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Feng Xu, Hai Jin, Xingwang Yang, Xiao Sun, Yu Wang, Mengting Xu, and Yingqun Tao

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to determine whether a modified registration method could reduce registration error and postoperative electrode vector error and to analyze the method’s clinical significance in deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery.

METHODS

The first part of the study involved a skull model, in which three registration methods were tested using the ROSA (robotic stereotactic assistance) system. In the second part, four registration methods were clinically tested in patients undergoing DBS surgery using the ROSA system. Thirty-three patients (65 sides, group I) underwent the conventional registration method 2E, and registration errors were recorded. Thirty-eight patients (75 sides, group II) underwent four types of modified registration methods including 2A, 2B, 2C, and 2D. Registration and electrode vector errors, intraoperative electrophysiological signal length (IESL), and DBS power-on voltage were recorded. The primary measure of efficacy was the change in the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) and UPDRS Part III scores from baseline to 10 weeks after surgery.

RESULTS

In the skull model, the registration error (mean ± SD) was 0.56 ± 0.11 mm for method 1A, 0.35 ± 0.11 mm for method 1B (vs. 1A, p < 0.001), and 0.90 ± 0.15 mm for method 1C (vs. 1A, p < 0.001). In the clinical study, method 2C was selected for DBS surgery in group II since it had the smallest registration error among the four methods tested. The registration error was 0.62 ± 0.22 mm (mean ± SD) for group I and 0.27 ± 0.07 mm for group II (p < 0.001). Postoperative electrode vector error was 0.97 ± 0.31 mm for group I and 0.65 ± 0.23 mm for group II (p < 0.001). There was a positive correlation between registration error and electrode vector error in both groups (group I: r = 0.69, p < 0.001; group II: r = 0.71, p < 0.001). The mean IESL was 5.0 ± 0.9 mm in group I and 5.8 ± 0.7 mm in group II (p < 0.001). The mean DBS power-on voltage was 1.63 ± 0.44 V in group I and 1.48 ± 0.38 V in group II (p = 0.027). In the UPDRS score, group I showed 50% ± 16% improvement and group II showed 52% ± 18% improvement (p = 0.724); there was no statistically significant difference in improvement on the UPDRS.

CONCLUSIONS

In DBS surgery assisted by the ROSA system, registration error and electrode vector error showed a positive correlation. The modified registration method could reduce the registration error and electrode vector error, but the long-term effects need to be further observed and evaluated.

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Xu Bang-Zong, Pan Hong-Xue, Li Ke-Ming, Chen Xi-Jin, Tian Ying-Dei, Li Yong-Lin, and Liu Jian

✓ A biomembrane was developed from pig peritoneum treated with 0.65% glutaraldehyde. This was evaluated for use as a dural substitute in an animal model and in a patient population. After being treated with the glutaraldehyde solution, the biomembrane lost its antigenicity while its collagen underwent an irreversible cross-linking reaction, causing it to become a stable nonviable polymer resistant to absorption by the host. The biomembrane was used experimentally in 43 procedures on 20 dogs and was applied clinically in 614 patients. The results demonstrated that it is an acceptable material for the repair of dural defects, with the following advantages: 1) it is nontoxic to the body and brain tissues, with minimal tissue reaction; 2) its biophysical properties facilitate watertight closure with sutures; 3) its distensibility makes it suitable for decompressive surgical dural repair; and 4) its visceral surface is extremely smooth, causing virtually no adhesions with the brain tissue while the outer surface readily heals with the subcutaneous tissue.

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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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Yun-Tao Lu, Song-Tao Qi, Jia-Ming Xu, Jun Pan, and Jin Shi

OBJECT

This study aimed to identify the membranous septation between the adeno- and neurohypophysis. The clinical impact of this septation in the surgical removal of infradiaphragmatic craniopharyngioma (Id-CP) is also clarified.

METHODS

The sellar regions from 8 fetal and 6 adult cadavers were dissected. After staining first with H & E and then with picro-Sirius red, the membranous structures were observed and measured under normal light and polarization microscopy. The pre- and postsurgical images and intraoperative procedures in 28 cases of childhood Id-CP were reviewed and analyzed.

