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  • Author or Editor: Kee D. Kim x
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Sun Wuk Kim and Kee Chan Lee

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Dong Gyu Kim, Je G. Chi, Sung Hye Park, Kee Hyun Chang, Sun Ho Lee, Hee-Won Jung, Hyun Jib Kim, Byung-Kyu Cho, Kil Soo Choi and Dae Hee Han

✓ A retrospective analysis of seven patients with intraventricular neurocytoma is presented. Patient age at diagnosis ranged from 15 to 38 years (mean 24.6 years) and the male:female ratio was 6:1. Raised intracranial pressure due to hydrocephalus was the main cause of the clinical manifestations. An isodense mass with multiple intratumoral cysts and homogeneous contrast enhancement was the characteristic computerized tomography finding. The lesions commonly involved the lateral ventricle with or without extension to the third ventricle. Cerebral angiography showed homogeneous vascular staining in five patients. Magnetic resonance images revealed a mass isointense with the cerebral cortex on both T1 and T2-weighted images. Gadolinium-diethylenetriaminepenta-acetic acid-enhanced images showed homogeneous enhancement. Total removal of the tumor was possible in four patients. Pathologically, six cases were initially diagnosed as oligodendroglioma and the remaining case as ependymoma. However, immunohistochemical studies demonstrated strong positivity for neuron-specific enolase in all seven cases and for synaptophysin in five cases. On electron microscopy, three cases showed well-defined neurosecretory granules and 10-nm microtubules in their cytoplasm and cytoplasmic processes. One patient developed a recurrent tumor 18 months after surgery. The remaining six patients are free of recurrent tumors at 2 to 62 months after surgery. It is suggested that neurocytoma must be included in the differential diagnosis of intraventricular lesions, and that electron microscopic and immunohistochemical studies should be undertaken.

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Dong Gyu Kim, Sun Ha Paek, Kee-Hyun Chang, Kyu-Chang Wang, Hee-Won Jung, Hyun Jib Kim, Je G. Chi, Kil Soo Choi and Dae Hee Han

✓ Cerebral sparganosis is a rare parasitic disease caused by infestation by the plerocercoid larva of Spirometra mansoni. The authors retrospectively analyzed 17 cases of cerebral sparganosis treated at Seoul National University Hospital between 1986 and 1994. The patients' ages at diagnosis ranged from ± to 57 years (median 32 years) and the male/female ratio was 13:4. Diagnosis was based on radiological findings, serological test results, operative findings, and histopathological examinations. Characteristic magnetic resonance (MR) findings consisted of widespread white matter degeneration and cortical atrophy, mixed-signal lesion (low in the central and high in the peripheral regions on T2-weighted images) with irregular dense enhancement of central foci and changes in the location and shape of the enhancing lesion in follow-up studies. Ten patients underwent surgical removal of the parasitic lesion, six received medical treatment alone (five with praziquantel and one with antiepileptic drugs), and one underwent insertion of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt and a course of praziquantel. Follow-up periods ranged from 13 to 111 months (mean 49 months). Seven patients who underwent complete removal of the lesion, live worm, or degenerative worm with surrounding granuloma showed a favorable course. Patients who received medical treatment alone or incomplete removal exhibited progression in their neurological deficits and their seizures could not be controlled. Medication with praziquantel seemed to have no killing effect on live worms.

The authors conclude that MR imaging is the most valuable modality for the early detection of cerebral sparganosis and that complete surgical removal of granuloma together with worms, whether they are alive or degenerative, is the treatment of choice.

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J. Patrick Johnson, Samuel S. Ahn, William C. Choi, Jeffery E. Masciopinto, Kee D. Kim, Aaron G. Filler and Antonio A. F. DeSalles

Thoracic sympathectomy is an important option in the treatment of palmar hyperhidrosis and pain disorders. Earlier surgical procedures were highly invasive with known morbidity, acceptable outcome, and established recurrence rates that were the limitations to considering surgical treatment. Thoracoscopic sympathectomy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows detailed visualization of the sympathetic ganglia and minimal postoperative morbidity; however, outcome studies of this technique have been limited. The authors treated 39 patients with 60 thoracoscopic procedures, and the outcomes in this small series were equivalent to previously established open surgical techniques; however, operative moribidity rates, hospital stay, and time of return to normal activity were substantially reduced. Complications and recurrence of symptoms were also comparable to previous reports. Overall patient satisfaction and willingness to repeat the operative procedure ranged from 66 to 96% in all patients. Patients and physicians can consider minimally invasive thoracoscopic sympathectomy procedures as an option to treat sympathetically mediated disorders because of the procedure's reduced morbidity and at least equivalent outcome rates in comparison to other treatments.

