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Kevin S. Chen and Paul Park

This video details the minimally invasive approach for treatment of a symptomatic Grade II lytic spondylolisthesis with high-grade foraminal stenosis. In this procedure, the use of a navigated, guidewireless technique for percutaneous pedicle screw placement at the lumbosacral junction is highlighted following initial decompression and transforaminal interbody fusion. Key steps of the procedure are delineated that include positioning, exposure, technique for interbody fusion, intraoperative image acquisition, and use of a concise 2-step process for navigated screw placement without using guidewires.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/2u6H4Pc_8To.

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Kevin S. Chen, Khoi D. Than, Frank LaMarca and Paul Park

This video details a minimally invasive treatment of symptomatic adult kyphoscoliosis. Both anterior and posterior approaches are used to obtain sagittal and coronal balance. In addition, improved lumbar lordosis is achieved to closely match the patient's pelvic incidence. The key steps for the lateral transpsoas procedure are detailed in the first portion of the video and include positioning, fluoroscopic localization, exposure with tubular retractor placement, interbody preparation and grafting, and closure. The second portion of the video shows positioning, fluoroscopic positioning/guidance, exposure for percutaneous pedicle screw placement, rod insertion, and closure.

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/cHkTMtSXZ8A.

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Kevin S. Chen, Khoi D. Than, Frank LaMarca and Paul Park

This video describes a minimally invasive approach for treatment of symptomatic grade I spondylolisthesis and high-grade spinal stenosis. In this procedure, a unilateral approach for bilateral decompression is utilized in conjunction with a modified transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion and percutaneous pedicle screw fixation. The key steps in the procedure are outlined, and include positioning, fluoroscopic positioning/guidance, exposure with tubular retractor system, technique for ipsilateral and contra-lateral decompression, disc space preparation and interbody grafting, percutaneous pedicle screw and rod placement, and closure.

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/QTymO4Cu4B0.

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Joseph R. Linzey, Kevin S. Chen, Luis Savastano, B. Gregory Thompson and Aditya S. Pandey

Brain shifts following microsurgical clip ligation of anterior communicating artery (ACoA) aneurysms can lead to mechanical compression of the optic nerve by the clip. Recognition of this condition and early repositioning of clips can lead to reversal of vision loss.

The authors identified 3 patients with an afferent pupillary defect following microsurgical clipping of ACoA aneurysms. Different treatment options were used for each patient. All patients underwent reexploration, and the aneurysm clips were repositioned to prevent clip-related compression of the optic nerve. Near-complete restoration of vision was achieved at the last clinic follow-up visit in all 3 patients.

Clip ligation of ACoA aneurysms has the potential to cause clip-related compression of the optic nerve. Postoperative visual examination is of utmost importance, and if any changes are discovered, reexploration should be considered as repositioning of the clips may lead to resolution of visual deterioration.

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Shinsaku Nishio, Masatoshi Yunoki, Zong-Fu Chen, Matthew J. Anzivino and Kevin S. Lee

Object. Ischemic neuronal damage associated with neurological and other types of surgery can have severe consequences for functional recovery after surgery. Hypothermia administered during and/or after ischemia has proved to be clinically beneficial and its effects often rival or exceed those of other therapeutic strategies. In the present study the authors examined whether transient hypothermia is an effective preconditioning stimulus for inducing ischemic tolerance in the brain.

Methods. Adult rats were subjected to a 20-minute period of hypothermic preconditioning followed by an interval ranging from 6 hours to 7 days. At the end of this interval, the animals were subjected to transient focal ischemia induced by clamping one middle cerebral artery and both carotid arteries for 1 hour. The volume of cerebral infarction was assessed 1 or 7 days postischemia. In the first series of experiments, hypothermic preconditioning (28.5°C) with a postconditioning interval of 1 day reduced the extent of cerebral infarction measured 1 and 7 days postischemia. In the second series, hypothermic preconditioning (31.5°C) with postconditioning intervals of 6 hours, 1 day, or 2 days (but not 7 days) reduced the extent of cerebral infarction measured 1 day postischemia. Treatment with the protein synthesis inhibitor anisomycin blocked the protective effect of hypothermic preconditioning. In a final series of experiments, in vitro brain slices prepared from hypothermia-preconditioned (nonischemic) animals were shown to tolerate a hypoxic challenge better than slices prepared from unconditioned animals.

