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Soichi Oya, Masahiro Indo, Masabumi Nagashima and Toru Matsui

Aneurysms at the distal portion of the superior cerebellar artery (SCA) are very rare. Because of the deep location and a propensity for nonsaccular morphology, aneurysm trapping or endovascular occlusion of the parent artery are the usual treatment options, which are associated with varying risks of ischemic complications. The authors report on a 60-year-old woman who had a 3.5-mm unruptured aneurysm in the lateral pontomesencephalic segment of the SCA with a significant interval growth to 8 mm. Direct surgical intervention comprising trapping of the aneurysm through a subtemporal approach and intradural anterior petrosectomy combined with revascularization of the distal SCA using the superficial temporal artery (STA) was performed. This approach provided sufficient space for the bypass instruments to be introduced into the deep surgical field at a more favorable angle to enhance microscopic visualization of the anastomosis with minimal retraction of the temporal lobe. The patient was discharged with no neurological deficit. Preservation of the blood flow in the distal SCA should be attempted to minimize the risk of ischemic injury, particularly when the aneurysms arise in the anterior or lateral segment of the SCA. The authors demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of the intradural anterior petrosectomy for STA-SCA bypass along with a relevant anatomical study.

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Güliz Acker, Nicolas Schlinkmann, Lucius Fekonja, Lukas Grünwald, Juliane Hardt, Marcus Czabanka and Peter Vajkoczy

OBJECTIVE

Moyamoya vasculopathy (MMV) is a steno-occlusive cerebrovascular disease that can be treated by a surgical revascularization. All the revascularization techniques influence the blood supply of the scalp, with a risk for wound healing disorders. The authors’ aim was to analyze the wound healing process in the patients who underwent a direct or combined bypass surgery with a focus on different skin incisions.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively identified all the patients with MMV who were treated surgically in their institution. Subsequently, they analyzed demographic data, clinical symptoms, surgical treatment, and detailed history of complications. Based on the evolution of their surgical techniques and the revascularization strategy to be used, the authors applied the following skin incisions: linear incision, curved incision, incomplete Y incision, and complete Y incision. Group comparisons regarding wound healing disorders were performed with significance testing using Fisher’s exact test.

RESULTS

The authors identified 172 patients with MMV (61.6% moyamoya disease, 7% unilateral moyamoya disease, 29.7% moyamoya syndrome, and 1.7% unilateral moyamoya syndrome), of whom 124 underwent bilateral operations. One-quarter of the patients were juveniles. A total of 236 hemispheres were included in the analysis, of which 27.9% were treated by a combined procedure with encephalomyosynangiosis. Overall, 5.1% major and 1.7% minor wound complications occurred. The overall wound complication rate was lower in direct revascularization compared to combined revascularization (3% vs 15.2%). The lowest incidence of wound healing disorders was found in the linear incision group for the parietal superficial temporal artery branch (1.6%), followed by the incomplete Y incision group for the frontal branch of the superficial temporal artery (3.8%) in the direct bypass group. In the combined revascularization cohort, major or minor wound disorders appeared in 14.3% and 4.8%, respectively, in the complete Y incision group and in 4.2% (for both major and minor) in the curved incision group. The complete Y incision caused significantly more wound healing disorders compared to the remaining incision types (17.1% vs 3.1%, p = 0.007).

CONCLUSIONS

Wound healing disorders are one of the major complications of revascularization surgery. Their incidence depends on the revascularization strategy and skin incision applied, with a complete Y incision giving the worst results.

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Kelly Russell, Erin Selci, Brian Black and Michael J. Ellis

OBJECTIVE

The longitudinal effects of sports-related concussion (SRC) in adolescents on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) remain poorly understood. Hence, the authors established two objectives of this study: 1) compare HRQOL outcomes among adolescents with an acute SRC or a sports-related extremity fracture (SREF) who were followed up until physician-documented clinical recovery; and 2) identify the clinical variables associated with worse HRQOL among adolescent SRC patients.

METHODS

The authors conducted a prospective cohort study of adolescents with acute SRC and those with acute SREF who underwent clinical assessment and follow-up at tertiary subspecialty clinics. Longitudinal patient-reported HRQOL was measured at the time of initial assessment and at each follow-up appointment by using the adolescent version (age 13–18 years) of the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) Generic Core Scale and Cognitive Functioning Scale.

RESULTS

A total of 135 patients with SRC (60.0% male; mean age 14.7 years; time from injury to initial assessment 6 days) and 96 patients with SREF (59.4% male; mean age 14.1 years; time from injury to initial assessment 8 days) participated in the study. At the initial assessment, the SRC patients demonstrated significantly worse cognitive HRQOL and clinically meaningful impairments in school and overall HRQOL compared to the SREF patients. Clinical variables associated with a worse HRQOL among SRC patients differed by domain but were significantly affected by the patients’ initial symptom burden and the development of delayed physician-documented clinical recovery (> 28 days postinjury). No persistent impairments in HRQOL were observed among SRC patients who were followed up until physician-documented clinical recovery.

