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Shelly Wang, James Drake and Abhaya V. Kulkarni

OBJECTIVE

Spontaneous subaponeurotic fluid collection (SSFC) is an uncommon and newly described entity of unknown etiology, observed in infants less than 1 year of age. The authors report on series of infants who presented to the Hospital for Sick Children (HSC) with SSFC, focusing on the natural history of this condition.

METHODS

Data from the Hospital for Sick Children were retrospectively reviewed for the period between January 2004 and June 2015. Patient age and sex, birth history, medical history, laboratory findings, and symptoms were reviewed. SSFC location, imaging characteristics, management, and outcome were also analyzed. A MEDLINE and Embase literature search was performed on the condition, yielding previously reported cases of SSFC in the English language.

RESULTS

Nine cases involving patients who presented with SSFC during the study period were identified. The patients were 4 male and 5 female infants (age range 5 weeks to 11 months). All cases of SSFC developed spontaneously over a period of days, and the infants had no history of injuries, trauma, or hair manipulation in the immediate period preceding the development of the subgaleal collections. Six patients underwent remote forceps- or vacuum-assisted instrumented births, although none of the patients developed scalp collections or skin discoloration immediately after birth. All of the cases were managed conservatively on an outpatient (6 cases) or inpatient (3 cases) basis. In 1 case, the size of the fluid collection fluctuated over 4 months, but in all of the cases, the collections resolved spontaneously without structural or infectious complications.

CONCLUSIONS

This is the largest series describing SSFC to date and summarizes 9 cases managed at a large academic neurosurgical center. Although the specific pathophysiology of SSFC remains unknown, in some cases the condition may be associated with a remote history of instrumented delivery. SSFC occurs spontaneously without immediate preceding trauma, and an extensive hematology or child abuse workup is not necessary. A conservative approach with outpatient follow-up is advocated.

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David M. Benglis Jr., James D. Guest and Michael Y. Wang

Minimally invasive approaches to the cervical spine for lateral disc herniation or foraminal stenosis have recently been described. Lower rates of blood loss, decreased narcotic dependence, and less tissue destruction as well as shorter hospital stays are all advantages of utilizing these techniques. These observations can also be realized with a minimal access approach to cervical laminoplasty. Multiple levels of the cervical spine can be treated from a posterior approach with the potential to decrease the incidences of postoperative axial neck pain and kyphotic deformity. In this report the authors present a concise history of the open laminoplasty technique, provide data from previous cadaveric studies (6 cases) along with recent clinical experience for minimally invasive laminoplasty, and describe the advantages and challenges of this novel procedure.

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SPIRE spinous process stabilization plate: biomechanical evaluation of a novel technology

Invited submission from the Joint Section Meeting on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves, March 2005

Jeremy C. Wang, David Spenciner and James C. Robinson

Object

The authors studied the biomechanical properties of a novel spinous process stabilization plate (CD HORIZON SPIRE Spinal System) and present the results in comparison with those of other posterior fixation methods.

Methods

Ten functional cadaveric lumbar segments were subjected to nondestructive quasistatic loading forces in 10 different conditions: intact, destabilized (discectomy), fitted with spinous process plate (SPP) alone, with anterior-column support (ACS) alone, ACS with SPP, ACS with posterior translaminar facet screw (PTFS) fixation, ACS with unilateral pedicle screw and rod (UPSR) fixation, ACS with bilateral pedicle screw and rod (BPSR) fixation, UPSR alone, or BPSR alone. Stiffness and range of motion (ROM) data were compared using a repeated-measures, one-way analysis of variance.

The construct with greatest mean limitation of flexion–extension ROM was ACS/SPP at 4.14° whereas it was 5.75° for ACS/UPSR fixation, 5.03° for ACS/BPSR fixation, and 10.13° for the intact spine. The SPIRE plate alone also provided greater flexion and extension stiffness, with less ROM than other posterior stabilization options. Fixation with BPSR with or without ACS resulted in the stiffest construct in lateral bending and axial rotation. The SPP and UPSR fixation groups were equivalent in resisting lateral bending and axial rotation forces with or without ACS.

Conclusions

The SPIRE plate effectively stabilized the spine, and the test results compare favorably with other fixation techniques that are more time consuming to perform and have greater inherent risks.

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Abbas Amirjamshidi, Mahmoud R. Khalatbari and Kazem Abbassioun

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Teng-yu Li, Yu-lun Xu, Jun Yang, James Wang and Gui-Huai Wang

OBJECT

The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical characteristics, imaging features, differential diagnosis, treatment options, and prognosis for primary spinal epidural cavernous hemangiomas.

