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Lei Zhang, Zhiqiang Yi, Hongzhou Duan and Liang Li

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to introduce a novel autologous duraplasty procedure for the treatment of Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I).

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed data from patients who had been diagnosed with CM-I and had undergone suboccipital decompression and autologous duraplasty in situ or synthetic dural graft duraplasty; patients were treated in the authors' department between 2011 and 2014. All procedures were performed by the same surgeon. The 2 duraplasty methods were compared in terms of surgical factors and complications. The authors assessed the neurological outcome and MRI-documented syrinx size at the 6-month follow-up visit.

RESULTS

Twenty-seven patients were enrolled in this study, 13 in the duraplasty in situ group and 14 in the synthetic dural graft duraplasty group. The results showed no significant differences between the duraplasty in situ and synthetic dural graft duraplasty groups in overall operative time (4.9 hours vs 4.1 hours; p = 0.070), estimated blood loss (229 ml vs 254 ml; p = 0.159), and duration of hospital stay after the operation (13.5 days vs 12.8 days; p = 0.808). In the duraplasty in situ group, 1 case of meningitis occurred (7.7%). In the synthetic dural graft duraplasty group, the complications included 1 case of meningitis (7.1%) and 1 CSF leak (7.1%). The mean cost of hospitalization in the duraplasty in situ group (CNY 23,354) was significantly lower than that in the synthetic dural graft duraplasty group (CNY 29,385; p = 0.036).

CONCLUSIONS

Compared with synthetic dural graft duraplasty, autologous duraplasty in situ is a safe, effective, and cost-effective procedure for the treatment of CM-I. The long-term outcome of this procedure requires investigation.

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Hongzhou Duan, Dapeng Mo, Yang Zhang, Jiayong Zhang and Liang Li

OBJECTIVE

Symptomatic steno-occlusion of the proximal vertebral artery (VA) or subclavian artery (ScA) heralds a poor prognosis and high risk of stroke recurrence despite medical therapy, including antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs. In some cases, the V2 segment of the cervical VA is patent and perfused via collateral vessels. The authors describe 7 patients who were successfully treated by external carotid artery (ECA)–saphenous vein (SV)–VA bypass.

METHODS

Seven cases involving symptomatic patients were retrospectively studied: 3 cases of V1 segment occlusion, 2 cases of severe in-stent restenosis in the V1 segment, and 2 cases of occlusion of the proximal ScA. All patients underwent ECA-SV-VA bypass. The ECA was isolated and retracted, and the anterior wall of the transverse foramen was unroofed. The VA was exposed, and then the 2 ends of the SV were anastomosed to the VA and ECA in an end-to-side fashion.

RESULTS

Surgical procedures were all performed as planned, with no intraoperative complications. There were 2 postoperative complications (severe laryngeal edema in one case and shoulder weakness in another), but both patients recovered fully and measures were taken to minimize laryngeal edema and its effects in subsequent cases. All patients experienced improvement of their symptoms. No new neurological deficits were reported. Postoperative angiography demonstrated that the anastomoses were all patent, and analysis of follow-up data (range of follow-up 12–78 months) revealed no further ischemic events in the vertebrobasilar territory.

CONCLUSIONS

The ECA-SV-VA bypass is a useful treatment for patients who suffer medically refractory ischemic events in the vertebrobasilar territory when the proximal part of the VA or ScA is severely stenosed or occluded but the V2 segment of the cervical VA is patent.

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Letter to the Editor

Apolipoprotein E and myelopathy

Hong-liang Zhang, Ping Liu and Shuai Yan

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Liang-Hua Ma, Guang Li, Hong-Wei Zhang, Zhi-Yu Wang, Jun Dang, Shuo Zhang, Lei Yao and Xiao-Meng Zhang

Object

This study was undertaken to analyze outcomes in patients with newly diagnosed brain metastases from non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who were treated with hypofractionated stereotactic radiotherapy (HSRT) with or without whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT).

Methods

One hundred seventy-one patients comprised the study population. Fifty-four patients received HSRT alone, and 117 patients received both HSRT and WBRT. The median survival time (MST) was determined using the Kaplan-Meier method. Recursive Partitioning Analysis (RPA) and Graded Prognostic Assessment (GPA) were also used to evaluate the results. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to determine significant prognostic factors for overall survival. Tumor control, radiation toxicity, and cause of death in the HSRT and HSRT+WBRT groups were evaluated.

