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Sergio García-García, Diego Culebras and Ramón Torné

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Kamlesh S. Bhaisora, Kuntal Kanti Das, Suyash Singh and Arun K. Srivastava

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Shizumasa Murata, Akihito Minamide, Hiroshi Iwasaki, Yukihiro Nakagawa, Hiroshi Hashizume, Yasutsugu Yukawa, Shunji Tsutsui, Masanari Takami, Motohiro Okada, Keiji Nagata, Munehito Yoshida, Andrew J. Schoenfeld, Andrew K. Simpson and Hiroshi Yamada

OBJECTIVE

Persistent lumbar foraminal stenosis (LFS) is one of the most common reasons for poor postoperative outcomes and is a major contributor to “failed back surgery syndrome.” The authors describe a new surgical strategy for LFS based on anatomical considerations using 3D image fusion with MRI/CT analysis.

METHODS

A retrospective review was conducted on 78 consecutive patients surgically treated for LFS at the lumbosacral junction (2013–2017). The location and extent of stenosis, including the narrowest site and associated pathology (bone or soft tissue), were measured using 3D image fusion with MRI/CT. Stenosis was defined as medial intervertebral foraminal (MF; inner edge to pedicle center), lateral intervertebral foraminal (LF; pedicle center to outer edge), or extraforaminal (EF; outside the pedicle). Lumbar (low-back pain, leg pain) and patient satisfaction visual analog scale (VAS) scores and Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) scores were evaluated. Surgical outcome was evaluated 2 years postoperatively.

RESULTS

Most instances of stenosis existed outside the pedicle’s center (94%), including LF (58%), EF (36%), and MF (6%). In all MF cases, stenosis resulted from soft-tissue structures. The narrowest stenosis sites were localized around the pedicle’s outer border. The areas for sufficient nerve decompression were extended in MF+LF (10%), MF+LF+EF (14%), LF+EF (39%), LF (11%), and EF (26%). No iatrogenic pars interarticularis damage occurred. The JOA score was 14.9 ± 2.6 points preoperatively and 22.4 ± 3.5 points at 2 years postoperatively. The JOA recovery rate was 56.0% ± 18.6%. The VAS score (low-back and leg pain) was significantly improved 2 years postoperatively (p < 0.01). According to patients’ self-assessment of the minimally invasive surgery, 62 (79.5%) chose “surgery met my expectations” at follow-up. Nine patients (11.5%) selected “I did not improve as much as I had hoped but I would undergo the same surgery for the same outcome.”

CONCLUSIONS

Most LFS existed outside the pedicle’s center and was rarely noted in the pars region. The main regions of stenosis were localized to the pedicle’s outer edge. Considering this anatomical distribution of LFS, the authors recommend that lateral fenestration should be the first priority for foraminal decompression. Other surgical options including foraminotomy, total facetectomy, and hemilaminectomy likely require more bone resections than LFS treatment. The microendoscopic surgery results were very good, indicating that this minimally invasive surgery was suitable for treating this disease.

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Weiyuan Huang, Richard Ogbuji, Liangdong Zhou, Lingfei Guo, Yi Wang and Brian H. Kopell

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to investigate the correlation between the quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) signal gradient of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) and motor impairment in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD).

METHODS

All PD patients who had undergone QSM MRI for presurgical deep brain stimulation (DBS) planning were eligible for inclusion in this study. The entire STN and its three functional subdivisions, as well as the adjacent white matter (WM), were segmented and measured. The QSM value difference between the entire STN and adjacent WM (STN-WM), between the limbic and associative regions of the STN (L-A), and between the associative and motor regions of the STN (A-M) were obtained as measures of gradient and were input into an unsupervised k-means clustering algorithm to automatically categorize the overall boundary distinctness between the STN and adjacent WM and between STN subdivisions (gradient blur [GB] and gradient sharp [GS] groups). Statistical tests were performed to compare clinical and image measurements for discrimination between GB and GS groups.

RESULTS

Of the 39 study patients, 19 were categorized into the GB group and 20 into the GS group, based on quantitative cluster analysis. The GB group had a significantly higher presurgical off-medication Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale Part III score (51.289 ± 20.741) than the GS group (38.5 ± 16.028; p = 0.037). The GB group had significantly higher QSM values for the STN and its three subdivisions and adjacent WM than those for the GS group (p < 0.01). The GB group also demonstrated a significantly higher STN-WM gradient in the right STN (p = 0.01). The GB group demonstrated a significantly lower L-A gradient in both the left and the right STN (p < 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS

Advancing PD with more severe motor impairment leads to more iron deposition in the STN and adjacent WM, as shown in the QSM signal. Loss of the STN inner QSM signal gradient should be considered as an image marker for more severe motor impairment in PD patients.

