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Jung-Tung Liu, Cho-shun Li, Cheng-Siu Chang and Wen-Jui Liao

OBJECT

Long-term follow-up study is required for verifying whether the clinical outcomes of kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are altered. The authors' findings showed only subtle differences between these operations within a 5-year period. However, they still suggest the use of vertebroplasty over kyphoplasty in view of the treatment costs. In their previous study, the authors performed a short-term prospective comparison between vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty. Vertebroplasty was recommended instead of kyphoplasty for the treatment of vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) because of the subtle differences between this procedure and kyphoplasty and the treatment costs. To determine whether these clinical outcomes persist in the long term, they continued to observe the patients from their short-term study over a longer-term period.

METHODS

One hundred cases of VCF were assigned randomly to either the kyphoplasty or the vertebroplasty group. In cement augmentation, the authors used polymethylmethacrylate as bone filler. Pain was assessed by using a visual analog scale (VAS). For each patient, vertebral body height and wedge angle were measured from reconstructed CT images.

RESULTS

The duration of the follow-up period was 5 years. Vertebral body height, kyphotic wedge angle, and VAS score were not evidently altered. Eight patients in the kyphoplasty group had an adjacent fracture after the procedure, whereas 7 patients in the vertebroplasty group had an adjacent fracture after the procedure. These adjacent fractures occurred within 1 year of surgery in both treatment groups except in 1 kyphoplasty-treated patient in whom the adjacent fracture was noted 16 months after treatment. Three patients in the vertebroplasty group had a nonadjacent fracture, and 4 patients in the kyphoplasty group had a nonadjacent fracture. The link between angular correction and the occurrence of adjacent fracture was statistically significant in the vertebroplasty group.

CONCLUSIONS

Excessive angular correction is a critical concern in the risk of adjacent fracture after vertebroplasty. Given the subtle differences between vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty observed over the course of 5 years, vertebroplasty remains the preferred option in view of the costs.

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Jian Zhang, Fei Peng, Zhuang Liu, Jinli Luan, Xingming Liu, Chang Fei and Xueyuan Heng

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to investigate the long-term therapeutic efficacy of cranioplasty with autogenous bone flaps cryopreserved in povidone iodine and explore the risk factors for bone resorption.

METHODS

Clinical data and follow-up results of 188 patients (with 211 bone flaps) who underwent cranioplasty with autogenous bone flaps cryopreserved in povidone-iodine were retrospectively analyzed. Bone flap resorption was classified into 3 types according to CT features, including bone flap thinning (Type I), reduced bone density (Type II), and osteolysis within the flaps (Type III). The extent of bone flap resorption was graded as mild, moderate, or severe.

RESULTS

Short-term postoperative complications included subcutaneous or extradural seroma collection in 19 flaps (9.0%), epidural hematoma in 16 flaps (7.6%), and infection in 8 flaps (3.8%). Eight patients whose flaps became infected and had to be removed and 2 patients who died within 2 years were excluded from the follow-up analysis. For the remaining 178 patients and 201 flaps, the follow-up duration was 24–122 months (mean 63.1 months). In 93 (46.3%) of these 201 flaps, CT demonstrated bone resorption, which was classified as Type I in 55 flaps (59.1%), Type II in 11 (11.8%), and Type III in 27 (29.0%). The severity of bone resorption was graded as follows: no bone resorption in 108 (53.7%) of 201 flaps, mild resorption in 66 (32.8%), moderate resorption in 15 (7.5%), and severe resorption in 12 (6.0%). The incidence of moderate or severe resorption was higher in Type III than in Type I (p = 0.0008). The grading of bone flap resorption was associated with the locations of bone flaps (p = 0.0210) and fragmentation (flaps broken into 2 or 3 fragments) (p = 0.0009). The incidence of bone flap collapse due to bone resorption was higher in patients who underwent ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt implantation than in those who did not (p = 0.0091).