CONCLUSIONS

Adolescent SRC is associated with temporary impairments in HRQOL that have been shown to resolve in patients who are followed up until physician-documented clinical recovery. Future studies are needed to identify the clinicopathological features that are associated with impaired HRQOL and to assess whether the initiation of multidisciplinary, targeted rehabilitation strategies would lead to an improvement in HRQOL.

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Anna MacDowall, Nuno Canto Moreira, Catarina Marques, Martin Skeppholm, Lars Lindhagen, Yohan Robinson, Håkan Löfgren, Karl Michaëlsson and Claes Olerud

OBJECTIVE

The method of artificial disc replacement (ADR) has been developed as an alternative treatment to fusion surgery after decompression for cervical degenerative disc disease (DDD) with radiculopathy. Preserving the motion of ADR devices aims to prevent immobilization side effects such as adjacent-segment pathology (ASP). However, long-term follow-up evaluations using MRI are needed to investigate if this intent is achieved.

METHODS

The authors performed a randomized controlled trial with 153 patients (mean age 47 years) undergoing surgery for cervical radiculopathy. Eighty-three patients received an ADR and 70 patients underwent fusion surgery. Outcomes after 5 years were assessed using patient-reported outcome measures using the Neck Disability Index (NDI) score as the primary outcome; motion preservation and heterotopic ossification by radiography; ASP by MRI; and secondary surgical procedures.

RESULTS

Scores on the NDI were approximately halved in both groups: the mean score after 5 years was 36 (95% confidence interval [CI] 31–41) in the ADR group and 32 (95% CI 27–38) in the fusion group (p = 0.48). There were no other significant differences between the groups in six other patient-related outcome measures. Fifty-four percent of the patients in the ADR group preserved motion at the operated cervical level and 25% of the ADRs were spontaneously fused. Seventeen ADR patients (21%) and 7 fusion patients (10%) underwent secondary surgery (p = 0.11), with 5 patients in each group due to clinical ASP.

CONCLUSIONS

In patients with cervical DDD and radiculopathy decompression as well as ADR, surgery did not result in better clinical or radiological outcomes after 5 years compared with decompression and fusion surgery.

Clinical trial registration no.: 44347115 (ISRCTN).

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James R. Bean

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Chia-Hua Chen, Pin-Yuan Chen, You-Yu Lin, Li-Ying Feng, Shin-Han Chen, Chia-Yuan Chen, Yin-Cheng Huang, Chiung-Yin Huang, Shih-Ming Jung, Leslie Y. Chen and Kuo-Chen Wei

OBJECTIVE

Despite intensive medical treatment, patients with glioblastoma (grade IV glioma [GBM]) have a low 5-year survival rate of 5.5%. In this study, the authors tried to improve currently used therapies by identification of a therapeutic target, IGFBP3, for glioma treatment.

METHODS

IGFBP3 RNA expression in 135 patients newly diagnosed with glioma was correlated with clinicopathological factors. Immunohistochemical analysis was performed to determine IGFBP3 protein expression in glioma specimens. The effect of IGFBP3 depletion on cell proliferation was examined using IGFBP3 knockdown glioma cells. Intracranial infusion of IGFBP3 siRNAs was performed to evaluate the effect of IGFBP3 depletion in mouse intracranial xenograft models.

RESULTS

We demonstrated higher IGFBP3 expression in GBM than in tumor margin and grade II glioma. IGFBP3 expression was not only positively correlated with tumor grades but also associated with tumor histology and IDH1/2 mutation status. Additionally, higher IGFBP3 expression predicted shorter overall survival in glioma and GBM proneural subgroup patients. In vitro cell culture studies suggested IGFBP3 knockdown suppressed cell proliferation and induced cell cycle G2/M arrest as well as apoptosis in glioma cells. Also, accumulation of DNA double-strand breaks and γH2AX was observed in IGFBP3 knockdown cells. IGFBP3 knockdown delayed in vivo tumor growth in mouse subcutaneous xenograft models. Furthermore, convection-enhanced delivery of IGFBP3 siRNA to mouse brain suppressed intracranial tumor growth and prolonged survival of tumor-bearing mice.

CONCLUSIONS

Our findings suggest IGFBP3 predicts poor outcome of glioma patients and is a potential therapeutic target for which depletion of its expression suppresses tumor growth through inducing apoptosis and accumulation of DNA damage in glioma cells.

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Emerson Magno de Andrade, Raquel C. R. Martinez, Rosana L. Pagano, Patricia S. S. Lopes, Aline V. V. Auada, Flavia V. Gouveia, Geiza F. Antunes, Danielle V. Assis, Ivo Lebrun and Erich T. Fonoff

OBJECTIVE

Motor cortex stimulation (MCS) is a neurosurgical technique used to treat patients with refractory neuropathic pain syndromes. MCS activates the periaqueductal gray (PAG) matter, which is one of the major centers of the descending pain inhibitory system. However, the neurochemical mechanisms in the PAG that underlie the analgesic effect of MCS have not yet been described. The main goal of this study was to investigate the neurochemical mechanisms involved in the analgesic effect induced by MCS in neuropathic pain. Specifically, we investigated the release of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), glycine, and glutamate in the PAG and performed pharmacological antagonism experiments to validate of our findings.

