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Hao Xu, Hao Tang, and Zhonghai Li

Object

The transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) procedure was developed to provide the surgeon with a fusion procedure that may reduce many of the risks and limitations associated with posterior lumbar interbody fusion, yet produce similar stability in the spine. There are few large series with long-term follow-up data regarding instrumented TLIF and placement of 1 diagonal polyetheretherketone (PEEK) cage. The authors performed a prospective study to evaluate the outcome and safety of instrumented TLIF with 1 diagonal PEEK cage for degenerative spondylolisthesis in the Han nationality in China.

Methods

Between May 2001 and April 2006, 60 patients (35 men and 25 women; mean age 55.5 years, range 45–70 years) with symptomatic degenerative spondylolisthesis underwent the TLIF procedure with 1 diagonal PEEK cage and additional pedicle screw internal fixation at the authors' institution. The inclusion criteria involved degenerative spondylolisthesis (Grades I and II) in patients with chronic low-back pain with or without leg pain.

Results

One patient had a postoperative temporary motor and sensory deficit of the adjacent nerve root. Reoperation was required in 1 patient because of pedicle screw migration. One patient developed a pseudarthrosis and had increasing complaints of low-back pain 1 year postoperatively and underwent a subsequent revision surgery. Two patients had nerve root symptomatic compression resulting from cage migration and insufficient decompression after surgery, and they underwent revision. Two patients had a dural tear that required fibrin glue application during surgery. No implant fracture or subsidence occurred in any patient. Clinically, the pain index and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) score improved significantly from before surgery to the 2-year follow-up. In the TLIF group, the pain index improved from 69 to 25 (p < 0.001). The postoperative ODI showed a significant postoperative reduction of disability during the whole period of follow-up (p < 0.001). The preoperative mean ODI score was 32.3 (16–80), and postoperative 13.1 (0–28). Disc space height and foraminal height were restored by the surgery and maintained at the latest follow-up time.

Conclusions

In the authors' experience, instrumented TLIF with 1 diagonal PEEK cage can be a surgical option for treatment of degenerative spondylolisthesis in the Han nationality in China.

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Si Zhang, Hexiang Zhao, Hao Li, Chao You, and Xuhui Hui

OBJECTIVE

Decompressive craniectomy (DC) is a life-saving treatment for severe hemorrhagic cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT). However, the correlations between the clinicoradiological features and surgical outcomes of this disease are not well established. Therefore, the authors endeavored to analyze the potential risk factors for this more severe subtype of CVT and to provide more evidence regarding the benefits of DC in patients with hemorrhagic CVT.

METHODS

The clinical features, radiological findings, and surgical outcomes of patients with severe hemorrhagic CVT who had undergone DC treatment in the period from January 2005 to March 2015 were retrospectively analyzed, and the risk factors for this disease were evaluated.

RESULTS

Fifty-eight patients, 39 females (67.2%) and 19 males (32.8%), with a mean age of 39.7 ± 12.5 years, were included in this study. The mean duration from symptom onset to surgery was 3.3 ± 1.9 days, and 21 patients experienced acute courses. On neuroimaging, the mean mass lesion volume was 114.7 ± 17.7 ml. Nine patients had bilateral lesions, and 7 patients had deep CVT. According to their hemorrhagic proportion, cases were divided into hemorrhage-dominated (27 [46.6%]) and edema-dominated (31 [53.4%]) groups. After 6 months of follow-up, 56.9% of patients had achieved a favorable outcome, and 8 patients had died. The hemorrhage-dominated lesions (p = 0.026) and deep cerebral venous involvement (p = 0.026) were significantly associated with a poor outcome.

CONCLUSIONS

In patients suffering from severe hemorrhagic CVT, DC is an effective life-saving treatment that is associated with favorable outcomes. Hemorrhage-dominated lesions and deep cerebral venous involvement have a significant impact on the outcome of this disease.

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Hui Liu, Zemin Li, Sibei Li, Kuibo Zhang, Hao Yang, Jianru Wang, Xiang Li, and Zhaomin Zheng

OBJECT

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of rod stiffness and implant density on coronal and sagittal plane correction in patients with main thoracic curve adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS).

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective study of 77 consecutive cases involving 56 female and 21 male patients with Lenke Type 1 main thoracic curve AIS who underwent single-stage posterior correction and instrumented spinal fusion with pedicle screw fixation between July 2009 and July 2012. The patients' mean age at surgery was 15.79 ± 3.21 years. All patients had at least 1 year of follow-up. Radiological parameters in the coronal and sagittal planes, including Cobb angle of the major curve, side-bending Cobb angle of the major curve, thoracic kyphosis (TK), correction rates, and screw density, were measured and analyzed. Screw densities (calculated as number of screws per fusion segment × 2) of < 0.60 and ≥ 0.60 were defined as low and high density, respectively. Titanium rods of 5.5 mm and 6.35 mm diameter were defined as low and high stiffness, respectively. Patients were divided into 4 groups based on the type of rod and density of screw placement that had been used: Group A, low-stiffness rod with low density of screw placement; Group B, low-stiffness rod with high density of screw placement; Group C, high-stiffness rod with low density of screw placement; Group D, high-stiffness rod with high density of screw placement.

