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Jae-Sung Ahn, Ho-Jin Lee, Dae-Jung Choi, Ki-young Lee and Sung-jin Hwang

This study was performed to describe the extraforaminal approach of biportal endoscopic spinal surgery (BESS) as a new endoscopic technique for transforaminal decompression and discectomy and to demonstrate the clinical outcomes of this new procedure for the first time. Twenty-one patients (27 segments) who underwent the extraforaminal approach of BESS between March 2015 and April 2016 were enrolled according to the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The operative time (minutes/level) and complications after the procedure were recorded. The visual analog scale (VAS) score was checked to assess the degree of radicular leg pain preoperatively and at the time of the last follow-up. The modified Macnab criteria were used to examine the clinical outcomes at the time of the last follow-up. The mean duration of the follow-up period was 14.8 months (minimum duration 12 months). The mean operative time was 96.7 minutes for one level. The mean VAS score for radicular leg pain dropped from a preoperative score of 7.5 ± 0.9 to a final follow-up score of 2.5 ± 1.2 (p < 0.001). The final outcome according to the modified Macnab criteria was excellent in 5 patients (23.8%), good in 12 (57.2%), fair in 4 (19.0%), and poor in 0. Therefore, excellent or good results (a satisfied outcome) were obtained in 80.9% of the patients. Complications were limited to one dural tear (4.8%). The authors found that the extraforaminal approach of BESS was a feasible and advantageous endoscopic technique for the treatment of foraminal lesions, including stenosis and disc herniation. They suggest that this technique represents a useful, alternative, minimally invasive method that can be used to treat lumbar foraminal stenosis and disc herniation.

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Young-Seop Park, Seung-Jae Hyun, Ho Yong Choi, Ki-Jeong Kim and Tae-Ahn Jahng

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to investigate the risk of upper instrumented vertebra (UIV) fractures associated with UIV screw fixation (unicortical vs bicortical) and polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) augmentation after adult spinal deformity surgery.

METHODS

A single-center, single-surgeon consecutive series of adult patients who underwent lumbar fusion for ≥ 4 levels (that is, the lower instrumented vertebra at the sacrum or pelvis and the UIV of the thoracolumbar spine [T9–L2]) were retrospectively reviewed. Age, sex, follow-up duration, sagittal UIV angle immediately postoperatively including several balance-related parameters (lumbar lordosis [LL], pelvic incidence, and sagittal vertical axis), bone mineral density, UIV screw fixation type, UIV PMMA augmentation, and UIV fracture were evaluated. Patients were divided into 3 groups: Group U, 15 patients with unicortical screw fixation at the UIV; Group P, 16 with bicortical screw fixation and PMMA augmentation at the UIV; and Group B, 21 with bicortical screw fixation without PMMA augmentation at the UIV.

RESULTS

The mean number of levels fused was 6.5 ± 2.5, 7.5 ± 2.5, and 6.5 ± 2.5; the median age was 50 ± 29, 72 ± 6, and 59 ± 24 years; and the mean follow-up was 31.5 ± 23.5, 13 ± 6, and 24 ± 17.5 months in Groups U, P, and B, respectively (p > 0.05). There were no significant differences in balance-related parameters (LL, sagittal vertical axis, pelvic incidence–LL, and so on) among the groups. UIV fracture rates in Groups U (0%), P (31.3%), and B (42.9%) increased in sequence by group (p = 0.006). UIV bicortical screw fixation increased the risk for UIV fracture (OR 5.39; p = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS

Bicortical screw fixation at the UIV is a major risk factor for early UIV compression fracture, regardless of whether a thoracolumbosacral orthosis is used. To reduce the proximal junctional failure, unicortical screw fixation at the UIV is essential in adult spinal deformity correction surgery.

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Yong Hun Pee, Ki Joon Kim, Young-Geun Choi, Sang Hyeop Jeon, Jong Dae Park and Sang-Ho Lee

✓ In this report, the authors present the case of patient with a lymphocele in the retroperitoneal area following anterior lumbar interbody fusion at L4–5. A lymphocele is a rare complication of spinal operations, especially lower lumbar spinal surgeries. The authors discuss this complicating factor and describe its features and treatments.

