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Shibin Sun, Ali Liu, Chongcheng Wang, Bin Luo and Meihua Wang

Object

The authors sought to assess the clinical effect of Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) for trigeminal schwannomas.

Methods

Between December 1994 and December 2003, 69 patients with trigeminal schwannomas underwent GKS, and 58 patients were followed up and reviewed at the Beijing Neurosurgical Institute. The mean target volume was 4.6 cm3. The mean peripheral dose was 13.1 Gy, and the mean central dose was 28.3 Gy. The mean radiological follow-up period was 42.5 months.

Radiological follow-up demonstrated near-complete disappearance of the tumors in four patients (6.9%), in 34 patients (58.6%) a reduction was seen, in 16 patients (27.6%) no change was observed, and in four patients (6.9%) an enlargement was revealed. The overall tumor control rate was 93.1%. Improvement of presenting neurological symptoms was observed in 28 patients (48.3%), stabilization of presenting neurological symptoms was observed in 23 patients (39.6%), continued progression of presenting neurological symptoms was observed in seven patients (12.1%), and transient cranial nerve dysfunction was observed in six patients (10.4%). Among 13 patients with secondary trigeminal neuralgia, 10 patients had significant improvement or disappearance of trigeminal neuralgia after GKS.

Conclusions

Gamma Knife surgery provides an effective and safe primary and/or adjunct treatment for patients with small- to moderate-sized trigeminal schwannomas, with a low risk of iatrogenic cranial neuropathy and great improvement of clinical symptoms.

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Yi Ma, Yan-feng Li, Quan-cai Wang, Bin Wang and Hai-tao Huang

OBJECT

The object of this study was to investigate the immediate and long-term follow-up results of glossopharyngeal nerve rhizotomy (GPNR) with or without partial vagus nerve rhizotomy (VNR) for treating glossopharyngeal neuralgia (GPN).

METHODS

A retrospective review of the case notes of patients who had undergone surgery for GPN in the authors’ department between 2008 and 2013 was performed to investigate baseline characteristics and immediate outcomes during the hospitalization. For the long-term results, a telephone survey was performed, and information on pain recurrence and permanent complications was collected. Pain relief meant no pain or medication, any pain persisting after surgery was considered to be treatment failure, and any pain returning during the follow-up period was considered to be pain recurrence. For comparative study, the patients were divided into 2 cohorts, that is, patients treated with GPNR alone and those treated with GPNR+VNR.

RESULTS

One hundred three procedures, consisting of GPNR alone in 38 cases and GPNR+VNR in 65 cases, were performed in 103 consecutive patients with GPN. Seventy-nine of the 103 patients could be contacted for the follow-up study, with a mean follow-up duration of 2.73 years (range 1 month–5.75 years). While there were similar results (GPNR vs GPNR+VNR) in immediate pain relief rates (94.7% vs 93.8%), immediate complication rates (7.9% vs 4.6%), and long-term pain relief rates (92.3% vs 94.3%) between the 2 cohorts, a great difference was seen in long-term complications (3.8% vs 35.8%). The long-term complication rate for the combined GPNR+VNR cohort was 9.4 times higher than that in the GPNR cohort.

There was no operative or perioperative mortality. Immediate complications occurred in 6 cases, consisting of poor wound healing in 3 cases, and CSF leakage, hoarseness, and dystaxia in 1 case each. Permanent complications occurred in 20 patients (25.3%) and included cough while drinking in 10 patients, pharyngeal discomfort in 8 patients, and hoarseness and dysphagia in 1 case each.

CONCLUSIONS

In general, this study indicates that GPNR alone or in combination with VNR is a safe, simple, and effective treatment option for GPN. It may be especially valuable for patients who are not suitable for the microvascular decompression (MVD) procedure and for surgeons who have little experience with MVD. Of note, this study renews the significance of GPNR alone, which, the authors believe, is at least valuable for a subgroup of GPN patients, with significantly fewer long-term complications than those for rhizotomy for both glossopharyngeal nerve and rootlets of the vagus nerve.

