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Bin Yu, Desheng Wu, Bin Shen, Weidong Zhao, Yufeng Huang, Jianguang Zhu and Dongduo Qi

Vertebral hemangiomas are benign lesions and are often asymptomatic. Most vertebral hemangiomas that cause cord compression and neurological symptoms are located in the thoracic spine and involve a single vertebra. The authors report the rare case of lumbar hemangiomas in a 60-year-old woman presenting with severe back pain and rapidly progressive neurological signs attributable to 2 noncontiguous lesions. After embolization of the feeding arteries, no improvement was noted. Thus, the authors performed open surgery using a combination of posterior decompression, intraoperative kyphoplasty, and segmental fixation. The patient experienced relief from back and leg pain immediately after surgery. At 3 months postoperatively, her symptoms and neurological deficits had improved completely. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first description of 2 noncontiguous extensive lumbar hemangiomas presenting with neurological symptoms managed by such combined treatment. The combined management seems to be an effective method for treating symptomatic vertebral hemangiomas.

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Bo Xiao, Fang-Fang Wu, Hong Zhang and Yan-Bin Ma

Object

When treating patients with a spontaneous supratentorial massive (≥ 70 ml) intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), the results of surgery are gloomy. A worsening pupil response has been observed in patients preoperatively, despite blood pressure control and diuretic administration. Because open surgery needs time for decompression to occur, the authors conducted a prospective randomized study to determine whether patients who have suffered a massive ICH can benefit from a more urgently performed decompressive procedure.

Methods

Overall, 36 eligible patients admitted 6 or fewer hours post-ictus were enrolled in the study. In Group A, 12 patients underwent CT-based hematoma puncture and partial aspiration in the emergency department (ED) and subsequent evacuation via a craniectomy; in Group B, 24 patients underwent hematoma evacuation via a craniectomy only. Pupil responses were categorized into 5 grades (Grade 0, bilaterally fixed; Grade 1, unilaterally fixed with the fixed pupil > 7 mm; Grade 2, unilaterally fixed with the fixed pupil ≤ 7 mm; Grade 3, a unilaterally sluggish response; and Grade 4, a bilaterally brisk response). Grades were obtained on admission, at surgical decompression (defined as the point at which liquid hematoma began to flow out in Group A and at dural opening in Group B), and at completion of craniectomy. The Barthel Scale was used to assess survivors' functional outcome at 12 months. Comparisons were made between Groups A and B. Logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the positive likelihood ratio of all variables for survival and function (Barthel Scale score of ≥ 35 at 12 months).

Results

Decompressive surgery was undertaken approximately 60 minutes earlier in Group A than B. A worsening pupil reflex before decompression was observed in no Group A patient and in 9 Group B patients. At the time of decompression pupil response was better in Group A than B (p < 0.05). Although only approximately one-third of the hematoma volume documented on initial CT scanning had been drained before the craniectomy in Group A, when partial aspiration was followed by craniectomy, better pupil-response results were obtained in Group A at the completion of craniectomy, and survival rate and 12-month Barthel Scale score were better as well (p < 0.05). Logistic regression analysis revealed that one variable, a minimum pupil grade of 3 at the time of decompression, had the highest predictive value for survival at 12 months (8.0, 95% CI 2.0–32.0), and a pupil grade of 4 at the same time was the most valuable predictor of a Barthel Scale score of 35 or greater at 12 months (15.0, 95% CI 1.9–120.9).

Conclusions

Patients with massive spontaneous supratentorial ICHs may benefit from more urgent surgical decompression. The results of logistic regression analysis implied that, to improve long-term functional outcome, decompression should be performed in patients before herniation occurs. Due to the fact that most of these patients have signs of herniation when presenting to the ED and because conventional surgical decompression requires time to take effect, this combination of surgical treatment provides a feasible and effective surgical option.

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N. U. Farrukh Hameed, Tianming Qiu, Dongxiao Zhuang, Junfeng Lu, Zhengda Yu, Shuai Wu, Bin Wu, Fengping Zhu, Yanyan Song, Hong Chen and Jinsong Wu

OBJECTIVE

Insular lobe gliomas continue to challenge neurosurgeons due to their complex anatomical position. Transcortical and transsylvian corridors remain the primary approaches for reaching the insula, but the adoption of one technique over the other remains controversial. The authors analyzed the transcortical approach of resecting insular gliomas in the context of patient tumor location based on the Berger-Sinai classification, achievable extents of resection (EORs), overall survival (OS), and postsurgical neurological outcome.

METHODS

The authors studied 255 consecutive cases of insular gliomas that underwent transcortical tumor resection in their division. Tumor molecular pathology, location, EOR, postoperative neurological outcome for each insular zone, and the accompanying OS were incorporated into the analysis to determine the value of this surgical approach.