RESULTS

The mean coronal correction rate of the major curve, for all 77 patients, was (81.45% ± 7.51%), and no significant difference was found among the 4 groups (p > 0.05). Regarding sagittal plane correction, Group A showed a significant decrease in TK after surgery (p < 0.05), while Group D showed a significant increase (p < 0.05); Group B and C showed no significant postoperative changes in TK (p > 0.05). The TK restoration rate was highest in Group D and lowest in Group A (A, −39.32% ± 7.65%; B, −0.37% ± 8.25%; C, −4.04% ± 6.77%; D, 37.59% ± 8.53%). Screw density on the concave side was significantly higher than that on the convex side in all the groups (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

For flexible main thoracic curve AIS, both rods with high stiffness and those with low stiffness combined with high or low screw density could provide effective correction in the coronal plane; rods with high stiffness along with high screw density on the concave side could provide better outcome with respect to sagittal TK restoration.

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Hao-Li Liu, Hung-Wei Yang, Mu-Yi Hua, and Kuo-Chen Wei

Malignant glioma is a severe primary CNS cancer with a high recurrence and mortality rate. The current strategy of surgical debulking combined with radiation therapy or chemotherapy does not provide good prognosis, tumor progression control, or improved patient survival. The blood-brain barrier (BBB) acts as a major obstacle to chemotherapeutic treatment of brain tumors by severely restricting drug delivery into the brain. Because of their high toxicity, chemotherapeutic drugs cannot be administered at sufficient concentrations by conventional delivery methods to significantly improve long-term survival of patients with brain tumors. Temporal disruption of the BBB by microbubble-enhanced focused ultrasound (FUS) exposure can increase CNS-blood permeability, providing a promising new direction to increase the concentration of therapeutic agents in the brain tumor and improve disease control. Under the guidance and monitoring of MR imaging, a brain drug-delivery platform can be developed to control and monitor therapeutic agent distribution and kinetics. The success of FUS BBB disruption in delivering a variety of therapeutic molecules into brain tumors has recently been demonstrated in an animal model. In this paper the authors review a number of critical studies that have demonstrated successful outcomes, including enhancement of the delivery of traditional clinically used chemotherapeutic agents or application of novel nanocarrier designs for actively transporting drugs or extending drug half-lives to significantly improve treatment efficacy in preclinical animal models.

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Zhiyuan Yu, Rui Guo, Jun Zheng, Hao Li, Chao You, and Lu Ma

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Hao You, Xing Fan, Jiajia Liu, Dongze Guo, Zhibao Li, and Hui Qiao

OBJECTIVE

The current study investigated the correlation between intraoperative motor evoked potential (MEP) and somatosensory evoked potential (SSEP) monitoring and both short-term and long-term motor outcomes in aneurysm patients treated with surgical clipping. Moreover, the authors provide a relatively optimal neurophysiological predictor of postoperative motor deficits (PMDs) in patients with ruptured and unruptured aneurysms.

METHODS

A total of 1017 patients (216 with ruptured aneurysms and 801 with unruptured aneurysms) were included. Patient demographic characteristics, clinical features, intraoperative monitoring data, and follow-up data were retrospectively reviewed. The efficacy of using changes in MEP/SSEP to predict PMDs was assessed using binary logistic regression analysis. Subsequently, receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was performed to determine the optimal critical value for duration of MEP/SSEP deterioration.

RESULTS

Both intraoperative MEP and SSEP monitoring were significantly effective for predicting short-term (p < 0.001 for both) and long-term (p < 0.001 for both) PMDs in aneurysm patients. The critical values for predicting short-term PMDs were amplitude decrease rates of 57.30% for MEP (p < 0.001 and area under the curve [AUC] 0.732) and 64.10% for SSEP (p < 0.001 and AUC 0.653). In patients with an unruptured aneurysm, the optimal critical values for predicting short-term PMDs were durations of deterioration of 17 minutes for MEP (p < 0.001 and AUC 0.768) and 21 minutes for SSEP (p < 0.001 and AUC 0.843). In patients with a ruptured aneurysm, the optimal critical values for predicting short-term PMDs were durations of deterioration of 12.5 minutes for MEP (p = 0.028 and AUC 0.706) and 11 minutes for SSEP (p = 0.043 and AUC 0.813).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors found that both intraoperative MEP and SSEP monitoring are useful for predicting short-term and long-term PMDs in patients with unruptured and ruptured aneurysms. The optimal intraoperative neuromonitoring method for predicting PMDs varies depending on whether the aneurysm has ruptured or not.

