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Zhi-Jie Zhou, Feng-Dong Zhao, Xiang-Qian Fang, Xing Zhao and Shun-Wu Fan

Object

The authors compared the effectiveness of instrumented posterior lumbar interbody fusion (iPLIF) and instrumented posterolateral fusion (iPLF) for the treatment of low-back pain (LBP) due to degenerative lumbar disease.

Methods

Relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and comparative observational studies through December 2009 were identified using a retrieval strategy of sensitive and specific searches. The study design, participant characteristics, interventions, follow-up rate and period, and outcomes were abstracted after the assessment of methodological quality of the trials. Analyses were performed following the method guidelines of the Cochrane Back Review Group.

Results

Nine studies were identified—3 RCTs and 6 comparative observational studies. No significant difference was found between the 2 fusion procedures in the global assessment of clinical outcome (OR 1.51, 95% CI 0.71–3.22, p = 0.29) and complication rate (OR 0.55, 95% CI 0.16–1.86, p = 0.34). Both techniques were effective in reducing pain and improving functional disability, as well as restoring intervertebral disc height. Instrumented PLIF was more effective in achieving solid fusion (OR 2.60, 95% CI 1.35–5.00, p = 0.004), a lower reoperation rate (OR 0.20, 95% CI 0.03–1.29, p = 0.09), and better restoration of segmental angle and lumbar lordotic angle than iPLF. There were no significant differences between the fusion methods regarding blood loss (weighted mean difference –179.63, 95% CI –516.42 to 157.15, p = 0.30), and operating time (weighted mean difference 8.03, 95% CI –45.46 to 61.53, p = 0.77).

Conclusions

The authors' analysis provided moderate-quality evidence that iPLIF has the advantages of higher fusion rate and better restoration of spinal alignment over iPLF. No significant differences were identified between iPLIF and iPLF concerning clinical outcome, complication rate, operating time, and blood loss.

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Timothy Ryken and Vincent C. Traynelis

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Xiang Zou, Zehan Wu, Wei Zhu, Liang Chen, Ying Mao and Fan Zhao

OBJECTIVE

Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is a fatal disease with high morbidity and mortality, which may be followed by white matter injury (WMI) due to the local oxidizing reaction induced by iron (Fe). In this study, the authors examined the effect of the tetracycline antibiotic minocycline on Fe-induced WMI and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) activation in rats.

METHODS

Thirty-six male Sprague-Dawley rats underwent an intracaudate injection of saline, Fe, or Fe + minocycline. Another 36 rats had an intracaudate injection of autologous blood and were treated with minocycline or vehicle (saline). Biomarkers of both WMI and JNK activation were examined.

RESULTS

In the Fe-injection group, minocycline suppressed WMI labeled by β-amyloid precursor protein (β-APP) and degraded myelin basic protein (dMBP)/MBP ratio. Protein levels of phosphorylated-JNK were increased after Fe injection, and could be suppressed by minocycline treatment. In the autologous blood–injection group, β-APP and dMBP/MBP levels increased in the ipsilateral site compared with the contralateral site, which could be suppressed by 7 days of minocycline intervention.

CONCLUSIONS

Iron plays a critical role in WMI after ICH, which can be suppressed by minocycline through reducing the damage induced by Fe.

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Conglin Jiang, Xiang Zou, Renqing Zhu, Yimin Shi, Zehan Wu, Fan Zhao and Liang Chen

OBJECTIVE

Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) is found in approximately 40% of intracerebral hemorrhages and is associated with increased mortality and poor functional outcome. Cognitive impairment is one of the complications and occurs due to various pathological changes. Amyloid beta (Aβ) accumulation and neuroinflammation, and the Alzheimer disease–like pathology, may contribute to cognitive impairment. Iron, the degradation product of hemoglobin, correlates with Aβ. In this study, the authors investigated the correlation between Aβ accumulation with enhanced neuroinflammation and cognitive impairment in a rat model of IVH.