METHODS

Fourteen patients with pathologically diagnosed non–vertebral origin cavernous hemangiomas who had undergone surgery at Beijing Tiantan Hospital between 2003 and 2012 were identified in the hospital's database. The patients' clinical data, imaging characteristics, surgical treatment, and postoperative follow-up were analyzed retrospectively.

RESULTS

There were 9 males and 5 females with an average age of 51.64 years. The primary epidural cavernous hemangiomas were located in the cervical spine (2 cases), cervicothoracic junction (2 cases), thoracic spine (8 cases), thoracolumbar junction (1 case), and lumbar spine (1 case). Hemorrhage was confirmed in 4 cases during surgery. Preoperatively 5 lesions were misdiagnosed as schwannoma, 1 was misdiagnosed as a meningioma, and 1 was misdiagnosed as an arachnoid cyst. Preoperative hemorrhages were identified in 2 cases. Three patients had recurrent cavernous hemangiomas. The initial presenting symptoms were local pain in 5 cases, radiculopathy in 6 cases, and myelopathy in 3 cases. Upon admission, 1 patient had radicular symptoms and 13 had myelopathic symptoms. The average symptom duration was 18 months. All patients underwent surgery; complete resection was achieved in 8 cases, subtotal resection in 4 cases, and partial resection in 2 cases. Postoperative follow-up was completed in 10 cases (average follow-up 34 months); 1 patient died, 5 patients showed clinical improvement, and 4 patients remained neurologically unchanged.

CONCLUSIONS

Total surgical removal of spine epidural cavernous hemangiomas with a chronic course is the optimum treatment and carries a good prognosis. Secondary surgery for recurrent epidural cavernous hemangioma is technically more challenging. In patients with profound myelopathy from acute hemorrhage, even prompt surgical decompression can rarely reverse all symptoms.

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John H. Lawrence, Cornelius A. Tobias, James L. Born, C. C. Wang and John H. Linfoot

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Namath S. Hussain, Paul P. Wang, Carol James, Benjamin S. Carson and Anthony M. Avellino

✓ The placement of a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt is the most common form of treatment for hydrocephalus. Although allergic reactions to the silicone in shunt hardware are very rare, the authors describe a case of silicone allergy causing multiple ventricular shunt revisions. A 24-year-old man, who had undergone multiple VP shunt revisions, presented with shunt malfunction caused by allergic reaction of the tissues surrounding the shunt tubing. The patient's existing silicone-based shunt was replaced with a new polyurethane system, including the proximal and distal catheters as well as the valve mechanism. Contrary to recommendations in previous studies of silicone shunt allergies, long-term immunosuppression was not initiated. The patient was followed up for more than 8 years without recurrence of an allergic reaction to the shunt. This outcome indicates that replacing the original silicone-based shunt system with a polyurethane-based system alone is sufficient in the treatment of a silicone shunt allergy.

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James L. Frazier, Gustavo Pradilla, Paul P. Wang and Rafael J. Tamargo

Object. Leukocyte—endothelial cell interactions may play a role in the development of cerebral vasospasm after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) because the extravasation of circulating leukocytes into the periadventitial space within 24 hours after the hemorrhage appears to be a critical event in this process. Ibuprofen is an antiinflammatory agent that inhibits the expression of specific cell adhesion molecules and, consequently, disrupts leukocyte—endothelial cell interactions. The authors investigated the efficacy of ibuprofen delivered locally from controlled-release polymers in the rabbit basilar artery (BA) model of cerebral vasospasm.

Methods. Ibuprofen was incorporated into controlled-release ethylene—vinyl acetate copolymer (EVAc) constituting 45% of the resulting polymer by weight. Fifty-four New Zealand White rabbits were randomized to 10 groups: sham operation (seven animals); SAH only (seven animals); and SAH plus either empty EVAc or ibuprofen—EVAc polymer at 30 minutes or 6, 12, or 24 hours (five animals per group; 40 total). The rabbits were killed 72 hours after induction of SAH, at the time of maximal vasospasm. The efficacy of ibuprofen in preventing vasospasm was assessed by measuring lumen patency of the rabbit's BAs. The intracranial controlled release of ibuprofen resulted in a significant inhibition of vasospasm when treatment was initiated at 30 minutes (patency 92.3 ± 5.1% compared with 52.1 ± 5.1% in animals given empty EVAc; p < 0.001) and 6 hours (patency 69.5 ± 3.5% compared with 47.2 ± 1.5% in animals given empty EVAc; p < 0.03) after blood deposition compared with treatment with empty EVAc. No effect was observed when treatment was begun at either 12 or 24 hours.

