Publications by authors named "Stephanie A Holowka"

3 Publications

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Easing anxiety in preparation for pediatric magnetic resonance imaging: a pilot study using animal-assisted therapy.

Pediatr Radiol 2019 07 27;49(8):1000-1009. Epub 2019 Apr 27.

Department of Diagnostic Imaging, The Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Ave., Toronto, ON, M5G 1X8, Canada.

Background: Children undergoing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can experience negative emotions both before and during their scan, causing them to move and often necessitating the use of procedural sedation. Several strategies to improve patient compliance have been attempted.

Objective: This study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of a non-pharmacological intervention to reduce anxiety in pediatric patients preparing for MRI using animal-assisted therapy.

Materials And Methods: An animal intervention pilot study was performed in patients who agreed in advance to interact with a dog. Patients and caregivers filled out questionnaires, including questions designed to capture changes in patient emotion before and after the intervention. MRI diagnostic quality was compared to age- and gender-matched control groups with and without general anesthesia.

Results: The intervention in 21 patients comparing pre- and post-scan surveys demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in patient anxiety levels (P<0.01). Diagnostic MRI scans were achieved in 19/21 (90%), with no significant difference in exam quality or times compared against control groups. The majority of caregivers and staff members agreed strongly that patients benefited from the therapy dog's presence.

Conclusion: The use of animal-assisted therapy in a pilot group in our MRI division resulted in a beneficial effect on patients' emotional status, easing anxiety in preparation for scheduled scans, without impacting MRI quality or duration. Further randomized studies will be needed to demonstrate its significance in reducing sedation rates in children undergoing MRI.
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July 2019

Remote MEG dipoles in focal cortical dysplasia at bottom of sulcus.

Epilepsia 2016 07 2;57(7):1169-78. Epub 2016 Jun 2.

Division of Neurology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Objective: To investigate whether the magnetoencephalography (MEG) single moving dipole (SMD) method could delineate the epileptic zone of focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) at the bottom of sulcus (FCDB).

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 17 children (11 male; mean age 8.8 years, range 3-17 years) with FCD type II who underwent epilepsy surgery. We compared spatial congruence between the following: (1) MEG cluster and FCDB and (2) MEG cluster and FCD at the brain surface (FCDS). We measured the volume and depth of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-visible lesions to investigate whether they affect spatial congruence between MEG cluster and MRI-visible lesion.

Results: Eight children had FCDB and the other nine children had FCDS. The volume of MRI-visible lesions for FCDB ranged from 1,632 to 4,707 mm(3) (mean ± standard deviation [SD] 3,095 ± 1,211 mm(3) ). The depth of FCDB ranged from 19 to 33 mm (mean ± SD 26 ± 4 mm). The volume of MRI-visible lesion for FCDS ranged from 2,375 to 57,331 mm(3) (15,470 ± 18,455 mm(3) ). There was a tendency for a smaller volume of MRI-visible lesion for FCDB, relative to FCDS(p = 0.079). In FCDB, six children showed clusters of MEG dipoles and two children showed scattered MEG dipoles for interictal spikes. The spatial congruence between the MEG result and FCDB was partially overlapping in four children and discordant in another four children. In FCDS, eight children had MEG cluster and one child had MEG scatter alone. The spatial congruence between MEG result and FCDS was overlapping in eight of nine children (fully two; partially six) and discordant in one of nine children. Fifteen children (88%; FCDB eight; FCDS seven) became seizure-free after resective surgery. MEG spike dipole resection ratio in the cluster ranged from 4-100% (mean 67%) in 6 FCDB and 23-99% (mean 77%) in 8 FCDS.

Significance: The SMD method may drift MEG spike dipoles for FCDB. Lesionectomy can control seizures for four of eight patients in FCDB despite the remote MEG dipoles. The FCDB or FCDS partially overlapped with MEG cluster may have an extending/invisible epileptogenic zone consecutive to the MRI-visible lesion.
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July 2016

Three-dimensionally reconstructed magnetic source imaging and neuronavigation in pediatric epilepsy: technical note.

Neurosurgery 2004 Nov;55(5):1226

Department of Diagnostic Imaging, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Objective: To determine the role of reconstructing three-dimensional magnetic source imaging (MSI) data on cortical resections for children undergoing epilepsy surgery using neuronavigation.

Methods: Magnetoencephalographic recordings were analyzed in 16 children under 18 years of age with intractable epilepsy. The data were transferred to the neuronavigation workstation for intraoperative localization of MSI spike sources in selected patients. With the aid of neuronavigation, the MSI spike sources were resected. Intraoperative electrocorticography was then used to survey the surrounding field for residual epileptiform activity.

Results: MSI spike sources were obtained in 13 of 16 patients. MSI spike sources localized the cortical and subcortical discharges before intraoperative electrocorticography in nine patients and before extraoperative subdural grid electroencephalographic monitoring in four patients. The localization of MSI spikes sources was characterized by clustered spike sources in 10 patients. By use of neuronavigation, the clustered spike sources were correlated to the interictal zone indicated by intraoperative electrocorticography in six patients and to the ictal onset zone shown on extraoperative subdural grid electroencephalography in three patients. Cortical excision of the spike cluster focus was then performed in these six patients. The technique used here to resect MSI spike source clusters that correlate with the ictal onset zone by invasive subdural grid monitoring is illustrated in one patient who underwent cortical resection for epilepsy surgery.

Conclusion: Three-dimensional reconstruction of MSI data linked to neuronavigation is a promising technique to facilitate resections around eloquent cortex in children with epilepsy.
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November 2004