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Johannes Woitzik and Lothar Schilling

Object

Selective intraarterial drug delivery is used to achieve enhanced local uptake with reduced systemic side effects. In the present paper the authors describe and characterize a new microcatheter-based model of superselective perfusion of the middle cerebral artery (MCA) in rats combined with blockade of blood flow through the MCA.

Methods

Selectivity of administration was shown by infusion of Evans blue which diffusely stained the MCA territory, indicating an increased permeability of the blood–brain barrier during the blockade of blood flow to the MCA. Perfusion of autologous blood through the microcatheter resulted in a flow rate–related increase in the cerebral blood flow measured by laser Doppler flowmetry. Similarly, infusion of an artificial O2 carrier, Oxycyte, was accompanied by an increase in tissue oxygenation as measured using a Licox sensor. Blockade of blood flow to the MCA with the new microcatheter for an extended period of time resulted in the development of ischemia, which was comparable to that induced by intravascular occlusion using a silicone-coated thread. In a 24-hour MCA occlusion model, selective administration of a low dose of MK-801 (0.3 mg/kg body weight) resulted in a significantly smaller infarct volume than systemic application (339 ± 53 mm3 compared with 508 ± 26 mm3, p < 0.001).

Conclusions

This new model of superselective MCA infusion is a valuable tool for investigating the effect of selective delivery and enhanced drug uptake into cerebral ischemic tissue. Without constant blockade of blood flow through the MCA it may also be useful for enhanced drug uptake, gene transfer, or application of stem cells in other neuro-pathological conditions.

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Johannes Woitzik, Peter Horn, Peter Vajkoczy and Peter Schmiedek

Object. Recently, intraoperative fluorescence angiography in which indocyanine green (ICG) is used as a tracer has been introduced as a novel technique to confirm successful aneurysm clipping. The aim of the present study was to assess whether ICG videoangiography is also suitable for intraoperative confirmation of extracranial—intracranial bypass patency.

Methods. Forty patients undergoing cerebral revascularization for hemodynamic cerebral ischemia (11 patients), moyamoya disease (18 patients), or complex intracranial aneurysms (11 patients) were included. Superficial temporal artery (STA)—middle cerebral artery (MCA) bypass surgery was performed 35 times in 30 patients (five patients with moyamoya underwent bilateral procedures), STA—posterior cerebral artery bypass surgery in two patients, and saphenous vein (SV) high-flow bypass surgery in eight patients. In each patient, following the completion of the anastomosis, ICG (0.3 mg/kg body weight) was given systemically via an intravenous bolus injection. A near-infrared light emitted by laser diodes was used to illuminate the operating field and the intravascular fluorescence was recorded using an optical filter—equipped video camera. The findings of ICG videoangiography were compared with those of postoperative digital subtraction (DS) or computerized tomography (CT) angiography.

In all cases excellent visualization of cerebral arteries, the bypass graft, and brain perfusion was noted. Indocyanine green videoangiography was used to identify four nonfunctioning STA—MCA bypasses, which could be revised successfully in all cases. In two cases of SV high-flow bypasses, ICG videoangiography revealed stenosis at the proximal anastomotic site, which was also revised successfully. In all cases the final findings of ICG videoangiography could be positively validated during the postoperative course by performing DS or CT angiography.

Conclusions. Indocyanine green videoangiography provides a reliable and rapid intraoperative assessment of bypass patency. Thus, ICG videoangiography may help reduce the incidence of early bypass graft failure.

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Jochen Tuettenberg, Johannes Woitzik, Leonie Siegel and Claudius Thomé

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Simon Heinrich Bayerl, Florian Pöhlmann, Tobias Finger, Jörg Franke, Johannes Woitzik and Peter Vajkoczy

OBJECTIVE

Microsurgical decompression (MD) in patients with lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) shows good clinical results. Nevertheless, 30%–40% of patients do not have a significant benefit after surgery—probably due to different anatomical preconditions. The sagittal profile types (SPTs 1–4) defined by Roussouly based on different spinopelvic parameters have been shown to influence spinal degeneration and surgical results. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of the SPT on the clinical outcome in patients with LSS who were treated with MD.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively investigated 100 patients with LSS who received MD. The patients were subdivided into 4 groups depending on their SPT, which was determined from preoperative lateral spinal radiographs. The authors analyzed pre- and postoperative outcome scales, including the visual analog scale (VAS), walking distance, Oswestry Disability Index, Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire, Odom’s criteria, and the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey score.

RESULTS

Patients with SPT 1 showed a significantly worse clinical outcome concerning their postoperative back pain (VASback-SPT 1 = 5.4 ± 2.8; VASback-SPT 2 = 2.6 ± 1.9; VASback-SPT 3 = 2.9 ± 2.6; VASback-SPT 4 = 1.5 ± 2.5) and back pain–related disability. Only 43% were satisfied with their surgical results, compared with 70%–80% in the other groups.

