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

Object

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.

Methods

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.

Results

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.

Conclusions

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

Object

In C7–T1 brachial plexus palsies, finger extension and flexion are absent. At the authors' institution, finger flexion has been successfully reconstructed by transferring the brachialis motor branch to the anterior interosseous nerve. However, there is no reliable method for restoring finger extension. In the present study, the authors examined the surgical results of transferring the supinator motor branch to the posterior interosseous nerve.

Methods

Since October 2007, the authors have performed a supinator motor branch transfer to the posterior interosseous nerve in 4 patients. The patients underwent follow-up every 3–4 months postoperatively.

Results

Finger extension appeared between 5 and 9 months in the first 3 cases and demonstrated promising improvement over time. One recent case remains under follow-up.

Conclusions

A supinator motor branch to posterior interosseous nerve transfer leads to reliable recovery of thumb and finger extension. Therefore, it is a viable option for C7–T1 brachial plexus palsies.

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Dong Liu, Desheng Xu, Zhiyuan Zhang, Yipei Zhang and Ligao Zheng

Object

The authors sought to assess the results of Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) in patients with vestibular schwannomas (VSs).

Methods

Seventy-four consecutive patients (33 men and 41 women) were evaluated by means of serial imaging studies, clinical examinations, and questionnaires. Nineteen patients had undergone resection of their VS. Facial nerve function was normal in 63 patients (85.1%) before GKS, and 63.5% of them had useful hearing. The prescription peripheral dose varied between 10 and 14 Gy (mean 12.27 ± 0.96 Gy); the corresponding central dose was 21 to 30 Gy (mean 24.9 ± 2.18 Gy). The mean volume of the tumor at GKS was 10.79 ± 5.52 ml (range 0.11–27.8 ml). A mean of eight isocenters (range 3–17) was used for treating these lesions.

At a median follow-up period of 68.3 months (range 30–122 months), tumor shrinkage was observed in 60 patients (81.1%), and the tumor size was stable in 11 (14.8%). Persistent neuroimaging demonstrated evidence of progression in only three patients (4.1%): two underwent repeated GKS after an interval of 18 months and one continues to be observed. Five patients experienced trigeminal dysfunction: in three the dysfunction was transient and in the other two the dysfunction persists. Three patients suffered facial palsy. Useful hearing was preserved in 34 patients. Thirteen patients experienced some degree of hearing improvement. Deterioration of hearing was found in 13 of 62 patients who had Class I or II hearing before treatment.

Conclusions

Gamma Knife surgery prevents tumor growth; it achieves excellent neurological function preservation and produces few treatment-related complications.

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Le-Bao Yu, Xin-Jian Yang, Qian Zhang, Shao-Sen Zhang, Yan Zhang, Rong Wang and Dong Zhang

OBJECTIVE

Recurrent aneurysms after coil embolization remain a challenging issue. The goal of the present study was to report the authors’ experience with recurrent aneurysms after coil embolization and to discuss the radiographic classification scheme and recommended management strategy.

METHODS

Aneurysm treatments from a single institution over a 6-year period were retrospectively reviewed. Ninety-seven aneurysms that recurred after initial coiling were managed during the study period. Recurrent aneurysms were classified into the following 5 types based on their angiographic characteristics: I, pure recanalization inside the aneurysm sac; II, pure coil compaction without aneurysm growth; III, new aneurysm neck formed without coil compaction; IV, new aneurysm neck formed with coil compaction; and V, newly formed aneurysm neck and sac.

RESULTS

Aneurysm recurrences resulted in rehemorrhages in 6 cases (6.2%) of type III–V aneurysms, but in none of type I–II aneurysms. There was a significantly higher proportion of ophthalmic artery aneurysms and complex internal carotid artery aneurysms presenting as types I and II than presented as the other 3 types (63.3% vs 16.4%, p < 0.001). In contrast, for posterior communicating artery aneurysms and anterior communicating artery aneurysms, a higher proportion of type III–V aneurysms was observed than for the other 2 types, but without a significant difference in the multivariate model (56.7% vs 23.3%). In addition, giant (> 25 mm) aneurysms were more common among type I and II lesions than among type III and IV aneurysms (36.7% vs 9.0%, p = 0.001), which exhibited a higher proportion of small (< 10 mm) lesions (65.7% vs 13.3%, p < 0.001). A single reembolization procedure was sufficient to occlude 80.0% of type I recurrences and 83.3% of type II recurrences from coil compaction but only 65.6% of type III–V recurrences from aneurysm regrowth.