Conclusions. These findings indicate that hypothermic preconditioning induces a form of delayed tolerance to focal ischemic damage. The time course over which tolerance occurs and the ability of a protein synthesis inhibitor to block tolerance suggest that increased expression of one or more gene products is necessary to establish tissue tolerance following hypothermia. The attenuation of hypoxic injury in vitro following in vivo preconditioning indicates that tolerance is due, at least in part, to direct effects on the brain neuropil. Hypothermic preconditioning could provide a relatively low-risk approach for improving surgical outcome after invasive surgery, including high-risk neurological and cardiovascular procedures.

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Visish M. Srinivasan, Stephen R. Chen, Kevin M. Camstra, Gouthami Chintalapani and Peter Kan

OBJECTIVE

Stroke is a major cause of disability and death in adults. Several large randomized clinical trials have shown the significant benefit of mechanical thrombectomy with modern stent retrievers in the treatment of large-vessel occlusions. However, large clots located at bifurcations remain challenging to treat. An in vivo model of these recalcitrant clots needs to be developed to test future generations of devices.

METHODS

Autologous blood was drawn from anesthetized swine via a femoral sheath. Blood was then mixed with thrombin, calcium chloride, and saline, and injected into silicone tubing to form cylindrical clots in the standard fashion. Matured clots were then delivered in an unfragmented fashion directly into the distal extracranial vasculature, at branch points where vessel sizes mimic the human middle cerebral artery, by using Penumbra aspiration tubing and the Penumbra ACE68 reperfusion catheter.

RESULTS

A total of 5 adult swine were used to develop the model. The techniques evolved during experiments in the first 3 animals, and the last 2 were used to establish the final model. In these 2 swine, a total of 8 autologous clots, 15–20 mm, were injected directly into 8 distal extracranial vessels at branch points to mimic a bifurcation occlusion in a human. All clots were delivered directly at a distal bifurcation or trifurcation in an unfragmented fashion to cause an occlusion. Ten revascularization attempts were made, and none of the branch-point occlusions were fully revascularized on the first attempt.

CONCLUSIONS

Using novel large-bore distal access catheters, large unfragmented clots can be delivered into distal extracranial vessels in a swine occlusion model. The model mimics the clinical situation of a recalcitrant bifurcation occlusion and will be valuable in the study of next-generation stroke devices and in training settings.

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Zong-Fu Chen, Toshifumi Kamiryo, Scott L. Henson, Haruaki Yamamoto, Edward H. Bertram, Frank Schottler, Ferish Patel, Ladislau Steiner, Dheerendra Prasad, Neal F. Kassell, Shahrzad Shareghis and Kevin S. Lee

Object. The management of intractable epilepsy remains a challenge, despite advances in its surgical and nonsurgical treatment. The identification of low-risk, low-cost therapeutic strategies that lead to improved outcome is therefore an important ongoing goal of basic and clinical research. Single-dose focal ionizing beam radiation delivered at necrosis- inducing and subnecrotic levels was investigated for its effects on seizure activity by using an established model of chronic recurrent spontaneous limbic seizures in rats.

Methods. A single 90-minute period of repetitive electrical stimulation (inducing stimulus) of the hippocampus in rats elicited a single episode of status epilepticus, followed by a 2- to 4-week seizure-free period. Spontaneous recurrent seizures developed subsequently and persisted for the duration of monitoring (2–10 months). Simultaneous computerized electroencephalography and video recording were used to monitor the animals. After the establishment of spontaneous recurrent seizures, bilateral radiation centered in the ventral hippocampal formation was administered with the Leksell gamma knife, aided by a stereotactic device custom made for small animals. A center dose of 10, 20, or 40 Gy was administered using a 4-mm collimator. Control animals were subjected to the same seizure-inducing stimulus but underwent a sham treatment instead of gamma irradiation.

In a second experiment, the authors examined the effects of gamma irradiation on the proclivity of hippocampal neurons to display epileptiform discharges. Naive animals were irradiated with a single 40-Gy dose, as already described. Slices of the hippocampus were prepared from animals killed between 1 and 178 days postirradiation. Sensitivity to penicillin-induced epileptiform spiking was examined in vitro in slices prepared from control and irradiated rat brains.

Conclusions. In the first experiment, single doses of 20 or 40 Gy (but not 10 Gy) reduced substantially, and in some cases eliminated, behaviorally and electrographically recognized seizures. Significant reductions in both the frequency and duration of spontaneous seizures were observed during a follow-up period of up to 10 months postradiation. Histological examination of the targeted region did not reveal signs of necrosis. These findings indicate that single-dose focal ionizing beam irradiation at subnecrotic dosages reduces or eliminates repetitive spontaneous seizures in a rat model of temporal lobe epilepsy. In the second experiment, synaptically driven neuronal firing was shown to be intact in hippocampal neurons subjected to 40-Gy doses. However, the susceptibility to penicillin-induced epileptiform activity was reduced in the brain slices of animals receiving 40-Gy doses, compared with those from control rats that were not irradiated. The results provide rational support for the utility of subnecrotic gamma irradiation as a therapeutic strategy for treating epilepsy. These findings also provide evidence that a functional increase in the seizure threshold of hippocampal neurons contributes to the anticonvulsant influence of subnecrotic gamma irradiation.

