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Ying Chen, Linyan Zhang, Tingting Qin, Zhenzhen Wang, Ying Li and Bing Gu

OBJECTIVE

Various implanted materials are used in neurosurgery; however, there remains a lack of pooled data on infection rates (IRs) and infective bacteria over past decades. The goal of this study was to investigate implant infections in neurosurgical procedures in a longitudinal retrospective study and to evaluate the IRs of neurosurgically implanted materials and the distribution of pathogenic microorganisms.

METHODS

A systematic literature search was conducted using PubMed and Web of Science databases for the time period between 1968 and 2018. Neurosurgical implant infections were studied in 5 subgroups, including operations or diseases, implanted materials, bacteria, distribution by country, and time periods, which were obtained from the literature and statistically analyzed. In this meta-analysis, statistical heterogeneity across studies was tested by using p values and I2 values between studies of associated pathogens. Egger’s test was used for assessing symmetries of funnel plots with Stata 11.0 software. Methodological quality was assessed to judge the risk of bias according to the Cochrane Handbook.

RESULTS

A total of 22,971 patients from 227 articles satisfied the study’s eligibility criteria. Of these, 1118 cases of infection were reported, and the overall IR was 4.87%. In this study, the neurosurgical procedures or disorders with the top 3 IRs included craniotomy (IR 6.58%), cranioplasty (IR 5.89%), and motor movement disorders (IR 5.43%). Among 13 implanted materials, the implants with the top 3 IRs included polypropylene-polyester, titanium, and polyetheretherketone (PEEK), which were 8.11%, 8.15%, and 7.31%, respectively. Furthermore, the main causative pathogen was Staphylococcus aureus and the countries with the top 3 IRs were Denmark (IR 11.90%), Korea (IR 10.98%), and Mexico (IR 9.26%). Except for the low IR from 1998 to 2007, the overall implant IR after neurosurgical procedures was on the rise.

CONCLUSIONS

In this study, the main pathogen in neurosurgery was S. aureus, which can provide a certain reference for the clinic. In addition, the IRs of polypropylene-polyester, titanium, and PEEK were higher than other materials, which means that more attention should be paid to them. In short, the total IR was high in neurosurgical implants and should be taken seriously.

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XiaoDong Liu, Bing Sun, QiWu Xu, XiaoMing Che, Jie Hu, ShiXin Gu and JiaJun Shou

Object

Little is known regarding the anaplastic variant of primary ependymomas that involve the spinal cord. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical characteristics and treatment outcomes of primary spinal anaplastic ependymomas (PSAEs).

Methods

Medical records were reviewed in 20 patients with pathologically proven PSAEs who underwent surgical treatment at the Department of Neurosurgery in Huashan Hospital between 1999 and 2008.

Results

This series included 7 women and 13 men between the ages of 2 and 67 years (mean 31.9 years). The mean preoperative course was 9.3 months (range 20 days to 48 months). The most common PSAE locations were the cervical and thoracic spinal cords. The most common presenting symptom was weakness, followed by numbness, bowel or bladder dysfunction, and pain. Gross-total resection (GTR) was achieved in 17 patients, and a subtotal removal was performed in 3 patients. Nine patients received radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy. The mean follow-up duration was 83.5 months. Functional assessment of the 10 patients available at the latest follow-up evaluation showed that 2 had worsened and 8 remained unchanged from their preoperative status. There were 2 local recurrences and 1 lung metastasis.

Conclusions

Patients with PSAEs presented with a much shorter preoperative course than patients with Grade II ependymomas in previous studies. Patients with tumors that involved the cervical spinal cord experienced a worse outcome. Surgical removal of PSAEs, with the goal of GTR, is beneficial to patients. The role of radiation therapy and chemotherapy in PSAEs remains to be determined in further studies.