CONCLUSIONS

Because of the low incidence rates of infection and severe bone resorption, the authors conclude that cranioplasty with autogenous bone flaps cryopreserved in povidone-iodine solution is safe and effective. The changes characteristic of bone flap resorption became visible on CT scans about 2 months after cranioplasty and tended to stabilize at about 18 months postoperatively. The bone resorption of autogenous bone flap may be classified into 3 types. The rates of moderate and severe resorption were much higher in Type III than in Type I. The grade of bone flap resorption was associated with bone flap locations. Fragmented bone flaps or those implanted in patients treated with VP shunts may have a higher incidence of bone flap collapse due to bone resorption.

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Minghao Wang, Dean Chou, Chih-Chang Chang, Ankit Hirpara, Yilin Liu, Andrew K. Chan, Brenton Pennicooke and Praveen V. Mummaneni

OBJECTIVE

Both structural allograft and PEEK have been used for anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). There are reports that PEEK has a higher pseudarthrosis rate than structural allograft. The authors compared pseudarthrosis, revision, subsidence, and loss of lordosis rates in patients with PEEK and structural allograft.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of patients who were treated with ACDF at their hospital between 2005 and 2017. Inclusion criteria were adult patients with either PEEK or structural allograft, anterior plate fixation, and a minimum 2-year follow-up. Exclusion criteria were hybrid PEEK and allograft cases, additional posterior surgery, adjacent corpectomies, infection, tumor, stand-alone or integrated screw and cage devices, bone morphogenetic protein use, or lack of a minimum 2-year follow-up. Demographic variables, number of treated levels, interbody type (PEEK cage vs structural allograft), graft packing material, pseudarthrosis rates, revision surgery rates, subsidence, and cervical lordosis changes were collected. These data were analyzed by Pearson’s chi-square test (or Fisher’s exact test, according to the sample size and expected value) and Student t-test.

RESULTS

A total of 168 patients (264 levels total, mean follow-up time 39.5 ± 24.0 months) were analyzed. Sixty-one patients had PEEK, and 107 patients had structural allograft. Pseudarthrosis rates for 1-level fusions were 5.4% (PEEK) and 3.4% (allograft) (p > 0.05); 2-level fusions were 7.1% (PEEK) and 8.1% (allograft) (p > 0.05); and ≥ 3-level fusions were 10% (PEEK) and 11.1% (allograft) (p > 0.05). There was no statistical difference in the subsidence magnitude between PEEK and allograft in 1-, 2-, and ≥ 3-level ACDF (p > 0.05). Postoperative lordosis loss was not different between cohorts for 1- and 2-level surgeries.

CONCLUSIONS

In 1- and 2-level ACDF with plating involving the same number of fusion levels, there was no statistically significant difference in the pseudarthrosis rate, revision surgery rate, subsidence, and lordosis loss between PEEK cages and structural allograft.

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Fang-Chen Liu, Yin-Hsien Liao, Che-Hsien Chang, Chao-Ming Chang, Yu-Chi Tsai and Dueng-Yuan Hueng

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Cheng-Siu Chang, Chun-Chao Chuang, Ming-Fan Wu, Wen-Shan Liu, Hsien-Tang Tu and Chuan-Fu Huang

Object

Most cases of tumor-related hemifacial spasm (HFS) are treated by open surgery. The authors report the effects of Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) on benign tumor–related HFS at a mean follow-up time of 84 months.

Methods

Between 2000 and 2011, 6 patients (5 women and 1 man) harboring single tumors of the cerebellopontine angle (4 meningiomas and 2 vestibular schwannomas [VSs]) and experiencing HFS underwent GKS as a primary treatment. The mean age of the patients at the time of radiosurgery was 52.7 years (range 45–60 years).

The patients' tumors lay within the radiosurgical target area. In the 4 cases of meningioma, the mean radiosurgical treatment volume was 5.3 cm3 (range 1.2–9.6 cm3), and the mean radiosurgical tumor margin dose was 14.1 Gy (range 12–18 Gy); in the 2 cases of VS, the treatment volume was 2.5 cm3 in 1 patient and 11.2 cm3 in the other, and the margin doses were 11.5 and 12 Gy, respectively. The mean duration of HFS symptoms was 15.5 months (range 3–36 months).

