Publications by authors named "David D Limbrick"

165 Publications

Development and External Validation of the KIIDS-TBI Tool for Managing Children with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Intracranial Injuries.

Acad Emerg Med 2021 Jul 10. Epub 2021 Jul 10.

Departments of Neurological Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO, USA.

Background: Clinical decision support may improve the post-neuroimaging management of children with mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI) and intracranial injuries. While the CHIIDA score has been proposed for this purpose, a more sensitive risk model may have broader use. Consequently, this study's objectives were to: 1) develop a new risk model with improved sensitivity compared to the CHIIDA model; and 2) externally validate the new model and CHIIDA model in a multicenter dataset.

Methods: We analyzed children ≤ 18 years-old with mTBI and intracranial injuries included in the PECARN head injury dataset (2004-2006). We used binary recursive partitioning to predict the composite outcome of neurosurgical intervention, intubation for > 24 hours due to TBI, or death due to TBI. The new model was externally validated in a separate dataset that included children treated at any one of six centers from 2006-2019.

Results: Based on 839 patients from the PECARN dataset, a new risk model, the KIIDS-TBI model, was developed that incorporated imaging (e.g. midline shift) and clinical (e.g. GCS score) findings. Based on the model-predicted probability of the composite outcome, three cutoffs were evaluated to classify patients as 'high risk' for level of care decisions. In the external validation dataset consisting of 1,630 patients, the most conservative cutoff (i.e. any predictor present) identified 119/119 children with the composite outcome (sensitivity 100%), but had the lowest specificity (26.3%). The other two decision-making cutoffs had worse sensitivity (94.1%-96.6%) but improved specificity (67.4%-81.3%). The CHIIDA model lacked the most conservative cutoff and otherwise showed the same or slightly worse performance compared to the other two cutoffs.

Conclusions: The KIIDS-TBI model has high sensitivity and moderate specificity for risk-stratifying children with mTBI and intracranial injuries. Use of this clinical decision support tool may help improve the safe, resource-efficient management of this important patient population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acem.14333DOI Listing
July 2021

Extradural decompression versus duraplasty in Chiari malformation type I with syrinx: outcomes on scoliosis from the Park-Reeves Syringomyelia Research Consortium.

J Neurosurg Pediatr 2021 Jun 18:1-9. Epub 2021 Jun 18.

25Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA.

Objective: Scoliosis is common in patients with Chiari malformation type I (CM-I)-associated syringomyelia. While it is known that treatment with posterior fossa decompression (PFD) may reduce the progression of scoliosis, it is unknown if decompression with duraplasty is superior to extradural decompression.

Methods: A large multicenter retrospective and prospective registry of 1257 pediatric patients with CM-I (tonsils ≥ 5 mm below the foramen magnum) and syrinx (≥ 3 mm in axial width) was reviewed for patients with scoliosis who underwent PFD with or without duraplasty.

Results: In total, 422 patients who underwent PFD had a clinical diagnosis of scoliosis. Of these patients, 346 underwent duraplasty, 51 received extradural decompression alone, and 25 were excluded because no data were available on the type of PFD. The mean clinical follow-up was 2.6 years. Overall, there was no difference in subsequent occurrence of fusion or proportion of patients with curve progression between those with and those without a duraplasty. However, after controlling for age, sex, preoperative curve magnitude, syrinx length, syrinx width, and holocord syrinx, extradural decompression was associated with curve progression > 10°, but not increased occurrence of fusion. Older age at PFD and larger preoperative curve magnitude were independently associated with subsequent occurrence of fusion. Greater syrinx reduction after PFD of either type was associated with decreased occurrence of fusion.

Conclusions: In patients with CM-I, syrinx, and scoliosis undergoing PFD, there was no difference in subsequent occurrence of surgical correction of scoliosis between those receiving a duraplasty and those with an extradural decompression. However, after controlling for preoperative factors including age, syrinx characteristics, and curve magnitude, patients treated with duraplasty were less likely to have curve progression than patients treated with extradural decompression. Further study is needed to evaluate the role of duraplasty in curve stabilization after PFD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.12.PEDS20552DOI Listing
June 2021

A multicenter validation of the condylar-C2 sagittal vertical alignment in Chiari malformation type I: a study using the Park-Reeves Syringomyelia Research Consortium.

J Neurosurg Pediatr 2021 Jun 4:1-7. Epub 2021 Jun 4.

1Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Primary Children's Hospital, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Objective: The condylar-C2 sagittal vertical alignment (C-C2SVA) describes the relationship between the occipitoatlantal joint and C2 in patients with Chiari malformation type I (CM-I). It has been suggested that a C-C2SVA ≥ 5 mm is predictive of the need for occipitocervical fusion (OCF) or ventral brainstem decompression (VBD). The authors' objective was to validate the predictive utility of the C-C2SVA by using a large, multicenter cohort of patients.

Methods: This validation study used a cohort of patients derived from the Park-Reeves Syringomyelia Research Consortium; patients < 21 years old with CM-I and syringomyelia treated from June 2011 to May 2016 were identified. The primary outcome was the need for OCF and/or VBD. After patients who required OCF and/or VBD were identified, 10 age- and sex-matched controls served as comparisons for each OCF/VBD patient. The C-C2SVA (defined as the position of a plumb line from the midpoint of the O-C1 joint relative to the posterior aspect of the C2-3 disc space), pBC2 (a line perpendicular to a line from the basion to the posteroinferior aspect of the C2 body), and clival-axial angle (CXA) were measured on sagittal MRI. The secondary outcome was the need for ≥ 2 CM-related operations.

Results: Of the 206 patients identified, 20 underwent OCF/VBD and 14 underwent repeat posterior fossa decompression. A C-C2SVA ≥ 5 mm was 100% sensitive and 86% specific for requiring OCF/VBD, with a 12.6% misclassification rate, whereas CXA < 125° was 55% sensitive and 99% specific, and pBC2 ≥ 9 was 20% sensitive and 88% specific. Kaplan-Meier analysis demonstrated that there was a significantly shorter time to second decompression in children with C-C2SVA ≥ 5 mm (p = 0.0039). The mean C-C2SVA was greater (6.13 ± 1.28 vs 3.13 ± 1.95 mm, p < 0.0001), CXA was lower (126° ± 15.4° vs 145° ± 10.7°, p < 0.05), and pBC2 was similar (7.65 ± 1.79 vs 7.02 ± 1.26 mm, p = 0.31) among those who underwent OCF/VBD versus decompression only. The intraclass correlation coefficient for the continuous measurement of C-C2SVA was 0.52; the kappa value was 0.47 for the binary categorization of C-C2SVA ≥ 5 mm.

