Pediatric Spine Trauma: A Brief Review
Pediatric spinal trauma is a broad topic with nuances specific to each anatomic region of the spinal column. The purpose of this report is to provide a brief review highlighting the most important and common clinical issues regarding the diagnosis and management of pediatric spine trauma. Detailed descriptions of imaging findings along with specific operative and nonoperative management of each fracture and dislocation type are beyond the scope of this review.
Transcriptional analyses of adult and pediatric adamantinomatous craniopharyngioma reveals similar expression signatures regarding potential therapeutic targets
Adamantinomatous craniopharyngioma (ACP) is a biologically benign but clinically aggressive lesion that has a significant impact on quality of life. The incidence of the disease has a bimodal distribution, with peaks occurring in children and older adults. Our group previously published the results of a transcriptome analysis of pediatric ACPs that identified several genes that were consistently overexpressed relative to other pediatric brain tumors and normal tissue. We now present the results of a transcriptome analysis comparing pediatric to adult ACP to identify biological differences between these groups that may provide novel therapeutic insights or support the assertion that potential therapies identified through the study of pediatric ACP may also have a role in adult ACP. Using our compiled transcriptome dataset of 27 pediatric and 9 adult ACPs, obtained through the Advancing Treatment for Pediatric Craniopharyngioma Consortium, we interrogated potential age-related transcriptional differences using several rigorous mathematical analyses. These included: canonical differential expression analysis; divisive, agglomerative, and probabilistic based hierarchical clustering; information theory based characterizations; and the deep learning approach, HD Spot. Our work indicates that there is no therapeutically relevant difference in ACP gene expression based on age. As such, potential therapeutic targets identified in pediatric ACP are also likely to have relvance for adult patients.
High Prevalence of Gram-Negative Rod and Multi-Organism Surgical Site Infections after Pediatric Complex Tethered Spinal Cord Surgery: Preliminary Report from a Single-Center Study
BACKGROUND:Surgical site infections (SSIs) are one of the most common complications following pediatric complex tethered spinal cord release. This patient population is similar in some ways to the neuromuscular scoliosis population, in which higher-than-expected rates of gram-negative SSIs have been identified. METHODS:We conducted a single-center retrospective chart review of all patients who underwent complex tethered spinal cord release over a 10-year period between 2007 and 2017. RESULTS:A total of 69 patients were identified, with 10 documented SSIs (14%). 50% of the SSIs were polymicrobial or included at least 1 gram-negative organism. Among the organisms isolated, 3 were fully or -partially resistant to cefazolin, the most common antibiotic prophylaxis in this population. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Among children undergoing complex tethered spinal cord release, gram-negative and polymicrobial infections are a significant cause of SSIs. Although further multicenter data are needed, these findings suggest that standard antibiotic prophylaxis with cefazolin may not be sufficient.
Increased complications without neurological benefit are associated with prophylactic spinal cord untethering prior to scoliosis surgery in children with myelomeningocele
