Bio

Clinical Focus


  • Neurosurgery

Academic Appointments


Professional Education


  • Board Certification: Neurosurgery, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (2011)
  • Residency:Dalhousie University (06/30/2010) Canada
  • Medical Education:University of King's College (01/05/1999) NSCanada
  • Medical Education:McMaster UniversityCanada
  • Medical Education:Harvard School of Public HealthMA
  • Internship:Dalhousie University (07/01/2005) Canada

Publications

Journal Articles


  • Spinal Pilocytic Astrocytoma in an Elderly Patient WORLD NEUROSURGERY Harraher, C. D., Vogel, H., Steinberg, G. K. 2013; 79 (5-6)

    Abstract

    Astrocytomas are the most common intramedullary spinal cord tumor in pediatric and adolescent patients and the incidence decreases with age. There are very few cases of spinal pilocytic astrocytomas (World Health Organization grade 1) reported after the fourth decade. We report the oldest known case of a pathologically confirmed spinal pilocytic astrocytoma.A 78-year-old woman presented with 12 months of bilateral lower extremity numbness. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed cord edema extending from C6 to T4. There was a 12-mm enhancing intramedullary lesion at the C7-T1 level with an associated cyst. Several years prior, she had seen a neurologist for lower extremity numbness and was diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy.She underwent C7-T1 laminectomy with partial resection of the spinal cord tumor and drainage of the cyst. Pathologic examination demonstrated a mildly cellular proliferation of astrocytes set in an eosinophilic fibrillar background. There were numerous Rosenthal fibers and prominent vasculature. There were no malignant features. The pathologic diagnosis was consistent with pilocytic astrocytoma, World Health Organization grade 1. The patient returned to her baseline function after several weeks and the imaging remained stable at the 4-month follow-up.Spinal pilocytic astrocytomas constitute 90% of intramedullary spinal cord tumors in patients younger than 10 years and 60% of those in adolescent patients. There are very few reported cases in patients older than 50 years. Our patient had an indolent course, cervical-thoracic location, imaging characteristics, and pathology that all support a diagnosis of pilocytic astrocytoma. This case highlights that low-grade lesions can occur in elderly patients and an aggressive approach may not be indicated.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.wneu.2011.10.033

    View details for Web of Science ID 000320923300051

    View details for PubMedID 22120566

  • Multimodality management of Spetzler-Martin Grade III arteriovenous malformations JOURNAL OF NEUROSURGERY Pandey, P., Marks, M. P., Harraher, C. D., Westbroek, E. M., Chang, S. D., Do, H. M., Levy, R. P., Dodd, R. L., Steinberg, G. K. 2012; 116 (6): 1279-1288

    Abstract

    Grade III arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are diverse because of their variations in size (S), location in eloquent cortex (E), and presence of central venous drainage (V). Because they may have implications for management and outcome, the authors evaluated these variations in the present study.Between 1984 and 2010, 100 patients with Grade III AVMs were treated. The AVMs were categorized by Spetzler-Martin characteristics as follows: Type 1 = S1E1V1, Type 2 = S2E1V0, Type 3 = S2E0V1, and Type 4 = S3E0V0. The occurrence of a new neurological deficit, functional status (based on modified Rankin Scale [mRS] score) at discharge and follow-up, and radiological obliteration were correlated with demographic and morphological characteristics.One hundred patients (49 female and 51 male; age range 5-68 years, mean 35.8 years) were evaluated. The size of AVMs was less than 3 cm in 28 patients, 3-6 cm in 71, and greater than 6 cm in 1; 86 AVMs were located in eloquent cortex and 38 had central drainage. The AVMs were Type 1 in 28 cases, Type 2 in 60, Type 3 in 11, and Type 4 in 1. The authors performed embolization in 77 patients (175 procedures), surgery in 64 patients (74 surgeries), and radiosurgery in 49 patients (44 primary and 5 postoperative). The mortality rate following the management of these AVMs was 1%. Fourteen patients (14%) had new neurological deficits, with 5 (5%) being disabling (mRS score > 2) and 9 (9%) being nondisabling (mRS score ? 2) events. Patients with Type 1 AVMs (small size) had the best outcome, with 1 (3.6%) in 28 having a new neurological deficit, compared with 72 patients with larger AVMs, of whom 13 (18.1%) had a new neurological deficit (p < 0.002). Older age (> 40 years), malformation size > 3 cm, and nonhemorrhagic presentation predicted the occurrence of new deficits (p < 0.002). Sex, eloquent cortex, and venous drainage did not confer any benefit. In 89 cases follow-up was adequate for data to be included in the obliteration analysis. The AVM was obliterated in 78 patients (87.6%), 69 of them (88.5%) demonstrated on angiography and 9 on MRI /MR angiography. There was no difference between obliteration rates between different types of AVMs, size, eloquence, and drainage. Age, sex, and clinical presentation also did not predict obliteration.Multimodality management of Grade III AVMs results in a high rate of obliteration, which was not influenced by size, venous drainage, or eloquent location. However, the development of new neurological deficits did correlate with size, whereas eloquence and venous drainage did not affect the neurological complication rate. The authors propose subclassifying the Grade III AVMs according to their size (< 3 and ? 3 cm) to account for treatment risk.

    View details for DOI 10.3171/2012.3.JNS111575

    View details for Web of Science ID 000304294000022

    View details for PubMedID 22482792

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