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Laszlo Barany, Cintia Meszaros, Oliver Ganslandt, Michael Buchfelder, and Peter Kurucz

OBJECTIVE

The septum pellucidum is a bilateral thin membranous structure representing the border between the frontal horns of the lateral ventricles. Its most examined components are the septal veins due to their surgical importance during endoscopic septum pellucidotomy (ESP), which is a well-accepted method for surgical treatment of unilateral hydrocephalus. It is widely accepted that the septum pellucidum contains nerve fibers as well, but interestingly, no anatomical study has been addressed to its neural components before. The aim of the present study was to identify these elements as well as their relations to the septal veins and to define major landmarks within the ventricular system for neurosurgical use.

METHODS

Nine formalin-fixed human cadaveric brains (18 septa pellucida) were involved in this study. A central block containing both septa pellucida was removed and frozen at −30°C for 2 weeks in 7 cases. The fibers of the septum pellucidum and the adjacent areas including the venous elements were dissected under magnification by using homemade wooden spatulas and microsurgical instruments. In 2 cases a histological technique was used to validate the findings of the dissections. The blocks were sliced, embedded in paraffin, cut in 7-µm-thick slices, and then stained as follows: 1) with H & E, 2) with Luxol fast blue combined with cresyl violet, and 3) with Luxol fast blue combined with Sirius red.

RESULTS

The septum pellucidum and the subjacent septum verum form the medial wall of the frontal horn of the lateral ventricle. Both structures contain nerve fibers that were organized in 3 groups: 1) the precommissural fibers of the fornix; 2) the inferior fascicle; and 3) the superior fascicle of the septum pellucidum. The area directly rostral to the postcommissural column of the fornix consisted of macroscopically identifiable gray matter corresponding to the septal nuclei. The histological examinations validated the findings of the authors’ fiber dissections.

CONCLUSIONS

The nerve elements of the septum pellucidum as well as the subjacent septum verum were identified with fiber dissection and verified with histology for the first time. The septal nuclei located just anterior to the fornix and the precommissural fibers of the fornix should be preserved during ESP. Considering the venous anatomy as well as the neural architecture of the septum pellucidum, the fenestration should ideally be placed above the superior edge of the fornix and preferably dorsal to the interventricular foramen.

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Kazuya Kitamura, Eddie de Dios, Gergely Bodon, Laszlo Barany, and Anna MacDowall

OBJECTIVE

Muscle-preserving selective laminectomy (SL) is an alternative to conventional decompression surgery in patients with degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM). It is less invasive, preserves the extensor musculature, and maintains the range of motion of the cervical spine. Therefore, the preferred treatment for DCM at the authors’ institution has changed from anterior decompression and fusion (ADF), including anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) and anterior cervical corpectomy and fusion (ACCF), toward SL. The aim of this study was to evaluate surgical outcomes before and after this paradigm shift with patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs), complications, reoperations, and cost-effectiveness.

METHODS

This study was a retrospective register-based cohort study. All patients with DCM who underwent ADF or SL at the authors’ institution from 2008 to 2019 were reviewed. Using ANCOVA, changes in PROMs from baseline to the 2-year follow-up were compared between the two groups, adjusting for clinicodemographic parameters, baseline PROMs, number of decompressed levels, and MRI measurements (C2–7 Cobb angle, C2–7 sagittal vertical axis [SVA], and modified K-line interval [mK-line INT]). The PROMs, including the European Myelopathy Score (EMS), the Neck Disability Index (NDI), and the EQ-5D, were collected from the national Swedish Spine Register. Complications, reoperations, and in-hospital treatment costs were also compared between the two groups.

RESULTS

Ninety patients (mean age 60.7 years, 51 men [57%]) were included in the ADF group and 63 patients (mean age 68.8 years, 41 men [65%]) in the SL group. The ADF and SL groups had similar PROMs at baseline. The preoperative MR images showed similar C2–7 Cobb angles (10.7° [ADF] vs 14.1° [SL], p = 0.12) and mK-line INTs (4.08 vs 4.88 mm, p = 0.07), but different C2–7 SVA values (16.2 vs 19.3 mm, p = 0.04). The comparison of ANCOVA-adjusted mean changes in PROMs from baseline to the 2-year follow-up presented no significant differences between the groups (EMS, p = 0.901; NDI, p = 0.639; EQ-5D, p = 0.378; and EQ-5D health, p = 0.418). The overall complication rate was twice as high in the ADF group (22.2% vs 9.5%, p = 0.049), while the reoperation rate was comparable (16.7% vs 7.9%, p = 0.146). The average in-hospital treatment cost per patient was $6617 (USD) for SL, $7046 for ACDF, and $12,000 for ACCF.

CONCLUSIONS

SL provides similar PROMs after 2 years, a significantly lower complication rate, and better cost-effectiveness compared with ADF.