A 4-year-old girl with a history of thoracic meningocele repair at the age of 3 months presented with progressive myelopathy. An intramedullary thoracic epidermoid was identified on MRI. The patient underwent excision of the epidermoid and subsequently returned to neurological baseline. This case illustrates the potential for delayed development of intraspinal epidermoid after initial repair of a simple meningocele.
Bartosz T. Grobelny, Howard L. Weiner and David H. Harter
Shaun D. Rodgers, Bryan J. Marascalchi, Bartosz T. Grobelny, Michael L. Smith and Uzma Samadani
Recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein–2 (rhBMP-2) promotes the induction of bone growth and is widely used in spine surgery to enhance arthrodesis. Recombinant human BMP-2 has been associated with a variety of complications including ectopic bone formation, adjacent-level fusion, local bone resorption, osteolysis, and radiculitis. Some of the complications associated with rhBMP-2 may be the result of rhBMP-2 induction of the inflammatory host response. In this paper the authors report on a patient with prior transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) using an interbody cage packed with rhBMP-2, in which rhBMP-2 possibly contributed to vascular injury during an attempted anterior lumbar interbody fusion. This 63-year-old man presented with a 1-year history of worsening refractory low-back pain and radiculopathy caused by a Grade 1 spondylolisthesis at L4–5. He underwent an uncomplicated L4–5 TLIF using an rhBMP-2–packed interbody cage. Postoperatively, he experienced marginal improvement of his symptoms. Within the next year and a half the patient returned with unremitting low-back pain and neurogenic claudication that failed to respond to conservative measures. Radiological imaging of the patient revealed screw loosening and pseudarthrosis. He underwent an anterior retroperitoneal approach with a plan for removal of the previous cage, complete discectomy, and placement of a femoral ring. During the retroperitoneal approach the iliac vein was adhered with scarring and fibrosis to the underlying previously operated L4–5 interbody space. During mobilization the left iliac vein was torn, resulting in significant blood loss and cardiac arrest requiring chest compression, defibrillator shocks, and blood transfusion. The patient was stabilized, the operation was terminated, and he was transferred to the intensive care unit. He recovered over the next several days and was discharged at his neurological baseline. The authors propose that the rhBMP-2–induced host inflammatory response partially contributed to vessel fibrosis and scarring, resulting in the life-threatening vascular injury during the reoperation. Spine surgeons should be aware of this potential inflammatory fibrosis in addition to other reported complications related to rhBMP-2.
Bartosz T. Grobelny, David Rubin, Peter Fleischut, Elayna Rubens, Patricia Fogarty Mack, Matthew Fink, Dimitris G. Placantonakis and Eric H. Elowitz
Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) is a rare genetic disorder characterized by heterotopic ossification of soft connective and muscle tissues, often as the result of minor trauma. The sequelae include joint fusion, accumulation of calcified foci within soft tissues, thoracic insufficiency syndrome, and progressive immobility. The authors report on a patient with FOP who developed severe spinal canal stenosis in the thoracic spine causing substantial myelopathy. He underwent a thoracic laminectomy and resection of a large posterior osteophyte. Unique considerations are required in treating patients with FOP, including steroid administration to prevent ossification and anesthetic technique. The nuances of neurosurgical and medical management as they pertain to this disease are discussed.
Bartosz T. Grobelny, Andrew F. Ducruet, Brad E. Zacharia, Zachary L. Hickman, Kristen N. Andersen, Eric Sussman, Austin Carpenter and E. Sander Connolly Jr.
Despite the prevalence of chronic subdural hematoma (CSDHs) in the rapidly growing elderly population, several aspects of disease management remain unclear. In particular, there is still conflicting evidence regarding the efficacy of antiepileptic drug (AED) prophylaxis in patients with CSDH who undergo bur hole drainage. The authors endeavored to evaluate the efficacy of AED prophylaxis in reducing the incidence of seizures and improving outcome in this patient population.
A single surgeon's clinical database (E.S.C.) was analyzed for cases involving bur hole drainage for CSDH. Cases involving nonhemorrhagic subdural effusions as well as acute subdural hemorrhages evacuated by craniotomy were excluded from this study. Patient medical records were evaluated for relevant demographic data, medical history, imaging characteristics, clinical details of the treatment, hospital stay, and discharge summaries.
The authors included 88 patients with bur hole–treated CSDH. Eleven patients (12.5%) suffered at least 1 seizure between hemorrhage onset and discharge from their treatment hospital admission. Seizures were more frequent in women than men (p = 0.030) and least frequent in patients with right-sided lesions (p = 0.030). In a multiple logistic regression model, preoperative initiation of AED prophylaxis was the only significant predictor of the lower incidence of postoperative seizures (OR 0.10, p = 0.013). However, preoperative initiation of AED prophylaxis did not significantly affect outcome at discharge.
The finding in this study demonstrates that preoperative AED prophylaxis likely reduces the incidence of postoperative seizures in patients with CSDH treated with bur hole drainage. A future prospective randomized study is necessary to evaluate the effect of seizure reduction on clinical outcome.
Bartosz T. Grobelny, Andrew F. Ducruet, Peter A. DeRosa, Ivan S. Kotchetkov, Brad E. Zacharia, Zachary L. Hickman, Luis Fernandez, Reshma Narula, Jan Claassen, Kiwon Lee, Neeraj Badjatia, Stephan A. Mayer and E. Sander Connolly Jr.
Cystathionine β-synthase (CBS) is an enzyme that metabolizes homocysteine to form H2S in the brain. Hydrogen sulfide functions as a vasodilator as well as a regulator of neuronal ion channels and multiple intracellular signaling pathways. Given the myriad effects of H2S, the authors hypothesized that patients possessing gain-of-function polymorphisms of the CBS gene will experience a decreased incidence of delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI) following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH).
Patients were enrolled in a prospective observational database of aSAH outcomes. DNA was extracted from buccal swabs and sequenced for 3 functional polymorphisms of the CBS gene (699C→T, 844ins68, and 1080C→T) by polymerase chain reaction. Serum homocysteine levels (μmol/L) were assayed. Multivariate analysis was used to determine the relationship between CBS genotype and occurrence of both angiographic vasospasm and DCI.
There were 87 patients included in the study. None of the polymorphisms investigated were significantly associated with the incidence of angiographic vasospasm. However, after controlling for admission hypertension, patients with the gain-of-function 844 WT/ins genotypes were less likely to experience DCI relative to those with the 844 WT/WT genotype (86 patients, p = 0.050), while the decrease-in-function genotype 1080 TT was more likely to experience DCI relative to those with 1080 CC and CT genotypes (84 patients, p = 0.042). Serum homocysteine levels did not correlate with the extent of either angiographic vasospasm or DCI in this analysis.
Polymorphisms of the CBS gene that impart gain-of-function may be associated with a reduced risk of DCI after aSAH, independent of serum homocysteine. Signaling through H2S may mediate protection from DCI following aSAH through a mechanism that does not involve macrovascular vasodilation.