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Xing Wu, Jin Hu, Liangfu Zhou, Ying Mao, Bojie Yang, Liang Gao, Rong Xie, Feng Xu, Dong Zhang, Jun Liu and Jianhong Zhu

Object

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been shown to migrate toward tumors, but their distribution pattern in gliomas has not been completely portrayed. The primary purpose of the study was to assay the tropism capacity of MSCs to gliomas, to delineate the pattern of MSC distribution in gliomas after systemic injection, and to track the migration and incorporation of magnetically labeled MSCs using 1.5-T magnetic resonance (MR) imaging.

Methods

The MSCs from Fischer 344 rats were colabeled with superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIO) and enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP). The tropism capacity of MSCs was quantitatively assayed in vitro using the Transwell system. To track the migration of MSCs in vivo, MR imaging was performed both 7 and 14 days after systemic administration of labeled MSCs. After MR imaging, the distribution patterns of MSCs in rats with gliomas were examined using Prussian blue and fluorescence staining.

Results

The in vitro study showed that MSCs possessed significantly greater migratory capacity than fibroblast cells (p < 0.001) and that lysis of F98 glioma cells and cultured F98 cells showed a greater capacity to induce migration of cells than other stimuli (p < 0.05). Seven days after MSC transplantation, the SPIO–EGFP colabeled cells were distributed throughout the tumor, where a well-defined dark hypointense region was represented on gradient echo sequences. After 14 days, most of the colabeled MSCs were found at the border between the tumor and normal parenchyma, which was represented on gradient echo sequences as diluted amorphous dark areas at the edge of the tumors.

Conclusions

This study demonstrated that systemically transplanted MSCs migrate toward gliomas with high specificity in a temporal–spatial pattern, which can be tracked using MR imaging.

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Xu Wang, Hong-Liang Zhang, Chi Ma, Jiang Wu and Jie Zhu

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Yong-Jian Zhu, Guang-Yu Ying, Ai-Qin Chen, Lin-Lin Wang, Dan-Feng Yu, Liang-Liang Zhu, Yu-Cheng Ren, Chen Wang, Peng-Cheng Wu, Ying Yao, Fang Shen and Jian-Min Zhang

OBJECT

Posterior midline laminectomy or hemilaminectomy has been successfully applied as the standard microsurgical technique for the treatment of spinal intradural pathologies. However, the associated risks of postoperative spinal instability increase the need for subsequent fusion surgery to prevent potential long-term spinal deformity. Continuous efforts have been made to minimize injuries to the surrounding tissue resulting from surgical manipulations. The authors report here their experiences with a novel minimally invasive surgical approach, namely the interlaminar approach, for the treatment of lumbar intraspinal tumors.

METHODS

A retrospective review was conducted of patients at the Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine who underwent minimally invasive resection of lumbar intradural-extramedullary tumors. By using an operative microscope, in addition to an endoscope when necessary, the authors were able to treat all patients with a unilateral, paramedian, bone-sparing interlaminar technique. Data including preoperative neurological status, tumor location, size, pathological diagnosis, extension of resections, intraoperative blood loss, length of hospital stay, and clinical outcomes were obtained through clinical and radiological examinations.

RESULTS

Eighteen patients diagnosed with lumbar intradural-extramedullary tumors were treated from October 2013 to March 2015 by this interlaminar technique. A microscope was used in 15 cases, and the remaining 3 cases were treated using a microscope as well as an endoscope. There were 14 schwannomas, 2 ependymomas, 1 epidermoid cyst, and 1 enterogenous cyst. Postoperative radiological follow-up revealed complete removal of all the lesions and no signs of bone defects in the lamina. At clinical follow-up, 14 of the 18 patients had less pain, and patients' motor/sensory functions improved or remained normal in all cases except 1.

CONClUSIONS

When meeting certain selection criteria, intradural-extramedullary lumbar tumors, especially schwannomas, can be completely and safely resected through a less-invasive interlaminar approach using a microscope, or a microscope in addition to an endoscope when necessary. This approach was advantageous because it caused even less bone destruction, resulting in better postoperative spinal stability, no need for facetectomy and fusion, and quicker functional recovery for the patients. Individualized surgical planning according to preoperative radiological findings is key to a successful microsurgical resection of these lesions through the interlaminar space.

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Xiang Zou, Zehan Wu, Wei Zhu, Liang Chen, Ying Mao and Fan Zhao

OBJECTIVE

Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is a fatal disease with high morbidity and mortality, which may be followed by white matter injury (WMI) due to the local oxidizing reaction induced by iron (Fe). In this study, the authors examined the effect of the tetracycline antibiotic minocycline on Fe-induced WMI and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) activation in rats.

