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Jung Jae Park, Hong Joo Moon, Jin Hyun Park, Taek Hyun Kwon, Youn-Kwan Park, and Joo Han Kim

OBJECT

To determine the role played by mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling in the interactions between macrophages and intervertebral disc (IVD) cells, it was hypothesized that MAPK inhibition would modulate the production of the proinflammatory cytokines associated with inflammatory reaction in IVD cells.

METHODS

Human annulus fibrosus (AF) and nucleus pulposus (NP) cells were cocultured with phorbol myristate acetate-stimulated macrophage-like THP-1 cells, with and without SB202190 (a p38-α and -β inhibitor), SP600125 (a c-Jun N-terminal kinase [JNK] inhibitor), and PD98059 (an extracellular signal-regulated kinase [ERK] 1/2 inhibitor). The cytokines in conditioned media from cocultured and macrophage-exposed (nemotic) cells were assayed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs).

RESULTS

Interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8 were secreted in greater quantities by the cocultured cells compared with naive IVD cells and macrophages (MΦ) cultured alone. The tumor necrosis factor (TNF)- α and IL-6 levels produced by the NP cells cocultured with MΦs (NP-MΦ) were significantly lower than those produced by AF cells cocultured with MΦs (AF-MΦ). SB202190 dose-dependently suppressed IL-6 secretion by AF-MΦ and NP-MΦ cocultures, and 10 μM SB202190 significantly decreased IL-6 and IL-8 production in nemotic AF and NP pellets. SP600125 at 10 μM significantly suppressed the production of TNF α IL-6. and IL-8 in AF-MΦ and NP-MΦ cocultures and significantly suppressed IL-1β production in the NP-MΦ coculture. Administration of 10 μM PD98059 significantly decreased IL-6 levels in the AF-MΦ coculture, and decreased the levels of TNF α and IL-8 in both the AF-MΦ and NP-MΦ cocultures.

CONCLUSIONS

The present study shows that inhibitors of p38 MAPK effectively controlled IL-6 production during inflammatory reactions and that JNK and ERK1/2 inhibitors successfully suppressed the production of major proinflammatory cytokines during interactions between macrophages and IVD cells. Therefore, selective blockade of these signals may serve as a therapeutic approach to symptomatic IVD degeneration.

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Dong-Ho Lee, Suk-Kyu Lee, Jae Hwan Cho, Chang Ju Hwang, Choon Sung Lee, Jae Jun Yang, Kook Jong Kim, Jae Hong Park, and Sehan Park

OBJECTIVE

Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) provides a limited workspace, and surgeons often need to access the posterior aspect of the vertebral body to achieve sufficient decompression. Oblique resection of the posterior endplate (trumpet-shaped decompression [TSD]) widens the workspace, enabling removal of lesions behind the vertebral body. This study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of oblique posterior endplate resection for wider decompression.

METHODS

In this retrospective study, 227 patients who underwent ACDF for the treatment of cervical myelopathy or radiculopathy caused by spondylosis or ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament and were followed up for ≥ 1 year were included. Patient characteristics, fusion rates, subsidence, and patient-reported outcome measures, including the neck pain visual analog scale (VAS) score, arm pain VAS score, and Neck Disability Index (NDI), were assessed. Patients who underwent TSD during ACDF (TSD group) and those who underwent surgery without TSD (non-TSD group) were compared.

RESULTS

Fifty-seven patients (25.1%) were included in the TSD group and 170 patients (74.9%) in the non-TSD group. In the TSD group, 28.2% ± 5.5% of the endplate was resected, and 26.0% ± 6.1% of the region behind the vertebral body could be visualized via the TSD technique. The resection angle was 26.9° ± 5.9°. The fusion rate assessed on the basis of interspinous motion, intragraft bone bridging, and extragraft bone bridging did not significantly differ between the two groups. Furthermore, there were no significant intergroup differences in subsidence. The patient-reported outcome measures at the 1-year follow-up were also not significantly different between the groups.

CONCLUSIONS

TSD widened the workspace during ACDF, and 26% of the region posterior to the vertebral body could be accessed using this technique. The construct stability was not adversely affected by TSD as demonstrated by the similar fusion and subsidence rates among patients who underwent TSD and those who did not. Therefore, TSD can be safely applied during ACDF when compressive lesions extend behind the vertebral body and are not limited to the disc space, enabling adequate decompression without disrupting the construct stability.

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Jae Taek Hong, Sang Won Lee, Byung Chul Son, Jae Hoon Sung, Seung Ho Yang, Il Sub Kim, and Chun Kun Park

Object

The current study evaluates the incidence of anatomical variations of the V3 segment of the vertebral artery (VA) and the posterior arch of the atlas (C-1). Failure to appreciate these types of anatomical variations can cause catastrophic injury to the VA during posterior approaches to the upper cervical spine.