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Philine Behrens, Anna Tietze, Elisabeth Walch, Petra Bittigau, Christoph Bührer, Matthias Schulz, Annette Aigner and Ulrich-Wilhelm Thomale

OBJECTIVE

A standardized guideline for treatment of posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus in premature infants is still missing. Because an early ventriculoperitoneal shunt surgery is avoided due to low body weight and fragility of the patients, the neurosurgical treatment focuses on temporary solutions for CSF diversion as a minimally invasive approach. Neuroendoscopic lavage (NEL) was additionally introduced for early elimination of intraventricular blood components to reduce possible subsequent complications such as shunt dependency, infection, and multiloculated hydrocephalus. The authors report their first experience regarding neurodevelopmental outcome after NEL in this patient cohort.

METHODS

In a single-center retrospective cohort study with 45 patients undergoing NEL, the authors measured neurocognitive development at 2 years with the Bayley Scales of Infant Development, 2nd Edition, Mental Developmental Index (BSID II MDI) and graded the ability to walk with the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS). They further recorded medication with antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) and quantified ventricular and brain volumes by using 3D MRI data sets.

RESULTS

Forty-four patients were alive at 2 years of age. Eight of 27 patients (30%) assessed revealed a fairly normal neurocognitive development (BSID II MDI ≥ 70), 28 of 36 patients (78%) were able to walk independently or with minimal aid (GMFCS 0–2), and 73% did not require AED treatment. Based on MR volume measurements, greater brain volume was positively correlated with BSID II MDI (rs = 0.52, 95% CI 0.08–0.79) and negatively with GMFCS (rs = −0.69, 95% CI −0.85 to −0.42). Based on Bayesian logistic regression, AED treatment, the presence of comorbidities, and also cerebellar pathology could be identified as relevant risk factors for both neurodevelopmental outcomes, increasing the odds more than 2-fold—but with limited precision in estimation.

CONCLUSIONS

Neuromotor outcome assessment after NEL is comparable to previously published drainage, irrigation, and fibrinolytic therapy (DRIFT) study results. A majority of NEL-treated patients showed independent mobility. Further validation of outcome measurements is warranted in an extended setup, as intended by the prospective international multicenter registry for treatment of posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus (TROPHY).

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Mandeep S. Tamber and Robert P. Naftel

OBJECTIVE

Choosing between competing options (shunt or endoscopic third ventriculostomy) for the management of hydrocephalus requires patients and caregivers to make a subjective judgment about the relative importance of risks and benefits associated with each treatment. In the context of this particular decision, little is known about what treatment-related factors are important and how they are prioritized in order to arrive at a treatment preference.

METHODS

The Hydrocephalus Association electronically distributed a survey to surgically treated hydrocephalus patients or their families. Respondents rated the importance of various surgical attributes in their decision-making about treatment choice, and also indicated their preference in hypothetical scenarios involving a trade-off between potential risks and benefits of treatment. Rank-order correlations were used to determine whether certain predictor variables affected the rating of factors or hypothetical treatment choice.

RESULTS

Eighty percent of 414 respondents rated procedural risks, minimizing repeat surgery, and improving long-term brain function as being very or extremely important factors when deciding on a treatment; 69% rated the need to implant a permanent device similarly. Parent-respondents rated procedural risks higher than patient-respondents. A majority of respondents (n = 209, 54%) chose a procedure with higher surgical risk if it meant that implantation of a permanent device was not required, and respondents were more likely to choose this option if they discussed both treatment options with their surgeon prior to their initial intervention (Spearman rho 0.198, p = 0.001).

Although only 144 of 384 total respondents (38%) chose a less established operation if it meant less repeat surgery, patient-respondents were more likely to choose this option compared to parent-respondents (Spearman rho 0.145, p = 0.005). Likewise, patient-respondents were more likely than parent-respondents to choose an operation that involved less repeat surgery and led to worse long-term brain function (Spearman rho 0.160, p = 0.002), an option that was chosen by only 23 (6%) of respondents overall.

CONCLUSIONS

This study is the first exploration of patient/parental factors that influence treatment preference in pediatric hydrocephalus. Procedural risks, minimizing repeat operations, and the desire to maximize long-term cognitive function appeared to be the most important attributes that influenced treatment decisions that the survey respondents had made in the past. Patients and/or their caregivers appear to see some inherent benefit in being shunt free. It appears that fear of multiple revision operations may drive treatment choice in some circumstances.

