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Wen-Han Hu, Chao Zhang, Kai Zhang, Xiao-Qiu Shao and Jian-Guo Zhang

OBJECT

Conflicting conclusions have been reported regarding several factors that may predict seizure outcomes after hemispheric surgery for refractory epilepsy. The goal of this study was to identify the possible predictors of seizure outcome by pooling the rates of postoperative seizure freedom found in the published literature.

METHODS

A comprehensive literature search of PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library identified English-language articles published since 1970 that describe seizure outcomes in patients who underwent hemispheric surgery for refractory epilepsy. Two reviewers independently assessed article eligibility and extracted the data. The authors pooled rates of seizure freedom from papers included in the study. Eight potential prognostic variables were identified and dichotomized for analyses. The authors also compared continuous variables within seizure-free and seizure-recurrent groups. Random- or fixed-effects models were used in the analyses depending on the presence or absence of heterogeneity.

RESULTS

The pooled seizure-free rate among the 1528 patients (from 56 studies) who underwent hemispheric surgery was 73%. Patients with an epilepsy etiology of developmental disorders, generalized seizures, nonlateralization on electroencephalography, and contralateral MRI abnormalities had reduced odds of being seizure-free after surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

Hemispheric surgery is an effective therapeutic modality for medically intractable epilepsy. This meta-analysis provides useful evidence-based information for the selection of candidates for hemispheric surgery, presurgical counseling, and explanation of seizure outcomes.

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Wen-Han Hu, Chao Zhang, Kai Zhang, Fan-Gang Meng, Ning Chen and Jian-Guo Zhang

Object

Whether selective amygdalohippocampectomy (SelAH) has similar seizure outcomes and better neuropsychological outcomes compared with anterior temporal lobectomy (ATL) is a matter of debate. The aim of this study was to compare the 2 types of surgery with respect to seizure outcomes and changes in IQ scores.

Methods

PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library were searched for relevant studies published between January 1990 and September 2012. Studies comparing SelAH and ATL with respect to seizure and intelligence outcomes were included. Two reviewers assessed the quality of the included studies and independently extracted the data. Odds ratios and standardized mean deviations with 95% confidence intervals were used to compare pooled proportions of freedom from seizures and changes in IQ scores between the SelAH and ATL groups.

Results

Three prospective and 10 retrospective studies were identified involving 745 and 766 patients who underwent SelAH and ATL, respectively. The meta-analysis demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in the odds of seizure freedom for patients who underwent SelAH compared with those who underwent ATL (OR 0.65 [95% CI 0.51–0.82], p = 0.0005). The differences between the changes in all IQ scores after the 2 types of surgery were not statistically significant, regardless of the side of resection.

Conclusions

Selective amygdalohippocampectomy statistically reduced the odds of being seizure free compared with ATL, but the clinical significance of this reduction needs to be further validated by well-designed randomized trials. Selective amygdalohippocampectomy did not have better outcomes than ATL with respect to intelligence.

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Nicholas M. Barbaro

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Kai Shen, Zhongliang Deng, Junsong Yang, Chao Liu and Ranxi Zhang

OBJECTIVE

Atlantoaxial instability is usually corrected by anterior and/or posterior C1–2 fusion. However, fusion can lead to considerable loss of movement at the C1–2 level, which can adversely impact a patient’s quality of life. In this study, the authors investigated the stability and function of a novel posterior artificial atlanto-odontoid joint (NPAAJ) by using cadaveric cervical spines.

METHODS

The Oc–C7 regions from 10 cadaveric spines were used for anteroposterior (AP) translation and range of motion (ROM) tests while intact and after destabilization, NPAAJ implantation, and double-rod fixation.

RESULTS

The mean AP C1–2 translational distances in the intact, destabilization, and double-rod groups were 6.53 ± 1.07 mm, 11.54 ± 1.59 mm, and 3.24 ± 0.99 mm, respectively, and the AP translational distance in the NPAAJ group was significantly different from that in the intact group (p < 0.05). The AP translational distance in the NPAAJ group was not significantly different from that in the double-rod group (p = 0.24). The mean flexion, extension, and axial rotation ROM values of the NPAAJ group were 9.87° ± 0.91°, 8.75° ± 0.99°, and 61.93° ± 2.93°, respectively, and these were lower than the corresponding values in the intact group (p < 0.05). The mean lateral bending ROM in the NPAAJ group (9.26° ± 0.86°) was not significantly different from that in the intact group (p = 0.23), and the flexion, extension, and rotation ranges in the NPAAJ group were 79.5%, 85.2%, and 82.3%, respectively, of those in the intact group.

