Cheng-Chih Liao, Po-Chuan Hsieh, Tzu-Kang Lin, Chih-Lung Lin, Yang-Lan Lo and Sai-Cheung Lee
Spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma (SSEH) is a rare disease. The goal of this study was to clarify the treatment results and management options in SSEH.
Patients with SSEH who were surgically treated in the authors' center between June 2003 and June 2008 were included in this study. Patients were treated as early as possible if their neurological deficits were incomplete or had been complete for 12 hours or less. The patients were assigned to 1 of 2 groups based on completeness of preoperative cord dysfunction (complete vs incomplete deficit). Surgical outcomes of the 2 groups were compared by functional performance, coded as Nurick grades at 1, 3, and 6 months after the operation. Also compared were duration of hospital stay and the number of days needed to regain the ability to function independently (defined as Nurick Grades 1 and 2) after the operation.
There were 17 patients (7 female and 10 male) with pathologically confirmed SSEH. Coagulopathy, greater size (length) of SSEH, and preoperative complete spinal dysfunction were found to contribute to poor postoperative functional recovery (p < 0.05). Patients with incomplete preoperative deficits (ASIA Impairment Scale Grades B, C, and D) were able to achieve functional independent recovery within a month after surgery and had significantly better outcomes (lower Nurick grades) at 1, 3, and 6 months postoperatively than those with complete deficits (p < 0.001, p = 0.027, and p = 0.027, respectively). Median time to independent functional recovery and median length of hospital stay were significantly shorter in patients with incomplete preoperative deficits than in those with complete deficits (6 vs 110 and 9 vs 58 days, respectively; both p < 0.001).
Impaired preoperative hemostasis contributes to larger size of SSEH, high probability of postoperative recurrence of spinal epidural hematoma, and poor functional recovery following surgical evacuation. Incomplete spinal cord dysfunction before surgery predicts good outcome and warrants emergent evacuation of SSEH especially in the cervical and thoracic regions, where the clots are located in proximity to the spinal cord.
Mun-Chun Yeap, Ching-Chang Chen, Zhuo-Hao Liu, Po-Chuan Hsieh, Cheng-Chi Lee, Yu-Tse Liu, Alvin Yi-Chou Wang, Yin-Cheng Huang, Kuo-Chen Wei, Chieh-Tsai Wu and Po-Hsun Tu
Cranioplasty is a relatively simple and less invasive intervention, but it is associated with a high incidence of postoperative seizures. The incidence of, and the risk factors for, such seizures and the effect of prophylactic antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) have not been well studied. The authors’ aim was to evaluate the risk factors that predispose patients to postcranioplasty seizures and to examine the role of seizure prophylaxis in cranioplasty.
The records of patients who had undergone cranioplasty at the authors’ medical center between 2009 and 2014 with at last 2 years of follow-up were retrospectively reviewed. Demographic and clinical characteristics, the occurrence of postoperative seizures, and postoperative complications were analyzed.
Among the 583 patients eligible for inclusion in the study, 247 had preexisting seizures or used AEDs before the cranioplasty and 336 had no seizures prior to cranioplasty. Of these 336 patients, 89 (26.5%) had new-onset seizures following cranioplasty. Prophylactic AEDs were administered to 56 patients for 1 week after cranioplasty. No early seizures occurred in these patients, and this finding was statistically significant (p = 0.012). Liver cirrhosis, intraoperative blood loss, and shunt-dependent hydrocephalus were risk factors for postcranioplasty seizures in the multivariable analysis.
Cranioplasty is associated with a high incidence of postoperative seizures. The prophylactic use of AEDs can reduce the occurrence of early seizures.
Huan-Chih Wang, Jui-Chang Tsai, Jing-Er Lee, Sheng-Jean Huang, Abel Po-Hao Huang, Wei-Chou Lin, Sung-Tsang Hsieh and Kuo-Chuan Wang
Direct brain compression and secondary injury due to increased intracranial pressure are believed to be the pathognomic causes of a grave outcome in acute subdural hemorrhage (aSDH). However, ischemic damage from aSDH has received limited attention. The authors hypothesized that cerebral microcirculation is altered after aSDH. Direct visualization of microcirculation was conducted in a novel rat model.
A craniectomy was performed on each of the 18 experimental adult Wistar rats, followed by superfusion of autologous arterial blood onto the cortical surface. Changes in microcirculation were recorded by capillary videoscopy. Blood flow and the partial pressure of oxygen in the brain tissue (PbtO2) were measured at various depths from the cortex. The brain was then sectioned for pathological examination. The effects of aspirin pretreatment were also examined.
Instantaneous vasospasm of small cortical arteries after aSDH was observed; thrombosis also developed 120 minutes after aSDH. Reductions in blood flow and PbtO2 were found at depths of 2–4 mm. Blood-brain barrier disruption and thrombi formation were confirmed using immunohistochemical staining, while aspirin pretreatment reduced thrombosis and the impairment of microcirculation.
Microcirculation impairment was demonstrated in this aSDH model. Aspirin pretreatment prevented the diffuse thrombosis of cortical and subcortical vessels after aSDH.
Po-Chuan Hsieh, Yi-Ming Wu, Alvin Yi-Chou Wang, Ching-Chang Chen, Chien-Hung Chang, Shy-Chyi Chin, Tai-Wei Erich Wu, Chieh-Tsai Wu and Shih-Tseng Lee
Diverse treatment results are observed in patients with poor-grade aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH). Significant initial perfusion compromise is thought to predict a worse treatment outcome, but this has scant support in the literature. In this cohort study, the authors correlate the treatment outcomes with a novel poor-outcome imaging predictor representing impaired cerebral perfusion on initial CT angiography (CTA).
The authors reviewed the treatment results of 148 patients with poor-grade aSAH treated at a single tertiary referral center between 2007 and 2016. Patients with the “venous delay” phenomenon on initial CTA were identified. The outcome assessments used the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) at the 3rd month after aSAH. Factors that may have had an impact on outcome were retrospectively analyzed.
Compared with previously identified outcome predictors, the venous delay phenomenon on initial CTA was found to have the strongest correlation with posttreatment outcomes on both univariable (p < 0.0001) and multivariable analysis (OR 4.480, 95% CI 1.565–12.826; p = 0.0052). Older age and a higher Hunt and Hess grade at presentation were other factors that were associated with poor outcome, defined as an mRS score of 3 to 6.
The venous delay phenomenon on initial CTA can serve as an imaging predictor for worse functional outcome and may aid in decision making when treating patients with poor-grade aSAH.