CONCLUSIONS

Aneurysm size and location represent the determining factors of the angiographic recurrence types. Type I and II recurrences were safely treated by reembolization, whereas type III–V recurrences may be best managed surgically when technically feasible.

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

Brachial plexus palsies of C7–T1 result in the complete loss of hand function, including finger and thumb flexion and extension as well as intrinsic muscle function. The task of reanimating such a hand remains challenging, and so far there has been no reliable neurological reconstructive method for restoring hand function. The authors aimed to establish a reliable strategy to reanimate the paralyzed hand. Two patients had sustained C7–T1 complete lesions. In the first stage of the operative procedure, a supinator motor branch to posterior interosseous nerve transfer was performed with brachialis motor branch transfer to the median nerve to restore finger and thumb extension and flexion. In the second stage, the intact brachioradialis muscle was used for abductorplasty to restore thumb opposition. Both patients regained good finger extension and flexion. Thumb opposition was also attained, and overall hand function was satisfactory. The described strategy proved effective and reliable in restoring hand function after C7–T1 brachial plexus palsies.

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Dong Liu, Yanhe Li, Yipei Zhang, Zhiyuan Zhang, Guoxiang Song and Desheng Xu

OBJECTIVE

This article is a preliminary evaluation of the efficacy of volume-staged Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) in the treatment of patients with orbital venous malformations (OVMs).

METHODS

Twenty patients with moderate to large OVMs were treated with volume-staged GKRS between March 2005 and October 2015. The series included 8 male and 12 female patients with an average age of 22.5 years (range 9–45 years). The diagnoses were confirmed intraoperatively and at pathological examination in 14 cases and presumed in accordance with clinical and imaging findings in 6 cases. The median OVM volume was 12.2 cm3 (range 7.1–34.6 cm3). The median interval between stages was 10 months (range 6–12 months). The tumor margin dose for each stage ranged from 11.0 to 13.5 Gy. The median duration of follow-up was 45.5 months (range 18–98 months).

RESULTS

Periodically scheduled MRI studies demonstrated evidence of a significant reduction of the original OVM volume in all cases. Visual acuity (VA) was preserved in 18 cases (90%). Five patients (25%) experienced vision improvement of varying degrees, and 13 (65%) experienced long-term preservation of VA at their pre-GKRS level. Deterioration in VA was observed in only 2 cases (10%). MRI demonstrated OVM regression after treatment in all cases, and all patients were found to have reduction of exophthalmos after volume-staged GKRS. Follow-up MRI revealed recurrence in only 1 case (5%). Three patients (15%) developed transient conjunctival edema.

CONCLUSIONS

This retrospective investigation indicates that volume-staged GKRS provides an effective management option in selected patients with OVMs, providing excellent visual outcomes. The study adds substantial support for volume-staged GKRS as a major treatment for OVMs.

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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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Yahui Zhao, Jiaxi Li, Junlin Lu, Qian Zhang, Dong Zhang, Rong Wang, Yuanli Zhao and Xiaolin Chen

OBJECTIVE

The effect of indirect revascularization to improve cerebral perfusion for moyamoya disease (MMD) is based on ingrowth of new vessels into the cortical brain. Preoperative indicators for neoangiogenesis would be helpful to the selection of appropriate procedures for MMD patients but have not yet been investigated. Our study aimed to identify potential predictors for neovascularization after indirect bypass surgery.

METHODS

The authors reviewed consecutive cases with complete clinical and radiological documentation of patients who had undergone surgery between December 2010 and January 2018. Patients who were treated with indirect bypass surgery were included. Cerebrovascular characteristics were evaluated by catheter angiography. Neoangiogenesis after indirect bypass was determined as “good” or “poor” based on the Matsushima standard. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify predictors for neoangiogenesis after indirect bypass. Subgroup analyses by onset type and surgical type were carried out to identify specific predictors for different populations.

