Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 21 items for

  • Author or Editor: Wajd N. Al-Holou x
Clear All Modify Search
Restricted access

Michael J. Cools, Wajd N. Al-Holou, William R. Stetler Jr., Frank La Marca and Juan M. Valdivia-Valdivia

Sacral fractures are rare and seldom result in formation of a sacral pseudomeningocele. Treatment of these pseudomeningoceles usually consists of conservative management with flat bedrest or open operative management. The authors describe the case of a 55-year-old woman with an anterior sacral pseudomeningocele that was successfully treated using a lumbar drain for temporary continuous CSF drainage. The patient first presented to an outside institution several days after sacral trauma from an ice skating fall. Initial symptoms included throbbing headaches relieved by lying flat. Head and cervical spine CT demonstrated no abnormality. As symptoms worsened, she presented to another institution where MRI of the lumbar spine indicated sacral fracture with pseudomeningocele. The patient subsequently transferred to the authors' facility, where symptoms included headaches and occasional mild sacral pain. Given her headaches and the authors' concern for CSF leak, another head CT scan was performed. This revealed no subdural hematoma or other abnormality. A subsequent CT myelogram revealed an anterior sacral pseudomeningocele at S3–4 with an anterior irregular linear filling defect, likely representing torn dura. Treatment included placement of a lumbar drain (10 ml/hr) and flat bedrest. Resolution of the CSF leak occurred on postprocedure Day 9. At the 4-week follow-up visit, the patient had no clinical symptoms of CSF leak and no neurological complaints. To our knowledge, this is the first description of temporary continuous CSF drainage used to treat a posttraumatic sacral pseudomeningocele. This technique may reduce the need for potentially complicated surgical repair of sacral fractures associated with CSF leak in select patients.

Restricted access

Wajd N. Al-Holou, Karin M. Muraszko, Hugh J. Garton, Steven R. Buchman and Cormac O. Maher

Object

After primary repair of a myelomeningocele or a lipomyelomeningocele, patients can present with symptoms of secondary tethered cord syndrome (TCS). After surgical untethering, a small percentage of these patients can present with multiple repeat TCS. In patients presenting with secondary or multiple repeat TCS, the role as well the expected outcomes of surgical untethering are not well defined.

Methods

Eighty-four patients who underwent spinal cord untethering after at least 1 primary repair were retrospectively evaluated using scaled and subjective outcome measures at short-term and long-term follow-up visits. Outcomes were analyzed for predictive measures using multivariate logistic regression.

Results

Surgical untethering was performed in 66 patients with myelomeningoceles and 18 patients with lipomyelomeningoceles. Fourteen patients underwent multiple repeat spinal cord untethering. Patients were followed up for an average of 6.2 years. Most patients had stability of function postoperatively. Motor function and weakness improved in 7 and 16% of patients at 6 months, respectively, and 6 and 19% of patients at long-term follow-up evaluation, respectively. Of the patients who presented with back pain, 75% had improvement in symptoms at 6 months postoperatively. Younger age at untethering was significantly associated with worse long-term neurological outcomes. The number of previous untethering procedures, original diagnosis, sex, anatomical level, and degree of untethering had no effect on surgical outcomes.

Conclusions

Patients presenting with secondary or multiple repeat TCS may benefit from surgical untethering.

Restricted access

Wajd N. Al-Holou, Cormac O. Maher, Karin M. Muraszko and Hugh J. L. Garton

Object

The authors reviewed their experience with pediatric pineal cysts to define the natural history and clinical relevance of this common intracranial finding.

Methods

The authors identified all patients with pineal cysts who had been clinically evaluated at their institution over an 11.5-year interval and were < 25 years of age at the time of diagnosis. All inclusion criteria were met in 106 patients, and included repeated MR imaging as well as repeated clinical evaluation over at least a 6-month interval.

Results

The mean age at diagnosis was 11.7 ± 7.2 years. Forty-two patients were male and 64 were female. On follow-up MR imaging evaluation at a mean interval of 3.0 years from the initial study, 98 pineal cysts had no increase in size and no change in imaging appearance. Six pineal cysts increased in size and 2 others had a change in imaging characteristics without associated growth. Younger age was associated with cyst change or growth on follow-up imaging (p = 0.02). The mean age of patients with cysts that changed or grew was 5.5 years, and the mean age of patients with stable pineal cysts was 12.2 years. Initial cyst size and appearance on MR imaging were not significant predictors of growth or change in imaging appearance at follow-up. Similarly, the patient's sex was not a significant predictor of growth or change in imaging characteristics.

