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Ren-Jie Zhang, Hui-Min Li, Hai Gao, Chong-Yu Jia, Tao Xing, Fu-Long Dong and Cai-Liang Shen

OBJECTIVE

Traditional trajectory (TT) screws are widely used in lumbar fixation. However, they may require revision surgery in some instances, especially in patients with osteoporotic spines. Cortical bone trajectory (CBT) screws may potentially be used to rescue a failed TT screw and vice versa in nonosteoporotic spines. This study aimed to investigate whether a CBT screw can salvage a compromised TT screw in osteoporotic lumbar spines and vice versa.

METHODS

A total of 42 vertebrae from 17 cadaveric lumbar spines were obtained. Bone mineral density was measured, and a CBT screw was randomly inserted into one side of each vertebra. A TT screw was then inserted into the contralateral side. The biomechanical properties of the screws were tested to determine their insertional torque, pullout strength, and fatigue performance. After checking the screws for the failure of each specimen, the failed screw track was salvaged with a screw of the opposite trajectory. The specimen was then subjected to the same mechanical tests, and results were recorded. A repeat pullout test on TT and CBT screws was also performed.

RESULTS

When CBT screws were used to rescue failed TT screws, the original torque increased by 50%, an average of 81% of the pullout strength of the initial TT screws was retained, and the fatigue performance was equal to that of the original screws, which were considerably stronger than the loose TT screws—that is, the TT repeat screws/TT screws were 33% of the pullout strength of the initial TT screws. When the TT screws were used to salvage the compromised CBT screws, the TT screws retained 51% of the original torque and 54% of the original pullout strength, and these screws were still stronger than the loose CBT screws—that is, the loose CBT screws retained 12% pullout strength of the initial CBT screws. Fatigue performance and the ratio of the pullout strength considerably decreased between the CBT rescue screws and the original CBT screws but slightly changed between the TT rescue screws and the original TT screws.

CONCLUSIONS

CBT and TT screws can be applied in a revision technique to salvage each other in osteoporotic lumbar spines. Additionally, CBT and TT screws each retain adequate insertional torque, pullout strength, and fatigue performance when used for revision in osteoporotic lumbar spines.

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Kang Guo, Lijun Heng, Haihong Zhang, Lei Ma, Hui Zhang and Dong Jia

OBJECTIVE

The authors sought to identify the relevance between pneumocephalus and postoperative intracranial infections, as well as bacteriological characteristics and risk factors for intracranial infections, in patients with pituitary adenomas after endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery.

METHODS

In total, data from 251 consecutive patients with pituitary adenomas who underwent pure endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgeries from 2014 to 2018 were reviewed for preoperative comorbidities, intraoperative techniques, and postoperative care.

RESULTS

This retrospective study found 18 cases of postoperative pneumocephalus (7.17%), 9 CNS infections (3.59%), and 12 CSF leaks (4.78%). Of the patients with pneumocephalus, 5 (27.8%) had CNS infections. In patients with CNS infections, the culture results were positive in 7 cases and negative in 2 cases. The statistical analysis suggested that pneumocephalus (maximum bubble diameter of ≥ 1 cm), diaphragmatic defects (intraoperative CSF leak, Kelly grade ≥ 1), and a postoperative CSF leak are risk factors for postoperative CNS infections.

CONCLUSIONS

In pituitary adenoma patients who underwent pure endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgeries, intraoperative saddle reconstruction has a crucial role for patients with postoperative intracranial infections. Additionally, postoperative pneumocephalus plays an important role in predicting intracranial infections that must not be neglected. Therefore, neurosurgeons should pay close attention to the discovery of postoperative intracranial pneumocephalus because this factor is as important as a postoperative CSF leak. Pneumocephalus (maximum bubble diameter of ≥ 1 cm), diaphragmatic defects (an intraoperative CSF leak, Kelly grade ≥ 1), and a postoperative CSF leak were risk factors predictive of postoperative intracranial infections. In addition, it is essential that operative procedures be carefully performed to avoid diaphragmatic defects, to reduce exposure to the external environment, and to decrease patients’ suffering.

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Xiaomin Liu, Qi Yu, Zhiyuan Zhang, Yipei Zhang, Yanhe Li, Dong Liu, Qiang Jia, Ligao Zheng and Desheng Xu

Object

The goal of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of same-day stereotactic aspiration and Gamma knife surgery (GKS) for cystic intracranial tumors.

Methods

Between 1996 and 2007, 77 patients harboring cystic intracranial tumors underwent a same-day procedure of MRI-guided cyst aspiration followed by GKS. The diagnoses were metastatic tumor in 43 patients, glial tumor in 12 patients, vestibular schwannoma in 10 patients, craniopharyngioma in 9 patients, and hemangioblastoma in 3 patients.