RESULTS

Lower-grade insular gliomas (LGGs) were more prevalent (63.14%). Regarding location, giant tumors (involving all insular zones) were most prevalent (58.82%) followed by zone I+IV (anterior) tumors (20.39%). In LGGs, tumor location was an independent predictor of survival (p = 0.003), with giant tumors demonstrating shortest patient survival (p = 0.003). Isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) mutation was more likely to be associated with giant tumors (p < 0.001) than focal tumors located in a regional zone. EOR correlated with survival in both LGG (p = 0.001) and higher-grade glioma (HGG) patients (p = 0.008). The highest EORs were achieved in anterior-zone LGGs (p = 0.024). In terms of developing postoperative neurological deficits, patients with giant tumors were more susceptible (p = 0.038). Postoperative transient neurological deficit was recorded in 12.79%, and permanent deficit in 15.70% of patients. Patients who developed either transient or permanent postsurgical neurological deficits exhibited poorer survival (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

The transcortical surgical approach can achieve maximal tumor resection in all insular zones. In addition, the incorporation of adjunct technologies such as multimodal brain imaging and mapping of cortical and subcortical eloquent brain regions into the transcortical approach favors postoperative neurological outcomes, and prolongs patient survival.

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Quan Wan, Daying Zhang, Shun Li, Wenlong Liu, Xiang Wu, Zhongwei Ji, Bin Ru and Wenjun Cai

The authors describe the outcomes of 25 patients, the procedure's surgical steps, and the potential advantages of using the posterior percutaneous full-endoscopic cervical discectomy under local anesthesia. They believe this technique may be a new alternative in the treatment of selected patients with cervical radiculopathy due to soft-disc herniation.

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Ya-Bin Ji, Yong-Ming Wu, Zhong Ji, Wei Song, Sui-Yi Xu, Yao Wang and Su-Yue Pan

Object

Intracarotid artery cold saline infusion (ICSI) is an effective method for protecting brain tissue, but its use is limited because of undesirable secondary effects, such as severe decreases in hematocrit levels, as well as its relatively brief duration. In this study, the authors describe and investigate the effects of a novel ICSI pattern (interrupted ICSI) relative to the traditional method (uninterrupted ICSI).

Methods

Ischemic strokes were induced in 85 male Sprague-Dawley rats by occluding the middle cerebral artery for 3 hours using an intraluminal filament. Uninterrupted infusion groups received an infusion at 15 ml/hour for 30 minutes continuously. The same infusion speed was used in the interrupted infusion groups, but the whole duration was divided into trisections, and there was a 20-minute interval without infusion between sections. Forty-eight hours after reperfusion, H & E and silver nitrate staining were utilized for morphological assessment. Infarct sizes and brain water contents were determined using H & E staining and the dry-wet weight method, respectively. Levels of neuron-specific enolase (NSE), S100β protein, and matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) in the serum were determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Neurological deficits were also evaluated.

Results

Histology showed that interrupted ICSI did not affect neurons or fibers in rat brains, which suggests that this method is safe for brain tissues with ischemia. The duration of hypothermia induced by interrupted ICSI was longer than that induced via the traditional method, and the decrease in hematocrit levels was less pronounced. There were no differences in infarct size or brain water content between uninterrupted and interrupted ICSI groups, but neuron-specific enolase and matrix metalloproteinase 9 serum levels were more reduced after interrupted ICSI than after the traditional method.

Conclusions

Interrupted ICSI is a safe method. Compared with traditional ICSI, the interrupted method has a longer duration of hypothermia and less effect on hematocrit and offers more potentially improved neuroprotection, thereby making it more attractive as an infusion technique in the clinic.

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

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Juxiang Wang, Ke Li, Hongjia Li, Chengyi Ji, Ziyao Wu, Huimin Chen and Bin Chen

OBJECTIVE

Increased intracranial pressure (ICP) results in enlarged optic nerve sheath diameter (ONSD). In this study the authors aimed to assess the association of ONSD and ICP in severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) after decompressive craniotomy (DC).

METHODS

ONSDs were measured by ocular ultrasonography in 40 healthy control adults. ICPs were monitored invasively with a microsensor at 6 hours and 24 hours after DC operation in 35 TBI patients. ONSDs were measured at the same time in these patients. Patients were assigned to 3 groups according to ICP levels, including normal (ICP ≤ 13 mm Hg), mildly elevated (ICP = 14–22 mm Hg), and severely elevated (ICP > 22 mm Hg) groups. ONSDs were compared between healthy control adults and TBI cases with DC. Then, the association of ONSD with ICP was analyzed using Pearson’s correlation coefficient, linear regression analysis, and receiver operator characteristic curves.

RESULTS

Seventy ICP measurements were obtained among 35 TBI patients after DC, including 25, 27, and 18 measurements in the normal, mildly elevated, and severely elevated ICP groups, respectively. Mean ONSDs were 4.09 ± 0.38 mm in the control group and 4.92 ± 0.37, 5.77 ± 0.41, and 6.52 ± 0.44 mm in the normal, mildly elevated, and severely elevated ICP groups, respectively (p < 0.001). A significant linear correlation was found between ONSD and ICP (r = 0.771, p < 0.0001). Enlarged ONSD was a robust predictor of elevated ICP. With an ONSD cutoff of 5.48 mm (ICP > 13 mm Hg), sensitivity and specificity were 91.1% and 88.0%, respectively; a cutoff of 5.83 mm (ICP > 22 mm Hg) yielded sensitivity and specificity of 94.4% and 81.0%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

Ultrasonographic ONSD is strongly correlated with invasive ICP measurements and may serve as a sensitive and noninvasive method for detecting elevated ICP in TBI patients after DC.

