in the CM-I group were stratified by symptomatology (asymptomatic, headaches, and paresthesias) and compared via Kruskal-Wallis test with Mann-Whitney U-test with Bonferroni correction (p < 0.0167). CHIP was compared with HUI3 (Health Utilities Index Mark 3) via univariate and multivariate linear regression.

RESULTS

CHIP physical and psychosocial subscores were, respectively, 24% and 18% lower in CM-I patients than in controls (p < 0.001); the overall HRQOL score was 23% lower as well (p < 0.001). The area under the curve (AUC) for CHIP physical subscore versus presence of CM-I was 0.809. CHIP physical subscore varied significantly with symptomatology (p = 0.001) and HUI3 pain-related quality of life (R2 = 0.311, p < 0.001). The AUC for CHIP psychosocial subscore versus presence of CM-I was 0.754. CHIP psychosocial subscore varied significantly with HUI3 cognitive- (R2 = 0.324, p < 0.001) and emotion-related (R2 = 0.155, p = 0.003) quality of life. The AUC for CHIP HRQOL versus presence of CM-I was 0.820. Overall CHIP HRQOL score varied significantly with symptomatology (p = 0.001) and HUI3 multiattribute composite HRQOL score (R2 = 0.440, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

The CHIP is a patient-reported, CM-I-specific HRQOL instrument, with construct validity in assessing pain-, cognitive-, and emotion-related quality of life, as well as symptomatic features unique to CM-I. It holds promise as a discriminative HRQOL index in CM-I outcomes assessment.

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Travis R. Ladner, Michael C. Dewan, Matthew A. Day, Chevis N. Shannon, Luke Tomycz, Noel Tulipan and John C. Wellons III

OBJECT

Osseous anomalies of the craniocervical junction are hypothesized to precipitate the hindbrain herniation observed in Chiari I malformation (CM-I). Previous work by Tubbs et al. showed that posterior angulation of the odontoid process is more prevalent in children with CM-I than in healthy controls. The present study is an external validation of that report. The goals of our study were 3-fold: 1) to externally validate the results of Tubbs et al. in a different patient population; 2) to compare how morphometric parameters vary with age, sex, and symptomatology; and 3) to develop a correlative model for tonsillar ectopia in CM-I based on these measurements.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of 119 patients who underwent posterior fossa decompression with duraplasty at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University; 78 of these patients had imaging available for review. Demographic and clinical variables were collected. A neuroradiologist retrospectively evaluated preoperative MRI examinations in these 78 patients and recorded the following measurements: McRae line length; obex displacement length; odontoid process parameters (height, angle of retroflexion, and angle of retroversion); perpendicular distance to the basion-C2 line (pB–C2 line); length of cerebellar tonsillar ectopia; caudal extent of the cerebellar tonsils; and presence, location, and size of syringomyelia. Odontoid retroflexion grade was classified as Grade 0, > 90°; Grade I,85°–89°; Grade II, 80°–84°; and Grade III, < 80°. Age groups were defined as 0–6 years, 7–12 years, and 13–17 years at the time of surgery. Univariate and multivariate linear regression analyses, Kruskal-Wallis 1-way ANOVA, and Fisher’s exact test were performed to assess the relationship between age, sex, and symptomatology with these craniometric variables.

RESULTS

The prevalence of posterior odontoid angulation was 81%, which is almost identical to that in the previous report (84%). With increasing age, the odontoid height (p < 0.001) and pB–C2 length (p < 0.001) increased, while the odontoid process became more posteriorly inclined (p = 0.010). The pB–C2 line was significantly longer in girls (p = 0.006). These measurements did not significantly correlate with symptomatology. Length of tonsillar ectopia in pediatric CM-I correlated with an enlarged foramen magnum (p = 0.023), increasing obex displacement (p = 0.020), and increasing odontoid retroflexion (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

Anomalous bony development of the craniocervical junction is a consistent feature of CM-I in children. The authors found that the population at their center was characterized by posterior angulation of the odontoid process in 81% of cases, similar to findings by Tubbs et al. (84%). The odontoid process appeared to lengthen and become more posteriorly inclined with age. Increased tonsillar ectopia was associated with more posterior odontoid angulation, a widened foramen magnum, and an inferiorly displaced obex.

