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William E. Bingaman

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Lara E. Jehi, Diosely C. Silveira, William Bingaman and Imad Najm

Object

The authors provide a systematic analysis of electroclinical characteristics in patients with persistent seizures following temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) surgery and identify ideal candidates for reoperation.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed the records of 68 adult patients (mean follow-up 8.7 years) who underwent a video electroencephalography evaluation and high-resolution imaging after failed TLE surgery performed between 1990 and 2004 at The Cleveland Clinic. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to identify predictors of the yield of a repeat evaluation, location of the recurrence focus, and outcome following reoperation.

Results

Although a focus of recurrence was identified in 44 patients, only 15 underwent reoperation, and only 6 of these became seizure free. Localized foci of recurrence were successfully identified in patients with early (within 1 postoperative year) and frequent (≥ 4 per month) recurrent seizures (yield of 100% if both conditions were fulfilled). Predictors of contiguity of the focus of recurrence to the initial surgical bed were variable depending on the type of the initial surgery: patients with baseline contralateral temporal spiking were 6 times (OR 6.34, p < 0.05) more likely to experience seizure recurrence from the contralateral temporal lobe after a “standard” temporal lobectomy, while the need to use subdural electrodes and the timing of recurrence were more significant following limited temporal resections. The focus of recurrence was distant to the original surgical bed when subdural electrodes were used prior to first surgery (OR 28.0, p = 0.01) or when seizures recurred early (within < 6 postoperative months; OR 12.5, p = 0.04). With reoperation, only patients with mesial and basal extension of the temporal resections became seizure free. Interestingly, seizure freedom was achieved with medical therapy alone in 42% of patients with a nonidentifiable recurrence focus as opposed to 4% of those with an unoperated identifiable focus.

Conclusions

The timing and frequency of recurrent seizures following unsuccessful TLE surgery provide useful guidelines for the yield of a surgical reevaluation, and potentially for the mechanisms of surgical failure.

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Michael P. Steinmetz, Ann Warbel, Melvin Whitfield and William Bingaman

Object. Despite the wide use of anterior cervical instrumentation in the management of multilevel cervical spondylosis, the incidences of pseudarthrosis and instrument-related failure remain high. The use of a dynamic implant may aid in the prevention of these complications. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the DOC dynamic cervical implant in the treatment of multilevel cervical spondylosis.

Methods. The authors evaluated 34 cases in which anterior multilevel cervical decompression and fusion were performed using the DOC Ventral Cervical Stabilization System. Postoperatively, and at each follow-up visit, the sagittal angle and the degree of subsidence that developed were measured. Fusion rates and clinical outcomes were also evaluated.

The mean postoperative sagittal angle was 14° of lordosis. The mean change in the sagittal angle during the follow-up period was 0.4° of lordosis. By 6 months postoperatively some subsidence had occurred in most patients, with no subsidence occurring in only 15%. By 3 months greater than or equal to 2 mm of subsidence was demonstrated in 61% of cases. The overall fusion rate was 91%. In the majority of patients (79%) symptoms were judged to be improved or resolved.

Conclusions. The DOC dynamic cervical implant permitted controlled subsidence and prevented progression of kyphotic deformity. There was one construct failure (related to a motor vehicle accident) and an overall fusion rate of 91%. The DOC implant is a safe and effective cervical construct for multilevel spondylotic disease.

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Jeffrey G. Ojemann

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Sumeet Vadera, Varun R. Kshettry, Patricia Klaas and William Bingaman

Object

Temporal lobe epilepsy is an uncommon clinical syndrome in the pediatric population. The most common underlying pathologies include low-grade gliomas, cortical dysplasia, and, less commonly, hippocampal sclerosis (HS). There is a paucity of data on neuropsychological and seizure-free outcomes in these patients after temporal lobectomy. In this study, the authors reviewed their seizure-free and neuropsychological outcomes after temporal lobectomy for pediatric HS.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed the medical records of pediatric patients with HS who underwent anterior temporal lobectomy and amygdalohippocampectomy between 1998 and 2011 at the Cleveland Clinic. Results of neuropsychological assessment before and after surgery and seizure-free outcome at last follow-up were obtained.

Results

Forty-five patients met the inclusion criteria. Thirty-four (76%) patients had pathology of HS alone and 10 (22%) had HS and cortical dysplasia. The mean duration of follow-up was 60.2 months. Eighty-four percent of patients had postoperative Engel Class I or II outcomes. Neuropsychological outcomes remained unchanged or minimally improved postoperatively.

Conclusions

Seizure-free outcomes in pediatric HS are similar to historical rates in adult HS. Neuropsychological assessments remain stable after temporal lobectomy. Standard temporal lobectomy should be considered in pediatric patients with medically intractable epilepsy secondary to HS.

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Robert A. McGovern, Elia Pestana Knight, Ajay Gupta, Ahsan N. V. Moosa, Elaine Wyllie, William E. Bingaman and Jorge Gonzalez-Martinez

OBJECTIVE

The goal in the study was to describe the clinical outcomes associated with robot-assisted stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) in children.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective, single-center study in consecutive children with medically refractory epilepsy who were undergoing robot-assisted SEEG. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was used to calculate the probability of seizure freedom. Both univariate and multivariate methods were used to analyze the preoperative and operative factors associated with seizure freedom.