Conclusions

Follow-up imaging and neurosurgical evaluation may be considered optional in older children with pineal cysts.

Restricted access

Thomas J. Wilson, William R. Stetler Jr., Wajd N. Al-Holou, Stephen E. Sullivan and Jeffrey J. Fletcher

Object

The authors conducted a study to review outcomes and management in patients in whom intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) develops during left ventricular assist device (LVAD) therapy.

Methods

This retrospective cohort study included all adult patients (18 years of age or older) at a single institution who underwent placement of an LVAD between January 1, 2003, and March 1, 2012. The authors conducted a detailed medical chart review, and data were abstracted to assess outcomes in patients in whom ICH developed compared to those in patients in whom ICH did not develop; to compare management of antiplatelet agents and anticoagulation with outcomes; to describe surgical management employed and outcomes achieved; to compare subtypes of ICH (intraparenchymal, subdural, and subarachnoid hemorrhage) and their outcomes; and to determine any predictors of outcome.

Results

During the study period, 330 LVADs were placed and 36 patients developed an ICH (traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage in 10, traumatic subdural hematoma in 8, spontaneous intraventricular hemorrhage in 1, and spontaneous intraparenchymal hemorrhage in 17). All patients were treated with aspirin and warfarin at the time of presentation. With suspension of these agents, no thromboembolic events or pump failures were seen and no delayed rehemorrhages occurred after resuming these medications. Intraparenchymal hemorrhages had the worst outcomes, with a 30-day mortality rate in 59% compared with a 30-day mortality rate of 0% in patients with traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhages and 13% in those with traumatic subdural hematomas. Five patients with intraparenchymal hemorrhages were managed with surgical intervention, 4 of whom died within 60 days. The only factor found to be predictive of outcome was initial Glasgow Coma Scale score. No patients with a Glasgow Coma Scale score less than 11 survived beyond 30 days. Overall, the development of an ICH significantly reduced survival compared with the natural history of patients on LVAD therapy.

Conclusions

The authors' data suggest that withholding aspirin for 1 week and warfarin for 10 days is sufficient to reduce the risk of hemorrhage expansion or rehemorrhage while minimizing the risk of thromboembolic events and pump failure. Patients with intraparenchymal hemorrhage have poor outcomes, whereas patients with traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage or subdural hematoma have better outcomes.

Restricted access

Thomas J. Wilson, William R. Stetler Jr., Wajd N. Al-Holou and Stephen E. Sullivan

Object

The objective of this study was to compare the accuracy of 3 methods of ventricular catheter placement during CSF shunt operations: the freehand technique using surface anatomy, ultrasonic guidance, and stereotactic neuronavigation.

Methods

This retrospective cohort study included all patients from a single institution who underwent a ventricular CSF shunting procedure in which a new ventricular catheter was placed between January 2005 and March 2010. Data abstracted for each patient included age, sex, diagnosis, method of ventricular catheter placement, site and side of ventricular catheter placement, Evans ratio, and bifrontal ventricular span. Postoperative radiographic studies were reviewed for accuracy of ventricular catheter placement. Medical records were also reviewed for evidence of shunt failure requiring revision through December 2011. Statistical analysis was then performed comparing the 3 methods of ventricular catheter placement and to determine risk factors for inaccurate placement.

Results

There were 249 patients included in the study; 170 ventricular catheters were freehand passed, 51 were placed using stereotactic neuronavigation, and 28 were placed under intraoperative ultrasonic guidance. There was a statistically significant difference between freehand catheters and stereotactic-guided catheters (p < 0.001), as well as between freehand catheters and ultrasound-guided catheters (p < 0.001). The only risk factor for inaccurate placement identified in this study was use of the freehand technique. The use of stereotactic neuronavigation and ultrasonic guidance reduced proximal shunt failure rates (p < 0.05) in comparison with a freehand technique.

Conclusions

Stereotactic- and ultrasound-guided ventricular catheter placements are significantly more accurate than freehand placement, and the use of these intraoperative guidance techniques reduced proximal shunt failure in this study.

