CNS Neurotrauma Offerings and Neurotrauma Session Highlights

Gregory Hawryluk. MD, PhD, FAANS

It is a great pleasure to once again lead the Neurotrauma Update Course with our esteemed colleague Shelly Timmons, MD, PhD, FAANS. This year’s course at the Congress of Neurological Surgeons’ meeting is Sunday, October 20, 2019. The course runs 8 am-4:15 pm.

Last year, Dr. Timmons and I extensively revamped the course topics and speakers. Recent years have seen important incremental advances in key neurotrauma topic areas and we have endeavored to update the course content appropriately. In light of the positive feedback we received about our course, speakers and topics last year, we have decided to keep the lineup mostly unchanged. One noteworthy change, though, will be a slightly broadened perspective with the inclusion of some acute spinal cord injury content; however, the focus will remain on traumatic brain injury.

The itinerary for this year’s course is as follows:




8-08:05 am


Drs. Hawryluk and Timmons

8:05-08:35 am

Update on the Management of Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury

Dr. Hawryluk

8:35-9:05 am

Common Indications and Complications of Decompressive Craniectomy

Rodrigo Moreira Faleiro, MD

9:05-9:35 am

Cortical Spreading Depressions for the Neurosurgeon

Laura Ngwenya, MD, PhD

9:35-10:00 am

BREAK (Time with exhibitors)


10-10:30 am

Update on Decompressive Craniectomy

Jamie Ullman, MD, FAANS

10:30-11 am

TBI in the Elderly

Martina Stippler, MD, FAANS

11-11:30 am

Controversies in Hyperosmolar Therapy

Emily Sieg, MD

11:30 am-12 pm

Update in Critical Care for the Neurosurgeon

Alan Hoffer, MD, FAANS

12-12:45 pm

LUNCH & Hands on with exhibitors


12:45-1:15 pm

Cerebral Autoregulation: What a Neurosurgeon Should Know

Ryan Kitagawa, MD, FAANS

1:15-1:45 pm

VTE Prophylaxis in TBI

Ben Rodgers, MD, FAANS

1:45-2:15 pm

Cerebrovascular Injury

Ramesh Grandhi, MD

2:15-2:30 pm



2:30-3 pm

Disparities in TBI Care

Tene Cage, MD

3-3:30 pm

Objective Measures of Acute TBI: Ocular, Serum and Radiographic

Uzma Samadani, MD, PhD, FAANS

3:30-4 pm

Penetrating TBI and The Military Perspective

Randy Bell, MD, FAANS


Dr. Rodrigo Moreira Faleiro brings an important international perspective to the course and Dr. Tene Cage will enlighten us on her important work researching disparities in TBI care. Cortical spreading depressions/depolarizations could dramatically change neurosurgical patient care in the coming years and Dr. Laura Ngwenya will share her perspective on this topic as one who works at a leading center for research in this area. Care of elderly neurotrauma patients challenges us all, as do ongoing controversies with decompressive craniectomy, hyperosmolar therapy and VTE prophylaxis – we are pleased to have Drs. Martina Stippler, Jamie Ullman, Emily Sieg and Ben Rodgers enlightening us on these issues. Neurocritical care is an important aspect of neurosurgery with which all neurosurgeons must be familiar. This will be covered by Dr. Alan Hoffer, who is a recognized expert and educator in this subspecialty. Cerebrovascular autoregulatory principles are becoming increasingly important in severe TBI care and Dr. Ryan Kitagawa will share important pearls on this topic. The literature related to cerebrovascular injury has made important recent advancements as has technological and biological assessment of brain injured patients – Drs. Ramesh Grandhi and Uzma Samadani will share their expertise on these topics.

Deserving of separate acknowledgement is Dr. Randy Bell, who is Head of Neurosurgery at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Few civilian practices approximate the complexity or severity of military TBI. Simply put, Dr. Bell’s presentation on penetrating TBI in the military is astonishing and riveting. During his presentation, Dr. Bell spoke well beyond his allotted time and not a single individual got up to leave until he finished presenting his remarkable cases. When I was a junior doctor, I saw a similar presentation by Rocco Armonda, MD, FAANS, which profoundly influenced me and played an important role in inspiring me to become a neurotraumatologist. Dr. Bell, thank you for your service and for sharing your expertise in this unique aspect of our specialty that so few of us ever experience.

Please consider attending this year’s course. Dr. Timmons and I are grateful for feedback, suggestions and interested speakers.