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Eiichi Ishikawa, Akira Matsumura, Takashi Enomoto, Takao Tsurubuchi and Tadao Nose

✓ The authors present a case of a rare cutaneous lesion resembling a human finger that protruded from the posterior thoracic region of a 7-month-old girl who was examined after the fingerlike protrusion was noted at birth. The protrusion measured 3 cm in length and 1 cm in diameter. It was located at the level of T-12 and was surrounded by angiomatous and lipomatous tissue. A computerized tomography scan demonstrated three bones in the protrusion, including deformities of the T-9 and T-10 and T-11 dysraphism. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a hyperintense signal on the T1-weighted sequence and a hypointense signal on the T2-weighted sequence, which was visualized at the attachment to the spinal cord from T9–11. After removal of the fingerlike structure and subcutaneous mass, a T10–11 laminectomy and removal of the intradural mass were performed. Histological examination showed that the appendage was composed of nail, three bones, cartilage, and normal skin. This appendage can be recognized not only as a variant type of caudal appendage but as an ectopic finger and fingernail. The authors discuss the developmental differences among the protrusion in the present case and ordinary caudal appendages.

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Akira Matsumura, Izumi Anno, Hiroshi Kimura, Eiichi Ishikawa and Tadao Nose

✓ The authors describe a case of spontaneous intracranial hypotension in which the leakage site was determined by using magnetic resonance (MR) myelography. This technique demonstrated the route of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage, whereas other methods failed to show direct evidence of leakage. Magnetic resonance myelography is a noninvasive method that is highly sensitive in detecting CSF leakage. This is the first report in which a site of CSF leakage was detected using MR myelography.

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Kazuya Uemura, Takashi Yoshizawa, Akira Matsumura, Hiroyuki Asakawa, Kiyotaka Nakamagoe and Tadao Nose

✓ The case of a 30-year-old man with a spinal extradural meningeal cyst in the thoracolumbar region is reported. Operative findings revealed a dural defect that allowed communication between the extradural cyst cavity and the subarachnoid space. Application of the Valsalva maneuver made the cerebrospinal fluid flow into the cyst cavity; however, reverse flow did not occur. These findings indicate that a valvelike mechanism developed in the enlarging cyst. Surgical resection of the cyst wall and closure of the dural defect provided a favorable result.

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Akira Matsumura, Takashi Namikawa, Minori Kato, Tomonori Ozaki, Yusuke Hori, Noriaki Hidaka and Hiroaki Nakamura

The purpose of this study was to assess the clinical results of posterior corrective surgery using a multilevel transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) with a rod rotation (RR) and to evaluate the segmental corrective effect of a TLIF using CT imaging. The medical records of 15 consecutive patients with degenerative lumbar kyphoscoliosis (DLKS) who had undergone posterior spinal corrective surgery using a multilevel TLIF with an RR technique and who had a minimum follow-up of 2 years were retrospectively reviewed. Radiographic parameters were evaluated using plain radiographs, and segmental correction was evaluated using CT imaging. Clinical outcomes were evaluated with the Scoliosis Research Society Patient Questionnaire-22 (SRS-22) and the SF-36.

The mean follow-up period was 46.7 months, and the mean age at the time of surgery was 60.7 years. The mean total SRS-22 score was 2.9 before surgery and significantly improved to 4.0 at the latest follow-up. The physical functioning, role functioning (physical), and social functioning subcategories of the SF-36 were generally improved at the latest follow-up, although the changes in these scores were not statistically significant. The bodily pain, vitality, and mental health subcategories were significantly improved at the latest follow-up (p < 0.05).

Three complications occurred in 3 patients (20%). The Cobb angle of the lumbar curve was reduced to 20.3° after surgery. The overall correction rate was 66.4%. The pelvic incidence–lumbar lordosis (preoperative/postoperative = 31.5°/4.3°), pelvic tilt (29.2°/18.9°), and sagittal vertical axis (78.3/27.6 mm) were improved after surgery and remained so throughout the follow-up. Computed tomography image analysis suggested that a 1-level TLIF can result in 10.9° of scoliosis correction and 6.8° of lordosis.

