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Tatsuro Aoyama, Muneyoshi Yasuda, Hitoshi Yamahata, Mikinobu Takeuchi, Masahiro Joko, Kazuhiro Hongo and Masakazu Takayasu


The object of this study was to evaluate the radiographic characteristics of C-2 using multiplanar CT measurements for anchor screw placement in patients with C-1 assimilation (C1A). Insertion of a C-2 pedicle screw in the setting of C1A is relatively difficult and technically demanding, and there has been no report about the optimal sizes of the pedicles and laminae of C-2 for screw placement in C1A.


An institutional database was searched for all patients who had undergone cervical CT scanning and cervical spine surgery between April 2006 and December 2012. Two neurosurgeons reviewed the CT scans from 462 patients who met these criteria, looking for C1A and other anomalies of the craniocervical junction such as high-riding vertebral artery (VA), basilar invagination, and VA anomaly. The routine axial images were reloaded on a workstation, and reconstruction CT images were used to measure parameters: the minimum width of bilateral pedicles and laminae and the length of bilateral laminae of the atlas.


Seven patients with C1A were identified, and 14 sex-matched patients without C1A were randomly selected from the same database as a control group. The mean minimum pedicle width was 5.21 mm in patients with C1A and 7.17 mm in those without. The mean minimum laminae width was 5.29 mm in patients with C1A and 6.53 mm in controls. The mean minimum pedicle and laminae widths were statistically significantly smaller in the patients with C1A (p < 0.05).


In patients with C1A, the C-2 bony structures are significantly smaller than normal, making C-2 pedicle screw or translaminar screw placement more difficult.

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Kiyoharu Shimizu, Masaaki Takeda, Takafumi Mitsuhara, Shunichi Tanaka, Yushi Nagano, Hitoshi Yamahata, Kaoru Kurisu and Satoshi Yamaguchi


Spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas (SDAVFs) commonly present with symptoms of myelopathy due to venous congestion in the spinal cord; asymptomatic SDAVFs are rarely encountered. To elucidate the clinical characteristics of asymptomatic SDAVFs, the authors present 5 new cases of asymptomatic SDAVF and report the results of their systematical review of the associated literature.


Five databases were systematically searched for all relevant English-language articles on SDAVFs published from 1990 to 2018. The clinical features and imaging findings of asymptomatic SDAVFs were collected and compared with those of symptomatic SDAVFs.


Twenty cases, including the 5 cases from the authors’ experience, were found. Asymptomatic SDAVFs were more prevalent in the cervical region (35.0%); cervical lesions account for only 2% of all symptomatic SDAVFs. The affected perimedullary veins tended to drain more cranially (50.0%) than caudally (10.0%). Four cases of asymptomatic SDAVF became symptomatic, 1 case spontaneously disappeared, and the remaining 15 cases were unchanged or surgically treated.


The higher prevalence of asymptomatic SDAVFs in the cervical spine might be a distinct feature of asymptomatic SDAVFs. Given that venous congestion is the pathophysiology of a symptomatic SDAVF, abundant collateral venous pathways and unique flow dynamics of the CSF in the cervical spine might prevent asymptomatic cervical SDAVFs from becoming symptomatic. In cases in which venous congestion is avoidable, not all asymptomatic SDAVFs will become symptomatic.

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Satoshi Yamaguchi, Masaaki Takeda, Toshiyuki Takahashi, Hitoshi Yamahata, Takafumi Mitsuhara, Tadaaki Niiro, Junya Hanakita, Kazutoshi Hida, Kazunori Arita and Kaoru Kurisu


Spinal meningioma and schwannoma are the most common spinal intradural extramedullary tumors, and the differentiation of these 2 tumors by CT and MRI has been a matter of debate. The purpose of this article is to present a case series of spinal meningiomas showing unique imaging features: a combination of a fan-shaped spinal cord and a streak in the tumor. The authors termed the former imaging feature “ginkgo leaf sign” and evaluated its diagnostic value.


The authors present 7 cases of spinal meningioma having the ginkgo leaf sign. Thirty spinal extramedullary tumors arising lateral or ventrolateral to the spinal cord were studied to evaluate the diagnostic value of the ginkgo leaf sign for spinal meningiomas. Among 30 cases, 12 tumors were spinal meningiomas and 18 tumors from the control group were all schwannomas.


Seven of the 12 spinal meningiomas were positive for the ginkgo leaf sign. The sign was not present in the control group tumors. The overall ability to use the ginkgo leaf sign to detect meningioma indicated a sensitivity of 58%, specificity of 100%, positive predictive value of 100%, and negative predictive value of 78%.


The ginkgo leaf sign is highly specific to spinal meningiomas arising lateral or ventrolateral to the spinal cord. In the present series, the ginkgo leaf sign was perfectly predictive for spinal meningioma.