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Yu Han, Jianguang Sun, Chenghan Luo, Shilei Huang, Liren Li, Xiang Ji, Xiaozong Duan, Zhenqing Wang and Guofu Pi

OBJECTIVE

Pedicle screw–based dynamic spinal stabilization systems (PDSs) were devised to decrease, theoretically, the risk of long-term complications such as adjacent-segment degeneration (ASD) after lumbar fusion surgery. However, to date, there have been few studies that fully proved that a PDS can reduce the risk of ASD. The purpose of this study was to examine whether a PDS can influence the incidence of ASD and to discuss the surgical coping strategy for L5–S1 segmental spondylosis with preexisting L4–5 degeneration with no related symptoms or signs.

METHODS

This study retrospectively compared 62 cases of L5–S1 segmental spondylosis in patients who underwent posterior lumbar interbody fusion (n = 31) or K-Rod dynamic stabilization (n = 31) with a minimum of 4 years' follow-up. The authors measured the intervertebral heights and spinopelvic parameters on standing lateral radiographs and evaluated preexisting ASD on preoperative MR images using the modified Pfirrmann grading system. Radiographic ASD was evaluated according to the results of radiography during follow-up.

RESULTS

All 62 patients achieved remission of their neurological symptoms without surgical complications. The Kaplan-Meier curve and Cox proportional-hazards model showed no statistically significant differences between the 2 surgical groups in the incidence of radiographic ASD (p > 0.05). In contrast, the incidence of radiographic ASD was 8.75 times (95% CI 1.955–39.140; p = 0.005) higher in the patients with a preoperative modified Pfirrmann grade higher than 3 than it was in patients with a modified Pfirrmann grade of 3 or lower. In addition, no statistical significance was found for other risk factors such as age, sex, and spinopelvic parameters.

CONCLUSIONS

Pedicle screw–based dynamic spinal stabilization systems were not found to be superior to posterior lumbar interbody fusion in preventing radiographic ASD (L4–5) during the midterm follow-up. Preexisting ASD with a modified Pfirrmann grade higher than 3 was a risk factor for radiographic ASD. In the treatment of degenerative diseases of the lumbosacral spine, the authors found that both of these methods are feasible. Also, the authors believe that no extra treatment, other than observation, is needed for preexisting degeneration in L4–5 without any clinical symptoms or signs.

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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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Bin Tang, ShenHao Xie, GuanLin Huang, ZhiGang Wang, Le Yang, XuanYong Yang, Shan Xu, ErMing Zeng and Tao Hong

OBJECTIVE

Transinfundibular craniopharyngioma (TC) is one of the 4 subtypes of suprasellar craniopharyngioma. In this study, the authors analyzed the clinical features of and operative technique for TC.

METHODS

A total of 95 consecutive cases of suprasellar craniopharyngioma that had been resected via the endoscopic expanded endonasal approach were retrospectively reviewed. Patients were divided into 2 groups: 34 in the TC group and 61 in the nontransinfundibular craniopharyngioma (NC) group. Clinical and radiographic features, intraoperative findings, histopathological and genetic findings, and surgical outcomes were analyzed and compared between groups.

RESULTS

Compared with NC, TC was mostly seen in adult patients (97.1%); it was rare in children (2.9%). Clinical presentations tended toward headache, hydrocephalus, and diabetes insipidus. The relatively smaller volume, midline location (consistent with the stalk position), unidentifiable stalk, no shift of the third ventricle, and greater likelihood to involve the third ventricle and cause hydrocephalus were the characteristic features of TC in the preoperative MRI study. According to the degree of vertical extension of the tumor, the 34 TCs could be classified into 3 subtypes: type 1, entity was limited to stalk (n = 2, 5.9%); type 2, tumor extended up to the third ventricle (type 2a) or down to the subdiaphragmatic cavity (type 2b) (n = 23, 67.6%); and type 3, tumor extended in both directions (n = 9, 26.5%). For TC resection, the chiasm–pituitary corridor, lamina terminalis corridor, and pituitary corridor could be used separately or jointly. Most of the TCs originated from the infundibulum–tuber cinereum, grew within and along the long axis of the infundibulum, and the pituitary stalk was not usually preserved in TCs (20.6%), whereas the rate of preservation was higher (80.3%) in NCs. Bilateral hypothalamic injury was found in nearly all TCs if radical resection was performed, whereas the relationship between NCs and hypothalamus was either compression (32.8%) or unilateral invasion (67.2%). Meanwhile, the postoperative endocrine and neuropsychological function outcomes in patients with TC were worse than in patients with NC. The genetic analysis with whole-exome sequencing studies showed no differential mutations of CTNNB1 (β-catenin) and BRAF (V600E) between TC and NC subtypes, but there was a difference between adamantinomatous craniopharyngioma and papillary craniopharyngioma.

CONCLUSIONS

TC is a special subtype of suprasellar craniopharyngioma, which is remarkably different from NC. Identification of this type of tumor preoperatively is essential for the planning of appropriate surgical approach and degree of excision.

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Hao Xu, Zhanxiang Wang, Shaolin Zhang, Guowei Tan and Hongwei Zhu

Object

Fibrosis along the route of CSF flow is indicated by the development of hydrocephalus. The changes of fibrosis index might reflect the level of hydrocephalus and even become a diagnostic index of hydrocephalus. The object of this study was to analyze the levels of procollagen Type I C-terminal propeptide (PICP), procollagen Type III N-terminal propeptide (PIIINP), hyaluronic acid (HA), and laminin (LN) and their significance in the CSF of communicating hydrocephalus rat models.

Methods

Thirty adult Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into 3 groups: hydrocephalus group (20 rats) with intraventricular kaolin injections, sham control group (5 rats) with saline injections, and normal group (5 rats) without any processing. The levels of PICP, PIIINP, HA, and LN in the CSF were detected using ELISA.

Results

Levels of PICP, PIIINP, HA, and LN in the hydrocephalus group were significantly higher than those in the saline control group (p < 0.05). It was revealed by correlation analysis that the increase was positively correlated with the severity of ventricular dilation.

Conclusions

Results indicated that PICP, PIIINP, HA, and LN continue to rise dramatically in experimental hydrocephalus and may serve as the diagnostic index of hydrocephalus.

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Yang Wang, Ting Liu, Liangsong Song, Zhixin Zhang, Yanan Zhang, Jinsong Ni and Laijin Lu

OBJECTIVE

Spontaneous paralysis from hourglass-like fascicular constriction of peripheral nerves is rare, its clinical manifestations are not well documented, and its pathogenesis remains unknown. The unclear origin of this disorder and difficulty in diagnosis result in its uncertain management. The authors sought to gain a more thorough understanding of this condition through describing the anatomy, clinical features, etiology, and treatment of hourglass-like constriction.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed 20 patients (22 nerves) with hourglass-like constriction. The patients’ clinical information was reviewed. Preoperative sonographic assessment and electrophysiological examination of involved nerves were performed. Surgical treatments included interfascicular neurolysis and neurorrhaphy. Samples of tissue subjected to resected constriction were sent for pathological analysis. The patients had regular face-to-face follow-up visits.

RESULTS

Acute pain was always the first symptom and was followed by paralysis. Paralysis progression was rapid and serious. Surgical exploration indicated an hourglass-like constricted segment completely unrelated to the compressive structures. Electrophysiological analysis showed severe denervation, and histopathological examination showed inflammatory cell infiltration, demyelination, and reduction of nerve fibers.

CONCLUSIONS

Hourglass-like fascicular constrictive neuropathy has an integrative effect from multiple different mechanisms. Surgical intervention is beneficial for selected patients who do not recover in a timely fashion and have hourglass-like lesions confirmed by preoperative ultrasound imaging. The authors recommend that early surgical intervention of the nerve be offered to patients who do not show any signs of recovery 3 months after onset. Both interfascicular neurolysis and neurorrhaphy are effective treatment methods. Mild to moderate constriction can usually be treated successfully by interfascicular neurolysis alone, whereas more advanced lesions with loss of fascicle continuity (severe constriction) may be best treated with resection and direct neurorrhaphy.

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Binsheng You, Yanhao Cheng, Jian Zhang, Qimin Song, Chao Dai, Xueyuan Heng and Chang Fei

OBJECT

The goal of this study was to investigate the significance of contrast-enhanced T1-weighted (T1W) MRI-based 3D reconstruction of dural tail sign (DTS) in meningioma resection.

METHODS

Between May 2013 and August 2014, 18 cases of convexity and parasagittal meningiomas showing DTS on contrast-enhanced T1W MRI were selected. Contrast-enhanced T1W MRI-based 3D reconstruction of DTS was conducted before surgical treatment. The vertical and anteroposterior diameters of DTS on the contrast-enhanced T1W MR images and 3D reconstruction images were measured and compared. Surgical incisions were designed by referring to the 3D reconstruction and MR images, and then the efficiency of the 2 methods was evaluated with assistance of neuronavigation.

RESULTS

Three-dimensional reconstruction of DTS can reveal its overall picture. In most cases, the DTS around the tumor is uneven, whereas the DTS around the dural vessels presents longer extensions. There was no significant difference (p > 0.05) between the vertical and anteroposterior diameters of DTS measured on the contrast-enhanced T1W MR and 3D reconstruction images. The 3D images of DTS were more intuitive, and the overall picture of DTS could be revealed in 1 image, which made it easier to design the incision than by using the MR images. Meanwhile, assessment showed that the incisions designed using 3D images were more accurate than those designed using MR images (ridit analysis by SAS, F = 7.95; p = 0.008). Pathological examination showed that 34 dural specimens (except 2 specimens from 1 tumor) displayed tumor invasion. The distance of tumor cell invasion was 1.0–21.6 mm (5.4 ± 4.41 mm [mean ± SD]). Tumor cell invasion was not observed at the dural resection margin in all 36 specimens.

CONCLUSIONS

Contrast-enhanced T1W MRI-based 3D reconstruction can intuitively and accurately reveal the size and shape of DTS, and thus provides guidance for designing meningioma incisions.

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Wen Cheng, Mingyang Li, Yang Jiang, Chuanbao Zhang, Jinquan Cai, Kuanyu Wang and Anhua Wu

OBJECT

This study investigated the role and prognostic value of heat shock proteins (HSPs) in glioma.

METHODS

Data from 3 large databases of glioma samples (Chinese Glioma Genome Atlas, Repository for Molecular Brain Neoplasia Data, and GSE16011), which contained whole-genome messenger RNA microarray expression data and patients’ clinical data, were analyzed. Immunohistochemical analysis was performed to validate protein expression in another set of 50 glioma specimens.

RESULTS

Of 28 HSPs, 11 were overexpressed in high-grade glioma (HGG) compared with low-grade glioma. A univariate Cox analysis revealed that HSPB11 has significant prognostic value for each glioma grade, which was validated by a Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. HSPB11 expression was associated with poor prognosis and was independently correlated with overall survival (OS) in HGG. This study further explored the combined role of HSPB11 and other molecular markers in HGG, such as isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) mutation and O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter methylation status. HSPB11 expression was able to refine the prognostic value of IDH1 mutation in patients with HGG. However, when combined with MGMT promoter methylation status, among patients with a methylated MGMT promoter, those with lower levels of HSPB11 expression had longer OS and progression-free survival than patients with higher levels of HSPB11 expression or with an unmethylated MGMT promoter. Moreover, within the MGMT promoter methylation group, patients with low levels of HSPB11 expression were more sensitive to combined radiochemotherapy than those with high levels of HSPB11 expression, which may explain why some patients with HGG with a methylated MGMT promoter show tolerance to radiochemotherapy.

CONCLUSIONS

HSPB11 was identified as a novel prognostic marker in patients with HGG. Together with MGMT promoter methylation status, HSPB11 expression can predict outcome for patients with HGG and identify those who would most benefit from combined radiochemotherapy.

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Jian Zhang, Fei Peng, Zhuang Liu, Jinli Luan, Xingming Liu, Chang Fei and Xueyuan Heng

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to investigate the long-term therapeutic efficacy of cranioplasty with autogenous bone flaps cryopreserved in povidone iodine and explore the risk factors for bone resorption.

METHODS

Clinical data and follow-up results of 188 patients (with 211 bone flaps) who underwent cranioplasty with autogenous bone flaps cryopreserved in povidone-iodine were retrospectively analyzed. Bone flap resorption was classified into 3 types according to CT features, including bone flap thinning (Type I), reduced bone density (Type II), and osteolysis within the flaps (Type III). The extent of bone flap resorption was graded as mild, moderate, or severe.

RESULTS

Short-term postoperative complications included subcutaneous or extradural seroma collection in 19 flaps (9.0%), epidural hematoma in 16 flaps (7.6%), and infection in 8 flaps (3.8%). Eight patients whose flaps became infected and had to be removed and 2 patients who died within 2 years were excluded from the follow-up analysis. For the remaining 178 patients and 201 flaps, the follow-up duration was 24–122 months (mean 63.1 months). In 93 (46.3%) of these 201 flaps, CT demonstrated bone resorption, which was classified as Type I in 55 flaps (59.1%), Type II in 11 (11.8%), and Type III in 27 (29.0%). The severity of bone resorption was graded as follows: no bone resorption in 108 (53.7%) of 201 flaps, mild resorption in 66 (32.8%), moderate resorption in 15 (7.5%), and severe resorption in 12 (6.0%). The incidence of moderate or severe resorption was higher in Type III than in Type I (p = 0.0008). The grading of bone flap resorption was associated with the locations of bone flaps (p = 0.0210) and fragmentation (flaps broken into 2 or 3 fragments) (p = 0.0009). The incidence of bone flap collapse due to bone resorption was higher in patients who underwent ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt implantation than in those who did not (p = 0.0091).

CONCLUSIONS

Because of the low incidence rates of infection and severe bone resorption, the authors conclude that cranioplasty with autogenous bone flaps cryopreserved in povidone-iodine solution is safe and effective. The changes characteristic of bone flap resorption became visible on CT scans about 2 months after cranioplasty and tended to stabilize at about 18 months postoperatively. The bone resorption of autogenous bone flap may be classified into 3 types. The rates of moderate and severe resorption were much higher in Type III than in Type I. The grade of bone flap resorption was associated with bone flap locations. Fragmented bone flaps or those implanted in patients treated with VP shunts may have a higher incidence of bone flap collapse due to bone resorption.