Conclusions: These results validated the C-C2SVA using a large, multicenter, external cohort with 100% sensitivity, 86% specificity, and a 12.6% misclassification rate. A C-C2SVA ≥ 5 mm is highly predictive of the need for OCF/VBD in patients with CM-I. The authors recommend that this measurement be considered among the tools to identify the "high-risk" CM-I phenotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.12.PEDS20809DOI Listing
June 2021

Longitudinal CSF Iron Pathway Proteins in Posthemorrhagic Hydrocephalus: Associations with Ventricle Size and Neurodevelopmental Outcomes.

Ann Neurol 2021 May 26. Epub 2021 May 26.

Department of Neurosurgery, Washington University St. Louis, St. Louis, MO, USA.

Objective: Iron has been implicated in the pathogenesis of brain injury and hydrocephalus after preterm germinal matrix hemorrhage-intraventricular hemorrhage, however, it is unknown how external or endogenous intraventricular clearance of iron pathway proteins affect the outcome in this group.

Methods: This prospective multicenter cohort included patients with posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus (PHH) who underwent (1) temporary and permanent cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) diversion and (2) Bayley Scales of Infant Development-III testing around 2 years of age. CSF proteins in the iron handling pathway were analyzed longitudinally and compared to ventricle size and neurodevelopmental outcomes.

Results: Thirty-seven patients met inclusion criteria with a median estimated gestational age at birth of 25 weeks; 65% were boys. Ventricular CSF levels of hemoglobin, iron, total bilirubin, and ferritin decreased between temporary and permanent CSF diversion with no change in CSF levels of ceruloplasmin, transferrin, haptoglobin, and hepcidin. There was an increase in CSF hemopexin during this interval. Larger ventricle size at permanent CSF diversion was associated with elevated CSF ferritin (p = 0.015) and decreased CSF hemopexin (p = 0.007). CSF levels of proteins at temporary CSF diversion were not associated with outcome, however, higher CSF transferrin at permanent CSF diversion was associated with improved cognitive outcome (p = 0.015). Importantly, longitudinal change in CSF iron pathway proteins, ferritin (decrease), and transferrin (increase) were associated with improved cognitive (p = 0.04) and motor (p = 0.03) scores and improved cognitive (p = 0.04), language (p = 0.035), and motor (p = 0.008) scores, respectively.

Interpretation: Longitudinal changes in CSF transferrin (increase) and ferritin (decrease) are associated with improved neurodevelopmental outcomes in neonatal PHH, with implications for understanding the pathogenesis of poor outcomes in PHH. ANN NEUROL 2021.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ana.26133DOI Listing
May 2021

Electronic clinical decision support for children with minor head trauma and intracranial injuries: a sociotechnical analysis.

BMC Med Inform Decis Mak 2021 05 19;21(1):161. Epub 2021 May 19.

Institute for Informatics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA.

Background: Current management of children with minor head trauma (MHT) and intracranial injuries is not evidence-based and may place some children at risk of harm. Evidence-based electronic clinical decision support (CDS) for management of these children may improve patient safety and decrease resource use. To guide these efforts, we evaluated the sociotechnical environment impacting the implementation of electronic CDS, including workflow and communication, institutional culture, and hardware and software infrastructure, among other factors.

Methods: Between March and May, 2020 semi-structured qualitative focus group interviews were conducted to identify sociotechnical influences on CDS implementation. Physicians from neurosurgery, emergency medicine, critical care, and pediatric general surgery were included, along with information technology specialists. Participants were recruited from nine health centers in the United States. Focus group transcripts were coded and analyzed using thematic analysis. The final themes were then cross-referenced with previously defined sociotechnical dimensions.

Results: We included 28 physicians and four information technology specialists in seven focus groups (median five participants per group). Five physicians were trainees and 10 had administrative leadership positions. Through inductive thematic analysis, we identified five primary themes: (1) clinical impact; (2) stakeholders and users; (3) tool content; (4) clinical practice integration; and (5) post-implementation evaluation measures. Participants generally supported using CDS to determine an appropriate level-of-care for these children. However, some had mixed feelings regarding how the tool could best be used by different specialties (e.g. use by neurosurgeons versus non-neurosurgeons). Feedback from the interviews helped refine the tool content and also highlighted potential technical and workflow barriers to address prior to implementation.

Conclusions: We identified key factors impacting the implementation of electronic CDS for children with MHT and intracranial injuries. These results have informed our implementation strategy and may also serve as a template for future efforts to implement health information technology in a multidisciplinary, emergency setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12911-021-01522-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8132484PMC
May 2021

Translating Data Analytics Into Improved Spine Surgery Outcomes: A Roadmap for Biomedical Informatics Research in 2021.

Global Spine J 2021 May 11:21925682211008424. Epub 2021 May 11.

Department of Neurological Surgery, 12275Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA.

Study Design: Narrative review.

Objectives: There is growing interest in the use of biomedical informatics and data analytics tools in spine surgery. Yet despite the rapid growth in research on these topics, few analytic tools have been implemented in routine spine practice. The purpose of this review is to provide a health information technology (HIT) roadmap to help translate data assets and analytics tools into measurable advances in spine surgical care.

Methods: We conducted a narrative review of PubMed and Google Scholar to identify publications discussing data assets, analytical approaches, and implementation strategies relevant to spine surgery practice.

Results: A variety of data assets are available for spine research, ranging from commonly used datasets, such as administrative billing data, to emerging resources, such as mobile health and biobanks. Both regression and machine learning techniques are valuable for analyzing these assets, and researchers should recognize the particular strengths and weaknesses of each approach. Few studies have focused on the implementation of HIT, and a variety of methods exist to help translate analytic tools into clinically useful interventions. Finally, a number of HIT-related challenges must be recognized and addressed, including stakeholder acceptance, regulatory oversight, and ethical considerations.

Conclusions: Biomedical informatics has the potential to support the development of new HIT that can improve spine surgery quality and outcomes. By understanding the development life-cycle that includes identifying an appropriate data asset, selecting an analytic approach, and leveraging an effective implementation strategy, spine researchers can translate this potential into measurable advances in patient care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/21925682211008424DOI Listing
May 2021

Multi-omic analysis elucidates the genetic basis of hydrocephalus.