Results

An improvement in symptoms was achieved in 68 patients (88.3%) immediately after cyst aspiration. The mean tumor volume in this group of patients was 25.1 cm3 before aspiration and 11.1 cm3 afterward. Hemorrhage during the course of aspiration was encountered in 1 patient. Transient nausea after cyst aspiration developed in 3 patients. There was no treatment-related hematoma, seizure, neurological deficit, or infection. The median follow-up period was 16 months (range 6–108 months). Tumor control was achieved in 50 (80.6%) of 62 patients who participated in follow-up for at least 6 months.

Conclusions

The same-day stereotactic aspiration and GKS procedure was safe in patients with cystic brain tumors. Prompt symptom relief was obtained after cyst aspiration. The decrease in tumor volume following aspiration made GKS more effective because a higher prescription dose could be administered with a lower possibility of radiation-induced side effects.

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Min He, Heng Zhang, Ding Lei, Bo-Yong Mao, Chao You, Xiao-Dong Xie, Hong Sun, Yan Ju and Jia-Ming Zhang

Object

Utilization of covered stent grafts in treating neurovascular disorders has been reported, but their efficacy and safety in vertebral artery (VA) dissecting aneurysms needs further investigation.

Methods

Six cases are presented involving VA dissecting aneurysms that were treated by positioning a covered stent graft. Two aneurysms were located distal to the posterior inferior cerebellar artery, and 4 were located proximal to the posterior inferior cerebellar artery. Aspirin as well as ticlopidine or clopidogrel were administered after the procedure to prevent stent-related thrombosis. All patients were followed up both angiographically and clinically.

Results

Five of the 6 patients underwent successful placement of a covered stent graft. The covered stent could not reach the level of the aneurysm in 1 patient with serious vasospasm who died secondary to severe subarachnoid hemorrhage that occurred 3 days later. Patient follow-up ranged from 6 to 14 months (mean 10.4 months), and demonstrated complete stabilization of the obliterated aneurysms, and no obvious intimal hyperplasia. No procedure-related complications such as stenosis or embolization occurred in the 5 patients with successful stent graft placement.

Conclusions

Although long-term follow-up studies using a greater number of patients is required for further validation of this technique, this preliminary assessment shows that covered stent graft placement is an efficient, safe, and microinvasive technique, and is a promising tool in treating intracranial VA dissecting aneurysms.

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Qiang Jia, Yanhe Li, Desheng Xu, Zhenjiang Li, Zhiyuan Zhang, Yipei Zhang, Dong Liu, Xiaomin Liu, Peiyu Pu and Chunsheng Kang

Object

The authors sought to evaluate modification of the radiation response of C6 glioma cells in vitro and in vivo by inhibiting the expression of Ku70. To do so they investigated the effect of gene transfer involving a recombinant replication-defective adenovirus containing Ku70 short hairpin RNA (Ad-Ku70shRNA) combined with Gamma Knife treatment (GKT).

Methods

First, Ad-Ku70shRNA was transfected into C6 glioma cells and the expression of Ku70 was measured using Western blot analysis. In vitro, phenotypical changes in C6 cells, including proliferation, cell cycle modification, invasion ability, and apoptosis were evaluated using the MTT (3′(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assay, Western blot analysis, and cell flow cytometry. In vivo, parental C6 cells transfected with Ad-Ku70shRNA were implanted stereotactically into the right caudate nucleus in Sprague-Dawley rats. After GKS, apoptosis was analyzed using the TUNEL (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase–mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling) method. The inhibitory effects on growth and invasion that were induced by expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen and matrix metalloproteinase–9 were determined using immunohistochemical analyses.

Results

The expression of Ku70 was clearly inhibited in C6 cells after transfection with Ad-Ku70shRNA. In vitro following transfection, the C6 cells showed improved responses to GKT, including suppression of proliferation and invasion as well as an increased apoptosis index. In vivo following transfection of Ad-Ku70shRNA, the therapeutic efficacy of GKT in rats with C6 gliomas was greatly enhanced and survival times in these animals were prolonged.

Conclusions

Our data support the potential for downregulation of Ku70 expression in enhancing the radiosensitivity of gliomas. The findings of our study indicate that targeted gene therapy–mediated inactivation of Ku70 may represent a promising strategy in improving the radioresponsiveness of gliomas to GKT.

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Guo-chen Sun, Xiao-lei Chen, Yuan-zheng Hou, Xin-guang Yu, Xiao-dong Ma, Gang Liu, Lei Liu, Jia-shu Zhang, Hao Tang, Ru-Yuan Zhu, Ding-Biao Zhou and Bai-nan Xu

OBJECTIVE

Endoscopic removal of intracerebral hematomas is becoming increasingly common, but there is no standard technique. The authors explored the use of a simple image-guided endoscopic method for removal of spontaneous supratentorial hematomas.

