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Yongzhao Zhao, Qian Xiang, Shuai Jiang, Jialiang Lin, Longjie Wang, Chuiguo Sun, and Weishi Li

OBJECTIVE

Dural ossification (DO) is a common clinical feature in patients with thoracic ossification of the ligamentum flavum (OLF) and associated with the increased risk of perioperative complications. However, few studies have been conducted to determine the incidence and independent risk factors of DO in patients with thoracic OLF. The aim of this retrospective study was to determine the incidence and independent risk factors of DO in patients with thoracic OLF.

METHODS

A total of 107 patients with thoracic OLF who were admitted to the authors’ hospital from December 2020 to December 2021 were included in this study. The independent risk factors of DO in patients with thoracic OLF were determined through univariate analysis followed by multivariate logistic regression analysis with p < 0.05. The diagnostic efficacy of the DO in OLF (DO-OLF) risk classification model was determined on the basis of independent risk factors and evaluated on the basis of sensitivity, specificity, and agreement rate.

RESULTS

The incidence of DO in patients with thoracic OLF was 35% (37/107 patients). The tuberous type according to the Sato classification (OR 9.75, p < 0.01) and larger (≥ 9°) supine local kyphosis angle (LKA) (OR 8.13, p < 0.01) were two independent risk factors of DO in thoracic OLF. The DO-OLF risk classification, a novel approach for the diagnosis of DO in patients with thoracic OLF, was established on the basis of the combination of the tuberous type according to the Sato classification and larger supine LKA. The sensitivity, specificity, and agreement rate of this approach for distinguishing between patients with thoracic OLF at high and low risk of DO were 87%, 93%, and 91%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

The incidence of DO in patients with thoracic OLF was 35%. The tuberous type according to the Sato classification and larger supine LKA (≥ 9°) were independent risk factors of DO in patients with thoracic OLF. The novel DO-OLF risk classification approach could serve as an efficient method for predicting DO in patients with thoracic OLF.

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Karol P. Budohoski, Raj Thakrar, Zoya Voronovich, Robert C. Rennert, Craig Kilburg, Ramesh Grandhi, William T. Couldwell, Douglas L. Brockmeyer, and Philipp Taussky

OBJECTIVE

Flow-diverting devices have been used successfully for the treatment of complex intracranial vascular injuries in adults, but the role of these devices in treating iatrogenic and traumatic intracranial vascular injuries in children remains unclear. The authors present their experience using the Pipeline embolization device (PED) for treating intracranial pseudoaneurysms in children.

METHODS

This single-center retrospective cohort study included pediatric patients with traumatic and iatrogenic injuries to the intracranial vasculature that were treated with the PED between 2015 and 2021. Demographic data, indications for treatment, the number and sizes of PEDs used, follow-up imaging, and clinical outcomes were analyzed.

RESULTS

Six patients with a median age of 12 years (range 7–16 years) underwent PED placement to treat intracranial pseudoaneurysms. There were 3 patients with hemorrhagic presentation, 2 with ischemia, and 1 in whom a growing pseudoaneurysm was found on angiography. Injured vessels included the anterior cerebral artery (n = 2), the supraclinoid internal carotid artery (ICA, n = 2), the cavernous ICA (n = 1), and the distal cervical ICA (n = 1). All 6 pseudoaneurysms were successfully treated with PED deployment. One patient required re-treatment with a second PED within a week because of concern for a growing pseudoaneurysm. One patient experienced parent vessel occlusion without neurological sequelae.

CONCLUSIONS

Use of the PED is feasible for the management of iatrogenic and traumatic pseudoaneurysms of the intracranial vasculature in children, even in the setting of hemorrhagic presentation.

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Basel A. Taweel, Cathal J. Hannan, and Emmanuel Chavredakis

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Yasuyuki Kinoshita, Akira Taguchi, Fumiyuki Yamasaki, Atsushi Tominaga, Kazunori Arita, and Nobutaka Horie

OBJECTIVE

Rathke’s cleft cysts (RCCs) are relatively common and often detected incidentally. They are usually asymptomatic and managed conservatively. However, little is known about their natural history. Thus, the authors aimed to examine the natural course of RCCs and identify the risk factors for their progression.