Cell Rep 2021 May;35(5):109085

Division of Genetic Medicine, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN 37232, USA; Vanderbilt Genetics Institute, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN 37232, USA; Data Science Institute, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37232, USA; Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB3 9AL, UK; MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB3 9AL, UK. Electronic address:

We conducted PrediXcan analysis of hydrocephalus risk in ten neurological tissues and whole blood. Decreased expression of MAEL in the brain was significantly associated (Bonferroni-adjusted p < 0.05) with hydrocephalus. PrediXcan analysis of brain imaging and genomics data in the independent UK Biobank (N = 8,428) revealed that MAEL expression in the frontal cortex is associated with white matter and total brain volumes. Among the top differentially expressed genes in brain, we observed a significant enrichment for gene-level associations with these structural phenotypes, suggesting an effect on disease risk through regulation of brain structure and integrity. We found additional support for these genes through analysis of the choroid plexus transcriptome of a murine model of hydrocephalus. Finally, differential protein expression analysis in patient cerebrospinal fluid recapitulated disease-associated expression changes in neurological tissues, but not in whole blood. Our findings provide convergent evidence highlighting the importance of tissue-specific pathways and mechanisms in the pathophysiology of hydrocephalus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109085DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8124085PMC
May 2021

Treatment strategies for hydrocephalus related to Dandy-Walker syndrome: evaluating procedure selection and success within the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network.

J Neurosurg Pediatr 2021 Apr 30:1-9. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

16Neurosurgery, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Objective: Treating Dandy-Walker syndrome-related hydrocephalus (DWSH) involves either a CSF shunt-based or endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV)-based procedure. However, comparative investigations are lacking. This study aimed to compare shunt-based and ETV-based treatment strategies utilizing archival data from the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network (HCRN) registry.

Methods: A retrospective review of prospectively collected and maintained data on children with DWSH, available from the HCRN registry (14 sites, 2008-2018), was performed. The primary outcome was revision-free survival of the initial surgical intervention. The primary exposure was either shunt-based (i.e., cystoperitoneal shunt [CPS], ventriculoperitoneal shunt [VPS], and/or dual-compartment) or ETV-based (i.e., ETV alone or with choroid plexus cauterization [CPC]) initial surgical treatment. Primary analysis included multivariable Cox proportional hazards models.

Results: Of 8400 HCRN patients, 151 (1.8%) had DWSH. Among these, the 102 patients who underwent shunt placement (79 VPSs, 16 CPSs, 3 other, and 4 multiple proximal catheter) were younger (6.6 vs 18.8 months, p < 0.001) and more frequently had 1 or more comorbidities (37.3% vs 14.3%, p = 0.005) than the 49 ETV-treated children (28 ETV-CPC). Fifty percent of the shunt-based and 51% of the ETV-based treatments failed. Notably, 100% (4/4) of the dual-compartment shunts failed. Adjusting for age, baseline ventricular size, and comorbidities, ETV-based treatment was not significantly associated with earlier failure compared with shunt-based treatment (HR for failure 1.32, 95% CI 0.77-2.26; p = 0.321). Complication rates were low: 4.9% and 6.1% (p = 0.715) for shunt- and ETV-based procedures, respectively. There was no difference in survival between ETV-CPC- and ETV-based treatment when adjusting for age (HR for failure 0.86, 95% CI 0.29-2.55, p = 0.783).

Conclusions: In this North American, multicenter, prospective database review, shunt-based and ETV-based primary treatment strategies of DWSH appear similarly durable. Pediatric neurosurgeons can reasonably consider ETV-based initial treatment given the similar durability and the low complication rate. However, given the observational nature of this study, the treating surgeon might need to consider subgroups that were too small for a separate analysis. Very young children with comorbidities were more commonly treated with shunts, and older children with fewer comorbidities were offered ETV-based treatment. Future studies may determine preoperative characteristics associated with ETV treatment success in this population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.11.PEDS20806DOI Listing
April 2021

Immune activation during brain infection in African infants with frequent cytomegalovirus co-infection.

iScience 2021 Apr 23;24(4):102351. Epub 2021 Mar 23.

Center for Neural Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA 16801, USA.

Inflammation during neonatal brain infections leads to significant secondary sequelae such as hydrocephalus, which often follows neonatal sepsis in the developing world. In 100 African hydrocephalic infants we identified the biological pathways that account for this response. The dominant bacterial pathogen was a species, with frequent cytomegalovirus co-infection. A proteogenomic strategy was employed to confirm host immune response to and to define the interplay within the host immune response network. Immune activation emphasized neuroinflammation, oxidative stress reaction, and extracellular matrix organization. The innate immune system response included neutrophil activity, signaling via IL-4, IL-12, IL-13, interferon, and Jak/STAT pathways. Platelet-activating factors and factors involved with microbe recognition such as Class I MHC antigen-presenting complex were also increased. Evidence suggests that dysregulated neuroinflammation propagates inflammatory hydrocephalus, and these pathways are potential targets for adjunctive treatments to reduce the hazards of neuroinflammation and risk of hydrocephalus following neonatal sepsis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2021.102351DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8065213PMC
April 2021

Outcomes for various dural graft materials after posterior fossa decompression with duraplasty for Chiari malformation type I: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

J Neurosurg 2021 Apr 9:1-14. Epub 2021 Apr 9.

Departments of1Neurological Surgery and.

Objective: Posterior fossa decompression with duraplasty (PFDD) is often used for Chiari malformation type I (CM-I), but outcomes associated with different dural graft materials are not well characterized. In this meta-analysis, the authors examined complication rates and outcomes after PFDD for CM-I for autografts and four types of nonautologous grafts.

Methods: A literature search of numerous electronic databases (Ovid Medline, Embase, Scopus, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, Health Technology Assessment Database, NHS Economic Evaluation Database, and ClinicalTrials.gov) was performed to identify articles detailing complications for dural graft materials after PFDD. Whenever available, data were also extracted regarding the need for revision surgery, symptom changes after PFDD, and syrinx size changes after PFDD. All searches were compliant with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA), Institute of Medicine, Standards for Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions, and Peer Review of Electronic Search Strategies guidelines. There were no exclusion criteria based on patient age or presence or absence of syringomyelia.

Results: The current evidence surrounding outcomes for various dural graft materials was found to be of low or very low quality. Twenty-seven studies were included, encompassing 1461 patients. Five types of dural graft materials were included: autograft (n = 404, 27.6%), synthetic (n = 272, 18.6%), bovine pericardium (n = 181, 12.4%), collagen-based (n = 397, 27.2%), and allograft (n = 207, 14.2%). Autograft was associated with a significantly lower rate of pseudomeningocele compared to collagen-based grafts, allografts, and nonautologous grafts in aggregate. Autograft was also associated with the lowest rates of aseptic meningitis, infectious meningitis, and need for revision PFDD, though these associations did not reach statistical significance. No other graft comparisons yielded significant results. Autograft and nonautologous graft materials yielded similar rates of revision surgery and produced similar improvements in postoperative symptoms and syrinx size.

