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Brian J. Park, Colin J. Gold, Royce W. Woodroffe, and Satoshi Yamaguchi

OBJECTIVE

The ability to utilize the T1 slope is often limited by poor visibility on cervical radiographs. The C7 slope has been proposed as a reliable substitute but may have similar limitations of visibility. Herein, the authors propose a novel method that takes advantage of the superior visibility on CT to accurately substitute for the radiographic T1 slope and compare the accuracy of this method with previously reported substitutes.

METHODS

Lateral neutral standing cervical radiographs and cervical CT scans were examined. When the T1 slope was clearly visible on radiographs, the C3–7 slopes and T1 slope were measured. In CT method 1, a direct method, the T1 slope was measured from the upper endplate of T1 to the bottom edge of the CT image, assuming the edge was parallel to the horizontal plane. In CT method 2, an overlaying method, the T1 slope was calculated by superimposing the C7 slope angle measured on a radiograph onto the CT scan and measuring the angle formed by the upper endplate of T1 and the superimposed horizontal line of the C7 slope. A Pearson correlation with linear regression modeling was performed for potential substitutes for the actual T1 slope.

RESULTS

Among 160 patients with available noninstrumented lateral neutral cervical radiographs, the T1 slope was visible in only 54 patients (33.8%). A total of 52 patients met the inclusion criteria for final analysis. The Pearson correlation coefficients between the T1 slope and the C3–7 slopes, CT method 1, and CT method 2 were 0.243 (p = 0.083), 0.292 (p = 0.035), 0.609 (p < 0.001), 0.806 (p < 0.001), 0.898 (p < 0.001), 0.426 (p = 0.002), and 0.942 (p < 0.001), respectively. Linear regression modeling showed R2 = 0.807 for the correlation between C7 slope and T1 slope and R2 = 0.888 for the correlation between T1 slope with the CT method 2 and actual T1 slope.

CONCLUSIONS

The C7 slope can be a reliable predictor of the T1 slope and is more accurate than more rostral cervical slopes. However, this study disclosed that the novel CT method 2, an overlaying method, was the most reliable estimate of true T1 slope with a greater positive correlation than C7 slope. When CT studies are available in patients with an invisible T1 slope on cervical radiographs, CT method 2 should be used as a substitute for the T1 slope.

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Brian J. Park, Colin J. Gold, Royce W. Woodroffe, and Satoshi Yamaguchi

OBJECTIVE

The ability to utilize the T1 slope is often limited by poor visibility on cervical radiographs. The C7 slope has been proposed as a reliable substitute but may have similar limitations of visibility. Herein, the authors propose a novel method that takes advantage of the superior visibility on CT to accurately substitute for the radiographic T1 slope and compare the accuracy of this method with previously reported substitutes.

METHODS

Lateral neutral standing cervical radiographs and cervical CT scans were examined. When the T1 slope was clearly visible on radiographs, the C3–7 slopes and T1 slope were measured. In CT method 1, a direct method, the T1 slope was measured from the upper endplate of T1 to the bottom edge of the CT image, assuming the edge was parallel to the horizontal plane. In CT method 2, an overlaying method, the T1 slope was calculated by superimposing the C7 slope angle measured on a radiograph onto the CT scan and measuring the angle formed by the upper endplate of T1 and the superimposed horizontal line of the C7 slope. A Pearson correlation with linear regression modeling was performed for potential substitutes for the actual T1 slope.

RESULTS

Among 160 patients with available noninstrumented lateral neutral cervical radiographs, the T1 slope was visible in only 54 patients (33.8%). A total of 52 patients met the inclusion criteria for final analysis. The Pearson correlation coefficients between the T1 slope and the C3–7 slopes, CT method 1, and CT method 2 were 0.243 (p = 0.083), 0.292 (p = 0.035), 0.609 (p < 0.001), 0.806 (p < 0.001), 0.898 (p < 0.001), 0.426 (p = 0.002), and 0.942 (p < 0.001), respectively. Linear regression modeling showed R2 = 0.807 for the correlation between C7 slope and T1 slope and R2 = 0.888 for the correlation between T1 slope with the CT method 2 and actual T1 slope.

