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Jie Zang, Wei Guo, Rongli Yang, Xiaodong Tang and Dasen Li

OBJECT

In this study the authors' aim was to describe their experience with total en bloc sacrectomy using a posterioronly approach and to assess the outcome of patients with malignant sacral tumors who underwent this procedure at their center.

METHODS

The authors identified and retrospectively reviewed the records of 10 patients with malignant sacral tumors who underwent a total en bloc sacrectomy via a single posterior approach at their center. The pathological diagnosis was chordoma in 4 patients, chondrosarcoma in 1, osteosarcoma in 1, malignant schwannoma in 1, malignant giant cell tumor in 1, and Ewing's sarcoma in 2. Radiological examination revealed that the tumor involved S1–5 in 7 patients, S1–4 in 1, S1–3 in 1, and S1–2 in 1.

RESULTS

All 10 patients were stable during the perioperative period. The mean surgery duration was 282 minutes (range 250–310 minutes). The median estimated blood loss was 2595 ml (range 1500–3200 ml). All patients were followed up for 13–29 months (mean 22 months). Two patients had a local recurrence. Two patients died of disease, 1 patient was alive with disease, and 7 patients were alive without evidence of disease. Among the 8 surviving patients, 6 were able to walk without assistive devices, and 2 were able to walk with crutches. The total complication rate was 40% (4 of 10). Wound complications (deep infection and wound healing problems) occurred in 3 patients, and a distal deep vein thrombosis occurred in 1 patient.

CONCLUSIONS

Total en bloc sacrectomy using a posterior-only approach is feasible and safe in selected patients and is an important procedure for the treatment of primary malignant tumor involving the entire sacrum or only the top portion.

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Zhiyuan Yu, Rui Guo, Jun Zheng, Hao Li, Chao You and Lu Ma

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Ming-Xiang Zou, Jing Li, Xiao-Bin Wang and Guo-Hua Lv

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Xin-Zhi Sun, Zhong-Qiang Chen, Qiang Qi, Zhao-Qing Guo, Chui-Guo Sun, Wei-Shi Li and Yan Zeng

Object

In this paper, the authors aimed to summarize the clinical characteristics of ossification of the ligamentum flavum (OLF) associated with dural ossification (DO) and to identify improved methods for preoperative diagnosis.

Methods

Thirty-six patients who had undergone OLF surgery between February 2005 and September 2009 were included in this retrospective study. The patients were divided into 2 groups: one that included patients with intraoperative evidence of DO and a second group that included patients without DO. The clinical features of DO were summarized and the neurological status of the patients was evaluated pre- and postoperatively.

Results

The incidence rate of DO associated with OLF was 39% (14/36). The sensitivity and specificity of the tram track sign were found to be 93% and 59%, respectively. Dural ossification was found among 86% of the patients with tuberous type Sato classification. The postoperative neurological status of patients was generally improved relative to that observed prior to surgery, although neurological recovery did not differ between the 2 groups. Cerebrospinal fluid leakage was the main complication, occurring predominantly in the patients with DO, and all leaks resolved in all patients after comprehensive treatments.

Conclusions

The tram track sign and Sato classification were found to be useful for preoperative diagnosis of DO and for determining the surgical procedure to be performed. Dural ossification had no effect on postoperative neurological recovery.

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Zhongqiang Chen, Yan Zeng, Weishi Li, Zhaoqing Guo, Qiang Qi and Chuiguo Sun

Object

In this paper, the authors' goal was to evaluate the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of apical segment resection osteotomy with dual axial rotation correction for severe focal kyphosis by examining outcomes.

Methods

Between May 2004 and December 2006, the authors treated 23 patients with severe focal kyphosis (average Cobb angle 86.9°, range 50°–130°) using apical segmental resection osteotomy with dual axial rotation correction and instrumented anterior column reconstruction and fusion. Radiographic assessment of sagittal plane balance and kyphotic Cobb angle (including a scoliosis Cobb angle in 9 cases) was performed in each patient before and immediately after surgery and at the last follow-up (minimum 2 years). The Frankel grading system for neurological function and Oswestry Disability Index for quality of life were evaluated before surgery and at the last follow-up. The patient satisfaction index was also used for clinical evaluation at the last follow-up.