Conclusions: Autograft was the dural graft material that most frequently had the lowest rate of complications and was associated with significantly lower rates of pseudomeningocele compared to collagen-based graft, allograft, and nonautologous graft materials. Autografts and nonautologous grafts yielded similar outcomes for revision surgery, symptoms, and syrinx size. Large prospective studies comparing different graft materials are needed to accurately and precisely characterize outcomes for individual graft types.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.9.JNS202641DOI Listing
April 2021

Development of best practices in the utilization and implementation of pediatric cervical spine traction: a modified Delphi study.

J Neurosurg Pediatr 2021 Apr 2:1-12. Epub 2021 Apr 2.

1Department of Neurological Surgery, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York.

Objective: Cervical traction in pediatric patients is an uncommon but invaluable technique in the management of cervical trauma and deformity. Despite its utility, little empirical evidence exists to guide its implementation, with most practitioners employing custom or modified adult protocols. Expert-based best practices may improve the care of children undergoing cervical traction. In this study, the authors aimed to build consensus and establish best practices for the use of pediatric cervical traction in order to enhance its utilization, safety, and efficacy.

Methods: A modified Delphi method was employed to try to identify areas of consensus regarding the utilization and implementation of pediatric cervical spine traction. A literature review of pediatric cervical traction was distributed electronically along with a survey of current practices to a group of 20 board-certified pediatric neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons with expertise in the pediatric cervical spine. Sixty statements were then formulated and distributed to the group. The results of the second survey were discussed during an in-person meeting leading to further consensus. Consensus was defined as ≥ 80% agreement on a 4-point Likert scale (strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree).

Results: After the initial round, consensus was achieved with 40 statements regarding the following topics: goals, indications, and contraindications of traction (12), pretraction imaging (6), practical application and initiation of various traction techniques (8), protocols in trauma and deformity patients (8), and management of traction-related complications (6). Following the second round, an additional 9 statements reached consensus related to goals/indications/contraindications of traction (4), related to initiation of traction (4), and related to complication management (1). All participants were willing to incorporate the consensus statements into their practice.

Conclusions: In an attempt to improve and standardize the use of cervical traction in pediatric patients, the authors have identified 49 best-practice recommendations, which were generated by reaching consensus among a multidisciplinary group of pediatric spine experts using a modified Delphi technique. Further study is required to determine if implementation of these practices can lead to reduced complications and improved outcomes for children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.10.PEDS20778DOI Listing
April 2021

Hydrocephalus treatment in patients with craniosynostosis: an analysis from the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network prospective registry.

Neurosurg Focus 2021 04;50(4):E11

1Department of Neurosurgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee.

Objective: Hydrocephalus may be seen in patients with multisuture craniosynostosis and, less commonly, single-suture craniosynostosis. The optimal treatment for hydrocephalus in this population is unknown. In this study, the authors aimed to evaluate the success rate of ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS) treatment and endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) both with and without choroid plexus cauterization (CPC) in patients with craniosynostosis.

Methods: Utilizing the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network (HCRN) Core Data Project (Registry), the authors identified all patients who underwent treatment for hydrocephalus associated with craniosynostosis. Descriptive statistics, demographics, and surgical outcomes were evaluated.

Results: In total, 42 patients underwent treatment for hydrocephalus associated with craniosynostosis. The median gestational age at birth was 39.0 weeks (IQR 38.0, 40.0); 55% were female and 60% were White. The median age at first craniosynostosis surgery was 0.6 years (IQR 0.3, 1.7), and at the first permanent hydrocephalus surgery it was 1.2 years (IQR 0.5, 2.5). Thirty-three patients (79%) had multiple different sutures fused, and 9 had a single suture: 3 unicoronal (7%), 3 sagittal (7%), 2 lambdoidal (5%), and 1 unknown (2%). Syndromes were identified in 38 patients (90%), with Crouzon syndrome being the most common (n = 16, 42%). Ten patients (28%) received permanent hydrocephalus surgery before the first craniosynostosis surgery. Twenty-eight patients (67%) underwent VPS treatment, with the remaining 14 (33%) undergoing ETV with or without CPC (ETV ± CPC). Within 12 months after initial hydrocephalus intervention, 14 patients (34%) required revision (8 VPS and 6 ETV ± CPC). At the most recent follow-up, 21 patients (50%) required a revision. The revision rate decreased as age increased. The overall infection rate was 5% (VPS 7%, 0% ETV ± CPC).

Conclusions: This is the largest prospective study reported on children with craniosynostosis and hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus in children with craniosynostosis most commonly occurs in syndromic patients and multisuture fusion. It is treated at varying ages; however, most patients undergo surgery for craniosynostosis prior to hydrocephalus treatment. While VPS treatment is performed more frequently, VPS and ETV are both reasonable options, with decreasing revision rates with increasing age, for the treatment of hydrocephalus associated with craniosynostosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2021.1.FOCUS20979DOI Listing
April 2021

Immediate Postoperative Electroencephalography Monitoring in Pediatric Moyamoya Disease and Syndrome.

Pediatr Neurol 2021 May 15;118:40-45. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

Department of Neurosurgery, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri.

Background: Moyamoya disease and syndrome are progressive steno-occlusive cerebrovascular diseases that manifest clinically with ischemic episodes. There is evidence for the use of electroencephalography (EEG) in preoperative and long-term postoperative evaluation of these patients, as well as in the intraoperative period to monitor for changes correlated with perioperative ischemic events. However, the utility of EEG in the immediate postprocedure time period has not previously been described.

Methods: We review six patients who underwent pial synangiosis from 2017 to 2019. EEGs from the preoperative, intraoperative, and immediate postoperative period were evaluated, as well as clinical examination changes and subsequent interventions.

Results: Six patients with postoperative EEG monitoring following pial synangiosis were included. EEG data was collected preoperatively, intraoperatively, and continuously postoperatively. Preoperatively, five of six patients had normal background activity on EEG, whereas one of six had hemispheric asymmetry. Three patients had new or worsening hemispheric intracerebral asymmetry on EEG during the immediate postsurgical period. Two of these had no clinical manifestations of ischemia, and one had transient left facial weakness. All three underwent blood pressure augmentation with improvement in the asymmetry on EEG and clinical improvement in the symptomatic patient.

Conclusions: Although widely accepted as a useful tool during the preoperative and intraoperative periods of evaluation and management of moyamoya disease and syndrome, we propose that the use of continuous EEG in the immediate postoperative period may have potential as a useful adjunct by both detecting early clinical and subclinical intracranial ischemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2021.02.004DOI Listing
May 2021

Cerebrospinal fluid NCAM-1 concentration is associated with neurodevelopmental outcome in post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus of prematurity.

