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Brian J. Park, Colin J. Gold, Royce W. Woodroffe, and Satoshi Yamaguchi

OBJECTIVE

The ability to utilize the T1 slope is often limited by poor visibility on cervical radiographs. The C7 slope has been proposed as a reliable substitute but may have similar limitations of visibility. Herein, the authors propose a novel method that takes advantage of the superior visibility on CT to accurately substitute for the radiographic T1 slope and compare the accuracy of this method with previously reported substitutes.

METHODS

Lateral neutral standing cervical radiographs and cervical CT scans were examined. When the T1 slope was clearly visible on radiographs, the C3–7 slopes and T1 slope were measured. In CT method 1, a direct method, the T1 slope was measured from the upper endplate of T1 to the bottom edge of the CT image, assuming the edge was parallel to the horizontal plane. In CT method 2, an overlaying method, the T1 slope was calculated by superimposing the C7 slope angle measured on a radiograph onto the CT scan and measuring the angle formed by the upper endplate of T1 and the superimposed horizontal line of the C7 slope. A Pearson correlation with linear regression modeling was performed for potential substitutes for the actual T1 slope.

RESULTS

Among 160 patients with available noninstrumented lateral neutral cervical radiographs, the T1 slope was visible in only 54 patients (33.8%). A total of 52 patients met the inclusion criteria for final analysis. The Pearson correlation coefficients between the T1 slope and the C3–7 slopes, CT method 1, and CT method 2 were 0.243 (p = 0.083), 0.292 (p = 0.035), 0.609 (p < 0.001), 0.806 (p < 0.001), 0.898 (p < 0.001), 0.426 (p = 0.002), and 0.942 (p < 0.001), respectively. Linear regression modeling showed R2 = 0.807 for the correlation between C7 slope and T1 slope and R2 = 0.888 for the correlation between T1 slope with the CT method 2 and actual T1 slope.

CONCLUSIONS

The C7 slope can be a reliable predictor of the T1 slope and is more accurate than more rostral cervical slopes. However, this study disclosed that the novel CT method 2, an overlaying method, was the most reliable estimate of true T1 slope with a greater positive correlation than C7 slope. When CT studies are available in patients with an invisible T1 slope on cervical radiographs, CT method 2 should be used as a substitute for the T1 slope.

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Brian J. Park, Colin J. Gold, Royce W. Woodroffe, and Satoshi Yamaguchi

OBJECTIVE

The ability to utilize the T1 slope is often limited by poor visibility on cervical radiographs. The C7 slope has been proposed as a reliable substitute but may have similar limitations of visibility. Herein, the authors propose a novel method that takes advantage of the superior visibility on CT to accurately substitute for the radiographic T1 slope and compare the accuracy of this method with previously reported substitutes.

METHODS

Lateral neutral standing cervical radiographs and cervical CT scans were examined. When the T1 slope was clearly visible on radiographs, the C3–7 slopes and T1 slope were measured. In CT method 1, a direct method, the T1 slope was measured from the upper endplate of T1 to the bottom edge of the CT image, assuming the edge was parallel to the horizontal plane. In CT method 2, an overlaying method, the T1 slope was calculated by superimposing the C7 slope angle measured on a radiograph onto the CT scan and measuring the angle formed by the upper endplate of T1 and the superimposed horizontal line of the C7 slope. A Pearson correlation with linear regression modeling was performed for potential substitutes for the actual T1 slope.

RESULTS

Among 160 patients with available noninstrumented lateral neutral cervical radiographs, the T1 slope was visible in only 54 patients (33.8%). A total of 52 patients met the inclusion criteria for final analysis. The Pearson correlation coefficients between the T1 slope and the C3–7 slopes, CT method 1, and CT method 2 were 0.243 (p = 0.083), 0.292 (p = 0.035), 0.609 (p < 0.001), 0.806 (p < 0.001), 0.898 (p < 0.001), 0.426 (p = 0.002), and 0.942 (p < 0.001), respectively. Linear regression modeling showed R2 = 0.807 for the correlation between C7 slope and T1 slope and R2 = 0.888 for the correlation between T1 slope with the CT method 2 and actual T1 slope.

