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Si Zhang, Xiang Wang, Xuesong Liu, Yan Ju, and Xuhui Hui

Object

The authors retrospectively analyzed data on brainstem gangliogliomas treated in their department and reviewed the pertinent literature to foster understanding of the preoperative characteristics, management, and clinical outcomes of this disease.

Methods

In 2006, the authors established a database of treated lesions of the posterior fossa. The epidemiology findings, clinical presentations, radiological investigations, pathological diagnoses, management, and prognosis for brainstem gangliogliomas were retrospectively analyzed.

Results

Between 2006 and 2012, 7 patients suffering from brainstem ganglioglioma were treated at the West China Hospital of Sichuan University. The mean age of the patients, mean duration of symptoms prior to diagnosis, and mean duration of follow-up were 28.6 years, 19.4 months, and 38.1 months, respectively. The main presentations were progressive cranial nerve deficits and cerebellar signs. Subtotal resection was achieved in 2 patients, and partial resection in 5. All tumors were pathologically diagnosed as WHO Grade I or II ganglioglioma. Radiotherapy and adjuvant chemotherapy were not administered. After 21–69 months of follow-up, patient symptoms were resolved or stable without aggravation, and MRI showed that the size of residual lesions was unchanged without progression or recurrence.

Conclusions

The diagnosis of brainstem ganglioglioma is of great importance given its favorable prognosis. The authors recommend the maximal safe resection followed by close observation without adjuvant therapy as the optimal treatment for this disease.

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Qiguang Wang, Xuhui Hui, Qiang Li, and Yan Ju

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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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Mengchun Sun, Benzhang Tao, Gan Gao, Hui Wang, and Aijia Shang

OBJECTIVE

This study aimed to explore the migration process of the conus medullaris (CM) in early infancy using infant MRI and to evaluate the application of MRI for locating the infant CM level.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed the CM level on the lumbosacral MR images of 26 term infants aged < 3 months who were classified into three groups according to age. The authors numbered the CM level in each patient and analyzed the range and average of the CM level of the cohort. The authors studied the linear correlation between CM level and postnatal days with linear regression analysis, 1-way ANOVA, and the least significant difference test.

RESULTS

The CM level ranged from the superior border of the L1 vertebra to the top third of the L3 vertebra. About 96.2% of infants had CM higher than the superior border of the L3 vertebra. On average, CM was located between the L1–2 intervertebral disc and the inferior border of the L2 vertebra (mean ± SD score 1.64 ± 1.14). The three groups had no significant statistical difference in CM level (F = 1.071 and p = 0.359; groups 1 and 2, p = 0.408; groups 1 and 3, p = 0.170; groups 2 and 3, p = 0.755). CM level had no linear regression correlation with postnatal days within the first month (r = 0.061, F = 0.654, p = 0.438) or within the first 3 months (r = 0.002, F = 0.056, p = 0.816).

CONCLUSIONS

The CM level reaches the normal adult level by birth in term infants and does not ascend during childhood. On average, the CM was between the L1–2 intervertebral disc and the inferior border of the L2 vertebra in term infants. Considering the possibility of physiologically low-lying CM, the authors agree that normal CM is located above the L3 level in term infants and CM at the L3 level could be equivocal and should be investigated with other clinical data. The study data suggest that MRI is an accurate and valuable method for determining the CM level in term infants.

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Jun Wang, Xin-Feng Liu, Bao-Min Li, Sheng Li, Xiang-Yu Cao, Yong-Ping Liang, Ai-Li Ge, and Hui-Min Feng

OBJECTIVE

Large vertebrobasilar fusiform aneurysms (VFAs) represent a small subset of intracranial aneurysms and are often among the most difficult to treat. Current surgical and endovascular techniques fail to achieve a complete or acceptable result because of complications, including late-onset basilar artery thrombosis and perforator infarction. The parallel-stent placement technique was established in the authors' department, and this study reports the application of this technique in the treatment of unruptured VFAs.

METHODS

Eight patients with 8 unruptured VFAs who underwent parallel stent placement between April 2011 and August 2012 were included. The diameters of the VFAs ranged from 7.9 to 14.0 mm, and the lengths from 27.5 to 54.4 mm. Of the 8 patients with unruptured VFAs, 3 received double or triple parallel stents and 5 patients received a series-connected stent with another 1 or 2 stents deployed parallel to them. Outcomes for these patients were tabulated, based on the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score and angiographic results.