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Travis R. Ladner, Lucy He, Brandon J. Davis, George L. Yang, George B. Wanna and J Mocco

OBJECT

Paragangliomas are highly vascular head and neck tumors for which preoperative embolization is often considered to facilitate resection. The authors evaluated their initial experience using a dual-lumen balloon to facilitate preoperative embolization in 5 consecutive patients who underwent preoperative transarterial Onyx embolization assisted by the Scepter dual-lumen balloon catheter between 2012 and 2014.

OBJECT

The authors reviewed the demographic and clinical records of 5 patients who underwent Scepter-assisted Onyx embolization of a paraganglioma followed by resection between 2012 and 2014. Descriptive statistics of clinical outcomes were assessed.

RESULTS

Five patients (4 with a jugular and 1 with a vagal paraganglioma) were identified. Three paragangliomas were embolized in a single session, and each of the other 2 were completed in 3 staged sessions. The mean volume of Onyx used was 14.3 ml (range 6–30 ml). Twenty-seven vessels were selectively catheterized for embolization. All patients required selective embolization via multiple vessels. Two patients required sacrifice of parent vessels (1 petrocavernous internal carotid artery and 1 vertebral artery) after successful balloon test occlusion. One patient underwent embolization with Onyx-18 alone, 2 with Onyx-34 alone, and 1 with Onyx-18 and −34. In each case, migration of Onyx was achieved within the tumor parenchyma. The mean time between embolization and resection was 3.8 days (range 1–8 days). Gross-total resection was achieved in 3 (60%) patients, and the other 2 patients had minimal residual tumor. The mean estimated blood loss during the resections was 556 ml (range 200–850 ml). The mean postoperative hematocrit level change was −17.3%. Two patients required blood transfusions. One patient, who underwent extensive tumor penetration with Onyx, developed a temporary partial cranial nerve VII palsy that resolved to House-Brackmann Grade I (out of VI) at the 6-month follow-up. One patient experienced improvement in existing facial nerve weakness after embolization.

CONCLUSIONS

Scepter catheter-based Onyx embolization seems to be safe and effective. It was associated with excellent distal tumor vasculature penetration and holds promise as an adjunct to conventional transarterial Onyx embolization of paragangliomas. However, the ease of tumor penetration should encourage caution in practitioners who may be able to effect comparable improvement in blood loss with more conservative proximal Onyx penetration.

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Imad S. Khan, Travis R. Ladner, Komal F. Satti, Moneeb Ehtesham, Lori C. Jordan and Robert J. Singer

Cerebral sinus venous thrombosis (CSVT) is a relatively rare but potentially devastating disease. Medical management of CSVT with systemic anticoagulation has been the mainstay treatment strategy with these patients. However, some patients may not respond to this treatment or may present with very severe symptoms indicating more aggressive management strategies. The authors present the case of a pediatric patient who presented with severe CSVT, who underwent successful recanalization with endovascular tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) and abciximab. To the authors' knowledge there are no cases of endovascular thrombolysis for CSVT described in the literature in which abciximab has been used in conjunction with tPA. The authors also review the literature regarding the agents used and outcome in pediatric patients with CSVT after endovascular thrombolysis. The use of abciximab in conjunction with tPA may be considered in patients whose blood is hypercoagulable and in whom the treatment strategy is to obtain acute recanalization and long-term venous patency. However, the use of adjunctive agents increases the risk of hemorrhagic complications and must be done judiciously.

