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Edward R. Smith, Craig D. McClain, Matthew Heeney, and R. Michael Scott

Object

Many children with sickle cell anemia (SCA) also have clinical and radiographic findings of an arteriopathy suggestive of moyamoya syndrome. These patients may continue to experience strokes despite optimal medical management. The authors wished to define features of moyamoya syndrome associated with SCA and determine the results of surgical revascularization in these patients at early and late follow-up.

Methods

The authors reviewed the clinical and radiographic records of all patients with moyamoya syndrome and SCA who underwent cerebral revascularization surgery using a standardized surgical procedure—pial synangiosis—from 1985 to 2008.

Results

Twelve patients had SCA and moyamoya syndrome. Six patients were female and 6 were male. The average patient age at surgery was 11.3 years (range 3–22 years). All patients presented with ischemic symptoms, 11 (92%) with previous transient ischemic attacks, and 10 (83%) with completed strokes. Eleven patients (92%) had radiographic evidence of previous stroke at presentation. None presented with hemorrhage. Surgical treatment included pial synangiosis in all patients. Complications included 1 perioperative stroke, 1 wound infection, and 1 perioperative pneumonia. The average length of hospital stay was 5.7 days (including a 24-hour preoperative admission for hydration) and average blood loss was 92.5 ml/hemisphere (in a total of 19 hemispheres). Clinical and radiographic follow-up with an average of 49 months (range 9–144 months) demonstrated no worsening in neurological status in any patient. No clinical or radiographic evidence of new infarcts was observed in any patient at late follow-up, despite disease progression in 13 (68%) of 19 hemispheres.

Conclusions

The clinical and radiographic features of moyamoya syndrome associated with SCA appear comparable to primary moyamoya disease. Successful treatment of these patients requires multidisciplinary care involving hematologists, anesthesiologists, and neurosurgeons. Operative treatment of moyamoya syndrome using pial synangiosis appears to be safe and confers long-lasting protection against further stroke in this population, and provides an alternative for failure of optimal medical therapy in patients. This study underscores the potential merit of screening patients with SCA for moyamoya syndrome.

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Suresh N. Magge, Matthew D. Smyth, Lance S. Governale, Liliana Goumnerova, Joseph Madsen, Becca Munro, Stephen V. Nalbach, Mark R. Proctor, R. Michael Scott, and Edward R. Smith

Object

Discovery of a syrinx in a child, without a readily identifiable proximate cause such as a Chiari malformation, tumor, or site of tethering, is often a cause of concern for families and a source of consternation for clinicians. There is a paucity of data describing the natural history of an idiopathic syrinx in the pediatric population. The authors present the combined data of 2 major pediatric neurosurgical centers to describe their experience with this condition.

Methods

Data were collected at Children's Hospital Boston and St. Louis Children's Hospital according to institutional review board–approved protocols and captured visits over a 2.5-year interval (October 2006–March 2009), with records reviewed if the patient had a preexisting diagnosis of syrinx. Patients were identified by ICD-9 codes derived from departmental databases. All pediatric patients (age < 19 years) in whom idiopathic syrinx had been diagnosed, as defined by MR imaging findings (dilated central canal in the spinal cord of ≥ 1 mm in axial dimension and extending over at least 2 vertebral levels), were included.

Results

Forty-eight patients met the criteria for idiopathic syrinx during this period, and in 32 of them detailed follow-up imaging was available. Discovery of a syrinx was incidental in 6 patients, whereas the others were referred for imaging because of the presence of pain, neurological symptoms, scoliosis, or skin markings. The average age at the first MR imaging session was 9.7 years, with a mean syrinx size of 4 mm (range 1.2–9.4 mm). The majority (52%) of patients had a thoracic syrinx, with the average lesion spanning 7.1 vertebral levels. The average follow-up was 23.8 months (range 2–64 months), and subgroups of patients with < 3 years and ≥ 3 years of follow-up were independently reviewed. Overall, symptoms improved in 34% and worsened in 9%; 57% of the patients remained asymptomatic or stable. Radiographically (in the subgroup of 32 patients with detailed follow-up imaging), syrinx size decreased in 25% of patients, increased in 12.5%, and remained unchanged in 62.5%, with no apparent correlation between change in syrinx size and clinical symptoms.