METHODS

Thirty-six male Sprague-Dawley rats underwent an intracaudate injection of saline, Fe, or Fe + minocycline. Another 36 rats had an intracaudate injection of autologous blood and were treated with minocycline or vehicle (saline). Biomarkers of both WMI and JNK activation were examined.

RESULTS

In the Fe-injection group, minocycline suppressed WMI labeled by β-amyloid precursor protein (β-APP) and degraded myelin basic protein (dMBP)/MBP ratio. Protein levels of phosphorylated-JNK were increased after Fe injection, and could be suppressed by minocycline treatment. In the autologous blood–injection group, β-APP and dMBP/MBP levels increased in the ipsilateral site compared with the contralateral site, which could be suppressed by 7 days of minocycline intervention.

CONCLUSIONS

Iron plays a critical role in WMI after ICH, which can be suppressed by minocycline through reducing the damage induced by Fe.

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Xiang Zou, Liangfu Zhou, Wei Zhu, Ying Mao and Liang Chen

OBJECT

Intracranial dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) are complex intracranial vascular malformations that can lead to hemorrhage. The authors recently found that chronic local hypoperfusion seems to be the main cause of angiogenesis in the dura mater, which leads to the formation of DAVFs. As a natural derivative of estradiol, 2-methoxyestradiol (2-ME) has an antiangiogenic effect and can be used safely in patients with advanced carcinoid tumors. This study was conducted to examine the antiangiogenic effects of 2-ME on a rat DAVF model.

METHODS

Male Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 72) were used in the experiments. Intracranial venous hypertension was induced for modeling, and 2-ME was used in the early or late stage for treatment. The effects were examined by immunohistochemistry, Western blot analysis, and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction assays.

RESULTS

2-Methoxyestradiol significantly reduced angiogenesis in the dura in early- and late-intervention treatment groups, as proven by the results of immunohistochemical staining, Western blotting, real-time polymerase chain reaction assays, and microvessel density counts. The antiangiogenic effect even lasted for up to 2 weeks after 2-ME cessation.

CONCLUSIONS

These data collectively suggest that 2-ME can reduce the angiogenic effect caused by venous hypertension in a rat DAVF model, mainly by suppressing the inhibitor of differentiation 1 (ID-1) and hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) pathways.

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Chen Wang, Chien-Min Chen, Fang Shen, Xiao-Dong Fang, Guang-Yu Ying, Yu-Cheng Ren, Dan-Feng Yu, Liang-Liang Zhu, Yong-Jian Zhu and Jian-Min Zhang

Spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas (SDAVFs) are the most common type of spinal arteriovenous malformations, and microsurgical ligation is the treatment modality most frequently used for these lesions. Developments in endoscopic techniques have made endoscopy an even less invasive alternative to routine microsurgical approaches in spine surgery, but endoscopic management of SDAVF or other intradural spinal lesions has not been reported to date.

The authors describe the use of a microscope-assisted endoscopic interlaminar approach for the ligation of the proximal draining vein of an L-1 SDAVF in a 58-year-old man. A complete cure was confirmed by postoperative angiography. The postoperative course was uneventful, and short-term follow-up showed improvements in the patient's neurological function. The authors conclude that the endoscopic interlaminar approach with microscope assistance is a safe, minimally invasive, innovative technique for the surgical management of SDAVFs in selected patients.

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Qi Yue, Yang Yu, Zhifeng Shi, Yongfei Wang, Wei Zhu, Zunguo Du, Zhenwei Yao, Liang Chen and Ying Mao

OBJECTIVE

Treatment with a BRAF mutation inhibitor might shrink otherwise refractory craniopharyngiomas and is a promising preoperative treatment to facilitate tumor resection. The aim of this study was to investigate the noninvasive diagnosis of BRAF-mutated craniopharyngiomas based on MRI characteristics.

METHODS

Fifty-two patients with pathologically diagnosed craniopharyngioma were included in this study. Polymerase chain reaction was performed on tumor tissue specimens to detect BRAF and CTNNB1 mutations. MRI manifestations—including tumor location, size, shape, and composition; signal intensity of cysts; enhancement pattern; pituitary stalk morphology; and encasement of the internal carotid artery—were analyzed by 2 neuroradiologists blinded to patient identity and clinical characteristics, including BRAF mutation status. Results were compared between the BRAF-mutated and wild-type (WT) groups. Characteristics that were significantly more prevalent (p < 0.05) in the BRAF-mutated craniopharyngiomas were defined as diagnostic features. The minimum number of diagnostic features needed to make a diagnosis was determined by analyzing the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve.