METHODS

Male Wistar rats with surgically induced chronic constriction of the sciatic nerve, along with sham-operated rats and naive rats, were implanted with both unilateral transdural electrodes in the motor cortex and a microdialysis guide cannula in the PAG and subjected to MCS. The MCS was delivered in single 15-minute sessions. Neurotransmitter release was evaluated in the PAG before, during, and after MCS. Quantification of the neurotransmitters GABA, glycine, and glutamate was performed using a high-performance liquid chromatography system. The mechanical nociceptive threshold was evaluated initially, on the 14th day following the surgery, and during the MCS. In another group of neuropathic rats, once the analgesic effect after MCS was confirmed by the mechanical nociceptive test, rats were microinjected with saline or a glycine antagonist (strychnine), a GABA antagonist (bicuculline), or a combination of glycine and GABA antagonists (strychnine+bicuculline) and reevaluated for the mechanical nociceptive threshold during MCS.

RESULTS

MCS reversed the hyperalgesia induced by peripheral neuropathy in the rats with chronic sciatic nerve constriction and induced a significant increase in the glycine and GABA levels in the PAG in comparison with the naive and sham-treated rats. The glutamate levels remained stable under all conditions. The antagonism of glycine, GABA, and the combination of glycine and GABA reversed the MCS-induced analgesia.

CONCLUSIONS

These results suggest that the neurotransmitters glycine and GABA released in the PAG may be involved in the analgesia induced by cortical stimulation in animals with neuropathic pain. Further investigation of the mechanisms involved in MCS-induced analgesia may contribute to clinical improvements for the treatment of persistent neuropathic pain syndromes.

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Benedikt W. Burkhardt, Simon J. Müller, Anne-Catherine Wagner and Joachim M. Oertel

OBJECTIVE

Infection of the cervical spine is a rare disease but is associated with significant risk of neurological deterioration, morbidity, and a poor response to nonsurgical management. The ideal treatment for cervical spondylodiscitis (CSD) remains unclear.

METHODS

Hospital records of patients who underwent acute surgical management for CSD were reviewed. Information about preoperative neurological status, surgical treatment, peri- and postoperative processes, antibiotic treatment, repeated procedure, and neurological status at follow-up examination were analyzed.

RESULTS

A total of 30 consecutive patients (17 male and 13 female) were included in this retrospective study. The mean age at procedures was 68.1 years (range 50–82 years), with mean of 6 coexisting comorbidities. Preoperatively neck pain was noted in 21 patients (70.0%), arm pain in 12 (40.0%), a paresis in 12 (40.0%), sensory deficit in 8 (26.7%), tetraparesis in 6 (20%), a septicemia in 4 (13.3%). Preoperative MRI scan revealed a CSD in one-level fusion in 21 patients (70.0%), in two-level fusions in 7 patients (23.3%), and in three-level fusions in 2 patients (6.7%). In 16 patients an antibiotic treatment was initiated prior to surgical treatment. Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion with cervical plating (ACDF+CP) was performed in 17 patients and anterior cervical corpectomy and fusion (ACCF) in 12 patients. Additional posterior decompression was performed in one case of ACDF+CP and additional posterior fixation in ten cases of ACCF procedures. Three patients died due to multiple organ failure (10%). Revision surgery was performed in 6 patients (20.7%) within the first 2 weeks postoperatively. All patients received antibiotic treatment for 6 weeks. At the first follow-up (mean 3 month) no recurrent infection was detected on blood workup and MRI scans. At final follow-up (mean 18 month), all patients reported improvement of neck pain, all but one patients were free of radicular pain and had no sensory deficits, and all patients showed improvement of motor strength. One patient with preoperative tetraparesis was able to ambulate.

CONCLUSIONS

CSD is a disease that is associated with severe neurological deterioration. Anterior cervical surgery with radical debridement and appropriate antibiotic treatment achieves complete healing. Anterior cervical plating with the use of polyetheretherketone cages has no negative effect of the healing process. Posterior fixation is recommended following ACCF procedures.

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Jacob Cherian, Thomas P. Madaelil, Frank Tong, Brian M. Howard, C. Michael Cawley and Jonathan A. Grossberg

The video highlights a challenging case of bilateral vertebral artery dissection presenting with subarachnoid hemorrhage. The patient was found to have a critical flow-limiting stenosis in his dominant right vertebral artery and a ruptured pseudoaneurysm in his left vertebral artery. A single-stage endovascular treatment with stent reconstruction of the right vertebral artery and coil embolization sacrifice of the left side was performed. The case highlights the rationale for treatment and potential alternative strategies.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/e0U_JE2jISw.