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Nam Ik Cho, Chang Ju Hwang, Ho Yeon Kim, Jong-Min Baik, Youn Suk Joo, Choon Sung Lee, Mi Young Lee, So Jeong Yoon, and Dong-Ho Lee

OBJECTIVE

The need for scoliosis screening remains controversial. Nationwide school screening for scoliosis has not been performed in South Korea, and there are few studies on the referral patterns of patients suspected of having scoliosis. This study aimed to examine the referral patterns to the largest scoliosis center in South Korea in the absence of a school screening program and to analyze the factors that influence the appropriateness of referral.

METHODS

The medical records of patients who visited a single scoliosis center for a spinal deformity evaluation were reviewed. Among 1895 new patients who visited this scoliosis center between April 2014 and March 2016, 1211 with presumed adolescent idiopathic scoliosis were included in the study. Patients were classified into 4 groups according to the referral method: non–health care provider, primary physician, hospital specialist, or school screening program. The appropriateness of referral was labeled as inappropriate, late, or appropriate. In total, 213 of 1211 patients were excluded because they had received treatment at another medical facility; 998 patients were evaluated to determine the appropriateness of referral.

RESULTS

Of the 998 referrals of new patients with presumed adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, 162 (16.2%) were classified as an inappropriate referral, 272 (27.3%) were classified as a late referral, and 564 (56.5%) were classified as an appropriate referral. Age, sex, Cobb angle of the major curve, and skeletal maturity were identified as statistically significant factors that correlated with the appropriateness of referral. The referral method did not correlate with the appropriateness of referral.

CONCLUSIONS

Under the current health care system in South Korea, a substantial number of patients with presumed adolescent idiopathic scoliosis are referred either late or inappropriately to a tertiary medical center. Although patients referred by school screening programs had a significantly lower late referral rate and higher appropriate referral rate than the other 3 groups, the referral method was not a significant factor in terms of the appropriateness of referral.

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Eun Ju Lee, Hyun Joo Lee, Min Kyung Hyun, Ji Eun Choi, Jong Hee Kim, Na Rae Lee, Jin Seub Hwang, and Jin-Won Kwon

Object

The authors investigated the rupture rate among patients with untreated unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs) in South Korea during 2006–2009.

Methods

A longitudinal study using national representative health-claim data, including all hospital records for every Korean citizen, was used. Patients with a UIA who were 18–80 years old in 2006 were identified using the I67.1 ICD-10 code. To select eligible patients, a historical period of 1 year prior to the first diagnosis of a UIA in 2006 was utilized. Patients with a previous UIA diagnosis, subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), or treatments, such as clipping or coiling, during the historical period were excluded from analysis. Patients with head trauma or a brain tumor during the historical period were also excluded. Eligible patients were followed up for at least 3 years from the index date. Rupture was defined as SAH events with at least 14 days of hospitalization, using the I60 ICD-10 code and excluding the I60.8 code, or death within 14 days of hospitalization.

Results

Seven thousand four hundred four patients with UIAs were identified, including 1441 treated patients (20%) and 5963 untreated patients (80%), with a median follow-up of 3.3 years. Rupture events occurred in 163 (0.9 cases/100 person-years) of the 5963 untreated patients. The rupture rate was highest in the 1st year after UIA diagnosis. An older age was a risk factor for rupture among patients with UIAs.

Conclusions

The overview of the incidence of rupture indicates the need for a preventive strategy and future studies to prevent rupture in Asian patients with UIAs.

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Bum Joon Kim, Joo Y. Kwon, Jin-Man Jung, Deok Hee Lee, Dong-Wha Kang, Jong S. Kim, and Sun U. Kwon

Object

Endovascular procedures are one of the important treatment options for steno-occlusive arteries in ischemic stroke patients. However, embolic complications after such procedures are always a concern. The authors investigated the association between serial change of residual platelet reactivity and silent embolic cerebral infarction (SECI) after endovascular treatment.

