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Min He, Heng Zhang, Ding Lei, Bo-Yong Mao, Chao You, Xiao-Dong Xie, Hong Sun, Yan Ju and Jia-Ming Zhang

Object

Utilization of covered stent grafts in treating neurovascular disorders has been reported, but their efficacy and safety in vertebral artery (VA) dissecting aneurysms needs further investigation.

Methods

Six cases are presented involving VA dissecting aneurysms that were treated by positioning a covered stent graft. Two aneurysms were located distal to the posterior inferior cerebellar artery, and 4 were located proximal to the posterior inferior cerebellar artery. Aspirin as well as ticlopidine or clopidogrel were administered after the procedure to prevent stent-related thrombosis. All patients were followed up both angiographically and clinically.

Results

Five of the 6 patients underwent successful placement of a covered stent graft. The covered stent could not reach the level of the aneurysm in 1 patient with serious vasospasm who died secondary to severe subarachnoid hemorrhage that occurred 3 days later. Patient follow-up ranged from 6 to 14 months (mean 10.4 months), and demonstrated complete stabilization of the obliterated aneurysms, and no obvious intimal hyperplasia. No procedure-related complications such as stenosis or embolization occurred in the 5 patients with successful stent graft placement.

Conclusions

Although long-term follow-up studies using a greater number of patients is required for further validation of this technique, this preliminary assessment shows that covered stent graft placement is an efficient, safe, and microinvasive technique, and is a promising tool in treating intracranial VA dissecting aneurysms.

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Liu Xue-Song, You Chao, Yang Kai-Yong, Huang Si-Qing and Zhang Heng

Object

An extensive sacrococcygeal chordoma is considered a challenge for neurosurgeons. Because of the complex anatomy of the sacral region, the risk of uncontrollable intraoperative hemorrhage, and the typically large tumor size at presentation, complete resections are technically difficult and the tumor recurrence rate is high. The aim of this study was to assess the value of using occlusion of the abdominal aorta by means of a balloon dilation catheter and electrophysiological monitoring when an extensive sacrococcygeal chordoma is removed.

Methods

Between 2004 and 2008, 9 patients underwent resection of extensive sacrococcygeal chordomas in the authors' department with the aid of occlusion of the abdominal aorta and electrophysiological monitoring. All of these operations were performed via the posterior approach. The records of the 9 patients were reviewed retrospectively.

Results

Wide resections were performed in 6 cases and marginal excisions in the other 3. Five patients underwent postoperative radiotherapy. Intraoperative hemorrhage was controlled at 100–400 ml. Postoperatively, none of the patients had any new neurological dysfunction, and 2 patients regained normal urinary and bowel function. The mean follow-up period was 31.4 months (range 10–57 months). No patient developed local recurrence or had metastatic spread of tumor during follow-up.

Conclusions

Occlusion of the abdominal aorta and electrophysiological monitoring are useful methods for assisting in resection of sacrococcygeal chordoma. They can reduce intraoperative hemorrhage and entail little chance of tumor cell contamination. They can also help surgeons to protect the organs in the pelvic cavity and neurological function. Use of these methods could give patients better quality of life.

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Jian-Bin Chen, Ding Lei, Min He, Hong Sun, Yi Liu, Heng Zhang, Chao You and Liang-Xue Zhou

OBJECT

The present study aimed to clarify the incidence and clinical features of disease progression in adult moyamoya disease (MMD) patients with Graves disease (GD) for better management of these patients.

METHODS

During the past 18 years, 320 adult Chinese patients at West China Hospital were diagnosed with MMD, and 29 were also diagnosed with GD. A total of 170 patients (25 with GD; 145 without GD) were included in this study and were followed up. The mean follow-up was 106.4 ± 48.6 months (range 6–216 months). The progression of the occlusive lesions in the major intracranial arteries was measured using cerebral angiography and was evaluated according to Suzuki's angiographic staging. Information about cerebrovascular strokes was obtained from the records of patients' recent clinical visits. Both angiographic progression and strokes were analyzed to estimate the incidences of angiographic progression and strokes using Kaplan-Meier analysis. A multivariate logistic regression model was used to test the effects of sex, age at MMD onset, disease type, strokes, and GD on the onset of MMD progression during follow-up.