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Young-Hoon Kim, Young Jin Lee, Jung Ho Han, Soyeon Ahn, Jaebong Lee, Jae Hyoung Kim, Byung Se Choi, Jae Seung Bang, Chae-Yong Kim, Gyojun Hwang, O-Ki Kwon and Chang Wan Oh

OBJECT

The authors aimed to assess whether the prevalence of intracranial aneurysms in patients with intracranial meningiomas was higher than that in a healthy population.

METHODS

The authors performed a hospital-based case-control study of 300 patients with newly diagnosed intracranial meningiomas and 900 age- and sex-matched controls without a history of brain tumors to evaluate any associations between intracranial aneurysms and intracranial meningiomas. Unconditional multivariate logistic regression models were used for case-control comparisons.

RESULTS

Intracranial aneurysms were identified in 23 patients (7.7%) and 24 controls (2.7%; p < 0.001). There was a significant association between intracranial aneurysms and intracranial meningiomas (OR 2.913, 95% CI 1.613–5.261) and hypertension (OR 1.905, 95% CI 1.053–3.446). In a subgroup analysis of the patients with newly diagnosed intracranial meningiomas, there was a significant association between intracranial aneurysms and hypertension (OR 2.876, 95% CI 1.125–7.352) and tumor volume (OR 1.012, 95% CI 1.001–1.024). These patients were also more likely than controls to have other intracranial vascular diseases (p < 0.001), such as isolated occlusion of the intracranial vessels, excluding intracranial aneurysms.

CONCLUSIONS

The prevalence of intracranial aneurysms was higher in patients with intracranial meningiomas. Hypertension and tumor volume appear to be associated with the formation of intracranial aneurysms in these patients.

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Ji Hoon Phi, Jin Hyun Kim, Kyoung Mi Eun, Kyu-Chang Wang, Ki Ho Park, Seung Ah Choi, Young Yim Kim, Sung-Hye Park, Byung-Kyu Cho and Seung-Ki Kim

Object

Supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET) and medulloblastoma are highly malignant embryonal brain tumors. They share morphological similarities, but differ in their differentiation patterns and global gene expression. The authors compared the expression of specific genes involved in neuroglial differentiation in supratentorial PNETs and medulloblastomas to define the distinct characters of these tumors.

Methods

The mRNA expression of 8 genes (SOX2, NOTCH1, ID1, ASCL-1, NEUROD1, NEUROG1, NEUROG2, and NRG1) was evaluated in 25 embryonal tumors (12 supratentorial PNETs and 13 medulloblastomas) by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. The expression levels of the transcripts of these genes were compared between the tumor groups. Activation of the JAK/STAT3 pathway was assessed by immunoblotting. Relative expression levels of STAT3 and phosphorylated STAT3 proteins were compared.

Results

Supratentorial PNETs expressed significantly higher levels of SOX2, NOTCH1, ID1, and ASCL-1 transcripts, whereas the transcription of proneural basic helix-loop-helix factors, NEUROD1, NEUROG1 (significantly), and NEUROG2 (not significantly) was upregulated in medulloblastomas. The proportion of phosphorylated STAT3α relative to STAT3α was significantly greater in supratentorial PNETs than in medulloblastomas, indicating activation of the JAK/STAT3 pathway in supratentorial PNETs.

Conclusions

These results indicate that supratentorial PNET predominantly has glial features and medulloblastoma largely follows a neuronal differentiation pattern. These divergent differentiation patterns may be related to the location and origin of each tumor.

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Ji Yeoun Lee, Sangjoon Chong, Young Hun Choi, Ji Hoon Phi, Jung-Eun Cheon, Seung-Ki Kim, Sung Hye Park, In-One Kim and Kyu-Chang Wang

OBJECTIVE

Since the entity limited dorsal myeloschisis (LDM) was proposed, numerous confusing clinical cases have been renamed according to the embryopathogenesis. However, clinical application of this label appears to require some clarification with regard to pathology. There have been cases in which all criteria for the diagnosis of LDM were met except for the presence of a neural component in the stalk, an entity the authors call “probable” LDM. The present study was performed to meticulously review these cases and suggest that a modified surgical strategy using limited laminectomy is sufficient to achieve the surgical goal of untethering.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed the imaging findings, operative notes, and pathology reports of spinal dysraphism patients with subcutaneous stalk lesions who had presented to their institution between 2010 and 2014.

