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Jian-Bin Chen, Ding Lei, Min He, Hong Sun, Yi Liu, Heng Zhang, Chao You and Liang-Xue Zhou

OBJECT

The present study aimed to clarify the incidence and clinical features of disease progression in adult moyamoya disease (MMD) patients with Graves disease (GD) for better management of these patients.

METHODS

During the past 18 years, 320 adult Chinese patients at West China Hospital were diagnosed with MMD, and 29 were also diagnosed with GD. A total of 170 patients (25 with GD; 145 without GD) were included in this study and were followed up. The mean follow-up was 106.4 ± 48.6 months (range 6–216 months). The progression of the occlusive lesions in the major intracranial arteries was measured using cerebral angiography and was evaluated according to Suzuki's angiographic staging. Information about cerebrovascular strokes was obtained from the records of patients' recent clinical visits. Both angiographic progression and strokes were analyzed to estimate the incidences of angiographic progression and strokes using Kaplan-Meier analysis. A multivariate logistic regression model was used to test the effects of sex, age at MMD onset, disease type, strokes, and GD on the onset of MMD progression during follow-up.

RESULTS

During follow-up, the incidence of disease progression in MMD patients with GD was significantly higher than in patients without GD (40.0% vs 20.7%, respectively; p = 0.036). The interval between initial diagnosis and disease progression was significantly shorter in MMD patients with GD than in patients without GD (p = 0.041). Disease progression occurred in both unilateral MMD and bilateral MMD, but the interval before disease progression in patients with unilateral disease was significantly longer than in patients with bilateral disease (p = 0.021). The incidence of strokes in MMD patients with GD was significantly higher than in patients without GD (48% vs 26.2%, respectively; p = 0.027). The Kaplan-Meier survival curve showed significant differences in the incidence of disease progression (p = 0.038, log-rank test) and strokes (p = 0.031, log-rank test) between MMD patients with GD and those without GD. Multivariate analysis suggested that GD may contribute to disease progression in MMD (OR 5.97, 95% CI 1.24–33.76, p = 0.043).

CONCLUSIONS

The incidence of disease progression in MMD patients with GD was significantly higher than that in MMD patients without GD, and GD may contribute to disease progression in MMD patients. The incidence of strokes was significantly higher in MMD patients with GD than in patients without GD. Management guidelines for MMD patients with GD should be developed.

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Guo-chen Sun, Xiao-lei Chen, Yuan-zheng Hou, Xin-guang Yu, Xiao-dong Ma, Gang Liu, Lei Liu, Jia-shu Zhang, Hao Tang, Ru-Yuan Zhu, Ding-Biao Zhou and Bai-nan Xu

OBJECTIVE

Endoscopic removal of intracerebral hematomas is becoming increasingly common, but there is no standard technique. The authors explored the use of a simple image-guided endoscopic method for removal of spontaneous supratentorial hematomas.

METHODS

Virtual reality technology based on a hospital picture archiving and communications systems (PACS) was used in 3D hematoma visualization and surgical planning. Augmented reality based on an Android smartphone app, Sina neurosurgical assist, allowed a projection of the hematoma to be seen on the patient's scalp to facilitate selection of the best trajectory to the center of the hematoma. A obturator and transparent sheath were used to establish a working channel, and an endoscope and a metal suction apparatus were used to remove the hematoma.

RESULTS

A total of 25 patients were included in the study, including 18 with putamen hemorrhages and 7 with lobar cerebral hemorrhages. Virtual reality combined with augmented reality helped in achieving the desired position with the obturator and sheath. The median time from the initial surgical incision to completion of closure was 50 minutes (range 40–70 minutes). The actual endoscopic operating time was 30 (range 15–50) minutes. The median blood loss was 80 (range 40–150) ml. No patient experienced postoperative rebleeding. The average hematoma evacuation rate was 97%. The mean (± SD) preoperative Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score was 6.7 ± 3.2; 1 week after hematoma evacuation the mean GCS score had improved to 11.9 ± 3.1 (p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

Virtual reality using hospital PACS and augmented reality with a smartphone app helped precisely localize hematomas and plan the appropriate endoscopic approach. A transparent sheath helped establish a surgical channel, and an endoscope enabled observation of the hematoma's location to achieve satisfactory hematoma removal.