Posterior corrective surgery using a multilevel TLIF with an RR on patients with DLKS can provide effective correction in the coronal plane but allows only limited sagittal correction.

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Yoshiro Ito, Koji Tsuboi, Hiroyoshi Akutsu, Satoshi Ihara and Akira Matsumura

✓ The authors discuss the results obtained in patients who underwent foramen magnum decompression for longstanding advanced Chiari I malformation in which marked spinal cord atrophy was present. This 50-year-old woman presented with progressive quadriparesis and sensory disorders. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed the descent of cerebellar tonsils and medulla associated with remarkable C1—L2 spinal cord atrophy. After a C-1 laminectomy—based foramen magnum decompression, arachnoid dissection and duraplasty were undertaken. These procedures resulted in remarkable neurological improvement, even after 40 years of clinical progression. Spinal cord atrophy may be caused by chronic pressure of entrapped cerebrospinal fluid in the spinal canal.

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Shinya Watanabe, Masaaki Yamamoto, Takuya Kawabe, Takao Koiso, Tetsuya Yamamoto, Akira Matsumura and Hidetoshi Kasuya

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to reappraise long-term treatment outcomes of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for vestibular schwannomas (VSs). The authors used a database that included patients who underwent SRS with a unique dose-planning technique, i.e., partial tumor coverage designed to avoid excess irradiation of the facial and cochlear nerves, focusing on tumor control and hearing preservation. Clinical factors associated with post-SRS tumor control and long-term hearing preservation were also analyzed.

METHODS

This institutional review board–approved, retrospective cohort study used the authors' prospectively accumulated database. Among 207 patients who underwent Gamma Knife SRS for VSs between 1990 and 2005, 183 (who were followed up for at least 36 post-SRS months) were studied. The median tumor volume was 2.0 cm3 (range 0.05–26.2 cm3). The median prescribed dose at the tumor periphery was 12.0 Gy (range 8.8–15.0 Gy; 12.0 Gy was used in 171 patients [93%]), whereas tumor portions facing the facial and cochlear nerves were irradiated with 10.0 Gy. As a result, 72%–99% of each tumor was irradiated with the prescribed dose. The mean cochlear doses ranged from 2.3 to 5.7 Gy (median 4.1 Gy).

RESULTS

The median durations of imaging and audiometric follow-up were 114 months (interquartile range 73–144 months) and 59 months (interquartile range 33–109 months), respectively. Tumor shrinkage was documented in 110 (61%), no change in 48 (27%), and enlargement in the other 22 (12%) patients. A further procedure (FP) was required in 15 (8%) patients. Thus, the tumor growth control rate was 88% and the clinical control rate (i.e., no need for an FP) was 92%. The cumulative FP-free rates were 96%, 93%, and 87% at the 60th, 120th, and 180th post-SRS month, respectively. Six (3%) patients experienced facial pain, and 2 developed transient facial palsy. Serviceable hearing was defined as a pure tone audiogram result better than 50 dB. Among the 66 patients with serviceable hearing before SRS who were followed up, hearing acuity was preserved in 23 (35%). Actuarial serviceable hearing preservation rates were 49%, 24%, and 12% at the 60th, 120th, and 180th post-SRS month, respectively. On univariable analysis, only cystic-type tumor (HR 3.36, 95% CI 1.18–9.36; p = 0.02) was shown to have a significantly unfavorable association with FP. Multivariable analysis followed by univariable analysis revealed that higher age (≥ 65 years: HR 2.66, 95% CI 1.16–5.92; p = 0.02), larger tumor volume (≥ 8 cm3: HR 5.36, 95% CI 1.20–17.4; p = 0.03), and higher cochlear dose (mean cochlear dose > 4.2 Gy: HR 2.22, 95% CI 1.07–4.77; p = 0.03) were unfavorable factors for hearing preservation.

CONCLUSIONS

Stereotactic radiosurgery achieved good long-term results in this series. Tumor control was acceptable, and there were few serious complications in patients with small- to medium-sized VSs. Unfortunately, hearing preservation was not satisfactory. However, the longer the observation period, the more important it becomes to compare post-SRS hearing decreases with the natural decline in untreated cases.

