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Open access

Christopher H. F. Sum, Lai-Fung Li, Benedict B. T. Taw, Wai-Man Lui, Ko-Yung Sit, Velda L. Y. Chow, and Yat-Wa Wong

BACKGROUND

Surgical treatment of intrathoracic meningoceles, commonly associated with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), aims to reduce sac size for symptomatic relief. The procedures can be divided into cerebrospinal fluid diversion and definitive repair. The authors describe the management of an intrathoracic meningocele in a 56-year-old female with preexisting NF1.

OBSERVATIONS

The patient presented with progressive dyspnea. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a left hemithoracic meningocele arising from the thecal sac at C7–T2. Two attempts at diversion by cystoperitoneal shunts resulted in recurrence. For definitive repair, T2–3 costotransversectomy was performed, and intradural closure of the meningocele opening was performed utilizing spinal dura and autologous fascia lata graft. Trapezius muscle regional flap was turned for reinforcement. Persistent leak warranted reoperation 7 days later. A transthoracic approach was undertaken using video-assisted thoracoscopic resection of the sac at aortic arch level, with reinforcement by latissimus dorsi flap and synthetic materials. Mechanical pleurodesis was performed. Intradural repair of the meningocele opening was revised.

LESSONS

Inherent dural abnormality makes repair difficult for meningoceles associated with NF1. A combined intradural and thoracoscopic approach with regional muscle flap and synthetic material reinforcement is a unique method for definitive treatment. Some essential points of perioperative management are highlighted.

Open access

Kishan S. Shah and Christopher M. Uchiyama

BACKGROUND

Ossification of the ligamentum flavum (OLF) has been well characterized as a distinct entity but also in tandem with ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) in noncontiguous spinal regions. The majority of OLF cases are reported from East Asian countries where prevalent, but such cases are rarely reported in the North American population.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors present a case of a Thai-Cambodian American who presented with symptomatic thoracic OLF in tandem with asymptomatic cervical OPLL. A “floating” thoracic laminectomy, resection of OLF, and partial dural ossification (DO) resection with circumferential release of ossified dura were performed. Radiographic dural reexpansion and spinal cord decompression occurred despite the immediate intraoperative appearance of persistent thecal sac compression from retained DO.

LESSONS

Entire spinal axis imaging should be considered for patients with spinal ligamentous ossification disease, particularly in those of East Asian backgrounds. A floating laminectomy is one of several surgical approaches for OLF, but no consensus approach has been clearly established. High surgical complication rates are associated with thoracic OLF, most commonly dural tears/cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks. DO commonly coexists with OLF, is recognizable on computed tomographic scans, and increases the risk of CSF leaks.

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Christopher T. Martin, David W. Polly Jr., Kenneth J. Holton, Jose E. San Miguel-Ruiz, Melissa Albersheim, Paul Lender, Jonathan N. Sembrano, Matthew A. Hunt, and Kristen E. Jones

OBJECTIVE

Pelvic fixation with S2-alar-iliac (S2AI) screws is an established technique in adult deformity surgery. The authors’ objective was to report the incidence and risk factors for an underreported acute failure mechanism of S2AI screws.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed a consecutive series of ambulatory adults with fusions extending 3 or more levels, and which included S2AI screws. Acute failure of S2AI screws was defined as occurring within 6 months of the index surgery and requiring surgical revision.

RESULTS

Failure occurred in 6 of 125 patients (5%) and consisted of either slippage of the rods or displacement of the set screws from the S2AI tulip head, with resultant kyphotic fracture. All failures occurred within 6 weeks postoperatively. Revision with a minimum of 4 rods connecting to 4 pelvic fixation points was successful. Two of 3 (66%) patients whose revision had less fixation sustained a second failure. Patients who experienced failure were younger (56.5 years vs 65 years, p = 0.03). The magnitude of surgical correction was higher in the failure cohort (number of levels fused, change in lumbar lordosis, change in T1–pelvic angle, and change in coronal C7 vertical axis, each p < 0.05). In the multivariate analysis, younger patient age and change in lumbar lordosis were independently associated with increased failure risk (p < 0.05 for each). There was a trend toward the presence of a transitional S1–2 disc being a risk factor (OR 8.8, 95% CI 0.93–82.6). Failure incidence was the same across implant manufacturers (p = 0.3).

CONCLUSIONS

All failures involved large-magnitude correction and resulted from stresses that exceeded the failure loads of the set plugs in the S2AI tulip, with resultant rod displacement and kyphotic fractures. Patients with large corrections may benefit from 4 total S2AI screws at the time of the index surgery, particularly if a transitional segment is present. Salvage with a minimum of 4 rods and 4 pelvic fixation points can be successful.

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Florence R. A. Hogg, Siobhan Kearney, Eskinder Solomon, Mathew J. Gallagher, Argyro Zoumprouli, Marios C. Papadopoulos, and Samira Saadoun

OBJECTIVE

The authors sought to investigate the effect of acute, severe traumatic spinal cord injury on the urinary bladder and the hypothesis that increasing the spinal cord perfusion pressure improves bladder function.

