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Juan Delgado-Fernández, Paloma Pulido, María Ángeles García-Pallero, Guillermo Blasco, Natalia Frade-Porto and Rafael G. Sola

OBJECTIVE

Spondylolisthesis is a prevalent spine disease that recent studies estimate could be detected in 9% of the population. High-grade spondylolisthesis (HGS), however, is much less frequent, which makes it difficult to develop a general recommendation for its treatment. Posterior transdiscal fixation was proposed in 1994 for HGS, and the use of spine navigation could make this technique more accessible and reduce the morbidity associated with the procedure. The purpose of this study was to present a case series involving adult patients with HGS and correct spinal alignment who were treated with transdiscal pedicle screw placement guided with neuronavigation and compare the results to those achieved previously without image guidance.

METHODS

The authors reviewed all cases in which adult patients with correct spinal alignment were treated for HGS with posterior transdiscal instrumentation placement guided with navigation between 2014 and 2016 at their institution. The authors compared preoperative and postoperative spinopelvic parameters on standing radiographs as well as Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) scores and visual analog scale (VAS) scores for low-back pain. Follow-up CT and MRI studies and postoperative radiographs were evaluated to identify any screw malplacement or instrumentation failure. Any other intraoperative or postoperative complications were also recorded.

RESULTS

Eight patients underwent posterior transdiscal navigated instrumentation placement during this period, with a mean duration of follow-up of 16 months (range 9–24 months). Six of the patients presented with Meyerding grade III spondylolisthesis and 2 with Meyerding grade IV. In 5 cases, L4–S1 instrumentation was placed, while in the other 3 cases, surgery consisted of transdiscal L5–S1 fixation. There was no significant difference between preoperative and postoperative spinopelvic parameters. However, there was a statistically significant improvement in the mean VAS score for low-back pain (6.5 ± 1.5 vs 4 ± 1.7) and the mean ODI score (49.2 ± 19.4 vs 37.7 ± 22) (p = 0.01 and p = 0.012, respectively). Six patients reduced their use of pain medication. There were no intraoperative or postoperative complications during the hospital stay, and as of the most recent follow-up, no complications related to pseudarthrosis or hardware failure had been observed.

CONCLUSIONS

Treatment with posterior transdiscal pedicle screws with in situ fusion achieved good clinical and radiological outcomes in patients with HGS and good sagittal spinal balance. The use of navigation and image guidance was associated with improved results in this technique, including a reduction in postoperative and intraoperative complications related to screw malplacement, pseudarthrosis, and instrumentation failure.

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Cristina V. Torres, Guillermo Blasco, Marta Navas García, Elena Ezquiaga, Jesús Pastor, Lorena Vega-Zelaya, Paloma Pulido Rivas, Silvia Pérez Rodrigo and Rafael Manzanares

OBJECTIVE

Initial studies applying deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the posteromedial hypothalamus (PMH) to patients with pathological aggressiveness have yielded encouraging results. However, the anatomical structures involved in its therapeutic effect have not been precisely identified. The authors’ objective was to describe the long-term outcome in their 7-patient series, and the tractography analysis of the volumes of tissue activated in 2 of the responders.

METHODS

This was a retrospective study of 7 subjects with pathological aggressiveness. The findings on MRI with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in 2 of the responders were analyzed. The authors generated volumes of tissue activated according to the parameters used, and selected those volumes as regions of interest to delineate the tracts affected by stimulation.

RESULTS

The series consisted of 5 men and 2 women. Of the 7 patients, 5 significantly improved with stimulation. The PMH, ventral tegmental area, dorsal longitudinal fasciculus, and medial forebrain bundle seem to be involved in the stimulation field.

CONCLUSIONS

In this series, 5 of 7 medication-resistant patients with severe aggressiveness who were treated with bilateral PMH DBS showed a significant long-lasting improvement. The PMH, ventral tegmental area, dorsal longitudinal fasciculus, and medial forebrain bundle seem to be in the stimulation field and might be responsible for the therapeutic effect of DBS.

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Juan Delgado-Fernández, Maria Ángeles García-Pallero, Rafael Manzanares-Soler, Pilar Martín-Plasencia, Guillermo Blasco, Natalia Frade-Porto, Marta Navas-García, Paloma Pulido, Rafael G. Sola and Cristina V. Torres

OBJECTIVE

Language lateralization is a major concern in some patients with pharmacoresistant epilepsy who will face surgery; in these patients, hemispheric dominance testing is essential to avoid further complications. The Wada test is considered the gold standard examination for language localization, but is invasive and requires many human and material resources. Functional MRI and tractography with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) have demonstrated that they could be useful for locating language in epilepsy surgery, but there is no evidence of the correlation between the Wada test and DTI MRI in language dominance.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of patients who underwent a Wada test before epilepsy surgery at their institution from 2012 to 2017. The authors retrospectively analyzed fractional anisotropy (FA), number and length of fibers, and volume of the arcuate fasciculus and uncinate fasciculus, comparing dominant and nondominant hemispheres.

RESULTS

Ten patients with temporal lobe epilepsy were reviewed. Statistical analysis showed that the mean FA of the arcuate fasciculus in the dominant hemisphere was higher than in the nondominant hemisphere (0.369 vs 0.329, p = 0.049). Also, the number of fibers in the arcuate fasciculus was greater in the dominant hemisphere (881.5 vs 305.4, p = 0.003). However, no differences were found in the FA of the uncinate fasciculus or number of fibers between hemispheres. The length of fibers of the uncinate fasciculus was longer in the dominant side (74.4 vs 50.1 mm, p = 0.05). Volume in both bundles was more prominent in the dominant hemisphere (12.12 vs 6.48 cm3, p = 0.004, in the arcuate fasciculus, and 8.41 vs 4.16 cm3, p = 0.018, in the uncinate fasciculus). Finally, these parameters were compared in patients in whom the seizure focus was situated in the dominant hemisphere: FA (0.37 vs 0.30, p = 0.05), number of fibers (114.4 vs 315.6, p = 0.014), and volume (12.58 vs 5.88 cm3, p = 0.035) in the arcuate fasciculus were found to be statistically significantly higher in the dominant hemispheres. Linear discriminant analysis of FA, number of fibers, and volume of the arcuate fasciculus showed a correct discrimination in 80% of patients (p = 0.024).

CONCLUSIONS

The analysis of the arcuate fasciculus and other tract bundles by DTI could be a useful tool for language location testing in the preoperative study of patients with refractory epilepsy.