PURPOSE:Children with myelomeningocele (MMC) are at increased risk of developing neuromuscular scoliosis and spinal cord re-tethering (Childs Nerv Syst 12:748-754, 1996; Neurosurg Focus 16:2, 2004; Neurosurg Focus 29:1, 2010). Some centers perform prophylactic untethering on asymptomatic MMC patients prior to scoliosis surgery because of concern that additional traction on the cord may place the patient at greater risk of neurologic deterioration peri-operatively. However, prophylactic untethering may not be justified if it carries increased surgical risks. The purpose of this study was to determine if prophylactic untethering is necessary in asymptomatic children with MMC undergoing scoliosis surgery. METHODS:A multidisciplinary, retrospective cohort study from seven children's hospitals was performed including asymptomatic children with MMC <â€‰21Â years old, managed with or without prophylactic untethering prior to scoliosis surgery. Patients were divided into three groups for analysis: (1) untethering at the time of scoliosis surgery (concomitant untethering), (2) untethering within 3Â months of scoliosis surgery (prior untethering), and (3) no prophylactic untethering. Baseline data, intra-operative reports, and 90-day post-operative outcomes were analyzed to assess for differences in neurologic outcomes, surgical complications, and overall length of stay. RESULTS:A total of 208 patients were included for analysis (mean age 9.4Â years, 52% girls). No patient in any of the groups exhibited worsened motor or sensory function at 90Â days post-operatively. However, comparing the prophylactic untethering groups with the group that was not untethered, there was an increased risk of surgical site infection (SSI) (31.3% concomitant, 28.6% prior untethering vs. 12.3% no untethering; pâ€‰=â€‰0.0104), return to the OR (43.8% concomitant, 23.8% prior untethering vs. 17.4% no untethering; pâ€‰=â€‰0.0047), need for blood transfusion (51.6% concomitant, 57.1% prior untethering vs. 33.8% no untethering; pâ€‰=â€‰0.04), and increased mean length of stay (LOS) (13.4Â days concomitant, 10.6Â days prior untethering vs. 6.8Â days no untethering; pâ€‰<â€‰0.0001). In multivariable logistic regression analysis, prophylactic untethering was independently associated with increased adjusted relative risks of surgical site infection (aRRâ€‰=â€‰2.65, 95% CI 1.17-5.02), unplanned re-operation (aRRâ€‰=â€‰2.17, 95% CI 1.02-4.65), and any complication (aRRâ€‰=â€‰2.25, 95% CI 1.07-4.74). CONCLUSION:In this study, asymptomatic children with myelomeningocele who underwent scoliosis surgery developed no neurologic injuries regardless of prophylactic untethering. However, those who underwent prophylactic untethering were more likely to experience SSIs, return to the OR, need a blood transfusion, and have increased LOS than children not undergoing untethering. Based on these data, prophylactic untethering in asymptomatic MMC patients prior to scoliosis surgery does not provide any neurological benefit and is associated with increased surgical risks.
Assessment of craniocervical motion in Down syndrome: a pilot study of two measurement techniques
OBJECTIVE:Hypermobility of the craniocervical junction (CCJ) in patients with Down syndrome (DS) is common. Whereas atlantoaxial (C1-2) hypermobility is well characterized, occipitoatlantal (Oc-C1) laxity is recognized but poorly defined. A clear understanding of the risks associated with DS-related hypermobility is lacking. Research efforts to address the topic of axial cervical spine instability in the patient with DS require a reliable and reproducible means of assessing CCJ mobility. The authors conducted a pilot study comparing two methods of quantifying motion of the CCJ on dynamic (flexion/extension) plain radiographs: the delta-condyle-axial interval (Î”CAI) and the delta-basion-axial interval (Î”BAI) methods. METHODS:Dynamic radiographs from a cohort of 10 patients with DS were evaluated according to prescribed standards. Independent movement of Oc-C1, C1-2, and Oc-C2 was calculated. Interrater and intrarater reliability for CCJ mobility was then calculated for both techniques. RESULTS:Measurement using the Î”CAI technique had excellent fidelity with intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) of 0.77, 0.71, and 0.80 for Oc-C1, C1-2, and Oc-C2, respectively. The Î”BAI technique had lower fidelity, yielding respective ICCs of 0.61, 0.65, and 0.50. CONCLUSIONS:This pilot study suggests that Î”CAI is a superior measurement technique compared to Î”BAI and may provide reliable assessment of the mobility of the CCJ on dynamic radiographs in the pediatric patient with DS. The use of reliable and reproducible measurement techniques strengthens the validity of research derived from pooled database efforts.