PLoS One 2021 10;16(3):e0247749. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

Department of Neurosurgery, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, United States of America.

Objective: Efforts directed at mitigating neurological disability in preterm infants with intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) and post hemorrhagic hydrocephalus (PHH) are limited by a dearth of quantifiable metrics capable of predicting long-term outcome. The objective of this study was to examine the relationships between candidate cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers of PHH and neurodevelopmental outcomes in infants undergoing neurosurgical treatment for PHH.

Study Design: Preterm infants with PHH were enrolled across the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network. CSF samples were collected at the time of temporizing neurosurgical procedure (n = 98). Amyloid precursor protein (APP), L1CAM, NCAM-1, and total protein (TP) were compared in PHH versus control CSF. Fifty-four of these PHH subjects underwent Bayley Scales of Infant Development-III (Bayley-III) testing at 15-30 months corrected age. Controlling for false discovery rate (FDR) and adjusting for post-menstrual age (PMA) and IVH grade, Pearson's partial correlation coefficients were used to examine relationships between CSF proteins and Bayley-III composite cognitive, language, and motor scores.

Results: CSF APP, L1CAM, NCAM-1, and TP were elevated in PHH over control at temporizing surgery. CSF NCAM-1 was associated with Bayley-III motor score (R = -0.422, p = 0.007, FDR Q = 0.089), with modest relationships noted with cognition (R = -0.335, p = 0.030, FDR Q = 0.182) and language (R = -0.314, p = 0.048, FDR Q = 0.194) scores. No relationships were observed between CSF APP, L1CAM, or TP and Bayley-III scores. FOHR at the time of temporization did not correlate with Bayley-III scores, though trends were observed with Bayley-III motor (p = 0.0647 and R = -0.2912) and cognitive scores (p = 0.0506 and R = -0.2966).

Conclusion: CSF NCAM-1 was associated with neurodevelopment in this multi-institutional PHH cohort. This is the first report relating a specific CSF protein, NCAM-1, to neurodevelopment in PHH. Future work will further investigate a possible role for NCAM-1 as a biomarker of PHH-associated neurological disability.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0247749PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7946285PMC
March 2021

Dural augmentation approaches and complication rates after posterior fossa decompression for Chiari I malformation and syringomyelia: a Park-Reeves Syringomyelia Research Consortium study.

J Neurosurg Pediatr 2021 Feb 12:1-10. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

3Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, University of Alabama at Birmingham, AL.

Objective: Posterior fossa decompression with duraplasty (PFDD) is commonly performed for Chiari I malformation (CM-I) with syringomyelia (SM). However, complication rates associated with various dural graft types are not well established. The objective of this study was to elucidate complication rates within 6 months of surgery among autograft and commonly used nonautologous grafts for pediatric patients who underwent PFDD for CM-I/SM.

Methods: The Park-Reeves Syringomyelia Research Consortium database was queried for pediatric patients who had undergone PFDD for CM-I with SM. All patients had tonsillar ectopia ≥ 5 mm, syrinx diameter ≥ 3 mm, and ≥ 6 months of postoperative follow-up after PFDD. Complications (e.g., pseudomeningocele, CSF leak, meningitis, and hydrocephalus) and postoperative changes in syrinx size, headaches, and neck pain were compared for autograft versus nonautologous graft.

Results: A total of 781 PFDD cases were analyzed (359 autograft, 422 nonautologous graft). Nonautologous grafts included bovine pericardium (n = 63), bovine collagen (n = 225), synthetic (n = 99), and human cadaveric allograft (n = 35). Autograft (103/359, 28.7%) had a similar overall complication rate compared to nonautologous graft (143/422, 33.9%) (p = 0.12). However, nonautologous graft was associated with significantly higher rates of pseudomeningocele (p = 0.04) and meningitis (p < 0.001). The higher rate of meningitis was influenced particularly by the higher rate of chemical meningitis (p = 0.002) versus infectious meningitis (p = 0.132). Among 4 types of nonautologous grafts, there were differences in complication rates (p = 0.02), including chemical meningitis (p = 0.01) and postoperative nausea/vomiting (p = 0.03). Allograft demonstrated the lowest complication rates overall (14.3%) and yielded significantly fewer complications compared to bovine collagen (p = 0.02) and synthetic (p = 0.003) grafts. Synthetic graft yielded higher complication rates than autograft (p = 0.01). Autograft and nonautologous graft resulted in equal improvements in syrinx size (p < 0.0001). No differences were found for postoperative changes in headaches or neck pain.

Conclusions: In the largest multicenter cohort to date, complication rates for dural autograft and nonautologous graft are similar after PFDD for CM-I/SM, although nonautologous graft results in higher rates of pseudomeningocele and meningitis. Rates of meningitis differ among nonautologous graft types. Autograft and nonautologous graft are equivalent for reducing syrinx size, headaches, and neck pain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.8.PEDS2087DOI Listing
February 2021

Cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers of neuroinflammation in children with hydrocephalus and shunt malfunction.

Fluids Barriers CNS 2021 Jan 29;18(1). Epub 2021 Jan 29.

Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, and Department of Pediatrics, Department of Neurosurgery, Washington University in St. Louis, 425 S. Euclid, St. Louis, MO, 63110, USA.

Background: Approximately 30% of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunt systems for hydrocephalus fail within the first year and 98% of all patients will have shunt failure in their lifetime. Obstruction remains the most common reason for shunt failure. Previous evidence suggests elevated pro-inflammatory cytokines in CSF are associated with worsening clinical outcomes in neuroinflammatory diseases. The aim of this study was to determine whether cytokines and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) contribute towards shunt failure in hydrocephalus.

Methods: Using multiplex ELISA, this study examined shunt failure through the CSF protein concentration profiles of select pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines, as well as select MMPs. Interdependencies such as the past number of previous revisions, length of time implanted, patient age, and obstruction or non-obstruction revision were examined. The pro-inflammatory cytokines were IL-1β, IL-2, IL-5, IL-6, IL-8, IL-12, IL-17, TNF-α, GM-CSF, IFN-γ. The anti-inflammatory cytokines were IL-4 and IL-10, and the MMPs were MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-7, MMP-9. Protein concentration is reported as pg/mL for each analyte.