Conclusions

Clinically, children with an idiopathic syrinx remained asymptomatic, stable, or improved in 91% of cases. The majority of syringes (87.5%) remained stable or shrank over time, with no apparent correlation between changes in size and changes in symptoms. Although longer follow-up is needed, these data suggest that the natural history of an idiopathic syrinx in children is benign, and that repeated imaging may not be necessary.

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John D. Heiss, Kendall Snyder, Matthew M. Peterson, Nicholas J. Patronas, John A. Butman, René K. Smith, Hetty L. DeVroom, Charles A. Sansur, Eric Eskioglu, William A. Kammerer, and Edward H. Oldfield

Object

The pathogenesis of syringomyelia in patients with an associated spinal lesion is incompletely understood. The authors hypothesized that in primary spinal syringomyelia, a subarachnoid block effectively shortens the length of the spinal subarachnoid space (SAS), reducing compliance and the ability of the spinal theca to dampen the subarachnoid CSF pressure waves produced by brain expansion during cardiac systole. This creates exaggerated spinal subarachnoid pressure waves during every heartbeat that act on the spinal cord above the block to drive CSF into the spinal cord and create a syrinx. After a syrinx is formed, enlarged subarachnoid pressure waves compress the external surface of the spinal cord, propel the syrinx fluid, and promote syrinx progression.

Methods

To elucidate the pathophysiology, the authors prospectively studied 36 adult patients with spinal lesions obstructing the spinal SAS. Testing before surgery included clinical examination; evaluation of anatomy on T1-weighted MRI; measurement of lumbar and cervical subarachnoid mean and pulse pressures at rest, during Valsalva maneuver, during jugular compression, and after removal of CSF (CSF compliance measurement); and evaluation with CT myelography. During surgery, pressure measurements from the SAS above the level of the lesion and the lumbar intrathecal space below the lesion were obtained, and cardiac-gated ultrasonography was performed. One week after surgery, CT myelography was repeated. Three months after surgery, clinical examination, T1-weighted MRI, and CSF pressure recordings (cervical and lumbar) were repeated. Clinical examination and MRI studies were repeated annually thereafter. Findings in patients were compared with those obtained in a group of 18 healthy individuals who had already undergone T1-weighted MRI, cine MRI, and cervical and lumbar subarachnoid pressure testing.

Results

In syringomyelia patients compared with healthy volunteers, cervical subarachnoid pulse pressure was increased (2.7 ± 1.2 vs 1.6 ± 0.6 mm Hg, respectively; p = 0.004), pressure transmission to the thecal sac below the block was reduced, and spinal CSF compliance was decreased. Intraoperative ultrasonography confirmed that pulse pressure waves compressed the outer surface of the spinal cord superior to regions of obstruction of the subarachnoid space.

Conclusions

These findings are consistent with the theory that a spinal subarachnoid block increases spinal subarachnoid pulse pressure above the block, producing a pressure differential across the obstructed segment of the SAS, which results in syrinx formation and progression. These findings are similar to the results of the authors' previous studies that examined the pathophysiology of syringomyelia associated with obstruction of the SAS at the foramen magnum in the Chiari Type I malformation and indicate that a common mechanism, rather than different, separate mechanisms, underlies syrinx formation in these two entities. Clinical trial registration no.: NCT00011245.