RESULTS

There is a significant membranous septation (termed the adenoneurohypophysis septation [ANHS]) lying behind the intermediate lobe to separate the adeno- and neurohypophysis. The average thicknesses are 21.9 ± 16.9 μm and 79.1 ± 43.2 μm in fetal and adult heads, respectively. The median segment of the septation is significantly thicker than the upper and lower segments. The ANHS extends from the suprasellar pars tuberalis to the sellar floor, where it is fused with the pituitary capsule. During Id-CP surgery performed via a transcranial approach, the ANHS can be identified to reserve the neurohypophysis. Moreover, by understanding the anatomy of this membrane, the pituitary stalk was preserved in 3 patients (10.7%).

CONCLUSIONS

There is a significant membrane separating the anterior and posterior lobes of the pituitary gland, which lies behind the intermediate lobe. Understanding the anatomy of this septation is important for identifying and preserving the neurohypophysis and pituitary stalk during Id-CP surgery.

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Yuan Zhu, Qun Wu, Jin-Fang Xu, Dorothea Miller, I. Erol Sandalcioglu, Jian-Min Zhang, and Ulrich Sure

Object

Loss-of-function mutations in CCM genes are frequently detected in familial cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs). However, the current functional studies of the CCM genes in vitro have been performed mostly in commercially purchased normal cell lines and the results appeared discrepant. The fact that the cerebral vascular defects are rarely observed in CCM gene-deficient animals suggests the requirement of additional pathological background for the formation of vascular lesions. Consistent with these data, the authors assumed that silencing CCM genes in the endothelium derived from CCMs (CCM-ECs) serves as a unique and valuable model for investigating the function of the CCM genes in the pathogenesis of CCMs. To this end, the authors investigated the role and signaling of CCM2 and CCM3 in the key steps of angiogenesis using CCM-ECs.

Methods

Endothelial cells (ECs) derived from CCMs were isolated, purified, and cultured from the fresh operative specimens of sporadic CCMs (31 cases). The CCM2 and CCM3 genes were silenced by the specific short interfering RNAs in CCM-ECs and in control cultures (human brain microvascular ECs and human umbilical vein ECs). The efficiency of gene silencing was proven by real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Cell proliferation and apoptosis, migration, tube formation, and the expression of phosphor-p38, phosphor-Akt, and phosphor-extracellular signal-regulated kinase–1 and 2 (ERK1/2) were analyzed under CCM2 and CCM3 silenced conditions in CCM-ECs.

Results

The CCM3 silencing significantly promoted proliferation and reduced apoptosis in all 3 types of endothelium, but accelerated cell migration exclusively in CCM-ECs. Interestingly, CCM2 siRNA influenced neither cell proliferation nor migration. Silencing of CCM3, and to a lesser extent CCM2, stimulated the growth and extension of sprouts selectively in CCM-ECs. Loss of CCM2 or CCM3 did not significantly influence the formation of the tubelike structure. However, the maintenance of tube stability was largely impaired by CCM2, but not CCM3, silencing. Western blot analysis revealed that CCM2 and CCM3 silencing commonly activated p38, Akt, and ERK1/2 in CCM-ECs.

Conclusions

The unique response of CCM-ECs to CCM2 or CCM3 siRNA indicates that silencing CCM genes in CCM-ECs is valuable for further studies on the pathogenesis of CCMs. Using this model system, the authors demonstrate a distinct role of CCM2 and CCM3 in modulating the different processes of angiogenesis. The stimulation of endothelial proliferation, migration, and massively growing and branching angiogenic sprouts after CCM3 silencing may potentially contribute to the formation of enriched capillary-like immature vessels in CCM lesions. The severe impairment of the tube integrity by CCM2, but not CCM3, silencing is associated with the different intracranial hemorrhage rate observed from CCM2 and CCM3 mutation carriers. The activation of p38, ERK1/2, and Akt signal proteins in CCM2- or CCM3-silenced CCM-ECs suggests a possible involvement of these common pathways in the pathogenesis of CCMs. However, the specific signaling mediating the distinct function of CCM genes in the pathogenesis of CCMs needs to be further elucidated.

