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Minghao Wang, Dean Chou, Chih-Chang Chang, Ankit Hirpara, Yilin Liu, Andrew K. Chan, Brenton Pennicooke and Praveen V. Mummaneni

OBJECTIVE

Both structural allograft and PEEK have been used for anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). There are reports that PEEK has a higher pseudarthrosis rate than structural allograft. The authors compared pseudarthrosis, revision, subsidence, and loss of lordosis rates in patients with PEEK and structural allograft.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of patients who were treated with ACDF at their hospital between 2005 and 2017. Inclusion criteria were adult patients with either PEEK or structural allograft, anterior plate fixation, and a minimum 2-year follow-up. Exclusion criteria were hybrid PEEK and allograft cases, additional posterior surgery, adjacent corpectomies, infection, tumor, stand-alone or integrated screw and cage devices, bone morphogenetic protein use, or lack of a minimum 2-year follow-up. Demographic variables, number of treated levels, interbody type (PEEK cage vs structural allograft), graft packing material, pseudarthrosis rates, revision surgery rates, subsidence, and cervical lordosis changes were collected. These data were analyzed by Pearson’s chi-square test (or Fisher’s exact test, according to the sample size and expected value) and Student t-test.

RESULTS

A total of 168 patients (264 levels total, mean follow-up time 39.5 ± 24.0 months) were analyzed. Sixty-one patients had PEEK, and 107 patients had structural allograft. Pseudarthrosis rates for 1-level fusions were 5.4% (PEEK) and 3.4% (allograft) (p > 0.05); 2-level fusions were 7.1% (PEEK) and 8.1% (allograft) (p > 0.05); and ≥ 3-level fusions were 10% (PEEK) and 11.1% (allograft) (p > 0.05). There was no statistical difference in the subsidence magnitude between PEEK and allograft in 1-, 2-, and ≥ 3-level ACDF (p > 0.05). Postoperative lordosis loss was not different between cohorts for 1- and 2-level surgeries.

CONCLUSIONS

In 1- and 2-level ACDF with plating involving the same number of fusion levels, there was no statistically significant difference in the pseudarthrosis rate, revision surgery rate, subsidence, and lordosis loss between PEEK cages and structural allograft.

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Rosalie Mercure-Cyr and Daryl R. Fourney

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Kishan Patel, Hardy Evans, Samuel Sommaruga, Pia Vayssiere, Tariq Qureshi, Luis Kolb, Michael G. Fehlings, Joseph S. Cheng, Enrico Tessitore, Karl Schaller and Aria Nouri

OBJECTIVE

Klippel-Feil syndrome (KFS) is characterized by congenital fusion of the cervical vertebrae. Due to its rarity, minimal research has been done to assess the quality and management of pain associated with this disorder. Using a large global database, the authors report a detailed analysis of the type, location, and treatment of pain in patients with KFS.

METHODS

Data were obtained from the Coordination of Rare Diseases at Stanford registry and Klippel-Feil Syndrome Freedom registry. The cervical fusions were categorized into Samartzis type I, II, or III. The independent-sample t-test, Wilcoxon rank-sum test, and Friedman test were conducted, with significance set at p < 0.05.