METHODS

Virtual reality technology based on a hospital picture archiving and communications systems (PACS) was used in 3D hematoma visualization and surgical planning. Augmented reality based on an Android smartphone app, Sina neurosurgical assist, allowed a projection of the hematoma to be seen on the patient's scalp to facilitate selection of the best trajectory to the center of the hematoma. A obturator and transparent sheath were used to establish a working channel, and an endoscope and a metal suction apparatus were used to remove the hematoma.

RESULTS

A total of 25 patients were included in the study, including 18 with putamen hemorrhages and 7 with lobar cerebral hemorrhages. Virtual reality combined with augmented reality helped in achieving the desired position with the obturator and sheath. The median time from the initial surgical incision to completion of closure was 50 minutes (range 40–70 minutes). The actual endoscopic operating time was 30 (range 15–50) minutes. The median blood loss was 80 (range 40–150) ml. No patient experienced postoperative rebleeding. The average hematoma evacuation rate was 97%. The mean (± SD) preoperative Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score was 6.7 ± 3.2; 1 week after hematoma evacuation the mean GCS score had improved to 11.9 ± 3.1 (p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

Virtual reality using hospital PACS and augmented reality with a smartphone app helped precisely localize hematomas and plan the appropriate endoscopic approach. A transparent sheath helped establish a surgical channel, and an endoscope enabled observation of the hematoma's location to achieve satisfactory hematoma removal.

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Dong Liu, Desheng Xu, Zhiyuan Zhang, Yipei Zhang, Yanhe Li, Xiaomin Liu, Qiang Jia, Ligao Zheng and Guoxiang Song

Object

The goal of this study was to assess the long-term results of Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) in patients harboring an optic nerve sheath meningioma (ONSM).

Methods

Thirty patients harboring an ONSM were treated with GKS between 1998 and 2003. Gamma Knife surgery was performed as the sole treatment option in 21 of these patients and resection had been performed previously in 9 patients. The mean volume of the tumor at the time of GKS was 3.6 cm3 (range 1.4–9.7 cm3), and the mean prescription peripheral dose was 13.3 Gy (range 10–17 Gy). The mean number of isocenters used to treat these lesions was 8 (range 5–14 isocenters).

Results

At a median follow-up of 56 months, visual acuity improved in 11 patients, remained stable in 13 patients (including 4 patients who were completely blind before GKS), and deteriorated in 6 patients. Follow-up images were available in all patients and showed tumor regression in 20 patients and stable tumor in 8 patients. Persistent imaging evidence of progression was only present in 2 patients. With the exception of reversible conjunctival edema in 4 cases, no other serious acute side effect was observed.

Conclusions

Gamma Knife surgery provides long-term tumor control for ONSM. The results of this study add substantial evidence that GKS may definitely become a standard treatment approach in selected cases of ONSM.

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Xiaofeng Deng, Yan Zhang, Long Xu, Bo Wang, Shuo Wang, Jun Wu, Dong Zhang, Rong Wang, Jia Wang and Jizong Zhao

OBJECT

Cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are congenital malformations that may grow in the language cortex but usually do not lead to aphasia. In contrast, language dysfunction is a common presentation for patients with a glioma that involves language areas. The authors attempted to demonstrate the difference in patterns of language cortex reorganization between cerebral AVMs and gliomas by blood oxygen level–dependent (BOLD) functional MRI (fMRI) evaluation.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed clinical and imaging data of 63 patients with an unruptured cerebral AVM (AVM group) and 38 patients with a glioma (glioma group) who underwent fMRI. All the patients were right handed, and all their lesions were located in the left cerebral hemisphere. Patients were further categorized into 1 of the 2 following subgroups according to their lesion location: the BA subgroup (overlying or adjacent to the inferior frontal or the middle frontal gyri [the Broca area]) and the WA subgroup (overlying or adjacent to the supramarginal, angular, or superior temporal gyri [the Wernicke area]). Lateralization indices of BOLD signal activations were calculated separately for the Broca and Wernicke areas. Statistical analysis was performed to identify the difference in patterns of language cortex reorganization between the 2 groups.

RESULTS

In the AVM group, right-sided lateralization of BOLD signal activations was observed in 23 patients (36.5%), including 6 with right-sided lateralization in the Broca area alone, 12 in the Wernicke area alone, and 5 in both areas. More specifically, in the 34 patients in the AVM-BA subgroup, right-sided lateralization of the Broca area was detected in 9 patients (26.5%), and right-sided lateralization of the Wernicke area was detected in 4 (11.8%); in the 29 patients in the AVM-WA subgroup, 2 (6.9%) had right-sided lateralization of the Broca area, and 13 (44.8%) had right-sided lateralization of the Wernicke area. In the glioma group, 6 patients (15.8%) showed right-sided lateralization of the Wernicke area, including 2 patients in the glioma-BA subgroup and 4 patients in the glioma-WA subgroup. No patient showed right-sided lateralization of the Broca area. Moreover, although the incidence of right-sided lateralization was higher in cases of low-grade gliomas (5 in 26 [19.2%]) than in high-grade gliomas (1 in 12 [8.3%]), no significant difference was detected between them (p = 0.643). Compared with the AVM group, the incidence of aphasia was significantly higher (p < 0.001), and right-sided lateralization of language areas was significantly rarer (p = 0.026) in the glioma group.