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Chul-Jin Kim, Kee-Won Kim, Jin-Woo Park, Jung-Chung Lee and John H. Zhang

Object. This study was undertaken to explore whether erythrocyte lysate, a proposed cause of vasospasm, produces vasoconstriction by activation of tyrosine kinase in rabbit cerebral arteries.

Methods. Isometric tension was used to monitor contractions in rabbit basilar arteries induced by erythrocyte lysate, 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), or KCl in the absence or presence of tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Erythrocyte lysate, 5-HT, or KCl produced concentration-dependent contractions in rabbit basilar arteries. Preincubation with the tyrosine kinase inhibitors tyrphostin A23 and genistein (30 and 100 µM), but not diadzein, an inactive analog of genistein, attenuated significantly the contraction induced by erythrocyte lysate (p < 0.05). Tyrphostin A23, genistein, and diadzein (30 µM) failed to reduce the contraction caused by 5-HT. Genistein, but not tyrphostin A23 or diadzein (30 µM), attenuated significantly the contraction induced by KCl (p < 0.05). In another series, arterial rings were initially contracted with erythrocyte lysate, 5-HT, or KCl and the relaxant effect of genistein was then tested. Genistein relaxed rabbit basilar arteries that had been contracted by exposure to erythrocyte lysate, 5-HT, or KCl (30–100 µM; p < 0.05).

Conclusions. These data indicate that tyrosine kinase may play a role in the regulation of cerebral arterial contraction and tyrosine kinase inhibitors may be useful in the management of cerebral vasospasm.

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Mark W. Hawk and Kee D. Kim

Spinal pseudomeningoceles and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) fistulas are uncommon extradural collections of CSF that may result from inadvertent tears in the dural–arachnoid layer, traumatic injury, or may be congenital in origin. Most pseudomeningoceles are iatrogenic and occur in the posterior lumbar region following surgery. The true incidence of iatrogenic pseudomeningoceles following laminectomy or discectomy is unknown; however, the authors of several published reports suggest that the incidence of lumbar pseudomeningoceles following laminectomy or discectomy is between 0.07% and 2%. Pseudomeningoceles are often asymptomatic, but patients may present with recurrence of low-back pain, radiculopathy, subcutaneous swelling, or with symptoms of intracranial hypotension. Very rarely, they present with delayed myelopathy. Although magnetic resonance imaging is the neurodiagnostic study of choice, computerized tomography myelography and radionuclide myelographic study may be helpful diagnostic tools in some cases. Analysis of suspect fluid for β2 transferrin may be a useful adjunctive study. Treatment options include close observation for spontaneous resolution, conservative measures such as bed rest and applicaton of an epidural blood patch, lumbar subarachnoid drainage, and definitive surgical repair.

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Kee D. Kim, Jesse D. Babbitz and Jeffrey Mimbs

The surgical management of thoracic disc disease remains challenging. Outcomes after laminectomy had been poor, and modern posterolateral, lateral, and anterior approaches have evolved to replace this older procedure. Each has its own set of complications, and all are hampered, to varying degrees, by the limited visualization of the ventral disc space and spinal cord during decompression. The authors present their early experience with computer-assisted image guidance as an adjunctive tool for preoperative planning and navigation in the treatment of thoracic disc disease. Five consecutive patients underwent image-guided costotransversectomies between January 1999 and April 2000. The levels of herniation were T8–9 in three and T7–8 and T5–6, respectively, in the other two. There were four centrolateral herniations and one midline herniation. Three discs were soft and two hard. Two patients had previously undergone failed disc excisions. All patients had axial pain and myeloradiculopathies preoperatively. Three were unable to walk.