Results

The mean follow-up period was 84 months (range 40–110 months). Overall, 4 (66%) of the 6 patients experienced complete relief from HFS without medication after GKS and 1 patient obtained a good outcome. The mean time for improvement to be realized was 12.6 months (range 3–24 months). Only 1 patient failed to experience relief from HFS, and coincidentally, the tumor did not shrink in that case. In all 6 patients (100%), tumor growth was controlled at a mean follow-up of 56 months after GKS: in 5 patients the tumor had decreased in size and in the other patient the tumor size remained unchanged. No new neurological deficit was noted after GKS, and 1 patient with facial numbness reported improvement after tumor shrinkage.

Conclusions

Gamma Knife surgery appears to be effective in treating benign tumor–related HFS and in controlling tumor growth. A reduction in tumor volume is related to spasm improvement. Although a time latency for spasm relief is associated with GKS, minimal side effects are expected.

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Mijin Kim and Chang-Hyun Lee

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Mun-Chun Yeap, Ching-Chang Chen, Zhuo-Hao Liu, Po-Chuan Hsieh, Cheng-Chi Lee, Yu-Tse Liu, Alvin Yi-Chou Wang, Yin-Cheng Huang, Kuo-Chen Wei, Chieh-Tsai Wu and Po-Hsun Tu

OBJECTIVE

Cranioplasty is a relatively simple and less invasive intervention, but it is associated with a high incidence of postoperative seizures. The incidence of, and the risk factors for, such seizures and the effect of prophylactic antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) have not been well studied. The authors’ aim was to evaluate the risk factors that predispose patients to postcranioplasty seizures and to examine the role of seizure prophylaxis in cranioplasty.

METHODS

The records of patients who had undergone cranioplasty at the authors’ medical center between 2009 and 2014 with at last 2 years of follow-up were retrospectively reviewed. Demographic and clinical characteristics, the occurrence of postoperative seizures, and postoperative complications were analyzed.

RESULTS

Among the 583 patients eligible for inclusion in the study, 247 had preexisting seizures or used AEDs before the cranioplasty and 336 had no seizures prior to cranioplasty. Of these 336 patients, 89 (26.5%) had new-onset seizures following cranioplasty. Prophylactic AEDs were administered to 56 patients for 1 week after cranioplasty. No early seizures occurred in these patients, and this finding was statistically significant (p = 0.012). Liver cirrhosis, intraoperative blood loss, and shunt-dependent hydrocephalus were risk factors for postcranioplasty seizures in the multivariable analysis.

CONCLUSIONS

Cranioplasty is associated with a high incidence of postoperative seizures. The prophylactic use of AEDs can reduce the occurrence of early seizures.

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Yu-Chi Tsai, Fang-Chen Liu, Chao-Ming Chang, Che-Hsien Chang, Yin-Hsien Liao, Tse-Bing Yang and Dueng-Yuan Hueng

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Ching-Chang Chen, Shao-Wei Chen, Po-Hsun Tu, Yin-Cheng Huang, Zhuo-Hao Liu, Alvin Yi-Chou Wang, Shih-Tseng Lee, Tien-Hsing Chen, Chi-Tung Cheng, Shang-Yu Wang and An-Hsun Chou

OBJECTIVE

Burr hole craniostomy is an effective and simple procedure for treating chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH). However, the surgical outcomes and recurrence of CSDH in patients with liver cirrhosis (LC) remain unknown.

METHODS

A nationwide population-based cohort study was retrospectively conducted using data from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. The study included 29,163 patients who underwent first-time craniostomy for CSDH removal between January 1, 2001, and December 31, 2013. In total, 1223 patients with LC and 2446 matched non-LC control patients were eligible for analysis. All-cause mortality, surgical complications, repeat craniostomy, extended craniotomy, and long-term medical costs were analyzed.

RESULTS

The in-hospital mortality rate (8.7% vs 3.1% for patients with LC and non-LC patients, respectively), frequency of hospital admission, length of ICU stay, number of blood transfusions, and medical expenditures of patients with LC who underwent craniostomy for CSDH were considerably higher than those of non-LC control patients. Patients with LC tended to require an extended craniotomy to remove subdural hematomas in the hospital or during long-term follow-up. The surgical outcome worsened with an increase in the severity of LC.

CONCLUSIONS

Even for simple procedures following minor head trauma, LC remains a serious comorbidity with a poor prognosis.