METHODS

This retrospective study examined 229 patients (median age 43.0 years) diagnosed with RCCs by MRI and followed up without surgery (median period 36.6 months). The median cyst height on the initial MRI was 10 mm. Progression or regression of RCC was defined as cyst height changes of ≥ 1 mm.

RESULTS

In total, 23 (10.0%) RCCs progressed, whereas 73 (31.9%) RCCs spontaneously regressed. The remaining 133 were noted to be stable throughout the follow-up period. Patients with progressed RCCs were significantly older than those with stable RCCs. In patients with acute headache as an initial symptom, RCCs were significantly more likely to spontaneously regress. New symptoms occurred in 6 patients, 5 of whom underwent surgery for RCC progression. Of these 6 patients, 1 patient had persistent adrenocorticotropic hormone deficiency and 1 patient developed diabetes insipidus. Kaplan-Meier analysis results showed RCC progression and new symptom development rates to be 12.0% and 4.1% at 5 years and 13.7% and 5.7% at 10 years, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

RCCs rarely progress or cause new symptoms in the long term. Patients with asymptomatic RCC should be followed up for at least 5 years to ensure RCC inactivity. RCCs in older adults may require greater surveillance.

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Toyin A. Oyemolade, Amos O. Adeleye, Busayo A. Ehinola, Ayodele J. Olusola, Inwonoabasi N. Ekanem, and Damilola J. Adesola

OBJECTIVE

There is a paucity of data-driven reports on neurotrauma from the rural areas of developing countries, despite a disproportionally higher and burgeoning disease burden from those areas. This study aims to define the burden of neurotrauma in a new rural neurosurgical practice of a developing sub-Saharan country in Africa (Nigeria).

METHODS

The authors conducted a prospective observational study of all neurotrauma patients managed at their center over a 36-month period beginning in August 2018.

RESULTS

There were 1067 patients, 816 (76.5%) of them male, accounting for 79% of all the neurosurgical patients seen at the authors’ center during the study period. The peak incidence of neurotrauma was in the 20- to 29-year age group. The median trauma duration was 9 hours before presentation. The neurotrauma involved only head injury (HI) in 78% of the patients and only the spine in 4%. HIs were predominantly mild in severity (79%). Spinal cord injuries were largely incomplete (86%) and cervical in location (72%). Road traffic accidents caused approximately 79% (845/1067) of this neurotrauma burden, mostly from motorcycle crashes (69%, 581/845). Fifty-three patients (5%) were managed surgically. The median time from trauma to surgery for the operated patients was 82 hours. Treatment outcome was good in 81.2% of the patients.

CONCLUSIONS

Neurotrauma, mostly caused by motorcycle crashes and other road accidents, accounts for the bulk of the neurosurgical workload in this rural neurosurgical center. Although late presentation and delayed surgical interventions were prominent features of this level of care, the in-hospital outcome was fortuitously good in the majority of patients.

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Samuel D. Pettersson, Paulina Skrzypkowska, Shan Ali, Tomasz Szmuda, Michał Krakowiak, Tadej Počivavšek, Fanny Sunesson, Justyna Fercho, and Grzegorz Miękisiak

OBJECTIVE

Laminoplasty is a common treatment for cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) and for ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL). However, approximately 21% of patients undergoing laminoplasty develop cervical kyphotic deformity (KD). Because of the high prevalence rate of KD, several studies have sought to identify predictors for this complication, but the findings remain highly inconsistent. Therefore, the authors performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to establish reliable preoperative predictors of KD.

METHODS

PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science databases were used to systematically extract potential references. The first phase of screening required the studies to be written in the English language, involve patients treated for CSM and/or OPLL via laminoplasty, and report postoperative cervical KD. The second phase required the studies to provide more than 10 patients and include a control group. The mean difference (MD) and odds ratio (OR) were calculated for continuous and dichotomous parameters. Study quality was evaluated using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. CSM and OPLL patients were further assessed by performing subgroup analyses.

