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Background: There are few published reports on the safety and efficacy of stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) in the presurgical evaluation of pediatric drug-resistant epilepsy. Our objective was to describe institutional experience with pediatric SEEG in terms of (1) insertional complications, (2) identification of the epileptogenic zone and (3) seizure outcome following SEEG-tailored resections. Methods: Retrospective review of 29 patients pediatric drug resistant epilepsy patients who underwent presurgical SEEG between 2005 – 2018. Results: 29 pediatric SEEG patients (15 male; 12.4 ± 4.6 years old) were included in this study with mean follow-up of 6.0 ± 4.1 years. SEEG-related complications occurred in 1/29 (3%)—neurogenic pulmonary edema. A total of 190 multi-contact electrodes (mean of 7.0 ± 2.5per patient) were implanted across 30 insertions which captured 437 electrographic seizures (mean 17.5 ± 27.6 per patient). The most common rationale for SEEG was normal MRI with surface EEG that failed to identify the EZ (16/29; 55%). SEEG-tailored resections were performed in 24/29 (83%). Engel I outcome was achieved following resections in 19/24 cases (79%) with 5.9 ± 4.0 years of post-operative follow-up. Conclusions: Stereoelectroencephalography in presurgical evaluation of pediatric drug-resistant epilepsy is a safe and effective way to identify the epileptogenic zone permitting SEEG-tailored resection.
Introduction: Simulation is becoming widely adopted across medical disciplines and by different medical professionals. For medical students, emergency medicine simulation has been shown to increase knowledge, confidence and satisfaction. At the University of Ottawa Skills and Simulation Centre, third-year medical students participate in simulated scenarios common to Emergency Medicine (EM) as part of their mandatory EM clerkship rotation. This study aims to evaluate simulation as part of the EM clerkship rotation by assessing changes in student confidence following a simulation session. Methods: In groups of seven, third year medical students at the University of Ottawa completed simulation sessions of the following: Status Asthmaticus, Status Epilepticus, Urosepsis and Breaking Bad News. Student confidence with each topic was assessed before and after simulation with a written survey. Confidence scores pre- and post-simulation were compared with the Wilcoxon signed rank test. Results: Forty-eight third years medical students in their core EM clerkship rotation, between September 2017 and August 2018 participated in this study. Medical student confidence with diagnosis of status asthmaticus (N = 44, p = 0.0449) and status epilepticus (N = 45, p = 0.0011) increased significantly following simulation, whereas confidence with diagnosis of urosepsis was unchanged (N = 45, p = 0.0871). Treatment confidence increased significantly for status asthmaticus (N = 47, p = 0.0009), status epilepticus (N = 48, p = 0.0005) and urosepsis (N = 48, p < 0.0001). Confidence for breaking bad news was not significantly changed after simulation (N = 47, p = 0.0689). Conclusion: Simulation training in our EM clerkship rotation significantly increased the confidence of medical students for certain common EM presentations, but not for all. Further work will aim to understand why some simulation scenarios did not improve confidence, and look to improve existing scenarios.
Identifying characteristics of individuals at greatest risk for prolonged grief disorder (PGD) can improve its detection and elucidate the etiology of the disorder. The Safe Passage Study, a study of women at high risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), prospectively examined the psychosocial functioning of women while monitoring their healthy pregnancies. Mothers whose infants died of SIDS were followed in bereavement.
Pre-loss data were collected from 12 000 pregnant mothers and analyzed for their associations with grief symptoms and PGD in 50 mothers whose infants died from SIDS, from 2 to 48 months after their infant's death, focusing on pre-loss risk factors of anxiety, depression, alcohol use, maternal age, the presence of other living children in the home, and previous child loss.