CONCLUSIONS

The C7 slope can be a reliable predictor of the T1 slope and is more accurate than more rostral cervical slopes. However, this study disclosed that the novel CT method 2, an overlaying method, was the most reliable estimate of true T1 slope with a greater positive correlation than C7 slope. When CT studies are available in patients with an invisible T1 slope on cervical radiographs, CT method 2 should be used as a substitute for the T1 slope.

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Brian J. Williams, Deric M. Park, and Jason P. Sheehan

The authors present a case of an arteriovenous malformation of the central sulcus treated with Gamma Knife surgery. The patient developed perilesional edema 9 months after treatment and experienced severe headache and hemiparesis. Her symptoms were refractory to corticosteroid therapy and pain management. She was subsequently treated with bevacizumab with striking improvement in her symptoms and results of neuroimaging studies. This is the first time that bevacizumab has been used to control severe refractory perilesional edema related to an intracranial arteriovenous malformation.

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Brian J. Park, Colin J. Gold, David Christianson, Nicole A. DeVries Watson, Kirill V. Nourski, Royce W. Woodroffe, and Patrick W. Hitchon

OBJECTIVE

Adjacent-segment disease (ASD) proximal to lumbosacral fusion is assumed to result from increased stress and motion that extends above or below the fusion construct. Sublaminar bands (SBs) have been shown to potentially mitigate stresses in deformity constructs. A similar application of SBs in lumbar fusions is not well described yet may potentially mitigate against ASD.

METHODS

Eight fresh-frozen human cadaveric spine specimens were instrumented with transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) cages at L3–4 and L4–5, and pedicle screws from L3 to S1. Bilateral SBs were applied at L2 and tightened around the rods extending above the L3 pedicle screws. After being mounted on a testing frame, the spines were loaded at L1 to 6 Nm in all 3 planes, i.e., flexion/extension, right and left lateral bending, and right and left axial rotation. Motion and intradiscal pressures (IDPs) at L2–3 were measured for 5 conditions: intact, instrumentation (L3–S1), band tension (BT) 30%, BT 50%, and BT 100%.

RESULTS

There was significant increase in motion at L2–3 with L3–S1 instrumentation compared with the intact spine in flexion/extension (median 8.78°, range 4.07°–10.81°, vs median 7.27°, range 1.63°–9.66°; p = 0.016). When compared with instrumentation, BT 100% reduced motion at L2–3 in flexion/extension (median 8.78°, range 4.07°–10.81°, vs median 3.61°, range 1.11°–9.39°; p < 0.001) and lateral bending (median 6.58°, range 3.67°–8.59°, vs median 5.62°, range 3.28°–6.74°; p = 0.001). BT 50% reduced motion at L2–3 only in flexion/extension when compared with instrumentation (median 8.78°, range 4.07°–10.81°, vs median 5.91°, range 2.54°–10.59°; p = 0.027). There was no significant increase of motion at L1–2 with banding when compared with instrumentation, although an increase was seen from the intact spine with BT 100% in flexion/extension (median 5.14°, range 2.47°–9.73°, vs median 7.34°, range 4.22°–9.89°; p = 0.005). BT 100% significantly reduced IDP at L2–3 from 25.07 psi (range 2.41–48.08 psi) before tensioning to 19.46 psi (range −2.35 to 29.55 psi) after tensioning (p = 0.016).

CONCLUSIONS

In this model, the addition of L2 SBs reduced motion and IDP at L2–3 after the L3–S1 instrumentation. There was no significant increase in motion at L1–2 in response to band tensioning compared with instrumentation alone. The application of SBs may have a clinical application in reducing the incidence of ASD.