CONCLUSIONS

Use of NPAAJ for correction of atlantoaxial instability disorders caused by congenital odontoid dysplasia, odontoid fracture nonunion, and C-1 transverse ligament disruption (IA, IB, and IIB) may restore the stability and preserve most of the ROM of C1–2. Additionally, the NPAAJ may prevent soft tissue from embedding within the joint. However, additional studies should be performed before the NPAAJ is used clinically.

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Xi Wang, Kai Kang, Shiquan Wang, Jianhua Yao and Xijing Zhang

OBJECTIVE

The goal of this study was to demonstrate that repetitive pure oxygen exposure preconditioning (O2PC) for 8 hours per day for 3 or 7 days, a practicable preconditioning for clinical use, is able to induce cerebral ischemic tolerance (IT) and further clarify the accompanying changes in the blood-brain barrier (BBB) that may be involved.

METHODS

A total of 68 adult male Sprague-Dawley rats and eight 1-day-old rat pups were used in this study. The adult rats were exposed to pure O2 (38 rats) 8 hours a day for 3 or 7 days or to room air (in an identical setup) for 8 hours a day for 7 days as controls (30 rats). Arterial O2 tension (PaO2) was measured in 6 rats exposed to O2 and 3 controls. Focal cerebral ischemia was elicited by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in 37 rats, of which 21 had been exposed to pure O2 for 3 or 7 days and 16 to room air for 7 days as controls. Neurological behavior was scored with the Garcia score in 15 MCAO rats, of which 10 had been exposed to pure O2 for 3 or 7 days and 5 to room air for 7 days as controls, and cerebral infarct volumes were assessed with TTC (2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride) staining in 10 rats (5 from each group) after 7 days of exposure. Formamide-extraction method was used to detect leakage of Evans blue (EB) dye in 7 rats exposed to pure O2 for 7 days and 7 exposed to room air for 7 days. Fluorescence microscopy was used to analyze the leaked EB in the nonischemic areas of 4 rats exposed to pure O2 for 7 days and 4 exposed to room air for 7 days before MCAO and the brain of the rats that had not been subjected to MCAO. Astrocyte changes associated with O2PC were evaluated by means of fluorescence microscopy and electron microscopy in 14 rats that were exposed to the same O2 or control conditions as the MCAO rats but without MCAO. Astrocytes were also obtained from 8 rat pups and cultured; levels of AQP4 and VEGF were detected by Western blot and ELISA in cells with and without O2 treatment.

RESULTS

A significant increase in PaO2 was seen after O2PC. The neurological score was significantly increased in the O2PC groups (10.6 ± 0.6 in the 3-day O2PC group, p < 0.05; 12 ± 0.84 in the 7-day O2PC group, p < 0.05) compared with the control group (7 ± 0.55). The ratio of cerebral infarct volume to contralateral cerebral hemisphere volume was significantly lower in the O2PC group than in the control group (0.204 ± 0.03 vs 0.48 ± 0.05, p < 0.05). The amount of leaked EB in the ischemic cerebral hemisphere was also lower in the O2-treated rats than in controls (7.53 ± 1.4 vs 11.79 ± 3.3 μg EB/g brain weight, p < 0.05). However, fluorescence microscopy showed significantly greater BBB permeability in the nonischemic areas in the O2PC group than in controls (p < 0.05). More red fluorescence could be observed in the nonischemic areas in both the ipsilateral and contralateral sides of the ischemic brain in the O2PC animals than in the nonischemic areas in the corresponding sides of the controls. Further investigation of the effect of the O2PC itself on the BBB of rats that were not subjected to MCAO showed that there was no EB leakage in the brain parenchyma in the rats exposed to room air, but some red fluorescence patches were noticed in the normal brain from the rats in the O2PC group. Astrocytes, including those from areas around the BBB, were activated in the O2PC group. Levels of both aquaporin 4 (AQP4) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were significantly increased in cultured astrocytes after O2PC.

