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Anthony L. Mikula, Jeremy L. Fogelson, Soliman Oushy, Zachariah W. Pinter, Pierce A. Peters, Kingsley Abode-Iyamah, Arjun S. Sebastian, Brett Freedman, Bradford L. Currier, David W. Polly, and Benjamin D. Elder

OBJECTIVE

Pelvic incidence (PI) is a commonly utilized spinopelvic parameter in the evaluation and treatment of patients with spinal deformity and is believed to be a fixed parameter. However, a fixed PI assumes that there is no motion across the sacroiliac (SI) joint, which has been disputed in recent literature. The objective of this study was to determine if patients with SI joint vacuum sign have a change in PI between the supine and standing positions.

METHODS

A retrospective chart review identified patients with a standing radiograph, supine radiograph, and CT scan encompassing the SI joints within a 6-month period. Patients were grouped according to their SI joints having either no vacuum sign, unilateral vacuum sign, or bilateral vacuum sign. PI was measured by two independent reviewers.

RESULTS

Seventy-three patients were identified with an average age of 66 years and a BMI of 30 kg/m2. Patients with bilateral SI joint vacuum sign (n = 27) had an average absolute change in PI of 7.2° (p < 0.0001) between the standing and supine positions compared to patients with unilateral SI joint vacuum sign (n = 20) who had a change of 5.2° (p = 0.0008), and patients without an SI joint vacuum sign (n = 26) who experienced a change of 4.1° (p = 0.74). ANOVA with post hoc Tukey test showed a statistically significant difference in the change in PI between patients with the bilateral SI joint vacuum sign and those without an SI joint vacuum sign (p = 0.023). The intraclass correlation coefficient between the two reviewers was 0.97 for standing PI and 0.96 for supine PI (p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS

Patients with bilateral SI joint vacuum signs had a change in PI between the standing and supine positions, suggesting there may be increasing motion across the SI joint with significant joint degeneration.

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Dong Hyun Lee, Dong-Geun Lee, Jin Sub Hwang, Jae-Won Jang, Dae Hyeon Maeng, and Choon Keun Park

OBJECTIVE

Whereas the benefits of indirect decompression after lateral lumbar interbody fusion are well known, the effects of anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) have not yet been verified. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical and radiological effects of indirect decompression after ALIF for central spinal canal stenosis. In this report, along with the many advantages of the anterior approach, the authors share cases with good outcomes that they have encountered.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective analysis of 64 consecutive patients who underwent ALIF for central spinal canal stenosis with instability and mixed foraminal stenosis between January 2015 and December 2018 at their hospital. Clinical assessments were performed using the visual analog scale score, the Oswestry Disability Index, and the modified Macnab criteria. The radiographic parameters were determined from pre- and postoperative cross-sectional MRI scans of the spinal canal and were compared to evaluate neural decompression after ALIF. The average follow-up period was 23.3 ± 1.3 months.

RESULTS

All clinical parameters, including the visual analog scale score, Oswestry Disability Index, and modified Macnab criteria, improved significantly. The mean operative duration was 254.8 ± 60.8 minutes, and the intraoperative bleeding volume was 179.8 ± 119.3 ml. In the radiological evaluation, radiological parameters of the cross-sections of the spinal canal showed substantial development. The spinal canal size improved by an average of 43.3% (p < 0.001) after surgery. No major complications occurred; however, aspiration guided by ultrasonography was performed in 2 patients because of a pseudocyst and fluid collection.

CONCLUSIONS

ALIF can serve as a suitable alternative to extensive posterior approaches. The authors suggest that ALIF can be used for decompression in central spinal canal stenosis as well as restoration of the foraminal dimensions, thus allowing decompression of the nerve roots.

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Melanie A. Morrison, Anthony T. Lee, Alastair J. Martin, Cameron Dietiker, Ethan G. Brown, and Doris D. Wang

OBJECTIVE

Direct visualization of the ventral intermediate nucleus (VIM) of the thalamus on standard MRI sequences remains elusive. Therefore, deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery for essential tremor (ET) indirectly targets the VIM using atlas-derived consensus coordinates and requires awake intraoperative testing to confirm clinical benefits. The objective of this study was to evaluate the utility of proton density (PD)–weighted MRI and tractography of the intersecting dentato-rubro-thalamic tract (DRTT) for direct “intersectional” targeting of the VIM in ET.

METHODS

DBS targets were selected by identifying the VIM on PD-weighted images relative to the DRTT in 2 patients with ET. Tremor reduction was confirmed with intraoperative clinical testing. Intended target coordinates based on the direct intersectional targeting technique were compared with consensus coordinates obtained with indirect targeting. Pre- and postoperative tremor scores were assessed using the Fahn-Tolosa-Marin tremor rating scale (TRS).