CONCLUSIONS

A small pelvic incidence with reduced compensation mechanisms, a distinct lordosis in the lower lumbar spine with a high load on dorsal structures, and a long thoracolumbar kyphosis with a high axial load might lead to worse back pain after MD. Therefore, the indication for MD should be provided carefully, fusion can be considered, and other possible reasons for back pain should be thoroughly evaluated and treated.

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Nils Hecht, Johannes Woitzik, Jens P. Dreier and Peter Vajkoczy

Object

Currently, reliable low-cost and noninvasive techniques to assess cerebral perfusion in the operating room are not available. The authors report on their first clinical experience with laser speckle contrast analysis (LASCA) as a complementary imaging tool for the noninvasive and dynamic assessment of cerebral blood flow (CBF) during neurovascular surgery. The purpose of this preliminary study was to address the general feasibility of LASCA in terms of handling and image quality and to provide an example of its clinical implications.

Methods

Laser speckle contrast analysis was performed in patients undergoing cerebral revascularization procedures for the treatment of hemodynamic compromise and complex aneurysms. The portable LASCA device was centered over the surgical field, and continuous 5-minute recordings of relative CBF were obtained. In the case of flow augmentation for hemodynamic compromise, CBF monitoring was performed before and after completion of the anastomosis. In the case of flow replacement for parent artery sacrifice, CBF monitoring was performed during consecutive 30-second test occlusions of the radial artery graft after proximal internal carotid artery sacrifice and the subsequent initiation of blood flow through the bypass.

Results

In all cases, the authors achieved good visualization of relative CBF in addition to flow imaging in both the bypass graft and the cortical vasculature. During a sudden CBF decrease after test occlusion of the radial artery graft and subsequent flow initiation through the bypass, LASCA allowed immediate visualization and measurement of relative CBF in excellent spatiotemporal resolution.

Conclusions

In this study LASCA offered noninvasive and rapid intraoperative assessment of relative CBF, which can be used for optimizing neurovascular procedures.

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Marcus Czabanka, Julien Haemmerli, Nils Hecht, Bettina Foehre, Klaus Arden, Thomas Liebig, Johannes Woitzik and Peter Vajkoczy

OBJECTIVE

Spinal navigation techniques for surgical fixation of unstable C1–2 pathologies are challenged by complex osseous and neurovascular anatomy, instability of the pathology, and unreliable preoperative registration techniques. An intraoperative CT scanner with autoregistration of C-1 and C-2 promises sufficient accuracy of spinal navigation without the need for further registration procedures. The aim of this study was to analyze the accuracy and reliability of posterior C1–2 fixation using intraoperative mobile CT scanner–guided navigation.

METHODS

In the period from July 2014 to February 2016, 10 consecutive patients with instability of C1–2 underwent posterior fixation using C-2 pedicle screws and C-1 lateral mass screws, and 2 patients underwent posterior fixation from C-1 to C-3. Spinal navigation was performed using intraoperative mobile CT. Following navigated screw insertion in C-1 and C-2, intraoperative CT was repeated to check for the accuracy of screw placement. In this study, the accuracy of screw positioning was retrospectively analyzed and graded by an independent observer.

RESULTS

The authors retrospectively analyzed the records of 10 females and 2 males, with a mean age of 80.7 ± 4.95 years (range 42–90 years). Unstable pathologies, which were verified by fracture dislocation or by flexion/extension radiographs, included 8 Anderson Type II fractures, 1 unstable Anderson Type III fracture, 1 hangman fracture Levine Effendi Ia, 1 complex hangman-Anderson Type III fracture, and 1 destructive rheumatoid arthritis of C1–2. In 4 patients, critical anatomy was observed: high-riding vertebral artery (3 patients) and arthritis-induced partial osseous destruction of the C-1 lateral mass (1 patient). A total of 48 navigated screws were placed. Correct screw positioning was observed in 47 screws (97.9%). Minor pedicle breach was observed in 1 screw (2.1%). No screw displacement occurred (accuracy rate 97.9%).

CONCLUSION

Spinal navigation using intraoperative mobile CT scanning was reliable and safe for posterior fixation in unstable C1–2 pathologies with high accuracy in this patient series.

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Vincent Prinz, Simon Bayerl, Nora Renz, Andrej Trampuz, Marcus Czabanka, Johannes Woitzik, Peter Vajkoczy and Tobias Finger

OBJECTIVE

Loosening of pedicle screws is a frequent complication after spinal surgery. Implant colonization with low-virulent microorganisms forming biofilms may cause implant loosening. However, the clinical evidence of this mechanism is lacking. Here, the authors evaluated the potential role of microbial colonization using sonication in patients with clinical pedicle screw loosening but without signs of infection.