Conclusions. Local intracranial delivery of ibuprofen accomplished using controlled-release polymers prevents vasospasm in the rabbit BA model of vasospasm when administered within 6 hours after blood exposure.

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Gustavo Pradilla, Paul P. Wang, Federico G. Legnani, James L. Frazier and Rafael J. Tamargo

Object. Implantation of controlled-release polymers into the subarachnoid space to deliver drugs for treatment of vasospasm after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is currently of interest. Among the issues regarding local delivery of drugs in the subarachnoid space, however, are the extent of diffusion and the rate of release of the loaded agents. In this study Evans blue dye (EBD) was loaded into controlled-release polymers and its pharmacokinetic properties were determined in vitro and in vivo by using a rabbit model of SAH.

Methods. Ethylene—vinyl acetate copolymer (EVAc) was loaded 40% (w:w) with EBD and its pharmacokinetics were spectrophotometrically determined in vitro by examining three EBD—EVAc polymers. Additional polymers were implanted either into the frontal lobe or into the cisterna magna of 16 New Zealand White rabbits. Subarachnoid hemorrhage was induced in eight of the animals by an injection of 1.5 ml of arterial blood into the cisterna magna. The animals were killed 3 or 14 days postoperatively, their brains and spinal cords were harvested, and samples of each were placed in formamide for dye extraction and quantification. Specimens were examined macroscopically and the concentrations of EBD were determined with the aid of a spectrophotometer.

The EBD—EVAc polymers continuously released EBD over a 133-day period. The controlled release of the dye into the subarachnoid space in either location resulted in staining of the entire central nervous system (CNS) in rabbits when the polymers were placed either on the frontal lobe or in the cisterna magna. The EBD diffusion covered a distance of at least 40 cm. The presence of blood in the subarachnoid space did not interfere with the diffusion.

Conclusions. In this study the authors define the rate and extent of diffusion of EBD from controlled-release polymers placed in the subarachnoid space under conditions of SAH. Evans blue dye diffused through the entire rabbit CNS, covering a distance greater than that of the longest dimension of the hemicircumference of the subarachnoid space around the human brain. The pharmacokinetic properties of EBD—EVAc polymers are comparable to those of antivasospasm agents that are successfully used in animal models of SAH.

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Comparison of CD HORIZON SPIRE spinous process plate stabilization and pedicle screw fixation after anterior lumbar interbody fusion

Invited submission from the Joint Section Meeting on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves, March 2005

Jeremy C. Wang, Regis W. Haid Jr., Jay S. Miller and James C. Robinson

Object

The authors present the early clinical results obtained in patients who underwent SPIRE spinous process plate fixation following anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF).

Methods

Between May 2003 and January 2005, 32 patients underwent titanium cage and bone morphogenetic protein–augmented ALIF and subsequent SPIRE (21 cases) or bilateral pedicle screw (BPS; 11 cases) fixation. Pedicle screws were implanted using either the open approach (three cases) or using a tubular retractor (eight cases). Patients’ charts were reviewed for operative time, estimated blood loss (EBL), hospital length of stay (LOS), and evidence of pseudarthrosis or hardware failure.

In SPIRE plate–treated patients, the median EBL (75 ml) was lower than in BPS-treated patients (open BPS [150 ml]; tubular BPS [125 ml]). The median operative time in SPIRE plate–treated patients was also shorter (164 minutes compared with 239 and 250 minutes in the open and tubular BPS, respectively). The median LOS was 3 days for both the SPIRE and tubular BPS groups, but 4 days in the open BPS group. There were no instances of major surgery-induced complication, pseudarthrosis, or hardware failure during mean follow-up periods of 5.5, 7.2, and 4.9 months in the SPIRE, open PS, and tubular BPS groups, respectively.

Conclusions

The SPIRE plate is easy to implant and is associated with minimal operative risk. Compared with BPS/rod constructs, SPIRE plate fixation leads to less EBL and shorter operative time, without an increase in the rate of pseudarthrosis. Hospital LOS was also shorter in SPIRE plate–treated patients, which is consistent with the goals of minimal access spinal technologies.