Results

The mean surgical time was 6.7 hours. The average blood loss was 2960 ml. All patients underwent follow-up for 2 or more years after surgery. The fusion rate was 95.65%. The average kyphotic angle improved from 86.9° preoperatively to 25.6° immediately postoperatively, with an average correction rate of 72.17%. At the last follow-up, the average kyphotic angle was 27.4°, making the final correction rate 69.87%. The sagittal plane balance was significantly improved at the last follow-up. Preoperatively, 15 patients had neurological deficits, and the Frankel grade was E in 8 cases, D in 8 cases, C in 6 cases, and B in 1 case. At the last follow-up, 15 cases were Grade E, 5 were Grade D, and 3 were Grade C. The average improvement in the Oswestry Disability Index score was 43.30%. The patient satisfaction index result showed a total satisfaction rate of 91.30%. Complications included 1 case of late neurological deficit due to shifting of an expandable artificial vertebra, 5 cases of nerve root injury, 3 cases of dural tear, and 1 case of transient lower-extremity weakness due to insufficient blood supply to the spinal cord during surgery.

Conclusions

Apical segmental resection osteotomy with dual axial rotation correction and instrumented fusion is an effective and safe way to treat severe focal kyphosis of the thoracolumbar spine.

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Jiangkai Lin, Hua Feng, Fei Li, Bingmei Zhao and Qiaonan Guo

✓ A 48-year-old man presented with a rare intraparenchymal schwannoma of the medulla oblongata. After he underwent gamma knife surgery, the patient's condition deteriorated and the mass, which at the time was thought to be a glioma, became larger on magnetic resonance images. The mass was resected through a suboccipital craniectomy via the transcerebellomedullary fissure approach. The tumor, which was moderately firm but distinct from the surrounding parenchyma, was removed totally. Postoperative histological and immunohistochemical examinations confirmed the diagnosis of a benign schwannoma. Brainstem schwannomas can be cured by microneurosurgery. It is important to distinguish these tumors from glioma. The main theories on the cause(s) of this lesion are briefly reviewed.

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Zhiyuan Yu, Jun Zheng, Rui Guo, Chao You, Hao Li and Lu Ma

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Guo Yu, Peixi Liu, Yuan Shi, Sichen Li, Yingjun Liu, Zhiyuan Fan and Wei Zhu

OBJECTIVE

Emerging evidence shows that frequent recurrence of intracranial aneurysms (IAs) after endovascular coiling is attributable to the lack of endothelialization across the aneurysm neck. Recently, much attention has been given to the role of microRNAs (miRs) in vascular disease, although their contributory role to IA is poorly understood.

METHODS

Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to microsurgery to create a coiled embolization aneurysm model, and were injected with miR-31a-5p agomir or a negative control agomir via the tail vein at a dose of 10 mg/kg per week for 4 weeks after IA induction. H & E staining, scanning electron microscopy, and flow cytometry were performed to evaluate the effects of miR-31a-5p agomir on endothelialization and the number of circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). The effects of miR-31a-5p on the viability and functioning of EPCs were also determined using Cell Counting Kit–8, wound-healing assay, and tube formation assays.

RESULTS

The authors tested the ability of miR-31a-5p to promote EPC-induced endothelialization in a model of coiled embolization aneurysm. miR-31a-5p agomir improved endothelialization and elevated the number of circulating EPCs in the peripheral blood compared to a negative control agomir–treated group. In addition, the number of vWF- and KDR-positive cells in the aneurysm neck was increased in the miR-31a-5p agomir–treated group. Furthermore, upregulation of miR-31a-5p promoted EPC proliferation, migration, and tube formation and enhanced the expression of the proangiogenic factor vascular endothelial growth factor in vitro. Mechanistically, miR-31a-5p directly targeted the 3′ untranslated region (3′UTR) of Axin1 messenger RNA and repressed its expression. Besides, miR-31a-5p exerted its effect on EPCs by regulating the Axin1-mediated Wnt/β-catenin pathway.

