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P. David Adelson, Eugene A. Bonaroti, Todd P. Thompson, Minhduc Tran and N. Ake Nystrom

Object. The standard techniques for repair of peripheral nerve injuries with neuroma formation are typically suboptimal. To begin to explore alternative techniques, the authors used an established model in rodents by using end-to-side “terminolateral” neurorrhaphies (TLNs) to study alternative grafting techniques. The TLN “jump grafts” bypass a neuroma-in-continuity, hypothetically maintaining functional units within the neuroma to facilitate functional regeneration. Evaluation of the extent and origin of the regenerating fibers within the grafts was also undertaken.

Methods. The right tibial nerve in four adult Sprague—Dawley rats was injured using either a crush or transection technique and compared with four uninjured controls. The contralateral peroneal nerve was immediately harvested for microsurgical repair by using TLN jump grafts in all animals. Following a 3-month recovery, the repaired nerves were evaluated electrophysiologically by using evoked electromyography (EMG). Histological preparation was then performed using dual-fluorescent labeling to study axonal regeneration and origins.

Evoked EMG evaluation confirmed healthy electrical conduction across the repair, which was unchanged after transection of the neuroma, but was abolished after transection of the jump graft, indicating functional neural regeneration across both the proximal and distal TLNs of the jump grafts. Fluorescent tracing analysis confirmed regeneration across both the proximal and distal portion of the jump grafts, demonstrated both motor and sensory neurons as the source of the regenerating fibers, and demonstrated significant numbers of double-labeled cell bodies, indicating that collateral sprouting was the primary source of regenerating fibers.

Conclusions. The authors have preliminarily shown that regeneration occurs both electrophysiologically and histologically with a double-TLN jump graft. Clinically, this method could offer an alternative strategy for the technique and timing of neuroma repair.

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Jorn Fierstra, Stephanie Spieth, Leanne Tran, John Conklin, Michael Tymianski, Karel G. ter Brugge, Joseph A. Fisher, David J. Mikulis and Timo Krings

Object

Cerebral proliferative angiopathy (CPA) has been morphologically distinguished from classically appearing brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) by exhibition of functional brain parenchyma that is intermingled with abnormal vascular channels. The presence of oligemia in this intralesional brain tissue may suggest ischemia, which is not detected in classic brain AVMs. The authors hypothesized that patients with CPA would exhibit a greater impairment of cerebrovascular reserve in neuronal tissue surrounding the true nidus compared with those with brain AVMs.

Methods

Four patients with CPA, 10 patients with brain AVMs and seizures, and 12 young healthy individuals were studied. The 4 patients with CPA underwent blood oxygen level–dependent MR imaging examinations while applying normoxic step changes in end-tidal CO2 to obtain quantitative cerebrovascular reactivity measurements.

Results

Patients with a CPA lesion exhibited severely impaired perilesional cerebrovascular reserve in comparison with patients with brain AVMs and seizures (0.10 ± 0.03 vs 0.16 ± 0.03, respectively; p < 0.05), and young healthy individuals (0.10 ± 0.03 vs 0.21 ± 0.06, respectively; p < 0.01)

Conclusions

This study demonstrated severely impaired cerebrovascular reserve in the perilesional brain tissue surrounding the abnormal vessels of patients with CPA. This finding may provide an additional means to distinguish CPA from classic brain AVMs.

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Ammar H. Hawasli, Albert H. Kim, Gavin P. Dunn, David D. Tran and Eric C. Leuthardt

Evolving research has demonstrated that surgical cytoreduction of a high-grade glial neoplasm is an important factor in improving the prognosis of these difficult tumors. Recent advances in intraoperative imaging have spurred the use of stereotactic laser ablation (laser interstitial thermal therapy [LITT]) for intracranial lesions. Among other targets, laser ablation has been used in the focal treatment of high-grade gliomas (HGGs). The revived application of laser ablation for gliomas parallels major advancements in intraoperative adjuvants and groundbreaking molecular advances in neuro-oncology. The authors review the research on stereotactic LITT for the treatment of HGGs and provide a potential management algorithm for HGGs that incorporates LITT in clinical practice.

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Nam D. Tran, Stefan Kim, Heather K. Vincent, Anthony Rodriguez, David R. Hinton, M. Ross Bullock and Harold F. Young

Object

Dysregulation of water homeostasis induces cerebral edema. Edema is a major cause of morbidity and mortality following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Aquaporin-1 (AQP-1), a water channel found in the brain, can function as a transporter for CO2 across the cellular membrane. Additionally, AQP-1's promoter contains a glucocorticoid response element. Thus, AQP-1 may be involved with edema-related brain injury and might be modulated by external conditions such as the pH and the presence of steroids. In this study, the authors investigated the hypotheses that: 1) AQP-1 participates in brain water homeostasis following TBI; 2) secondary injury (for example, acidosis) alters the expression of AQP-1 and exacerbates cerebral edema; and 3) corticosteroids augment brain AQP-1 expression and differentially affect cerebral edema under nonacidotic and acidotic conditions.