RESULTS

In total, 231 hemispheres of 209 patients (mean ± SD age 23.06 ± 15.09 years, range 3–61 years) were retrospectively included. In 146 (63.2%) hemispheres, good neoangiogenesis was observed after indirect revascularization. Multivariate analysis showed that the status of ICA moyamoya vessels (p < 0.001, OR [95% CI] 3.242 [2.007–5.236]) is a predictor of favorable neoangiogenesis after indirect bypass surgery, whereas hemorrhagic onset (p < 0.001, OR [95% CI] 0.138 [0.054–0.353]) is a risk factor for poor neoangiogenesis. In addition, younger age was significantly associated with good neovascularization in patients with hemorrhagic onset (p = 0.027, OR [95% CI] 0.893 [0.808–0.987]), whereas age was not a significant predictor for neovascularization in non–hemorrhagic-onset patients (p = 0.955). Hemispheres with good revascularization had lower incidence of rebleeding, lower modified Rankin Scale scores, and more improvement of symptoms during long-term follow-up (p = 0.026, 0.006, and 0.013, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

Hemorrhagic onset predicts poor neovascularization after indirect bypass surgery for MMD patients. Abundant ICA moyamoya vessels indicate good neoangiogenesis after indirect bypass and vice versa, whereas absent ICA moyamoya vessels predict poor revascularization. Good neovascularization was associated with better long-term outcome. Future studies are needed to further address this issue and clarify the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms.

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

C7–T1 brachial plexus palsies result in a loss of finger motion and hand function. The authors have observed that finger flexion motion can be recovered after a brachialis motor branch transfer. However, finger flexion strength after this procedure merely corresponds to Medical Research Council Grades M2–M3, lowering the grip strength and practical value of the reconstructed hand. Therefore, they used 2 donor nerves and accomplished double nerve transfers for stronger finger flexion. In a patient with a C7–T1 brachial plexus injury, they transferred the pronator teres branch to the anterior interosseous nerve and the brachialis motor branch to the flexor digitorum superficialis branch for reinnervation of full finger flexors. Additionally, the supinator motor branch was transferred for finger extension, and the brachioradialis muscle was used for thumb opposition recovery. Through this new strategy, the patient could successfully accomplish grasping and pinching motions. Moreover, compared with previous cases, the patient in the present case achieved stronger finger flexion and grip strength, suggesting practical improvements to the reconstructed hand.

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Wen-Dong Xu, Yu-Dong Gu, Jing-Bo Liu, Cong Yu, Cheng-Gang Zhang and Jian-Guang Xu

Object

The status of pulmonary function following phrenic nerve transfer surgery is still largely unknown because of the high degree of variability in the accessory phrenic nerve that may be involved. In the present study, pulmonary functions were assessed in patients before and after full-length phrenic nerve transfer surgery, in whom the phrenic nerve was severed at a location just before its entry into the diaphragm.

Methods

Fifteen patients (average age 27.4 years) with complete brachial plexus palsy underwent full-length phrenic nerve transfer. The phrenic nerve was harvested from the thoracic cavity by means of video-assisted thoracic surgery and then transferred to the musculocutaneous nerve. Postoperative pulmonary functions were retrospectively analyzed. Patients underwent follow-up evaluation for 42 to 48 months; four patients were eventually lost to follow up.

Although no patient experienced pulmonary problems following the surgery, all sustained varying degrees of diaphragmatic paralysis and elevation (for 1–1.5 intercostal spaces) on the surgically treated side as seen on chest x-ray films. Pulmonary functional parameters, including vital capacity, vital capacity in percentage of predicted values, residual volume, total lung capacity, forced vital capacity, and forced expiratory volume in 1 second, recovered to preoperative levels by 1 year postsurgery. In contrast, the postoperative maximal inspiratory pressure value was significantly decreased compared with the predicted values (average decrease ∼20%) in all of the patients, even at 4 years after the surgery.

Conclusions

In young patients with healthy lung function, unilateral phrenic nerve transection surgery can cause unilateral diaphragmatic paralysis and reduce the inspiration muscle force; however, most pulmonary function parameters gradually recover to preoperative levels within 1 year.