RESULTS

Thirteen studies comprising patients who developed cervical KD (n = 296) and no KD (n = 1254) after receiving cervical laminoplasty for CSM or OPLL were included in the meta-analysis. All studies were retrospective cohorts and were rated as high quality. In the combined univariate analysis of CSM and OPLL patients undergoing laminoplasty, statistically significant predictors for postoperative KD included age (MD 2.22, 95% CI 0.16–4.27, p = 0.03), preoperative BMI (MD 0.85, 95% CI 0.06–1.63, p = 0.04), preoperative C2–7 range of flexion (MD 10.42, 95% Cl 4.24–16.59, p = 0.0009), preoperative C2–7 range of extension (MD −4.59, 95% CI −6.34 to −2.83, p < 0.00001), and preoperative center of gravity of the head to the C7 sagittal vertical axis (MD 26.83, 95% CI 9.13–44.52, p = 0.003). Additionally, among CSM patients, males were identified as having a greater risk for postoperative KD (OR 1.73, 95% CI 1.02–2.93, p = 0.04).

CONCLUSIONS

The findings from this study currently provide the largest and most reliable review on preoperative predictors for cervical KD after laminoplasty. Given that several of the included studies identified optimal cutoff points for the variables that are significantly associated with KD, further investigation into the development of a preoperative risk scoring system that can accurately predict KD in the clinical setting is encouraged.

PROSPERO registration no.: CRD42022299795 (https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/PROSPERO/).

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Juan Diego Alzate, Assaf Berger, Kenneth Bernstein, Reed Mullen, Tanxia Qu, Joshua S. Silverman, Maksim Shapiro, Peter K. Nelson, Eytan Raz, Jafar J. Jafar, Howard A. Riina, and Douglas Kondziolka

OBJECTIVE

Morphological and angioarchitectural features of cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) have been widely described and associated with outcomes; however, few studies have conducted a quantitative analysis of AVM flow. The authors examined brain AVM flow and transit time on angiograms using direct visual analysis and a computer-based method and correlated these factors with the obliteration response after Gamma Knife radiosurgery.

METHODS

A retrospective analysis was conducted at a single institution using a prospective registry of patients managed from January 2013 to December 2019: 71 patients were analyzed using a visual method of flow determination and 38 were analyzed using a computer-based method. After comparison and validation of the two methods, obliteration response was correlated to flow analysis, demographic, angioarchitectural, and dosimetric data.

RESULTS

The mean AVM volume was 3.84 cm3 (range 0.64–19.8 cm3), 32 AVMs (45%) were in critical functional locations, and the mean margin radiosurgical dose was 18.8 Gy (range 16–22 Gy). Twenty-seven AVMs (38%) were classified as high flow, 37 (52%) as moderate flow, and 7 (10%) as low flow. Complete obliteration was achieved in 44 patients (62%) at the time of the study; the mean time to obliteration was 28 months for low-flow, 34 months for moderate-flow, and 47 months for high-flow AVMs. Univariate and multivariate analyses of factors predicting obliteration included AVM nidus volume, age, and flow. Adverse radiation effects were identified in 5 patients (7%), and 67 patients (94%) remained free of any functional deterioration during follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS

AVM flow analysis and categorization in terms of transit time are useful predictors of the probability of and the time to obliteration. The authors believe that a more quantitative understanding of flow can help to guide stereotactic radiosurgery treatment and set accurate outcome expectations.

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Alekos A. Theologis, Sohan Patel, and Shane Burch

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to radiographically compare cage subsidence and displacement between L5–S1 lateral anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) cages secured with an anterior buttress plate and cages secured with integrated screws.

METHODS

Consecutive patients who underwent L5–S1 lateral ALIF with supplemental posterior fixation by a single surgeon from June 2016 to January 2021 were reviewed. Radiographs were analyzed and compared between the two groups based on the type of fixation used to secure the L5–S1 lateral ALIF cage: 1) anterior buttress plate or 2) integrated screws. The following measurements at L5–S1 were analyzed on radiographs obtained preoperatively, before discharge, and at latest follow-up: 1) anterior disc height, 2) posterior disc height, and 3) segmental lordosis. Cage subsidence and anterior cage displacement were determined radiographically.