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Baotian Zhao, Chao Zhang, Xiu Wang, Yao Wang, Chang Liu, Jiajie Mo, Zhong Zheng, Kai Zhang, Xiao-qiu Shao, Wenhan Hu and Jianguo Zhang

Focal cortical dysplasia type II (FCD II) is a common histopathological substrate of epilepsy surgery. Here, the authors propose a sulcus-centered resection strategy for this malformation, provide technical details, and assess the efficacy and safety of this technique. The main purpose of the sulcus-centered resection is to remove the folded gray matter surrounding a dysplastic sulcus, particularly that at the bottom of the sulcus. The authors also retrospectively reviewed the records of 88 consecutive patients with FCD II treated with resective surgery between January 2015 and December 2018. The demographics, clinical characteristics, electrophysiological recordings, neuroimaging studies, histopathological findings, surgical outcomes, and complications were collected. After the exclusion of diffusely distributed and gyrus-based lesions, 71 patients (30 females, 41 males) who had undergone sulcus-centered resection were included in this study. The mean (± standard deviation) age of the cohort was 17.78 ± 10.54 years (38 pediatric patients, 33 adults). Thirty-five lesions (49%) were demonstrated on MRI; 42 patients (59%) underwent stereo-EEG monitoring before resective surgery; and 37 (52%) and 34 (48%) lesions were histopathologically proven to be FCD IIa and IIb, respectively. At a mean follow-up of 3.34 ± 1.17 years, 64 patients (90%) remained seizure free, and 7 (10%) had permanent neurological deficits including motor weakness, sensory deficits, and visual field deficits. The study findings showed that in carefully selected FCD II cases, sulcus-centered resection is an effective and safe surgical strategy.

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Michael Grelat, Chang-Zhi Du, Liang Xu, Xu Sun and Yong Qiu

OBJECTIVE

Scheuermann kyphosis (SK) could require surgical treatment in certain situations. A posterior reduction is the most widespread treatment so far, although the development of proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK) is one of the possible complications of this procedure. The contour of the proximal part of the rod could influence the occurrence of PJK in SK patients. The objective of this study was to analyze the impact of the proximal rod contour on the occurrence of a PJK complication in SK patients.

METHODS

This retrospective monocentric study was performed in the Nanjing Spine Surgery Department. All eligible patients had undergone posterior correction surgery with pedicle screws only between 2002 and 2017 and had at least 24 months of follow-up. The presence of PJK was quantified on radiographs using the proximal junctional angle (PJA > 10° at the last follow-up). The authors propose a new radiological parameter to measure the angulation of the proximal part of the instrumentation: the proximal contouring rod angle (PCRA) is the angle between the upper endplate of the upper instrumented vertebra (UIV) and the lower endplate of the second vertebra caudal to the UIV. The patients were analyzed according to the presence or absence of PJK. A t-test, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis, and logistic regression analysis were performed for statistical analysis.

RESULTS

Sixty-two patients treated for SK were included in this study. The mean age was 18.6 ± 8.5 years, and the mean follow-up was 42.5 ± 16.4 months. The mean correction rate of global kyphosis was 46.4% ± 13.7%. At the last follow-up, 17 patients (27.4%) presented with PJK. No significant difference was found between the PJK and non-PJK groups in terms of age and other preoperative variables. A significant difference in the postoperative PCRA was found between the PJK and non-PJK groups (8.2° ± 4.9° vs 15.7° ± 6.6°, respectively; p = 0.001). A postoperative PCRA less than 10.1° predicted a significantly higher risk for PJK (p = 0.002, OR 2.431, 95% CI 1.781–4.133).

CONCLUSIONS

Under-contouring of the proximal part of the rods (lower than 10°) is a risk factor for PJK after posterior correction of SK.

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Ping-Guo Duan, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Joshua Rivera, Jeremy M. V. Guinn, Minghao Wang, Zhuo Xi, Bo Li, Hao-Hua Wu, Christopher P. Ames, Shane Burch, Sigurd H. Berven and Dean Chou

OBJECTIVE

Patients undergoing long-segment fusions from the lower thoracic (LT) spine to the sacrum for adult spinal deformity (ASD) correction are at risk for proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK). One mechanism of PJK is fracture of the upper instrumented vertebra (UIV) or higher (UIV+1), which may be related to bone mineral density (BMD). Because Hounsfield units (HUs) on CT correlate with BMD, the authors evaluated whether HU values were correlated with PJK after long fusions for ASD.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective study of patients older than 50 years who had undergone ASD correction from the LT spine to the sacrum in the period from October 2007 to January 2018 and had a minimum 2-year follow-up. Demographic and spinopelvic parameters were measured. HU values were measured on preoperative CT at the UIV, UIV+1, and UIV+2 (2 levels above the UIV) levels and were assessed for correlations with PJK.