RESULTS

During follow-up, the incidence of disease progression in MMD patients with GD was significantly higher than in patients without GD (40.0% vs 20.7%, respectively; p = 0.036). The interval between initial diagnosis and disease progression was significantly shorter in MMD patients with GD than in patients without GD (p = 0.041). Disease progression occurred in both unilateral MMD and bilateral MMD, but the interval before disease progression in patients with unilateral disease was significantly longer than in patients with bilateral disease (p = 0.021). The incidence of strokes in MMD patients with GD was significantly higher than in patients without GD (48% vs 26.2%, respectively; p = 0.027). The Kaplan-Meier survival curve showed significant differences in the incidence of disease progression (p = 0.038, log-rank test) and strokes (p = 0.031, log-rank test) between MMD patients with GD and those without GD. Multivariate analysis suggested that GD may contribute to disease progression in MMD (OR 5.97, 95% CI 1.24–33.76, p = 0.043).

CONCLUSIONS

The incidence of disease progression in MMD patients with GD was significantly higher than that in MMD patients without GD, and GD may contribute to disease progression in MMD patients. The incidence of strokes was significantly higher in MMD patients with GD than in patients without GD. Management guidelines for MMD patients with GD should be developed.

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Binsheng You, Yanhao Cheng, Jian Zhang, Qimin Song, Chao Dai, Xueyuan Heng and Chang Fei

OBJECT

The goal of this study was to investigate the significance of contrast-enhanced T1-weighted (T1W) MRI-based 3D reconstruction of dural tail sign (DTS) in meningioma resection.

METHODS

Between May 2013 and August 2014, 18 cases of convexity and parasagittal meningiomas showing DTS on contrast-enhanced T1W MRI were selected. Contrast-enhanced T1W MRI-based 3D reconstruction of DTS was conducted before surgical treatment. The vertical and anteroposterior diameters of DTS on the contrast-enhanced T1W MR images and 3D reconstruction images were measured and compared. Surgical incisions were designed by referring to the 3D reconstruction and MR images, and then the efficiency of the 2 methods was evaluated with assistance of neuronavigation.

RESULTS

Three-dimensional reconstruction of DTS can reveal its overall picture. In most cases, the DTS around the tumor is uneven, whereas the DTS around the dural vessels presents longer extensions. There was no significant difference (p > 0.05) between the vertical and anteroposterior diameters of DTS measured on the contrast-enhanced T1W MR and 3D reconstruction images. The 3D images of DTS were more intuitive, and the overall picture of DTS could be revealed in 1 image, which made it easier to design the incision than by using the MR images. Meanwhile, assessment showed that the incisions designed using 3D images were more accurate than those designed using MR images (ridit analysis by SAS, F = 7.95; p = 0.008). Pathological examination showed that 34 dural specimens (except 2 specimens from 1 tumor) displayed tumor invasion. The distance of tumor cell invasion was 1.0–21.6 mm (5.4 ± 4.41 mm [mean ± SD]). Tumor cell invasion was not observed at the dural resection margin in all 36 specimens.

CONCLUSIONS

Contrast-enhanced T1W MRI-based 3D reconstruction can intuitively and accurately reveal the size and shape of DTS, and thus provides guidance for designing meningioma incisions.

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Jian Zhang, Fei Peng, Zhuang Liu, Jinli Luan, Xingming Liu, Chang Fei and Xueyuan Heng

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to investigate the long-term therapeutic efficacy of cranioplasty with autogenous bone flaps cryopreserved in povidone iodine and explore the risk factors for bone resorption.

METHODS

Clinical data and follow-up results of 188 patients (with 211 bone flaps) who underwent cranioplasty with autogenous bone flaps cryopreserved in povidone-iodine were retrospectively analyzed. Bone flap resorption was classified into 3 types according to CT features, including bone flap thinning (Type I), reduced bone density (Type II), and osteolysis within the flaps (Type III). The extent of bone flap resorption was graded as mild, moderate, or severe.