RESULTS

Fifty-seven children underwent a total of 64 robot-assisted procedures. The patients’ mean age was 12 years, an average of 6.4 antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) per patient had failed prior to implantation, and in 56% of the patients the disease was considered nonlesional. On average, children had 12.4 electrodes placed per implantation, with an implantation time of 9.6 minutes per electrode and a 10-day postoperative stay. SEEG analysis yielded a definable epileptogenic zone in 51 (89%) patients; 42 (74%) patients underwent surgery, half of whom were seizure free at last follow-up, 19.6 months from resection. In a multivariate generalized linear model, resective surgery, older age, and shorter SEEG-related hospital length of stay were associated with seizure freedom. In a Cox proportional hazards model including only the children who underwent resective surgery, older age was the only significant factor associated with seizure freedom. Complications related to bleeding were the major contributors to morbidity. One patient (1.5%) had a symptomatic hemorrhage resulting in a permanent neurological deficit.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors report one of the largest pediatric-specific SEEG series demonstrating that the modern surgical management of medically refractory epilepsy in children can lead to seizure freedom in many patients, while also highlighting the challenges posed by this difficult patient population.

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Cumhur Kilinçer, Michael P. Steinmetz, Moon Jun Sohn, Edward C. Benzel and William Bingaman

Object. Although advances in patient care have enabled surgeons to perform posterior lumbar decompression and fusion (PLDF), increased age remains a major concern when designing a treatment strategy. The authors conducted a study to evaluate if increased age has any effect on lumbar fusion surgery in terms of perioperative events.

Methods. This retrospective study comprised 129 patients (age range 25–91 years) with spondylolisthesis, lumbar stenosis and/or disc degeneration/herniation with instability, or unsuccessful results after a failed previous PLDF. The patients were stratified by age: those younger than 65 years of age (85 patients) and those at least 65 years of age (44 patients). The parameters reviewed included comorbid conditions, American Society of Anesthesiologists score, instrumentation technique (pedicle screws, a combination of pedicle screw fixation [PSF] and posterior lumbar interbody fusion [PLIF], or non-instrumented fusions), number of fused levels, operative time, estimated blood loss (EBL), complications, and hospital length of stay (LOS).

Fusion strategies in the elderly tended to be more conservative. Repeated operations and PSF/PLIF procedures were less frequent in the older age group. Older age did not result in increased complications, EBL, and operative time. Longer hospital LOS was observed in the older age group (7 ± 3.5 days) compared with the younger age group (5.5 ± 1.9 days) (p = 0.022).

Conclusions. Complications and perioperative events following PLDF in the elderly are comparable with those observed in younger patients. Withholding lumbar spine fusion solely based on advanced age is not warranted.

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Jorge A. González-Martínez, William E. Bingaman, Steven A. Toms and Imad M. Najm

Object

The normal adult human telencephalon does not reveal evidence of spontaneous neuronal migration and differentiation despite the robust germinal capacity of the subventricular zone (SVZ) astrocyte ribbon that contains neural stem cells. This might be because it is averse to accepting new neurons into an established neuronal network, probably representing an evolutionary acquisition to prevent the formation of anomalous neuronal circuits. Some forms of epilepsy, such as malformations of cortical development, are thought to be due to abnormal corticogenesis during the embryonic and early postnatal periods. The role of postnatal architectural reorganization and possibly postnatal neurogenesis in some forms of epilepsy in humans remains unknown. In this study the authors used resected specimens of epileptic brain to determine whether neurogenesis could occur in the diseased tissue.

Methods

The authors studied freshly resected brain tissue obtained in 47 patients who underwent neurosurgical procedures and four autopsies. Forty-four samples were harvested in patients who underwent resection for the treatment of pharmacoresistant epilepsy.

Results

Using organotypic brain slice preparations cultured with 5-bromodeoxyuridine (a marker for cell proliferation), immunohistochemistry, and cell trackers, the authors demonstrate the presence of spontaneous cell proliferation, migration, and neuronal differentiation in the adult human telencephalon that starts in the SVZ and progresses to the adjacent white matter and neocortex in human neocortical pathological structures associated with epilepsy. No cell migration or neuronal differentiation was found in the control group.

Conclusions

The presence of spontaneous neurogenesis associated with some forms of human neocortical epilepsy may represent an erroneous and maladaptive mechanism for neuronal circuitry repair, or it may be an intrinsic part of the pathogenic process.

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Michael P. Steinmetz, Jared Miller, Ann Warbel, Ajit A. Krishnaney, William Bingaman and Edward C. Benzel

Object

The cervicothoracic junction (CTJ) is the transitional region between the cervical and thoracic sections of the spinal axis. Because it is a transitional zone between the mobile lordotic cervical and rigid kyphotic thoracic spines, the CTJ is a region of potential instability. This potential for instability may be exaggerated by surgical intervention.

Methods

A retrospective review of all patients who underwent surgery involving the CTJ in the Department of Neurosurgery at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation during a 5-year period was performed. The CTJ was strictly defined as encompassing the C-7 vertebra and C7–T1 disc interspace. Patients were examined after surgery to determine if treatment had failed. Failure was defined as construct failure, deformity (progression or de novo), or instability. Variables possibly associated with treatment failure were analyzed. Statistical comparisons were performed using the Fisher exact test.

Between January 1998 and November 2003, 593 CTJ operations were performed. Treatment failed in 14 patients. Of all variables studied, failure was statistically associated with laminectomy and multilevel ventral corpectomies with fusion across the CTJ. Other factors statistically associated with treatment failure included histories of cervical surgery, tobacco use, and surgery for the correction of deformity.

Conclusions

The CTJ is a vulnerable region, and this vulnerability is exacerbated by surgery. Results of the present study indicate that laminectomy across the CTJ should be supplemented with instrumentation (and fusion). Multilevel ventral corpectomies across the CTJ should also be supplemented with dorsal instrumentation. Supplemental instrumentation should be considered for patients who have undergone prior cervical surgery, have a history of tobacco use, or are undergoing surgery for deformity correction.