RESULTS

Planned DBS coordinates based on direct versus indirect targeting of the VIM differed in both the anteroposterior (range 0 to 2.3) and lateral (range −0.7 to 1) directions. For 1 patient, indirect targeting—without PD-weighted visualization of the VIM and DRTT—would have likely resulted in suboptimal electrode placement within the VIM. At the 3-month follow-up, both patients demonstrated significant improvement in tremor symptoms subjectively and according to the TRS (case 1: 68%, case 2: 72%).

CONCLUSIONS

Direct intersectional targeting of the VIM using PD-weighted imaging and DRTT tractography is a feasible method for DBS placement in patients with ET. These advanced targeting techniques can supplement awake intraoperative testing or be used independently in asleep cases to improve surgical efficiency and confidence.

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Melissa A. LoPresti, Kathryn Wagner, and Sandi Lam

Intractable epilepsy impacts many children. Surgically resective and palliative treatments have developed to increase seizure freedom or palliate the seizure burden in those with medically refractory epilepsy. However, surgical epilepsy treatment can confer significant morbidity and death. Endoscope-assisted surgical approaches may be helpful in reducing the morbidity related to traditional open surgical approaches while allowing for good visualization of surgical targets. Here, the authors report a case utilizing an endoscope-assisted keyhole approach to perform a posterior quadrantectomy and corpus callosotomy, achieving the surgical goals of disconnection and reducing the need for large craniotomy exposure. They present the case of a 17-year-old male with medically refractory epilepsy treated with endoscope-assisted posterior quadrantectomy and corpus callosotomy through two mini-craniotomies to achieve a functional disconnection. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first reported case of an endoscope-assisted approach for a posterior quadrantectomy for surgical epilepsy treatment in an adult or a pediatric patient. The case is reported to highlight the technical nuances and benefits of this approach in select patients as well as the expansion of applications of endoscope-assisted epilepsy surgery.

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Joshua S. Catapano, Mohamed A. Labib, Fabio A. Frisoli, Megan S. Cadigan, Jacob F. Baranoski, Tyler S. Cole, James J. Zhou, Candice L. Nguyen, Alexander C. Whiting, Andrew F. Ducruet, Felipe C. Albuquerque, and Michael T. Lawton

OBJECTIVE

The SAFIRE grading scale is a novel, computable scale that predicts the outcome of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) patients in acute follow-up. However, this scale also may have prognostic significance in long-term follow-up and help guide further management.

METHODS

The records of all patients enrolled in the Barrow Ruptured Aneurysm Trial (BRAT) were retrospectively reviewed, and the patients were assigned SAFIRE grades. Outcomes at 1 year and 6 years post-aSAH were analyzed for each SAFIRE grade level, with a poor outcome defined as a modified Rankin Scale score > 2. Univariate analysis was performed for patients with a high SAFIRE grade (IV or V) for odds of poor outcome at the 1- and 6-year follow-ups.

RESULTS

A total of 405 patients with confirmed aSAH enrolled in the BRAT were analyzed; 357 patients had 1-year follow-up, and 333 patients had 6-year follow-up data available. Generally, as the SAFIRE grade increased, so did the proportion of patients with poor outcomes. At the 1-year follow-up, 18% (17/93) of grade I patients, 22% (20/92) of grade II patients, 32% (26/80) of grade III patients, 43% (38/88) of grade IV patients, and 75% (3/4) of grade V patients were found to have poor outcomes. At the 6-year follow-up, 29% (23/79) of grade I patients, 24% (21/89) of grade II patients, 38% (29/77) of grade III patients, 60% (50/84) of grade IV patients, and 100% (4/4) of grade V patients were found to have poor outcomes. Univariate analysis showed that a SAFIRE grade of IV or V was associated with a significantly increased risk of a poor outcome at both the 1-year (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.5–4.2; p < 0.001) and 6-year (OR 3.7, 95% CI 2.2–6.2; p < 0.001) follow-ups.

CONCLUSIONS

High SAFIRE grades are associated with an increased risk of a poor recovery at late follow-up.

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Victor M. Lu, S. Shelby Burks, Rainya N. Heath, Tizeta Wolde, Robert J. Spinner, and Allan D. Levi

OBJECTIVE

Meralgia paresthetica is caused by entrapment of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve (LFCN) and often presents with pain. Multiple treatment options targeting the LFCN can be pursued to treat the pain should conservative measures fail, with the most common options being injection, neurolysis, and neurectomy. However, their efficacy in causing pain relief and their clinical outcomes have yet to be directly compared. The aim of this study was to interrogate the contemporary literature and quantitatively define how these options compare.

