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Han-Jung Chen and Leung Chen

✓ The case of an interdural arachnoid cyst of traumatic origin at the C3–5 level in an 18-year-old man was admitted to our hospital with a 1-year history of progressive weakness in left limbs and numbness below the clavicles is reported. He had had a C-2 fracture at the age of 9 years without definite neurological deficits. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a cystic lesion in the C3–5 level. Laminectomy was performed, and an interdural cyst was found. Histological examination revealed fibrous thickening of the arachnoid membrane. A cyst located in the interdural space of upper cervical spine is extremely rare.

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Han-Jung Chen, Cheng-Loong Liang and Kang Lu

Object. Transthoracic endoscopic T2–3 sympathectomy is currently the treatment of choice for palmar hyperhidrosis. Compensatory sweating of the face, trunk, thigh, and sole of the foot was found in more than 50% of patients who underwent this procedure. The authors conducted this study to investigate the associated intraoperative changes in plantar skin temperature and postoperative plantar sweating.

Methods. One hundred patients with palmar hyperhidrosis underwent bilateral transthoracic endoscopic T2–3 sympathectomy. There were 60 female and 40 male patients who ranged in age from 13 to 40 years (mean age 21.6 years). Characteristics studied included changes in palmar and plantar skin temperature measured intraoperatively, as well as pre- and postoperative changes in plantar sweating and sympathetic skin responses (SSRs).

In 59 patients (59%) elevation of plantar temperature was demonstrated at the end of the surgical procedure. In this group, plantar sweating was found to be exacerbated in three patients (5%); plantar sweating was improved in 52 patients (88.1%); and no change was demonstrated in four patients (6.8%). In the other group of patients in whom no temperature change occurred, increased plantar sweating was demonstrated in three patients (7.3%); plantar sweating was improved in 20 patients (48.8%); and no change was shown in 18 patients (43.9%). The difference between temperature and sweating change was significant (p = 0.001).

Compared with the presympathectomy rate, the rate of absent SSR also significantly increased after sympathectomy: from 20 to 76% after electrical stimulation and 36 to 64% after deep inspiration stimulation, respectively (p < 0.05).

Conclusions. In contrast to compensatory sweating in other parts of the body after T2–3 sympathetomy, improvement in plantar sweating was shown in 72% and worsened symptoms in 6% of patients. The intraoperative plantar skin temperature change and perioperative SSR demonstrated a correlation between these changes.

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Han-Jung Chen, Tao-Chen Lee and Chun-Chung Lui

✓ The authors describe the case of a 53-year-old woman who suffered from a hemifacial spasm caused by a venous angioma in the posterior fossa. At operation the parenchymal segment of the angioma was preserved and vascular decompression was performed by placing pieces of shredded Teflon between the vessel and nerve. After decompression the patient was completely free from spasm.

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Ying-Chao Lin, Chao-Cheng Huang and Han-Jung Chen

✓ Lipomatous tumors can contain uncommon or rare components (such as fibrolipoma or angiolipoma) that may result in the development of symptoms. To the best of the authors' knowledge, lipoma associated with an osseous component has not been previously reported. A case of intraspinal extradural tumor composed of both adipose and bone tissue is presented. Current theories on the cause of lipoma with an osseous component are discussed. The tumor was histologically confirmed to be an osteolipoma, and the patient recovered well after resection.

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Cheng-Loong Liang, Chun-Chung Lui, Kang Lu, Tao-Chen Lee and Han-Jung Chen

✓ The authors describe a patient with ossiculum terminale. Thin-section three-dimensional computerized tomography reconstructions, magnetic resonance images, and radiographs of the cervical spine were obtained to evaluate the atlantoaxial stability and structures of the ossiculum terminale. Bone had formed between the ossicles and the body of the odontoid process, and good atlantoaxial stability was clearly demonstrated.

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Kang Lu, Cheng-Loong Liang, Han-Jung Chen, Shang-Der Chen, Huan-Chen Hsu, Yun-Ching Chen, Fu-Fei Hsu and Chung-Lung Cho

Object. Paraspinal muscle injury is a common but neglected complication of posterior spinal surgery. Evidence suggests that surgical retraction places mechanical and oxidative stress on the paraspinal muscles and that inflammation is a major postoperative pathological finding in the muscles. The roles of cyclooxygenase (COX)—2 and nuclear factor (NF)—κB in the inflammatory processes after retraction remains to be clarified.

Methods. In the control group, paraspinal muscles were dissected from the spine via a posterior incision and then laterally retracted. Paraspinal muscle specimens were harvested before as well as at designated time points during and after persistent retraction. The time course of NF-κB activation was determined by gel shift assay. Expression of COX-2 was examined using Western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry. The severity of inflammation was evaluated based on histopathology and myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity. The NF-κB activation was inhibited by the administration of pyrrolidine dithiolcarbamate (PDTC) in the PDTC-treated group. Retraction induced early activation of NF-κB in paraspinal muscle cells. The expression of COX-2 could not be detected until 1 day postoperativley, reaching a peak at 3 days. The time course of COX-2 expression correlated with that of inflammatory responses and MPO activity. Pretreatment with PDTC inhibited intraoperative NF-κB activation and greatly downregulated postoperative COX-2 expression and inflammation in the muscles. Postinflammation fibrosis was also abolished by PDTC administration.

Conclusions. Both NF-κB-regulated COX-2 expression and inflammation play an important role in the pathogenesis of surgery-associated paraspinal muscle injury. The therapeutic strategy of NF-κB inhibition may be applicable to the prevention of such injury.

