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Ming Zhao, Xishan Li, Jianpeng Wang, Wang Li, and Zilin Huang

Retroperitoneal schwannomas (RSs) are particularly rare tumors, and resection is the first choice for symptomatic patients. However, some RSs with anatomical complexities pose great challenges for surgeons attempting radical resection without sacrificing the nearby critical structures, and subtotal resection leads to local recurrence, especially in refractory malignant RSs. The authors have successfully applied percutaneous CT-guided radiofrequency ablation in 2 cases of RSs, with favorable long-term progression-free survival.

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Yi Ma, Yan-feng Li, Quan-cai Wang, Bin Wang, and Hai-tao Huang

OBJECT

The object of this study was to investigate the immediate and long-term follow-up results of glossopharyngeal nerve rhizotomy (GPNR) with or without partial vagus nerve rhizotomy (VNR) for treating glossopharyngeal neuralgia (GPN).

METHODS

A retrospective review of the case notes of patients who had undergone surgery for GPN in the authors’ department between 2008 and 2013 was performed to investigate baseline characteristics and immediate outcomes during the hospitalization. For the long-term results, a telephone survey was performed, and information on pain recurrence and permanent complications was collected. Pain relief meant no pain or medication, any pain persisting after surgery was considered to be treatment failure, and any pain returning during the follow-up period was considered to be pain recurrence. For comparative study, the patients were divided into 2 cohorts, that is, patients treated with GPNR alone and those treated with GPNR+VNR.

RESULTS

One hundred three procedures, consisting of GPNR alone in 38 cases and GPNR+VNR in 65 cases, were performed in 103 consecutive patients with GPN. Seventy-nine of the 103 patients could be contacted for the follow-up study, with a mean follow-up duration of 2.73 years (range 1 month–5.75 years). While there were similar results (GPNR vs GPNR+VNR) in immediate pain relief rates (94.7% vs 93.8%), immediate complication rates (7.9% vs 4.6%), and long-term pain relief rates (92.3% vs 94.3%) between the 2 cohorts, a great difference was seen in long-term complications (3.8% vs 35.8%). The long-term complication rate for the combined GPNR+VNR cohort was 9.4 times higher than that in the GPNR cohort.

There was no operative or perioperative mortality. Immediate complications occurred in 6 cases, consisting of poor wound healing in 3 cases, and CSF leakage, hoarseness, and dystaxia in 1 case each. Permanent complications occurred in 20 patients (25.3%) and included cough while drinking in 10 patients, pharyngeal discomfort in 8 patients, and hoarseness and dysphagia in 1 case each.

CONCLUSIONS

In general, this study indicates that GPNR alone or in combination with VNR is a safe, simple, and effective treatment option for GPN. It may be especially valuable for patients who are not suitable for the microvascular decompression (MVD) procedure and for surgeons who have little experience with MVD. Of note, this study renews the significance of GPNR alone, which, the authors believe, is at least valuable for a subgroup of GPN patients, with significantly fewer long-term complications than those for rhizotomy for both glossopharyngeal nerve and rootlets of the vagus nerve.

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Hui Liu, Zemin Li, Sibei Li, Kuibo Zhang, Hao Yang, Jianru Wang, Xiang Li, and Zhaomin Zheng

OBJECT

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of rod stiffness and implant density on coronal and sagittal plane correction in patients with main thoracic curve adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS).

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective study of 77 consecutive cases involving 56 female and 21 male patients with Lenke Type 1 main thoracic curve AIS who underwent single-stage posterior correction and instrumented spinal fusion with pedicle screw fixation between July 2009 and July 2012. The patients' mean age at surgery was 15.79 ± 3.21 years. All patients had at least 1 year of follow-up. Radiological parameters in the coronal and sagittal planes, including Cobb angle of the major curve, side-bending Cobb angle of the major curve, thoracic kyphosis (TK), correction rates, and screw density, were measured and analyzed. Screw densities (calculated as number of screws per fusion segment × 2) of < 0.60 and ≥ 0.60 were defined as low and high density, respectively. Titanium rods of 5.5 mm and 6.35 mm diameter were defined as low and high stiffness, respectively. Patients were divided into 4 groups based on the type of rod and density of screw placement that had been used: Group A, low-stiffness rod with low density of screw placement; Group B, low-stiffness rod with high density of screw placement; Group C, high-stiffness rod with low density of screw placement; Group D, high-stiffness rod with high density of screw placement.