Results: Patient CSF was obtained at the time of shunt revision operation; all pediatric (< 18), totaling n = 38. IL-10, IL-6, IL-8 and MMP-7 demonstrated significantly increased concentrations in patient CSF for the non-obstructed subgroup. Etiological examination revealed IL-6 was increased in both obstructed and non-obstructed cases for PHH and congenital hydrocephalic patients, while IL-8 was higher only in PHH patients. In terms of number of past revisions, IL-10, IL-6, IL-8, MMP-7 and MMP-9 progressively increased from zero to two past revisions and then remained low for subsequent revisions. This presentation was notably absent in the obstruction subgroup. Shunts implanted for three months or less showed significantly increased concentrations of IL-6, IL-8, and MMP-7 in the obstruction subgroup. Lastly, only patients aged six months or less presented with significantly increased concentration of IL-8 and MMP-7.

Conclusion: Non-obstructive cases are reported here to accompany significantly higher CSF cytokine and MMP protein levels compared to obstructive cases for IL-10, IL-6, IL-8, MMP-7 and MMP-9. A closer examination of the definition of obstruction and the role neuroinflammation plays in creating shunt obstruction in hydrocephalic patients is suggested.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12987-021-00237-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7845119PMC
January 2021

Rare and de novo coding variants in chromodomain genes in Chiari I malformation.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 01 21;108(1):100-114. Epub 2020 Dec 21.

Department of Pediatrics, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA; Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA; Department of Neurology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.

Chiari I malformation (CM1), the displacement of the cerebellum through the foramen magnum into the spinal canal, is one of the most common pediatric neurological conditions. Individuals with CM1 can present with neurological symptoms, including severe headaches and sensory or motor deficits, often as a consequence of brainstem compression or syringomyelia (SM). We conducted whole-exome sequencing (WES) on 668 CM1 probands and 232 family members and performed gene-burden and de novo enrichment analyses. A significant enrichment of rare and de novo non-synonymous variants in chromodomain (CHD) genes was observed among individuals with CM1 (combined p = 2.4 × 10), including 3 de novo loss-of-function variants in CHD8 (LOF enrichment p = 1.9 × 10) and a significant burden of rare transmitted variants in CHD3 (p = 1.8 × 10). Overall, individuals with CM1 were found to have significantly increased head circumference (p = 2.6 × 10), with many harboring CHD rare variants having macrocephaly. Finally, haploinsufficiency for chd8 in zebrafish led to macrocephaly and posterior hindbrain displacement reminiscent of CM1. These results implicate chromodomain genes and excessive brain growth in CM1 pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.12.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7820723PMC
January 2021

Temporal trends in surgical procedures for pediatric hydrocephalus: an analysis of the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network Core Data Project.

J Neurosurg Pediatr 2020 Dec 18:1-8. Epub 2020 Dec 18.

9Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Alberta Children's Hospital, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Objective: Analysis of temporal trends in patient populations and procedure types may provide important information regarding the evolution of hydrocephalus treatment. The purpose of this study was to use the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network's Core Data Project to identify meaningful trends in patient characteristics and the surgical management of pediatric hydrocephalus over a 9-year period.

Methods: The Core Data Project prospectively collected patient and procedural data on the study cohort from 9 centers between 2008 and 2016. Logistic and Poisson regression were used to test for significant temporal trends in patient characteristics and new and revision hydrocephalus procedures.

Results: The authors analyzed 10,149 procedures in 5541 patients. New procedures for hydrocephalus (shunt or endoscopic third ventriculostomy [ETV]) decreased by 1.5%/year (95% CI -3.1%, +0.1%). During the study period, new shunt insertions decreased by 6.5%/year (95% CI -8.3%, -4.6%), whereas new ETV procedures increased by 12.5%/year (95% CI 9.3%, 15.7%). Revision procedures for hydrocephalus (shunt or ETV) decreased by 4.2%/year (95% CI -5.2%, -3.1%), driven largely by a decrease of 5.7%/year in shunt revisions (95% CI -6.8%, -4.6%). Concomitant with the observed increase in new ETV procedures was an increase in ETV revisions (13.4%/year, 95% CI 9.6%, 17.2%). Because revisions decreased at a faster rate than new procedures, the Revision Quotient (ratio of revisions to new procedures) for the Network decreased significantly over the study period (p = 0.0363). No temporal change was observed in the age or etiology characteristics of the cohort, although the proportion of patients with one or more complex chronic conditions significantly increased over time (p = 0.0007).

Conclusions: Over a relatively short period, important changes in hydrocephalus care have been observed. A significant temporal decrease in revision procedures amid the backdrop of a more modest change in new procedures appears to be the most notable finding and may be indicative of an improvement in the quality of surgical care for pediatric hydrocephalus. Further studies will be directed at elucidation of the possible drivers of the observed trends.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.7.PEDS20142DOI Listing
December 2020

Predictors of fast and ultrafast shunt failure in pediatric hydrocephalus: a Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network study.

J Neurosurg Pediatr 2020 Dec 18:1-10. Epub 2020 Dec 18.

2Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Department of Neurosurgery, Primary Children's Medical Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Objective: The primary objective of this study was to use the prospective Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network (HCRN) registry to determine clinical predictors of fast time to shunt failure (≤ 30 days from last revision) and ultrafast time to failure (≤ 7 days from last revision).

Methods: Revisions (including those due to infection) to permanent shunt placements that occurred between April 2008 and November 2017 for patients whose entire shunt experience was recorded in the registry were analyzed. All registry data provided at the time of initial shunt placement and subsequent revision were reviewed. Key variables analyzed included etiology of hydrocephalus, age at time of initial shunt placement, presence of slit ventricles on imaging at revision, whether the ventricles were enlarged at the time of revision, and presence of prior fast failure events. Univariable and multivariable analyses were performed to find key predictors of fast and ultrafast failure events.

Results: A cohort of 1030 patients with initial shunt insertions experienced a total of 1995 revisions. Of the 1978 revision events with complete records, 1216 (61.5%) shunts remained functional for more than 1 year, and 762 (38.5%) failed within 1 year of the procedure date. Of those that failed within 1 year, 423 (55.5%) failed slowly (31-365 days) and 339 (44.5%) failed fast (≤ 30 days). Of the fast failures, 131 (38.6%) were ultrafast (≤ 7 days). In the multivariable analysis specified a priori, etiology of hydrocephalus (p = 0.005) and previous failure history (p = 0.011) were independently associated with fast failure. Age at time of procedure (p = 0.042) and etiology of hydrocephalus (p = 0.004) were independently associated with ultrafast failure. These relationships in both a priori models were supported by the data-driven multivariable models as well.

