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Nai-Feng Tian, Ai-Min Wu, Li-Jun Wu, Xin-Lei Wu, Yao-Sen Wu, Xiao-Lei Zhang, Hua-Zi Xu and Yong-Long Chi


This study aimed to investigate the incidence rate of heterotopic ossification (HO) after implantation of Coflex interspinous devices. Possible risk factors associated with HO were evaluated.


The authors retrospectively analyzed patients who had undergone single-level (L4–5) implantation of a Coflex device for the treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis. Patient data recorded were age, sex, height, weight, body mass index, smoking habits, and surgical time. Heterotopic ossification was identified through lumbar anteroposterior and lateral view radiographs. The authors developed a simple classification for defining HO and compared HO-positive and HO-negative cases to identify possible risk factors.


Among 32 patients with follow-up times of 24–57 months, HO was detectable in 26 (81.2%). Among these 26 patients, HO was in the lateral space of the spinous process but not in the interspinous space in 8, HO was in the interspinous space but did not bridge the adjacent spinous process in 16, and interspinous fusion occurred at the level of the device in 2. Occurrence of HO was not associated with patient age, sex, height, weight, body mass index, smoking habits, or surgical time.


A high incidence of HO has been detected after implantation of Coflex devices. Clinicians should be aware of this possible outcome, and more studies should be conducted to clarify the clinical effects of HO.

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Junxiang Wen, Yingchao Han, Song Guo, Mingjie Yang, Lijun Li, Guixin Sun, Jun Wang, Fangqiong Hu, Jing Liang, Li Wei, Qi Zhou, Weibin Zhang and Jun Tan

The authors studied restoration of respiratory function in rabbits, using the recurrent laryngeal nerve to restore function after the phrenic nerve had been severed. The results of this animal study are encouraging and suggest that a similar technique could possibly be used to help patients with severe cervical spinal cord injuries.

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Yuming Jiao, Fuxin Lin, Jun Wu, Hao Li, Lijun Wang, Zhen Jin, Shuo Wang and Yong Cao


Case selection for the surgical treatment of brain arteriovenous malformations (BAVMs) remains challenging. This study aimed to construct a predictive grading system combining lesion-to-eloquence distance (LED) for selecting patients with BAVMs for surgery.


Between September 2012 and September 2015, the authors retrospectively studied 201 consecutive patients with BAVMs. All patients had undergone preoperative functional MRI and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), followed by resection. Both angioarchitectural factors and LED were analyzed with respect to the change between preoperative and final postoperative modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores. LED refers to the distance between the lesion and the nearest eloquent area (eloquent cortex or eloquent fiber tracts) measured on preoperative fMRI and DTI. Based on logistic regression analysis, the authors constructed 3 new grading systems. The HDVL grading system includes the independent predictors of mRS change (hemorrhagic presentation, diffuseness, deep venous drainage, and LED). Full Score combines the variables in the Spetzler-Martin (S-M) grading system (nidus size, eloquence of adjacent brain, and venous drainage) and the HDVL. For the third grading system, the fS-M grading system, the authors added information regarding eloquent fiber tracts to the S-M grading system. The area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves was compared with those of the S-M grading system and the supplementary S-M grading system of Lawton et al.


LED was significantly correlated with a change in mRS score (p < 0.001). An LED of 4.95 mm was the cutoff point for the worsened mRS score. Hemorrhagic presentation, diffuseness, deep venous drainage, and LED were independent predictors of a change in mRS score. Predictive accuracy was highest for the HDVL grading system (area under the ROC curve 0.82), followed by the Full Score grading system (0.80), the fS-M grading system (0.79), the supplementary S-M grading system (0.76), and least for the S-M grading system (0.71). Predictive accuracy of the HDVL grading system was significantly better than that of the Spetzler-Martin grade (p = 0.040).


LED was a significant predictor for the preoperative risk evaluation for surgery. The HDVL system was a good predictor of neurological outcomes after BAVM surgery. Adding the consideration of the involvement of eloquent fiber tracts to preoperative evaluation can effectively improve its predictive accuracy.