METHODS

The electronic databases Ovid Embase, PubMed, SCOPUS, and the Cochrane Library were interrogated from inception to May 2020 following the PRISMA guidelines. Candidate articles were screened against prespecified criteria. Outcome data were abstracted and pooled by random-effects meta-analysis of proportions.

RESULTS

There were 25 articles that satisfied all criteria, reporting outcomes for a total of 670 meralgia paresthetica patients, with 78 (12%) treated by injection, 496 (74%) by neurolysis, and 96 (14%) by neurectomy. The incidence of complete pain relief was 85% (95% CI 71%–96%) after neurectomy, 63% (95% CI 56%–71%) after neurolysis, and 22% (95% CI 13%–33%) after injection, which were all statistically different (p < 0.01). The incidence of revision procedures was 12% (95% CI 4%–22%) after neurolysis and 0% (95% CI 0%–2%) after neurectomy, which were significantly lower than 81% (95% CI 64%–94%) after injection (p < 0.01). The incidences of treatment complications were statistically comparable across all three treatments, ranging from 0% to 5% (p = 0.34).

CONCLUSIONS

There are multiple treatment options to target pain in meralgia paresthetica. The incidence of complete pain relief appears to be the greatest among the 3 interventions after neurectomy, accompanied by the lowest incidence of revision procedures. These findings should help inform patient preference and expectations. Greater exploration of the anatomical rationale for incomplete pain relief after surgical intervention will assist in optimizing further surgical treatment for meralgia paresthetica.

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Shizumasa Murata, Akihito Minamide, Masanari Takami, Hiroshi Iwasaki, Sae Okada, Kento Nonaka, Hiroshi Taneichi, Andrew J. Schoenfeld, Andrew K. Simpson, and Hiroshi Yamada

OBJECTIVE

Facet cysts may represent a sign of intrinsic facet disease and instability, increasing the importance of less-invasive approaches that limit tissue dissection and improve visualization. The authors developed an intraoperative cyst-dyeing technique, involving the injection of indigo carmine from the facet joint into the cyst, as an adjunct during decompression. This study aimed to evaluate the clinical outcomes and perioperative complication rates of microendoscopic spinal decompression for lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) and lumbar foraminal stenosis (LFS), caused by facet cysts and to elucidate the efficacy of the cyst-dyeing method in microendoscopic surgery for facet cysts.

METHODS

Forty-eight consecutive patients who underwent surgical treatment with microendoscopic decompression for symptomatic LSS or LFS caused by facet cysts from 2011 to 2018 were reviewed. These patients were divided into two groups: a group that did not receive dye (N), with the patients undergoing surgery from April 2011 to May 2015; and a group that received dye (D), with patients undergoing surgery from June 2015 to March 2018. The authors evaluated the operative time, blood loss, perioperative complications, visual analog scale scores for low-back and leg pain, and Japanese Orthopaedic Association scores. Surgical outcome was evaluated 2 years postoperatively and was compared between groups D and N.

RESULTS

The clinical outcomes were generally excellent or good. Group N consisted of 36 patients and group D of 12 patients. Comparing the clinical results, it was found that the cyst-dyeing method reduced the perioperative complication rate, including reduction in dural tears to 0%, and shortened the average operative time by approximately 40 minutes.

CONCLUSIONS

In this study, the authors demonstrated that the clinical outcomes of microendoscopic spinal decompression in patients with LSS or LFS caused by facet-joint cysts are generally favorable. Additionally, the adjunctive cyst-dyeing method effectively delineated the cystic and dural boundaries, facilitating safer and more effective cyst separation and neural decompression. Microendoscopic surgery combined with this novel facet cyst-dyeing method is a safe and effective minimally invasive technique for facet-joint cysts.

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Akikazu Nakamura, Akitsugu Kawashima, Hugo Andrade-Barazarte, Takayuki Funatsu, Juha Hernesniemi, and Takakazu Kawamata

OBJECTIVE

Patients with pediatric moyamoya disease (PMMD) showing recurrent symptoms or decreased cerebral blood flow after initial revascularization therapy may require additional revascularization to improve their clinical condition. The authors evaluated the clinical and hemodynamic benefits of an occipital artery (OA)–middle cerebral artery (MCA) bypass for patients with PMMD who have undergone an initial revascularization procedure.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively identified 9 patients with PMMD who had undergone OA-MCA bypass between March 2013 and December 2017, and who had received a previous superficial temporal artery–MCA bypass. The following clinical data were collected: initial revascularization procedure, symptoms (presence or recurrence), pre- and postoperative cerebral blood flow and cerebrovascular reactivity (CVR) changes, posterior cerebral artery (PCA) stenosis, PCA-related and nonrelated symptoms, and latest follow-up.