Conclusions: Neither the presence of slit ventricle syndrome nor ventricular enlargement at the time of shunt failure appears to be a significant predictor of repeated, rapid shunt revisions. Age at the time of procedure, etiology of hydrocephalus, and the history of previous failure events seem to be important predictors of fast and ultrafast shunt failure. Further work is required to understand the mechanisms of these risk factors as well as mitigation strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.7.PEDS20111DOI Listing
December 2020

Occipital-Cervical Fusion and Ventral Decompression in the Surgical Management of Chiari-1 Malformation and Syringomyelia: Analysis of Data From the Park-Reeves Syringomyelia Research Consortium.

Neurosurgery 2021 01;88(2):332-341

Department of Neurosurgery, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Background: Occipital-cervical fusion (OCF) and ventral decompression (VD) may be used in the treatment of pediatric Chiari-1 malformation (CM-1) with syringomyelia (SM) as adjuncts to posterior fossa decompression (PFD) for complex craniovertebral junction pathology.

Objective: To examine factors influencing the use of OCF and OCF/VD in a multicenter cohort of pediatric CM-1 and SM subjects treated with PFD.

Methods: The Park-Reeves Syringomyelia Research Consortium registry was used to examine 637 subjects with cerebellar tonsillar ectopia ≥ 5 mm, syrinx diameter ≥ 3 mm, and at least 1 yr of follow-up after their index PFD. Comparisons were made between subjects who received PFD alone and those with PFD + OCF or PFD + OCF/VD.

Results: All 637 patients underwent PFD, 505 (79.2%) with and 132 (20.8%) without duraplasty. A total of 12 subjects went on to have OCF at some point in their management (PFD + OCF), whereas 4 had OCF and VD (PFD + OCF/VD). Of those with complete data, a history of platybasia (3/10, P = .011), Klippel-Feil (2/10, P = .015), and basilar invagination (3/12, P < .001) were increased within the OCF group, whereas only basilar invagination (1/4, P < .001) was increased in the OCF/VD group. Clivo-axial angle (CXA) was significantly lower for both OCF (128.8 ± 15.3°, P = .008) and OCF/VD (115.0 ± 11.6°, P = .025) groups when compared to PFD-only group (145.3 ± 12.7°). pB-C2 did not differ among groups.

Conclusion: Although PFD alone is adequate for treating the vast majority of CM-1/SM patients, OCF or OCF/VD may be occasionally utilized. Cranial base and spine pathologies and CXA may provide insight into the need for OCF and/or OCF/VD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyaa460DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7803430PMC
January 2021

Tract-Specific Relationships Between Cerebrospinal Fluid Biomarkers and Periventricular White Matter in Posthemorrhagic Hydrocephalus of Prematurity.

Neurosurgery 2021 02;88(3):698-706

Department of Neurological Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri.

Background: Posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus (PHH) is associated with neurological morbidity and complex neurosurgical care. Improved tools are needed to optimize treatments and to investigate the developmental sequelae of PHH.

Objective: To examine the relationship between diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers of PHH.

Methods: A total of 14 preterm (PT) infants with PHH and 46 controls were included. PT CSF was collected at temporizing surgery in PHH infants (PHH PT CSF) or lumbar puncture in controls. Term-equivalent age (TEA) CSF was acquired via implanted device or at permanent CSF diversion surgery in PHH (PHH-TEA-CSF) or lumbar puncture in controls. TEA dMRI scans were used to measure fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) in the genu of corpus callosum (gCC), posterior limb of internal capsule (PLIC), and optic radiations (OPRA). Associations between dMRI measures and CSF amyloid precursor protein (APP), neural cell adhesion-1 (NCAM-1), and L1 cell adhesion molecule (L1CAM) were assessed using Pearson correlations.

Results: APP, NCAM-1, and L1CAM were elevated over controls in PHH-PT-CSF and PHH-TEA-CSF. dMRI FA and MD differed between control and PHH infants across all tracts. PHH-PT-CSF APP levels correlated with gCC and OPRA FA and PLIC MD, while L1CAM correlated with gCC and OPRA FA. In PHH-TEA-CSF, only L1CAM correlated with OPRA MD.

Conclusion: Tract-specific associations were observed between dMRI and CSF biomarkers at the initiation of PHH treatment. dMRI and CSF biomarker analyses provide innovative complementary methods for examining PHH-related white matter injury and associated developmental sequelae.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyaa466DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7884147PMC
February 2021

Exome sequencing implicates genetic disruption of prenatal neuro-gliogenesis in sporadic congenital hydrocephalus.

Nat Med 2020 11 19;26(11):1754-1765. Epub 2020 Oct 19.

Departments of Neurosurgery, Engineering Science & Mechanics, and Physics; Center for Neural Engineering and Infectious Disease Dynamics, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA.

Congenital hydrocephalus (CH), characterized by enlarged brain ventricles, is considered a disease of excessive cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) accumulation and thereby treated with neurosurgical CSF diversion with high morbidity and failure rates. The poor neurodevelopmental outcomes and persistence of ventriculomegaly in some post-surgical patients highlight our limited knowledge of disease mechanisms. Through whole-exome sequencing of 381 patients (232 trios) with sporadic, neurosurgically treated CH, we found that damaging de novo mutations account for >17% of cases, with five different genes exhibiting a significant de novo mutation burden. In all, rare, damaging mutations with large effect contributed to ~22% of sporadic CH cases. Multiple CH genes are key regulators of neural stem cell biology and converge in human transcriptional networks and cell types pertinent for fetal neuro-gliogenesis. These data implicate genetic disruption of early brain development, not impaired CSF dynamics, as the primary pathomechanism of a significant number of patients with sporadic CH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-020-1090-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7871900PMC
November 2020

Robust deep learning classification of adamantinomatous craniopharyngioma from limited preoperative radiographic images.

Sci Rep 2020 10 9;10(1):16885. Epub 2020 Oct 9.

Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora, 80045, USA.

Deep learning (DL) is a widely applied mathematical modeling technique. Classically, DL models utilize large volumes of training data, which are not available in many healthcare contexts. For patients with brain tumors, non-invasive diagnosis would represent a substantial clinical advance, potentially sparing patients from the risks associated with surgical intervention on the brain. Such an approach will depend upon highly accurate models built using the limited datasets that are available. Herein, we present a novel genetic algorithm (GA) that identifies optimal architecture parameters using feature embeddings from state-of-the-art image classification networks to identify the pediatric brain tumor, adamantinomatous craniopharyngioma (ACP). We optimized classification models for preoperative Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and combined CT and MRI datasets with demonstrated test accuracies of 85.3%, 83.3%, and 87.8%, respectively. Notably, our GA improved baseline model performance by up to 38%. This work advances DL and its applications within healthcare by identifying optimized networks in small-scale data contexts. The proposed system is easily implementable and scalable for non-invasive computer-aided diagnosis, even for uncommon diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-73278-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7547020PMC
October 2020

infection with frequent viral coinfection contributes to postinfectious hydrocephalus in Ugandan infants.

