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Lei Liu, Tao Sui, Xin Hong, Xiaotao Wu, and Xiaojian Cao

Object

The authors conducted a study to evaluate the effects and the safety of locally applied mitomycin C (MMC) on epidural fibrosis after microendoscopic discectomy (MED).

Methods

Seventy-five patients undergoing single-level unilateral MED for lumbar disc herniation were randomly assigned to receive cotton wool impregnated with either 0.5 mg/ml MMC or saline applied at the site of discectomy for 5 minutes. Outcome measures included degrees of pain severity, functional disability, physical symptoms, and quantitative evaluation of postoperative epidural fibrosis shown on follow-up lumbar contrast-enhanced MRI.

Results

Sixty-two patients completed the follow-up. Neither serious drug adverse effects nor clinically significant laboratory adverse effects were observed. Patients in both groups showed similar clinical recoveries postoperatively. A statistically significant difference (p < 0.05) between the 2 treatments was shown in a quantitative evaluation of postoperative MRI-documented epidural fibrosis in the MMC group and the saline group using a modified grading system. The mean cross-sectional areas of epidural fibrosis were 7.32–70.06 mm2 in the MMC group and 22.94–90.48 mm2 in the saline group. The epidural fibrosis index ranged from 0.0296 to 0.3267 in the MMC group and from 0.1191 to 0.3483 in the saline group. A significant difference was also observed using the Ross grading system to evaluate postoperative MR images.

Conclusions

Although no benefit was observed clinically, the authors observed a notable reduction of epidural fibrosis after MED radiologically, with 0.5 mg/ml MMC locally applied and no clinical side effects. Clinical trial registration no.: ChiCTR-TRC-10001079 (http://www.chictr.org/cn/proj/show.aspx?proj=326).

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Yu Sun, Li-Xin Wang, Lei Wang, Si-Xin Sun, Xiao-Jian Cao, Peng Wang, and Li Feng

Object

The effectiveness of the topical application of mitomycin C (MMC) or 5-fluorouracil (5FU) in preventing peridural adhesion after laminectomy was compared in this study.

Methods

Laminectomies were performed at L-1 in 30 rats. Cotton pads soaked with 0.1 mg/ml MMC, 25 mg/ml 5FU, or 9 mg/ml saline (control) were applied to the operative sites. To evaluate neurological deficits pre- and postoperatively, somatosensory evoked potentials were monitored and the Basso-Beattie-Bresnahan locomotion test was performed. Four weeks postlaminectomy the rats were killed, and peridural scar adhesion was evaluated histologically. The level of hydroxyproline, the area of peridural scar tissue, and the number of fibroblasts were determined. The degree of peridural adhesion was classified according to the Rydell standard.

Results

No obvious adhesion formed in the rats in the MMC group, but severe peridural adhesions were found in those in the 5FU and control groups. The content of hydroxyproline, the area of peridural scar tissue, and the number of fibroblasts in the MMC group were significantly lower than those in the 5FU and control groups.

Conclusions

The topical application of MMC rather than 5FU may be a successful method of preventing post-laminectomy peridural adhesions.

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Mijin Kim and Chang-Hyun Lee