Methods

Anesthetized Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to moderate to severe TBI (2.5–3.5 atm) or surgery without injury, and they were randomized to receive a 3-mg/kg bolus of intravenous dexamethasone within 10 minutes after injury or surgery, a 3-mg/kg bolus of dexamethasone followed by 1-mg/kg maintenance doses every 8 hours for 24 hours, or saline boluses at similar time intervals. A second group of animals was subjected to respiratory acidosis with target arterial blood pH 6.8–7.2 for 1 hour following the surgery or injury. To evaluate selective blockage of AQP-1, some animals received a single intraperitoneal dose of HgCl2 (0.3–30.0 mmol/L) within 30 minutes of injury or surgery. At 4 or 24 hours postinjury, animals were killed and their brains were harvested for mRNA, protein, or water content analyses.

Results

The authors demonstrated elevated cerebral edema levels at 4 and 24 hours following TBI. Dexamethasone administration within 1 hour of TBI attenuated the cerebral edema under nonacidotic conditions but worsened it under acidotic conditions. Selective blockage of AQP-1 channels with HgCl2 attenuated the edematous effects of corticosteroids and acidosis. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemical analyses demonstrated a paucity of AQP-1 in the cerebral cortices of the uninjured animals. In contrast, AQP-1 mRNA and protein levels were higher in the cerebral cortices of animals that sustained a TBI.

Conclusions

These findings implicate an important, modifiable role for AQP-1 in water homeostasis within the CNS following TBI.

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Khoi D. Than, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Kelly J. Bridges, Stacie Tran, Paul Park, Dean Chou, Frank La Marca, Juan S. Uribe, Todd D. Vogel, Pierce D. Nunley, Robert K. Eastlack, Neel Anand, David O. Okonkwo, Adam S. Kanter and Gregory M. Mundis Jr.

OBJECTIVE

High-quality studies that compare outcomes of open and minimally invasively placed pedicle screws for adult spinal deformity are needed. Therefore, the authors compared differences in complications from a circumferential minimally invasive spine (MIS) surgery and those from a hybrid surgery.

METHODS

A retrospective review of a multicenter database of patients with spinal deformity who were treated with an MIS surgery was performed. Database inclusion criteria included an age of ≥ 18 years and at least 1 of the following: a coronal Cobb angle of > 20°, a sagittal vertical axis of > 5 cm, a pelvic incidence–lumbar lordosis angle of > 10°, and/or a pelvic tilt of > 20°. Patients were propensity matched according to the levels instrumented.

RESULTS

In this database, a complete data set was available for 165 patients, and after those who underwent 3-column osteotomy were excluded, 137 patients were available for analysis; 76 patients remained after propensity matching (MIS surgery group 38 patients, hybrid surgery group 38 patients). The authors found no difference in demographics, number of levels instrumented, or preoperative and postoperative radiographic results. At least 1 complication was suffered by 55.3% of patients in the hybrid surgery group and 44.7% of those in the MIS surgery group (p = 0.359). Patients in the MIS surgery group had significantly fewer neurological, operative, and minor complications than those in the hybrid surgery group. The reoperation rates in both groups were similar. The most common complication category for the MIS surgery group was radiographic and for the hybrid surgery group was neurological. Patients in both groups experienced postoperative improvement in their Oswestry Disability Index and visual analog scale (VAS) back and leg pain scores (all p < 0.05); however, MIS surgery provided a greater reduction in leg pain according to VAS scores.

CONCLUSIONS

Overall complication rates in the MIS and hybrid surgery groups were similar. MIS surgery resulted in significantly fewer neurological, operative, and minor complications. Reoperation rates in the 2 groups were similar, and despite complications, the patients reported significant improvement in their pain and function.

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Paul Park, Kai-Ming Fu, Robert K. Eastlack, Stacie Tran, Gregory M. Mundis Jr., Juan S. Uribe, Michael Y. Wang, Khoi D. Than, David O. Okonkwo, Adam S. Kanter, Pierce D. Nunley, Neel Anand, Richard G. Fessler, Dean Chou, Mark E. Oppenlander, Praveen V. Mummaneni and the International Spine Study Group

OBJECTIVE

It is now well accepted that spinopelvic parameters are correlated with clinical outcomes in adult spinal deformity (ASD). The purpose of this study was to determine whether obtaining optimal spinopelvic alignment was absolutely necessary to achieve a minimum clinically important difference (MCID) or substantial clinical benefit (SCB).