RESULTS

Among 33 patients with LDM, 13 had the typical nonsaccular lesions with simple subcutaneous stalks connecting the skin opening to the spinal cord. Four cases had “true” LDM meeting all criteria for diagnosis, including pathological confirmation of CNS tissue by immunohistochemical staining with glial fibrillary acidic protein. There were also 9 cases in which all clinical, imaging, and surgical findings were compatible with LDM, but the “neural” component in the resected stalk was not confirmed. For all the cases, limited exposure of the stalk was done and satisfactory untethering was achieved.

CONCLUSIONS

One can speculate based on the initial error of embryogenesis that if the entire stalk were traced to the point of insertion on the cord, the neural component would be proven. However, this would require an extended level of laminectomy/laminotomy, which may be unnecessary, at least with regard to the completeness of untethering. Therefore, the authors propose that for some selected cases of LDM, a minimal extent of laminectomy may suffice for untethering, although it may be insufficient for diagnosing a true LDM.

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Yong-Jun Cho, Chi Hern Lee, Dae Won Kim, Ki-Yeon Yoo, Won Sik Eum, Min Jea Shin, Hyo Sang Jo, Jinseu Park, Kyu Hyung Han, Keun Wook Lee and Soo Young Choi

The authors investigated the effects of a silk solution against laminectomy-induced dural adhesion formation and inflammation in a rat model. They found that it significantly reduced postlaminectomy dural adhesion formation and inflammation. Dural adhesion formation, thought to be an inevitable consequence of laminectomy, is one of the most common complications following spinal surgery, and the authors' results indicate that the silk solution might be a potential novel therapeutic agent for dural adhesion formation.

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Doo-Sik Kong, Stephanie Ming Young, Chang-Ki Hong, Yoon-Duck Kim, Sang Duk Hong, Jung Won Choi, Ho Jun Seol, Jung-Il Lee, Hyung Jin Shin, Do-Hyun Nam and Kyung In Woo

OBJECTIVE

Cranioorbital tumors are complex lesions that involve the deep orbit, floor of the frontal bone, and lesser and greater wing of the sphenoid bone. The purpose of this study was to describe the clinical and ophthalmological outcomes with an endoscopic transorbital approach (TOA) in the management of cranioorbital tumors involving the deep orbit and intracranial compartment.

METHODS

The authors performed endoscopic TOAs via the superior eyelid crease incision in 18 patients (16 TOA alone and 2 TOA combined with a simultaneous endonasal endoscopic resection) with cranioorbital tumors from September 2016 to November 2017. There were 12 patients with sphenoorbital meningiomas. Other lesions included osteosarcoma, plasmacytoma, sebaceous gland carcinoma, intraconal schwannoma, cystic teratoma, and fibrous dysplasia. Ten patients had primary lesions and 8 patients had recurrent tumors. Thirteen patients had intradural lesions, while 5 had only extradural lesions.

RESULTS

Of 18 patients, 7 patients underwent gross-total resection of the tumor and 7 patients underwent planned near-total resection of the tumor, leaving the cavernous sinus lesion. Subtotal resection was performed in 4 patients with recurrent tumors. There was no postoperative CSF leak requiring reconstruction surgery. Fourteen of 18 patients (77.8%) had preoperative proptosis on the ipsilateral side, and all 14 patients had improvement in exophthalmos; the mean proptosis reduced from 5.7 ± 2.7 mm to 1.5 ± 1.4 mm. However, some residual proptosis was evident in 9 of the 14 (64%). Ten of 18 patients (55.6%) had preoperative optic neuropathy, and 6 of them (60.0%) had improvement; the median best-corrected visual acuity improved from 20/100 to 20/40. Thirteen of 18 patients showed mild ptosis at an immediate postoperative examination, all of whom had a spontaneous and complete recovery of their ptosis during the follow-up period. Three of 7 patients showed improvement in extraocular motility after surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

Endoscopic TOA can be considered as an option in the management of cranioorbital tumors involving complex anatomical areas, with acceptable sequelae and morbidity.