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Kingsley O. Abode-Iyamah, Hsiu-Yin Chiang, Nolan Winslow, Brian Park, Mario Zanaty, Brian J. Dlouhy, Oliver E. Flouty, Zachary D. Rasmussen, Loreen A. Herwaldt, and Jeremy D. Greenlee

OBJECTIVE

Craniectomy is often performed to decrease intracranial pressure following trauma and vascular injuries. The subsequent cranioplasty procedures may be complicated by surgical site infections (SSIs) due to prior trauma, foreign implants, and multiple surgeries through a common incision. Several studies have found that intrawound vancomycin powder (VP) is associated with decreased risk of SSIs after spine operations. However, no previously published study has evaluated the effectiveness of VP in cranioplasty procedures. The purpose of this study was to determine whether intrawound VP is associated with decreased risk of SSIs, to evaluate VP’s safety, and to identify risk factors for SSIs after cranioplasty among patients undergoing first-time cranioplasty.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective cohort study of adult patients undergoing first-time cranioplasty for indications other than infections from January 1, 2008, to July 31, 2014, at an academic health center. Data on demographics, possible risk factors for SSIs, and treatment with VP were collected from the patients’ electronic health records.

RESULTS

During the study period, 258 patients underwent first-time cranioplasties, and 15 (5.8%) of these patients acquired SSIs. Ninety-two patients (35.7%) received intrawound VP (VP group) and 166 (64.3%) did not (no-VP group). Patients in the VP group and the no-VP group were similar with respect to age, sex, smoking history, body mass index, and SSI rates (VP group 6.5%, no-VP group 5.4%, p = 0.72). Patients in the VP group were less likely than those in the no-VP group to have undergone craniectomy for tumors and were more likely to have an American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status score > 2. Intrawound VP was not associated with other postoperative complications. Risk factors for SSI from the bivariable analyses were diabetes (odds ratio [OR] 3.65, 95% CI 1.07–12.44), multiple craniotomy procedures before the cranioplasty (OR 4.39, 95% CI 1.47–13.18), prior same-side craniotomy (OR 4.73, 95% CI 1.57–14.24), and prosthetic implants (OR 4.51, 95% CI 1.40–14.59). The multivariable analysis identified prior same-side craniotomy (OR 3.37, 95% CI 1.06–10.79) and prosthetic implants (OR 3.93, 95% CI 1.15–13.40) as significant risk factors for SSIs. After adjusting for potential confounders, patients with SSIs were more likely than those without SSIs to be readmitted (OR 7.28, 95% CI 2.07–25.60).

CONCLUSIONS

In this study, intrawound VP was not associated with a decreased risk of SSIs or with an increased risk of complications. Prior same-side craniotomy and prosthetic implants were risk factors for SSI after first-time cranioplasty.

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Kingsley O. Abode-Iyamah, Hsiu-Yin Chiang, Royce W. Woodroffe, Brian Park, Francis J. Jareczek, Yasunori Nagahama, Nolan Winslow, Loreen A. Herwaldt, and Jeremy D. W. Greenlee

OBJECTIVE

Deep brain stimulation is an effective surgical treatment for managing some neurological and psychiatric disorders. Infection related to the deep brain stimulator (DBS) hardware causes significant morbidity: hardware explantation may be required; initial disease symptoms such as tremor, rigidity, and bradykinesia may recur; and the medication requirements for adequate disease management may increase. These morbidities are of particular concern given that published DBS-related infection rates have been as high as 23%. To date, however, the key risk factors for and the potential preventive measures against these infections remain largely uncharacterized. In this study, the authors endeavored to identify possible risk factors for DBS-related infection and analyze the efficacy of prophylactic intrawound vancomycin powder (VP).

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective cohort study of patients who had undergone primary DBS implantation at a single institution in the period from December 2005 through September 2015 to identify possible risk factors for surgical site infection (SSI) and to assess the impact of perioperative (before, during, and after surgery) prophylactic antibiotics on the SSI rate. They also evaluated the effect of a change in the National Healthcare Safety Network’s definition of SSI on the number of infections detected. Statistical analyses were performed using the 2-sample t-test, the Wilcoxon rank-sum test, the chi-square test, Fisher’s exact test, or logistic regression, as appropriate for the variables examined.

