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The comprehensive anatomical spinal osteotomy and anterior column realignment classification

Presented at the 2018 AANS/CNS Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves

Juan S. Uribe, Frank Schwab, Gregory M. Mundis Jr., David S. Xu, Jacob Januszewski, Adam S. Kanter, David O. Okonkwo, Serena S. Hu, Deviren Vedat, Robert Eastlack, Pedro Berjano, and Praveen V. Mummaneni


Spinal osteotomies and anterior column realignment (ACR) are procedures that allow preservation or restoration of spine lordosis. Variations of these techniques enable different degrees of segmental, regional, and global sagittal realignment. The authors propose a comprehensive anatomical classification system for ACR and its variants based on the level of technical complexity and invasiveness. This serves as a common language and platform to standardize clinical and radiographic outcomes for the utilization of ACR.


The proposed classification is based on 6 anatomical grades of ACR, including anterior longitudinal ligament (ALL) release, with varying degrees of posterior column release or osteotomies. Additionally, a surgical approach (anterior, lateral, or posterior) was added. Reliability of the classification was evaluated by an analysis of 16 clinical cases, rated twice by 14 different spine surgeons, and calculation of Fleiss kappa coefficients.


The 6 grades of ACR are as follows: grade A, ALL release with hyperlordotic cage, intact posterior elements; grade 1 (ACR + Schwab grade 1), additional resection of the inferior facet and joint capsule; grade 2 (ACR + Schwab grade 2), additional resection of both superior and inferior facets, interspinous ligament, ligamentum flavum, lamina, and spinous process; grade 3 (ACR + Schwab grade 3), additional adjacent-level 3-column osteotomy including pedicle subtraction osteotomy; grade 4 (ACR + Schwab grade 4), 2-level distal 3-column osteotomy including pedicle subtraction osteotomy and disc space resection; and grade 5 (ACR + Schwab grade 5), complete or partial removal of a vertebral body and both adjacent discs with or without posterior element resection. Intraobserver and interobserver reliability were 97% and 98%, respectively, across the 14-reviewer cohort.


The proposed anatomical realignment classification provides a consistent description of the various posterior and anterior column release/osteotomies. This reliability study confirmed that the classification is consistent and reproducible across a diverse group of spine surgeons.

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Jacob Januszewski, Jeffrey S. Beecher, David J. Chalif, and Amir R. Dehdashti


Indocyanine green (ICG) videoangiography has been established as a noninvasive technique to gauge the patency of a bypass graft; however, intraoperative graft patency may not always correlate with graft flow. Altered flow through the bypass graft may directly cause delayed graft occlusion. Here, the authors report on 3 types of flow that were observed through cerebral revascularization procedures.


Between February 2009 and September 2013, 48 bypass procedures were performed. Excluded from analysis were those cases in which ICG videoangiography was not performed during surgery (whether it was not available or there was a technical issue with the microscope or the quality of ICG angiography) and/or in which angiography or CT angiography was not done within 24–72 hours after surgery. After anastomosis, bypass patency was assessed first using a noninvasive technique and then with ICG videoangiography, and flow through the graft was characterized. Patients who received a vein or radial artery graft were also evaluated with intraoperative angiography.


Thirty-three patients eligible for analysis were retrospectively analyzed. The patients had undergone extracranial-intracranial (EC-IC) or IC-IC bypass for ischemic stroke (13 patients), moyamoya disease (10 patients), and complex aneurysms (10 patients; 6 giant or large aneurysms, 2 carotid blister-like aneurysms, and 2 dissecting posterior inferior cerebellar artery [PICA] aneurysms). Thirty-six bypasses were performed including 26 superficial temporal artery (STA)–middle cerebral artery (MCA) bypasses (2 bilateral and 1 double-barrel), 6 EC-IC vein grafts, 1 EC-IC radial artery graft, 1 PICA-PICA bypass, 1 MCA–posterior cerebral artery bypass, and 1 occipital artery–PICA bypass. Robust anterograde flow (Type I) was noted in 31 grafts (86%). Delayed but patent graft enhancement and anterograde flow (Type II) was observed in 4 cases (11%); 1 of these cases with an EC-IC vein graft degraded gradually to very delayed flow with no continuity to the bypass site (Type III). Additionally, 1 STA-MCA bypass graft revealed no convincing flow (Type III).

The 5 patients with Type II or III grafts were evaluated with a flow probe and reexploration of the bypass site, and in all cases the reason the graft became occluded was believed to be recipient-vessel competitive flow. In no case was there evidence of stenosis or a technical issue at the site of the anastomosis. Three patients with Type II and the 1 patient with Type III flow (11% of procedures) did not have a patent bypass on postoperative imaging.


Indocyanine green videoangiography is reliable for evaluating flow through the EC-IC or IC-IC bypass. The type of flow observed through the graft has a direct relationship with postoperative imaging findings. Despite the possibility of competitive flow, Type III and some Type II flows through the graft indicate the need for graft evaluation and anastomosis exploration.