Methods

In the present study, the authors analyzed the records of 1013 Korean patients who underwent computed tomography (CT) angiography to evaluate the incidence of anomalous variations in the third segment of the VA and to determine the incidence and morphometric characteristics of any detected posterior ponticuli. The authors also hoped to determine any specific imaging features that might indicate a VA anomaly around the craniovertebral junction.

Results

The mean age of the patients was ~ 55.7 years and the prevalence of a posterior ponticulus was 15.6%. The incidence rate of a posterior ponticulus in the male population was 19.3%, whereas in the female population it was 12.8%. The incomplete type of posterior ponticulus was more common than the complete type. The mean age of the patients with an incomplete posterior ponticulus (55.7 years) was significantly younger (p = 0.018) than the mean age of patients with a complete posterior ponticulus (57.6 years). The incidence rate of a persistent first inter-segmental artery was 4.7% and the incidence rate of a fenestrated VA was 0.6%. The area of the C-1 transverse foramen on the abnormal side was significantly smaller than that of the contralateral normal side.

Conclusions

The shape of the C-1 posterior arch and the third segment of the VA are heterogeneous. Therefore, preoperative radiological studies should be performed to identify any anatomical variations. Using preoperative 3D CT angiography, we can precisely identify an anomalous VA and significantly reduce the risk of VA injury.

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Hyoung-Sub Kim, Jong Beom Lee, Jong Hyeok Park, Ho Jin Lee, Jung Jae Lee, Shumayou Dutta, Il Sup Kim, and Jae Taek Hong

OBJECTIVE

Little is known about the risk factors for postoperative subaxial cervical kyphosis following craniovertebral junction (CVJ) fixation. The object of this study was to evaluate postoperative changes in cervical alignment and to identify the risk factors for postoperative kyphotic change in the subaxial cervical spine after CVJ fixation.

METHODS

One hundred fifteen patients were retrospectively analyzed for postoperative subaxial kyphosis after CVJ fixation. Relations between subaxial kyphosis and radiological risk factors, including segmental angles and ranges of motion (ROMs) at C0–1, C1–2, and C2–7, and clinical factors, such as age, sex, etiology, occipital fixation, extensor muscle resection at C2, additional C1–2 posterior wiring, and subaxial laminoplasty, were investigated. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify the risk factors for postoperative kyphotic changes in the subaxial cervical spine.

RESULTS

The C2–7 angle change was more than −10° in 30 (26.1%) of the 115 patients. Risk factor analysis showed CVJ fixation combined with subaxial laminoplasty (OR 9.336, 95% CI 1.484–58.734, p = 0.017) and a small ROM at the C0–1 segment (OR 0.836, 95% CI 0.757–0.923, p < 0.01) were related to postoperative subaxial kyphotic change. On the other hand, age, sex, resection of the C2 extensor muscle, rheumatoid arthritis, additional C1–2 posterior wiring, and postoperative segmental angles were not risk factors for postoperative subaxial kyphosis

CONCLUSIONS

Subaxial alignment change is not uncommon after CVJ fixation. Muscle detachment at the C2 spinous process was not a risk factor of kyphotic change. The study findings suggest that a small ROM at the C0–1 segment with or without occipital fixation and combined subaxial laminoplasty are risk factors for subaxial kyphotic change.

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Dong Hoon Lee, Jong Hyeok Park, Jung Jae Lee, Jong Beom Lee, Ho Jin Lee, Il Sup Kim, Jung Woo Hur, and Jae Taek Hong

OBJECTIVE

The authors sought to evaluate the usefulness of indocyanine green (ICG) angiography and Doppler sonography for monitoring the vertebral artery (VA) during craniovertebral junction (CVJ) surgery and compare the incidence of VA injury (VAI) between the groups with and without the monitoring of VA using ICG angiography and Doppler sonography.

METHODS

In total, 344 consecutive patients enrolled who underwent CVJ surgery. Surgery was performed without intraoperative VA monitoring tools in 262 cases (control group) and with VA monitoring tools in 82 cases (monitoring group). The authors compared the incidence of VAI between groups. The procedure times of ICG angiography, change of VA flow velocity measured by Doppler sonography, and complication were investigated.

RESULTS

There were 4 VAI cases in the control group, and the incidence of VAI was 1.5%. Meanwhile, there were no VAI cases in the monitoring group. The procedure time of ICG angiography was less than 5 minutes (mean [± SD] 4.6 ± 2.1 minutes) and VA flow velocity was 11.2 ± 4.5 cm/sec. There were several cases in which the surgical method had to be changed depending on the VA monitoring. The combined use of ICG angiography and Doppler sonography was useful not only to monitor VA patency but also to assess the quality of blood flow during CVJ surgery, especially in the high-risk group of patients.