METHODS

In 13 adults with traumatic spinal cord injury (American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale grades A–C), a pressure probe and a microdialysis catheter were placed intradurally at the injury site. We varied the spinal cord perfusion pressure and performed filling cystometry. Patients were followed up for 12 months on average.

RESULTS

The 13 patients had 63 fill cycles; 38 cycles had unfavorable urodynamics, i.e., dangerously low compliance (< 20 mL/cmH2O), detrusor overactivity, or dangerously high end-fill pressure (> 40 cmH2O). Unfavorable urodynamics correlated with periods of injury site hypoperfusion (spinal cord perfusion pressure < 60 mm Hg), hyperperfusion (spinal cord perfusion pressure > 100 mm Hg), tissue glucose < 3 mM, and tissue lactate to pyruvate ratio > 30. Increasing spinal cord perfusion pressure from 67.0 ± 2.3 mm Hg (average ± SE) to 92.1 ± 3.0 mm Hg significantly reduced, from 534 to 365 mL, the median bladder volume at which the desire to void was first experienced. All patients with dangerously low average initial bladder compliance (< 20 mL/cmH2O) maintained low compliance at follow-up, whereas all patients with high average initial bladder compliance (> 100 mL/cmH2O) maintained high compliance at follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS

We conclude that unfavorable urodynamics develop within days of traumatic spinal cord injury, thus challenging the prevailing notion that the detrusor is initially acontractile. Urodynamic studies performed acutely identify patients with dangerously low bladder compliance likely to benefit from early intervention. At this early stage, bladder function is dynamic and is influenced by fluctuations in the physiology and metabolism at the injury site; therefore, optimizing spinal cord perfusion is likely to improve urological outcome in patients with acute severe traumatic spinal cord injury.

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Hai V. Le, Joseph B. Wick, Renaud Lafage, Gregory M. Mundis Jr., Robert K. Eastlack, Shay Bess, Douglas C. Burton, Christopher P. Ames, Justin S. Smith, Peter G. Passias, Munish C. Gupta, Virginie Lafage, Eric O. Klineberg, and the International Spine Study Group

OBJECTIVE

The authors’ objective was to determine whether preoperative lateral extension cervical spine radiography can be used to predict osteotomy type and postoperative alignment parameters after cervical spine deformity surgery.

METHODS

A total of 106 patients with cervical spine deformity were reviewed. Radiographic parameters on preoperative cervical neutral and extension lateral radiography were compared with 3-month postoperative radiographic alignment parameters. The parameters included T1 slope, C2 slope, C2–7 cervical lordosis, cervical sagittal vertical axis, and T1 slope minus cervical lordosis. Associations of radiographic parameters with osteotomy type and surgical approach were also assessed.

RESULTS

On extension lateral radiography, patients who underwent lower grade osteotomy had significantly lower T1 slope, T1 slope minus cervical lordosis, cervical sagittal vertical axis, and C2 slope. Patients who achieved more normal parameters on extension lateral radiography were more likely to undergo surgery via an anterior approach. Although baseline parameters were significantly different between neutral lateral and extension lateral radiographs, 3-month postoperative lateral and preoperative extension lateral radiographs were statistically similar for T1 slope minus cervical lordosis and C2 slope.

CONCLUSIONS

Radiographic parameters on preoperative extension lateral radiography were significantly associated with surgical approach and osteotomy grade and were similar to those on 3-month postoperative lateral radiography. These results demonstrated that extension lateral radiography is useful for preoperative planning and predicting postoperative alignment.

Open access

Yongqin Xiong, Dongshan Han, Jianfeng He, Rui Zong, Xiangbing Bian, Caohui Duan, Dekang Zhang, Xin Zhou, Longsheng Pan, and Xin Lou

OBJECTIVE

MRI-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) thalamotomy is a novel and minimally invasive alternative for medication-refractory tremor in Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, the impact of MRgFUS thalamotomy on spontaneous neuronal activity in PD remains unclear. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effects of MRgFUS thalamotomy on local fluctuations in neuronal activity as measured by the fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF) in patients with PD.

METHODS

Participants with PD undergoing MRgFUS thalamotomy were recruited. Tremor scores were assessed before and 3 and 12 months after treatment using the Clinical Rating Scale for Tremor. MRI data were collected before and 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, and 12 months after thalamotomy. The fALFF was calculated. A whole-brain voxel-wise paired t-test was used to identify significant changes in fALFF at 12 months after treatment compared to baseline. Then fALFF in the regions with significant differences were extracted from fALFF maps of patients for further one-way repeated-measures ANOVA to investigate its dynamic alterations. The association between fALFF changes induced by thalamotomy and tremor improvement were evaluated using the nonparametric Spearman rank test.