RESULTS

Seventy-five patients (60 female, 14 male, and 1 unknown) were identified and classified as having the following types of Samartzis fusion: type I, n = 21 (28%); type II, n = 15 (20%); type III, n = 39 (52%). Seventy participants (93.3%) experienced pain associated with their KFS. The median age of patients at pain onset was 16.0 years (IQR 6.75–24.0 years), and the median age when pain worsened was 28.0 years (IQR 15.25–41.5 years). Muscle, joint, and nerve pain was primarily located in the shoulders/upper back (76%), neck (72%), and back of head (50.7%) and was characterized as tightness (73%), dull/aching (67%), and tingling/pins and needles (49%). Type III fusions were significantly associated with greater nerve pain (p = 0.02), headache/migraine pain (p = 0.02), and joint pain (p = 0.03) compared to other types of fusion. Patients with cervical fusions in the middle region (C2–6) tended to report greater muscle, joint, and nerve pain (p = 0.06). Participants rated the effectiveness of oral over-the-counter medications as 3 of 5 (IQR 1–3), oral prescribed medications as 3 of 5 (IQR 2–4), injections as 2 of 5 (IQR 1–4), and surgery as 3 of 5 (IQR 1–4), with 0 indicating the least pain relief and 5 the most pain relief. Participants who pursued surgical treatment reported significantly more comorbidities (p = 0.02) and neurological symptoms (p = 0.01) than nonsurgically treated participants and were significantly older when pain worsened (p = 0.03), but there was no difference in levels of muscle, joint, or nerve pain (p = 0.32); headache/migraine pain (p = 0.35); total number of cervical fusions (p = 0.77); location of fusions; or age at pain onset (p = 0.16).

CONCLUSIONS

More than 90% of participants experienced pain. Participants with an increased number of overall cervical fusions or multilevel, contiguous fusions reported greater levels of muscle, joint, and nerve pain. Participants who pursued surgery had more comorbidities and neurological symptoms, such as balance and gait disturbances, but did not report more significant pain than nonsurgically treated participants.

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Jarod L. Roland, Syed Hassan A. Akbari, Afshin Salehi and Matthew D. Smyth

OBJECTIVE

Corpus callosotomy is a palliative procedure that is effective at reducing seizure burden in patients with medically refractory epilepsy. The procedure is traditionally performed via open craniotomy with interhemispheric microdissection to divide the corpus callosum. Concerns for morbidity associated with craniotomy can be a deterrent to patients, families, and referring physicians for surgical treatment of epilepsy. Laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) is a less invasive procedure that has been widely adopted in neurosurgery for the treatment of tumors. In this study, the authors investigated LITT as a less invasive approach for corpus callosotomy.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed all patients treated for medically refractory epilepsy by corpus callosotomy, either partial or completion, with LITT. Chart records were analyzed to summarize procedural metrics, length of stay, adverse events, seizure outcomes, and time to follow-up. In select cases, resting-state functional MRI was performed to qualitatively support effective functional disconnection of the cerebral hemispheres.

RESULTS

Ten patients underwent 11 LITT procedures. Five patients received an anterior two-thirds LITT callosotomy as their first procedure. One patient returned after LITT partial callosotomy for completion of callosotomy by LITT. The median hospital stay was 2 days (IQR 1.5–3 days), and the mean follow-up time was 1.0 year (range 1 month to 2.86 years). Functional outcomes are similar to those of open callosotomy, with the greatest effect in patients with a significant component of drop attacks in their seizure semiology. One patient achieved an Engel class II outcome after anterior two-thirds callosotomy resulting in only rare seizures at the 18-month follow-up. Four others were in Engel class III and 5 were Engel class IV. Hemorrhage occurred in 1 patient at the time of removal of the laser fiber, which was placed through the bone flap of a prior open partial callosotomy.

CONCLUSIONS

LITT appears to be a safe and effective means for performing corpus callosotomy. Additional data are needed to confirm equipoise between open craniotomy and LITT for corpus callosotomy.

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Lauren Harris, Edward Dyson, Matthew Elliot, David Peterson, Christian Ulbricht and Adrian Casey

Cervical disc arthroplasty is a treatment option for symptomatic cervical disc disease. There is a paucity of literature on long-term safety outcomes, durability, and device-related failure rates. The M6-C artificial cervical disc is a device with titanium alloy endplates and a complex polymeric centerpiece. To date, trials have exhibited acceptable safety profiles.