RESULTS

All of the 25 stents were successfully placed without any treatment-related complications. During follow-up, 5 patients had decreased mRS scores, 2 were unchanged, and 1 was increased for subarachnoid hemorrhage. Immediate and follow-up clinical outcome was completely or partially recovered in most patients. Follow-up angiograms revealed 2 aneurysms were reduced in size and 6 were unchanged after stent placement. No in-stent stenosis, occlusion of the posterior inferior cerebellar artery, or perforators jailed by the stent occurred in any of the aneurysms.

CONCLUSIONS

These results provide encouraging support for the parallel-stent placement technique, which can be envisaged as an alternative strategy against unruptured VFAs. However, testing in more patients is needed.

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Bin Ren, Zheng-Shan Zhang, Wei-Wei Liu, Xiang-Yang Bao, De-Sheng Li, Cong Han, Peng Xian, Feng Zhao, Hui Wang, Hai Wang, and Lian Duan

OBJECTIVE

Debate exists regarding the merits and shortcomings of an indirect bypass procedure for treating adult patients with moyamoya disease (MMD). Considerable variation in neovascularization occurs among different organs in patients with diabetes mellitus. Here, the effect of encephaloduroarteriosynangiosis on MMD associated with Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is evaluated.

METHODS

A retrospective and 1:2 matched case-control study was conducted in moyamoya patients with or without T2DM (n = 180). Postoperative collateral formations were graded according to the Modified Collateral Grading System that originated from the Matsushima Angiographic Stage Classification. Neurological function outcomes before and after the operation were evaluated according to the modified Rankin Scale. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to determine the risk factors for clinical outcome.

RESULTS

There was no statistically significant difference in the constituent ratios of initial symptom and preoperative Suzuki stage between patients with and without T2DM. Progression of angiopathy around the circle of Willis was postoperatively observed in bilateral internal carotid arteries in both groups. Patients with T2DM had a higher postoperative Suzuki stage (p < 0.01) and more frequent development of collateral angiogenesis germinating from the external carotid after indirect revascularization procedures in the surgical cerebral hemisphere (82.7% vs 72.2%; p < 0.05). The extent of postoperative collateral formation in patients with diabetes mellitus was significantly higher (p < 0.01). Postoperative clinical improvement in the diabetes group was more common after revascularization procedures (p < 0.05), and the diabetes group had lower modified Rankin Scale scores (p < 0.05) in comparison with the nondiabetes group. Late postoperative stroke and posterior cerebral artery involvement were identified as predictors of unfavorable clinical outcome in both groups, while T2DM was associated with a favorable clinical outcome.

CONCLUSIONS

Encephaloduroarteriosynangiosis is an efficacious treatment for adult patients with MMD. Patients with T2DM could achieve better collateral circulation and clinical improvement following surgery.

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Vin-Cent Wu, Tao-Min Huang, Chih-Chung Shiao, Chun-Fu Lai, Pi-Ru Tsai, Wei-Jie Wang, Hui-Yu Huang, Kuo-Chuan Wang, Wen-Je Ko, Kwan-Dun Wu, and NSARF Group

Object

Hemodynamic instability occurs frequently during dialysis treatment and remains a significant cause of patient morbidity and mortality, especially in patients with brain hemorrhage. This study aims to compare the effects of hemodynamic parameters and intracranial pressure (ICP) between sustained low-efficiency dialysis (SLED) and continuous veno-venous hemofiltration (CVVH) in dialysis patients with brain hemorrhage.

Methods

End-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients with brain hemorrhage undergoing ICP monitoring were enrolled. Patients were randomized to receive CVVH or SLED on the 1st day and were changed to the other modality on the 2nd day. The ultrafiltration rate was set at between 1.0 kg/8 hrs and 1.5 kg/8 hrs according to the patient's fluid status. The primary study end point was the change in hemodynamics and ICP during the dialytic periods. The secondary end point was the difference between cardiovascular peptides and oxidative and inflammatory assays.