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Xing Wu, Jin Hu, Liangfu Zhou, Ying Mao, Bojie Yang, Liang Gao, Rong Xie, Feng Xu, Dong Zhang, Jun Liu, and Jianhong Zhu

Object

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been shown to migrate toward tumors, but their distribution pattern in gliomas has not been completely portrayed. The primary purpose of the study was to assay the tropism capacity of MSCs to gliomas, to delineate the pattern of MSC distribution in gliomas after systemic injection, and to track the migration and incorporation of magnetically labeled MSCs using 1.5-T magnetic resonance (MR) imaging.

Methods

The MSCs from Fischer 344 rats were colabeled with superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIO) and enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP). The tropism capacity of MSCs was quantitatively assayed in vitro using the Transwell system. To track the migration of MSCs in vivo, MR imaging was performed both 7 and 14 days after systemic administration of labeled MSCs. After MR imaging, the distribution patterns of MSCs in rats with gliomas were examined using Prussian blue and fluorescence staining.

Results

The in vitro study showed that MSCs possessed significantly greater migratory capacity than fibroblast cells (p < 0.001) and that lysis of F98 glioma cells and cultured F98 cells showed a greater capacity to induce migration of cells than other stimuli (p < 0.05). Seven days after MSC transplantation, the SPIO–EGFP colabeled cells were distributed throughout the tumor, where a well-defined dark hypointense region was represented on gradient echo sequences. After 14 days, most of the colabeled MSCs were found at the border between the tumor and normal parenchyma, which was represented on gradient echo sequences as diluted amorphous dark areas at the edge of the tumors.

Conclusions

This study demonstrated that systemically transplanted MSCs migrate toward gliomas with high specificity in a temporal–spatial pattern, which can be tracked using MR imaging.

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Michael C. Jin, Bina Kakusa, Seul Ku, Silvia D. Vaca, Linda W. Xu, Juliet Nalwanga, Joel Kiryabwire, Hussein Ssenyonjo, John Mukasa, Michael Muhumuza, Anthony T. Fuller, Michael M. Haglund, and Gerald A. Grant

OBJECTIVE

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of mortality and morbidity in Uganda and other low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Due to the difficulty of long-term in-person follow-up, there is a paucity of literature on longitudinal outcomes of TBI in LMICs. Using a scalable phone-centered survey, this study attempted to investigate factors associated with both mortality and quality of life in Ugandan patients with TBI.

METHODS

A prospective registry of adult patients with TBI admitted to the neurosurgical ward at Mulago National Referral Hospital was assembled. Long-term follow-up was conducted between 10.4 and 30.5 months after discharge (median 18.6 months). Statistical analyses included univariable and multivariable logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards regression to elucidate factors associated with mortality and long-term recovery.

RESULTS

A total of 1274 adult patients with TBI were included, of whom 302 (23.7%) died as inpatients. Patients who died as inpatients received surgery less frequently (p < 0.001), had more severe TBI at presentation (p < 0.001), were older (p < 0.001), and were more likely to be female (p < 0.0001). Patients presenting with TBI resulting from assault were at reduced risk of inpatient death compared with those presenting with TBI caused by road traffic accidents (OR 0.362, 95% CI 0.128–0.933). Inpatient mortality and postdischarge mortality prior to follow-up were 23.7% and 9%, respectively. Of those discharged, 60.8% were reached through phone interviews. Higher Glasgow Coma Scale score at discharge (continuous HR 0.71, 95% CI 0.53–0.94) was associated with improved long-term survival. Tracheostomy (HR 4.38, 95% CI 1.05–16.7) and older age (continuous HR 1.03, 95% CI 1.009–1.05) were associated with poor long-term outcomes. More than 15% of patients continued to suffer from TBI sequelae years after the initial injury, including seizures (6.1%) and depression (10.0%). Despite more than 60% of patients seeking follow-up healthcare visits, mortality was still 9% among discharged patients, suggesting a need for improved longitudinal care to monitor recovery progress.

CONCLUSIONS

Inpatient and postdischarge mortality remain high following admission to Uganda’s main tertiary hospital with the diagnosis of TBI. Furthermore, posttraumatic sequelae, including seizures and depression, continue to burden patients years after discharge. Effective scalable solutions, including phone interviews, are needed to elucidate and address factors limiting in-hospital capacity and access to follow-up healthcare.