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Atilla Akbay and Nejat Akalan

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Ching-yi Lee, She-Hung Chan, Hung-Yi Lai and Shih-Tseng Lee

Object

The porcine spine is widely used as an alternative to the human spine for both in vivo and in vitro spinal biomechanical studies because of the limited availability and high cost of human specimens. The aim of this study was to develop a reproducible in vitro osteoporotic vertebral model for spinal implant investigations.

Methods

Four mature domestic porcine lumbar spines (L1–5) were obtained. An in vitro decalcification method was used to decrease the mineral content of the porcine vertebrae, with Ca-chelating agents (0.5 M EDTA solution, pH 7.4) that altered the bone mineral density (BMD). Lumbar-spine area BMD was evaluated using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry; spine volumetric BMD and spine geometry were assessed by central quantitative CT scanning to monitor the time it took the decalcification process to induce the WHO-defined standard of osteoporosis. Micro–computed topography provided information on the 3D microarchitecture of the lumbar vertebrae before and after decalcification with EDTA. Hematoxylin and eosin staining of lumbar vertebrae was performed. Both the control (5 specimens) and osteoporotic vertebrae (5 specimens) were biomechanically tested to measure compressive strength.

Results

The differences in area BMD measurements before and after the demineralizing processes were statistically significant (p < 0.001). The results of the compression test before and after the demineralizing processes were also statistically significant (p < 0.001).

Conclusions

The data imply that the acid demineralizing process may be useful for producing a vertebra that has some biomechanical properties that are consistent with osteoporosis in humans.

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Ching-Yi Lee, Hsun-Hun Hsu, Hung-Yi Lai and Shih-Tseng Lee

Sellar and suprasellar masses are related to many factors. The authors report on a 10.3-year-old female patient who presented with growth retardation. Initial normal results of a hormone study and rapid progression of hypothyroidism-related pituitary hyperplasia within a 4-week interval were noted. The mass disappeared after thyroxine treatment. The authors conclude that repeated hormone examinations and avoidance of an unnecessary operation are needed in such patients.

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Ching-Yi Lee, Han-Tao Li, Tony Wu, Mei-Yun Cheng, Siew-Na Lim and Shih-Tseng Lee

OBJECTIVE

Radiofrequency thermocoagulation (RFTC), which has been developed for drug-resistant epilepsy patients, involves less brain tissue loss due to surgery, fewer surgical adverse effects, and generally good seizure control. This study demonstrates the effectiveness of RFTC performed at limited hippocampal locations.

METHODS

Daily seizure diaries were prospectively maintained for at least 6 months by 9 patients (ages 30–59 years) with drug-resistant mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) before treatment with RFTC. The limited target for stereotactic RFTC was chosen based on intraoperative electroencephalography (EEG) recording and was initially tested with a Radionics electrode at a low temperature, 45°C, for 60 seconds. The therapeutic RFTC heating parameters were 78°C–80°C for 90 seconds. All patients who received the RFTC treatment underwent both MRI and EEG recording immediately postoperatively and at the 3-month follow-up. Monthly outpatient clinic visits were arranged over 6 months to document seizure frequency and severity to clarify the changes noted in imaging studies and EEG patterns.

RESULTS

Two patients were excluded from our analysis because one had undergone multiple seizure surgeries and the other had a poor recording of seizure frequency, before the RFTC surgery. Five and two patients underwent left-sided and right-sided RFTC, respectively. None of the patients had generalized tonic-clonic attacks postoperatively, and no adverse effects or complications occurred. According to MRI data, the effect of coagulation was limited to less than 1.0 cm in diameter and perifocal edema was also in limited range. The seizure frequency within 6 months decreased postoperatively with a mean reduction in seizures of 78% (range 36%–100%). Only two patients had a temporary increase in seizure frequency within 2 weeks of the surgery, and over 50% of all patients showed a decrease in average seizure frequency.

CONCLUSIONS

The study results confirm that limited RFTC provides a more effective surgery with similar seizure control but fewer complications than resective surgery for drug-resistant MTLE patients.

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Po-Chuan Hsieh, Yi-Ming Wu, Alvin Yi-Chou Wang, Ching-Chang Chen, Chien-Hung Chang, Shy-Chyi Chin, Tai-Wei Erich Wu, Chieh-Tsai Wu and Shih-Tseng Lee

OBJECTIVE

Diverse treatment results are observed in patients with poor-grade aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH). Significant initial perfusion compromise is thought to predict a worse treatment outcome, but this has scant support in the literature. In this cohort study, the authors correlate the treatment outcomes with a novel poor-outcome imaging predictor representing impaired cerebral perfusion on initial CT angiography (CTA).

METHODS

The authors reviewed the treatment results of 148 patients with poor-grade aSAH treated at a single tertiary referral center between 2007 and 2016. Patients with the “venous delay” phenomenon on initial CTA were identified. The outcome assessments used the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) at the 3rd month after aSAH. Factors that may have had an impact on outcome were retrospectively analyzed.

RESULTS

Compared with previously identified outcome predictors, the venous delay phenomenon on initial CTA was found to have the strongest correlation with posttreatment outcomes on both univariable (p < 0.0001) and multivariable analysis (OR 4.480, 95% CI 1.565–12.826; p = 0.0052). Older age and a higher Hunt and Hess grade at presentation were other factors that were associated with poor outcome, defined as an mRS score of 3 to 6.