RESULTS

Nine participants with PD (mean age ± SD 64.7 ± 6.1 years, 8 males) were evaluated. Voxel-based analysis showed that fALFF in the left occipital cortex (Brodmann area 17 [BA17]) significantly decreased at 12 months after thalamotomy compared to baseline (voxel p < 0.001, cluster p < 0.05 family-wise error [FWE] corrected). At baseline, fALFF in the left occipital BA17 in patients was elevated compared with that in 9 age- and gender-matched healthy subjects (p < 0.05). Longitudinal analysis displayed the dynamic changes of fALFF in this region (F (5,40) = 3.61, p = 0.009). There was a significant positive correlation between the falling trend in fALFF in the left occipital BA17 and hand tremor improvement after treatment over 3 time points (Spearman’s rho = 0.44, p = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS

The present study investigated the impact of MRgFUS ventral intermediate nucleus thalamotomy on spontaneous neural activity in medication-refractory tremor-dominant PD. The visual area is, for the first time, reported as relevant to tremor improvement in PD after MRgFUS thalamotomy, suggesting a distant effect of MRgFUS thalamotomy and the involvement of specific visuomotor networks in tremor control in PD.

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Jacob R. Lepard, Irene Kim, Anastasia Arynchyna, Sean M. Lew, Robert J. Bollo, Brent R. O’Neill, M. Scott Perry, David Donahue, Matthew D. Smyth, and Jeffrey Blount

OBJECTIVE

Pediatric stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) has been increasingly performed in the United States, with published literature being limited primarily to large single-center case series. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the experience of pediatric epilepsy centers, where the technique has been adopted in the last several years, via a multicenter case series studying patient demographics, outcomes, and complications.

METHODS

A retrospective cohort methodology was used based on the STROBE criteria. ANOVA was used to evaluate for significant differences between the means of continuous variables among centers. Dichotomous outcomes were assessed between centers using a univariate and multivariate logistic regression.

RESULTS

A total of 170 SEEG insertion procedures were included in the study from 6 different level 4 pediatric epilepsy centers. The mean patient age at time of SEEG insertion was 12.3 ± 4.7 years. There was no significant difference between the mean age at the time of SEEG insertion between centers (p = 0.3). The mean number of SEEG trajectories per patient was 11.3 ± 3.6, with significant variation between centers (p < 0.001). Epileptogenic loci were identified in 84.7% of cases (144/170). Patients in 140 cases (140/170, 82.4%) underwent a follow-up surgical intervention, with 47.1% (66/140) being seizure free at a mean follow-up of 30.6 months. An overall postoperative hemorrhage rate of 5.3% (9/170) was noted, with patients in 4 of these cases (4/170, 2.4%) experiencing a symptomatic hemorrhage and patients in 3 of these cases (3/170, 1.8%) requiring operative evacuation of the hemorrhage. There were no mortalities or long-term complications.

CONCLUSIONS

As the first multicenter case series in pediatric SEEG, this study has aided in establishing normative practice patterns in the application of a novel surgical technique, provided a framework for anticipated outcomes that is generalizable and useful for patient selection, and allowed for discussion of what is an acceptable complication rate relative to the experiences of multiple institutions.

Open access

Laura C. De Angelis, Alessandro Parodi, Marianna Sebastiani, Alessandro Consales, Giuseppe M Ravegnani, Mariasavina Severino, Domenico Tortora, Andrea Rossi, Mariya Malova, Diego Minghetti, Armando Cama, Gianluca Piatelli, and Luca A Ramenghi

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to describe the clinical and neuroradiological characteristics of a cohort of preterm infants who had undergone external ventricular drain insertion as a temporary measure to treat posthemorrhagic ventricular dilatation. In addition, the authors investigated the factors predicting permanent shunt dependency.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed the medical records of a cohort of preterm infants who had undergone external ventricular drain insertion at Gaslini Children’s Hospital (Genoa, Italy) between March 2012 and February 2018. They also analyzed clinical characteristics and magnetic resonance imaging data, including diffusion- and susceptibility-weighted imaging studies, which were obtained before both catheter insertion and removal.

RESULTS

Twenty-eight infants were included in the study. The mean gestational age was 28.2 ± 2.7 weeks, and the mean birth weight was 1209 ± 476 g. A permanent ventriculoperitoneal shunt was inserted in 15/28 (53.6%) infants because of the failure of external ventricular drainage as a temporary treatment option. Compared with the shunt-free group, the shunt-dependent group had a significantly lower gestational age (29.3 ± 2.3 vs 27.2 ± 2.7 weeks, p = 0.035) and tended toward a lower birth weight (p = 0.056). None of the clinical and neuroradiological characteristics significantly differed between the shunt-free and shunt-dependent groups at the time of catheter insertion. As expected, ventricular parameters as well as the intraventricular extension of intracerebral hemorrhage, as assessed using the intraventricular hemorrhage score, were reportedly higher in the shunt-dependent group than in the shunt-free group before catheter removal.

CONCLUSIONS

External ventricular drainage is a reliable first-line treatment for posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus. However, predicting its efficacy as a unique treatment remains challenging. A lower gestational age is associated with a higher risk of posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus progression, suggesting that the more undeveloped the mechanisms for the clearance of blood degradation products, the greater the risk of requiring permanent cerebrospinal fluid diversion, although sophisticated MRI investigations are currently unable to corroborate this hypothesis.