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Chang-Hyun Lee, Young Eun Kim, Hak Joong Lee, Dong Gyu Kim, and Chi Heon Kim

OBJECTIVE

Pedicle screw-rod–based hybrid stabilization (PH) and interspinous device–based hybrid stabilization (IH) have been proposed to prevent adjacent-segment degeneration (ASD) and their effectiveness has been reported. However, a comparative study based on sound biomechanical proof has not yet been reported. The aim of this study was to compare the biomechanical effects of IH and PH on the transition and adjacent segments.

METHODS

A validated finite element model of the normal lumbosacral spine was used. Based on the normal model, a rigid fusion model was immobilized at the L4–5 level by a rigid fixator. The DIAM or NFlex model was added on the L3–4 segment of the fusion model to construct the IH and PH models, respectively. The developed models simulated 4 different loading directions using the hybrid loading protocol.

RESULTS

Compared with the intact case, fusion on L4–5 produced 18.8%, 9.3%, 11.7%, and 13.7% increments in motion at L3–4 under flexion, extension, lateral bending, and axial rotation, respectively. Additional instrumentation at L3–4 (transition segment) in hybrid models reduced motion changes at this level. The IH model showed 8.4%, −33.9%, 6.9%, and 2.0% change in motion at the segment, whereas the PH model showed −30.4%, −26.7%, −23.0%, and 12.9%. At L2–3 (adjacent segment), the PH model showed 14.3%, 3.4%, 15.0%, and 0.8% of motion increment compared with the motion in the IH model. Both hybrid models showed decreased intradiscal pressure (IDP) at the transition segment compared with the fusion model, but the pressure at L2–3 (adjacent segment) increased in all loading directions except under extension.

CONCLUSIONS

Both IH and PH models limited excessive motion and IDP at the transition segment compared with the fusion model. At the segment adjacent to the transition level, PH induced higher stress than IH model. Such differences may eventually influence the likelihood of ASD.

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Sung Bae Park, Tae-Ahn Jahng, Chi Heon Kim, and Chun Kee Chung

Object

The aim of this study was to describe a novel technique for laminoplasty in which translaminar screws are used in the thoracic and lumbar spine.

Methods

The authors first performed a morphometric study in 20 control individuals using 3D reconstructed CT scans and spine simulation software to measure the lengths and diameters of the spaces available for translaminar screw placement from the T-1 to S-1.

Based on the results of the morphometric study, the authors then attempted translaminar screw fixation in 5 patients (April 2007–July 2007) after en bloc laminectomy in the thoracic and lumbar regions. All patients had intradural lesions: 3 schwannomas, 1 cavernoma, and 1 arachnoid cyst.

Results

The morphometric study in control individuals revealed that the safe trajectories for simulated screws measured 25–30 mm in length and 8–11 mm in diameter in the thoracic region (T1–12) and 26–34 mm in length and 6–7 mm in diameter in the lumbosacral region (L1–S1). This morphometric and simulation study showed that translaminar screw placement would be possible in practice.

Five patients underwent en bloc laminoplasty and translaminar screw fixation in which the screws measured 2.7 mm in diameter and 24 or 26 mm in length. Sixteen attempts at translaminar fixation were made in 8 vertebrae. Fourteen translaminar screws were successfully placed at the thoracic and lumbar levels. Two microplates had to be used because the laminae were too thin and narrow after further laminectomy with undercutting. There were no complications associated with the translaminar screws.

The mean follow-up period was 14.5 months. There was no screw breakage or displacement. Solid osseous fusion was documented in 2 patients who underwent CT scanning 15 months postoperatively.

Conclusions

The authors found that the laminoplasty and translaminar screw technique is feasible in the thoracic and lumbar regions, but further studies are needed to analyze the biomechanical effects and long-term outcomes in a large number of patients.

