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Advances in intracranial monitoring

Jeffrey P. Blount, Jason Cormier, Hyunmi Kim, Pongkiat Kankirawatana, Kristen O. Riley, and Robert C. Knowlton

Intracranial monitoring using electroencephalography (IC-EEG) continues to play a critical role in the assessment of patients with medically intractable localization-related epilepsy. There has been minimal change in grid or electrode design in the last 15–20 years, and the surgical approaches for implantation are unchanged. Intracranial monitoring using EEG allows detailed definition of the region of ictal onset and defines the epileptogenic zone, particularly with regard to adjacent potentially eloquent tissue. Recent developments of IC-EEG include the coregistration of functional imaging data such as magnetoencephalography to the frameless navigation systems. Despite significant inherent limitations that are often overlooked, IC-EEG remains the gold standard for localization of the epileptogenic cortex. Intracranial electrodes take a variety of different forms and may be placed either in the subdural (subdural strips and grids, depth electrodes) or extradural spaces (sphenoidal, peg, and epidural electrodes). Each form has its own advantages and shortcomings but extensive subdural implantation of electrodes is most common and is most comprehensively discussed. The indications for intracranial electrodes are reviewed.

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Use of the scapular spine in lumbar fusion procedures: cadaveric feasibility study

Laboratory Investigation

R. Shane Tubbs, Christopher T. Wartmann, Robert G. Louis Jr., Mohammadali M. Shoja, Jason Cormier, and Marios Loukas


Graft sources for lumbar fusion include synthetic materials, donor grafts, and autologous bone such as the iliac crest. Considering the data indicating that autologous bone grafts generate the best results for fusion, the next logical step is to seek alternative donor sites in an attempt to reduce the complications associated with these procedures. To the authors' knowledge, autologous scapula has not been explored as a potential source for posterior lumbar fusion graft material. Therefore, the following study was performed to verify the utility of this bone in these procedures.


Six adult cadavers (mean age 71 years), four formalin-fixed and two fresh specimens, were used in this study. With the cadaver in the prone position, an incision was made over the spine of the scapula. Soft tissues were stripped from the middle of this region of the scapula, and bone segments were removed with a bone saw and used for a posterior lumbar fusion procedure.


A mean length of 11.5 cm was measured for the spine of the scapula and the mean thicknesses of this bone at its medial part, segment just medial to the spinoglenoid notch, and acromion were 1 cm, 2.2 cm, and 2.5 cm, respectively. No obvious injury to surrounding vessels or nerves was found using this procedure, and adequate fusion was achieved with it.


Following clinical testing, such a bone substitute as autologous scapular spine might be a reasonable alternative to iliac crest grafts for use in posterior lumbar fusion procedures.