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Travis R. Ladner, Michael C. Dewan, Matthew A. Day, Chevis N. Shannon, Luke Tomycz, Noel Tulipan and John C. Wellons III

OBJECT

The clinical significance of radiological measurements of the craniocervical junction in pediatric Chiari I malformation (CM-I) is yet to be fully established across the field. The authors examined their institutional experience with the pB–C2 line (drawn perpendicular to a line drawn between the basion and the posterior aspect of the C-2 vertebral body, at the most posterior extent of the odontoid process at the dural interface). The pB–C2 line is a measure of ventral canal encroachment, and its relationship with symptomatology and syringomyelia in pediatric CM-I was assessed.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of 119 patients at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt University who underwent posterior fossa decompression with duraplasty, 78 of whom had imaging for review. A neuroradiologist retrospectively evaluated preoperative and postoperative MRI examinations performed in these 78 patients, measuring the pB–C2 line length and documenting syringomyelia. The pB–C2 line length was divided into Grade 0 (< 3 mm) and Grade I (≥ 3 mm). Statistical analysis was performed using the t-test for continuous variables and Fisher's exact test analysis for categorical variables. Multivariate logistic and linear regression analyses were performed to assess the relationship between pB–C2 line grade and clinical variables found significant on univariate analysis, controlling for age and sex.

RESULTS

The mean patient age was 8.5 years, and the mean follow-up duration was 2.4 years. The mean pB–C2 line length was 3.5 mm (SD 2 mm), ranging from 0 to 10 mm. Overall, 65.4% of patients had a Grade I pB–C2 line. Patients with Grade I pB–C2 lines were 51% more likely to have a syrinx than those with Grade 0 pB–C2 lines (RR 1.513 [95% CI 1.024–2.90], p = 0.021) and, when present, had greater syrinx reduction (3.6 mm vs 0.2 mm, p = 0.002). Although there was no preoperative difference in headache incidence, postoperatively patients with Grade I pB–C2 lines were 69% more likely to have headache reduction than those with Grade 0 pB–C2 lines (RR 1.686 [95% CI 1.035–2.747], p = 0.009). After controlling for age and sex, pB–C2 line grade remained an independent correlate of headache improvement and syrinx reduction.

CONCLUSIONS

Ventral canal encroachment may explain the symptomatology of select patients with CM-I. The clinical findings presented suggest that patients with Grade I pB–C lines2, with increased ventral canal obstruction, may experience a higher likelihood of syrinx reduction and headache resolution from decompressive surgery with duraplasty than those with Grade 0 pB–C2 lines.

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Travis R. Ladner, Manus J. Donahue, Daniel F. Arteaga, Carlos C. Faraco, Brent A. Roach, L. Taylor Davis, Lori C. Jordan, Michael T. Froehler and Megan K. Strother

OBJECTIVE

Quantification of the severity of vasculopathy and its impact on parenchymal hemodynamics is a necessary prerequisite for informing management decisions and evaluating intervention response in patients with moyamoya. The authors performed digital subtraction angiography and noninvasive structural and hemodynamic MRI, and they outline a new classification system for patients with moyamoya that they have named Prior Infarcts, Reactivity, and Angiography in Moyamoya Disease (PIRAMD).

METHODS

Healthy control volunteers (n = 11; age 46 ± 12 years [mean ± SD]) and patients (n = 25; 42 ± 13.5 years) with angiographically confirmed moyamoya provided informed consent and underwent structural (T1-weighted, T2-weighted, FLAIR, MR angiography) and hemodynamic (T2*- and cerebral blood flow–weighted) 3-T MRI. Cerebrovascular reactivity (CVR) in the internal carotid artery territory was assessed using susceptibility-weighted MRI during a hypercapnic stimulus. Only hemispheres without prior revascularization were assessed. Each hemisphere was considered symptomatic if localizing signs were present on neurological examination and/or there was a history of transient ischemic attack with symptoms referable to that hemisphere. The PIRAMD factor weighting versus symptomatology was optimized using binary logistic regression and receiver operating characteristic curve analysis with bootstrapping. The PIRAMD finding was scored from 0 to 10. For each hemisphere, 1 point was assigned for prior infarct, 3 points for reduced CVR, 3 points for a modified Suzuki Score ≥ Grade II, and 3 points for flow impairment in ≥ 2 of 7 predefined vascular territories. Hemispheres were divided into 3 severity grades based on total PIRAMD score, as follows: Grade 1, 0–5 points; Grade 2, 6–9 points; and Grade 3, 10 points.

