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Tatsuya Sasaki, Kyouichi Suzuki, Masato Matsumoto, Taku Sato, Namio Kodama, and Keiko Yago

Object. Evoked potentials elicited by electrical stimulation of the oculomotor nerve and recorded from surface electrodes placed on the skin around the eyeball reportedly originate in the eye and are represented on electrooculograms. Because evoked potentials recorded from surface electrodes are extremely similar to those of extraocular muscles, which are represented on electromyograms, the authors investigated the true origin of these potentials.

Methods. Evoked potentials elicited by electrical stimulation of the canine oculomotor nerve were recorded from surface electrodes placed on the skin around the eyeball. A thread sutured to the center of the cornea was pulled and the potentials that were evoked during the resultant eye movement were recorded. These potentials were confirmed to originate in the eye and to be represented on electrooculograms because their waveforms were unaffected by the administration of muscle relaxant. To eliminate the influence of this source, the retina, a main origin of standing potentials of the eyeball, was removed. This resulted in the disappearance of electrooculography (EOG) waves elicited by eye movement. Surface potentials elicited by oculomotor nerve stimulation were the same before and after removal of the retina. Again the oculomotor nerve was electrically stimulated and electromyography (EMG) response of the extraocular muscles was recorded at the same time that potentials were recorded from the surface electrodes. In their peak latencies, amplitudes, and waveforms, the evoked potentials obtained from surface electrodes were almost identical to EMG responses of extraocular muscles.

Conclusions. Evoked potentials elicited by electrical stimulation of the oculomotor nerves and obtained from surface electrodes originated from EMG responses of extraocular muscles. These evoked potentials do not derive from the eye.

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Daisuke Sakai, Jordy Schol, Akihiko Hiyama, Hiroyuki Katoh, Masahiro Tanaka, Masato Sato, and Masahiko Watanabe

OBJECTIVE

The objectives of this study were to apply the simultaneous translation on two rods (ST2R) maneuver involving rods contoured with a convexity at the desired thoracic kyphosis (TK) apex level and to assess the effects on the ability to support triplanar deformity corrections, including TK apex improvement, in patients with hypokyphotic adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS).

METHODS

Using retrospective analysis, the authors examined the digital records that included 2- to 4-week, 1-year, and 2-year postoperative radiographic follow-up data of female hypokyphotic (TK < 20°) AIS patients (Lenke type 1–3) treated with ST2R. The authors assessed the corrections of triplanar deformities by examining the main Cobb angle, TK, rib hump, apical vertebral rotation, Scoliosis Research Society 22-item questionnaire scores, and TK apex translocation. In order to better grasp the potential of ST2R, the outcomes were compared with those of a historical matched case-control cohort treated with a standard rod rotation (RR) maneuver.

RESULTS

Data were analyzed for 25 AIS patients treated with ST2R and 27 patients treated with RR. The ST2R group had significant improvements in the main Cobb angle and TK, reduction in the rib hump size at each time point, and a final correction rate of 72%. ST2R treatment significantly increased the kyphosis apex by an average of 2.2 levels. The correction rate was higher at each time point in the ST2R group than in the RR group. ST2R engendered favorable TK corrections, although the differences were nonsignificant, at 2 years compared with the RR group (p = 0.056). The TK apex location was significantly improved in the ST2R cohort (p < 0.001). At the 1-month follow-up, hypokyphosis was resolved in 92% of the ST2R cohort compared with 30% of the RR cohort.

CONCLUSIONS

Resolving hypokyphotic AIS remains challenging. The ST2R technique supported significant triplanar corrections, including TK apex translocation and restoration of hypokyphosis in most patients. Comparisons with the RR cohort require caution because of differences in the implant profile. However, ST2R significantly improved the coronal and sagittal corrections. It also allowed for distribution of correctional forces over two rod implants instead of one, which should decrease the risk of screw pullout and rod flattening. It is hoped that the description here of commercially available reducers used with the authors’ surgical technique will encourage other clinicians to consider using the ST2R technique.

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Masahiko Watanabe, Daisuke Sakai, Yukihiro Yamamoto, Masato Sato, and Joji Mochida

Object

Extension teardrop fracture of the axis is an extremely rare cervical spinal injury. The classic clinical features, which have mainly been described by radiologists rather than spine surgeons, include its occurrence in elderly patients with osteoporosis, an association with minimal or no prevertebral soft-tissue swelling, and an absence of associated neurological deficit. However, recent case studies indicate notable exceptions to these clinical features, although few studies have investigated osteoporosis in these patients. The purpose of the present study was to clarify the clinical features of extension teardrop fracture of the axis.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed data obtained in 13 patients with regard to their injury etiology, neurological deficit, treatment and outcome (residual neck pain), and imaging findings (size and displacement of the fragment, C2–3 subluxation, disc injury, and osteoporosis of the axis).

