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Victor M. Lu, Kevin Phan, Sean P. Crowley and David J. Daniels

OBJECTIVE

Surgery is the definitive treatment of Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I). It involves posterior fossa decompression, which can be performed along with C-1 laminectomy, reconstructive duraplasty, or tonsil shrinkage. The aim of this study was to provide an updated systematic review and meta-analysis of the latest available evidence regarding posterior fossa decompression only (PFDO) versus posterior fossa decompression with duraplasty (PFDD) in the treatment of CM-I in children.

METHODS

A literature search was performed in compliance with the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines for article identification, screening, eligibility, and inclusion. Relevant articles were identified from 6 electronic databases from their inception to April 2016. These articles were screened against established criteria for inclusion into this study.

RESULTS

From 12 relevant studies identified, 1492 pediatric patients treated via PFDD were compared with 1963 pediatric patients treated by PFDO for CM-I. PFDD was associated with greater overall clinical improvement (p = 0.009), along with longer length of stay (p < 0.0001) and more postoperative complications (p = 0.0001) compared with PFDO. No difference was observed between PFDD and PFDO in terms of revision surgery incidence (p = 0.13), estimated blood loss (p = 0.14), syrinx improvement (p = 0.09), or scoliosis improvement (p = 0.95).

CONCLUSIONS

It appears that the addition of duraplasty to posterior decompression in the definitive treatment of CM-I in children may alter surgical and performance outcomes. In particular, parameters of overall clinical improvement, length of stay, and postoperative complication may differ between children undergoing PFDD and those undergoing PFDO. Current evidence in the literature is of low to very low quality that, as of yet, has not been able to completely control for inherent selection bias both in study design and surgeon preference. Future, large prospective registries and randomized controlled trials are warranted to validate the findings of this study.

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Ralph J. Mobbs, Marc Coughlan, Robert Thompson, Chester E. Sutterlin III and Kevin Phan

OBJECTIVE

There has been a recent renewed interest in the use and potential applications of 3D printing in the assistance of surgical planning and the development of personalized prostheses. There have been few reports on the use of 3D printing for implants designed to be used in complex spinal surgery.

METHODS

The authors report 2 cases in which 3D printing was used for surgical planning as a preoperative mold, and for a custom-designed titanium prosthesis: one patient with a C-1/C-2 chordoma who underwent tumor resection and vertebral reconstruction, and another patient with a custom-designed titanium anterior fusion cage for an unusual congenital spinal deformity.

RESULTS

In both presented cases, the custom-designed and custom-built implants were easily slotted into position, which facilitated the surgery and shortened the procedure time, avoiding further complex reconstruction such as harvesting rib or fibular grafts and fashioning these grafts intraoperatively to fit the defect. Radiological follow-up for both cases demonstrated successful fusion at 9 and 12 months, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

These cases demonstrate the feasibility of the use of 3D modeling and printing to develop personalized prostheses and can ease the difficulty of complex spinal surgery. Possible future directions of research include the combination of 3D-printed implants and biologics, as well as the development of bioceramic composites and custom implants for load-bearing purposes.

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Dara Bakar, Joseph E. Tanenbaum, Kevin Phan, Vincent J. Alentado, Michael P. Steinmetz, Edward C. Benzel and Thomas E. Mroz

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to systematically review the literature on reported outcomes following decompression surgery for spinal metastases.

METHODS

The authors conducted MEDLINE, Scopus, and Web of Science database searches for studies reporting clinical outcomes and complications associated with decompression surgery for metastatic spinal tumors. Both retrospective and prospective studies were included. After meeting inclusion criteria, articles were categorized based on the following reported outcomes: survival, ambulation, surgical technique, neurological function, primary tumor histology, and miscellaneous outcomes.

RESULTS

Of the 4148 articles retrieved from databases, 36 met inclusion criteria. Of those included, 8 were prospective studies and 28 were retrospective studies. The year of publication ranged from 1992 to 2015. Study size ranged from 21 to 711 patients. Three studies found that good preoperative Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS ≥ 80%) was a significant predictor of survival. No study reported a significant effect of time-to-surgery following the onset of spinal cord compression symptoms on survival. Three studies reported improvement in neurological function following surgery. The most commonly cited complication was wound infection or dehiscence (22 studies). Eight studies reported that preoperative ambulatory or preoperative motor status was a significant predictor of postoperative ambulatory status. A wide variety of surgical techniques were reported: posterior decompression and stabilization, posterior decompression without stabilization, and posterior decompression with total or subtotal tumor resection. Although a wide range of functional scales were used to assess neurological outcomes, four studies used the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) Impairment Scale to assess neurological function. Four studies reported the effects of radiation therapy and local disease control for spinal metastases. Two studies reported that the type of treatment was not significantly associated with the rate of local control. The most commonly reported primary tumor types included lung cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, renal cancer, and gastrointestinal cancer.

CONCLUSIONS

This study reports a systematic review of the literature on decompression surgery for spinal metastases. The results of this study can help educate surgeons on the previously published predictors of outcomes following decompression surgery for metastatic spinal disease. However, the authors also identify significant gaps in the literature and the need for future studies investigating the optimal practice with regard to decompression surgery for spinal metastases.

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Tetsuo Hayashi, Elizabeth L. Lord, Akinobu Suzuki, Shinji Takahashi, Trevor P. Scott, Kevin Phan, Haijun Tian, Michael D. Daubs, Keiichiro Shiba and Jeffrey C. Wang

OBJECTIVE

The efficacy of some demineralized bone matrix (DBM) substances has been demonstrated in the spinal fusion of rats; however, no previous comparative study has reported the efficacy of DBM with human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). There is an added cost to the products with stem cells, which should be justified by improved osteogenic potential. The purpose of this study is to prospectively compare the fusion rates of 3 different commercially available DBM substances, both with and without hMSCs.