RESULTS

One hundred thirty-nine patients (mean age 60.0 ± 14.3 years) were included for analysis. Sixty-eight patients were treated with an anterior buttress plate (mean follow-up 12 ± 5 months), and 71 were treated with integrated screws (mean follow-up 9 ± 3 months). Mean age, sex distribution, preoperative L5–S1 lordosis, preoperative L5–S1 anterior disc height, and preoperative L5–S1 posterior disc height were statistically similar between the two groups. After surgery, the segmental L5–S1 lordosis and L5–S1 anterior disc heights significantly improved for both groups, and each respective measurement was similar between the groups at final follow-up. Posterior disc heights significantly increased after surgery with integrated screws but not with the anterior buttress plate. As such, posterior disc heights were significantly greater at final follow-up for integrated screws. Compared with patients who received integrated screws, significantly more patients who received the anterior buttress plate had cage subsidence cranially through the L5 endplate (20.6% vs 2.8%, p < 0.01), cage subsidence caudally through the S1 endplate (27.9% vs 0%, p < 0.01), and anterior cage displacement (22.1% vs 0%, p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

In this radiographic analysis of 139 patients who underwent lateral L5–S1 ALIF supplemented by posterior fixation, L5–S1 cages secured with an anterior buttress plate demonstrated significantly higher rates of cage subsidence and anterior cage displacement compared with cages secured with integrated screws. While the more durable stability afforded by cages secured with integrated screws suggests that they may be a more viable fixation strategy for L5–S1 lateral ALIFs, there are multiple factors that can contribute to cage subsidence, and, thus, definitive presumption cannot be made that the findings of this study are directly related to the buttress plate.

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Corey T. Walker, Nitin Agarwal, Robert K. Eastlack, Gregory M. Mundis Jr., Nima Alan, Tina Iannacone, Behrooz A. Akbarnia, and David O. Okonkwo

OBJECTIVE

In this study, the authors report on their experience with the surgical treatment of young adults with idiopathic scoliosis (YAdISs) who did not have surgical treatment in adolescence but did require intervention after skeletal maturity.

METHODS

The medical records of YAdISs between 18 and 40 years of age who had been surgically treated at two institutions between 2009 and 2018 were retrospectively evaluated. Pre- and postoperative clinical and radiographic information was gathered and compared at 2 years after treatment.

RESULTS

Twenty-eight patients (9 male, 19 female) with a median age of 25 years (range 18–40 years) met the study inclusion criteria. Five patients (18%) had postoperative complications, including 2 deep venous thromboses, 1 ileus, and 2 reoperations, one for implant failure and the other for pseudarthrosis. The mean maximum coronal curve angle improved from 43° ± 12° to 17° ± 8° (p < 0.001), but there were no significant differences in sagittal vertical axis, lumbar lordosis, pelvic tilt, or thoracic kyphosis (p > 0.05). There was no relationship between the amount of correction obtained and patient age (p = 0.46). Significant improvements in the Oswestry Disability Index (31 vs 24, p = 0.02), visual analog scale score for both back pain (6.0 vs 4.0, p = 0.01) and leg pain (2.6 vs 1.1, p = 0.02), and self-image score (Δ1.1, p < 0.001) were seen.

CONCLUSIONS

YAdISs can present with pain, deformity progression, and/or appearance dissatisfaction because of their scoliosis despite successful nonoperative management during adolescence. Once the scoliosis becomes symptomatic, surgical correction can result in significant clinical and radiographic improvements at the 2-year follow-up with a relatively low complication rate compared to that for other types of adult spinal deformity.

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Andrew M. Hersh, A. Daniel Davidar, Carly Weber-Levine, Divyaansh Raj, Safwan Alomari, Brendan F. Judy, and Nicholas Theodore

Significant advancements in the treatment of spinal cord injury (SCI) were developed in the setting of military conflicts, partly due to the large numbers of injuries sustained by service members. No effective SCI treatment options existed into the early 20th century, and soldiers who sustained these injuries were usually considered untreatable. Extensive progress was made in SCI treatment during and after World War II, as physical therapy was increasingly encouraged for patients with SCI, multidisciplinary teams oversaw care, pathophysiology was better understood, and strategies were devised to prevent wound infection and pressure sores. Recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have caused a substantial rise in the proportion of SCIs among causes of casualties and wounds, largely due to new forms of war and weapons, such as improvised explosive devices. Modern military SCIs resulting from blast mechanisms are substantively different from traumatic SCIs sustained by civilians. The treatment paradigms developed over the past 100 years have increased survival rates and outcomes of soldiers with SCI. In this paper, the authors review the role of military conflicts in the development of therapeutic interventions for SCI and discuss how these interventions have improved outcomes for soldiers and civilians alike.