Sci Transl Med 2020 09;12(563)

Institute for Translational Medicine, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, L12 2AP, UK.

Postinfectious hydrocephalus (PIH), which often follows neonatal sepsis, is the most common cause of pediatric hydrocephalus worldwide, yet the microbial pathogens underlying this disease remain to be elucidated. Characterization of the microbial agents causing PIH would enable a shift from surgical palliation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) accumulation to prevention of the disease. Here, we examined blood and CSF samples collected from 100 consecutive infant cases of PIH and control cases comprising infants with non-postinfectious hydrocephalus in Uganda. Genomic sequencing of samples was undertaken to test for bacterial, fungal, and parasitic DNA; DNA and RNA sequencing was used to identify viruses; and bacterial culture recovery was used to identify potential causative organisms. We found that infection with the bacterium , together with frequent cytomegalovirus (CMV) coinfection, was associated with PIH in our infant cohort. Assembly of the genome of a facultative anaerobic bacterial isolate recovered from cultures of CSF samples from PIH cases identified a strain of This strain, designated Mbale, was lethal when injected into mice in contrast to the benign reference strain. These findings show that an unbiased pan-microbial approach enabled characterization of in CSF samples from PIH cases, and point toward a pathway of more optimal treatment and prevention for PIH and other proximate neonatal infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.aba0565DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7774825PMC
September 2020

Semi-automated segmentation of the lateral periventricular regions using diffusion magnetic resonance imaging.

MethodsX 2020 20;7:101023. Epub 2020 Aug 20.

Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA.

The lateral ventricular perimeter (LVP) of the brain is a critical region because in addition to housing neural stem cells required for brain development, it facilitates cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) bulk flow and functions as a blood-CSF barrier to protect periventricular white matter (PVWM) and other adjacent regions from injurious toxins. LVP injury is common, particularly among preterm infants who sustain intraventricular hemorrhage or post hemorrhagic hydrocephalus and has been associated with poor neurological outcomes. Assessment of the LVP with diffusion MRI has been challenging, primarily due to issues with partial volume artifacts since the LVP region is in close proximity to CSF and other structures of varying signal intensities that may be inadvertently included in LVP segmentation. This research method presents:•A novel MATLAB-based method to segment a homogenous LVP layer using high spatial resolution parameters (voxel size 1.2 × 1.2 × 1.2 mm) to only capture the innermost layer of the LVP.•The segmented LVP is averaged from three contiguous axial slices to increase signal to noise ratio and reduce the effect of any residual volume averaging effect and eliminates manual and inter/intrarater-related errors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mex.2020.101023DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7492999PMC
August 2020

Use of fast-sequence spine MRI in pediatric patients.

J Neurosurg Pediatr 2020 Sep 18:1-6. Epub 2020 Sep 18.

1Department of Neurological Surgery and.

Objective: The immediate and long-term risk of anesthesia in the pediatric population is controversial. Traditional spine MRI protocols require the patient to remain still during the examination, and in young children this frequently results in the need for sedation administration. The authors' goal was to develop an abbreviated spine MRI protocol to reduce sedation administration in young patients undergoing spine MRI.

Methods: After IRB approval, the medical records of all pediatric patients who underwent a fast spine MRI protocol between 2017 and 2019 were reviewed. The protocol consisted of T2-weighted half-Fourier acquisition single-shot turbo spin echo, T1-weighted turbo spin echo, and T2-weighted STIR sequences acquired in the sagittal plane. The total acquisition time was 2 minutes with no single sequence acquisition longer than 60 seconds. Interpretability of the scans was assessed in accordance with the radiology report in conjunction with the neurosurgeon's clinical notes.

Results: A total of 47 fast spine MRI sessions were performed in 45 patients. The median age at the time of the MRI was 2.4 years (25th-75th quartile, 1.1-4.3 years; range 0.16-18.58 years). The most common indication for imaging was to rule out or follow a known syrinx (n = 30), followed by the need to rule out or follow known spinal dysraphism (n = 22). There were no uninterpretable or unusable scans. Eight of 47 scans were noted to have moderate motion artifact limitations with respect to the quality of the scan. Seven patients underwent a subsequent MRI with a sedated standard spine protocol within 1 year from the fast scan, which confirmed the findings on the fast MRI protocol with no new findings identified.

Conclusions: The authors report the first pediatric series of a fast spine MRI protocol for use in young patients. The protocol does not require sedation and is able to identify and monitor syrinx, spinal dysraphism, and potentially other intraspinal anomalies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.5.PEDS20137DOI Listing
September 2020

Using Histopathology to Assess the Reliability of Intraoperative Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Guiding Additional Brain Tumor Resection: A Multicenter Study.

Neurosurgery 2020 12;88(1):E49-E59

Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri.

Background: Intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (iMRI) is a powerful tool for guiding brain tumor resections, provided that it accurately discerns residual tumor.

Objective: To use histopathology to assess how reliably iMRI may discern additional tumor for a variety of tumor types, independent of the indications for iMRI.

Methods: A multicenter database was used to calculate the odds of additional resection during the same surgical session for grade I to IV gliomas and pituitary adenomas. The reliability of iMRI for identifying residual tumor was assessed using histopathology of tissue resected after iMRI.

Results: Gliomas (904/1517 cases, 59.6%) were more likely than pituitary adenomas (176/515, 34.2%) to receive additional resection after iMRI (P < .001), but these tumors were equally likely to have additional tissue sent for histopathology (398/904, 44.4% vs 66/176, 37.5%; P = .11). Tissue samples were available for resections after iMRI for 464 cases, with 415 (89.4%) positive for tumor. Additional resections after iMRI for gliomas (361/398, 90.7%) were more likely to yield additional tumor compared to pituitary adenomas (54/66, 81.8%) (P = .03). There were no significant differences in resection after iMRI yielding histopathologically positive tumor between grade I (58/65 cases, 89.2%; referent), grade II (82/92, 89.1%) (P = .98), grade III (72/81, 88.9%) (P = .95), or grade IV gliomas (149/160, 93.1%) (P = .33). Additional resection for previously resected tumors (122/135 cases, 90.4%) was equally likely to yield histopathologically confirmed tumor compared to newly-diagnosed tumors (293/329, 89.0%) (P = .83).

Conclusion: Histopathological analysis of tissue resected after use of iMRI for grade I to IV gliomas and pituitary adenomas demonstrates that iMRI is highly reliable for identifying residual tumor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyaa338DOI Listing
December 2020