RESULTS

Preoperatively, all patients (n = 9) suffered non–PCA-related recurrent symptoms, and 4 had PCA-related symptoms. At 1-year follow-up, all patients with PCA-related symptoms showed complete recovery. Additionally, 8 (89%) patients with non-PCA symptoms experienced improvement. Only 1 (11%) patient showed no improvement after the surgical procedure. The mean pre- and postoperative CVR values of the MCA territory were 14.8% and 31.3%, respectively, whereas the respective mean CVR values of the PCA territory were 22.8% and 40.0%.

CONCLUSIONS

The OA-MCA bypass is an effective rescue therapy to improve the clinical condition and hemodynamic changes caused by PMMD in patients who experience recurrent symptoms after initial revascularization.

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Jin-Sung Park, Se-Jun Park, Chong-Suh Lee, Tae-hoon Yum, and Bo-Taek Kim

OBJECTIVE

Several radiological parameters related to the aging spine have been reported as progression factors of early degenerative lumbar scoliosis (DLS). However, it has not been determined which factors are the most important. In this study the authors aimed to determine the risk factors associated with curve progression in early DLS.

METHODS

Fifty-one patients with early DLS and Cobb angles of 5°–15° were investigated. In total, 7 men and 44 women (mean age 61.6 years) were observed for a mean period of 13.7 years. The subjects were divided into two groups according to Cobb angle progression (≥ 15° or < 15°) at the final follow-up, and radiological parameters were compared. The direction of scoliosis, apical vertebral level and rotational grade, lateral subluxation, disc space difference, osteophyte difference, upper and lower disc wedging angles, and relationship between the intercrest line and L5 vertebra were evaluated.

RESULTS

During the follow-up period, the mean curve progression increased from 8.8° ± 3.2° to 19.4° ± 8.9°. The Cobb angle had progressed by ≥ 15° in 17 patients (33.3%) at the final follow-up. In these patients the mean Cobb angle increased from 9.4° ± 3.4° to 28.8° ± 7.5°, and in the 34 remaining patients it increased from 8.5° ± 3.1° to 14.7° ± 4.8°. The baseline lateral subluxation, disc space difference, and upper and lower disc wedging angles significantly differed between the groups. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, only the upper and lower disc wedging angles were significantly correlated with curve progression (OR 1.55, p = 0.035, and OR 1.89, p = 0.004, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

Asymmetrical degenerative change in the lower apical vertebral disc, which leads to upper and lower disc wedging angles, is the most substantial factor in predicting early DLS progression.

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Shiro Horisawa, Atsushi Fukui, Hayato Yamahata, Yukiko Tanaka, Atsushi Kuwano, Oji Momosaki, Mutsumi Iijima, Magi Nanke, Takakazu Kawamata, and Takaomi Taira

OBJECTIVE

Neurosurgical ablation is an effective treatment for medically refractory motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD). A limited number of studies have reported the effect of ablation of the pallidothalamic tract for PD. In this study, the authors evaluated the safety and efficacy of unilateral pallidothalamic tractotomy for akinetic-rigid (AR)–PD.

METHODS

Fourteen AR-PD patients, who were enrolled in this prospective open-label study, underwent unilateral pallidothalamic tractotomy. The Movement Disorder Society–Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS) Part III and Part IV (dyskinesia and dystonia) scores and levodopa equivalent daily dose (LEDD) were evaluated at baseline and at 3 and 12 months postoperatively.

RESULTS

Of the 14 patients enrolled in the study, 4 were lost to follow-up and 10 were analyzed. The total MDS-UPDRS Part III score significantly improved from 45 ± 4.6 at baseline to 32.9 ± 4.8 at 12 months postoperatively (p = 0.005). Contralateral side rigidity and bradykinesia significantly improved from 4.4 ± 0.5 and 10.4 ± 1.5 at baseline to 1.7 ± 0.4 (p = 0.005) and 5.2 ± 1.4 (p = 0.011) at 12 months, respectively. While posture significantly improved with a 20% reduction in scores (p = 0.038), no significant improvement was found in gait (p = 0.066). Dyskinesia and dystonia were improved with a 79.2% (p = 0.0012) and 91.7% (p = 0.041) reduction in scores, respectively. No significant change was found in the LEDD. Hypophonia was noted in 2 patients, eyelid apraxia was noted in 1 patient, and a reduced response to levodopa, which resulted in an increase in the daily dose of levodopa, was noted in 3 patients. No serious permanent neurological deficits were observed.

CONCLUSIONS

Unilateral pallidothalamic tractotomy improved contralateral side rigidity and bradykinesia, dyskinesia, and dystonia in patients with AR-PD.

Clinical trial registration no.: UMIN000031138 (umin.ac.jp)