This case series describes the presentation, management, and pathological findings of a delayed prevertebral periprosthetic mass anterior to the M6-C disc. Four patients at 3 different institutions underwent cervical disc replacement with the M6-C disc. Two to seven years postoperatively, they presented with dysphagia secondary to a compressive mass anterior to the disc. Case notes were reviewed to collect data on symptoms, management, and outcomes. The patients were systemically well and presented with progressive dysphagia. They had imaging findings of a mass anterior to the disc. They underwent a decompressive procedure, with 2 patients undergoing device removal and fusion. In 2 cases, a soft-tissue mass was seen intraoperatively, with frank pus. In 3 cases, Propionibacterium acnes was identified and antibiotic treatment given. Histopathology demonstrated mixed inflammatory infiltrates with foreign body–type granulomas. Postoperatively, the dysphagia resolved.

The development of delayed dysphagia in a patient with an M6-C disc should prompt investigation to identify a mass lesion. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first report of delayed infection, or suspected delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction, following M6-C disc implantation. It is important for this to be added to the device safety concerns. Further prospective studies are needed to establish the incidence and the long-term safety and failure rates of the M6-C disc.

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Ryuta Matsuoka, Yasuhiro Takeshima, Hironobu Hayashi, Tsunenori Takatani, Fumihiko Nishimura, Ichiro Nakagawa, Yasushi Motoyama, Young-Su Park, Masahiko Kawaguchi and Hiroyuki Nakase

OBJECTIVE

False-positive intraoperative muscle motor evoked potential (mMEP) monitoring results due to systemic effects of anesthetics and physiological changes continue to be a challenging issue. Although control MEPs recorded from the unaffected side are useful for identifying a true-positive signal, there are no muscles on the upper or lower extremities to induce control MEPs in cervical spine surgery. Therefore, this study was conducted to clarify if additional MEPs derived from facial muscles can feasibly serve as controls to reduce false-positive mMEP monitoring results in cervical spine surgery.

METHODS

Patients who underwent cervical spine surgery at the authors’ institution who did not experience postoperative neurological deterioration were retrospectively studied. mMEPs were induced with transcranial supramaximal stimulation. Facial MEPs (fMEPs) were subsequently induced with suprathreshold stimulation. The mMEP and subsequently recorded fMEP waveforms were paired during each moment during surgery. The initial pair was regarded as the baseline. A significant decline in mMEP and fMEP amplitude was defined as > 80% and > 50% decline compared with baseline, respectively. All mMEP alarms were considered false positives. Based on 2 different alarm criteria, either mMEP alone or both mMEP and fMEP, rates of false-positive mMEP monitoring results were calculated.

RESULTS

Twenty-three patients were included in this study, corresponding to 102 pairs of mMEPs and fMEPs. This included 23 initial and 79 subsequent pairs. Based on the alarm criterion of mMEP alone, 17 false-positive results (21.5%) were observed. Based on the alarm criterion of both mMEP and fMEP, 5 false-positive results (6.3%) were observed, which was significantly different compared to mMEP alone (difference 15.2%; 95% CI 7.2%–23.1%; p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

fMEPs might be used as controls to reduce false-positive mMEP monitoring results in cervical spine surgery.

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Gulden Demirci Otluoglu, Teyyub Hasanov, Basak Mert, Zafer Orkun Toktas, Deniz Konya and Mustafa Kemal Demir

The evaluation of spinal cord vascular malformations in neuroradiology departments remains valid for both diagnosis and endovascular embolization, and for adjuvant as well as definitive treatment. The most commonly encountered complications of endovascular approaches are the recurrence or the incomplete embolization of the lesion and accidental damage to the medullary arteries, which leads to spinal cord infarction. Failure to remember a microcatheter in the abdominal aorta after catheterization is an underestimated complication. A retained guidewire in the circulation may not necessarily cause symptoms, and it may remain unnoticed for a significant period of time. However, severe complications may be faced even many years later. In this article, a case report on a fracture and migration of a retained microcatheter in the cauda equina is presented. This occurred after an endovascular neurointervention for dural arteriovenous fistula as a rare cause of tethered spinal cord.

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Oriela Rustemi, Fabio Raneri, Giacomo Beggio and Lorenzo Volpin

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Guru Dutta Satyarthee and Luis R. Moscote-Salazar