RESULTS

The mean coronal correction rate of the major curve, for all 77 patients, was (81.45% ± 7.51%), and no significant difference was found among the 4 groups (p > 0.05). Regarding sagittal plane correction, Group A showed a significant decrease in TK after surgery (p < 0.05), while Group D showed a significant increase (p < 0.05); Group B and C showed no significant postoperative changes in TK (p > 0.05). The TK restoration rate was highest in Group D and lowest in Group A (A, −39.32% ± 7.65%; B, −0.37% ± 8.25%; C, −4.04% ± 6.77%; D, 37.59% ± 8.53%). Screw density on the concave side was significantly higher than that on the convex side in all the groups (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

For flexible main thoracic curve AIS, both rods with high stiffness and those with low stiffness combined with high or low screw density could provide effective correction in the coronal plane; rods with high stiffness along with high screw density on the concave side could provide better outcome with respect to sagittal TK restoration.

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Feng Shen, Bin Zhou, Quan Li, Ming Li, Zhiwei Wang, Qiang Li, and Bo Ran

OBJECT

The object of this study was to review the effectiveness in treating severe and rigid scoliosis with posterioronly spinal release combined with derotation, translation, segmental correction, and an in situ rod-contouring technique.

METHODS

Twenty-eight patients with severe and rigid scoliosis (Cobb angle > 70° and flexibility < 30%) were retrospectively enrolled between June 2008 and June 2010. The average age of the patients was 17.1 years old (range 12–22 years old), 18 were female, and 10 were male. Etiological diagnoses were idiopathic in 24 patients, neuromuscular in 2 patients, and Marfan syndrome in 2 patients. All patients underwent posterior spinal release, derotation, translation, segmental correction, and an in situ rod-contouring technique. The scoliosis Cobb angle in the coronal plane, kyphosis Cobb angle, apex vertebral translation, and trunk shift were evaluated preoperatively and postoperatively.

RESULTS

The average operative time was 241.8 ± 32.1 minutes and estimated blood loss was 780.5 ± 132.6 ml. The average scoliosis Cobb angle in the coronal plane was corrected from 85.7° (range 77°–94°) preoperatively to 33.1° (range 21°–52°) postoperatively, with a correction ratio of 61.3%. The average kyphosis Cobb angle was 64.5° (range 59°–83°) preoperatively, which was decreased to 42.6° (range 34°–58°) postoperatively, with a correction ratio of 33.9%. After an average of 24 months of follow-up (range 13–30 months), no major complications were observed in these patients, except screw pullout of the upper thoracic vertebrae in 2 patients and screw penetration into the apical vertebrae in 1 patient.

CONCLUSIONS

Posterior spinal release combined with derotation, translation, segmental correction, and an in situ rod-contouring technique has proved to be a promising new technique for rigid scoliosis, significantly correcting the scoliosis and accompanied by fewer complications.

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Wenbao Wang and Linghua Kong

Object

The authors evaluated different surgical methods used to treat thoracic ossification of the ligamentum flavum (OLF).

Methods

Data obtained in 40 patients who underwent posterior decompression for thoracic myelopathy caused by thoracic OLF were studied retrospectively. There were 32 men and eight women. All patients underwent posterior decompression in which laminoplasty was performed or laminectomy combined with lateral fusion. Every surgical specimen was stained with H & E, and scanning electron microscopy was performed in 20 cases. The mean follow-up period was 28 months. Postoperative outcomes were evaluated using a recovery scale based on the Japanese Orthopaedic Association classification. There were a total of 168 ossified segments in this series, 77.4% of which were located in the lower thoracic spine. Marginal osteophyte formation was found in 36 patients; in 32 of the 36 patients, these marginal osteophytes were located at the intervertebral space either higher or lower than the ossified segment. Scanning electron microscopy showed elastic fiber breakdown, proliferation of collagenous fibers, calcification, and OLF in the same microscopy region. Laminoplasty was performed in four patients. In three cases surgery resulted in unchanged or worse outcome (increased kyphotic deformity in two), and in one it resulted in good outcome. Laminectomy combined with lateral fusion was performed in 36 patients, in 30 cases of which it resulted in a good or fair outcome, and increased kyphotic deformity in only one. Of these 36 laminectomy-treated patients, an en bloc laminectomy-treated procedure was performed in 16 patients; in 11 of the 12 patients with lateral or diffuse-type lesions the surgery resulted in a good or fair outcome. En bloc laminectomy, however, seems ineffective in the treatment of patients with thickened, nodular-type thoracic OLF, as the procedure resulted in worse outcome in two of the four patients. The authors have thus developed a new modality of laminectomy that they have termed “separating laminectomy,” which they performed in 16 patients with thickened, nodular-type OLF; in 13 cases it resulted in a good or fair outcome, and in only one case did it result in a worse outcome.

