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Song Liu, Nozar Aghakhani, Nazaire Boisset, Gérard Said, and Marc Tadie

Object. The authors conducted a study to determine the effects of using a nerve autograft (NAG) to promote and guide axonal regrowth from the rostral spinal cord to the caudal lumbar ventral nerve roots to restore hindlimb motor function in adult marmosets after lower thoracic cord injury.

Methods. Nine animals underwent a left-sided hemisection of the spinal cord at T-12 via left-sided T9—L3 hemilaminectomy, with section of all ipsilateral lumbrosacral ventral nerve roots. In the experimental group (five animals), an NAG obtained from the right peroneal nerve was anastomosed with the sectioned and electrophysiologically selected lumbar ventral roots (left L-3 and L-4) controlling the left quadriceps muscle and then implanted into the left ventrolateral T-10 cord. In the control group (four animals), the sectioned/selected lumbar ventral roots were only ligated.

After surgery, all marmosets immediately suffered from complete paralysis of their left hindlimb. Five months later, some clinical signs of reinnervation such as tension and resistance began to appear in the paralyzed quadriceps of all experimental animals that received autografts. Nine months postoperatively, three of the five experimental marmosets could maintain their lesioned hindlimb in hip flexion. Muscle action potentials and motor evoked potentials were recorded from the target quadriceps in all experimental marmosets, but these potentials were absent in the control animals. Horseradish peroxidase retrograde labeling from the distal sectioned/reconnected lumbar ventral roots traced 234 ± 178 labeled neurons in the ipsilateral T8–10 ventral horn, mainly close to the NAG tip. Histological analysis showed numerous regenerating axons in this denervated/reconnected nerve root pathway, as well as newly formed motor endplates in the denervated/reinnervated quadriceps. No axonal regeneration was detected in the control animals.

Conclusions. These data indicate that the rostral spinal neurons can regrow into the caudal ventral roots through an NAG, thereby innervating the target muscle in adult marmosets after spinal cord injury.

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Constantin Tuleasca, Yohan Ducos, Marc Levivier, Fabrice Parker, and Nozar Aghakhani

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Gonzague Guillaumet, Nozar Aghakhani, Silvia Morar, Razvan Copaciu, Fabrice Parker, and Steven Knafo

OBJECTIVE

Surgical treatment for nonforaminal syringomyelia related to spinal arachnoiditis is still controversial. The authors sought to assess respective outcomes and rates of reintervention for shunting and spinal cord untethering (arachnolysis) in spinal arachnoiditis with syringomyelia.

METHODS

This retrospective cohort study was conducted at a single reference center for syringomyelia. Patients undergoing arachnolysis and/or shunting interventions for nonforaminal syringomyelia were screened.

RESULTS

The study included 75 patients undergoing 130 interventions. Arachnolysis without shunting was performed in 48 patients, while 27 patients underwent shunting. The mean follow-up between the first surgery and the last outpatient visit was 65.0 months (range 12–379 months, median 53 months). At the last follow-up, the modified McCormick score was improved or stabilized in 83.4% of patients after arachnolysis versus 66.7% after shunting. Thirty-one (41.3%) patients underwent reintervention during follow-up, with a mean delay of 33.2 months. The rate of reintervention was 29.2% in the arachnolysis group versus 63.0% in the shunting group (chi-square = 8.1, p = 0.007). However, this difference was largely driven by the extension of the arachnoiditis: in patients with focal arachnoiditis (≤ 2 spinal segments), the reintervention rate was 21.6% for arachnolysis versus 57.1% for shunting; in patients with extensive arachnoiditis, it was 54.5% versus 65.0%, respectively. Survival analysis assessing the time to the first reintervention demonstrated a better outcome in both the arachnolysis (p = 0.03) and the focal arachnoiditis (p = 0.04) groups.

CONCLUSIONS

Arachnolysis led to fewer reinterventions than shunting in patients with nonforaminal syringomyelia. There was a high risk of reintervention for patients with extensive arachnopathies, irrespective of the surgical technique.

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Nozar Aghakhani, Philippe Durand, Laurent Chevret, Fabrice Parker, Denis Devictor, Marc Tardieu, and Marc Tadié

Object

In this study, the authors investigated the clinical efficacy of decompressive craniectomy treatments for nontraumatic intracranial hypertension in children.

Methods

Seven patients with nontraumatic refractory high intracranial pressure (ICP) were enrolled in the study between 1995 and 2005; there were 2 boys and 5 girls with a mean age of 9 years (range 4–14). Decompressive craniectomy was performed in all patients after standard medical therapy had proven insufficient and ICP remained > 50 mm Hg. All patients had a Glasgow Coma Scale score < 8 at admission and a mean Pediatric Risk of Mortality Scale score of 20 (range 10–27).

Results

One patient died of persistent high ICP and circulatory failure 48 hours after surgery. Six months later, according to their Glasgow Outcome Scale scores, 3 patients had adequate recoveries, 2 patients recovered with moderate disabilities, and 1 patient had severe disabilities. According to the Pediatric Overall Performance Category Scale, 4 patients received a score of 2 (mild disability), 1 a score of 3 (moderate disability), and 1 a score of 4 (severe disability). Five patients returned to school and normal life.

Conclusions

The authors found decompressive craniectomy to be an effective and lifesaving technique in children. This procedure should be included in the arsenal of treatments for nontraumatic intracranial hypertension.

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Oral Presentations

2010 AANS Annual Meeting Philadelphia, Pennsylvania May 1–5, 2010