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Mansour Mathkour, Tyler Scullen, Brendan Huang, Cassidy Werner, Edna E. Gouveia, Hussam Abou-Al-Shaar, Christopher M. Maulucci, Rodney B. Steiner, Hugo St. Hilaire, and Cuong J. Bui

Split notochord syndrome (SNS) is a rare congenital defect of the central nervous system and has been associated with several anomalies affecting multiple organ systems. One association has been communication with the gastrointestinal tract and the spine, previously identified as a neuroenteric fistula (NEF). Here, the authors describe the unique case of a female infant with SNS and NEF treated with a multistage surgical repair. The three-stage operative plan included a two-stage repair of the defect and temporary subgaleal shunting followed by delayed ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement. The infant recovered well postsurgery and over a 5-year follow-up. A case description, surgical techniques, and rationale are reported. Additionally, a systematic review of the literature utilizing the MEDLINE database was performed.

Treatment of SNS with NEF using a multidisciplinary multistaged approach to repair the intestinal defect, close the neural elements, and divert cerebrospinal fluid to the peritoneum is shown to be a safe and viable option for future cases.

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Tyler Scullen, Mansour Mathkour, John D. Nerva, Aaron S. Dumont, and Peter S. Amenta

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Joshua A. Hanna, Tyler Scullen, Lora Kahn, Mansour Mathkour, Edna E. Gouveia, Juanita Garces, Leah M. Evans, Georgia Lea, David J. Houghton, Erin Biro, Cuong J. Bui, Olawale A. Sulaiman, and Roger D. Smith


Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is the procedure of choice for Parkinson’s disease (PD). It has been used in PD patients younger than 70 years because of better perceived intra- and postoperative outcomes than in patients 70 years or older. However, previous studies with limited follow-up have demonstrated benefits associated with the treatment of elderly patients. This study aims to evaluate the long-term outcomes in elderly PD patients treated with DBS in comparison with a younger population.


PD patients treated with DBS at the authors’ institution from 2008 to 2014 were divided into 2 groups: 1) elderly patients, defined as having an age at surgery ≥ 70 years, and 2) young patients, defined as those < 70 years at surgery. Functional and medical treatment outcomes were evaluated using the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale part III (UPDRS III), levodopa-equivalent daily dose (LEDD), number of daily doses, and number of anti-PD medications. Study outcomes were compared using univariate analyses, 1-sample paired t-tests, and 2-sample t-tests.


A total of 151 patients were studied, of whom 24.5% were ≥ 70 years. The most common preoperative Hoehn and Yahr stages for both groups were 2 and 3. On average, elderly patients had more comorbidities at the time of surgery than their younger counterparts (1 vs 0, p = 0.0001) as well as a higher average LEDD (891 mg vs 665 mg, p = 0.008). Both groups experienced significant decreases in LEDD following surgery (elderly 331.38 mg, p = 0.0001; and young 108.6 mg, p = 0.0439), with a more significant decrease seen in elderly patients (young 108.6 mg vs elderly 331.38 mg, p = 0.0153). Elderly patients also experienced more significant reductions in daily doses (young 0.65 vs elderly 3.567, p = 0.0344). Both groups experienced significant improvements in motor function determined by reductions in UPDRS III scores (elderly 16.29 vs young 12.85, p < 0.0001); however, reductions in motor score between groups were not significant. Improvement in motor function was present for a mean follow-up of 3.383 years postsurgery for the young group and 3.51 years for the elderly group. The average follow-up was 40.6 months in the young group and 42.2 months in the elderly group.


This study found long-term improvements in motor function and medication requirements in both elderly and young PD patients treated with DBS. These outcomes suggest that DBS can be successfully used in PD patients ≥ 70 years. Further studies will expand on these findings.