Results

Ten patients (6 women; mean age 59.9 ± 3.6 years) were analyzed. The stroke volume variation was higher with SLED than CVVH (generalized estimating equations method, p = 0.031). The ICP level increased after both SLED and CVVH (time effect, p = 0.003) without significant difference between modalities. The dialysis dose quantification after 8-hour dialysis was higher in SLED than CVVH (equivalent urea clearance by convection, 62.7 ± 4.4 vs 50.2 ± 3.9 ml/min; p = 0.002). Additionally, the endothelin-1 level increased after CVVH treatment (p = 0.019) but not SLED therapy.

Conclusions

With this controlled crossover study, the authors provide the pilot evidence that both SLED and CVVH display identical acute hemodynamic effects and increased ICP after dialysis in brain hemorrhage patients. Clinical trial registration no.: NCT01781585 (ClinicalTrials.gov).

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Xiong Xiao, Lu Kong, Changcun Pan, Peng Zhang, Xin Chen, Tao Sun, Mingran Wang, Hui Qiao, Zhen Wu, Junting Zhang, and Liwei Zhang

OBJECTIVE

Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and diffusion tensor tractography (DTT) have the ability to noninvasively visualize changes in white matter tracts, as well as their relationships with lesions and other structures. DTI/DTT has been increasingly used to improve the safety and results of surgical treatment for lesions in eloquent areas, such as brainstem cavernous malformations. This study aimed to investigate the application value of DTI/DTT in brainstem glioma surgery and to validate the spatial accuracy of reconstructed corticospinal tracts (CSTs).

METHODS

A retrospective analysis was performed on 54 patients with brainstem gliomas who had undergone surgery from January 2016 to December 2018 at Beijing Tiantan Hospital. All patients underwent preoperative DTI and tumor resection with the assistance of DTT-merged neuronavigation and electrophysiological monitoring. Preoperative conventional MRI and DTI data were collected, and the muscle strength and modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score before and after surgery were measured. The surgical plan was created with the assistance of DTI/DTT findings. The accuracy of DTI/DTT was validated by performing direct subcortical stimulation (DsCS) intraoperatively. Multiple linear regression was used to investigate the relationship between quantitative parameters of DTI/DTT (such as the CST score and tumor-to-CST distance [TCD]) and postoperative muscle strength and mRS scores.

RESULTS

Among the 54 patients, 6 had normal bilateral CSTs, 12 patients had unilateral CST impairments, and 36 had bilateral CSTs involved. The most common changes in the CSTs were deformation (n = 29), followed by deviation (n = 28) and interruption (n = 27). The surgical approach was changed in 18 cases (33.3%) after accounting for the DTI/DTT results. Among 55 CSTs on which DsCS was performed, 46 (83.6%) were validated as spatially accurate by DsCS. The CST score and TCD were significantly correlated with postoperative muscle strength (r = −0.395, p < 0.001, and r = 0.275, p = 0.004, respectively) and postoperative mRS score (r = 0.430, p = 0.001, and r = −0.329, p = 0.015, respectively). The CST score was independently linearly associated with postoperative muscle strength (t = −2.461, p = 0.016) and the postoperative mRS score (t = 2.052, p = 0.046).

CONCLUSIONS

DTI/DTT is a valuable tool in the surgical management of brainstem gliomas. With good accuracy, it can help optimize surgical planning, guide tumor resection, and predict the postoperative muscle strength and postoperative quality of life of patients.

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Fu-Lin He, Shuai Qiu, Jian-Long Zou, Fan-Bin Gu, Zhi Yao, Zhe-Hui Tu, Yuan-Yuan Wang, Xiao-Lin Liu, Li-Hua Zhou, and Qing-Tang Zhu

OBJECTIVE

Neuropathic pain caused by traumatic neuromas is an extremely intractable clinical problem. Disorderly scar tissue accumulation and irregular and immature axon regeneration around the injury site mainly contribute to traumatic painful neuroma formation. Therefore, successfully preventing traumatic painful neuroma formation requires the effective inhibition of irregular axon regeneration and disorderly accumulation of scar tissue. Considering that chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) can act on the growth cone and effectively inhibit axon regeneration, the authors designed and manufactured a CSPG-gelatin blocker to regulate the CSPGs’ spatial distribution artificially and applied it in a rat model after sciatic nerve neurectomy to evaluate its effects in preventing traumatic painful neuroma formation.