CONCLUSIONS

The combined use of ICG angiography and Doppler sonography enables real-time intraoperative monitoring of the VA by detecting blood flow and flow velocity. As the arteries get closer, they provide auditory and visual feedback to the surgeon. This real-time image guidance could be a useful tool, especially for high-risk patients and inexperienced surgeons, to avoid iatrogenic VAI during any CVJ surgery.

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Jae Taek Hong, Sang Won Lee, Byung Chul Son, Jae Hoon Sung, Il Sub Kim, and Chun Kun Park

✓ Atlantoaxial fixation in which C1–2 screw–rod fixation is performed is a relatively new method. Because reports about this technique are rather scant, little is known about its associated complications. In this report the authors introduce hypoglossal nerve palsy as a complication of this novel posterior atlantoaxial stabilization method.

A 67-year-old man underwent a C1–2 screw–rod fixation for persistent neck pain resulting from a Type 2 odontoid fracture that involved disruption of the transverse atlantal ligament. Posterior instrumentation in which a C-1 lateral mass screw and C-2 pedicle screw were placed was performed. Postoperatively, the patient suffered dysphagia with deviation of the tongue to the left side. At the 4-month follow-up examination, bone fusion was noted on plain x-ray studies of the cervical spine. His hypoglossal nerve palsy resolved completely 2 months postoperatively.

To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first report in the literature of hypoglossal nerve palsy following C1–2 screw–rod fixation. The hypoglossal nerve is one of the structures that can be damaged during C-1 lateral mass screw placement.

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Jaewoo Chung, Wonhyoung Park, Seok Ho Hong, Jung Cheol Park, Jae Sung Ahn, Byung Duk Kwun, Sang-Ahm Lee, Sung-Hoon Kim, and Ji-Ye Jeon

OBJECTIVE

Somatosensory and motor evoked potentials (SEPs and MEPs) are often used to prevent ischemic complications during aneurysm surgeries. However, surgeons often encounter cases with suspicious false-positive and false-negative results from intraoperative evoked potential (EP) monitoring, but the incidence and possible causes for these results are not well established. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy and reliability of EP monitoring in the microsurgical treatment of intracranial aneurysms by evaluating false-positive and false-negative cases.

METHODS

From January 2012 to April 2016, 1514 patients underwent surgery for unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs) with EP monitoring at the authors’ institution. An EP amplitude decrease of 50% or greater compared with the baseline amplitude was defined as a significant EP change. Correlations between immediate postoperative motor weakness and EP monitoring results were retrospectively reviewed. The authors calculated the sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of intraoperative MEP monitoring, as well as the incidence of false-positive and false-negative results.

RESULTS

Eighteen (1.19%) of the 1514 patients had a symptomatic infarction, and 4 (0.26%) had a symptomatic hemorrhage. A total of 15 patients showed motor weakness, with the weakness detected on the immediate postoperative motor function test in 10 of these cases. Fifteen false-positive cases (0.99%) and 8 false-negative cases (0.53%) were reported. Therefore, MEP during UIA surgery resulted in a sensitivity of 0.10, specificity of 0.94, positive predictive value of 0.01, and negative predictive value of 0.99.

CONCLUSIONS

Intraoperative EP monitoring has high specificity and negative predictive value. Both false-positive and false-negative findings were present. However, it is likely that a more meticulously designed protocol will make EP monitoring a better surrogate indicator of possible ischemic neurological deficits.

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Yun-Sik Dho, Young Jae Kim, Kwang Gi Kim, Sung Hwan Hwang, Kyung Hyun Kim, Jin Wook Kim, Yong Hwy Kim, Seung Hong Choi, and Chul-Kee Park

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to analyze the positional effect of MRI on the accuracy of neuronavigational localization for posterior fossa (PF) lesions when the operation is performed with the patient in the prone position.

METHODS

Ten patients with PF tumors requiring surgery in the prone position were prospectively enrolled in the study. All patients underwent preoperative navigational MRI in both the supine and prone positions in a single session. Using simultaneous intraoperative registration of the supine and prone navigational MR images, the authors investigated the images’ accuracy, spatial deformity, and source of errors for PF lesions. Accuracy was determined in terms of differences in the ability of the supine and prone MR images to localize 64 test points in the PF by using a neuronavigation system. Spatial deformities were analyzed and visualized by in-house–developed software with a 3D reconstruction function and spatial calculation of the MRI data. To identify the source of differences, the authors investigated the accuracy of fiducial point localization in the supine and prone MR images after taking the surface anatomy and age factors into consideration.

