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Krista Keachie, Kiarash Shahlaie and J. Paul Muizelaar

Significant progress has been made in lumbar and cervical disc replacement therapy. Several cervical disc prostheses have recently gained FDA approval. Although arthroplasty has not been previously described in the thoracic spine, selected patients with long-segment fusion to the level of C-7 have altered cervicothoracic and upper thoracic biomechanics and may benefit from motion-preservation therapy for T1–2 disc herniation. Currently, FDA-approved prostheses are indicated only for patients with single-level degenerative disc disease between C-3 and C-7 and no history of cervical arthrodesis.

The authors describe a 52-year-old woman who had previously undergone C3–7 fusion and returned 4 years later with symptoms of C-8 myeloradiculopathy and radiological evidence of T1–2 degenerative disc disease. She underwent T1–2 arthroplasty in which a Prestige artificial cervical disc was placed via an anterior cervicothoracic approach. Motion at C7–T1 and T1–2 was preserved, and the patient made an excellent clinical recovery.

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Kiarash Shahlaie, Krista Keachie, Irene M. Hutchins, Nancy Rudisill, Lori K. Madden, Karen A. Smith, Karen A. Ko, Richard E. Latchaw and J. Paul Muizelaar

Object

Posttraumatic vasospasm (PTV) is an underrecognized cause of ischemic damage after severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) that independently predicts poor outcome. There are, however, no guidelines for PTV screening and management, partly due to limited understanding of its pathogenesis and risk factors.

Methods

A database review of 46 consecutive cases of severe TBI in pediatric and adult patients was conducted to identify risk factors for the development of PTV. Univariate analysis was performed to identify potential risk factors for PTV, which were subsequently analyzed using a multivariate logistic regression model to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results

Fever on admission was an independent risk factor for development of PTV (OR 22.2, 95% CI 1.9–256.8), and patients with hypothermia on admission did not develop clinically significant vasospasm during their hospital stay. The presence of small parenchymal contusions was also an independent risk factor for PTV (OR 7.8, 95% CI 0.9–69.5), whereas the presence of subarachnoid hemorrhage or other patterns of intracranial injury were not. Other variables, such as age, sex, ethnicity, degree of TBI severity, or admission laboratory values, were not independent predictors for the development of clinically significant PTV.

Conclusions

Independent risk factors for PTV include parenchymal contusions and fever. These results suggest that diffuse mechanical injury and activation of inflammatory pathways may be underlying mechanisms for the development of PTV, and that a subset of patients with these risk factors may be an appropriate population for aggressive screening. Further studies are needed to determine if treatments targeting fever and inflammation may be effective in reducing the incidence of vasospasm following severe TBI.

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Korak Sarkar, Krista Keachie, UyenThao Nguyen, J. Paul Muizelaar, Marike Zwienenberg-Lee and Kiarash Shahlaie

Object

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of injury, hospitalization, and death among pediatric patients. Admission CT scans play an important role in classifying TBI and directing clinical care, but little is known about the differences in CT findings between pediatric and adult patients. The aim of this study was to determine if radiographic differences exist between adult and pediatric TBI.

Methods

The authors retrospectively analyzed TBI registry data from 1206 consecutive patients with nonpenetrating TBI treated at a Level 1 adult and pediatric trauma center over a 30-month period.

Results

The distribution of sex, race, and Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score was not significantly different between the adult and pediatric populations; however, the distribution of CT findings was significantly different. Pediatric patients with TBI were more likely to have skull fractures (OR 3.21, p < 0.01) and epidural hematomas (OR 1.96, p < 0.01). Pediatric TBI was less likely to be associated with contusion, subdural hematoma, subarachnoid hemorrhage, or compression of the basal cisterns (p < 0.05). Rotterdam CT scores were significantly lower in the pediatric population (2.3 vs 2.6, p < 0.001).

Conclusions

There are significant differences in the CT findings in pediatric versus adult TBI, despite statistical similarities with regard to clinical severity of injury as measured by the GCS. These differences may be due to anatomical characteristics, the biomechanics of injury, and/or differences in injury mechanisms between pediatric and adult patients. The unique characteristics of pediatric TBI warrant consideration when formulating a clinical trial design or predicting functional outcome using prognostic models developed from adult TBI data.