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Chi Heon Kim, Chun Kee Chung, Hee Suk Hong, Eun Hyun Kim, Min Jung Kim, and Byung Joo Park

Object

Recent studies have emphasized measuring the sagittal vertical axis (SVA) and pelvic parameters (pelvic incidence, sacral slope, and pelvic tilt) when evaluating spinal disorders. An accurate and reproducible measurement is important for a reliable result. Although computerized measurement is more consistent than manual measurement, computerized measurement requires an expensive software program, the need to transfer images to a workstation, and additional education for users. An inexpensive and convenient computerized measurement program is desirable and necessary. The object of this study was to propose a computerized tool for measuring spinal and pelvic parameters and to evaluate the efficacy of this new tool compared with manual measurement.

Methods

The authors devised a tool that provides computerized measurements of the SVA and pelvic parameters in a picture archiving and communication system (PACS) without transferring images to another program. This tool was created by merging functions in the PACS. The resulting tool is easy to implement by merging functions (indicate the center of 2 points, plot a vertical and a horizontal line from a point, and measure the angles between lines) in any image viewer. The tool was made into icons on a toolbar in the PACS. Measurements of distance and angle were computerized by identifying crucial points after selecting the icon. For SVA, 4 points were identified around each corner of the C-7 body and a fifth point at the superior/posterior corner of the S-1 body. For pelvic parameters, 4 points were identified at the centers of each femoral head and at the anterior/superior and posterior/superior corners of S-1. Thirty-three whole-spine lateral radiographs were randomly selected from the radiographic database. To evaluate inter- and intraobserver variability between observers and method, skilled (2 years of experience) and unskilled (1 week of experience) observers measured SVA and pelvic parameters 3 times with a 7-day interval between each time using both computerized and manual measurement methods. The reliability was measured using the intraclass correlation coefficient.

Results

The computerized method showed better congruity than the manual method in both skilled and unskilled observers (p < 0.05), and the intraclass correlation coefficients were > 0.9. The skilled observer showed better agreement than the unskilled observer with both computerized and manual methods, and this difference was prominent in measuring pelvic parameters (p < 0.05). The computerized method required less time than the manual method, especially for the unskilled observer (p < 0.05).

Conclusions

A computerized measurement of pelvic parameters may be a more reliable and efficacious approach than manual measurements. This benefit is more prominent in the unskilled observer, and adding this simple function to an image viewer may be recommended in future studies.

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Dong Gyu Kim, Chi Heon Kim, Hyun-Tai Chung, Sun Ha Paek, Sang Soon Jeong, Dae Hee Han, and Hee-Won Jung

Object. The authors analyzed tumor control rates and complications in patients with superficially located meningiomas after gamma knife surgery (GKS).

Methods. Between 1998 and 2003, GKS was performed in 23 patients with 26 lesions in whom follow-up imaging for 1 year or more was available. The male/female ratio was 1:22. The mean age was 59 years. The median tumor volume was 4.7 cm3, and the mean margin dose was 16 Gy at the 50% isodose line. Peritumoral edema was revealed on magnetic resonance (MR) imaging in four patients before GKS. Magnetic resonance imaging and clinical examinations were performed every 6 months after GKS. The mean follow-up duration was 32 months.

The tumor shrank in eight cases, was stable in 17, and enlarged in one; thus 25 (95%) of 26 tumors were controlled. A peritumoral high signal on T2-weighted MR images was found in eight lesions and preexisting edema was aggravated in three lesions after GKS. Ten of these 11 patients complained of severe headache, and three patients experienced neurological deficits at the same time after a mean latency of 3 months; however, high signal was not demonstrated on imaging before 6 months on average. Steroid agents, when required, gave relief to all patients. The complication rate was 43% (10 of 23 cases). High signal disappeared in nine patients and decreased in the remaining two. High signal was associated with a high integral dose and a large tumor volume. Tumor shrinkage at the last follow-up examination was more prominent in the patients with symptomatic high signal (p = 0.03).

Conclusions. There was a good tumor control rate with a high complication rate. Longer follow up of more patients is needed. Adjusting the dose—volume relationship should be considered to reduce complications.

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Chang-Hyun Lee, Young II Won, Young San Ko, Seung Heon Yang, Chi Heon Kim, Sung Bae Park, and Chun Kee Chung

OBJECTIVE

Combined anterior-posterior (AP) surgery is considered the gold standard for surgical treatment of Scheuermann kyphosis. There are trends toward posterior-only (PO) surgery for correcting this deformity because of the availability of multisegmental compression instruments and posterior shortening osteotomy. To date, surgical strategies for Scheuermann kyphosis remain controversial. The purpose of this study was to compare various surgical approaches for the treatment of Scheuermann kyphosis, including radiological correction and intraoperative outcomes, using a systematic review and meta-analysis.