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Feng Wan, Ling Li, Jingcao Chen, Jian Chen, Ting Lei, Delin Xue, Hongquan Niu, Kai Shu, Ping Zhang, Zhengming Yang and Yuping Wang

Object

The authors performed a study to investigate the clinical manifestations, treatment strategies, and possible pathogenesis of conus medullaris schistosomiasis.

Methods

Six cases collected from the authors’ experience and four cases reported in the literature were studied retrospectively for clinical manifestations, treatment outcomes, and prognosis. All patients experienced progressive lower-extremity weakness and functional bowel and bladder impairment. Although the magnetic resonance (MR) imaging results suggested the presence of a conus medullaris tumor, schistosomiasis was diagnosed based on pathological results obtained in the 10 patients. The results of surgery followed by pyquiton and hormone treatment confirmed the diagnosis, and the patients’ prognoses were good.

Conclusions

This pathological entity is predominantly found in adults, and the clinical manifestations have no specificity, although the MR imaging may provide some clues. As a form of ectopic schistosomiasis, conus medullaris schistosomiasis deserves special consideration and further exploration. If an early diagnosis can be made and pyquiton and hormone therapy is given, surgery can be avoided and the prognosis will remain good.

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Zihao Chen, Liangming Zhang, Jianwen Dong, Peigen Xie, Bin Liu, Qiyou Wang, Ruiqiang Chen, Feng Feng, Bu Yang, Tao Shu, Shangfu Li, Yang Yang, Lei He, Mao Pang and Limin Rong

OBJECTIVE

A prospective randomized controlled study was conducted to clarify whether percutaneous transforaminal endoscopic discectomy (PTED) results in better clinical outcomes and less surgical trauma than microendoscopic discectomy (MED).

METHODS

In this single-center, open-label, randomized controlled trial, patients were included if they had persistent signs and symptoms of radiculopathy with corresponding imaging-confirmed lumbar disc herniation. Patients were randomly allocated to the PTED or the MED group by computer-generated randomization codes. The primary outcome was the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) score 1 year after surgery. Secondary outcomes included scores of the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey bodily pain and physical function scales, EuroQol Group’s EQ-5D , and the visual analog scales for back pain and leg pain. Data including duration of operation, in-bed time, length of hospital stay, surgical cost and total hospital cost, complications, and reoperations were recorded.

RESULTS

A total of 153 participants were randomly assigned to 2 treatment groups (PTED vs MED), and 89.5% (137 patients) completed 1 year of follow-up. Primary and secondary outcomes did not differ significantly between the treatment groups at each prespecified follow-up point (p > 0.05). For PTED, there was less postoperative improvement in ODI score in the median herniation subgroup at 1 week (p = 0.027), 3 months (p = 0.013), 6 months (p = 0.027), and 1 year (p = 0.028) compared with the paramedian subgroup. For MED, there was significantly less improvement in ODI score at 3 months (p = 0.008), 6 months (p = 0.028), and 1 year (p = 0.028) in the far-lateral herniation subgroup compared with the paramedian subgroup. The total complication rate over the course of 1 year was 13.75% in the PTED group and 16.44% in the MED group (p = 0.642). Five patients (6.25%) in the PTED group and 3 patients (4.11%) in the MED group suffered from residue/recurrence of herniation, for which reoperation was required.

CONCLUSIONS

Over the 1-year follow-up period, PTED did not show superior clinical outcomes and did not seem to be a safer procedure for patients with lumbar disc herniation compared with MED. PTED had inferior results for median disc herniation, whereas MED did not seem to be the best treatment option for far-lateral disc herniation.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT01997086 (clinicaltrials.gov).

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Ye Li, Xiaolei Chen, Ning Wang, Wenyao Zhang, Dawei Li, Lei Zhang, Xin Qu, Weitao Cheng, Yueqiao Xu, Wenjin Chen and Qiumei Yang

OBJECTIVE

The goal of this study was to explore the feasibility and accuracy of using a wearable mixed-reality holographic computer to guide external ventricular drain (EVD) insertion and thus improve on the accuracy of the classic freehand insertion method for EVD insertion. The authors also sought to provide a clinically applicable workflow demonstration.

METHODS

Pre- and postoperative CT scanning were performed routinely by the authors for every patient who needed EVD insertion. Hologram-guided EVD placement was prospectively applied in 15 patients between August and November 2017. During surgical planning, model reconstruction and trajectory calculation for each patient were completed using preoperative CT. By wearing a Microsoft HoloLens, the neurosurgeon was able to visualize the preoperative CT-generated holograms of the surgical plan and perform EVD placement by keeping the catheter aligned with the holographic trajectory. Fifteen patients who had undergone classic freehand EVD insertion were retrospectively included as controls. The feasibility and accuracy of the hologram-guided technique were evaluated by comparing the time required, number of passes, and target deviation for hologram-guided EVD placement with those for classic freehand EVD insertion.