Conclusions

The pathogenesis of thoracic OLF is mainly due to the localized mechanical stress on the ligament. Laminectomy combined with lateral fusion is the treatment of choice for thoracic OLF; furthermore, in terms of the configuration of the ossified lesion, en bloc laminectomy is suitable for the treatment of lateral-type and diffuse-type OLF, and the separating laminectomy is suitable for the thickened, nodular-type OLF.

Open access

Lei Zhao, Peng Wang, and Weixin Li

Os odontoideum is a rare anomaly of the second cervical vertebra, which can result in the compression and injury of cervical spinal cord. This deformity is surgically challenging. The authors presented a case of a 50-year-old man with a 2-year history of numbness and weakness in four limbs. The x-ray suggested the os odontoideum. MRI demonstrated a dramatic compression of the cervical spinal cord and an abnormally high signal intensity area in this region. The patient underwent a midline posterior approach for the treatment of this lesion. Postoperatively, the reduction results were satisfactory and the compression was relieved.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/3qDzR2kOz8k.

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Peng Li, Haibo Ren, Shizhen Zhang, and Wei Wang

Object

The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of the efficacy and safety of Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) for the treatment of cavernous sinus hemangiomas (CSHs). The authors report on 16 patients who underwent GKS as a primary or adjuvant treatment for CSH.

Methods

Sixteen patients harboring CSHs (14 women and 2 men ranging in age from 21 to 65 years [mean 41.3 years]) underwent GKS at West China Hospital. In 4 patients the diagnosis was based on histological findings; in the other 12 patients it was based on findings on MR images. After patients were given a local anesthetic agent, the treatments were performed using a Leksell Gamma Knife model C. Gadolinium-enhanced MR images of T1-weighted, T2-weighted, and FLAIR sequences were obtained to determine the pretreatment location of the lesion. A mean peripheral dose of 13.3 Gy (range 11–14 Gy) was directed to the 40%–50% isodose line.

Results

The mean follow-up time in this study was 21.5 months (range 12–36 months). In 11 of 12 patients with symptoms, clinical improvement was reported at an average of 3.3 months (range 1–8 months) after GKS. Significant or partial tumor shrinkage was observed in 14 patients (87.5%) at the last follow-up. No new neurological impairments were reported after GKS.

Conclusions

Magnetic resonance imaging may play an important role in the preoperative diagnosis of CSHs. Gamma Knife surgery may be a safe and effective primary or adjuvant treatment option for CSHs; however, long-term follow-up with more cases is needed to verify the benefits of this treatment.

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Haitao Ju, Xin Li, Hong Li, Xiaojuan Wang, Hongwei Wang, Yang Li, Changwu Dou, and Gang Zhao

Object

Signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1) is thought to be a tumor suppressor protein. The authors investigated the expression and role of STAT1 in glioblastoma.

Methods

Immunohistochemistry was used to detect the expression of STAT1 in glioblastoma and normal brain tissues. Reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analysis were used to detect mRNA and protein expression levels of STAT1. Cell growth, proliferation, migration, apoptosis, and the expression of related genes and proteins (Bcl-2, Bax, cleaved caspase-3, caspase-9, p21, and proliferating cell nuclear antigen) were examined in vitro via cell counting kit-8, wound-healing, flow cytometry, Rhodamine B, TUNEL, and Western blot assays.

Results

Human glioblastoma had decreased expression of STAT1 proteins. Transfection of the U87MG cells with STAT1 plasmid in vitro demonstrated significant inhibition of cell growth and an increase in apoptotic cell death compared with cells transfected with vector or mock plasmids. These effects were associated with the upregulation of cleaved caspase-3, Bax, and p21 and the downregulation of Bcl-2 expression.