METHODS

A comprehensive database search of PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library was performed to identify studies concerning Scheuermann kyphosis. The inclusion criteria were direct comparisons between AP and PO surgeries for Scheuermann kyphosis and assessment of the angle of thoracic kyphosis preoperatively and postoperatively. The authors used the principles of a cumulative meta-analysis by updating the pooled estimate of the treatment effect.

RESULTS

Data from 13 studies involving 1147 participants (542 patients in the AP group and 605 patients in the PO group) were included. The average age was 18.2 years for the AP and 17.9 years for the PO group. The overall mean difference of changes in thoracic kyphosis angles between the AP and PO surgeries was 0.23° (95% CI −2.24° to 2.71°). In studies in which posterior shortening osteotomies were not performed, PO surgery resulted in a significantly low degree of correction of thoracic kyphosis, with a mean difference of 5.59° (95% CI 0.34°–10.83°). Studies in which osteotomies were performed revealed that the angle of correction for PO surgery was comparable to that of AP surgery. Regardless of fixation methods, PO surgical approaches achieved comparable angles.

CONCLUSIONS

PO surgery using posterior osteotomies can achieve correction of Scheuermann kyphosis as successfully as AP surgery does. Reflecting the advancement of surgical technology, large prospective studies are necessary to identify the proper treatments for Scheuermann kyphosis.

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Young-Hoon Kim, Chi Heon Kim, June Sic Kim, Sang Kun Lee, Jung Ho Han, Chae-Yong Kim, and Chun Kee Chung

Object

Supplementary motor area (SMA) resection often induces postoperative contralateral hemiparesis or speech disturbance. This study was performed to assess the neurological impairments that often follow SMA resection and to assess the risk factors associated with these postoperative deficits.

Methods

The records for patients who had undergone SMA resection for pharmacologically intractable epilepsy between 1994 and 2010 were gleaned from an epilepsy surgery database and retrospectively reviewed in this study.

Results

Forty-three patients with pharmacologically intractable epilepsy underwent SMA resection with intraoperative cortical stimulation and mapping while under awake anesthesia. The mean patient age was 31.7 years (range 15–63 years), and the mean duration and frequency of seizures were 10.4 years (range 0.1–30 years) and 14.6 per month (range 0.1–150 per month), respectively. Pathological examination of the brain revealed cortical dysplasia in 18 patients (41.9%), tumors in 16 patients (37.2%), and other lesions in 9 patients (20.9%). The mean duration of the follow-up period was 84.0 months (range 24–169 months). After SMA resection, 23 patients (53.5%) experienced neurological deficits. Three patients (7.0%) experienced permanent deficits, and 20 (46.5%) experienced symptoms that were transient. All permanent deficits involved contralateral weakness, whereas the transient symptoms patients experienced were varied, including contralateral weaknesses in 15, apraxia in 1, sensory disturbances in 1, and dysphasia in 6. Thirteen patients recovered completely within 1 month. Univariate analysis revealed that resection of the SMA proper, a shorter lifetime seizure history (< 10 years), and resection of the cingulate gyrus in addition to the SMA were associated with the development of neurological deficits (p = 0.078, 0.069, and 0.023, respectively). Cingulate gyrus resection was the only risk factor identified on multivariate analysis (p = 0.027, OR 6.530, 95% CI 1.234–34.562).

Conclusions

Resection of the cingulate gyrus in addition to the SMA was significantly associated with the development of postoperative neurological impairment.

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Chang-Hyun Lee, Tae-Ahn Jahng, Seung-Jae Hyun, Chi Heon Kim, Sung-Bae Park, Ki-Jeong Kim, Chun Kee Chung, Hyun-Jib Kim, and Soo-Eon Lee

OBJECTIVE

The Dynesys, a pedicle-based dynamic stabilization (PDS) system, was introduced to overcome the drawbacks of fusion procedures. Nevertheless, the theoretical advantages of PDS over fusion have not been clearly confirmed. The aim of this study was to compare clinical and radiological outcomes of patients who underwent PDS using the Dynesys system with those who underwent posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF).