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Ming-Xiang Zou, Jing Li, Xiao-Bin Wang and Guo-Hua Lv

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Dong Wang, Shao-Qin Zheng, Xian-Cai Chen, Shi-Wen Jiang and Hai-Bin Chen

OBJECT

Nutritional support is highly recommended for reducing the risk of nosocomial infections, such as pneumonitis, in patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Currently, there is no consensus for the preferred route of feeding. The authors compared the risks of pneumonitis and other important outcomes associated with small intestinal and gastric feeding in patients with severe TBI.

METHODS

This systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Relevant randomized controlled trials (up to December 16, 2013) that compared small bowel to gastric feeding in patients with severe TBI were identified from searches in the PubMed and Embase databases. The primary outcome was risk of pneumonia. Secondary outcomes included ventilator-associated pneumonia, mortality, length of intensive care unit stay, length of hospital stay, duration of mechanical ventilation, total number of complications, aspiration, diarrhea, distention, Glasgow Coma Scale score, Injury Severity Score, and Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score.

RESULTS

Five randomized controlled trials with 325 participants in total were included in the meta-analysis. Compared with gastric feeding, small bowel feeding was associated with a significant reduction in the incidence of pneumonitis (risk ratio [RR] 0.67; 95% CI 0.52–0.87; p = 0.002; I2 = 0.0%) and ventilator-associated pneumonia (RR 0.52; 95% CI 0.34–0.81; p = 0.003; I2 = 0.0%). Small intestinal feeding was also associated with a decrease in the total number of complications (RR 0.43; 95% CI 0.20–0.93; p = 0.03; I2 = 68%). However, small intestinal feeding did not seem to significantly convert any of the other end points in the meta-analysis.

CONCLUSIONS

The limited evidence suggests that small bowel feeding in patients with severe TBI is associated with a risk of pneumonia that is lower than that with gastric feeding. From this result, the authors recommend the use of small intestinal feeding to reduce the incidence of pneumonitis in patients with severe TBI.

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Bang-ping Qian, Ji-chen Huang, Yong Qiu, Bin Wang, Yang Yu, Ze-zhang Zhu, Sai-hu Mao and Jun Jiang

OBJECTIVE

To describe the incidence of complications in spinal osteotomy for thoracolumbar kyphosis caused by ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and to investigate the risk factors for these complications.

METHODS

From April 2000 to July 2017, 342 consecutive AS patients with a mean age (± SD) of 35.4 ± 9.8 years (range 17–71 years) undergoing spinal osteotomy were enrolled. Patients with complications within the 1st postoperative year were identified. Demographic, radiological, and surgical data were compared between patients with and without complications. The complications were classified into intraoperative and postoperative complications.

RESULTS

A total of 310 consecutive pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO) and 37 multiple Smith-Petersen osteotomy (SPO) procedures were performed in 342 patients. Overall, 47 complications were identified in 47 patients (13.7%), including 31 intraoperative complications and 16 postoperative complications. Patients with complications were older than those without (p = 0.006). A significant difference was observed in preoperative global kyphosis (GK), lumbar lordosis (LL), sagittal vertical axis (SVA), and the correction of these radiographic parameters between patients with and without complications (p < 0.05). Two-level PSO (p = 0.022) and an increased number of instrumented vertebrae (p = 0.019) were significantly associated with an increased risk of complications.

CONCLUSIONS

The overall incidence of complications was 13.7%. Age; preoperative GK, LL, and SVA; the correction of GK, LL, and SVA; 2-level PSO; and number of instrumented vertebrae were risk factors. Therefore, the potential risk of extensive surgeries with large correction and long fusion in older AS patients with severe GK should be seriously considered in surgical decision-making.