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Brian V. Nahed, Manuel Ferreira Jr., Matthew R. Naunheim, Kristopher T. Kahle, Mark R. Proctor, and Edward R. Smith

Clinical and radiographic evidence of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH)-related vasospasm is rare in children and has not been reported in infants. In this report the authors present the case of a 22-month-old child who developed clinically symptomatic, radiographically identifiable vasospasm after traumatic SAH. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of vasospasm associated with SAH in a child this young. This 22-month-old boy fell and had a dense SAH. He had a history of surgically corrected craniosynostosis and nonsymptomatic ventriculomegaly. The boy was evaluated for occult vascular lesions using imaging; none were found and normal vessel caliber was noted. Ten days later, the child developed left-sided weakness and a right middle cerebral artery infarct was identified. Evaluation disclosed significant intracranial vasospasm. This diagnosis was supported by findings on CT angiography, transcranial Doppler ultrasonography, MR imaging, and conventional angiography. The child was treated using intraarterial verapamil with a good result, as well as with conventional intensive care measures to reduce vasospasm. This report documents the first known case of intracranial vasospasm with stroke after SAH in a patient under the age of 2 years. This finding is important because it demonstrates that the entity of SAH-associated vasospasm can affect the very young, widening the spectrum of ages susceptible to this condition. This case is also important because it demonstrates that even very young children can respond to conventional therapeutic interventions such as intraarterial verapamil. Thus, clinicians need to be alert to the possibility of vasospasm as a potential diagnosis when evaluating young children with SAH.

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Lauren K. Dunn, Marcel E. Durieux, Lucas G. Fernández, Siny Tsang, Emily E. Smith-Straesser, Hasan F. Jhaveri, Shauna P. Spanos, Matthew R. Thames, Christopher D. Spencer, Aaron Lloyd, Russell Stuart, Fan Ye, Jacob P. Bray, Edward C. Nemergut, and Bhiken I. Naik

OBJECTIVE

Perception of perioperative pain is influenced by various psychological factors. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of catastrophizing, anxiety, and depression on in-hospital opioid consumption, pain scores, and quality of recovery in adults who underwent spine surgery.

METHODS

Patients undergoing spine surgery were enrolled in this study, and the preoperatively completed questionnaires included the verbal rating scale (VRS), Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI). Quality of recovery was assessed using the 40-item Quality of Recovery questionnaire (QoR40). Opioid consumption and pain scores according to the VRS were recorded daily until discharge.

RESULTS

One hundred thirty-nine patients were recruited for the study, and 101 completed the QoR40 assessment postoperatively. Patients with higher catastrophizing scores were more likely to have higher maximum pain scores postoperatively (estimate: 0.03, SE: 0.01, p = 0.02), without increased opioid use (estimate: 0.44, SE: 0.27, p = 0.11). Preoperative anxiety (estimate: 1.18, SE: 0.65, p = 0.07) and depression scores (estimate: 1.06, SE: 0.71, p = 0.14) did not correlate with increased postoperative opioid use; however, patients with higher preoperative depression scores had lower quality of recovery after surgery (estimate: −1.9, SE: 0.56, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

Catastrophizing, anxiety, and depression play important roles in modulating postoperative pain. Preoperative evaluation of these factors, utilizing a validated tool, helps to identify patients at risk. This might allow for earlier psychological intervention that could reduce pain severity and improve the quality of recovery.

Open access

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Cathal John Hannan, Priya Sharma, Matthew Edward Smith, Laurence Johann Glancz, Martin O’Driscoll, Andrew Thomas King, Charlotte Hammerbeck-Ward, Dafydd Gareth Evans, Scott Alexander Rutherford, Simon Kinsella Lloyd, Simon Richard Mackenzie Freeman, and Omar Nathan Pathmanaban

The authors present the case of a 24-year-old female with neurofibromatosis type 2. Growth of the left vestibular schwannoma and progressive hearing loss prompted the decision to proceed to translabyrinthine resection with cochlear nerve preservation and cochlear implant insertion. Complete resection with preservation of the facial and cochlear nerves was achieved. The patient had grade 1 facial function and was discharged on postoperative day 4 following suturing of a minor CSF leak. This case highlights the feasibility of cochlear nerve preservation and cochlear implant insertion in appropriately selected patients, offering a combination of effective tumor control and hearing rehabilitation.

The video can be found here: https://stream.cadmore.media/r10.3171/2021.7.FOCVID21122