CONCLUSIONS

The C7 slope can be a reliable predictor of the T1 slope and is more accurate than more rostral cervical slopes. However, this study disclosed that the novel CT method 2, an overlaying method, was the most reliable estimate of true T1 slope with a greater positive correlation than C7 slope. When CT studies are available in patients with an invisible T1 slope on cervical radiographs, CT method 2 should be used as a substitute for the T1 slope.

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Satoshi Yamaguchi, Arnold H. Menezes, Kiyoharu Shimizu, Royce W. Woodroffe, Logan C. Helland, Patrick W. Hitchon, and Matthew A. Howard III

OBJECTIVE

The differences in symptoms of spinal meningiomas have rarely been discussed from the perspective of tumor characteristics. The main purpose of this paper was to define the differences, if any, in symptoms in patients with spinal meningiomas with respect to tumor size, location, and degree of spinal cord compression. The authors also sought the threshold of spinal cord compression that causes motor weakness.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective study of 53 cases of spinal meningiomas that were surgically treated from 2013 to 2018. Symptoms related to the tumor were classified as motor weakness, sensory disturbance, pain, and bowel/bladder dysfunction. Based on MR images, tumor location was classified by spinal level and by its attachment to the dura mater. Tumor dimensions were also measured. Occupation ratios of the tumors to the spinal canal and degree of spinal cord flattening were sought from the axial MR images that showed the highest degree of spinal cord compression.

RESULTS

Motor weakness and sensory disturbance were significantly more common in thoracic spine meningiomas than in cervical spine meningiomas (p < 0.001 and p = 0.013, respectively), while pain was more common in meningiomas at the craniovertebral junction (p < 0.001). The attachment, height, width, depth, and volume of the tumor showed no significant difference irrespective of the presence or absence of each symptom. In cases of motor weakness and sensory disturbance, occupation ratios and spinal cord flattening ratios were significantly larger. However, these ratios were significantly smaller in the presence of pain. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that occupation ratio independently contributed to motor weakness (OR 1.14, p = 0.035) and pain (OR 0.925, p = 0.034). Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis suggested that occupation ratio with a value of 63.678% is the threshold for the tumor to cause motor weakness.

CONCLUSIONS

The study showed the difference in clinical presentation of spinal meningiomas by spinal level, occupation ratio, and spinal cord flattening ratio. An occupation ratio of approximately 64% could be utilized as the threshold value of tumor growth to cause motor weakness. Tumor growth in the cervical spine might cause pain symptoms before causing motor weakness. The relationship between the tumor and its symptomatology should be discussed with respect to tumor size relative to the surrounding spinal canal.

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Maged D. Fam, Royce W. Woodroffe, Logan Helland, Jennifer Noeller, Nader S. Dahdaleh, Arnold H. Menezes, and Patrick W. Hitchon

OBJECTIVE

Adult spinal arachnoid cysts (SACs) are rare entities of indistinct etiology that present with pain or myelopathy. Diagnosis is made on imaging studies with varying degrees of specificity. In symptomatic cases, the standard treatment involves surgical exploration and relief of neural tissue compression. The aim of this study was to illustrate features of SACs in adults, surgical management, and outcomes.

METHODS

The authors searched medical records for all SACs in adults in the 10-year period ending in December 2016. Radiology and pathology reports were reviewed to exclude other spine cystic disorders. Recurrent or previously treated patients were excluded. Demographic variables (age, sex) and clinical presentation (symptoms, duration, history of infection or trauma, and examination findings) were extracted. Radiological features were collected from radiology reports and direct interpretation of imaging studies. Operative reports and media were reviewed to accurately describe the surgical technique. Finally, patient-reported outcomes were collected at every clinic visit using the SF-36.