Conclusions

The results of this study suggest that increased expression of STAT1 by transfection with STAT1 plasmid synergistically inhibits human U87MG glioblastoma cell growth in vitro.

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Yu Sun, Li-Xin Wang, Lei Wang, Si-Xin Sun, Xiao-Jian Cao, Peng Wang, and Li Feng

Object

The effectiveness of the topical application of mitomycin C (MMC) or 5-fluorouracil (5FU) in preventing peridural adhesion after laminectomy was compared in this study.

Methods

Laminectomies were performed at L-1 in 30 rats. Cotton pads soaked with 0.1 mg/ml MMC, 25 mg/ml 5FU, or 9 mg/ml saline (control) were applied to the operative sites. To evaluate neurological deficits pre- and postoperatively, somatosensory evoked potentials were monitored and the Basso-Beattie-Bresnahan locomotion test was performed. Four weeks postlaminectomy the rats were killed, and peridural scar adhesion was evaluated histologically. The level of hydroxyproline, the area of peridural scar tissue, and the number of fibroblasts were determined. The degree of peridural adhesion was classified according to the Rydell standard.

Results

No obvious adhesion formed in the rats in the MMC group, but severe peridural adhesions were found in those in the 5FU and control groups. The content of hydroxyproline, the area of peridural scar tissue, and the number of fibroblasts in the MMC group were significantly lower than those in the 5FU and control groups.

Conclusions

The topical application of MMC rather than 5FU may be a successful method of preventing post-laminectomy peridural adhesions.

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Huan Liu, Junlong Wu, Yu Tang, Haiyin Li, Wenkai Wang, Changqing Li, and Yue Zhou

OBJECTIVE

The authors aimed to assess, in a bone-agar experimental setting, the feasibility and accuracy of percutaneous lumbar pedicle screw placements using an intraoperative CT image–based augmented reality (AR)–guided method compared to placements using a radiograph-guided method. They also compared two AR hologram alignment methods.

METHODS

Twelve lumbar spine sawbones were completely embedded in hardened opaque agar, and a cubic marker was fixed on each phantom. After intraoperative CT, a 3D model of each phantom was generated, and a specialized application was deployed into an AR headset (Microsoft HoloLens). One hundred twenty pedicle screws, simulated by Kirschner wires (K-wires), were placed by two experienced surgeons, who each placed a total of 60 screws: 20 placed with a radiograph-guided technique, 20 with an AR technique in which the hologram was manually aligned, and 20 with an AR technique in which the hologram was automatically aligned. For each K-wire, the insertion path was expanded to a 6.5-mm diameter to simulate a lumbar pedicle screw. CT imaging of each phantom was performed after all K-wire placements, and the operative time required for each K-wire placement was recorded. An independent radiologist rated all images of K-wire placements. Outcomes were classified as grade I (no pedicle perforation), grade II (screw perforation of the cortex by up to 2 mm), or grade III (screw perforation of the cortex by > 2 mm). In a clinical situation, placements scored as grade I or II would be acceptable and safe for patients.

RESULTS

Among all screw placements, 75 (94%) of 80 AR-guided placements and 40 (100%) of 40 radiograph-guided placements were acceptable (i.e., grade I or II; p = 0.106). Radiograph-guided placements had more grade I outcomes than the AR-guided method (p < 0.0001). The accuracy of the two AR alignment methods (p = 0.526) was not statistically significantly different, and neither was it different between the AR and radiograph groups (p < 0.0001). AR-guided placements required less time than the radiograph-guided placements (mean ± standard deviation, 131.76 ± 24.57 vs 181.43 ± 15.82 seconds, p < 0.0001). Placements performed using the automatic-alignment method required less time than those using the manual-alignment method (124.20 ± 23.80 vs 139.33 ± 23.21 seconds, p = 0.0081).

CONCLUSIONS

In bone-agar experimental settings, AR-guided percutaneous lumbar pedicle screw placements were acceptable and more efficient than radiograph-guided placements. In a comparison of the two AR-guided placements, the automatic-alignment method was as accurate as the manual method but more efficient. Because of some limitations, the AR-guided system cannot be recommended in a clinical setting until there is significant improvement of this technology.