Results

Extension teardrop fracture of the axis constituted 11.6% of upper cervical spinal injuries at the authors' institute. The mean age of the patients was 49.5 years and distinct osteoporosis was identified in only 1 patient. A C2–3 subluxation was observed in 2 patients, in whom the displacement of the fragment was significant, although its size did not appear to have an effect. Magnetic resonance imaging, undertaken in 7 patients within 48 hours of injury, showed no disc injuries. Instability of the cervical spine was absent in all patient at follow-up. Only one patient underwent surgery for the presenting symptoms of dysphagia. The other patients were treated conservatively. The authors examined 9 patients directly; these patients had bony fusion and did not complain of neck pain, except for a patient with traumatic spondylolisthesis.

Conclusions

Extension teardrop fracture of the axis is generally caused by hyperextension of the cervical spine caused by a direct high-energy blow to the forehead or mandible. Based on the present case study, the authors believe that osteopenia and older age should not be considered risk factors. Most patients with an extension teardrop fracture of the axis can be treated conservatively, and surgical intervention may only be indicated for specific cases, such as those in which a patient presents with dysphagia or with other complicated fractures.

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Masahiko Watanabe, Daisuke Sakai, Daisuke Matsuyama, Yukihiro Yamamoto, Masato Sato, and Joji Mochida

Object

The purpose of this study was to identify risk factors for surgical site infection after spine surgery, noting the amount of saline used for intraoperative irrigation to minimize wound contamination.

Methods

The authors studied 223 consecutive spine operations from January 2006 through December 2006 at our institute. For a case to meet inclusion criteria as a site infection, it needed to require surgical incision and drainage and show positive intraoperative cultures. Preoperative and intraoperative data regarding each patient were collected. Patient characteristics recorded included age, sex, and body mass index (BMI). Preoperative risk factors included preoperative hospital stay, history of smoking, presence of diabetes, and an operation for a traumatized spine. Intraoperative factors that might have been risk factors for infection were collected and analyzed; these included type of procedure, estimated blood loss, duration of operation, and mean amount of saline used for irrigation per hour. Data were subjected to univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses.

Results

The incidence of surgical site infection in this population was 6.3%. According to the univariate analysis, there was a significant difference in the mean duration of operation and intraoperative blood loss, but not in patient age, BMI, or preoperative hospital stay. The mean amount of saline used for irrigation in the infected group was less than in the noninfected group, but was not significantly different. In the multivariate analysis, sex, advanced age (> 60 years), smoking history, and obesity (BMI > 25 kg/m2) did not show significant differences. In the analysis of patient characteristics, only diabetes (patients receiving any medications or insulin therapy at the time of surgery) was independently associated with an increased risk of surgical site infection (OR 4.88). In the comparison of trauma and elective surgery, trauma showed a significant association with surgical site infection (OR 9.42). In the analysis of surgical factors, a sufficient amount of saline for irrigation (mean > 2000 ml/hour) showed a strong association with the prevention of surgical site infection (OR 0.08), but prolonged operation time (> 3 hours), high blood loss (> 300 g), and instrumentation were not associated with surgical site infection.

Conclusions

Diabetes, trauma, and insufficient intraoperative irrigation of the surgical wound were independent and direct risk factors for surgical site infection following spine surgery. To prevent surgical site infection in spine surgery, it is important to control the perioperative serum glucose levels in patients with diabetes, avoid any delay of surgery in patients with trauma, and decrease intraoperative contamination by irrigating > 2000 ml/hour of saline in all patients.

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Masato Matsumoto, Masanori Sato, Masayuki Nakano, Yuji Endo, Youichi Watanabe, Tatsuya Sasaki, Kyouichi Suzuki, and Namio Kodama

Object. The aim of this study was to assess whether aneurysm surgery can be performed in patients with ruptured cerebral aneurysms by using three-dimensional computerized tomography (3D-CT) angiography alone, without conventional catheter angiography.

Methods. In a previous study, 60 patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) from ruptured aneurysms were prospectively evaluated using both 3D-CT and conventional angiography, which resulted in a 100% accuracy for 3D-CT angiography in the diagnosis of ruptured aneurysms, and a 96% accuracy in the identification of associated unruptured aneurysms. The results led the authors to consider replacing conventional angiography with 3D-CT angiography for use in diagnosing ruptured aneurysms, and to perform surgery aided by 3D-CT angiography alone without conventional angiography. Based on the results, 100 consecutive patients with SAH who had undergone surgery in the acute stage based on 3D-CT angiography findings have been studied since December 1996. One hundred ruptured aneurysms, including 41 associated unruptured lesions, were detected using 3D-CT angiography. In seven of 100 ruptured aneurysms, which included four dissecting vertebral artery aneurysms, two basilar artery (BA) tip aneurysms, and one BA—superior cerebellar artery aneurysm, 3D-CT angiography was followed by conventional angiography to acquire diagnostic confirmation or information about the vein of Labbé, which was needed to guide the surgical approach for BA tip aneurysms. All of the ruptured aneurysms were confirmed at surgery and treated successfully. Ninety-three patients who underwent operation with the aid of 3D-CT angiography only had no complications related to the lack of information gathered by conventional angiography. The 3D-CT angiography studies provided the authors with the aneurysm location as well as surgically important information on the configuration of its sac and neck, the presence of calcification in the aneurysm wall, and its relationship to the adjacent vessels and bone structures.