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Hiroshi Taneichi, Kota Suda, Tomomichi Kajino, Akira Matsumura, Hiroshi Moridaira and Kiyoshi Kaneda

Object

There are no published reports of unilateral transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) in which two Brantigan I/F cages were placed per level through a single portal to achieve bilateral anterior-column support. The authors describe such a surgical technique and evaluate the clinical outcomes of this procedure.

Methods

Data obtained in 86 (93.5%) of the first 92 consecutive patients who underwent the procedure were retrospectively reviewed; the minimum follow-up duration was 2 years. The clinical outcomes were evaluated using the Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) scoring system. Disc height, disc angle, cage positioning in the axial plane, and fusion status were radiographically evaluated.

The mean follow-up period was 33.8 months. The mean improvement in the JOA score was 77.2%. Fusion was successful in 93% of the cases. According to the Farfan method, the mean anterior and posterior disc heights increased from 20.2 and 16.9% preoperatively to 35.9 and 22.7% at follow up, respectively (p < 0.01). The mean disc angle increased from 4.8° preoperatively to 7.5° at last follow-up examination (p < 0.01). Two cages were correctly placed to achieve bilateral anterior-column support in greater than 85% of the cases. The following complications occurred: hardware migration in two patients and deep infection cured by intravenous antibiotic therapy in one patient.

Conclusions

Unilateral TLIF involving the placement of two Brantigan cages per level led to good clinical results. Two Brantigan cages were adequately placed via a single portal, and reliable bilateral anterior-column support was achieved. Although the less invasive unilateral approach was used, the outcomes were as good as those in many reported series of posterior lumbar interbody fusion in which the Brantigan cages were placed via the bilateral approach.

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Sho Dohzono, Akira Matsumura, Hidetomi Terai, Hiromitsu Toyoda, Akinobu Suzuki and Hiroaki Nakamura

Object

Minimally invasive decompressive surgery using a microscope or endoscope has been widely performed for the treatment of lumbar spinal canal stenosis (LSS). In this study the authors aimed to assess outcomes following microscopic bilateral decompression via a unilateral approach (MBDU) in terms of postoperative bone regrowth and preservation of the facet joints in patients with degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis (DS) as compared with those in patients with LSS.

Methods

In the period from May 1998 to February 2007 at the authors' institution, 85 patients underwent MBDU at L4–5. Clinical outcome was evaluated before surgery and at the final follow-up using the Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) score for low-back pain. The following radiographic parameters were assessed at the L4–5 segment before surgery and at the final follow-up: 1) percentage slip on standing lateral radiographs, 2) percentage slip on dynamic radiographs, 3) disc arc on dynamic radiographs, and 4) percentage of facet joint preservation on CT. Bone regrowth on the ventral and dorsal sides of the facet joint on CT were assessed at the final follow-up.

Results

The cases of 47 patients (23 with DS at L-4 and 24 with LSS at L4–5 without instability) who had a follow-up of at least 2 years were retrospectively reviewed. The improvement ratio in the JOA score, that is, the percentage improvement as indicated by the difference between preoperative and postoperative JOA scores, was not significantly different between patients with DS and LSS. The percentage slip had progressed at the latest follow-up in both groups (1.4% and 1.1%, respectively), and there was no significant difference between the 2 groups. The percentage of facet joint preservation in the DS and LSS groups was 72.8% and 83.4%, respectively, on the approach side and 95.5% and 96.5% on the contralateral side. Facet joint preservation was significantly less on the approach side than on the contralateral side in both groups. The average amount of bone regrowth on the dorsal and ventral sides of the facet joint was 3.4 and 0.9 mm, respectively, in the DS group and 2.0 and 1.0 mm in the LSS group. The difference between the 2 groups was not significant. Facet joint preservation and bone regrowth were not correlated with clinical outcomes.

Conclusions

Microscopic bilateral decompression via a unilateral approach can prevent postoperative spinal instability because of good preservation of the posterior elements including the facet joints, which is thought to be the main reason for the relatively small amount of bone regrowth after surgery.