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Nan Zhang, Li Pan, En Min Wang, Jia Zhong Dai, Bin Jiang Wang and Pei Wu Cai

Object. The authors sought to evaluate the effect of gamma knife radiosurgery (GKS) on growth hormone (GH)—producing pituitary adenoma growth and endocrinological response.

Methods. From 1993 to 1997, 79 patients with GH-producing pituitary adenomas were treated with GKS. Seventysix patients had acromegaly. Sixty-eight patients were treated with GKS as the primary procedure. The tumor margin was covered with a 50 to 90% isodose and the margin dose was 18 to 35 Gy (mean 31.3 Gy). The dose to the visual pathways was less than 10 Gy except in one case. Sixty-eight patients (86%) were followed for 6 to 52 months. Growth hormone levels declined with improvement in acromegaly in all cases in the first 6 months after GKS. Normalization of the hormone levels was achieved in 23 (40%) of 58 patients who had been followed for 12 months and in 96% of cases for more than 24 months (43 of 45), or more than 36 months (25 of 26), respectively. With the reduction of GH hormone levels, 12 of 21 patients with hyperglycemia regained a normal blood glucose level (p < 0.001). The tumor shrank in 30 (52%) of 58 patients who had been followed for 12 months (p < 0.01), 39 (87%) of 45 patients for more than 2 years (p = 0.02), and 24 (92%) of 26 patients for more than 36 months. In the remainder of patients tumor growth ceased.

Conclusions. Gamma knife radiosurgery for GH-producing adenomas showed promising results both in hormonal control and tumor shrinkage. A margin dose of more than 30 Gy would seem to be effective in improving the clinical status, reducing high blood glucose levels, and normalizing hypertension.

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Nan Zhang, Li Pan, Bin Jiang Wang, En Min Wang, Jia Zhong Dai and Pei Wu Cai

Object. The authors analyzed the outcome of 53 patients with cavernous hemangiomas who underwent gamma knife radiosurgery (GKS) and evaluated the benefit of the treatment.

Methods. From 1994 to 1995, 57 patients were treated with GKS for cavernous hemangiomas. The mean margin dose to the lesions was 20.3 Gy (range 14.5–25.2 Gy) and the prescription isodose was 50 to 80%. The mean follow-up period was 4.2 years. Four patients were lost to follow up. In 18 of 28 patients whose chief complaint was seizures, there was a decrease in seizure frequency. Five of 23 patients with hemorrhage suffered rebleeding 4 to 39 months after GKS. Seventeen patients in whom the hemangiomas were located at the frontal or parietal lobe had neurological disability and in five this was severe. Two patients underwent resection of their hemangioma after GKS. Three experienced visual problems. Follow-up imaging demonstrated shrinkage of the lesion in 19 patients.

Conclusions. A higher margin dose (> 16 Gy) may be associated with a reduction in the incidence of rebleeding after GKS. Higher dosage and severe brain edema after GKS may decrease the frequency and intensity of seizures at least temporarily. Gamma knife radiosurgery may play a role in protection against hemorrhage and in reduction of the rate of seizure in selected cases with the appropriate dose.

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Li Pan, Nan Zhang, En Ming Wang, Bin Jiang Wang, Jia Zhong Dai and Pei Wu Cai

Object. The purpose of this study was to estimate the efficacy of gamma knife radiosurgery (GKS) in controlling tumor growth and endocrinopathy associated with prolactinomas.

Methods. Between 1993 and 1997, 164 of 469 patients with pituitary adenomas treated by GKS harbored prolactinomas. The dose to the tumor margin ranged from 9 to 35 Gy (mean 31.2 Gy), and the visual pathways were exposed to a dose of less than 10 Gy. The mean tumor diameter was 13.4 mm. The mean follow-up time for 128 cases was 33.2 months (range 6–72 months). Tumor control was observed in all but two patients who underwent surgery 18 and 36 months, respectively, after GKS. Clinical cure was achieved in 67 cases.

Clinical improvement was noted with a decrease in the hyperprolactinemia after GKS. Nonetheless, in 31 (29%) of 108 patients who were followed for more than 2 years no improvement in serum prolactin levels was demonstrated, although this could be normalized by bromocriptine administration after treatment. Nine infertile women became pregnant 2 to 13 months after GKS and all gave birth to normal children.

There was no visual deterioration related to GKS. Five women experienced premature menopause. In these patients there was subtotal disappearance of the tumor and an empty sella developed.

Conclusions. Gamma knife radiosurgery as a primary treatment for prolactinomas can be safe and effective both for controlling tumor growth and for normalization of prolactin hypersecretion. A higher margin dose (≥ 30 Gy) seemed to be associated with a better clinical outcome. Gamma knife radiosurgery may make prolactinomas more sensitive to the bromocriptine.