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Stephen B. Lewis, Gregory J. Velat, Lynn Miralia, Linda Papa, Jada M. Aikman, Regina A. Wolper, Chris S. Firment, Ming Chen Liu, Jose A. Pineda, Kevin K. W. Wang and Ronald L. Hayes

Object

Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (ASAH) is a serious event with grave consequences. Delayed ischemic neurological deficits caused by cerebral arterial vasospasm contribute significantly to death and disability. Biomarkers may reflect brain injury and provide an early warning of impending neurological decline and stroke from ASAH-induced vasospasm. Alpha-II spectrin is a cytoskeletal protein whose breakdown products are candidate surrogate markers of injury magnitude, treatment efficacy, and outcome. In addition, αII spectrin breakdown products (SBDPs) can provide information on the proteolytic mechanisms of injury.

Methods

Twenty patients who received a diagnosis of Fisher Grade 3 ASAH were enrolled in this study to examine the clinical utility of SBDPs in the detection of cerebral vasospasm in patients with ASAH. All patients underwent placement of a ventriculostomy for continual cerebrospinal fluid drainage within 72 hours of ASAH onset. Cerebrospinal fluid samples were collected every 6 hours and analyzed using Western Blotting for SBDPs. Onset of vasospasm was defined as an acute onset of a focal neurological deficit or a change in Glasgow Coma Scale score of two or more points. All suspected cases of vasospasm were confirmed on imaging studies.

Results

Both calpain- and caspase-mediated SBDP levels are significantly increased in patients suffering ASAH. The concentration of SBDPs was found to increase significantly over baseline level up to 12 hours before the onset of cerebral arterial vasospasm.

Conclusions

Differential expression of SBDPs suggests oncotic necrotic proteolysis may be predominant in acute brain injury after ASAH and cerebral arterial vasospasm.

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Marissa D’Souza, Kevin S. Chen, Jarrett Rosenberg, W. Jeffrey Elias, Howard M. Eisenberg, Ryder Gwinn, Takaomi Taira, Jin Woo Chang, Nir Lipsman, Vibhor Krishna, Keiji Igase, Kazumichi Yamada, Haruhiko Kishima, Rees Cosgrove, Jordi Rumià, Michael G. Kaplitt, Hidehiro Hirabayashi, Dipankar Nandi, Jaimie M. Henderson, Kim Butts Pauly, Mor Dayan, Casey H. Halpern and Pejman Ghanouni

OBJECTIVE

Skull density ratio (SDR) assesses the transparency of the skull to ultrasound. Magnetic resonance–guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) thalamotomy in essential tremor (ET) patients with a lower SDR may be less effective, and the risk for complications may be increased. To address these questions, the authors analyzed clinical outcomes of MRgFUS thalamotomy based on SDRs.

METHODS

In 189 patients, 3 outcomes were correlated with SDRs. Efficacy was based on improvement in Clinical Rating Scale for Tremor (CRST) scores 1 year after MRgFUS. Procedural efficiency was determined by the ease of achieving a peak voxel temperature of 54°C. Safety was based on the rate of the most severe procedure-related adverse event. SDRs were categorized at thresholds of 0.45 and 0.40, selected based on published criteria.

RESULTS

Of 189 patients, 53 (28%) had an SDR < 0.45 and 20 (11%) had an SDR < 0.40. There was no significant difference in improvement in CRST scores between those with an SDR ≥ 0.45 (58% ± 24%), 0.40 ≤ SDR < 0.45 (i.e., SDR ≥ 0.40 but < 0.45) (63% ± 27%), and SDR < 0.40 (49% ± 28%; p = 0.0744). Target temperature was achieved more often in those with an SDR ≥ 0.45 (p < 0.001). Rates of adverse events were lower in the groups with an SDR < 0.45 (p = 0.013), with no severe adverse events in these groups.

CONCLUSIONS

MRgFUS treatment of ET can be effectively and safely performed in patients with an SDR < 0.45 and an SDR < 0.40, although the procedure is more efficient when SDR ≥ 0.45.