Results

The MST for all patients was 13 months. According to the Kaplan-Meier method, the probability of survival at 1, 2, and 3 years was 51.2%, 21.7%, and 10.1%. The MSTs for RPA Classes I, II, and III were 19, 12, and 5 months, respectively; and the MSTs for GPA Scores 4, 3, 2, and 1 were 24, 14, 12, and 6 months, respectively. The MSTs in the HSRT+WBRT and HSRT groups were 13 and 9 months (p = 0.044), respectively, for all patients, 13 and 8 months (p = 0.031), respectively, for patients with multiple brain metastases, and 16 and 15 months (p = 0.261), respectively, for patients with a single brain metastasis. The multivariate analysis showed that HSRT+WBRT was a significant factor only for patients with multiple brain metastases (p = 0.010). The Kaplan-Meier–estimated tumor control rates at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months were 92.2%, 82.7%, 79.5%, and 68.3% in the HSRT+WBRT group and 73.5%, 58.4%, 51.0%, and 43.3% in the HSRT group, respectively, in all 165 patients (p = 0.001). The estimated tumor control rates at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months were 94.3%, 81.9%, 79.6%, and 76.7%, respectively, in the HSRT+WBRT group and 77.8%, 61.4%, 52.6%, and 48.2%, respectively, in the HSRT group in the 80 patients harboring a single metastasis (p = 0.009). The estimated tumor control rates at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months were 90.5%, 83.5%, 79.5%, and 60.9%, respectively, in the HSRT+WBRT group and 68.2%, 54.5%, 48.5%, and 36.4%, respectively, in the HSRT group in the 85 patients with multiple metastases (p = 0.010). The toxicity incidences of Grade 3 or worse were 6.0% (7 of 117 patients) in the HSRT+WBRT group and 1.9% (1 of 54 patients) in the HSRT group (p = 0.438). The differences in neurological death rates between the HSRT+WBRT group and the HSRT group were not statistically significant (34.4% vs 44.7%, p = 0.125, in all patients; 30.0% vs 52.0%, p = 0.114, in patients with a single metastasis; and 38.0% vs 36.4%, p = 0.397, in patients with multiple metastases).

Conclusions

The overall survival results in the present study were similar to those in other studies. Hypofractionated stereotactic radiotherapy provides an alternative method to traditional stereotactic radiosurgery. We suggest that WBRT should be combined with HSRT in patients with single or multiple newly diagnosed brain metastases from NSCLC.

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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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Ren-Jie Zhang, Hui-Min Li, Hai Gao, Chong-Yu Jia, Tao Xing, Fu-Long Dong and Cai-Liang Shen

OBJECTIVE

Traditional trajectory (TT) screws are widely used in lumbar fixation. However, they may require revision surgery in some instances, especially in patients with osteoporotic spines. Cortical bone trajectory (CBT) screws may potentially be used to rescue a failed TT screw and vice versa in nonosteoporotic spines. This study aimed to investigate whether a CBT screw can salvage a compromised TT screw in osteoporotic lumbar spines and vice versa.

METHODS

A total of 42 vertebrae from 17 cadaveric lumbar spines were obtained. Bone mineral density was measured, and a CBT screw was randomly inserted into one side of each vertebra. A TT screw was then inserted into the contralateral side. The biomechanical properties of the screws were tested to determine their insertional torque, pullout strength, and fatigue performance. After checking the screws for the failure of each specimen, the failed screw track was salvaged with a screw of the opposite trajectory. The specimen was then subjected to the same mechanical tests, and results were recorded. A repeat pullout test on TT and CBT screws was also performed.

RESULTS

When CBT screws were used to rescue failed TT screws, the original torque increased by 50%, an average of 81% of the pullout strength of the initial TT screws was retained, and the fatigue performance was equal to that of the original screws, which were considerably stronger than the loose TT screws—that is, the TT repeat screws/TT screws were 33% of the pullout strength of the initial TT screws. When the TT screws were used to salvage the compromised CBT screws, the TT screws retained 51% of the original torque and 54% of the original pullout strength, and these screws were still stronger than the loose CBT screws—that is, the loose CBT screws retained 12% pullout strength of the initial CBT screws. Fatigue performance and the ratio of the pullout strength considerably decreased between the CBT rescue screws and the original CBT screws but slightly changed between the TT rescue screws and the original TT screws.

CONCLUSIONS

CBT and TT screws can be applied in a revision technique to salvage each other in osteoporotic lumbar spines. Additionally, CBT and TT screws each retain adequate insertional torque, pullout strength, and fatigue performance when used for revision in osteoporotic lumbar spines.

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Tianhao Wang, Yongfei Zhao, Yan Liang, Haocong Zhang, Zheng Wang and Yan Wang

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this paper was to analyze the incidence and risk factors of proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK) in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) who underwent pedicle subtraction osteotomy.