Conclusions The authors believe that 3D-CT angiography can replace conventional angiography in the diagnosis of ruptured aneurysms and that surgery can be performed in almost all acutely ruptured aneurysms by using only 3D-CT angiography without conventional angiography.

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Sumito Okuyama, Shinjitsu Nishimura, Yoshiharu Takahashi, Keiichi Kubota, Takayuki Hirano, Ken Kazama, Masato Tomii, Junko Matsuyama, Junichi Mizuno, Tadao Matsushima, Masataka Sato, and Kazuo Watanabe

OBJECTIVE

Hypoperfusion during carotid artery cross-clamping (CC) for carotid endarterectomy (CEA) may result in the major complication of perioperative stroke. Median nerve somatosensory evoked potential (MNSSEP) monitoring, which is an established method for the prediction of cerebral ischemia, has low sensitivity in detecting such hypoperfusion. In this study the authors sought to explore the limitations of MNSSEP monitoring compared to tibial nerve somatosensory evoked potential (TNSSEP) monitoring for the detection of CC-related hypoperfusion.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed data from patients who underwent unilateral CEA with routine shunt use. All patients underwent preoperative magnetic resonance angiography and were monitored for intraoperative cerebral ischemia by using MNSSEP, TNSSEP, and carotid stump pressure during CC. First, the frequency of MNSSEP and TNSSEP changes during CC were analyzed. Subsequently, variables related to stump pressure were determined by using linear analysis and those related to each of the somatosensory evoked potential (SSEP) changes were determined by using logistic regression analysis.

RESULTS

A total of 94 patients (mean age 74 years) were included in the study. TNSSEP identified a greater number of SSEP changes during CC than MNSSEP (20.2% vs 11.7%; p < 0.05). Linear regression analysis demonstrated that hypoplasia of the contralateral proximal segment of the anterior cerebral artery (A1 hypoplasia) (p < 0.01) and hypoplasia of the ipsilateral precommunicating segment of the posterior cerebral artery (P1 hypoplasia) (p = 0.02) independently and negatively correlated with stump pressure. Both contralateral A1 hypoplasia (OR 26.25, 95% CI 4.52–152.51) and ipsilateral P1 hypoplasia (OR 8.75, 95% CI 1.83–41.94) were independently related to the TNSSEP changes. However, only ipsilateral P1 hypoplasia (OR 8.76, 95% CI 1.61–47.67) was independently related to MNSSEP changes.

CONCLUSIONS

TNSSEP monitoring appears to be superior to MNSSEP in detecting CC-related hypoperfusion. Correlation with stump pressure and SSEP changes indicates that TNSSEP, and not MNSSEP monitoring, is a reliable indicator of cerebral ischemia in the territory of the anterior cerebral artery.

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Tatsuya Sasaki, Takeshi Itakura, Kyouichi Suzuki, Hiromichi Kasuya, Ryoji Munakata, Hiroyuki Muramatsu, Tsuyoshi Ichikawa, Taku Sato, Yuji Endo, Jun Sakuma, and Masato Matsumoto

Object

To obtain a clinically useful method of intraoperative monitoring of visual evoked potentials (VEPs), the authors developed a new light-stimulating device and introduced electroretinography (ERG) to ascertain retinal light stimulation after induction of venous anesthesia.

Methods

The new stimulating device consists of 16 red light–emitting diodes embedded in a soft silicone disc to avoid deviation of the light axis after frontal scalp-flap reflection. After induction of venous anesthesia with propofol, the authors performed ERG and VEP recording in 100 patients (200 eyes) who were at intraoperative risk for visual impairment.

Results

Stable ERG and VEP recordings were obtained in 187 eyes. In 12 eyes, stable ERG data were recorded but VEPs could not be obtained, probably because all 12 eyes manifested severe preoperative visual dysfunction. The disappearance of ERG data and VEPs in the 13th eye after frontal scalp-flap reflection suggested technical failure attributable to deviation of the light axis. The criterion for amplitude changes was defined as a 50% increase or decrease in amplitude compared with the control level. In 1 of 187 eyes the authors observed an increase in intraoperative amplitude and postoperative visual function improvement. Of 169 eyes without amplitude changes, 17 manifested improved visual function postoperatively, 150 showed no change, and 2 worsened (1 patient with a temporal tumor developed a slight visual field defect in both eyes). Of 3 eyes with intraoperative VEP deterioration and subsequent recovery upon changing the operative maneuver, 1 improved and 2 exhibited no change. The VEP amplitude decreased without subsequent recovery to 50% of the control level in 14 eyes, and all of these developed various degrees of postoperative deterioration of visual function.

Conclusions

With the strategy introduced here it is possible to record intraoperative VEPs in almost all patients except in those with severe visual dysfunction. In some patients, postoperative visual deterioration can be avoided or minimized by intraoperative VEP recording. All patients without an intraoperative decrease in the VEP amplitude were without severe postoperative deterioration in visual function, suggesting that intraoperative VEP monitoring may contribute to prevent postoperative visual dysfunction.