Restricted access

Wajd N. Al-Holou, Samuel Terman, Craig Kilburg, Hugh J. L. Garton, Karin M. Muraszko and Cormac O. Maher

Object

Arachnoid cysts are a frequent finding on intracranial imaging. The prevalence and natural history of these cysts in adults are not well defined.

Methods

We retrospectively reviewed the electronic medical records of a consecutive series of adults who underwent brain MRI over a 12-year interval to identify those with arachnoid cysts. The MRI studies were reviewed to confirm the diagnosis. For those patients with arachnoid cysts, we evaluated presenting symptoms, cyst size, and cyst location. Patients with more than 6 months' clinical and imaging follow-up were included in a natural history analysis.

Results

A total of 48,417 patients underwent brain MRI over the study period. Arachnoid cysts were identified in 661 patients (1.4%). Men had a higher prevalence than women (p < 0.0001). Multiple arachnoid cysts occurred in 30 patients. The most common locations were middle fossa (34%), retrocerebellar (33%), and convexity (14%). Middle fossa cysts were predominantly left-sided (70%, p < 0.001). Thirty-five patients were considered symptomatic and 24 underwent surgical treatment. Sellar and suprasellar cysts were more likely to be considered symptomatic (p < 0.0001). Middle fossa cysts were less likely to be considered symptomatic (p = 0.01. The criteria for natural history analysis were met in 203 patients with a total of 213 cysts. After a mean follow-up of 3.8 ± 2.8 years (for this subgroup), 5 cysts (2.3%) increased in size and 2 cysts decreased in size (0.9%). Only 2 patients developed new or worsening symptoms over the follow-up period.

Conclusions

Arachnoid cysts are a common incidental finding on intracranial imaging in all age groups. Although arachnoid cysts are symptomatic in a small number of patients, they are associated with a benign natural history for those presenting without symptoms.

Restricted access

Wajd N. Al-Holou, Andrew Y. Yew, Zackary E. Boomsaad, Hugh J. L. Garton, Karin M. Muraszko and Cormac O. Maher

Object

Arachnoid cysts are a frequent finding on intracranial imaging in children. The prevalence and natural history of these cysts are not well defined. The authors studied a large consecutive series of children undergoing MR imaging to better define both the MR imaging–demonstrated prevalence and behavior of these lesions over time.

Methods

The authors reviewed a consecutive series of 11,738 patients who were 18 years of age or younger and had undergone brain MR imaging at a single institution during an 11-year period. In the patients in whom intracranial arachnoid cysts were identified, clinical and demographic information was recorded and imaging characteristics, such as cyst size and location, were evaluated. Prevalence data were analyzed using univariate and multivariate logistic regression, linear regression, and ANOVA. All patients with sufficient data (repeat MR imaging studies as well as repeated clinical evaluation over at least 5 months) for a natural history analysis were identified. This group was assessed for any change in symptoms or imaging appearance during the follow-up interval.

Results

Three hundred nine arachnoid cysts (2.6% prevalence rate) were identified. There was an increased prevalence of arachnoid cysts in males (p < 0.000001). One hundred eleven patients met all criteria for inclusion in the natural history analysis. After a mean follow-up of 3.5 years, 11 arachnoid cysts increased in size, 13 decreased, and 87 remained stable. A younger age at presentation was significantly associated with cyst enlargement (p = 0.001) and the need for surgery (p = 0.05). No patient older than 4 years of age at the time of initial diagnosis had cyst enlargement, demonstrated new symptoms, or underwent surgical treatment.

Conclusions

Arachnoid cysts are a common incidental finding on intracranial imaging in pediatric patients. An older age at the time of presentation is associated with a lack of clinical or imaging changes over time.

Free access

Cormac O. Maher, Hugh J. L. Garton, Wajd N. Al-Holou, Jonathan D. Trobe, Karin M. Muraszko and Eric M. Jackson

Object

Arachnoid cysts may occasionally be associated with subdural hygromas. The management of these concurrent findings is controversial.

Methods

The authors reviewed their experience with arachnoid cysts and identified 8 patients with intracranial arachnoid cysts and an associated subdural hygroma. The medical records and images for these patients were also examined.

