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Vivek P. Buch, Peter J. Madsen, Kerry A. Vaughan, Paul F. Koch, David K. Kung and Ali K. Ozturk

Rotational vertebrobasilar insufficiency, or bow hunter's syndrome, is a rare cause of posterior circulation ischemia, which, following rotation of the head, results in episodic vertigo, dizziness, nystagmus, or syncope. While typically caused by dynamic occlusion of the vertebral artery in its V2 and V3 segments, the authors here describe a patient with dynamic occlusion of the vertebral artery secondary to a persistent first intersegmental artery, a rare variant course of the vertebral artery. In this case the vertebral artery coursed under rather than over the posterior arch of the C-1. This patient was also found to have incomplete development of the posterior arch of C-1, as is often seen with this variant. The patient underwent dynamic digital subtraction angiography, which demonstrated occlusion at the variant vertebral artery with head turning. He was then taken for decompression of the vertebral artery through removal of the incomplete arch of C-1 that was causing the dynamic compression. After surgery the patient had a complete resolution of symptoms. In this report, the authors present the details of this case, describe the anatomical variants involved, and provide a discussion regarding the need for atlantoaxial fusion in these patients.

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Kerry A. Vaughan, Christian Lopez Ramos, Vivek P. Buch, Rania A. Mekary, Julia R. Amundson, Meghal Shah, Abbas Rattani, Michael C. Dewan and Kee B. Park

OBJECTIVE

Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders, yet its global surgical burden has yet to be characterized. The authors sought to compile the most current epidemiological data to quantify global prevalence and incidence, and estimate global surgically treatable epilepsy. Understanding regional and global epilepsy trends and potential surgical volume is crucial for future policy efforts and resource allocation.

METHODS

The authors performed a systematic literature review and meta-analysis to determine the global incidence, lifetime prevalence, and active prevalence of epilepsy; to estimate surgically treatable epilepsy volume; and to evaluate regional trends by WHO regions and World Bank income levels. Data were extracted from all population-based studies with prespecified methodological quality across all countries and demographics, performed between 1990 and 2016 and indexed on PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane. The current and annual new case volumes for surgically treatable epilepsy were derived from global epilepsy prevalence and incidence.

RESULTS

This systematic review yielded 167 articles, across all WHO regions and income levels. Meta-analysis showed a raw global prevalence of lifetime epilepsy of 1099 per 100,000 people, whereas active epilepsy prevalence is slightly lower at 690 per 100,000 people. Global incidence was found to be 62 cases per 100,000 person-years. The meta-analysis predicted 4.6 million new cases of epilepsy annually worldwide, a prevalence of 51.7 million active epilepsy cases, and 82.3 million people with any lifetime epilepsy diagnosis. Differences across WHO regions and country incomes were significant. The authors estimate that currently 10.1 million patients with epilepsy may be surgical treatment candidates, and 1.4 million new surgically treatable epilepsy cases arise annually. The highest prevalences are found in Africa and Latin America, although the highest incidences are reported in the Middle East and Latin America. These regions are primarily low- and middle-income countries; as expected, the highest disease burden falls disproportionately on regions with the fewest healthcare resources.

CONCLUSIONS

Understanding of the global epilepsy burden has evolved as more regions have been studied. This up-to-date worldwide analysis provides the first estimate of surgical epilepsy volume and an updated comprehensive overview of current epidemiological trends. The disproportionate burden of epilepsy on low- and middle-income countries will require targeted diagnostic and treatment efforts to reduce the global disparities in care and cost. Quantifying global epilepsy provides the first step toward restructuring the allocation of healthcare resources as part of global healthcare system strengthening.

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Peter J. Madsen, Vivek P. Buch, Jennifer E. Douglas, Arjun K. Parasher, David K. Lerner, Erin Alexander, Alan D. Workman, James N. Palmer, Shih-Shan Lang, Benjamin C. Kennedy, Arastoo Vossough, Nithin D. Adappa and Phillip B. Storm

OBJECTIVE

Craniopharyngioma represents up to 10% of pediatric brain tumors. Although these lesions are benign, attempts at gross-total resection (GTR) can lead to serious complications. More conservative approaches have emerged but require adjuvant radiation. Endoscopic endonasal surgery (EES) aimed at GTR has the potential to result in fewer complications, but there has been limited comparison to open surgery. The authors performed a review of these two approaches within their institution to elucidate potential benefits and complication differences.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of pediatric patients undergoing resection of craniopharyngioma at their institution between 2001 and 2017. Volumetric analysis of tumor size and postoperative ischemic injury was performed. Charts were reviewed for a number of outcome measures.

RESULTS

A total of 43 patients with an average age of 8.2 years were identified. Open surgery was the initial intervention in 15 and EES in 28. EES was performed in patients 3–17 years of age. EES has been the only approach used since 2011. In the entire cohort, GTR was more common in the EES group (85.7% vs 53.3%, p = 0.03). Recurrence rate (40% vs 14.2%, p = 0.13) and need for adjuvant radiation (20.0% vs 10.7%, p = 0.71) were higher in the open surgical group, although not statistically significant. Pseudoaneurysm development was only observed in the open surgical group. Volumetric imaging analysis showed a trend toward larger preoperative tumor volumes in the open surgical group, so a matched cohort analysis was performed with the largest tumors from the EES group. This revealed no difference in residual tumor volume (p = 0.28), but the volume of postoperative ischemia was still significantly larger in the open group (p = 0.004). Postoperative weight gain was more common in the open surgical group, a statistically significant finding in the complete patient group that trended toward significance in the matched cohort groups. Body mass index at follow-up correlated with volume of ischemic injury in regression analysis of the complete patient cohort (p = 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

EES was associated with similar, if not better, extent of resection and significantly less ischemic injury than open surgery. Pseudoaneurysms were only seen in the open surgical group. Weight gain was also less prevalent in the EES cohort and appears be correlated with extent of ischemic injury at time of surgery.