RESULTS

The authors’ search identified 22 patients with SACs (mean age at presentation 53.5 years). Seventeen patients were women, representing an almost 3:1 sex distribution. Symptoms comprised back pain (n = 16, 73%), weakness (n = 10, 45%), gait ataxia (n = 11, 50%), and sphincter dysfunction (n = 4, 18%). The mean duration of symptoms was 15 months. Seven patients (32%) exhibited signs of myelopathy. All patients underwent preoperative MRI; in addition, 6 underwent CT myelography. SACs were located in the thoracic spine (n = 17, 77%), and less commonly in the lumbar spine (n = 3, 14%) and cervical/cervicothoracolumbar region (n = 2, 9%). Based on imaging findings, the cysts were interpreted as intradural SACs (n = 11, 50%), extradural SACs (n = 6, 27%), or ventral spinal cord herniation (n = 2, 9%); findings in 3 patients (14%) were inconclusive. Nineteen patients underwent surgical treatment consisting of laminoplasty in addition to cyst resection (n = 13, 68%), ligation of the connecting pedicle (n = 4, 21%), or fenestration/marsupialization (n = 2, 11%). Postoperatively, patients were followed up for an average of 8.2 months (range 2–30 months). Postoperative MRI showed complete resolution of the SAC in 14 of 16 patients. Patient-reported outcomes showed improvement in SF-36 parameters. One patient suffered a delayed wound infection.

CONCLUSIONS

In symptomatic patients with imaging findings suggestive of spinal arachnoid cyst, surgical exploration and complete resection is the treatment of choice. Treatment is usually well tolerated, carries low risks, and provides the best chances for optimal recovery.

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Brian J. Park, Colin J. Gold, David Christianson, Nicole A. DeVries Watson, Kirill V. Nourski, Royce W. Woodroffe, and Patrick W. Hitchon

OBJECTIVE

Adjacent-segment disease (ASD) proximal to lumbosacral fusion is assumed to result from increased stress and motion that extends above or below the fusion construct. Sublaminar bands (SBs) have been shown to potentially mitigate stresses in deformity constructs. A similar application of SBs in lumbar fusions is not well described yet may potentially mitigate against ASD.

METHODS

Eight fresh-frozen human cadaveric spine specimens were instrumented with transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) cages at L3–4 and L4–5, and pedicle screws from L3 to S1. Bilateral SBs were applied at L2 and tightened around the rods extending above the L3 pedicle screws. After being mounted on a testing frame, the spines were loaded at L1 to 6 Nm in all 3 planes, i.e., flexion/extension, right and left lateral bending, and right and left axial rotation. Motion and intradiscal pressures (IDPs) at L2–3 were measured for 5 conditions: intact, instrumentation (L3–S1), band tension (BT) 30%, BT 50%, and BT 100%.

RESULTS

There was significant increase in motion at L2–3 with L3–S1 instrumentation compared with the intact spine in flexion/extension (median 8.78°, range 4.07°–10.81°, vs median 7.27°, range 1.63°–9.66°; p = 0.016). When compared with instrumentation, BT 100% reduced motion at L2–3 in flexion/extension (median 8.78°, range 4.07°–10.81°, vs median 3.61°, range 1.11°–9.39°; p < 0.001) and lateral bending (median 6.58°, range 3.67°–8.59°, vs median 5.62°, range 3.28°–6.74°; p = 0.001). BT 50% reduced motion at L2–3 only in flexion/extension when compared with instrumentation (median 8.78°, range 4.07°–10.81°, vs median 5.91°, range 2.54°–10.59°; p = 0.027). There was no significant increase of motion at L1–2 with banding when compared with instrumentation, although an increase was seen from the intact spine with BT 100% in flexion/extension (median 5.14°, range 2.47°–9.73°, vs median 7.34°, range 4.22°–9.89°; p = 0.005). BT 100% significantly reduced IDP at L2–3 from 25.07 psi (range 2.41–48.08 psi) before tensioning to 19.46 psi (range −2.35 to 29.55 psi) after tensioning (p = 0.016).

CONCLUSIONS

In this model, the addition of L2 SBs reduced motion and IDP at L2–3 after the L3–S1 instrumentation. There was no significant increase in motion at L1–2 in response to band tensioning compared with instrumentation alone. The application of SBs may have a clinical application in reducing the incidence of ASD.