METHODS

All consecutive patients undergoing hardware removal between January 2015 and December 2017, including patients with screw loosening but without clinical signs of infection, were evaluated. The removed hardware was investigated using sonication.

RESULTS

A total of 82 patients with a mean (± SD) patient age of 65 ± 13 years were eligible for evaluation. Of the 54 patients with screw loosening, 22 patients (40.7%) had a positive sonication result. None of the 28 patients without screw loosening who served as a control cohort showed a positive sonication result (p < 0.01). In total, 24 microorganisms were detected in those 22 patients. The most common isolated microorganisms were coagulase-negative staphylococci (62.5%) and Cutibacterium acnes (formerly known as Propionibacterium acnes) (25%). When comparing only the patients with screw loosening, the duration of the previous spine surgery was significantly longer in patients with a positive microbiological result (288 ± 147 minutes) than in those with a negative result (201 ± 103 minutes) (p = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS

The low-virulent microorganisms frequently detected on pedicle screws by using sonication may be an important cause of implant loosening and failure. Longer surgical duration increases the likelihood of implant colonization with subsequent screw loosening. Sonication is a highly sensitive approach to detect biofilm-producing bacteria, and it needs to be integrated into the clinical routine for optimized treatment strategies.

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Jochen Tuettenberg, Marcus Czabanka, Peter Horn, Johannes Woitzik, Martin Barth, Claudius Thomé, Peter Vajkoczy, Peter Schmiedek and Elke Muench

Object

Several approaches have been established for the treatment of intracranial hypertension; however, a considerable number of patients remain unresponsive to even aggressive therapeutic strategies. Lumbar CSF drainage has been contraindicated in the setting of increased intracranial pressure (ICP) because of possible cerebral herniation. The authors of this study investigated the efficacy and safety of controlled lumbar CSF drainage in patients suffering from intracranial hypertension following severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) or aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).

Methods

The authors prospectively evaluated 100 patients—45 with TBI and 55 with SAH—having a mean age of 43.7 ± 15.7 years (mean ± SD) and suffering from refractory intracranial hypertension (ICP > 20 mm Hg). Intracranial pressure and cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP) before and after the initiation of lumbar CSF drainage as well as related complications were documented. Patient outcomes were assessed 6 months after injury.

Results

The application of lumbar CSF drainage led to a significant reduction in ICP from 32.7 ± 10.9 to 13.4 ± 5.9 mm Hg (p < 0.05) and an increase in CPP from 70.6 ± 18.2 to 86.2 ± 15.4 mm Hg (p < 0.05). Cerebral herniation with a lethal outcome occurred in 6% of patients. Thirty-six patients had a favorable outcome, 12 were severely disabled, 7 remained in a persistent vegetative state, and 45 died.

Conclusions

Lumbar drainage of CSF led to a significant and clinically relevant reduction in ICP. The risk of cerebral herniation can be minimized by performing lumbar drainage only in cases with discernible basal cisterns.

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Serge C. Thal, Sonja Sporer, Mariusz Klopotowski, Simone E. Thal, Johannes Woitzik, Robert Schmid-Elsaesser, Nikolaus Plesnila and Stefan Zausinger

Object

Global cerebral edema is an independent risk factor for early death and poor outcome after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). In the present study, the time course of brain edema formation, neurological deficits, and neuronal cell loss were investigated in the rat filament SAH model.

Methods

Brain water content and neurological deficits were determined in rats randomized to sham (1-, 24-, or 48-hour survival), SAH by endovascular perforation (1-, 24-, or 48-hour survival), or no surgery (control). The neuronal cell count (CA1–3) was quantified in a separate set of SAH (6-, 24-, 48-, or 72-hour survival) and shamoperated animals.

Results

Brain water content increased significantly 24 (80.2 ± 0.4% [SAH] vs 79.2 ± 0.1% [sham]) and 48 hours (79.8 ± 0.2% [SAH] vs 79.3 ± 0.1% [sham]) after SAH. The neuroscore was significantly worse after SAH (33 ± 15 [24 hours after SAH] vs 0 ± 0 points [sham]) and correlated with the extent of brain edema formation (r = 0.96, p < 0.001). No hippocampal damage was present up to 72 hours after SAH.

Conclusions

Brain water content and neurological dysfunction reached a maximum at 24 hours after SAH. This time point, therefore, seems to be optimal to test the effects of therapeutic interventions on brain edema formation. Neuronal cell loss was not present in CA1–3 up to 72 hours of SAH. Therefore, morphological damage needs to be evaluated at later time points.