RESULTS

Four hundred sixty-four electrodes were placed in 242 adults during 245 primary procedures over approximately 10.5 years; most patients underwent bilateral electrode implantation. Among the 245 procedures, 9 SSIs (3.7%) occurred within 90 days and 16 (6.5%) occurred within 1 year of DBS placement. Gram-positive bacteria were the most common etiological agents. Most patient- and procedure-related characteristics did not differ between those who had acquired an SSI and those who had not. The rate of SSIs among patients who had received intrawound VP was only 3.3% compared with 9.7% among those who had not received topical VP (OR 0.32, 95% CI 0.10–1.02, p = 0.04). After controlling for patient sex, the association between VP and decreased SSI risk did not reach the predetermined level of significance (adjusted OR 0.32, 95% CI 0.10–1.03, p = 0.06). The SSI rates were similar after staged and unstaged implantations.

CONCLUSIONS

While most patient-related and procedure-related factors assessed in this study were not associated with the risk for an SSI, the data did suggest that intrawound VP may help to reduce the SSI risk after DBS implantation. Furthermore, given the implications of SSI after DBS surgery and the frequency of infections occurring more than 90 days after implantation, continued follow-up for at least 1 year after such a procedure is prudent to establish the true burden of these infections and to properly treat them when they do occur.

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Jie Lu, Alexander Ksendzovsky, Chunzhang Yang, Gautam U. Mehta, Raymund L. Yong, Robert J. Weil, Deric M. Park, Harry M. Mushlin, Xueping Fang, Brian M. Balgley, Dae-Hee Lee, Cheng S. Lee, Russell R. Lonser, and Zhengping Zhuang

Object

Tumor-initiating cells are uniquely resilient to current treatment modalities and play an important role in tumor resistance and recurrence. The lack of specific tumor-initiating cell markers to identify and target these cells presents a major obstacle to effective directed therapy.

Methods

To identify tumor-initiating cell markers in primary brain tumors, the authors compared the proteomes of glioma tumor-initiating cells to their differentiated progeny using a novel, nongel/shotgun-based, multidimensional liquid-chromatography protein separation technique. An in vivo xenograft model was used to demonstrate the tumorigenic and stem cell properties of these cells. Western blot and immunofluorescence analyses were used to confirm findings of upregulated ciliary neurotrophic factor receptor subunit–α (CNTFRα) in undifferentiated tumor-initiating cells and gliomas of increasing tumor grade. Sequencing of the CNTFRα coding regions was performed for mutation analysis. Finally, antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity was used to establish the role of CNTFRα as a potential immunotherapeutic target.

Results

Ciliary neurotrophic factor receptor subunit–α expression was increased in tumor-initiating cells and was decreased in the cells' differentiated progeny, and expression levels increased with glioma grade. Mutations of CNTFRα are not common in gliomas. Functional studies using CNTF treatment in glioma tumor-initiating cells showed induction of differentiation through the CNTFRα pathway. Treatment with anti-CNTFRα antibody resulted in increased antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity in CNTFRα expressing DAOY cells but not in cell lines that lack CNTFRα.

Conclusions

These data indicate that CNTFRα plays a role in the formation or maintenance of tumor-initiating cells in gliomas, is a marker that correlates with histological grade, may underlie treatment resistance in some cases, and is a potential therapeutic target.

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Robert J. Coffey, David Cahill, William Steers, T. S. Park, Joe Ordia, Jay Meythaler, Richard Herman, Andrew G. Shetter, Robert Levy, Brian Gill, Richard Smith, Jack Wilberger, John D. Loeser, Charles Chabal, Claudio Feler, James T. Robertson, Richard D. Penn, Aiden Clarke, Kim J. Burchiel, and Lyal G. Leibrock