The presence of any four risk factors significantly predicted PGD for 24 months post-loss (p < 0.003); 2–3 risk factors predicted PGD for 12 months (p = 0.02). PGD rates increased in the second post-loss year, converging in all groups to approximately 40% by 3 years. Pre-loss depressive symptoms were significantly associated with PGD. Higher alcohol intake and older maternal age were consistently positively associated with PGD. Predicted risk scores showed good discrimination between PGD and no PGD 6–24 months after loss (C-statistic = 0.83).
A combination of personal risk factors predicted PGD in 2 years of bereavement. There is a convergence of risk groups to high rates at 2–3 years, marked by increased PGD rates in mothers at low risk. The risk factors showed different effects on PGD.
Light sheet fluorescence microscopy (LSFM) allows for high-resolution three-dimensional imaging with minimal photo-damage. By viewing the sample from different directions, different regions of large specimens can be imaged optimally. Moreover, owing to their good spatial resolution and high signal-to-noise ratio, LSFM data are well suited for image deconvolution. Here we present the Huygens Fusion and Deconvolution Wizard, a unique integrated solution for restoring LSFM images, and show that improvements in signal and resolution of 1.5 times and higher are feasible.
Background: External ventricular drain (EVD) insertion is a common neurosurgical procedure performed in patients with life-threatening conditions, but can be associated with complications. The objectives of this study are to evaluate data on national practice patterns and complications rates in order to optimize clinical care Methods: The Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative conducted a prospective multi-centre registry of patients undergoing EVD insertions at Canadian residency programs Results: In this interim analysis, 4 sites had recruited 46 patients (mean age: 53.9 years, male:female 2:1). Most EVD insertions occurred outside of the operating theatre, using free-hand technique, and performed by junior neurosurgery residents (R1-R3). The catheter tip was in the ipsilateral frontal horn or body of the lateral ventricle in 76% of cases. Suboptimally placed catheters did not have higher rates of short-term occlusion. EVD-related hemorrhage occurred in 6.5% (3/45) with only 1 symptomatic patient. EVD-related infection occurred in 13% (6/46) at a mean of 6 days and was associated with longer duration of CSF drainage (P=0.039; OR: 1.13) Conclusions: Interim results indicate rates of EVD-related complications may be higher than previously thought. This study will continue to recruit patients to confirm these findings and determine specific risk factors associated with them
Surface electroencephalogram (EEG) recording remains the gold standard for noninvasive assessment of electrical brain activity. It is the most efficient way to diagnose and classify epilepsy syndromes as well as define the localization of the epileptogenic zone. The EEG is useful for management decisions and for establishing prognosis in some types of epilepsy. Electroencephalography is an evolving field in which new methods are being introduced. The Canadian Society of Clinical Neurophysiologists convened an expert panel to develop new national minimal guidelines. A comprehensive evidence review was conducted. This document is organized into 10 sections, including indications, recommendations for trained personnel, EEG yield, paediatric and neonatal EEGs, laboratory minimal standards, requisitions, reports, storage, safety measures, and quality assurance.
Background: The Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative (CNRC) was founded in November 2015 as a resident-led national network for multicentre research. We present an annual report of our activities. Methods: CNRC meetings and publications were reviewed and summarized. The status of ongoing and future studies was collected from project leaders. Results: In its first year, the CNRC produced two papers accepted for publication in the Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences: A CNRC launch letter and a study of operative volume at Canadian neurosurgery residency programs. Three manuscripts are in preparation: 1) a study of the demographics of Canadian neurosurgery residents, 2) an assessment of mobile devices usage patterns and 3) a validation study of the most utilized neurosurgery mobile apps. In addition, protocols for two multi-centre studies are currently undergoing national Research Ethics Board review: A retrospective study of the incidence and predictors of cerebellar mutism and a prospective registry of external ventricular drain procedures and complications. The network is now a registered not-for-profit organization endorsed by the Canadian Neurosurgical Society. Conclusions: The CNRC is a feasibile, relevant and productive resident-led national research network. As the CNRC matures, we look forward to expanding the scope and impact of its projects.