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Luis Rafael Moscote-Salazar, Andrei F. Joaquim and Amit Agrawal

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Yang Li, Xinxin Yuan, Shifu Sha, Zhen Liu, Weiguo Zhu, Yong Qiu, Bin Wang, Yang Yu and Zezhang Zhu

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to investigate how implant density affects radiographic results and clinical outcomes in patients with dystrophic scoliosis secondary to neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1).

METHODS

A total of 41 patients with dystrophic scoliosis secondary to NF1 who underwent 1-stage posterior correction between June 2011 and December 2013 were included. General information about patients was recorded, as were preoperative and postoperative scores from Scoliosis Research Society (SRS)–22 questionnaires. Pearson correlation analysis was used to analyze the associations among implant density, coronal Cobb angle correction rate and correction loss at last follow-up, change of sagittal curve, and apical vertebral translation. Patients were then divided into 2 groups: those with low-density and those with high-density implants. Independent-sample t-tests were used to compare demographic data, radiographic findings, and clinical outcomes before surgery and at last follow-up between the groups.

RESULTS

Significant correlations were found between the implant density and the coronal correction rate of the main curve (r = 0.505, p < 0.01) and the coronal correction loss at final follow-up (r = −0.379, p = 0.015). There was no significant correlation between implant density and change of sagittal profile (p = 0.662) or apical vertebral translation (p = 0.062). The SRS-22 scores improved in the appearance, activity, and mental health domains within both groups, but there was no difference between the groups in any of the SRS-22 domains at final follow-up (p > 0.05 for all).

CONCLUSIONS

Although no significant differences between the high- and low-density groups were found in any of the SRS-22 domains at final follow-up, higher implant density was correlated with superior coronal correction and less postoperative correction loss in patients with dystrophic NF1-associated scoliosis.

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Zhuo-jie Liu, Bang-ping Qian, Yong Qiu, Sai-hu Mao, Jun Jiang and Bin Wang

OBJECTIVE

Relocation of the apex is often found in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS)–associated thoracolumbar/lumbar kyphosis after corrective surgery. This study evaluates the influence of different postoperative apex locations on surgical and clinical outcomes of osteotomy for patients with AS and thoracolumbar kyphosis.

METHODS

Sixty-two patients with a mean age of 34.6 ± 9.7 years (range 17–59 years) and a minimum of 2 years of follow-up, who underwent 1-level lumbar pedicle subtraction osteotomy for AS-related thoracolumbar kyphosis, were enrolled in the study, as well as 62 age-matched healthy individuals. Patients were divided into 2 groups according to the postoperative location of the apex (group 1, T8 or above; group 2, T9 or below). Demographic data, radiographic measurements (including 3 postoperative apex-related parameters), and clinical outcomes were compared between the 2 groups preoperatively, postoperatively, and at the last follow-up. Furthermore, a subgroup analysis was performed among patients with a postoperative apex located at T6–11 and postoperatively the entire AS cohort was compared with normal controls regarding the apex location of the thoracic spine.

RESULTS

In the majority of the enrolled patients, the apex location changed from T12–L2 preoperatively to T6–9 postoperatively. The sagittal vertical axis (SVA) differed significantly both postoperatively (25.7 vs 59.0 mm, p = 0.001) and at the last follow-up (34.6 vs 59.9 mm, p = 0.003) between the 2 groups, and the patients in group 1 had significantly smaller horizontal distance between the C7-vertical line and the apex (DCA) than the patients in group 2 (67.5 vs 103.7 mm, p = 0.001). Subgroup analysis demonstrated similar results, showing that the patients with a postoperative apex located at T8 or above had an average SVA < 47 mm. Notably, a significant correlation was found between postoperative SVA and DCA (r = 0.642, p = 0.001). Patients who underwent an osteotomy at L3 had limited apex relocation but larger SVA correction than those at L1 or L2. However, no significant difference was found in health-related quality of life between the 2 groups.

CONCLUSIONS

AS patients with an apex located at T8 or above after surgery tended to have better SVA correction (within 47 mm) than those who had a more caudally located apical vertebra. For ideal postoperative apex relocation, a higher (closer to or at the preoperative apex) level of osteotomy is more likely to obtain the surgical goal.

