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Samuel R. Browd, Jacob Zauberman, Mahesh Karandikar, Jeffery G. Ojemann, Anthony M. Avellino and Richard G. Ellenbogen


The authors report their experience with a novel flexible fiber capable of transmitting CO2 laser energy during spinal cord tumor resection and detethering.


A fiber optic system capable of transmitting CO2 laser energy was used in the detethering of the spinal cord in 3 cases. The first case involved a 9-year-old girl with a terminal lipoma. The second case was an 11-month-old boy with a thoracic intramedullary dermoid and dermal sinus tract. The third case involved a 13-year-old girl suffering from a tethered spinal cord subsequent to a previously repaired myelomeningocele.


In all 3 cases, the new fiber CO2 laser technology allowed the surgeon to perform microsurgical dissection while sparing adjacent neurovascular structures without time-consuming setup. The system was easy to implement, more ergonomic than previous technologies, and safe. The CO2 laser provided the ability to cut and coagulate while sparing adjacent tissue because of minimal energy dispersion and ease of use, without the articulating arms involved in the prior generation of lasers.


Using a flexible fiber to conduct CO2 laser energy allows accurate microneurosurgical dissection and renders this instrument a high-precision and ergonomic surgical tool in the setting of spinal cord detethering.

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Michael Kogan, David J. Caldwell, Shahin Hakimian, Kurt E. Weaver, Andrew L. Ko and Jeffery G. Ojemann


Electrocorticography is an indispensable tool in identifying the epileptogenic zone in the presurgical evaluation of many epilepsy patients. Traditional electrocorticographic features (spikes, ictal onset changes, and recently high-frequency oscillations [HFOs]) rely on the presence of transient features that occur within or near epileptogenic cortex. Here the authors report on a novel corticography feature of epileptogenic cortex—covariation of high-gamma and beta frequency band power profiles. Band-limited power was measured from each recording site based on native physiological signal differences without relying on clinical ictal or interictal epileptogenic features. In this preliminary analysis, frequency windowed power correlation appears to be a specific marker of the epileptogenic zone. The authors’ overall aim was to validate this observation with the location of the eventual resection and outcome.


The authors conducted a retrospective analysis of 13 adult patients who had undergone electrocorticography for surgical planning at their center. They quantified the correlation of high-gamma (70–200 Hz) and beta (12–18 Hz) band frequency power per electrode site during a cognitive task. They used a sliding window method to correlate the power of smoothed, Hilbert-transformed high-gamma and beta bands. They then compared positive and negative correlations between power in the high-gamma and beta bands in the setting of a hand versus a tongue motor task as well as within the resting state. Significant positive correlations were compared to surgically resected areas and outcomes based on reviewed records.


Positive high-gamma and beta correlations appeared to predict the area of eventual resection and, preliminarily, surgical outcome independent of spike detection. In general, patients with the best outcomes had well-localized positive correlations (high-gamma and beta activities) to areas of eventual resection, while those with poorer outcomes displayed more diffuse patterns.


Data in this study suggest that positive high-gamma and beta correlations independent of any behavioral metric may have clinical applicability in surgical decision-making. Further studies are needed to evaluate the clinical potential of this methodology. Additional work is also needed to relate these results to other methods, such as HFO detection or connectivity with other cortical areas.