CONCLUSIONS

The venous delay phenomenon on initial CTA can serve as an imaging predictor for worse functional outcome and may aid in decision making when treating patients with poor-grade aSAH.

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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.

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Tsung-Hsi Tu, Chu-Yi Lee, Chao-Hung Kuo, Jau-Ching Wu, Hsuan-Kan Chang, Li-Yu Fay, Wen-Cheng Huang and Henrich Cheng

OBJECTIVE

The published clinical trials of cervical disc arthroplasty (CDA) have unanimously demonstrated the success of preservation of motion (average 7°–9°) at the index level for up to 10 years postoperatively. The inclusion criteria in these trials usually required patients to have evident mobility at the level to be treated (≥ 2° on lateral flexion-extension radiographs) prior to the surgery. Although the mean range of motion (ROM) remained similar after CDA, it was unclear in these trials if patients with less preoperative ROM would have different outcomes than patients with more ROM.

METHODS

A series of consecutive patients who underwent CDA at the level of C5–6 were followed up and retrospectively reviewed. The indications for surgery were medically refractory cervical radiculopathy, myelopathy, or both, caused by cervical disc herniation or spondylosis. All patients were assigned to 1 of 2 groups: a less-mobile group, which consisted of those patients who had an ROM of ≤ 5° at C5–6 preoperatively, or a more-mobile group, which consisted of patients whose ROM at C5–6 was > 5° preoperatively. Clinical outcomes, including visual analog scale, Neck Disability Index, and Japanese Orthopaedic Association Scale scores, were evaluated at each time point. Radiological outcomes were also assessed.

RESULTS

A total of 60 patients who had follow-up for more than 2 years were analyzed. There were 27 patients in the less-mobile group (mean preoperative ROM 3.0°) and 33 in the more-mobile group (mean ROM 11.7°). The 2 groups were similar in demographics, including age, sex, diabetes, and cigarette smoking. Both groups had significant improvements in clinical outcomes, with no significant differences between the 2 groups. However, the radiological evaluations demonstrated remarkable differences. The less-mobile group had a greater increase in ΔROM than the more-mobile group (ΔROM 5.5° vs 0.1°, p = 0.001), though the less-mobile group still had less segmental mobility (ROM 8.5° vs 11.7°, p = 0.04). The rates of complications were similar in both groups.

CONCLUSIONS

Preoperative segmental mobility did not alter the clinical outcomes of CDA. The preoperatively less-mobile (ROM ≤ 5°) discs had similar clinical improvements and greater increase of segmental mobility (ΔROM), but remained less mobile, than the preoperatively more-mobile (ROM > 5°) discs at 2 years postoperatively.

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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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Cheng-Chia Lee, Huai-Che Yang, Ching-Jen Chen, Yi-Chieh Hung, Hsiu-Mei Wu, Cheng-Ying Shiau, Wan-Yuo Guo, David Hung-Chi Pan, Wen-Yuh Chung and Kang-Du Liu

Object

Although craniopharyngiomas are benign intracranial tumors, their high recurrence rates and intimate associations with surrounding neurovascular structures make gross tumor resection challenging. Stereotactic radiosurgery has been introduced as a valuable adjuvant therapy for recurrent or residual craniopharyngiomas. However, studies with large patient populations documenting long-term survival and progression-free survival rates are rare in the literature. The current study aims to report the long-term radiosurgical results and to define the prognostic factors in a large cohort of patients with a craniopharyngioma.

Methods

A total of 137 consecutive patients who underwent 162 sessions of Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) treatments at the Taipei Veterans General Hospital between 1993 and 2012 were analyzed. The patients' median age was 30.1 years (range 1.5–84.9 years), and the median tumor volume was 5.5 ml (range 0.2–28.4 ml). There were 23 solid (16.8%), 23 cystic (16.8%), and 91 mixed solid and cystic (66.4%) craniopharyngiomas. GKS was indicated for residual or recurrent craniopharyngiomas. The median radiation dose was 12 Gy (range 9.5–16.0 Gy) at a median isodose line of 55% (range 50%–78%).

Results

At a median imaging follow-up of 45.7 months after GKS, the rates of tumor control were 72.7%, 73.9%, and 66.3% for the solid, cystic, and mixed tumors, respectively. The actuarial progression-free survival rates plotted by the Kaplan-Meier method were 70.0% and 43.8% at 5 and 10 years after radiosurgery, respectively. After repeated GKS, the actuarial progression-free survival rates were increased to 77.3% and 61.2% at 5 and 10 years, respectively. The overall survival rates were 91.5% and 83.9% at the 5- and 10-year follow-ups, respectively. Successful GKS treatment can be predicted by tumor volume (p = 0.011). Among the 137 patients who had clinical follow-up, new-onset or worsened pituitary deficiencies were detected in 11 patients (8.0%). Two patients without tumor growth had a worsened visual field, and 1 patient had a new onset of third cranial nerve palsy.

Conclusions

The current study suggests that GKS is a relatively safe modality for the treatment of recurrent or residual craniopharyngiomas, and it is associated with improved tumor control and reduced in-field recurrence rates. Acceptable rates of complications occurred.