CONCLUSIONS

Right-sided lateralization of BOLD signal activations was observed in patients with a cerebral AVM and in those with a glioma, suggesting that language cortex reorganization may occur with both diseases. However, the potential of reorganization in patients with gliomas seems to be insufficient compared with patients AVMs, which is suggested by clinical manifestations and the fMRI findings. Moreover, this study seems to indicate that in patients with an AVM, a nidus near the Broca area mainly leads to right-sided lateralization of the Broca area, and a nidus near the Wernicke area mainly leads to right-sided lateralization of the Wernicke area.

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Desheng Xu, Dong Liu, Zhiyuan Zhang, Yipei Zhang, Yanhe Li, Xiaomin Liu, Qiang Jia, Ligao Zheng and Guoxiang Song

Object

The authors evaluated the results they obtained using Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) in patients with orbital tumors.

Methods

This is a retrospective clinical evaluation of 202 patients with orbital tumors who were treated with GKS between September 1995 and October 2008. The series included 84 men and 118 women with a mean age of 39.5 ± 14.6 years (range 5–85 years). The diagnoses were determined based on pathological analyses in 113 patients and presumed based on characteristic clinical and imaging findings in 89 patients. There were 84 meningiomas, 38 epithelial tumors of the lacrimal gland, 23 schwannomas, 18 malignant choroidal melanomas, 12 optic nerve gliomas, 11 orbital metastases, 10 pseudotumors of the orbit, 3 retinoblastomas, and 3 cases of fibromatosis. The median target volume was 5.4 cm3 (range 0.04–35.6 cm3). The tumor margin dose ranged from 10 to 40 Gy.

Results

At a median follow-up period of 34.5 ± 14.7 months (range 12–114 months), tumor shrinkage was observed in 118 patients (58.4%) and stable tumor size in 71 patients (35.1%). Regularly scheduled neuroimaging studies demonstrated evidence of tumor progression in only 13 patients (6.4%): 9 of these patients underwent repeated GKS and 4 received surgical treatment. Visual acuity was preserved in 129 patients. Seventy-two patients experienced some degree of improvement in vision. Severe deterioration of visual acuity was found in 18 of 147 patients who had useful vision before treatment. Nineteen patients (9.4%) experienced transient conjunctival edema; no other serious acute side effect was observed.

Conclusions

Gamma Knife surgery provides an effective management strategy in patients with orbital tumors; it achieves excellent preservation of neurological function and is associated with few treatment-related complications.

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En-Min Wang, Li Pan, Bing-Jiang Wang, Nan Zhang, Liang-Fu Zhou, Ya-Fei Dong, Jia-Zhong Dai, Pei-Wu Cai and Hong Chen

Object. The authors assessed the long-term result of gamma knife surgery (GKS) for hemangioblastomas of the brain (HABs) and show histopathological findings after GKS.

Methods. Thirty-five patients, 28 men and seven women, with a mean age of 36 years underwent GKS. Eighteen patients presented with multiple tumors and 17 with a solitary tumor. Twenty-one patients had von Hippel—Lindau (VHL) disease. The mean tumor diameter was 13 mm (range 5–55 mm). The mean follow up after GKS was 66 months (range 24–114 months). The mean prescription dose was 17.2 Gy (range 12–24 Gy) at the tumor margin. For tumors close to or within the brainstem a prescription dose of 12 to 13 Gy was used.

At the most recent follow up, 29 patients were alive, six were dead, and satisfactory tumor control had been achieved in 29. A stable or improved neurological status was obtained in 21 patients. Eight patients underwent open surgery because of tumor-associated cyst enlargement or the development of new tumors after GKS. Seven patients developed new tumors and five of them required a second GKS. The 1-year tumor control rate was 94%; 2 years, 85%; 3 years, 82%; 4 years, 79%; and 5 years, 71%. Histopathology showed that no tumor cells were found and there was degeneration and necrosis in a tumor nodule 48 months after GKS with a prescription dose of 18 Gy.

Conclusions. Gamma knife surgery was a useful choice for small- or medium-sized, solid HAB in the long term, especially when the tumor margin dose was 18 Gy. Although GKS can treat multiple tumors in a single session, for HABs associated with VHL disease, GKS faces the dual problems of tumor recurrence or development of a new tumor.