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Feng Shen, Bin Zhou, Quan Li, Ming Li, Zhiwei Wang, Qiang Li and Bo Ran

OBJECT

The object of this study was to review the effectiveness in treating severe and rigid scoliosis with posterioronly spinal release combined with derotation, translation, segmental correction, and an in situ rod-contouring technique.

METHODS

Twenty-eight patients with severe and rigid scoliosis (Cobb angle > 70° and flexibility < 30%) were retrospectively enrolled between June 2008 and June 2010. The average age of the patients was 17.1 years old (range 12–22 years old), 18 were female, and 10 were male. Etiological diagnoses were idiopathic in 24 patients, neuromuscular in 2 patients, and Marfan syndrome in 2 patients. All patients underwent posterior spinal release, derotation, translation, segmental correction, and an in situ rod-contouring technique. The scoliosis Cobb angle in the coronal plane, kyphosis Cobb angle, apex vertebral translation, and trunk shift were evaluated preoperatively and postoperatively.

RESULTS

The average operative time was 241.8 ± 32.1 minutes and estimated blood loss was 780.5 ± 132.6 ml. The average scoliosis Cobb angle in the coronal plane was corrected from 85.7° (range 77°–94°) preoperatively to 33.1° (range 21°–52°) postoperatively, with a correction ratio of 61.3%. The average kyphosis Cobb angle was 64.5° (range 59°–83°) preoperatively, which was decreased to 42.6° (range 34°–58°) postoperatively, with a correction ratio of 33.9%. After an average of 24 months of follow-up (range 13–30 months), no major complications were observed in these patients, except screw pullout of the upper thoracic vertebrae in 2 patients and screw penetration into the apical vertebrae in 1 patient.

CONCLUSIONS

Posterior spinal release combined with derotation, translation, segmental correction, and an in situ rod-contouring technique has proved to be a promising new technique for rigid scoliosis, significantly correcting the scoliosis and accompanied by fewer complications.

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Dimin Zhu, Zheng Xiao, Zongming Wang, Bin Hu, Chengbin Duan, Ziyan Zhu, Nailin Gao, Yonghong Zhu and Haijun Wang

OBJECTIVE

To date, long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have proven to function as key regulators in tumorigenesis. Among these lncRNAs, MEG3 displays low levels in various neoplasms and tumor cell lines. However, the regulatory mechanism of MEG3 and MIR-376B-3P, one of the microRNAs from downstream gene clusters of the DLK1-MEG3 locus, remains insufficiently defined.

METHODS

The authors used quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis to analyze whether decreased MEG3 and MIR-376B-3P expression levels were associated with the invasiveness of clinical nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas (CNFPAs) in 30 patients. Furthermore, functional experiments unveiled the pathophysiological role of MEG3, MIR-376B-3P, and HMGA2 in pituitary-derived folliculostellate (PDFS) cell lines. Moreover, dual-luciferase reporter assay, Western blot analysis, and immunofluorescence were applied to reveal the correlations among MEG3, MIR-376B-3P, and HMGA2.

RESULTS

MEG3 and MIR-376B-3P were decreased in patients with CNFPA, and their transcriptional levels were highly associated with invasive CNFPAs. Moreover, excessive expression of MEG3 and MIR-376B-3P inhibited tumorigenesis and promoted apoptosis in PDFS cells. Importantly, the authors found that MEG3 acted as an enhancer of MIR-376B-3P expression. Furthermore, as a target gene of MIR-376B-3P, HMGA2 served as an oncogene in pituitary adenoma and could be negatively regulated by MEG3 via enriching MIR-376B-3P.

CONCLUSIONS

This study offers a novel mechanism of an MEG3/MIR-376B-3P/HMGA2 regulatory network in CNFPAs, which may become a breakthrough for anticancer treatments.