RESULTS

Short-term postoperative complications included subcutaneous or extradural seroma collection in 19 flaps (9.0%), epidural hematoma in 16 flaps (7.6%), and infection in 8 flaps (3.8%). Eight patients whose flaps became infected and had to be removed and 2 patients who died within 2 years were excluded from the follow-up analysis. For the remaining 178 patients and 201 flaps, the follow-up duration was 24–122 months (mean 63.1 months). In 93 (46.3%) of these 201 flaps, CT demonstrated bone resorption, which was classified as Type I in 55 flaps (59.1%), Type II in 11 (11.8%), and Type III in 27 (29.0%). The severity of bone resorption was graded as follows: no bone resorption in 108 (53.7%) of 201 flaps, mild resorption in 66 (32.8%), moderate resorption in 15 (7.5%), and severe resorption in 12 (6.0%). The incidence of moderate or severe resorption was higher in Type III than in Type I (p = 0.0008). The grading of bone flap resorption was associated with the locations of bone flaps (p = 0.0210) and fragmentation (flaps broken into 2 or 3 fragments) (p = 0.0009). The incidence of bone flap collapse due to bone resorption was higher in patients who underwent ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt implantation than in those who did not (p = 0.0091).

CONCLUSIONS

Because of the low incidence rates of infection and severe bone resorption, the authors conclude that cranioplasty with autogenous bone flaps cryopreserved in povidone-iodine solution is safe and effective. The changes characteristic of bone flap resorption became visible on CT scans about 2 months after cranioplasty and tended to stabilize at about 18 months postoperatively. The bone resorption of autogenous bone flap may be classified into 3 types. The rates of moderate and severe resorption were much higher in Type III than in Type I. The grade of bone flap resorption was associated with bone flap locations. Fragmented bone flaps or those implanted in patients treated with VP shunts may have a higher incidence of bone flap collapse due to bone resorption.

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Kang Guo, Lijun Heng, Haihong Zhang, Lei Ma, Hui Zhang and Dong Jia

OBJECTIVE

The authors sought to identify the relevance between pneumocephalus and postoperative intracranial infections, as well as bacteriological characteristics and risk factors for intracranial infections, in patients with pituitary adenomas after endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery.

METHODS

In total, data from 251 consecutive patients with pituitary adenomas who underwent pure endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgeries from 2014 to 2018 were reviewed for preoperative comorbidities, intraoperative techniques, and postoperative care.

RESULTS

This retrospective study found 18 cases of postoperative pneumocephalus (7.17%), 9 CNS infections (3.59%), and 12 CSF leaks (4.78%). Of the patients with pneumocephalus, 5 (27.8%) had CNS infections. In patients with CNS infections, the culture results were positive in 7 cases and negative in 2 cases. The statistical analysis suggested that pneumocephalus (maximum bubble diameter of ≥ 1 cm), diaphragmatic defects (intraoperative CSF leak, Kelly grade ≥ 1), and a postoperative CSF leak are risk factors for postoperative CNS infections.

CONCLUSIONS

In pituitary adenoma patients who underwent pure endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgeries, intraoperative saddle reconstruction has a crucial role for patients with postoperative intracranial infections. Additionally, postoperative pneumocephalus plays an important role in predicting intracranial infections that must not be neglected. Therefore, neurosurgeons should pay close attention to the discovery of postoperative intracranial pneumocephalus because this factor is as important as a postoperative CSF leak. Pneumocephalus (maximum bubble diameter of ≥ 1 cm), diaphragmatic defects (an intraoperative CSF leak, Kelly grade ≥ 1), and a postoperative CSF leak were risk factors predictive of postoperative intracranial infections. In addition, it is essential that operative procedures be carefully performed to avoid diaphragmatic defects, to reduce exposure to the external environment, and to decrease patients’ suffering.