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Cédric Barrey, Patrick Mertens, Claude Rumelhart, François Cotton, Jérôme Jund and Gilles Perrin

Object. The purpose of this study was to assess human cervical spine pullout force after lateral mass fixation involving two different techniques: the Roy-Camille and the Magerl techniques. Although such comparisons have been conducted previously, because of the heterogeneity of results and the importance of this procedure in clinical practice, it is essential to have data derived from a prospective and randomized biomechanical study involving a sufficient sample of human cervical spines. The authors also evaluated the influence of the sex, the vertebral level, the bone mineral density (BMD), the length of bone purchase, and the thickness of the anterior cortical purchase.

Methods. Twenty-one adult cervical spines were harvested from fresh human cadavers. Computerized tomography was performed before and after placing 3.5-mm titanium lateral mass screws from C-3 to C-6. Pullout forces were evaluated using a material testing machine. The load was applied until the pullout of the screw was observed. A total of 152 pullout tests were available, 76 for each type of screw fixation. The statistical analysis was mainly performed using the Kaplan—Meier survival method.

The mean pullout force was 266 ± 124 N for the Roy-Camille technique and 231 ± 94 N for the Magerl technique (p < 0.025). For the C3–4 specimen group, Roy-Camille screws were demonstrated to exert a significantly higher resistance to pullout forces (299 ± 114 N) compared with Magerl screws (242 ± 97 N), whereas no difference was found between the two techniques for the C5–6 specimen group (Roy-Camille 236 ± 122 N and Magerl 220 ± 86 N). Independent of the procedure, pullout strengths were greater at the C3–4 level (271 ± 114 N) than the C5–6 level (228 ± 105 N) (p < 0.05).

No significant correlation between the cancellous BMD, the thickness of the anterior cortical purchase, the length of bone purchase, and maximal pullout forces was found for either technique.

Conclusions. The difference between pullout forces associated with the Roy-Camille and the Magerl techniques was not as significant as has been previously suggested in the literature. It was interesting to note the influence of the vertebral level: Roy-Camille screws demonstrated greater pullout strength (23%) at the C3–4 vertebral level than Magerl screws but no significant difference between the techniques was observed at C5–6.

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Timothee Jacquesson, Fang-Chang Yeh, Sandip Panesar, Jessica Barrios, Arnaud Attyé, Carole Frindel, Francois Cotton, Paul Gardner, Emmanuel Jouanneau and Juan C. Fernandez-Miranda

OBJECTIVE

Diffusion imaging tractography has allowed the in vivo description of brain white matter. One of its applications is preoperative planning for brain tumor resection. Due to a limited spatial and angular resolution, it is difficult for fiber tracking to delineate fiber crossing areas and small-scale structures, in particular brainstem tracts and cranial nerves. New methods are being developed but these involve extensive multistep tractography pipelines including the patient-specific design of multiple regions of interest (ROIs). The authors propose a new practical full tractography method that could be implemented in routine presurgical planning for skull base surgery.

METHODS

A Philips MRI machine provided diffusion-weighted and anatomical sequences for 2 healthy volunteers and 2 skull base tumor patients. Tractography of the full brainstem, the cerebellum, and cranial nerves was performed using the software DSI Studio, generalized-q-sampling reconstruction, orientation distribution function (ODF) of fibers, and a quantitative anisotropy–based generalized deterministic algorithm. No ROI or extensive manual filtering of spurious fibers was used. Tractography rendering was displayed in a tridimensional space with directional color code. This approach was also tested on diffusion data from the Human Connectome Project (HCP) database.

RESULTS

The brainstem, the cerebellum, and the cisternal segments of most cranial nerves were depicted in all participants. In cases of skull base tumors, the tridimensional rendering permitted the visualization of the whole anatomical environment and cranial nerve displacement, thus helping the surgical strategy.

CONCLUSIONS

As opposed to classical ROI-based methods, this novel full tractography approach could enable routine enhanced surgical planning or brain imaging for skull base tumors.

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Corentin Dauleac, Carole Frindel, François Cotton and Isabelle Pelissou-Guyotat