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Yu-quan Shi and Xian-cheng Chen

✓ Sixteen patients with arteriovenous malformations (AVM's) located in the striatothalamocapsular region were treated microsurgically at the Hau Shan Hospital, Shanghai. These AVM's had a tendency to bleed intracerebrally and typically presented with hemiplegia, hemianesthesia, and hemianopsia. Angiographically the lesions were primarily located in the triangle of Reil. Postoperative outcome was not as good as that of AVM's in other locations, but the operation may have prevented the risk of further hemorrhage. This report details the operative technique used and the clinical course in this group of patients.

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Yu-quan Shi and Xian-cheng Chen

✓ A four-grade classification scheme for intracranial arteriovenous malformations (AVM's) is proposed. Grading is based on 1) the size of the AVM; 2) its location and depth; 3) its arterial supply; and 4) its venous drainage. Each of these aspects is divided into four grades with respect to the difficulty it poses for surgical excision. A description of the grading system and its application is given. This grading scale has been correlated with the operative morbidity and mortality in 100 cases of excised intracranial AVM's. The results show that the higher the grade of AVM, the greater the risk of surgical morbidity and mortality. This grading scale is simple and easy to apply. It can guide neurosurgeons in selecting AVM patients suitable for operation, in determining the best type of operation to perform, and in predicting operative difficulties as well as postoperative results.

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Zhen Dong, Cheng-Gang Zhang, and Yu-Dong Gu


The purpose of this investigation was to study the surgical results of phrenic nerve transfer to the anterior division of the upper trunk of the brachial plexus.


Between 2002 and 2005, 40 patients received a phrenic nerve transfer to the anterior division of the upper trunk of the brachial plexus to restore elbow flexion. These cases were followed postoperatively for > 2 years, and the efficacy of the surgery and related factors were evaluated.


The overall effective rate of this procedure was 82.5% (Medical Research Council Grade ≥ 3). The results show that for patients with surgical delay of > 1 year or prolongation of the latency of the preoperative phrenic nerve evoked potential > 20%, the recovery rates were 25 and 50%, respectively.


Phrenic nerve transfer to the anterior division of the upper trunk of the brachial plexus is a simple procedure that causes minor surgical trauma and yields good recovery of elbow flexion. It is suitable in patients with a relatively intact structure at the division level of the brachial plexus.

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Ji-Yao Jiang, Ming-Kun Yu, and Cheng Zhu

Object. The goal of this study was to investigate the protective effects of long-term (3–14 days) mild hypothermia therapy (33–35°C) on outcome in 87 patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) (Glasgow Coma Scale score ≤ 8).

Methods. In 43 patients assigned to a mild hypothermia group, body temperatures were cooled to 33 to 35°C a mean of 15 hours after injury and kept at 33 to 35°C for 3 to 14 days. Rewarming commenced when the individual patient's intracranial pressure (ICP) returned to the normal level. Body temperatures in 44 patients assigned to a normothermia group were maintained at 37 to 38°C. Each patient's outcome was evaluated 1 year later by using the Glasgow Outcome Scale. One year after TBI, the mortality rate was 25.58% (11 of 43 patients) and the rate of favorable outcome (good recovery or moderate disability) was 46.51% (20 of 43 patients) in the mild hypothermia group. In the normothermia group, the mortality rate was 45.45% (20 of 44 patients) and the rate of favorable outcome was 27.27% (12 of 44 patients) (p < 0.05). Induced mild hypothermia also markedly reduced ICP (p < 0.01) and inhibited hyperglycemia (p < 0.05). The rates of complication were not significantly different between the two groups.

Conclusions. The data produced by this study demonstrate that long-term mild hypothermia therapy significantly improves outcomes in patients with severe TBI.

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Yen-Heng Lin, Yu-Cheng Huang, and Fon-Yih Tsuang


Paravertebral arteriovenous fistula (AVF) after spinal surgery is rarely reported in the literature. Its natural course is largely unknown.


The authors report a 31-year-old woman with a high-flow AVF after T12 vertebral giant cell tumor curettage. Eight months after the initial surgery, revision en bloc surgery was planned. Preoperative computed tomography angiography was performed for vascularity assessment, which incidentally revealed a large paravertebral early-enhanced venous sac. High-flow AVF was confirmed through subsequent spinal angiography. Endovascular embolization was scheduled before the surgery to avoid massive blood loss. However, the AVF closed spontaneously 1 month after the spinal angiography. The plan was changed to preoperative embolization; subsequently, three-level en bloc spondylectomy was performed smoothly.


Iatrogenic AVF is possible, prompting investigation by vascular imaging when suspected. Embolization is a preferred treatment method when feasible. However, for iatrogenic etiology, the prothrombotic property of the contrast medium may induce the resolution. Multidisciplinary discussion can be very helpful before aggressive spinal surgery.