✓ A total of 93 patients with intractable spasticity due to either spinal cord injury (59 cases), multiple sclerosis (31 cases), or other spinal pathology (three cases) were entered into a randomized double-blind placebocontrolled screening protocol of intrathecal baclofen test injections. Of the 88 patients who responded to an intrathecal bolus of 50, 75, or 100 µg of baclofen, 75 underwent implantation of a programmable pump system for chronic therapy. Patients were followed for 5 to 41 months after surgery (mean 19 months). No deaths or new permanent neurological deficits occurred as a result of surgery or chronic intrathecal baclofen administration. Rigidity was reduced from a mean preoperative Ashworth scale score of 3.9 to a mean postoperative score of 1.7. Muscle spasms were reduced from a mean preoperative score of 3.1 (on a fourpoint scale) to a mean postoperative score of 1.0. Although the dose of intrathecal baclofen required to control spasticity increased with time, drug tolerance was not a limiting factor in this study. Only one patient withdrew from the study because of a late surgical complication (pump pocket infection). Another patient received an intrathecal baclofen overdose because of a human error in programming the pump. The results of this study indicate that intrathecal baclofen infusion can be safe and effective for the long-term treatment of intractable spasticity in patients with spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis.

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Alexander T. Yahanda, P. David Adelson, S. Hassan A. Akbari, Gregory W. Albert, Philipp R. Aldana, Tord D. Alden, Richard C. E. Anderson, David F. Bauer, Tammy Bethel-Anderson, Douglas L. Brockmeyer, Joshua J. Chern, Daniel E. Couture, David J. Daniels, Brian J. Dlouhy, Susan R. Durham, Richard G. Ellenbogen, Ramin Eskandari, Timothy M. George, Gerald A. Grant, Patrick C. Graupman, Stephanie Greene, Jeffrey P. Greenfield, Naina L. Gross, Daniel J. Guillaume, Todd C. Hankinson, Gregory G. Heuer, Mark Iantosca, Bermans J. Iskandar, Eric M. Jackson, James M. Johnston, Robert F. Keating, Mark D. Krieger, Jeffrey R. Leonard, Cormac O. Maher, Francesco T. Mangano, J. Gordon McComb, Sean D. McEvoy, Thanda Meehan, Arnold H. Menezes, Brent R. O’Neill, Greg Olavarria, John Ragheb, Nathan R. Selden, Manish N. Shah, Chevis N. Shannon, Joshua S. Shimony, Matthew D. Smyth, Scellig S. D. Stone, Jennifer M. Strahle, James C. Torner, Gerald F. Tuite, Scott D. Wait, John C. Wellons III, William E. Whitehead, Tae Sung Park, and David D. Limbrick Jr.

OBJECTIVE

Posterior fossa decompression with duraplasty (PFDD) is commonly performed for Chiari I malformation (CM-I) with syringomyelia (SM). However, complication rates associated with various dural graft types are not well established. The objective of this study was to elucidate complication rates within 6 months of surgery among autograft and commonly used nonautologous grafts for pediatric patients who underwent PFDD for CM-I/SM.

METHODS

The Park-Reeves Syringomyelia Research Consortium database was queried for pediatric patients who had undergone PFDD for CM-I with SM. All patients had tonsillar ectopia ≥ 5 mm, syrinx diameter ≥ 3 mm, and ≥ 6 months of postoperative follow-up after PFDD. Complications (e.g., pseudomeningocele, CSF leak, meningitis, and hydrocephalus) and postoperative changes in syrinx size, headaches, and neck pain were compared for autograft versus nonautologous graft.

RESULTS

A total of 781 PFDD cases were analyzed (359 autograft, 422 nonautologous graft). Nonautologous grafts included bovine pericardium (n = 63), bovine collagen (n = 225), synthetic (n = 99), and human cadaveric allograft (n = 35). Autograft (103/359, 28.7%) had a similar overall complication rate compared to nonautologous graft (143/422, 33.9%) (p = 0.12). However, nonautologous graft was associated with significantly higher rates of pseudomeningocele (p = 0.04) and meningitis (p < 0.001). The higher rate of meningitis was influenced particularly by the higher rate of chemical meningitis (p = 0.002) versus infectious meningitis (p = 0.132). Among 4 types of nonautologous grafts, there were differences in complication rates (p = 0.02), including chemical meningitis (p = 0.01) and postoperative nausea/vomiting (p = 0.03). Allograft demonstrated the lowest complication rates overall (14.3%) and yielded significantly fewer complications compared to bovine collagen (p = 0.02) and synthetic (p = 0.003) grafts. Synthetic graft yielded higher complication rates than autograft (p = 0.01). Autograft and nonautologous graft resulted in equal improvements in syrinx size (p < 0.0001). No differences were found for postoperative changes in headaches or neck pain.