METHODS

The authors searched PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Database. Studies that reported outcomes of patients who underwent PDS or PLIF for the treatment of degenerative lumbar spinal disease were included. The primary efficacy end points were perioperative outcomes. The secondary efficacy end points were changes in the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and back and leg pain visual analog scale (VAS) scores and in range of motion (ROM) at the treated and adjacent segments. A meta-analysis was performed to calculate weighted mean differences (WMDs), 95% confidence intervals, Q statistics, and I2 values. Forest plots were constructed for each analysis group.

RESULTS

Of the 274 retrieved articles, 7 (which involved 506 participants [Dynesys, 250; PLIF, 256]) met the inclusion criteria. The Dynesys group showed a competitive advantage in mean surgery duration (20.73 minutes, 95% CI 8.76–32.70 minutes), blood loss (81.87 ml, 95% CI 45.11–118.63 ml), and length of hospital stay (1.32 days, 95% CI 0.23–2.41 days). Both the Dynesys and PLIF groups experienced improved ODI and VAS scores after 2 years of follow-up. Regarding the ODI and VAS scores, no statistically significant difference was noted according to surgical procedure (ODI: WMD 0.12, 95% CI −3.48 to 3.72; back pain VAS score: WMD −0.15; 95% CI −0.56 to 0.26; leg pain VAS score: WMD −0.07; 95% CI −0.47 to 0.32). The mean ROM at the adjacent segment increased in both groups, and there was no substantial difference between them (WMD 1.13; 95% CI −0.33 to 2.59). Although the United States is the biggest market for Dynesys, no eligible study from the United States was found, and 4 of 8 enrolled studies were performed in China. The results must be interpreted with caution because of publication bias. During Dynesys implantation, surgeons have to decide the length of the spacer and cord pretension. These values are debatable and can vary according to the surgeon's experience and the patient's condition. Differences between the surgical procedures were not considered in this study.

CONCLUSIONS

Fusion still remains the method of choice for advanced degeneration and gross instability. However, spinal degenerative disease with or without Grade I spondylolisthesis, particularly in patients who require a quicker recovery, will likely constitute the main indication for PDS using the Dynesys system.

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Won-Sang Cho, Ki-Jeong Kim, O-Ki Kwon, Chi Heon Kim, Jiha Kim, Moon Hee Han, and Chun Kee Chung

Object

Spinal vascular diseases, such as spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs), perimedullary arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs), and spinal arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), are very rare. The authors analyzed the features and treatment outcomes of these conditions.

Methods

Data from 64 patients were retrospectively reviewed. There were 33 spinal DAVFs (1 patient had 2 lesions), 20 perimedullary AVFs, and 12 spinal AVMs. Clinical features, radiological findings, treatment results, and clinical outcomes were evaluated according to the diseases, subtypes, and treatment modalities. The median duration of follow-up was 20, 42, and 56 months for spinal DAVFs, perimedullary AVFs, and spinal AVMs, respectively.

Results

Spinal DAVFs showed faster progression of symptoms (median 5, 12, and 36 months for spinal DAVFs, perimedullary AVFs, and spinal AVMs, respectively) and worse neurological status at diagnosis (poor neurological status in 56%, 65%, and 33%, respectively). On MRI, signal voids were demonstrated in all except 1 spinal DAVF. At the last follow-up, 94% of spinal DAVFs, 68% of perimedullary AVFs, and 50% of spinal AVMs were completely obliterated. Favorable clinical outcomes were achieved in 91%, 95%, and 58%, respectively. In detail, the majority (78%) of spinal DAVFs were embolized, resulting in complete obliteration in 92% and favorable clinical outcomes in 92%. Most Type IVa and IVb perimedullary AVFs were surgically treated (71% and 88%), with complete obliterations of 86% and 71%, and favorable clinical outcomes in 100% and 86%, respectively. All Type IVc lesions were embolized with a low cure rate of 40%; however, clinical outcomes were satisfactory. Spinal AVMs were generally embolized (67%), and only glomus-type lesions attained a satisfactory cure rate (80%) and clinical outcome (100%).