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Akira Matsumura, Takashi Namikawa, Hidetomi Terai, Tadao Tsujio, Akinobu Suzuki, Sho Dozono, Hiroyuki Yasuda and Hiroaki Nakamura

Object

The authors compared the clinical outcomes of microscopic bilateral decompression via a unilateral approach (MBDU) for the treatment of degenerative lumbar scoliosis (DLS) and for lumbar canal stenosis (LCS) without instability. The authors also compared postoperative spinal instability in terms of different approach sides (concave or convex) following the procedure.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed data obtained in 50 consecutive patients (25 in the DLS group and 25 in the LCS group) who underwent MBDU; the minimum follow-up period was 2 years. Patients with DLS were divided into 2 subgroups according to the surgical approach side: a concave group (23 segment) and a convex group (17 segments). The Japanese Orthopaedic Association Scale scores for the assessment of low-back pain were evaluated before surgery and at final follow-up. The Japanese Orthopaedic Association Scale scores and recovery rates were compared between the DLS and LCS groups, and between the convex and concave groups. Cobb angle and scoliotic wedging angle (SWA) were evaluated on standing radiographs before surgery and at final follow-up. Facet joint preservation (the percentage of preservation) was assessed on pre- and postoperative CT scans, compared between the LCS and DLS groups, and compared between the concave and convex groups. The influence of approach side on postoperative progression of segmental instability was also examined in the DLS group.

Results

The mean recovery rate was 58.7% in the DLS and 62.0% in the LCS group. The mean recovery rate was 58.6% in the convex group and 60.6% in the concave group. There were no significant differences in recovery rates between the LCS and DLS groups, or between the DLS subgroups. The mean Cobb angles in the DLS group were significantly increased from 12.7° preoperatively to 14.1° postoperatively (p < 0.05), and mean preoperative SWAs increased significantly from 6.2° at L3–4 and 4.1° at L4–5 preoperatively to 7.4° and 4.9°, respectively, at final follow-up (p < 0.05). There was no significant difference in percentage of preservation between the DLS and LCS groups. The mean percentages of preservation on the approach side in the DLS group at L3–4 and L4–5 were 89.0% and 83.1% in the convex group, and those in the concave group were 67.3% and 77.6%, respectively. The percentage of preservation at L3–4 was significantly higher in the convex than the concave group. The mean SWA had increased in the concave group (p = 0.01) but not the convex group (p = 0.15) at final follow-up.

Conclusions

The MBDU can reduce postoperative segmental spinal instability and achieve good postoperative clinical outcomes in patients with DLS. The convex approach provides surgeons with good visibility and improves preservation of facet joints.

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Satoru Osuka, Akira Matsushita, Tetsuya Yamamoto, Kousaku Saotome, Tomonori Isobe, Yasushi Nagatomo, Tomohiko Masumoto, Yoji Komatsu, Eiichi Ishikawa and Akira Matsumura

Object

Ventriculomegaly is a common imaging finding in many types of conditions. It is difficult to determine whether it is related to true hydrocephalus or to an atrophic process by using only imaging procedures such as MR imaging after traumatic injury, stroke, or infectious disease. Diffusion tensor (DT) imaging can distinguish the compression characteristics of white matter, indicating that increased diffusion anisotropy may be related to white matter compression. In this preliminary study, the authors compared the DT imaging findings of ventriculomegaly with those of chronic hydrocephalus or atrophy to clarify the potential of diffusion anisotropy in the identification of hydrocephalus.

Methods

Ten patients with chronic hydrocephalus, 8 patients with atrophy (defined by conventional devices and surgical outcome), and 14 healthy volunteers underwent DT imaging. Images were acquired before and after shunting or once in cases without shunting. The fractional anisotropy (FA) values at many points around the lateral ventricle were evaluated.

Results

The FA patterns around the lateral ventricle in the chronic hydrocephalus and atrophy groups were different. Especially in the caudate nucleus, FA was increased in the chronic hydrocephalus group compared with the atrophy group. Furthermore, the FA values returned to normal levels after shunt placement.

Conclusions

Assessment of the FA value of the caudate nucleus may be an important, less invasive method for distinguishing true hydrocephalus from ventriculomegaly. Further research in a large number of patients is needed to verify the diagnostic ability of this method.