Occipital remodeling and suboccipital decompression in severe craniosynostosis associated with tonsillar herniation.
Cinalli G. Chumas P. Arnaud E. Sainte-Rose C. Renier D.
Department of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Hopital Necker-Enfants Malades, Universite Rene Descartes-Paris V, France.
OBJECTIVE: The goal was to describe a surgical technique allowing occipital vault remodeling and suboccipital decompression in patients affected by multiple-suture synostosis presenting severe occipital flattening and chronic tonsillar herniation (CTH). METHODS: Four patients (two with Crouzon's syndrome, one with Kleeblattschadel, and one with complex craniosynostosis) presenting multiple-suture synostosis with severe occipital flattening, posterior fingerprint impressions, and CTH were operated on in the prone position. For three patients, occipital vault remodeling and suboccipital decompression without dural opening were performed; for one patient affected by Kleeblattschadel, an upper cervical laminectomy and dural opening were performed. All patients were studied with magnetic resonance imaging pre- and postoperatively. RESULTS: No complications were observed. In all cases, postoperative magnetic resonance imaging revealed good decompression of the craniocervical junction, with resolution of brain stem displacement. In one case, CTH recurred 15 months after surgery, although in a less severe form. CONCLUSION: In selected cases of complex or syndromic craniosynostosis with predominant posterior deformity and CTH, this technique was safe and useful in the management of cranial reconstruction, allowing posterior vault remodeling and prophylactic suboccipital decompression. After validation with a larger number of patients, it could prove to be a useful option in all cases of complex craniosynostosis with CTH in which a staged repair of the craniosynostosis is to be considered.
Shunt-related abdominal metastasis of cerebral teratocarcinoma: report of an unusual case and review of the literature.
Rickert CH. Reznik M. Lenelle J. Rinaldi P.
Institute of Neuropathology, Westfalische Wilhelms-Universitat, Munster, Germany.
OBJECTIVE AND IMPORTANCE: Internal drainage of cerebrospinal fluid to the abdominal cavity via a ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS) is a common procedure for therapy of obstructive hydrocephalus; because this condition is often caused by brain tumors blocking the natural cerebrospinal fluid pathways, the VPS as an artificial anastomosis can provide the means for the spreading of tumor cells by the cerebrospinal fluid. We report the case of a VPS-related abdominal metastasis of a teratocarcinoma and review the pertaining literature. CLINICAL PRESENTATION AND INTERVENTION: A 24-year-old man with a history of three brain tumors that were operated on when the patient was 14, 21, and 23 years of age developed an acute ileus 7 months after VPS insertion for cerebral teratocarcinoma. Intraoperatively, a massive abdominal tumor was observed, which turned out to be a peritoneal metastasis of the aforesaid brain tumor. The patient died as a result of his illness 1 month later. RESULTS: To date, 58 VPS-related metastases of brain tumors have been described. The male-to-female ratio is 1.6:1, the mean age at shunt insertion is 12.2 years, and the interval between shunt operation and diagnosis of metastases is 16.8 months. During the observation time, 69.2% of the patients died as a result of their illness or abdominal metastases. The most common sources of the metastases were germinomas (27.7%), medulloblastomas (19.1%), and endodermal sinus tumors (10.3%). CONCLUSION: The presented case is only the second VPS-related abdominal spreading of a cerebral teratocarcinoma. Metastases via VPS are rare but should be considered as a possible complication and mode of systemic spread in patients with primary intracranial malignancy.
Spinal cord compression by catheter granulomas in high-dose intrathecal morphine therapy: case report.
Cabbell KL. Taren JA. Sagher O.
Department of Surgery, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor 48109-0338, USA.
OBJECTIVE AND IMPORTANCE: The use of chronic intrathecal morphine for the treatment of intractable, nonmalignant pain is becoming more prevalent. A rare but devastating complication of this therapy is the development of spinal cord compression secondary to the formation of intrathecal granulomas. CLINICAL PRESENTATION: We report three cases of intrathecal granuloma formation in the thoracic subarachnoid space, associated with intrathecal morphine pumps. These three patients were receiving high doses of morphine to control their pain (25 mg/d, 28 mg/d, and 45 mg/d, respectively) when they presented with signs and symptoms of thoracic spinal cord compression. Myelography and postmyelographic computed tomography of the spine revealed masses causing spinal cord compression. INTERVENTION: Two patients underwent thoracic laminectomies for resection of these masses, and the other patient had the intrathecal catheter removed. A pathological examination revealed sterile granulomas in the resected masses. CONCLUSION: Intrathecal granulomas are likely to occur with increasing frequency as the use of chronic intrathecal morphine delivery increases in patients with nonmalignant pain. The cause of intrathecal granulomas is unknown, although it is likely that morphine plays a major role in their formation. We think that those patients receiving high doses of morphine are at greater risk for developing this complication.