Background: Selective amygdalohippocampectomy (SAH) is a surgical option in well-selected cases of pediatric medically refractory temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). The objective of this study was to compare the surgical outcome and the rate of reoperation for ongoing or recurrent seizures between SAH and anterior temporal lobectomy (ATL) in pediatric TLE. Methods: Retrospective review of 78 pediatric intractable TLE patients referred to the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at our institution between 1988 and 2015 treated initially with either a trans-middle temporal gyrus SAH (19) or ATL (59). Patients underwent baseline long-term video electroencephalography and 1.5-Tesla MRI. Neuropsychological testing was performed preoperatively and 12-months postoperatively (including reoperations). Results: The mean follow-up was 64 months (range, 12-186 months). The average age at initial surgery was 10.6±5 years with an average delay of 5.7±4 years between seizure onset and surgery. Ultimately 78% were seizure-free (61/78) at most recent follow-up. Seizure freedom after initial surgical treatment was achieved in 81% of patients who underwent ATL (48 patients) versus 42% in SAH (8 patients; p<0.001). Of patients with ongoing disabling seizures following SAH, reoperation (ATL) was offered in 8 resulting in seizure freedom in 63%, without interval neuropsychological decline. Conclusions: SAH amongst well-selected pediatric TLE results in significantly worse seizure control compared with ATL.
Background: Communicating with senior neurosurgical colleagues during residency necessitates a reliable and versatile smartphone. Smartphones and their apps are commonplace. They enhance communication with colleagues, provide the ability to access patient information and results, and allow access to medical reference applications. Patient data safety and compliance with the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA, 2004) in Canada remain a public concern that can significantly impact the way in which mobile smartphones are utilized by resident physicians Methods: Through the Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative (CNRC), an online survey characterizing smartphone ownership and utilization of apps among Canadian neurosurgery residents and fellows was completed in April 2016. Results: Our study had a 47% response rate (80 surveys completed out of 171 eligible residents and fellows). Smartphone ownership was almost universal with a high rate of app utilization for learning and facilitating the care of patients. Utilization of smartphones to communicate and transfer urgent imaging with senior colleagues was common. Conclusions: Smartphone and app utilization is an essential part of neurosurgery resident workflow. In this study we characterize the smartphone and app usage within a specialized cohort of residents and suggest potential solutions to facilitate greater PHIPA adherence
Sudden sensorineural hearing loss is a rare otological condition with potential for dire outcomes including permanent hearing loss. Although the majority of cases are deemed idiopathic, bilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss represents a rare subset typically related to systemic conditions, with higher morbidity and mortality. A controversial association with acute otitis media has been reported, with few bilateral cases published in the literature.
A very rare case of bilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss associated with acute otitis media is described, with a review of the literature.
The limited evidence available suggests that acute otitis media with tinnitus and/or bacterial pathology may have an increased risk of sudden sensorineural hearing loss, which is consistent with the case described. Although there is no sufficiently powered published evidence to provide definitive treatment guidelines, the literature reviewed suggests that early myringotomy and antibiotics may greatly improve treatment outcomes.
Background Currently, the literature lacks reliable data regarding operative case volumes at Canadian neurosurgery residency programs. Our objective was to provide a snapshot of the operative landscape in Canadian neurosurgical training using the trainee-led Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative. Methods: Anonymized administrative operative data were gathered from each neurosurgery residency program from January 1, 2014, to December 31, 2014. Procedures were broadly classified into cranial, spine, peripheral nerve, and miscellaneous procedures. A number of prespecified subspecialty procedures were recorded. We defined the resident case index as the ratio of the total number of operations to the total number of neurosurgery residents in that program. Resident number included both Canadian medical and international medical graduates, and included residents on the neurosurgery service, off-service, or on leave for research or other personal reasons. Results: Overall, there was an average of 1845 operative cases per neurosurgery residency program. The mean numbers of cranial, spine, peripheral nerve, and miscellaneous procedures were 725, 466, 48, and 193, respectively. The nationwide mean resident case indices for cranial, spine, peripheral nerve, and total procedures were 90, 58, 5, and 196, respectively. There was some variation in the resident case indices for specific subspecialty procedures, with some training programs not performing carotid endarterectomy or endoscopic transsphenoidal procedures. Conclusions: This study presents the breadth of neurosurgical training within Canadian neurosurgery residency programs. These results may help inform the implementation of neurosurgery training as the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons residency training transitions to a competence-by-design curriculum.
