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Lei Zhang, Zhiqiang Yi, Hongzhou Duan and Liang Li

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to introduce a novel autologous duraplasty procedure for the treatment of Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I).

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed data from patients who had been diagnosed with CM-I and had undergone suboccipital decompression and autologous duraplasty in situ or synthetic dural graft duraplasty; patients were treated in the authors' department between 2011 and 2014. All procedures were performed by the same surgeon. The 2 duraplasty methods were compared in terms of surgical factors and complications. The authors assessed the neurological outcome and MRI-documented syrinx size at the 6-month follow-up visit.

RESULTS

Twenty-seven patients were enrolled in this study, 13 in the duraplasty in situ group and 14 in the synthetic dural graft duraplasty group. The results showed no significant differences between the duraplasty in situ and synthetic dural graft duraplasty groups in overall operative time (4.9 hours vs 4.1 hours; p = 0.070), estimated blood loss (229 ml vs 254 ml; p = 0.159), and duration of hospital stay after the operation (13.5 days vs 12.8 days; p = 0.808). In the duraplasty in situ group, 1 case of meningitis occurred (7.7%). In the synthetic dural graft duraplasty group, the complications included 1 case of meningitis (7.1%) and 1 CSF leak (7.1%). The mean cost of hospitalization in the duraplasty in situ group (CNY 23,354) was significantly lower than that in the synthetic dural graft duraplasty group (CNY 29,385; p = 0.036).

CONCLUSIONS

Compared with synthetic dural graft duraplasty, autologous duraplasty in situ is a safe, effective, and cost-effective procedure for the treatment of CM-I. The long-term outcome of this procedure requires investigation.

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Hongzhou Duan, Dapeng Mo, Yang Zhang, Jiayong Zhang and Liang Li

OBJECTIVE

Symptomatic steno-occlusion of the proximal vertebral artery (VA) or subclavian artery (ScA) heralds a poor prognosis and high risk of stroke recurrence despite medical therapy, including antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs. In some cases, the V2 segment of the cervical VA is patent and perfused via collateral vessels. The authors describe 7 patients who were successfully treated by external carotid artery (ECA)–saphenous vein (SV)–VA bypass.

METHODS

Seven cases involving symptomatic patients were retrospectively studied: 3 cases of V1 segment occlusion, 2 cases of severe in-stent restenosis in the V1 segment, and 2 cases of occlusion of the proximal ScA. All patients underwent ECA-SV-VA bypass. The ECA was isolated and retracted, and the anterior wall of the transverse foramen was unroofed. The VA was exposed, and then the 2 ends of the SV were anastomosed to the VA and ECA in an end-to-side fashion.

RESULTS

Surgical procedures were all performed as planned, with no intraoperative complications. There were 2 postoperative complications (severe laryngeal edema in one case and shoulder weakness in another), but both patients recovered fully and measures were taken to minimize laryngeal edema and its effects in subsequent cases. All patients experienced improvement of their symptoms. No new neurological deficits were reported. Postoperative angiography demonstrated that the anastomoses were all patent, and analysis of follow-up data (range of follow-up 12–78 months) revealed no further ischemic events in the vertebrobasilar territory.

CONCLUSIONS

The ECA-SV-VA bypass is a useful treatment for patients who suffer medically refractory ischemic events in the vertebrobasilar territory when the proximal part of the VA or ScA is severely stenosed or occluded but the V2 segment of the cervical VA is patent.