METHODS

Nine male Sprague-Dawley rats underwent an intraventricular injection of autologous blood. Another 9 rats served as controls. Cognitive function was assessed by the Morris water maze and T-maze rewarded alternation tests. Biomarkers of Aβ accumulation, neuroinflammation, and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) activation were examined.

RESULTS

Cognitive function was impaired in the autologous blood injection group compared with the control group. In the blood injection group, Aβ accumulation was observed, with a co-located correlation between iron storage protein ferritin and Aβ. Beta-site amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme–1 (BACE1) activity was elevated. Microgliosis and astrogliosis were observed in hippocampal CA1, CA2, CA3, and dentate gyrus areas, with elevated proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor–α and interleukin-1. Protein levels of phosphorylated JNK were increased after blood injection.

CONCLUSIONS

Aβ accumulation and enhanced neuroinflammation have a role in cognitive impairment after IVH. A potential therapeutic method requires further investigation.

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Xiaoguang Han, Wei Tian, Yajun Liu, Bo Liu, Da He, Yuqing Sun, Xiao Han, Mingxing Fan, Jingwei Zhao, Yunfeng Xu and Qi Zhang

OBJECTIVE

The object of this study was to compare the safety and accuracy of pedicle screw placement using the TiRobot system versus conventional fluoroscopy in thoracolumbar spinal surgery.

METHODS

Patients with degenerative or traumatic thoracolumbar spinal disorders requiring spinal instrumentation were randomly assigned to either the TiRobot-assisted group (RG) or the freehand fluoroscopy-assisted group (FG) at a 1:1 ratio. The primary outcome measure was the accuracy of screw placement according to the Gertzbein-Robbins scale; grades A and B (pedicle breach < 2 mm) were considered clinically acceptable. In the RG, discrepancies between the planned and actual screw placements were measured by merging postoperative CT images with the trajectory planning images. Secondary outcome parameters included proximal facet joint violation, duration of surgery, intraoperative blood loss, conversion to freehand approach in the RG, postoperative hospital stay, and radiation exposure.

RESULTS

A total of 1116 pedicle screws were implanted in 234 patients (119 in the FG, and 115 in the RG). In the RG, 95.3% of the screws were perfectly positioned (grade A); the remaining screws were graded B (3.4%), C (0.9%), and D (0.4%). In the FG, 86.1% screws were perfectly positioned (grade A); the remaining screws were graded B (7.4%), C (4.6%), D (1.4%), and E (0.5%). The proportion of clinically acceptable screws was significantly greater in the RG than in the FG (p < 0.01). In the RG, the mean deviation was 1.5 ± 0.8 mm for each screw. The most common direction of screw deviation was lateral in the RG and medial in the FG. Two misplaced screws in the FG required revision surgery, whereas no revision was required in the RG. None of the screws in the RG violated the proximal facet joint, whereas 12 screws (2.1%) in the FG violated the proximal facet joint (p < 0.01). The RG had significantly less blood loss (186.0 ± 255.3 ml) than the FG (217.0 ± 174.3 ml; p < 0.05). There were no significant differences between the two groups in terms of surgical time and postoperative hospital stay. The mean cumulative radiation time was 81.5 ± 38.6 seconds in the RG and 71.5 ± 44.2 seconds in the FG (p = 0.07). Surgeon radiation exposure was significantly less in the RG (21.7 ± 11.5 μSv) than in the FG (70.5 ± 42.0 μSv; p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

TiRobot-guided pedicle screw placement is safe and useful in thoracolumbar spinal surgery.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT02890043 (clinicaltrials.gov)

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Andrew Conger, Fan Zhao, Xiaowen Wang, Amalia Eisenberg, Chester Griffiths, Felice Esposito, Ricardo L. Carrau, Garni Barkhoudarian and Daniel F. Kelly

In Brief

Two common and problematic complications, CSF leaks and meningitis, were assessed in 509 patients undergoing endoscopic removal of pituitary adenomas and related skull base tumors. The study shows that very low repair failure and meningitis rates are possible with a systematic multilayered, graded repair protocol that emphasizes use of natural materials, including abdominal fat, septal bone grafts, and nasal and sinus mucosa, and temporary or permanent buttressing of the skull base repair.