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Yu-Huei Li, Chia-Hsiang Yu, Tsuei-Jung Chien, Ruei-Chang Huang, Pin-Hsuan Tan, Yu-Shiang Cheng, Chi-An Chen, and Dueng-Yuan Hueng

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Yong-Jian Zhu, Guang-Yu Ying, Ai-Qin Chen, Lin-Lin Wang, Dan-Feng Yu, Liang-Liang Zhu, Yu-Cheng Ren, Chen Wang, Peng-Cheng Wu, Ying Yao, Fang Shen, and Jian-Min Zhang


Posterior midline laminectomy or hemilaminectomy has been successfully applied as the standard microsurgical technique for the treatment of spinal intradural pathologies. However, the associated risks of postoperative spinal instability increase the need for subsequent fusion surgery to prevent potential long-term spinal deformity. Continuous efforts have been made to minimize injuries to the surrounding tissue resulting from surgical manipulations. The authors report here their experiences with a novel minimally invasive surgical approach, namely the interlaminar approach, for the treatment of lumbar intraspinal tumors.


A retrospective review was conducted of patients at the Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine who underwent minimally invasive resection of lumbar intradural-extramedullary tumors. By using an operative microscope, in addition to an endoscope when necessary, the authors were able to treat all patients with a unilateral, paramedian, bone-sparing interlaminar technique. Data including preoperative neurological status, tumor location, size, pathological diagnosis, extension of resections, intraoperative blood loss, length of hospital stay, and clinical outcomes were obtained through clinical and radiological examinations.


Eighteen patients diagnosed with lumbar intradural-extramedullary tumors were treated from October 2013 to March 2015 by this interlaminar technique. A microscope was used in 15 cases, and the remaining 3 cases were treated using a microscope as well as an endoscope. There were 14 schwannomas, 2 ependymomas, 1 epidermoid cyst, and 1 enterogenous cyst. Postoperative radiological follow-up revealed complete removal of all the lesions and no signs of bone defects in the lamina. At clinical follow-up, 14 of the 18 patients had less pain, and patients' motor/sensory functions improved or remained normal in all cases except 1.


When meeting certain selection criteria, intradural-extramedullary lumbar tumors, especially schwannomas, can be completely and safely resected through a less-invasive interlaminar approach using a microscope, or a microscope in addition to an endoscope when necessary. This approach was advantageous because it caused even less bone destruction, resulting in better postoperative spinal stability, no need for facetectomy and fusion, and quicker functional recovery for the patients. Individualized surgical planning according to preoperative radiological findings is key to a successful microsurgical resection of these lesions through the interlaminar space.

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Yu-Wen Cheng, Peng-Yuan Chang, Jau-Ching Wu, Chih-Chang Chang, Li-Yu Fay, Tsung-Hsi Tu, Wen-Cheng Huang, and Henrich Cheng

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Tsung-Hsi Tu, Jau-Ching Wu, Li-Yu Fay, Chin-Chu Ko, Wen-Cheng Huang, and Henrich Cheng

Cervical total disc replacement (TDR) is a viable option for the surgical treatment of degenerative disc disease. This 67-year-old nonsmoking male patient underwent single-level ProDisc-C cervical TDR at C5–6 without any intraoperative problem. His radicular pain improved and he had no neck pain immediately after the operation. However, on postoperative Day 3, a radiograph demonstrated a vertical split fracture of the C-5 vertebra. This fracture was managed conservatively, and 2 years postoperatively a follow-up CT scan demonstrated stable device position and fusion of the fracture. Although the linear fracture caused no neurological symptoms or device migration, the authors advocate prudence in selection and installation of keel-design prostheses, even in a single-level cervical TDR scenario.

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Tsung-Hsi Tu, Chih-Chang Chang, Jau-Ching Wu, Li-Yu Fay, Wen-Cheng Huang, and Henrich Cheng

The most commonly accepted indications for cervical disc arthroplasty (CDA) are 1- and 2-level cervical disc herniation or spondylosis causing radiculopathy or myelopathy that is refractory to medical management. Unlike anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF), which eliminates motion, CDA aims to restore the physiological range of motion of the indexed joint. Thus, the effect of indirect decompression gained by the insertion of a sufficiently large interbody graft and incorporation into arthrodesis after ACDF cannot be duplicated for CDA. For patients undergoing CDA, during extreme flexion/extension or rotation, the exiting nerve roots might be impinged by inadequately decompressed foraminal osteophytes. Therefore, the authors advocate generous decompression, including resection of the posterior longitudinal ligament (PLL) and bilateral uncovertebral joints (UVJs), even in the asymptomatic side. This video demonstrates full dural expansion and enlarged neuroforamen after removal of the PLL and UVJs. Venous hemorrhage encountered during foraminotomy can always be controlled by cottonoid packing or hemostatic agents. Also, the endplates of the surrounding vertebral bodies were meticulously prepared for parallel insertion of the ProDisc-C Nova (DePuy Synthes Spine) artificial disc. Please note that the ProDisc-C Nova is currently not available on the US market.

The video can be found here: