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Francesco Costa, Alessandro Ortolina, Luca Attuati, Andrea Cardia, Massimo Tomei, Marco Riva, Luca Balzarini and Maurizio Fornari

OBJECT

Fractures of C-1 and C-2 are complex and surgical management may be difficult and challenging due to the anatomical relationship sbetween the vertebrae and neurovascular structures. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role, reliability, and accuracy of cervical fixation using the O-arm intraoperative 3D image–based navigation system.

METHODS

The authors evaluated patients who underwent a navigation system–based surgery for stabilization of a fracture of C-1 and/or C-2 from August 2011 to August 2013. All of the fixation screws were intraoperatively checked and their position was graded.

RESULTS

The patient population comprised 17 patients whose median age was 47.6 years. The surgical procedures were as follows: anterior dens screw fixation in 2 cases, transarticular fixation of C-1 and C-2 in 1 case, fixation using the Harms technique in 12 cases, and occipitocervical fixation in 2 cases. A total of 67 screws were placed. The control intraoperative CT scan revealed 62 screws (92.6%) correctly placed, 4 (5.9%) with a minor cortical violation (< 2 mm), and only 1 screw (1.5%) that was judged to be incorrectly placed and that was immediately corrected. No vascular injury of the vertebral artery was observed either during exposition or during screw placement. No implant failure was observed.

CONCLUSIONS

The use of a navigation system based on an intraoperative CT allows a real-time visualization of the vertebrae, reducing the risks of screw misplacement and consequent complications.

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Francesco Costa, Giovanni Tosi, Luca Attuati, Andrea Cardia, Alessandro Ortolina, Marco Grimaldi, Fabio Galbusera and Maurizio Fornari

OBJECTIVE

The O-arm system in spine surgery allows greater accuracy, lower rate of screw misplacement, and reduced surgical time. Some concerns have been postulated regarding the radiation doses to patients and surgeons. To the best of the authors' knowledge, most of the studies in the literature were performed with the use of phantoms. The authors present data regarding radiation exposure of the surgeon and operating room (OR) staff in a consecutive series of patients undergoing spine surgery.

METHODS

Radiation exposure data were collected in a series of 107 patients who underwent spine surgery using the O-arm system. The doses received by the surgeon and the staff were collected using electronic dosimeters.

RESULTS

All patients underwent 1–3 scans. The mean radiation dose to the patients was 5.15 mSv (range 1.48–7.64 mSv). The mean dose registered for the scan operator was 0.005 μSv (range 0.00–0.03 μSv) while the other members of the surgical team positioned outside the OR received 0 μSv.

CONCLUSIONS

The O-arm system exposes patients to a higher radiation dose than standard fluoroscopy. However, considering the clear advantages of this system, this adjunctive dose can be considered acceptable. Moreover, the effective dose to the patient can be reduced using collimation or minimizing the parameters of the O-arm system used in this paper. The exposure to operators is essentially negligible when radioprotective garments and protocols are adopted as recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection.

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Piero Picozzi, Marco Losa, Pietro Mortini, Micol Angela Valle, Alberto Franzin, Luca Attuati, Camillo Ferrari da Passano and Massimo Giovanelli

Object. The authors studied the efficacy of gamma knife radiosurgery (GKS) in the prevention of regrowth of nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas (NPA).

Methods. One hundred nineteen patients were included in this study and were divided into two groups. All patients had undergone surgery in our department and recurrent or residual adenoma was demonstrated on postoperative MR imaging. Group A consisted of 68 patients who were followed without additional treatment. Group B was composed of 51 patients who received GKS within 1 year after microsurgery. There was no significant demographic difference between the two groups. In Group B the mean margin dose was 16.5 ± 0.3 Gy (range 13–21 Gy). Fifty one and one tenth percent of patients in Group A were recurrence free at 5 years and 89.8% in Group B (p < 0.001). In Group B patients, tumor volume decreased from a baseline value of 2.4 ± 0.2 cm3 to 1.6 ± 0.2 cm3 at last follow up (p < 0.001).

Conclusions. The results of this study suggest that GKS is effective in controlling growth of residual NPA for at least 5 years following initial maximal surgical debulking compared with no radiation therapy. Thus, GKS is recommended after microsurgery when visible tumor can be detected on imaging studies.

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Diogo Cordeiro, Zhiyuan Xu, Chelsea E. Li, Christian Iorio-Morin, David Mathieu, Nathaniel D. Sisterson, Hideyuki Kano, Luca Attuati, Piero Picozzi, Kimball A. Sheehan, Cheng-chia Lee, Roman Liscak, Jana Jezkova, L. Dade Lunsford and Jason Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Nelson’s syndrome is a rare and challenging neuroendocrine disorder, and it is associated with elevated adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) level, skin hyperpigmentation, and pituitary adenoma growth. Management options including resection and medical therapy are traditional approaches. Ionizing radiation in the form of Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) is also being utilized to treat Nelson’s syndrome. In the current study the authors sought to better define the therapeutic role of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in Nelson’s syndrome.

METHODS

Study patients with Nelson’s syndrome were treated with single-fraction GKRS (median margin dose of 25 Gy) at 6 different centers as part of an International Radiosurgery Research Foundation (IRRF) investigation. Data including neurological function, endocrine response, and radiological tumor response were collected and sent to the study-coordinating center for review. Fifty-one patients with median endocrine and radiological follow-ups of 91 and 80.5 months from GKRS, respectively, were analyzed for endocrine remission, tumor control, and neurological outcome. Statistical methods were used to identify prognostic factors for these endpoints.

RESULTS

At last follow-up, radiological tumor control was achieved in 92.15% of patients. Endocrine remission off medical management and reduction in pre-SRS ACTH level were achieved in 29.4% and 62.7% of patients, respectively. Improved remission rates were associated with a shorter time interval between resection and GKRS (p = 0.039). Hypopituitarism was seen in 21.6% and new visual deficits were demonstrated in 15.7% of patients.

CONCLUSIONS

GKRS affords a high rate of pituitary adenoma control and improvement in ACTH level for the majority of Nelson’s syndrome patients. Hypopituitarism is the most common adverse effect from GKRS in Nelson’s syndrome patients and warrants longitudinal follow-up for detection and endocrine replacement.