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Oriela Rustemi, Fabio Raneri and Lorenzo Volpin

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Oriela Rustemi, Fabio Raneri, Lorenzo Alvaro, Luca Gazzola, Giacomo Beggio, Ludovico Rossetto and Patrizio Cervellini


Both spontaneous and iatrogenic spondylodiscitis are becoming ever more frequent, yet there are no definite treatment guidelines. For many years the treatment protocol was conservative medical management or surgical debridement with patients immobilized or bedridden for weeks and often resulting in spinal deformity. The eventual development of spinal deformity can be difficult to treat. Over the last few years, the authors have preferred a single-approach instrumented arthrodesis when spondylolysis that evolves in deformity from somatic wedging occurs.


The authors retrospectively reviewed the clinical, radiological, and surgical records of 11 patients treated over the past 3 years for spondylodiscitis with osteosynthesis.


Overall, the authors treated 11 patients: 3 cases with tuberculous spondylodiscitis (1 dorsal, 2 lumbar); 6 cases with Staphylococcus aureus spondylodiscitis (1 cervical, 2 dorsal, 2 lumbar, 1 dorsolumbar); 1 spondylodiscitis with postsurgical lumbar deformity; and in 1 dorsolumbar case the germ was not identified. Surgical approaches were chosen according to spinal level: In 8 dorsolumbar cases a posterior osteosynthesis was achieved. In 1 cervical case an anterior approach was performed with autologous bone graft from iliac crest. In 2 thoracolumbar cases a posterolateral costotransversectomy was needed. In 1 lumbosacral case iliac somatic grafting was used. Ten patients received adequate antibiotic treatment with clinical remission, and 1 case is in initial follow-up. No complications due to instrumentation were recorded. Spinal deformity was prevented in 10 cases, whereas preexisting spinal deformity was partially corrected in 1 case. In all cases, arthrodesis achieved vertebral stability.


This study has the limitations of a retrospective review with a limited number of patients. Instrumentation does not appear to hamper healing from infection. Moreover, spinal stabilization, which is assisted by the infectious process even in the absence of bone graft, allows early mobilization. Instrumented osteosynthesis should be preferred for spondylodiscitis with osteolysis and spinal instability because it allows early mobilization and rehabilitation whenever necessary. It prevents spinal deformity and does not hamper healing of infections.

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Oriela Rustemi, Loris Di Clemente, Fabio Raneri, Lorenzo Volpin and Giuseppe Iannucci

Distal, dissecting, middle cerebral artery (MCA) aneurysms are changing surgically and endovascularly. Endovascular treatment requires flow diverter stenting. A good vessel visualization is crucial for safe navigation. Three-dimensional rotational digital subtraction angiography (3D-DSA) is used routinely in diagnostic imaging. The utilization of the 3D-DSA road map in vessel navigation and stent deployment is novel. An illustrative video of a distal, dissecting left MCA aneurysm treated with flow diverter stenting is presented. The technical issues were distal location, dissecting nature with double lumen, proximal stenosis, and vessel curves. The 3D-DSA road map helped to enhance visualization with a safer procedure.

The video can be found here:

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Marco Riva, Enrica Fava, Marcello Gallucci, Alessandro Comi, Alessandra Casarotti, Tommaso Alfiero, Fabio A. Raneri, Federico Pessina and Lorenzo Bello


Intraoperative language mapping is traditionally performed with low-frequency bipolar stimulation (LFBS). High-frequency train-of-five stimulation delivered by a monopolar probe (HFMS) is an alternative technique for motor mapping, with a lower reported seizure incidence. The application of HFMS in language mapping is still limited. Authors of this study assessed the efficacy and safety of HFMS for language mapping during awake surgery, exploring its clinical impact compared with that of LFBS.


Fifty-nine patients underwent awake surgery with neuropsychological testing, and LFBS and HFMS were compared. Frequency, type, and site of evoked interference were recorded. Language was scored preoperatively and 1 week and 3 months after surgery. Extent of resection was calculated as well.


High-frequency monopolar stimulation induced a language disturbance when the repetition rate was set at 3 Hz. Interference with counting (p = 0.17) and naming (p = 0.228) did not vary between HFMS and LFBS. These results held true when preoperative tumor volume, lesion site, histology, and recurrent surgery were considered.

Intraoperative responses (1603) in all patients were compared. The error rate for both modalities differed from baseline values (p < 0.001) but not with one another (p = 0.06). Low-frequency bipolar stimulation sensitivity (0.458) and precision (0.665) were slightly higher than the HFMS counterparts (0.367 and 0.582, respectively). The error rate across the 3 types of language errors (articulatory, anomia, paraphasia) did not differ between the 2 stimulation methods (p = 0.279).


With proper setting adjustments, HFMS is a safe and effective technique for language mapping.

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Oriela Rustemi, Fabio Raneri, Giacomo Beggio and Lorenzo Volpin