Results

In total, 8 patients presented with concurrent subdural hygroma and arachnoid cyst. Of these 8 patients, 6 presented with headaches and 4 had nausea and vomiting. Six patients had a history of trauma. One patient was treated surgically at the time of initial presentation, and 7 patients were managed without surgery. All patients experienced complete resolution of their presenting signs and symptoms.

Conclusions

Subdural hygroma may lead to symptomatic presentation for otherwise asymptomatic arachnoid cysts. The natural course of cyst-associated subdural hygromas, even when symptomatic, is generally benign, and symptom resolution can be expected in most cases. The authors suggest that symptomatic hygroma is not an absolute indication for surgical treatment and that expectant management can result in good outcomes in many cases.

Restricted access

Wajd N. Al-Holou, Edward A. O'Hara, Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol and Cormac O. Maher

Our current understanding of nonaccidental head injury in children is the result of decades of effort and the tireless work of numerous physicians. In 1860 Auguste Ambroise Tardieu, a French forensics expert, recognized important patterns of injury in children and identified nonaccidental trauma as the cause of these injuries. His work was ignored. In the years that followed, physicians continued to report these patterns of injury but were unable to identify the etiology. A fundamental misunderstanding of the usual cause of subdural hematoma (SDH) contributed to the confusion at that time. Early in the 20th century, neurosurgeons such as Wilfred Trotter recognized that SDHs were traumatic in origin. However, even Trotter's efforts to expose faults in the theories that SDHs primarily resulted from inflammatory or infectious processes were not accepted immediately. Eventually, the pattern of injuries in children was again recognized both by neurosurgeons, who began to identify an association between trauma-induced SDHs and retinal hemorrhages, and by radiologists, who began to note SDHs in conjunction with osseous lesions. Not until the 1950s and 1960s, however, did physicians begin to routinely identify nonaccidental trauma as the cause of these injuries. Following the recognition of child abuse, a pattern of injuries in conjunction with shaking was identified and is currently known as shaken baby syndrome. Since its identification, our understanding of this syndrome has been modified as a result of new medical research, legal challenges, and popular media forces.

Free access

Thomas J. Wilson, Kathleen E. McCoy, Wajd N. Al-Holou, Sergio L. Molina, Matthew D. Smyth and Stephen E. Sullivan

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this paper is to compare the accuracy of the freehand technique versus the use of intraoperative guidance (either ultrasound guidance or frameless stereotaxy) for placement of parietooccipital ventricular catheters and to determine factors associated with reduced proximal shunt failure.

METHODS

This retrospective cohort study included all patients from 2 institutions who underwent a ventricular cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunting procedure in which a new parietooccipital ventricular catheter was placed between January 2005 and December 2013. Data abstracted for each patient included age, sex, method of ventricular catheter placement, side of ventricular catheter placement, Evans ratio, and bifrontal ventricular span. Postoperative radiographic studies were reviewed for accuracy of ventricular catheter placement. Medical records were also reviewed for evidence of shunt failure requiring revision. Standard statistical methods were used for analysis.

RESULTS

A total of 257 patients were included in the study: 134 from the University of Michigan and 123 from Washington University in St. Louis. Accurate ventricular catheter placement was achieved in 81.2% of cases in which intraoperative guidance was used versus 67.3% when the freehand technique was used. Increasing age reduced the likelihood of accurate catheter placement (OR 0.983, 95% CI 0.971–0.995; p = 0.005), while the use of intraoperative guidance significantly increased the likelihood (OR 2.809, 95% CI 1.406–5.618; p = 0.016). During the study period, 108 patients (42.0%) experienced shunt failure, 79 patients (30.7%) had failure involving the proximal catheter, and 53 patients (20.6%) had distal failure (valve or distal catheter). Increasing age reduced the likelihood of being free from proximal shunt failure (OR 0.983, 95% CI 0.970–0.995; p = 0.008), while both the use of intraoperative guidance (OR 2.385, 95% CI 1.227–5.032; p = 0.011), and accurate ventricular catheter placement (OR 3.424, 95% CI 1.796–6.524; p = 0.009) increased the likelihood.

CONCLUSIONS

The use of intraoperative guidance during parietooccipital ventricular catheter placement as part of a CSF shunt system significantly increases the likelihood of accurate catheter placement and subsequently reduces the rate of proximal shunt failure.