RESULTS

Surgical planning and hologram visualization were performed in all 15 cases in which EVD insertion involved holographic guidance. No adverse events related to the hologram-guided procedures were observed. The mean ± SD additional time before the surgical part of the procedure began was 40.20 ± 10.74 minutes. The average number of passes was 1.07 ± 0.258 in the holographic guidance group, compared with 2.33 ± 0.98 in the control group (p < 0.01). The mean target deviation was 4.34 ± 1.63 mm in the holographic guidance group and 11.26 ± 4.83 mm in the control group (p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

This study demonstrates the use of a head-mounted mixed-reality holographic computer to successfully perform hologram-assisted bedside EVD insertion. A full set of clinically applicable workflow images is presented to show how medical imaging data can be used by the neurosurgeon to visualize patient-specific holograms that can intuitively guide hands-on operation. The authors also provide preliminary confirmation of the feasibility and accuracy of this hologram-guided EVD insertion technique.

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Bei-Bei Huo, Jun Shen, Xu-Yun Hua, Mou-Xiong Zheng, Ye-Chen Lu, Jia-Jia Wu, Chun-Lei Shan and Jian-Guang Xu

OBJECTIVE

Refractory deafferentation pain has been evidenced to be related to central nervous system neuroplasticity. In this study, the authors sought to explore the underlying glucose metabolic changes in the brain after brachial plexus avulsion, particularly metabolic connectivity.

METHODS

Rats with unilateral deafferentation following brachial plexus avulsion, a pain model of deafferentation pain, were scanned by small-animal 2-deoxy-[18F]fluoro-d-glucose (18F-FDG) PET/CT to explore the changes of metabolic connectivity among different brain regions. Thermal withdrawal latency (TWL) and mechanical withdrawal threshold (MWT) of the intact forepaw were also measured for evaluating pain sensitization. Brain metabolic connectivity and TWL were compared from baseline to 1 week after brachial plexus avulsion.

RESULTS

Alterations of metabolic connectivity occurred not only within the unilateral hemisphere contralateral to the injured forelimb, but also in the other hemisphere and even in the connections between bilateral hemispheres. Metabolic connectivity significantly decreased between sensorimotor-related areas within the left hemisphere (contralateral to the injured forelimb) (p < 0.05), as well as between areas across bilateral hemispheres (p < 0.05). Connectivity between areas within the right hemisphere (ipsilateral to the injured forelimb) significantly increased (p = 0.034). TWL and MWT of the left (intact) forepaw after surgery were significantly lower than those at baseline (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

This study revealed that unilateral brachial plexus avulsion facilitates pain sensitization in the opposite limb. A specific pattern of brain metabolic changes occurred in this procedure. Metabolic connectivity reorganized not only in the sensorimotor area corresponding to the affected forelimb, but also in extensive areas involving the bilateral hemispheres. These findings may broaden our understanding of central nervous system changes, as well as provide new information and a potential intervention target for nosogenesis of deafferentation pain.

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Guo-Bao Wang, Ai-Ping Yu, Chye Yew Ng, Gao-Wei Lei, Xiao-Min Wang, Yan-Qun Qiu, Jun-Tao Feng, Tie Li, Qing-Zhong Chen, Qian-Ru He, Fei Ding, Shu-Sen Cui, Yu-Dong Gu, Jian-Guang Xu, Su Jiang and Wen-Dong Xu

OBJECTIVE

Contralateral C7 (CC7) nerve root has been used as a donor nerve for targeted neurotization in the treatment of total brachial plexus palsy (TBPP). The authors aimed to study the contribution of C7 to the innervation of specific upper-limb muscles and to explore the utility of C7 nerve root as a recipient nerve in the management of TBPP.

METHODS

This was a 2-part investigation. 1) Anatomical study: the C7 nerve root was dissected and its individual branches were traced to the muscles in 5 embalmed adult cadavers bilaterally. 2) Clinical series: 6 patients with TBPP underwent CC7 nerve transfer to the middle trunk of the injured side. Outcomes were evaluated with the modified Medical Research Council scale and electromyography studies.