CONCLUSIONS

These findings suggest that O2PC is able to induce IT, which makes it a strong candidate for clinical use. Moreover, O2PC can also promote BBB opening, which may contribute to the induction of IT as well as representing a possible strategy for promoting drug transportation into the CNS. Activated astrocytes are likely to be involved in these processes through astrocyte-derived factors, such as AQP4 and VEGF.

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Liu Xue-Song, You Chao, Yang Kai-Yong, Huang Si-Qing and Zhang Heng

Object

An extensive sacrococcygeal chordoma is considered a challenge for neurosurgeons. Because of the complex anatomy of the sacral region, the risk of uncontrollable intraoperative hemorrhage, and the typically large tumor size at presentation, complete resections are technically difficult and the tumor recurrence rate is high. The aim of this study was to assess the value of using occlusion of the abdominal aorta by means of a balloon dilation catheter and electrophysiological monitoring when an extensive sacrococcygeal chordoma is removed.

Methods

Between 2004 and 2008, 9 patients underwent resection of extensive sacrococcygeal chordomas in the authors' department with the aid of occlusion of the abdominal aorta and electrophysiological monitoring. All of these operations were performed via the posterior approach. The records of the 9 patients were reviewed retrospectively.

Results

Wide resections were performed in 6 cases and marginal excisions in the other 3. Five patients underwent postoperative radiotherapy. Intraoperative hemorrhage was controlled at 100–400 ml. Postoperatively, none of the patients had any new neurological dysfunction, and 2 patients regained normal urinary and bowel function. The mean follow-up period was 31.4 months (range 10–57 months). No patient developed local recurrence or had metastatic spread of tumor during follow-up.

Conclusions

Occlusion of the abdominal aorta and electrophysiological monitoring are useful methods for assisting in resection of sacrococcygeal chordoma. They can reduce intraoperative hemorrhage and entail little chance of tumor cell contamination. They can also help surgeons to protect the organs in the pelvic cavity and neurological function. Use of these methods could give patients better quality of life.

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Peng Xu, Wei-Ming Gong, Yao Li, Tao Zhang, Kai Zhang, De-Zhen Yin and Tang-Hong Jia

Object

Chronic mechanical compression of the spinal cord, which is commonly caused by degeneration of the spine, impairs motor and sensory functions insidiously and progressively. Yet the exact mechanisms of chronic spinal cord compression (SCC) remain to be elucidated. To study the pathophysiology of this condition, the authors developed a simple animal experimental model that reproduced the clinical course of mechanical compression of the spinal cord.

Methods

A custom-designed compression device was implanted on the exposed spinal cord of female Wistar rats between the T-7 and T-9 vertebrae. A root canal screw attached to a plastic plate was tightened 1 complete turn (1 pitch) every 7 days for 6 weeks. The placement of the compression device and the degree of compression were validated every week using radiography. Furthermore, a motor sensory deficit index was also calculated every week. After 3, 6, 9, or 12 weeks, the compressed T7–9 spinal cords were harvested and examined histologically.

Results

Lateral projection of the thoracic spine showed a progressively increasing rate of mean spinal cord narrowing in the compression group. Motor and sensory deficiencies were observed from Week 3 onward; paralysis was observed in 2 rats at Week 12. Motor deficiency appeared earlier than sensory deficiency. Obvious pathological changes were observed starting at Week 6. The number of neurons in the gray matter of rats with chronic compression of the spinal cord decreased progressively in the 6- and 9-week compression groups. In the white matter, myelin destruction and loss of axons and glia were noted. The number of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase–mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling (TUNEL)–positive neurons increased in the ventral-to-dorsal direction. The number of TUNEL-positive cells increased from Week 6 onward and peaked at Week 9.

Conclusions

This practical model accurately reproduces characteristic features of clinical chronic SCC, including progressive motor and sensory disturbances after a latency and insidious neuronal loss.