RESULTS

The records of 127 patients were reviewed. Fifty-four patients (19 males and 35 females) with a mean age of 64.91 years and mean follow-up of 3.19 years met the study inclusion criteria; there were 29 patients with PJK and 25 patients without. There was no statistically significant difference in demographics or follow-up between these two groups. Neither was there a difference between the groups with regard to postoperative pelvic incidence (PI), sacral slope (SS), lumbar lordosis (LL), PI minus LL (PI-LL), thoracic kyphosis (TK), or sagittal vertical axis (SVA; all p > 0.05). Postoperative pelvic tilt (p = 0.003) and T1 pelvic angle (p = 0.014) were significantly higher in patients with PJK than in those without. Preoperative HUs at UIV, UIV+1, and UIV+2 were 120.41, 124.52, and 129.28 in the patients with PJK, respectively, and 152.80, 155.96, and 160.00 in the patients without PJK, respectively (p = 0.011, 0.02, and 0.018). Three receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves for preoperative HU values at the UIV, UIV+1, and UIV+2 as a predictor for PJK were established, with areas under the ROC curve of 0.710 (95% CI 0.574–0.847), 0.679 (95% CI 0.536–0.821), and 0.681 (95% CI 0.539–0.824), respectively. The optimal HU value by Youden index was 104 HU at the UIV (sensitivity 0.840, specificity 0.517), 113 HU at the UIV+1 (sensitivity 0.720, specificity 0.517), and 110 HU at the UIV+2 (sensitivity 0.880, specificity 0.448).

CONCLUSIONS

In patients undergoing long-segment fusions from the LT spine to the sacrum for ASD, PJK was associated with lower HU values on CT at the UIV, UIV+1, and UIV+2. The measurement of HU values on preoperative CTs may be a useful adjunct for ASD surgery planning.

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Zhuo Xi, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Minghao Wang, Huibing Ruan, Shane Burch, Vedat Deviren, Aaron J. Clark, Sigurd H. Berven and Dean Chou

OBJECTIVE

One vexing problem after lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) surgery is cage subsidence. Low bone mineral density (BMD) may contribute to subsidence, and BMD is correlated with Hounsfield units (HUs) on CT. The authors investigated if lower HU values correlated with subsidence after LLIF.

METHODS

A retrospective study of patients undergoing single-level LLIF with pedicle screw fixation for degenerative conditions at the University of California, San Francisco, by 6 spine surgeons was performed. Data on demographics, cage parameters, preoperative HUs on CT, and postoperative subsidence were collected. Thirty-six–inch standing radiographs were used to measure segmental lordosis, disc space height, and subsidence; data were collected immediately postoperatively and at 1 year. Subsidence was graded using a published grade of disc height loss: grade 0, 0%–24%; grade I, 25%–49%; grade II, 50%–74%; and grade III, 75%–100%. HU values were measured on preoperative CT from L1 to L5, and each lumbar vertebral body HU was measured 4 separate times.

RESULTS

After identifying 138 patients who underwent LLIF, 68 met the study inclusion criteria. All patients had single-level LLIF with pedicle screw fixation. The mean follow-up duration was 25.3 ± 10.4 months. There were 40 patients who had grade 0 subsidence, 15 grade I, 9 grade II, and 4 grade III. There were no significant differences in age, sex, BMI, or smoking. There were no significant differences in cage sizes, cage lordosis, and preoperative disc height. The mean segmental HU (the average HU value of the two vertebrae above and below the LLIF) was 169.5 ± 45 for grade 0, 130.3 ± 56.2 for grade I, 100.7 ± 30.2 for grade II, and 119.9 ± 52.9 for grade III (p < 0.001). After using a receiver operating characteristic curve to establish separation criteria between mild and severe subsidence, the most appropriate threshold of HU value was 135.02 between mild and severe subsidence (sensitivity 60%, specificity 92.3%). After univariate and multivariate analysis, preoperative segmental HU value was an independent risk factor for severe cage subsidence (p = 0.017, OR 15.694, 95% CI 1.621–151.961).

CONCLUSIONS

Lower HU values on preoperative CT are associated with cage subsidence after LLIF. Measurement of preoperative HU values on CT may be useful when planning LLIF surgery.