METHODS

The records of 83 patients with AS and thoracolumbar kyphosis who underwent surgery at the authors’ institution between 2007 and 2013 were reviewed. The patients were divided into 2 groups based on the presence or absence of PJK. The radiographic measurements, including proximal junctional angle (PJA), sagittal parameters, and pelvic parameters of these 2 groups, were compared at different time points: before surgery and 2 weeks, 12 months, and 2 years after surgery. Oswestry Disability Index scores were also evaluated.

RESULTS

Overall, 14.5% of patients developed PJK. Before surgery, the mean PJAs in the 2 groups were 13.6° and 8.5°, respectively (p = 0.008). There were no significant differences in age, sex, and body mass index between groups. Patients with PJK had a larger thoracolumbar kyphotic angle (50.8° ± 12.6°) and a greater sagittal vertical axis (21.7 ± 4.3 cm) preoperatively than those without PJK. The proportion of patients with PJK whose fusion extended to the sacrum was 41.2% (7/17), which is significantly greater than the proportion of patients with PJK whose lowest instrumented vertebra was above the sacrum. Oswestry Disability Index scores did not significantly increase in the PJK group compared with the non-PJK group.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors found that PJK occurs postoperatively in patients with AS with an incidence of 14.5%. Risk factors of PJK include larger preoperative sagittal vertical axis, PJA, and osteotomy angle. Reducing the osteotomy angle in some severe cases and extending fusion to a higher, flatter level would be also beneficial in decreasing the risk of PJK.

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Jing Xu, Liang Xu, Ziheng Wu, Xianyi Chen, Jun Yu and Jianmin Zhang

OBJECT

P2 segment and distal aneurysms are rare lesions of the cerebrovascular system. The efficacy and safety of endovascular occlusion for these types of aneurysms remain controversial. The aim of this study was to reveal risk factors for endovascular parent artery occlusion of ruptured P2 segment and distal aneurysms.

METHODS

Between March 2010 and November 2012, 812 patients with a ruptured intracranial aneurysm were admitted to the authors' hospital. Among them, 11 patients presented with P2 segment and distal posterior cerebral artery (PCA) aneurysms. These patients were subjected to endovascular treatment. Periprocedural data and clinical and angiographic records were studied retrospectively.

RESULTS

Of the patients with a ruptured PCA aneurysm, 2 of them underwent selective aneurismal coiling, and the remaining patients were treated with simultaneous occlusion of the parent artery. Patients with an adult-type PCA (n = 6), treated with either selective coiling or simultaneous parent artery occlusion, had no serious neurological deficits on follow-up. Four patients with a fetal-type PCA that was also occluded intraoperatively exhibited newly developed permanent paralysis and hemianopsia. However, 1 patient with a fetal-type PCA aneurysm that was selectively coiled recovered without complications. No recanalization was observed in any of the treated aneurysms.

CONCLUSIONS

Endovascular occlusion of an aneurysm and its parent artery is a safe and effective method for managing adult-type P2 segment and distal aneurysms. However, the authors' clinical data suggest that this method is of high risk for patients with fetal-type PCA aneurysms.

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Qing-Song Lin, Wei-Xiong Wang, Yuan-Xiang Lin, Zhang-Ya Lin, Liang-Hong Yu, Yin Kang and De-Zhi Kang

OBJECTIVE

Glutamate excitotoxicity and neuronal apoptosis are suggested to contribute to early brain injury after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Annexin A7 (ANXA7) has been shown to regulate glutamate release. However, the role of ANXA7 in early brain injury after SAH has not been illustrated. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effect of ANXA7 knockdown in reducing the severity of early brain injury after SAH, and determine the underlying mechanisms.

METHODS

Endovascular perforation was performed to induce SAH in male Sprague-Dawley rats. ANXA7-siRNA was administered via intraventricular injection 5 days before SAH induction. Neurological test, evaluation of SAH grade, assessment of blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability, measurement of brain water content, Western blot, double immunofluorescence staining, TUNEL staining, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were performed at 24 hours of SAH induction.

RESULTS

ANXA7 protein expression increased significantly after SAH induction and was seen mainly in neurons. High expression of ANXA7 was associated with poor neurological status. ANXA7 knockdown dramatically ameliorated early brain injury through alleviating BBB disruption and brain edema. Further investigation of the mechanism showed that inhibiting ANXA7 expression can rescue neuronal apoptosis. In addition, ANXA7 knockdown also significantly reduced glutamate release, which was consistent with a significant increase of Bcl-2 expression and decreases of Bax and cleaved caspase-3 expression.

CONCLUSIONS

ANXA7 can induce neuronal apoptosis by affecting glutamate release in rats with SAH. Downregulating the expression of ANXA7 can significantly attenuate early brain injury after SAH. Future therapy targeting ANXA7 may be a promising new choice.