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Baotian Zhao, Chao Zhang, Xiu Wang, Yao Wang, Chang Liu, Jiajie Mo, Zhong Zheng, Kai Zhang, Xiao-qiu Shao, Wenhan Hu and Jianguo Zhang

Focal cortical dysplasia type II (FCD II) is a common histopathological substrate of epilepsy surgery. Here, the authors propose a sulcus-centered resection strategy for this malformation, provide technical details, and assess the efficacy and safety of this technique. The main purpose of the sulcus-centered resection is to remove the folded gray matter surrounding a dysplastic sulcus, particularly that at the bottom of the sulcus. The authors also retrospectively reviewed the records of 88 consecutive patients with FCD II treated with resective surgery between January 2015 and December 2018. The demographics, clinical characteristics, electrophysiological recordings, neuroimaging studies, histopathological findings, surgical outcomes, and complications were collected. After the exclusion of diffusely distributed and gyrus-based lesions, 71 patients (30 females, 41 males) who had undergone sulcus-centered resection were included in this study. The mean (± standard deviation) age of the cohort was 17.78 ± 10.54 years (38 pediatric patients, 33 adults). Thirty-five lesions (49%) were demonstrated on MRI; 42 patients (59%) underwent stereo-EEG monitoring before resective surgery; and 37 (52%) and 34 (48%) lesions were histopathologically proven to be FCD IIa and IIb, respectively. At a mean follow-up of 3.34 ± 1.17 years, 64 patients (90%) remained seizure free, and 7 (10%) had permanent neurological deficits including motor weakness, sensory deficits, and visual field deficits. The study findings showed that in carefully selected FCD II cases, sulcus-centered resection is an effective and safe surgical strategy.

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Baotian Zhao, Chao Zhang, Xiu Wang, Yao Wang, Jiajie Mo, Zhong Zheng, Lin Ai, Kai Zhang, Jianguo Zhang, Xiao-qiu Shao and Wenhan Hu

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to characterize the clinical and electrophysiological findings of epilepsy originating from the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) as well as its surgical outcomes.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed 27 consecutive cases of patients with drug-resistant orbitofrontal epilepsy (OFE) who underwent tailored resective surgery after a detailed presurgical workup. Demographic features, seizure semiology, imaging characteristics, resection site, pathological results, and surgical outcomes were analyzed. Patients were categorized according to semiology. The underlying neural network was further explored through quantitative FDG-PET and ictal stereo-electroencephalography (SEEG) analysis at the group level. FDG-PET studies between the semiology group and the control group were compared using a voxel-based independent t-test. Ictal SEEG was quantified by calculating the energy ratio (ER) of high- and low-frequency bands. An ER comparison between the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the amygdala was performed to differentiate seizure spreading patterns in groups with different semiology.

RESULTS

Scalp electroencephalography (EEG) and MRI were inconclusive to a large extent. Patients were categorized into the following 3 semiology groups: the frontal group (n = 14), which included patients with hyperactive automatisms with agitated movements; the temporal group (n = 11), which included patients with oroalimentary or manual automatisms; and the other group (n = 2), which included patients with none of the abovementioned or indistinguishable manifestations. Patients in the frontal and temporal groups (n = 23) or in the frontal group only (n = 14) demonstrated significant hypometabolism mainly across the ipsilateral OFC, ACC, and anterior insula (AI), while patients in the temporal group (n = 9) had hypometabolism only in the OFC and AI. The ER results (n = 15) suggested distinct propagation pathways that allowed us to differentiate between the frontal and temporal groups. Pathologies included focal cortical dysplasia, dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor, cavernous malformation, glial scar, and nonspecific findings. At a minimum follow-up of 12 months, 19 patients (70.4%) were seizure free, and Engel class II, III, and IV outcomes were observed in 4 patients (14.8%), 3 patients (11.1%), and 1 patient (3.7%), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

The diagnosis of OFE requires careful presurgical evaluation. Based on their electrophysiological and metabolic evidence, the authors propose that varied semiological patterns could be explained by the extent of involvement of a network that includes at least the OFC, ACC, AI, and temporal lobe. Tailored resections for OFE may lead to a good overall outcome.

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Marco Giulioni, Matteo Martinoni and Gianluca Marucci