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Hao Wang, Wenhua Yu, Zuyong Zhang, Yongmin Lu, and Xiao Li

Almost all cases of cervical spinal dysraphism published to date have involved cystic lesions and were treated in very early childhood. The authors describe a unique case of a 21-year-old woman who harbored a solid cervical rudimentary meningocele. On preoperative CT and MR images, a cutaneous solid mass was shown to be connected to intraspinal contents by a stalk traversing the C-3 lamina defect. The authors resected the cutaneous mass and released the tethering neural band from the vertical axis of the spinal cord without causing injury. Pathological examination demonstrated a dense collagenous tissue containing clusters of meningocytes and psammoma bodies in the cutaneous mass. This rare entity, a spinal dysraphism with a benign natural history, may contribute to the current classification of cervical spinal dysraphism.

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Da Li, Shu-Yu Hao, Zhen Wu, Li-Wei Zhang, and Jun-Ting Zhang

Medulla oblongata teratomas are rare. The authors report 2 new cases of teratomas that occurred exclusively in the medulla oblongata. The first case was in a 9-year-old boy who presented with a 6-month history of neck pain and repeated paroxysmal vomiting. Based on preoperative radiographic findings, the initial diagnosis was of an intraaxial medulla oblongata hemangioblastoma. Intraoperatively, the cystic component of the tumor was gray, gelatinous, and soft in consistency. The solid component was light pink, rubbery, and nodular in appearance, with an identifiable boundary. The lesion was completely removed. Histopathological investigation revealed a mature teratoma. Postoperatively, the patient was supported with ventilator assistance and received a tracheotomy, but died of intracranial infection. The second case was in a 10-year-old boy with intermittent headache for 1 month. Radiographs revealed an exophytic cystic and solid lesion with dorsal involvement of the medulla oblongata. The lesion was predominantly solid, pinkish gray, tenacious, and moderately vascularized, with clearly delineated surgical dissection planes. The histopathological examination confirmed a diagnosis of immature teratoma. Total resection was achieved, followed by postoperative chemotherapy. He was alive without recurrence of the lesion or symptoms at 59 months after surgery.

Resection of medulla oblongata teratoma is challenging, with inherent surgical risks that are contingent on the tumor growth pattern. Teratomas should be considered in the differential diagnosis of brainstem lesions. Chemotherapy has been suggested for immature teratomas. Long-term follow-up and larger studies of teratomas in unusual locations are required to improve practitioners' understanding of this disease's treatment and outcomes.

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Bing Zhou, Ming-Hua Li, Wu Wang, Hao-Wen Xu, Yong-De Cheng, and Jue Wang

Object

The authors conducted a study to evaluate the advantages of a 3D volume-rendering technique (VRT) in follow-up digital subtraction (DS) angiography of coil-embolized intracranial aneurysms.

Methods

One hundred nine patients with 121 intracranial aneurysms underwent endovascular coil embolization and at least 1 follow-up DS angiography session at the authors' institution. Two neuroradiologists independently evaluated the conventional 2D DS angiograms, rotational angiograms, and 3D VRT images obtained at the interventional procedures and DS angiography follow-up. If multiple follow-up sessions were performed, the final follow-up was mainly considered. The authors compared the 3 techniques for their ability to detect aneurysm remnants (including aneurysm neck and sac remnants) and parent artery stenosis based on the angiographic follow-up. The Kruskal-Wallis test was used for group comparisons, and the kappa test was used to measure interobserver agreement. Statistical analyses were performed using commercially available software.

Results

There was a high statistical significance among 2D DS angiography, rotational angiography, and 3D VRT results (X2 = 9.9613, p = 0.0069) when detecting an aneurysm remnant. Further comparisons disclosed a statistical significance between 3D VRT and rotational angiography (X2 = 4.9754, p = 0.0257); a high statistical significance between 3D VRT and 2D DS angiography (X2 = 8.9169, p = 0.0028); and no significant difference between rotational angiography and 2D DS angiography (X2 = 0.5648, p = 0.4523). There was no statistical significance among the 3 techniques when detecting parent artery stenosis (X2 = 2.5164, p = 0.2842). One case, in which parent artery stenosis was diagnosed by 2D DS angiography and rotational angiography, was excluded by 3D VRT following observations of multiple views. The kappa test showed good agreement between the 2 observers.

Conclusions

The 3D VRT is more sensitive in detecting aneurysm remnants than 2D DS angiography and rotational angiography and is helpful for identifying parent artery stenosis. The authors recommend this technique for the angiographic follow-up of patients with coil-embolized aneurysms.

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Zhiyuan Yu, Jun Zheng, Rui Guo, Chao You, Hao Li, and Lu Ma