RESULTS

In 28 of 46 (60.9%) hemispheres the findings met clinical symptomatic criteria. With decreased CVR, the odds ratio of having a symptomatic hemisphere was 13 (95% CI 1.1–22.6, p = 0.002). The area under the curve for individual PIRAMD factors was 0.67–0.72, and for the PIRAMD grade it was 0.845. There were 0/8 (0%), 10/18 (55.6%), and 18/20 (90%) symptomatic PIRAMD Grade 1, 2, and 3 hemispheres, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

A scoring system for total impairment is proposed that uses noninvasive MRI parameters. This scoring system correlates with symptomatology and may provide a measure of hemodynamic severity in moyamoya, which could be used for guiding management decisions and evaluating intervention response.

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John W. Rutland, Javin Schefflein, Annie E. Arrighi-Allisan, Daniel Ranti, Travis R. Ladner, Akila Pai, Joshua Loewenstern, Hung-Mo Lin, James Chelnis, Bradley N. Delman, Raj K. Shrivastava and Priti Balchandani

OBJECTIVE

Predicting vision recovery following surgical decompression of the optic chiasm in pituitary adenoma patients remains a clinical challenge, as there is significant variability in postoperative visual function that remains unreliably explained by current prognostic factors. Available literature inadequately characterizes alterations in adenoma patients involving the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN). This study examined the association of LGN degeneration with chiasmatic compression as well as with the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL), pattern standard deviation (PSD), mean deviation (MD), and postoperative vision recovery. PSD is the degree of difference between the measured visual field pattern and the normal pattern (“hill”) of vision, and MD is the average of the difference from the age-adjusted normal value.

METHODS

A prospective study of 27 pituitary adenoma patients and 27 matched healthy controls was conducted. Participants were scanned on a 7T ultra–high field MRI scanner, and 3 independent readers measured the LGN at its maximum cross-sectional area on coronal T1-weighted MPRAGE imaging. Readers were blinded to diagnosis and to each other’s measurements. Neuro-ophthalmological data, including RNFL thickness, MD, and PSD, were acquired for 12 patients, and postoperative visual function data were collected on patients who underwent surgical chiasmal decompression. LGN areas were compared using two-tailed t-tests.

RESULTS

The average LGN cross-sectional area of adenoma patients was significantly smaller than that of controls (13.8 vs 19.2 mm2, p < 0.0001). The average LGN cross-sectional area correlated with MD (r = 0.67, p = 0.04), PSD (r = −0.62, p = 0.02), and RNFL thickness (r = 0.75, p = 0.02). The LGN cross-sectional area in adenoma patients with chiasm compression was 26.6% smaller than in patients without compression (p = 0.009). The average tumor volume was 7902.7 mm3. Patients with preoperative vision impairment showed 29.4% smaller LGN cross-sectional areas than patients without deficits (p = 0.003). Patients who experienced improved postoperative vision had LGN cross-sectional areas that were 40.8% larger than those of patients without postoperative improvement (p = 0.007).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors demonstrate novel in vivo evidence of LGN volume loss in pituitary adenoma patients and correlate imaging results with neuro-ophthalmology findings and postoperative vision recovery. Morphometric changes to the LGN may reflect anterograde transsynaptic degeneration. These findings indicate that LGN degeneration may be a marker of optic apparatus injury from chiasm compression, and measurement of LGN volume loss may be useful in predicting vision recovery following adenoma resection.