RESULTS

Eight of the 52 patients had BRAF-mutated craniopharyngiomas, and the remaining 44 had BRAF WT tumors. The clinical characteristics did not differ significantly between the 2 groups. Interobserver agreement for MRI data analysis was relatively reliable, with values of Cohen κ ranging from 0.65 to 0.97 (p < 0.001). A comparison of findings in the 2 patient groups showed that BRAF-mutated craniopharyngiomas tended to be suprasellar (p < 0.001), spherical (p = 0.005), predominantly solid (p = 0.003), and homogeneously enhancing (p < 0.001), and that patients with these tumors tended to have a thickened pituitary stalk (p = 0.014). When at least 3 of these 5 features were present, a tumor might be identified as BRAF mutated with a sensitivity of 1.00 and a specificity of 0.91. The area under the ROC curve for the sum of all 5 diagnostic criteria was 0.989 (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

The BRAF mutation status of craniopharyngiomas might be predicted using certain MRI features with relatively high sensitivity and specificity, thus offering potential guidance for the preoperative administration of BRAF mutation inhibitors.

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Fengping Zhu, Yi Qian, Bin Xu, Yuxiang Gu, Kaavya Karunanithi, Wei Zhu, Liang Chen, Ying Mao and Michael K. Morgan

OBJECTIVE

Although intracranial vessel remodeling has been observed in moyamoya disease, concerns remain regarding the effect of bypass surgery on hemodynamic changes within the internal carotid artery (ICA). The authors aimed to quantify the surgical effect of bypass surgery on bilateral ICAs in moyamoya disease and to estimate pressure drop (PD) along the length of the ICA to predict surgical outcomes.

METHODS

Records of patients who underwent bypass surgery for treatment of moyamoya disease and in whom flow rates were obtained pre- and postsurgery by quantitative MR angiography were retrospectively reviewed. Quantitative MR angiography and computational fluid dynamics were applied to measure morphological and hemodynamic changes during pre- and postbypass procedures. The results for vessel diameter, volumetric flow, PD, and mean wall shear stress along the length of the ICA were analyzed. Subgroup analysis was performed for the circle of Willis (CoW) configurations.

RESULTS

Twenty-three patients were included. The PD in ICAs on the surgical side (surgical ICAs) decreased by 21.18% (SD ± 30.1%) and increased by 11.75% (SD ± 28.6%) in ICAs on the nonsurgical side (contralateral ICAs) (p = 0.001). When the PD in contralateral ICAs was compared between patients with a complete or incomplete CoW, the authors found that the PDI in the former group decreased by 2.45% and increased by 20.88% in the latter (p = 0.05). Regression tests revealed that a greater postoperative decrease in PD corresponded to shrinking of ICAs (R2 = 0.22, p = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS

PD may be used as a reliable biomechanical indicator for the assessment of surgical treatment outcomes. The vessel remodeling characteristics of contralateral ICA were related to CoW configurations.

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Zhonghui Chen, Song Li, Yong Qiu, Zezhang Zhu, Xi Chen, Liang Xu and Xu Sun

OBJECTIVE

Although the vertical expandable prosthetic titanium rib (VEPTR) and growing rod instrumentation (GRI) encourage spinal growth via regular lengthening, they can create different results because of their different fixation patterns and mechanisms in correcting scoliosis. Previous studies have focused comparisons on coronal plane deformity with minimal attention to the sagittal profile. In this retrospective study, the authors aimed to compare the evolution of the sagittal spinal profile in early-onset scoliosis (EOS) treated with VEPTR versus GRI.

METHODS

The data for 11 patients with VEPTR and 22 with GRI were reviewed. All patients had more than 2 years’ follow-up with more than 2 lengthening procedures. Radiographic measurements were performed before and after the index surgery and at the latest follow-up. The complications in both groups were recorded.

RESULTS

Patients in both groups had similar diagnoses, age at the index surgery, and number of lengthening procedures. The changes in the major coronal Cobb angle and T1–S1 spinal height were not significantly different between the 2 groups. Compared with the GRI group, the VEPTR group had less correction in thoracic kyphosis (23% ± 12% vs 44% ± 16%, p < 0.001) after the index surgery and experienced a greater correction loss in thoracic kyphosis (46% ± 18% vs 11% ± 8%, p < 0.001) at the latest follow-up. Although the increase in the proximal junctional angle was not significantly different (VEPTR: 7° ± 4° vs GRI: 8° ± 5°, p = 0.569), the incidence of proximal junctional kyphosis was relatively lower in the VEPTR group (VEPTR: 18.2% vs GRI: 22.7%). No significant changes in the spinopelvic parameters were observed, while the sagittal vertical axis showed a tendency toward a neutral position in both groups. The overall complication rate was higher in the VEPTR group than in the GRI group (72.7% vs 54.5%).

CONCLUSIONS

The VEPTR had coronal correction and spinal growth results similar to those with GRI. In the sagittal plane, however, the VEPTR was not comparable to the GRI in controlling thoracic kyphosis. Thus, for hyperkyphotic EOS patients, GRI is recommended over VEPTR.