CONCLUSIONS

Collectively, these results indicate that miR-31a-5p is an important regulator of EPC mobilization and endothelialization and may have a positive effect on aneurysm repair.

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Guo-jie Hu, Yu-gong Feng, Wen-peng Lu, Huan-ting Li, Hong-wei Xie and Shi-fang Li

OBJECTIVE

Therapeutic neovascularization is a promising strategy for treating patients after an ischemic stroke; however, single-factor therapy has limitations. Stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF-1) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) proteins synergistically promote angiogenesis. In this study, the authors assessed the effect of combined gene therapy with VEGF165 and SDF-1 in a rat model of cerebral infarction.

METHODS

An adenoviral vector expressing VEGF165 and SDF-1 connected via an internal ribosome entry site was constructed (Ad-VEGF165-SDF-1). A rat model of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) was established; either Ad-VEGF165-SDF-1 or control adenovirus Ad-LacZ was stereotactically microinjected into the lateral ventricle of 80 rats 24 hours after MCAO. Coexpression and distribution of VEGF165 and SDF-1 were examined by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction, Western blotting, and immunofluorescence. The neurological severity score of each rat was measured on Days 3, 7, 14, 21, and 28 after MCAO. Angiogenesis and vascular remodeling were evaluated via bromodeoxyuridine and CD34 immunofluorescence labeling. Relative cerebral infarction volumes were determined by T2-weighted MRI and triphenyltetrazolium chloride staining. Cerebral blood flow, relative cerebral blood volume, and relative mean transmit time were assessed using perfusion-weighted MRI.

RESULTS

The Ad-VEGF165-SDF-1 vector mediated coexpression of VEGF165 and SDF-1 in multiple sites around the ischemic core, including the cortex, corpus striatum, and hippocampal granular layer. Coexpression of VEGF165 and SDF-1 improved neural function, reduced cerebral infarction volume, increased microvascular density and promoted angiogenesis in the ischemic penumbra, and improved cerebral blood flow and perfusion.

CONCLUSIONS

Combined VEGF165 and SDF-1 gene therapy represents a potential strategy for improving vascular remodeling and recovery of neural function after cerebral infarction.

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Xiang-Ming Li, Jian-Tao Yang, Yi Hou, Yi Yang, Ben-Gang Qin, Guo Fu and Li-Qiang Gu

OBJECT

Donor-side morbidity associated with contralateral C-7 (CC7) nerve transfer remains controversial. The purpose of this study was to evaluate functional deficits in the donor limb resulting from prespinal route CC7 nerve transfer.

METHODS

A total of 63 patients were included. Forty-one patients had undergone CC7 nerve transfer surgery at least 6 months previously and were assigned to one of 2 groups based on the duration of postoperative follow-up. Group 1 (n = 21) consisted of patients who had undergone surgery between 6 months and 2 years previously, and Group 2 (n = 20) consisted of patients who had undergone surgery more than 2 years previously. An additional 22 patients who underwent CC7 nerve transfer surgery later than those in Groups 1 and 2 were included as a control group (Group 3). Results of preoperative testing in these patients and postoperative testing in Groups 1 and 2 were compared. Testing included subjective assessments and objective examinations. An additional 3 patients had undergone surgery more than 6 months previously but had severe motor weakness and were therefore evaluated separately; these 3 patients were not included in any of the study groups.

RESULTS

The revised Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire (SF-MPQ-2) was the only subjective test that showed a significant difference between Group 3 and the other 2 groups, while no significant differences were found in objective sensory, motor, or dexterity outcomes. The interval from injury to surgery for patients with a normal SF-MPQ-2 score in Groups 1 and 2 was significantly less than for those with abnormal SF-MFQ-2 scores (2.4 ± 1.1 months vs 4.6 ± 2.9 months, p = 0.002). The 3 patients with obvious motor weakness showed a tendency to gradually recover.

CONCLUSIONS

Although some patients suffered from long-term sensory disturbances, resection of the C-7 nerve had little effect on the function of the donor limb. Shortening preoperative delay time can improve sensory recovery of the donor limb.