METHODS

Sixty female Sprague Dawley rats were randomly divided into three groups (positive group: no covering; blank group: covering with gelatin blocker; and CSPG group: covering with the CSPG-gelatin blocker). Pain-related factors were evaluated 2 and 8 weeks postoperatively (n = 30). Neuroma growth, autotomy behavior, and histological features of the neuromas were assessed 8 weeks postoperatively (n = 30).

RESULTS

Eight weeks postoperatively, typical bulb-shaped neuromas did not form in the CSPG group, and autotomy behavior was obviously better in the CSPG group (p < 0.01) than in the other two groups. Also, in the CSPG group the regenerated axons showed a lower density and more regular and improved myelination (p < 0.01). Additionally, the distribution and density of collagenous fibers and the expression of α–smooth muscle actin were significantly lower in the CSPG group than in the positive group (p < 0.01). Regarding pain-related factors, c-fos, substance P, interleukin (IL)–17, and IL-1β levels were significantly lower in the CSPG group than those in the positive and blank groups 2 weeks postoperatively (p < 0.05), while substance P and IL-17 remained lower in the CSPG group 8 weeks postoperatively (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors found that CSPGs loaded in a gelatin blocker can prevent traumatic neuroma formation and effectively relieve pain symptoms after sciatic nerve neurotomy by blocking irregular axon regeneration and disorderly collagenous fiber accumulation in the proximal nerve stump. These results indicate that covering the proximal nerve stump with CSPGs may be a new and promising strategy to prevent traumatic painful neuroma formation in the clinical setting.

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Xiao-hui Ren, Chun Chu, Chun Zeng, Yong-ji Tian, Zhen-yu Ma, Kai Tang, Lan-bing Yu, Xiang-li Cui, Zhong-cheng Wang, and Song Lin

Object

Intracranial epidermoid cysts are rare, potentially curable, benign lesions that are sometimes associated with severe postoperative complications, including hemorrhage. Delayed hemorrhage, defined as one that occurred after an initial unremarkable postoperative CT scan, contributed to most cases of postoperative hemorrhage in patients with epidermoid cyst. In this study, the authors focus on delayed hemorrhage as one of the severe postoperative complications in epidermoid cyst, report its incidence and its clinical features, and analyze related clinical parameters.

Methods

There were 428 cases of intracranial epidermoid cysts that were surgically treated between 2002 and 2008 in Beijing Tiantan Hospital, and these were retrospectively reviewed. Among them, the cases with delayed postoperative hemorrhage were chosen for analysis. Clinical parameters were recorded, including the patient's age and sex, the chief surgeon's experience in neurosurgery, the year in which the operation was performed, tumor size, adhesion to neurovascular structures, and degree of resection. These parameters were compared in patients with and without delayed postoperative hemorrhage to identify risk factors associated with this entity.

Results

The incidences of postoperative hemorrhage and delayed postoperative hemorrhage in patients with epidermoid cyst were 5.61% (24 of 428) and 4.91% (21 of 428), respectively, both of which were significantly higher than that of postoperative hemorrhage in all concurrently treated intracranial tumors, which was 0.91% (122 of 13,479). The onset of delayed postoperative hemorrhage ranged from the 5th to 23rd day after the operation; the median time of onset was the 8th day. The onset manifestation included signs of intracranial hypertension and/or meningeal irritation (71.4%), brain herniation (14.3%), seizures (9.5%), and syncope (4.8%). Neuroimages revealed hematoma in 11 cases and subarachnoid hemorrhage in 10 cases. The rehemorrhage rate was 38.1% (8 of 21). The mortality rate for delayed postoperative hemorrhage was 28.6% (6 of 21). None of the clinical parameters was correlated with delayed postoperative hemorrhage (p > 0.05), despite a relatively lower p value for adhesion to neurovascular structures (p = 0.096).

Conclusions

Delayed postoperative hemorrhage contributed to most of the postoperative hemorrhages in patients with intracranial epidermoid cysts and was a unique postoperative complication with unfavorable outcomes. Adhesion to neurovascular structures was possibly related to delayed postoperative hemorrhage (p = 0.096).