RESULTS

In the anatomical study there were consistent and predominantly C7-derived nerve fibers in the lateral pectoral, thoracodorsal, and radial nerves. There was a minor contribution from C7 to the long thoracic nerve. The average distance from the C7 nerve root to the lateral pectoral nerve entry point of the pectoralis major was the shortest, at 10.3 ± 1.4 cm. In the clinical series the patients had been followed for a mean time of 30.8 ± 5.3 months postoperatively. At the latest follow-up, 5 of 6 patients regained M3 or higher power for shoulder adduction and elbow extension. Two patients regained M3 wrist extension. All regained some wrist and finger extension, but muscle strength was poor. Compound muscle action potentials were recorded from the pectoralis major at a mean follow-up of 6.7 ± 0.8 months; from the latissimus dorsi at 9.3 ± 1.4 months; from the triceps at 11.5 ± 1.4 months; from the wrist extensors at 17.2 ± 1.5 months; from the flexor carpi radialis at 17.0 ± 1.1 months; and from the digital extensors at 22.8 ± 2.0 months. The average sensory recovery of the index finger was S2. Transient paresthesia in the hand on the donor side, which resolved within 6 months postoperatively, was reported by all patients.

CONCLUSIONS

The C7 nerve root contributes consistently to the lateral pectoral nerve, the thoracodorsal nerve, and long head of the triceps branch of the radial nerve. CC7 to C7 nerve transfer is a reconstructive option in the overall management plan for TBPP. It was safe and effective in restoring shoulder adduction and elbow extension in this patient series. However, recoveries of wrist and finger extensions are poor.

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Yuan Wang, Bolin Liu, Tianzhi Zhao, Binfang Zhao, Daihua Yu, Xue Jiang, Lin Ye, Lanfu Zhao, Wenhai Lv, Yufu Zhang, Tao Zheng, Yafei Xue, Lei Chen, Eric Sankey, Long Chen, Yingxi Wu, Mingjuan Li, Lin Ma, Zhengmin Li, Ruigang Li, Juan Li, Jing Yan, Shasha Wang, Hui Zhao, Xude Sun, Guodong Gao, Yan Qu and Shiming He

OBJECTIVE

Although enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) programs have gained acceptance in various surgical specialties, no established neurosurgical ERAS protocol for patients undergoing elective craniotomy has been reported in the literature. Here, the authors describe the design, implementation, safety, and efficacy of a novel neurosurgical ERAS protocol for elective craniotomy in a tertiary care medical center located in China.

METHODS

A multidisciplinary neurosurgical ERAS protocol for elective craniotomy was developed based on the best available evidence. A total of 140 patients undergoing elective craniotomy between October 2016 and May 2017 were enrolled in a randomized clinical trial comparing this novel protocol to conventional neurosurgical perioperative management. The primary endpoint of this study was the postoperative hospital length of stay (LOS). Postoperative morbidity, perioperative complications, postoperative pain scores, postoperative nausea and vomiting, duration of urinary catheterization, time to first solid meal, and patient satisfaction were secondary endpoints.

RESULTS

The median postoperative hospital LOS (4 days) was significantly shorter with the incorporation of the ERAS protocol than that with conventional perioperative management (7 days, p < 0.0001). No 30-day readmission or reoperation occurred in either group. More patients in the ERAS group reported mild pain (visual analog scale score 1–3) on postoperative day 1 than those in the control group (79% vs. 33%, OR 7.49, 95% CI 3.51–15.99, p < 0.0001). Similarly, more patients in the ERAS group had a shortened duration of pain (1–2 days; 53% vs. 17%, OR 0.64, 95% CI 0.29–1.37, p = 0.0001). The urinary catheter was removed within 6 hours after surgery in 74% patients in the ERAS group (OR 400.1, 95% CI 23.56–6796, p < 0.0001). The time to first oral liquid intake was a median of 8 hours in the ERAS group compared to 11 hours in the control group (p < 0.0001), and solid food intake occurred at a median of 24 hours in the ERAS group compared to 72 hours in the control group (p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS

This multidisciplinary, evidence-based, neurosurgical ERAS protocol for elective craniotomy appears to have significant benefits over conventional perioperative management. Implementation of ERAS is associated with a significant reduction in the postoperative hospital stay and an acceleration in recovery, without increasing complication rates related to elective craniotomy. Further evaluation of this protocol in large multicenter studies is warranted.

Clinical trial registration no.: ChiCTR-INR-16009662 (chictr.org.cn)