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Narendra Nathoo, Atom Sarkar, Gandhi Varma and Ehud Mendel

Although nail-gun injuries are a common form of penetrating low-velocity injury, impalement with barbed nails has been underreported to date. Barbed nails are designed to resist dislodgment once embedded, and any attempt at removal may splay open the barbs along the path of entry, with the potential for significant soft-tissue and neurovascular injury. A 25-year-old man sustained a nail impalement of the cervical spine from accidental discharge of a nail gun. The patient was noted to be fully conscious with no neurological deficits. Cervical Zone 2 impalement was noted, with only the head of the nail visible. Angiography revealed the nail lying just anterior to the right vertebral artery (VA), with compression of the vessel. Preoperatively, analysis of a similar nail revealed that orientation of the head determined position of the barbs. A deep neck dissection was then performed to the lateral aspect of the C-3 body, using the nail as a guide. Prior to removal, the nail was turned 180° to change the position of the barbs, to prevent injury to the VA. Nail removal was uneventful. The authors present a simple technique for treatment of a nail-gun injury with a barbed nail. Prior to removal, radiographic analysis of the impaled nail must be performed to determine the presence of barbs. If possible, the surgeon should request a similar nail for analysis prior to surgery. Last, the treating surgeon must have knowledge of the barbs' position at all times during nail removal, to prevent damage to critical structures.

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Atom Sarkar and E. Antonio Chiocca

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Atom Sarkar and E. Antonio Chiocca

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Atom Sarkar, Bruce E. Pollock, Paul D. Brown and Deborah A. Gorman

Object. Radiosurgery is commonly used for the treatment of patients with glioma. The goal of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of radiosurgery in the management of patients with oligodendrogliomas (ODGs) or mixed oligoastrocytomas (OGAs).

Methods. A retrospective chart review of patients treated between May 1990 and January 2000 identified 18 patients (21 tumors) with either an ODG (10) or a mixed OGA (11) who had undergone radiosurgery. The median patient age was 43 years (range 23–67 years). Sixteen patients had undergone one or more tumor resections before radiosurgery; in two patients biopsy sampling alone had been performed. Tumor grades at the most recent operation were Grade 1 (one), Grade 2 (one), Grade 3 (12), and Grade 4 (seven patients). Seventeen patients had undergone prior radiotherapy; 11 were treated with chemotherapy before radiosurgery, and one had undergone a prior linear accelerator—based radiosurgery treatment. The median tumor volume was 8.2 cm3 (range 1.9–47.7 cm3); the median margin dose was 15 Gy (range 12–20 Gy); and the median maximum dose was 32 Gy (range 24–50 Gy).

In this heterogeneous group, 12 patients died whereas six remain alive. Survival after radiosurgery was 78%, 61%, and 44% at 12, 24, and 48 months, respectively. Factors associated with an improved survival rate included younger age and smaller tumors.

Conclusions. For patients with oligoastroglial tumors that have failed to respond to conventional therapies, radiosurgery may provide some survival benefit. Further study is needed to determine which subpopulation of these patients will have the best chances of enhanced survival from this treatment.