Background: The Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative (CNRC) is a trainee-led multi-centre collaboration made up of representatives from 12 of 14 neurosurgical centres with residency programs. To demonstrate the potential of this collaborative network, we gathered administrative operative data from each centre in order to provide a snapshot of the operative landscape in Canadian neurosurgery. Methods: Residents from each training program provided adult neurosurgical operative data for the 2014 calendar year, including the number of surgeries in the subcategories cranial, spinal, and peripheral nerve. Because some residency programs have surgeries distributed among more than one hospital, we calculated mean case load per residency program and per hospital. Results: Interim results from 6 neurosurgery residency programs are presented (with data from other programs forthcoming). Overall, there were on average 2,352 operative cases per residency program (n=6) and 1,176 operative cases per adult hospital (n=12). Among 5 programs with more detailed operative data, the mean numbers of cranial, spinal, peripheral nerve, and miscellaneous surgeries per residency program were 757 (47%), 487 (30%), 47 (3%), and 319 (20%) respectively. Conclusions: We show as a proof-of-concept that a trainee-led nation-wide research collaborative can generate meaningful data in a Canadian context.
Background: The goals of evidence-based neurosurgery are to improve surgical outcomes, reduce complications, and provide an objective basis for altering practice. The need for higher quality studies, typically prospective and multicentre, has been growing especially in light of the evolving complexity of neurosurgical interventions and heterogeneity of patient populations. In the United Kingdom (UK), trainee-led research collaboratives have been established to tackle this problem. Therefore, we sought to evaluate the potential role for a resident-led research collaborative in neurosurgery in Canada based on the UK experience. Methods: A literature review of trainee-led collaboratives was conducted utilizing PubMed and Medline. Identified articles were reviewed for study quality and clinical relevance to explore the potential benefits of collaboratives. Results: In the UK, 27 collaboratives have been established in various specialties by trainees. Some published high quality trials with implications on their clinical fields. Evidence suggests that such endeavors improves trainees’ research skills and may help cultivate a research culture tailored towards clinical trials. Conclusions: Given the growing evidence for research collaboratives in the UK, we propose launching the Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative (CNRC) which currently represents 12 out of 14 neurosurgery programs in Canada, and planning its first multicenter prospective study.
Background: The Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative (CNRC) is a new consortium of neurosurgery residency programs set-up to facilitate the planning and implementation of multi-center studies. As a trainee-led organization, it will focus on resident-initiated, resident-driven projects. The goal of this study is to assess the demographics of Canadian neurosurgery residents, with particular focus on their academic and subspecialty interests. Methods: After approval by the CNRC, an online survey will be sent to all Canadian neurosurgery residents and fellows with reminders at 2, 4 and 6 weeks. Anonymous, basic demographic data will be collected. Specific interest towards the various subspecialties, research and academic vs community practice will be measured. The data will be crossed with the ongoing Canadian Neurosurgery Operative Landscape study to assess the impact of case volume on academic and subspecialty interests. Results: This is the first study providing a snapshot of Canadian neurosurgery residents at all levels of training. The study is ongoing and the official results will be presented at the meeting. As one of the first CNRC studies, it will also demonstrate the effectiveness of the collaborative. Conclusions: Understanding the demographics and interests of Canadian neurosurgery residents will allow the CNRC to better fulfill its mission.