Conclusions

Embolization produced satisfactory outcomes in spinal DAVFs and glomus-type spinal AVMs. Surgery is advantageous in Type IVa and IVb perimedullary AVFs. Palliative embolization can be effective in Type IVc perimedullary AVFs and juvenile spinal AVMs.

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Chang Hwan Pang, Soo Eon Lee, Chang Hyeun Kim, Jeong Eun Kim, Hyun-Seung Kang, Chul-Kee Park, Sun Ha Paek, Chi Heon Kim, Tae-Ahn Jahng, Jin Wook Kim, Yong Hwy Kim, Dong Gyu Kim, Chun Kee Chung, Hee-Won Jung, and Heon Yoo

OBJECT

There is inconsistency among the perioperative management strategies currently used for chronic subdural hematoma (cSDH). Moreover, postoperative complications such as acute intracranial bleeding and cSDH recurrence affect clinical outcome of cSDH surgery. This study evaluated the risk factors associated with acute intracranial bleeding and cSDH recurrence and identified an effective perioperative strategy for cSDH patients.

METHODS

A retrospective study of patients who underwent bur hole craniostomy for cSDH between 2008 and 2012 was performed.

RESULTS

A consecutive series of 303 cSDH patients (234 males and 69 females; mean age 67.17 years) was analyzed. Postoperative acute intracranial bleeding developed in 14 patients (4.57%) within a mean of 3.07 days and recurrence was observed in 37 patients (12.21%) within a mean of 31.69 days (range 10–104 days) after initial bur hole craniostomy. The comorbidities of hematological disease and prior shunt surgery were clinical factors associated with acute bleeding. There was a significant risk of recurrence in patients with diabetes mellitus, but recurrence did not affect the final neurological outcome (p = 0.776). Surgical details, including the number of operative bur holes, saline irrigation of the hematoma cavity, use of a drain, and type of postoperative ambulation, were not significantly associated with outcome. However, a large amount of drainage was associated with postoperative acute bleeding.

CONCLUSIONS

Bur hole craniostomy is an effective surgical procedure for initial and recurrent cSDH. Patients with hematological disease or a history of prior shunt surgery are at risk for postoperative acute bleeding; therefore, these patients should be carefully monitored to avoid overdrainage. Surgeons should consider informing patients with diabetes mellitus that this comorbidity is associated with an increased likelihood of recurrence.

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Chi Heon Kim, Chun-Kee Chung, June Sic Kim, Tae Ahn Jahng, June Ho Lee, and In Chan Song

Object

Recently, diffusion tensor (DT) imaging was introduced to demonstrate white matter tracts. However, research interest has focused on the anatomical rather than the functional aspects of this imaging modality. The authors undertook a functional analysis of DT imaging to determine the relationship between weakness and changes on DT images.

Methods

Diffusion tensor images were obtained in 23 patients with lesions located adjacent to the pyramidal tract. Patients were classified according to their motor deficit. Axial magnetic resonance image sections through the maximum tumor diameters were selected and the mean apparent diffusion coefficients (ADCs) and mean fractional anisotropies (FAs) were measured. One ovoid region of interest (ovROI) was placed in the center of the pyramidal tract and another was designed to include the whole pyramidal tract at the same axial level (wROI). To determine intraobserver variability, a single neurosurgeon measured mean ADCs and FAs four times by using these two different ROI types without knowledge of any clinical information. To determine interobserver variability, a second neurosurgeon who was also unaware of any clinical information measured the mean ADCs and FAs by using the wROI method.

The five measurements produced the same results. The mean FA at the lesion side of the pyramidal tract was significantly lower in patients with weakness (p < 0.01). Little intraobserver measurement variability occurred using the ovROI method, and no interobserver variability occurred using the wROI method.

Conclusions

Motor weakness was significantly related to a low mean FA in the pyramidal tract on the lesion side. Designing an ROI that includes the whole pyramidal tract is an easier and more reproducible method than using an ovROI method.