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Cheng-Loong Liang, Kang Lu, Po-Chou Liliang and Han-Jung Chen

Optic pathway/hypothalamic gliomas represent approximately 2%–5% of brain tumors in children. Total excision, subtotal excision, subtotal excision followed by irradiation, radiation therapy alone, chemotherapy, and no treatment at all have been reported. In this article the authors discuss the results of Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) for optic gliomas in 2 children.

Two pediatric patients, a boy and a girl, underwent GKS for optic gliomas at our hospital between March 2005 and August 2005. The children's ages were 10 and 16 years at presentation. The histological diagnosis was confirmed to be pilocytic astrocytoma in both cases. The tumor involved the optic chiasm in 1 patient and the right optic nerve in the other patient. Treatments were planned with the prescription of 11 Gy to the 50% isodose line for the optic chiasm glioma and 15 Gy to the 50% isodose line for the optic nerve glioma.

In both patients, GKS was well tolerated. The follow-up periods were 60 and 55 months. Complete response with near-total disappearance of the tumors was observed in both patients. During the follow-up period, neither of the patients developed any endocrine dysfunction.

Gamma Knife surgery permits treatment of optic glioma with good tumor control and no clinically relevant morbidity. With the ability to deliver a high dose to the tumor while sparing normal brain tissue, especially the optic nerve, optic chiasm, and pituitary gland, GKS should be the choice of treatment for optic gliomas. A larger number of patients and long-term follow-up are required for further evaluation of the efficacy and potential side effects of GKS.

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Chia-Hua Chen, Pin-Yuan Chen, You-Yu Lin, Li-Ying Feng, Shin-Han Chen, Chia-Yuan Chen, Yin-Cheng Huang, Chiung-Yin Huang, Shih-Ming Jung, Leslie Y. Chen and Kuo-Chen Wei


Despite intensive medical treatment, patients with glioblastoma (grade IV glioma [GBM]) have a low 5-year survival rate of 5.5%. In this study, the authors tried to improve currently used therapies by identification of a therapeutic target, IGFBP3, for glioma treatment.


IGFBP3 RNA expression in 135 patients newly diagnosed with glioma was correlated with clinicopathological factors. Immunohistochemical analysis was performed to determine IGFBP3 protein expression in glioma specimens. The effect of IGFBP3 depletion on cell proliferation was examined using IGFBP3 knockdown glioma cells. Intracranial infusion of IGFBP3 siRNAs was performed to evaluate the effect of IGFBP3 depletion in mouse intracranial xenograft models.


We demonstrated higher IGFBP3 expression in GBM than in tumor margin and grade II glioma. IGFBP3 expression was not only positively correlated with tumor grades but also associated with tumor histology and IDH1/2 mutation status. Additionally, higher IGFBP3 expression predicted shorter overall survival in glioma and GBM proneural subgroup patients. In vitro cell culture studies suggested IGFBP3 knockdown suppressed cell proliferation and induced cell cycle G2/M arrest as well as apoptosis in glioma cells. Also, accumulation of DNA double-strand breaks and γH2AX was observed in IGFBP3 knockdown cells. IGFBP3 knockdown delayed in vivo tumor growth in mouse subcutaneous xenograft models. Furthermore, convection-enhanced delivery of IGFBP3 siRNA to mouse brain suppressed intracranial tumor growth and prolonged survival of tumor-bearing mice.


Our findings suggest IGFBP3 predicts poor outcome of glioma patients and is a potential therapeutic target for which depletion of its expression suppresses tumor growth through inducing apoptosis and accumulation of DNA damage in glioma cells.

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Kang Lu, Cheng-Loong Liang, Tao-Chen Lee, Han-Jung Chen, Thung-Ming Su and Po-Chou Liliang

Object. Transthoracic endoscopic T-2 sympathectomy is currently the treatment of choice for palmar hyperhidrosis (PH). Intraoperative monitoring of palmar skin temperature (PST) is often used to assess the adequacy of sympathetic ablation. The aim of this study was to investigate the time course of PST changes during the operation and to determine factors involved in the sympathetic modulation of the palmar skin blood flow.

Methods. Eighty-one patients with PH underwent bilateral transthoracic endoscopic sympathectomy of T-2 in which continuous intraoperative PST monitoring was used. Palmar skin temperature data, recorded every 30 seconds throughout the operation, were plotted against time, and a graph of two PST curves was obtained in each case. A multiphasic curve pattern of great similarity was observed in nearly 70% of cases. Specific PST readings at different operative stages were collected and averaged for all cases. The trend of PST changes in response to different procedures during the operation was analyzed.

It was found that unilateral procedures caused simultaneous bilateral PST alterations. In almost all cases, bilateral PST was dramatically lowered when unilateral skin incision and intercostal muscle dissection were performed. The temperature remained low until the T-2 sympathectomy was finished on one side. In addition, unilateral T-2 sympathectomy induced synchronous elevation of bilateral PST. However, the ipsilateral response was significantly stronger than that on the contralateral side.

Conclusions. Although intraoperative monitoring of PST is a reliable guide for surgeons performing endoscopic transthoracic sympathectomy, it is important to realize that PST fluctuates at different stages during the operation and that surgical procedures themselves can significantly influence PST readings. The PST data recorded at specific time points, therefore, can be misleading in terms of accuracy and the completeness of ablation of the target sympathetic ganglia, especially when the sympathetic trunk or ganglia are anatomically aberrant.