Methods

Ischemic stroke patients undergoing stenting of intra- or extracranial arteries were recruited prospectively. Residual platelet reactivity, represented by aspirin reaction units (ARUs) and P2Y12 reaction units (PRUs), was measured serially (6 hours before, immediately after, and 24 hours after the procedure). A loading dosage of aspirin (500 mg) and/or clopidogrel (300 mg) was given 24 hours before the procedure to patients naïve to antiplatelet agents, whereas the usual dosage (aspirin 100 mg and clopidogrel 75 mg) was continued for patients who had previously been taking these agents for more than a week. Diffusion-weighted MRI was performed before and 24 hours after the procedure to detect new SECIs. Clinical characteristics, baseline ARU and PRU values, and the change in ARU and PRU values after stenting were compared between patients with and without SECIs.

Results

Among 69 consecutive patients who underwent neurovascular stent insertion, 41 patients (59.4%) had poststenting SECIs. The lesion was located only at the vascular territory of the stented vessel in 21 patients (51.2%), outside the stented vessel territory in 8 patients (19.5%), and both inside and outside in 12 patients (29.3%). The occurrence of SECIs was not associated with the baseline ARU or PRU value, but was associated with PRU increase after stenting (36 ± 73 vs -12 ± 59, p = 0.007), deployment of a longer stent (31.1 ± 16.5 mm vs 21.8 ± 9.9 mm, p = 0.01), and stent insertion in extracranial arteries (78.1% vs 45.2%, p = 0.008). Stent length (OR 1.066, p = 0.01) and PRU change (OR 1.009, p = 0.04) were independently associated with the occurrence of SECI.

Conclusions

Residual platelet reactivity after dual antiplatelet treatment measured before stenting did not predict poststenting SECI. However, the longer stent and the serial increase of PRU values after stenting were related to SECI. Continuous increase of platelet activation after endovascular procedure may be important in poststent cerebral infarction.

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Jun Jae Shin, Hyeongseok Jeon, Jong Joo Lee, Hyung Cheol Kim, Tae Woo Kim, Sung Bae An, Dong Ah Shin, Seong Yi, Keung-Nyun Kim, Do-Heum Yoon, Narihito Nagoshi, Kota Watanabe, Masaya Nakamura, Morio Matsumoto, Nan Li, Sai Ma, Da He, Wei Tian, Kenny Yat Hong Kwan, Kenneth Man Chee Cheung, K. Daniel Riew, Daniel J. Hoh, Yoon Ha, and the Asia Pacific Spine Study Group (APSSG)

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this retrospective multicenter study was to compare prognostic factors for neurological recovery in patients undergoing surgery for cervical ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) based on their presenting mild, moderate, or severe myelopathy.

METHODS

The study included 372 consecutive patients with OPLL who underwent surgery for cervical myelopathy between 2006 and 2016 in East Asian countries with a high OPLL prevalence. Baseline and postoperative clinical outcomes were assessed using the Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) myelopathy score and recovery ratio. Radiographic assessment included occupying ratio, cervical range of motion, and sagittal alignment parameters. Patient myelopathy was classified as mild, moderate, or severe based on the preoperative JOA score. Linear and multivariate regression analyses were performed to identify patient and surgical factors associated with neurological recovery stratified by baseline myelopathy severity.

RESULTS

The mean follow-up period was 45.4 months (range 25–140 months). The mean preoperative and postoperative JOA scores and recovery ratios for the total cohort were 11.7 ± 3.0, 14.5 ± 2.7, and 55.2% ± 39.3%, respectively. In patients with mild myelopathy, only age and diabetes correlated with recovery. In patients with moderate to severe myelopathy, older age and preoperative increased signal intensity on T2-weighted imaging were significantly correlated with a lower likelihood of recovery, while female sex and anterior decompression with fusion (ADF) were associated with better recovery.

CONCLUSIONS

Various patient and surgical factors are correlated with likelihood of neurological recovery after surgical treatment for cervical OPLL, depending on the severity of presenting myelopathy. Older age, male sex, intramedullary high signal intensity, and posterior decompression are associated with less myelopathy improvement in patients with worse baseline function. Therefore, myelopathy-specific preoperative counseling regarding prognosis for postoperative long-term neurological improvement should include consideration of these individual and surgical factors.