Four patients enjoyed good or excellent outcomes, with return of ambulation. One patient experienced only mild improvement in her severe paraparesis. Image-guidance was invaluable in planning the corpectomy and aiding visualization in situations in which the dura or disc were obscured; its use allowed successful surgical excisions in the most challenging circumstances.

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June Ho Lee, Chun-Kee Chung and Hyun Jib Kim

✓ A 16-year-old boy presented at the authors' emergency department with a sudden deterioration of respiration. He had been paraparetic for 3 years and had become quadriplegic 2 days previously. Magnetic resonance images revealed a Chiari I malformation and a hydromyelic cavity extending from C-1 to T-11. Rostrally, a small cylindrically shaped lesion extended from the cervicomedullary junction to the left semioval center. The patient made a dramatic neurological recovery following suboccipital craniectomy and upper cervical laminectomies with augmentation duraplasties followed by placement of a syringoperitoneal shunt.

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Kee D. Kim, J. Patrick Johnson and Jesse D. Babbitz


Thoracic pedicle screw fixation is effective and reliable in providing short-segment stabilization. Although the procedure is becoming more widely used, accurate insertion of the screws is difficult due to the small dimensions of thoracic pedicles, and the associated risk is high due to the proximity of the spinal cord. In previous studies authors have shown the accuracy of image-guided lumbar pedicle screw placement, but there have been no reported investigations into the accuracy of image-guided thoracic pedicle screw placement. The authors report their experience with such an investigation.


To evaluate the accuracy of image-guided thoracic pedicle screw placement in vitro and in vivo, thoracic pedicle screws were placed with an image-guidance system in five human cadavers and 10 patients. In cadavers, the accuracy of screw placement was assessed by postoperative computerized tomography and visual inspection and in patients by postoperative imaging studies. Of the 120 pedicle screws placed in five cadavers pedicle violation occurred in 23 cases (19.2%); there was one pedicle violation (4.2%) in each of the last two cadavers. Of the 45 pedicle screws placed in 10 patients, pedicle violations occurred in three (6.7%).


In comparison with historical controls, the accuracy of thoracic pedicle screw placement is improved with the use of an image-guidance system. It allows the surgeon to visualize the thoracic pedicle and the surrounding structures that are normally out of the surgical field of view. The surgeon, however, must be aware of the limitations of an image-guidance system and have a sound basic knowledge of spinal anatomy to avoid causing serious complications.

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Orin Bloch, Langston T. Holly, Jongsoo Park, Chinyere Obasi, Kee Kim and J. Patrick Johnson

Object. In recent studies some authors have indicated that 20% of patients have at least one ectatic vertebral artery (VA) that, based on previous criteria in which preoperative computerized tomography (CT) and standard intraoperative fluoroscopic techniques were used, may prevent the safe placement of C1–2 transarticular screws. The authors conducted this study to determine whether frameless stereotaxy would improve the accuracy of C1–2 transarticular screw placement in healthy patients, particularly those whom previous criteria would have excluded.

Methods. The authors assessed the accuracy of frameless stereotaxy for C1–2 transarticular screw placement in 17 cadaveric cervical spines. Preoperatively obtained CT scans of the C-2 vertebra were registered on a stereotactic workstation. The dimensions of the C-2 pars articularis were measured on the workstation, and a 3.5-mm screw was stereotactically placed if the height and width of the pars interarticularis was greater than 4 mm. The specimens were evaluated with postoperative CT scanning and visual inspection. Screw placement was considered acceptable if the screw was contained within the C-2 pars interarticularis, traversed the C1–2 joint, and the screw tip was shown to be within the anterior cortex of the C-1 lateral mass.

Transarticular screws were accurately placed in 16 cadaveric specimens, and only one specimen (5.9%) was excluded because of anomalous VA anatomy. In contrast, a total of four specimens (23.5%) showed significant narrowing of the C-2 pars interarticularis due to vascular anatomy that would have precluded atlantoaxial transarticular screw placement had previous nonimage-guided criteria been used.

Conclusions. Frameless stereotaxy provides precise image guidance that improves the safety of C1–2 transarticular screw placement and potentially allows this procedure to be performed in patients previously excluded because of the inaccuracy of nonimage-guided techniques.