RESULTS

Neuronavigational localization performed using prone MRI was more accurate for PF lesions than routine supine MRI prior to prone position surgery. Prone MRI more accurately localized 93.8% of the tested PF areas than supine MRI. The spatial deformities in the neuronavigation system calculated using the supine MRI tended to move in the posterior-superior direction from the actual anatomical landmarks. The average distance of the spatial differences between the prone and supine MR images was 6.3 mm. The spatial difference had a tendency to increase close to the midline. An older age (> 60 years) and fiducial markers adjacent to the cervical muscles were considered to contribute significantly to the source of differences in the positional effect of neuronavigation (p < 0.001 and p = 0.01, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

This study demonstrated the superior accuracy of neuronavigational localization with prone-position MRI during prone-position surgery for PF lesions. The authors recommend that the scan position of the neuronavigational MRI be matched with the surgical position for more precise localization.

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Eun Jung Lee, Jeong Hoon Kim, Eun Suk Park, Young-Hoon Kim, Jae Koo Lee, Seok Ho Hong, Young Hyun Cho, and Chang Jin Kim

OBJECTIVE

Advances in neuroimaging techniques have led to the increased detection of asymptomatic intracranial meningiomas (IMs). Despite several studies on the natural history of IMs, a comprehensive evaluation method for estimating the growth potential of these tumors, based on the relative weight of each risk factor, has not been developed. The aim of this study was to develop a weighted scoring system that estimates the risk of rapid tumor growth to aid treatment decision making.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective analysis of 232 patients with presumed IM who had been prospectively followed up in the absence of treatment from 1997 to 2013. Tumor volume was measured by imaging at each follow-up visit, and the growth rate was determined by regression analysis. Predictors of rapid tumor growth (defined as ≥ 2 cm3/year) were identified using a logistic regression model; each factor was awarded a score based on its own coefficient value. The probability (P) of rapid tumor growth was estimated using the following formula:
FD1

RESULTS

Fifty-nine tumors (25.4%) showed rapid growth. Tumor size (OR per cm3 1.07, p = 0.000), absence of calcification (OR 3.87, p = 0.004), peritumoral edema (OR 2.74, p = 0.025), and hyperintense or isointense signal on T2-weighted MRI (OR 3.76, p = 0.049) were predictors of tumor growth rate. In the Asan Intracranial Meningioma Scoring System (AIMSS), tumor size was categorized into 3 groups of < 2.5 cm, ≥ 2.5 to < 4.0 cm, and ≥ 4.0 cm in diameter and awarded a score of 0, 3, and 6, respectively; the parameters of calcification and peritumoral edema were categorized into 2 groups based on their presence or absence and given a score of 0 or 2 and 1 or 0, respectively; and the signal on T2-weighted MRI was categorized into 2 groups of hypointense and hyperintense/isointense and given a score of 0 or 2, respectively. The risk of rapid tumor growth was estimated to be < 10% when the total score was 0–2, 10%–50% when the total score was 3–6, and ≥ 50% when the total score was 7–11 (Hosmer-Lemeshow goodness-of-fit test, p = 0.9958). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.86.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors suggest a weighted scoring system (AIMSS) that predicts the specific probability of rapid tumor growth for patients with untreated IM. This scoring system will aid treatment decision making in clinical settings by screening out patients at high risk for rapid tumor growth.

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Zang-Hee Cho, Hoon-Ki Min, Se-Hong Oh, Jae-Yong Han, Chan-Woong Park, Je-Geun Chi, Young-Bo Kim, Sun Ha Paek, Andres M. Lozano, and Kendall H. Lee

Object

A challenge associated with deep brain stimulation (DBS) in treating advanced Parkinson disease (PD) is the direct visualization of brain nuclei, which often involves indirect approximations of stereotactic targets. In the present study, the authors compared T2*-weighted images obtained using 7-T MR imaging with those obtained using 1.5- and 3-T MR imaging to ascertain whether 7-T imaging enables better visualization of targets for DBS in PD.

Methods

The authors compared 1.5-, 3-, and 7-T MR images obtained in 11 healthy volunteers and 1 patient with PD.

Results

With 7-T imaging, distinct images of the brain were obtained, including the subthalamic nucleus (STN) and internal globus pallidus (GPi). Compared with the 1.5- and 3-T MR images of the STN and GPi, the 7-T MR images showed marked improvements in spatial resolution, tissue contrast, and signal-to-noise ratio.

Conclusions

Data in this study reveal the superiority of 7-T MR imaging for visualizing structures targeted for DBS in the management of PD. This finding suggests that by enabling the direct visualization of neural structures of interest, 7-T MR imaging could be a valuable aid in neurosurgical procedures.