CONCLUSIONS

In the largest multicenter cohort to date, complication rates for dural autograft and nonautologous graft are similar after PFDD for CM-I/SM, although nonautologous graft results in higher rates of pseudomeningocele and meningitis. Rates of meningitis differ among nonautologous graft types. Autograft and nonautologous graft are equivalent for reducing syrinx size, headaches, and neck pain.

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Brooke Sadler, Alex Skidmore, Jordan Gewirtz, Richard C. E. Anderson, Gabe Haller, Laurie L. Ackerman, P. David Adelson, Raheel Ahmed, Gregory W. Albert, Philipp R. Aldana, Tord D. Alden, Christine Averill, Lissa C. Baird, David F. Bauer, Tammy Bethel-Anderson, Karin S. Bierbrauer, Christopher M. Bonfield, Douglas L. Brockmeyer, Joshua J. Chern, Daniel E. Couture, David J. Daniels, Brian J. Dlouhy, Susan R. Durham, Richard G. Ellenbogen, Ramin Eskandari, Herbert E. Fuchs, Timothy M. George, Gerald A. Grant, Patrick C. Graupman, Stephanie Greene, Jeffrey P. Greenfield, Naina L. Gross, Daniel J. Guillaume, Todd C. Hankinson, Gregory G. Heuer, Mark Iantosca, Bermans J. Iskandar, Eric M. Jackson, Andrew H. Jea, James M. Johnston, Robert F. Keating, Nickalus Khan, Mark D. Krieger, Jeffrey R. Leonard, Cormac O. Maher, Francesco T. Mangano, Timothy B. Mapstone, J. Gordon McComb, Sean D. McEvoy, Thanda Meehan, Arnold H. Menezes, Michael Muhlbauer, W. Jerry Oakes, Greg Olavarria, Brent R. O’Neill, John Ragheb, Nathan R. Selden, Manish N. Shah, Chevis N. Shannon, Jodi Smith, Matthew D. Smyth, Scellig S. D. Stone, Gerald F. Tuite, Scott D. Wait, John C. Wellons III, William E. Whitehead, Tae Sung Park, David D. Limbrick Jr., and Jennifer M. Strahle

OBJECTIVE

Scoliosis is common in patients with Chiari malformation type I (CM-I)–associated syringomyelia. While it is known that treatment with posterior fossa decompression (PFD) may reduce the progression of scoliosis, it is unknown if decompression with duraplasty is superior to extradural decompression.

METHODS

A large multicenter retrospective and prospective registry of 1257 pediatric patients with CM-I (tonsils ≥ 5 mm below the foramen magnum) and syrinx (≥ 3 mm in axial width) was reviewed for patients with scoliosis who underwent PFD with or without duraplasty.

RESULTS

In total, 422 patients who underwent PFD had a clinical diagnosis of scoliosis. Of these patients, 346 underwent duraplasty, 51 received extradural decompression alone, and 25 were excluded because no data were available on the type of PFD. The mean clinical follow-up was 2.6 years. Overall, there was no difference in subsequent occurrence of fusion or proportion of patients with curve progression between those with and those without a duraplasty. However, after controlling for age, sex, preoperative curve magnitude, syrinx length, syrinx width, and holocord syrinx, extradural decompression was associated with curve progression > 10°, but not increased occurrence of fusion. Older age at PFD and larger preoperative curve magnitude were independently associated with subsequent occurrence of fusion. Greater syrinx reduction after PFD of either type was associated with decreased occurrence of fusion.

CONCLUSIONS

In patients with CM-I, syrinx, and scoliosis undergoing PFD, there was no difference in subsequent occurrence of surgical correction of scoliosis between those receiving a duraplasty and those with an extradural decompression. However, after controlling for preoperative factors including age, syrinx characteristics, and curve magnitude, patients treated with duraplasty were less likely to have curve progression than patients treated with extradural decompression. Further study is needed to evaluate the role of duraplasty in curve stabilization after PFD.