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Wei Pan, Jia-li Zhao, Jin Xu, Ming Zhang, Tao Fang, Jing Yan, Xin-hong Wang, and Quan Zhou

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to compare the preoperative radiographic features of degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis (DLS) with and without local coronal imbalance (LCI) and to investigate the surgical outcomes of transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) in the treatment of DLS with LCI at the spondylolisthesis level. DLS with scoliotic disc wedging and/or lateral listhesis at the same involved segment, as well as LCI, constitutes a distinct subgroup. However, previous studies concerning surgical outcomes focused mainly on sagittal profiles. There is a paucity of valid data regarding lumbar coronal alignment and patient-reported outcomes (PROs) after surgery in DLS with LCI.

METHODS

The authors reviewed consecutive patients who received TLIF for L4/5 DLS between 2009 and 2018. Patients were assigned to the LCI and non-LCI groups based on preoperative radiographs. Demographics, radiographic parameters related to both sagittal and coronal alignment, and PROs were compared between the 2 groups.

RESULTS

There were 21 patients in the LCI and 80 in the non-LCI group. Compared with the non-LCI group, the LCI group was characterized by lower preoperative lumbar lordosis on sagittal alignment (38.3° vs 43.7°, p < 0.05), higher lumbar Cobb angle on coronal alignment (12.4° vs 5.1°, p < 0.05), and worse lumbar coronal balance (18.5 mm vs 6.8 mm, p < 0.05). After surgery, lumbar alignment in the sagittal and coronal planes was significantly improved in the LCI group, whereas no significant changes occurred in the non-LCI group. Scores on the preoperative Oswestry Disability Index and the visual analog scale for back pain and leg pain scores were significantly higher in the LCI group, whereas no differences were found between the 2 groups in the postoperative evaluation (p > 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

DLS with LCI constitutes a distinct subgroup characterized by coronal malalignment and loss of whole lumbar lordosis, which may result in worse PROs. The TLIF procedure allows the reconstruction of the coronal and sagittal lumbar profile and achievement of satisfactory PROs.

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Er-Bao Bian, Jia Li, and Bing Zhao

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Qing Li, Beibei Liu, Yue Zhao, Yumei Liu, Mingjie Gao, Lingyun Jia, Liqun Jiao, and Yang Hua

OBJECTIVE

The mechanism of carotid endarterectomy (CEA) restenosis remains unclear. Our research aimed to investigate the relationship between the carotid plaque grayscale median (GSM) value and restenosis after CEA.

METHODS

Between January 2010 and January 2018, 1280 consecutive patients underwent CEA at our institution; 32 patients were diagnosed with restenosis by ultrasound at 1 year after CEA. The correlations between plaque GSM, plaque echogenicity, clinical manifestations, shunting, and restenosis were analyzed.

RESULTS

In total, 829 patients were ultimately enrolled; 32 (4%) presented diagnoses of restenosis (mean age 67.3 ± 8.0 years, 81.2% men). The GSM value was lower in the restenosis group (68.1 ± 19.9 vs 59.9 ± 14.7, p = 0.02). After multiple logistic regression analysis, the GSM value was found to be an independent risk factor for restenosis (OR 0.976, 95% CI 0.957–0.995). Shunting was another significant independent risk factor for restenosis (OR 2.39, 95% CI 1.07–5.34). The GSM cutoff value for predicting restenosis was 75 (sensitivity 0.38, specificity 0.84, area under the curve 0.62). We separated the patients into 2 groups by GSM (GSM ≤ 75 and GSM > 75 subgroups). Comparison of the 2 groups indicated that symptomatic manifestation was related to restenosis in the subgroup with GSM ≤ 75, indicating predominantly echolucent plaques, but not in the subgroup with GSM > 75, indicating predominantly echogenic plaques.

CONCLUSIONS

Predominantly echolucent carotid plaques, as measured by GSM, had a higher restenosis risk at 1 year than echogenic plaques.