Radiological and clinical predictors of scoliosis in patients with Chiari malformation type I and spinal cord syrinx from the Park-Reeves Syringomyelia Research Consortium
OBJECTIVE:Scoliosis is frequently a presenting sign of Chiari malformation type I (CM-I) with syrinx. The authors' goal was to define scoliosis in this population and describe how radiological characteristics of CM-I and syrinx relate to the presence and severity of scoliosis. METHODS:A large multicenter retrospective and prospective registry of pediatric patients with CM-I (tonsils â‰¥ 5 mm below the foramen magnum) and syrinx (â‰¥ 3 mm in axial width) was reviewed for clinical and radiological characteristics of CM-I, syrinx, and scoliosis (coronal curve â‰¥ 10Â°). RESULTS:Based on available imaging of patients with CM-I and syrinx, 260 of 825 patients (31%) had a clear diagnosis of scoliosis based on radiographs or coronal MRI. Forty-nine patients (5.9%) did not have scoliosis, and in 516 (63%) patients, a clear determination of the presence or absence of scoliosis could not be made. Comparison of patients with and those without a definite scoliosis diagnosis indicated that scoliosis was associated with wider syrinxes (8.7 vs 6.3 mm, OR 1.25, p < 0.001), longer syrinxes (10.3 vs 6.2 levels, OR 1.18, p < 0.001), syrinxes with their rostral extent located in the cervical spine (94% vs 80%, OR 3.91, p = 0.001), and holocord syrinxes (50% vs 16%, OR 5.61, p < 0.001). Multivariable regression analysis revealed syrinx length and the presence of holocord syrinx to be independent predictors of scoliosis in this patient cohort. Scoliosis was not associated with sex, age at CM-I diagnosis, tonsil position, pB-C2 distance (measured perpendicular distance from the ventral dura to a line drawn from the basion to the posterior-inferior aspect of C2), clivoaxial angle, or frontal-occipital horn ratio. Average curve magnitude was 29.9Â°, and 37.7% of patients had a left thoracic curve. Older age at CM-I or syrinx diagnosis (p < 0.0001) was associated with greater curve magnitude whereas there was no association between syrinx dimensions and curve magnitude. CONCLUSIONS:Syrinx characteristics, but not tonsil position, were related to the presence of scoliosis in patients with CM-I, and there was an independent association of syrinx length and holocord syrinx with scoliosis. Further study is needed to evaluate the nature of the relationship between syrinx and scoliosis in patients with CM-I.
Morphometric changes at the craniocervical junction during childhood
OBJECTIVE:Current understanding of how the pediatric craniocervical junction develops remains incomplete. Measurements of anatomical relationships at the craniocervical junction can influence clinical and surgical decision-making. The purpose of this analysis was to quantitatively define clinically relevant craniocervical junction measurements in a population of children with CT scans that show normal anatomy. METHODS:A total of 1458 eligible patients were identified from children between 1 and 18 years of age who underwent cervical spine CT scanning at a single institution. Patients were separated by both sex and age in years into 34 groups. Following this, patients within each group were randomly selected for inclusion until a target of 15 patients in each group had been reached. Each patient underwent measurement of the occipital condyle-C1 interval (CCI), pB-C2, atlantodental interval (ADI), basion-dens interval (BDI), basion-opisthion diameter (BOD), basion-axial interval (BAI), dens angulation, and canal diameter at C1. Mean values were calculated in each group. Each measurement was performed by two teams and compared for intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). RESULTS:The data showed that CCI, ADI, BDI, and dens angulation decrease in magnitude throughout childhood, while pB-C2, PADI, BAI, and BOD increase throughout childhood, with an ICC of fair to good (range 0.413-0.912). Notably, CCI decreases continuously on coronal CT scans, whereas on parasagittal CT scans, CCI does not decrease until after age 9, when it shows a continuous decline similar to measurements on coronal CT scans. CONCLUSIONS:These morphometric analyses establish parameters for normal pediatric craniocervical spine growth for each year of life up to 18 years. The data should be considered when evaluating children for potential surgical intervention.
Modern Surgical Management of Early Onset and Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis
The early principles of spinal fusion in the adolescent population focused on preventing progression while simultaneously correcting the spinal deformity. These principles have remained relatively unchanged since their introduction more than a century ago, but recent improvements in imaging, instrumentation, and corrective techniques have provided new insight on the diagnosis, management, and postoperative care of this condition. Treatment options for the management of patients with early onset scoliosis have also evolved dramatically over the last 2 decades. Further knowledge on the physiology of lung development and the detrimental effects of early fusion in the early onset scoliosis population has led to the development of growth friendly implants and other surgical techniques that allow correction of the deformity while maintaining spine, lung, and chest wall development. The following is an overview of current techniques on the management of adolescent idiopathic and early onset scoliosis to help provide guidance on the available surgical alternatives to address these conditions.
Pediatric Cervical Spine Clearance A Consensus Statement and Algorithm from the Pediatric Cervical Spine Clearance Working Group [Editorial]
The Treatment of Severe Congenital Scoliosis Associated With Type I Split Cord Malformation: Is a Preliminary Bony Septum Resection Always Necessary? [Editorial]