METHODS

Posterolateral fusion was performed in 32 mature athymic nude rats. Three groups of 8 rats were implanted with 1 of 3 DBMs: Trinity Evolution (DBM with stem cells), Grafton (DBM without stem cells), or DBX (DBM without stem cells). A fourth group with no implanted material was used as a control group. Radiographs were obtained at 2, 4, and 8 weeks. The rats were euthanized at 8 weeks. Overall fusion was determined by manual palpation and micro-CT.

RESULTS

The fusion rates at 8 weeks on the radiographs for Trinity Evolution, Grafton, and DBX were 8 of 8 rats, 3 of 8 rats, and 5 of 8 rats, respectively. A significant difference was found between Trinity Evolution and Grafton (p = 0.01). The overall fusion rates as determined by micro-CT and manual palpation for Trinity Evolution, Grafton, and DBX were 4 of 8 rats, 3 of 8 rats, and 3 of 8 rats, respectively. The Trinity Evolution substance had the highest overall fusion rate, however no significant difference was found between groups.

CONCLUSIONS

The efficacies of these DBM substances are demonstrated; however, the advantage of DBM with hMSCs could not be found in terms of posterolateral fusion. When evaluating spinal fusion using DBM substances, CT analysis is necessary in order to not overestimate fusion.

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Tetsuo Hayashi, Michael D. Daubs, Akinobu Suzuki, Trevor P. Scott, Kevin H. Phan, Monchai Ruangchainikom, Shinji Takahashi, Keiichiro Shiba and Jeffrey C. Wang

OBJECT

Most studies of Modic changes (MCs) have focused on investigating the relationship between MCs and lowback pain, whereas the kinematic characteristics and degenerative disc disease associated with MCs are not well understood. To the authors' knowledge, no previous study has reported on the kinematics of MCs. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the relationship of MCs to segmental motion and degenerative disc disease.

METHODS

Four hundred fifty symptomatic patients underwent weight-bearing lumbar kinematic MRI in the neutral, flexion, and extension positions. Segmental displacement and intervertebral angles were measured in 3 positions using computer analysis software. Modic changes, disc degeneration, disc bulging, spondylolisthesis, angular motion, and translational motion were recorded, and the relationship of MCs to these factors was analyzed using a logistic regression model. To control the influence of disc degeneration on segmental motion, angular and translational motion were analyzed according to mild and severe disc degeneration stages. The motion characteristics and disc degeneration among types of MCs were also evaluated.

RESULTS

Multivariate analysis revealed that age, disc degeneration, angular motion, and translational motion were factors significantly related to MCs. In the severe disc degeneration stage, a significant decrease of angular motion and significant increase of translational motion were found in segments with MCs, indicating that a disorder of the endplate had an additional effect on segmental motion. Disc degeneration increased and angular motion decreased significantly and gradually as the type of MC increased. Translational motion was significantly increased with Type 2 MCs.

CONCLUSIONS

Age, disc degeneration, angular motion, and translational motion were significantly linked to MCs in the lumbar spine. The translational motion of lumbar segments increased with Type 2 MCs, whereas angular motion decreased as the type of MC increased, indicating that Type 2 MCs may have translational instability likely due to degenerative changes. A disorder of the endplates could play an important role in spinal instability.

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Rouzbeh Motiei-Langroudi, Ron L. Alterman, Martina Stippler, Kevin Phan, Abdulrahman Y. Alturki, Efstathios Papavassiliou, Ekkehard M. Kasper, Jeffrey Arle, Christopher S. Ogilvy and Ajith J. Thomas

OBJECTIVE

Chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) has a variety of clinical presentations, including hemiparesis. Hemiparesis is of the utmost importance because it is one of the major indications for surgical intervention and influences outcome. In the current study, the authors intended to identify factors influencing the presence of hemiparesis in CSDH patients and to determine the threshold value of hematoma thickness and midline shift for development of hemiparesis.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed 325 patients (266 with unilateral and 59 with bilateral hematomas) with CSDH who underwent surgical evacuation, regardless of presence or absence of hemiparesis.

RESULTS

In univariate analysis, hematoma loculation, age, hematoma maximal thickness, and midline shift were significantly associated with hemiparesis. Moreover, patients with unilateral hematomas had a higher rate of hemiparesis than patients with bilateral hematomas. Sex, trauma history, anticoagulant and antiplatelet drug use, presence of comorbidities, Glasgow Coma Scale score, hematoma density characteristics on CT scan, and hematoma signal intensity on T1- and T2-weighted MRI were not associated with hemiparesis. In multivariate analysis, the presence of loculation and hematoma laterality (unilateral vs bilateral) influenced hemiparesis. For unilateral hematomas, maximal hematoma thickness of 19.8 mm and midline shift of 6.4 mm were associated with a 50% probability of hemiparesis. For bilateral hematomas, 29.0 mm of maximal hematoma thickness and 6.8 mm of shift were associated with a 50% probability of hemiparesis.

CONCLUSIONS

Presence of loculations, unilateral hematomas, older patient age, hematoma maximal thickness, and midline shift were associated with a higher rate of hemiparesis in CSDH patients. Moreover, 19.8 mm of hematoma thickness and 6.4 mm of midline shift were associated with a 50% probability of hemiparesis in patients with unilateral hematomas.