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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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Peigen Xie, Feng Feng, Junyan Cao, Zihao Chen, Bingjun He, Zhuang Kang, Lei He, Wenbin Wu, Lei Tan, Kai Li, Rongqin Zheng and Limin Rong

OBJECTIVE

Percutaneous transforaminal endoscopic discectomy (PTED) is usually performed under fluoroscopic guidance and is associated with a large radiation dose. Ultrasonography (US)–MR image fusion navigation combines the advantages of US and MRI and requires significantly less radiation than fluoroscopy. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of US-MR image fusion navigation for PTED.

METHODS

From January to September 2018, patients with L4–5 lumbar disc herniation requiring PTED were randomized to have the procedure conducted with US-MR image fusion navigation or fluoroscopy. The number of fluoroscopies, radiation dose, duration of imaging guidance, intraoperative visual analog scale (VAS) pain score, intraoperative complications, and clinical outcomes were compared between the groups.

RESULTS

There were 10 patients in the US-MR navigation group and 10 in the fluoroscopy group, and there were no significant differences in age, sex ratio, or BMI between the 2 groups (all p > 0.05). Intraoperatively, the total radiation dose, number of fluoroscopies performed, duration of image guidance, and VAS low-back and leg pain scores were all significantly lower in the US-MRI navigation group than in the fluoroscopy group (all p < 0.05). There were no intraoperative complications in either group. Postoperative improvements in Japanese Orthopaedic Association, Oswestry Disability Index, and VAS pain scale scores were similar between the 2 groups.

CONCLUSIONS

US-MR image fusion navigation is a promising technology for performing PTED and requires significantly less radiation than fluoroscopy.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT03403244 (ClinicalTrials.gov).

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Min He, Heng Zhang, Ding Lei, Bo-Yong Mao, Chao You, Xiao-Dong Xie, Hong Sun, Yan Ju and Jia-Ming Zhang

Object

Utilization of covered stent grafts in treating neurovascular disorders has been reported, but their efficacy and safety in vertebral artery (VA) dissecting aneurysms needs further investigation.

Methods

Six cases are presented involving VA dissecting aneurysms that were treated by positioning a covered stent graft. Two aneurysms were located distal to the posterior inferior cerebellar artery, and 4 were located proximal to the posterior inferior cerebellar artery. Aspirin as well as ticlopidine or clopidogrel were administered after the procedure to prevent stent-related thrombosis. All patients were followed up both angiographically and clinically.

Results

Five of the 6 patients underwent successful placement of a covered stent graft. The covered stent could not reach the level of the aneurysm in 1 patient with serious vasospasm who died secondary to severe subarachnoid hemorrhage that occurred 3 days later. Patient follow-up ranged from 6 to 14 months (mean 10.4 months), and demonstrated complete stabilization of the obliterated aneurysms, and no obvious intimal hyperplasia. No procedure-related complications such as stenosis or embolization occurred in the 5 patients with successful stent graft placement.

Conclusions

Although long-term follow-up studies using a greater number of patients is required for further validation of this technique, this preliminary assessment shows that covered stent graft placement is an efficient, safe, and microinvasive technique, and is a promising tool in treating intracranial VA dissecting aneurysms.

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Shu-Guang Gao, Guang-Hua Lei, Hong-Bo He, Hua Liu, Wen-Feng Xiao, Ting Wen, Jie-Yu Liang and Kang-Hua Li

Object

With the increasing advocacy for total disc replacement (TDR) as a potential alternative to fusion in the management of lumbar degenerative disc disease, intradiscal pressures (IDPs) and facet joint stresses at the adjacent levels of spine have generated considerable interest. The purpose of this study was to compare adjacent-level IDPs and facet joint stresses among TDR, discectomy, and fusion.

Methods

Ten fresh human cadaveric lumbar specimens (L2–S1) were subjected to an unconstrained load in axial torsion, lateral bending, flexion, and extension by using multidirectional flexibility test. Four surgical treatment modes—control (disc intact), discectomy, TDR, and fusion—were tested in sequential order at L4–5. During testing, the IDPs and facet forces following each treatment were calculated at the adjacent vertebral levels (L3–4 and L5–S1).

Results

Intradiscal pressures and facet force pressures were similar between the intact condition and the TDR reconstruction at the L3–4 and L5–S1 levels under all loading conditions (p > 0.05). Compared with the intact and TDR groups, the discectomy and fusion groups had higher IDPs at the L3–4 and L5–S1 levels under all loading conditions (p < 0.05). No significant difference in the facet force pressure was noted among the intact, discectomy, and TDR groups at the L3–4 and L5–S1 levels under any loading conditions (p > 0.05). However, the facet force pressure produced for fusion was significantly higher than the mean values obtained for the intact, discectomy, and TDR groups at the L3–4 and L5–S1 levels under all loading conditions (p < 0.05).

Conclusions

Lumbar TDR maintained adjacent-level IDPs and facet force pressures near the values for intact spines, whereas adjacent-level IDPs tended to increase after discectomy or fusion and facet forces tended to increase after fusion.

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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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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)