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Jacob K. Greenberg, Margaret A. Olsen, Chester K. Yarbrough, Travis R. Ladner, Chevis N. Shannon, Jay F. Piccirillo, Richard C. E. Anderson, John C. Wellons III, Matthew D. Smyth, Tae Sung Park and David D. Limbrick Jr.

OBJECTIVE

Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I) is a common and often debilitating pediatric neurological disease. However, efforts to guide preoperative counseling and improve outcomes research are impeded by reliance on small, single-center studies. Consequently, the objective of this study was to investigate CM-I surgical outcomes using population-level administrative billing data.

METHODS

The authors used Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project State Inpatient Databases (SID) to study pediatric patients undergoing surgical decompression for CM-I from 2004 to 2010 in California, Florida, and New York. They assessed the prevalence and influence of preoperative complex chronic conditions (CCC) among included patients. Outcomes included medical and surgical complications within 90 days of treatment. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify risk factors for surgical complications.

RESULTS

A total of 936 pediatric CM-I surgeries were identified for the study period. Overall, 29.2% of patients were diagnosed with syringomyelia and 13.7% were diagnosed with scoliosis. Aside from syringomyelia and scoliosis, 30.3% of patients had at least 1 CCC, most commonly neuromuscular (15.2%) or congenital or genetic (8.4%) disease. Medical complications were uncommon, occurring in 2.6% of patients. By comparison, surgical complications were diagnosed in 12.7% of patients and typically included shunt-related complications (4.0%), meningitis (3.7%), and other neurosurgery-specific complications (7.4%). Major complications (e.g., stroke or myocardial infarction) occurred in 1.4% of patients. Among children with CCCs, only comorbid hydrocephalus was associated with a significantly increased risk of surgical complications (OR 4.5, 95% CI 2.5–8.1).

CONCLUSIONS

Approximately 1 in 8 pediatric CM-I patients experienced a surgical complication, whereas medical complications were rare. Although CCCs were common in pediatric CM-I patients, only hydrocephalus was independently associated with increased risk of surgical events. These results may inform patient counseling and guide future research efforts.

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Travis R. Ladner, Jacob K. Greenberg, Nicole Guerrero, Margaret A. Olsen, Chevis N. Shannon, Chester K. Yarbrough, Jay F. Piccirillo, Richard C. E. Anderson, Neil A. Feldstein, John C. Wellons III, Matthew D. Smyth, Tae Sung Park and David D. Limbrick Jr.

OBJECTIVE

Administrative billing data may facilitate large-scale assessments of treatment outcomes for pediatric Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I). Validated International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) code algorithms for identifying CM-I surgery are critical prerequisites for such studies but are currently only available for adults. The objective of this study was to validate two ICD-9-CM code algorithms using hospital billing data to identify pediatric patients undergoing CM-I decompression surgery.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed the validity of two ICD-9-CM code algorithms for identifying pediatric CM-I decompression surgery performed at 3 academic medical centers between 2001 and 2013. Algorithm 1 included any discharge diagnosis code of 348.4 (CM-I), as well as a procedure code of 01.24 (cranial decompression) or 03.09 (spinal decompression or laminectomy). Algorithm 2 restricted this group to the subset of patients with a primary discharge diagnosis of 348.4. The positive predictive value (PPV) and sensitivity of each algorithm were calculated.

RESULTS

Among 625 first-time admissions identified by Algorithm 1, the overall PPV for CM-I decompression was 92%. Among the 581 admissions identified by Algorithm 2, the PPV was 97%. The PPV for Algorithm 1 was lower in one center (84%) compared with the other centers (93%–94%), whereas the PPV of Algorithm 2 remained high (96%–98%) across all subgroups. The sensitivity of Algorithms 1 (91%) and 2 (89%) was very good and remained so across subgroups (82%–97%).

CONCLUSIONS

An ICD-9-CM algorithm requiring a primary diagnosis of CM-I has excellent PPV and very good sensitivity for identifying CM-I decompression surgery in pediatric patients. These results establish a basis for utilizing administrative billing data to assess pediatric CM-I treatment outcomes.