METHODS

A multicenter retrospective review of patients who underwent less-invasive surgery for ASD was conducted. Inclusion criteria were age ≥ 18 years and one of the following: coronal Cobb angle > 20°, sagittal vertical axis (SVA) > 5 cm, pelvic tilt (PT) > 20°, or pelvic incidence to lumbar lordosis (PI-LL) mismatch > 10°. A total of 223 patients who were treated with circumferential minimally invasive surgery or hybrid surgery and had a minimum 2-year follow-up were identified. Based on optimal spinopelvic parameters (PI-LL mismatch ± 10° and SVA < 5 cm), patients were divided into aligned (AL) or malaligned (MAL) groups. The primary clinical outcome studied was the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) score.

RESULTS

There were 74 patients in the AL group and 149 patients in the MAL group. Age and body mass index were similar between groups. Although the baseline SVA was similar, PI-LL mismatch (9.9° vs 17.7°, p = 0.002) and PT (19° vs 24.7°, p = 0.001) significantly differed between AL and MAL groups, respectively. As expected postoperatively, the AL and MAL groups differed significantly in PI-LL mismatch (−0.9° vs 13.1°, p < 0.001), PT (14° vs 25.5°, p = 0.001), and SVA (11.8 mm vs 48.3 mm, p < 0.001), respectively. Notably, there was no difference in the proportion of AL or MAL patients in whom an MCID (52.75% vs 61.1%, p > 0.05) or SCB (40.5% vs 46.3%, p > 0.05) was achieved for ODI score, respectively. Similarly, no differences in percentage of patients obtaining an MCID or SCB for visual analog scale back and leg pain score were observed. On multivariate analysis controlling for surgical and preoperative demographic differences, achieving optimal spinopelvic parameters was not associated with achieving an MCID (OR 0.645, 95% CI 0.31–1.33) or an SCB (OR 0.644, 95% CI 0.31–1.35) for ODI score.

CONCLUSIONS

Achieving optimal spinopelvic parameters was not a predictor for achieving an MCID or SCB. Since spinopelvic parameters are correlated with clinical outcomes, the authors’ findings suggest that the presently accepted optimal spinopelvic parameters may require modification. Other factors, such as improvement in neurological symptoms and/or segmental instability, also likely impacted the clinical outcomes.

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Paul Park, Kai-Ming Fu, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Juan S. Uribe, Michael Y. Wang, Stacie Tran, Adam S. Kanter, Pierce D. Nunley, David O. Okonkwo, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Gregory M. Mundis Jr., Dean Chou, Robert Eastlack, Neel Anand, Khoi D. Than, Joseph M. Zavatsky, Richard G. Fessler and the International Spine Study Group

OBJECTIVE

Achieving appropriate spinopelvic alignment in deformity surgery has been correlated with improvement in pain and disability. Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) techniques have been used to treat adult spinal deformity (ASD); however, there is concern for inadequate sagittal plane correction. Because age can influence the degree of sagittal correction required, the purpose of this study was to analyze whether obtaining optimal spinopelvic alignment is required in the elderly to obtain clinical improvement.

METHODS

A multicenter database of ASD patients was queried. Inclusion criteria were age ≥ 18 years; an MIS component as part of the index procedure; at least one of the following: pelvic tilt (PT) > 20°, sagittal vertical axis (SVA) > 50 mm, pelvic incidence to lumbar lordosis (PI-LL) mismatch > 10°, or coronal curve > 20°; and minimum follow-up of 2 years. Patients were stratified into younger (< 65 years) and older (≥ 65 years) cohorts. Within each cohort, patients were categorized into aligned (AL) or mal-aligned (MAL) subgroups based on postoperative radiographic measurements. Mal-alignment was defined as a PI-LL > 10° or SVA > 50 mm. Pre- and postoperative radiographic and clinical outcomes were compared.

RESULTS

Of the 185 patients, 107 were in the younger cohort and 78 in the older cohort. Based on postoperative radiographs, 36 (33.6%) of the younger patients were in the AL subgroup and 71 (66.4%) were in the MAL subgroup. The older patients were divided into 2 subgroups based on alignment; there were 26 (33.3%) patients in the AL and 52 (66.7%) in the MAL subgroups. Overall, patients within both younger and older cohorts significantly improved with regard to postoperative visual analog scale (VAS) scores for back and leg pain and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) scores. In the younger cohort, there were no significant differences in postoperative VAS back and leg pain scores between the AL and MAL subgroups. However, the postoperative ODI score of 37.9 in the MAL subgroup was significantly worse than the ODI score of 28.5 in the AL subgroup (p = 0.019). In the older cohort, there were no significant differences in postoperative VAS back and leg pain score or ODI between the AL and MAL subgroups.

CONCLUSIONS

MIS techniques did not achieve optimal spinopelvic alignment in most cases. However, age appears to impact the degree of sagittal correction required. In older patients, optimal spinopelvic alignment thresholds did not need to be achieved to obtain similar symptomatic improvement. Conversely, in younger patients stricter adherence to optimal spinopelvic alignment thresholds may be needed.

https://thejns.org/doi/abs/10.3171/2018.4.SPINE171153