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Kingsley O. Abode-Iyamah, Hsiu-Yin Chiang, Royce W. Woodroffe, Brian Park, Francis J. Jareczek, Yasunori Nagahama, Nolan Winslow, Loreen A. Herwaldt, and Jeremy D. W. Greenlee

OBJECTIVE

Deep brain stimulation is an effective surgical treatment for managing some neurological and psychiatric disorders. Infection related to the deep brain stimulator (DBS) hardware causes significant morbidity: hardware explantation may be required; initial disease symptoms such as tremor, rigidity, and bradykinesia may recur; and the medication requirements for adequate disease management may increase. These morbidities are of particular concern given that published DBS-related infection rates have been as high as 23%. To date, however, the key risk factors for and the potential preventive measures against these infections remain largely uncharacterized. In this study, the authors endeavored to identify possible risk factors for DBS-related infection and analyze the efficacy of prophylactic intrawound vancomycin powder (VP).

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective cohort study of patients who had undergone primary DBS implantation at a single institution in the period from December 2005 through September 2015 to identify possible risk factors for surgical site infection (SSI) and to assess the impact of perioperative (before, during, and after surgery) prophylactic antibiotics on the SSI rate. They also evaluated the effect of a change in the National Healthcare Safety Network’s definition of SSI on the number of infections detected. Statistical analyses were performed using the 2-sample t-test, the Wilcoxon rank-sum test, the chi-square test, Fisher’s exact test, or logistic regression, as appropriate for the variables examined.

RESULTS

Four hundred sixty-four electrodes were placed in 242 adults during 245 primary procedures over approximately 10.5 years; most patients underwent bilateral electrode implantation. Among the 245 procedures, 9 SSIs (3.7%) occurred within 90 days and 16 (6.5%) occurred within 1 year of DBS placement. Gram-positive bacteria were the most common etiological agents. Most patient- and procedure-related characteristics did not differ between those who had acquired an SSI and those who had not. The rate of SSIs among patients who had received intrawound VP was only 3.3% compared with 9.7% among those who had not received topical VP (OR 0.32, 95% CI 0.10–1.02, p = 0.04). After controlling for patient sex, the association between VP and decreased SSI risk did not reach the predetermined level of significance (adjusted OR 0.32, 95% CI 0.10–1.03, p = 0.06). The SSI rates were similar after staged and unstaged implantations.

CONCLUSIONS

While most patient-related and procedure-related factors assessed in this study were not associated with the risk for an SSI, the data did suggest that intrawound VP may help to reduce the SSI risk after DBS implantation. Furthermore, given the implications of SSI after DBS surgery and the frequency of infections occurring more than 90 days after implantation, continued follow-up for at least 1 year after such a procedure is prudent to establish the true burden of these infections and to properly treat them when they do occur.

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Taylor J. Abel, Royce W. Woodroffe, Kirill V. Nourski, Toshio Moritani, Aristides A. Capizzano, Patricia Kirby, Hiroto Kawasaki, Matthew Howard III, and Mary Ann Werz

OBJECTIVE

A convergence of clinical research suggests that the temporal pole (TP) plays an important and potentially underappreciated role in the genesis and propagation of seizures in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Understanding its role is becoming increasingly important because selective resections for medically intractable TLE spare temporopolar cortex (TPC). The purpose of this study was to characterize the role of the TPC in TLE after using dense electrocorticography (ECoG) recordings in patients undergoing invasive monitoring for medically intractable TLE.

METHODS

Chronic ECoG recordings were obtained in 10 consecutive patients by using an array customized to provide dense coverage of the TP as part of invasive monitoring to localize the epileptogenic zone. All patients would eventually undergo cortico-amygdalohippocampectomy. A retrospective review of the patient clinical records including ECoG recordings, neuroimaging studies, neuropathology reports, and clinical outcomes was performed.

RESULTS

In 7 patients (70%), the TP was involved at seizure onset; in 7 patients (70%), there were interictal discharges from the TP; and in 1 case, there was early spread to the TP. Seizure onset in the TP did not necessarily correlate with preoperative neuroimaging abnormalities of the TP.

CONCLUSIONS

These data demonstrate that TPC commonly plays a crucial role in temporal lobe seizure networks. Seizure onset from the TP would not have been predicted based on available neuroimaging data or interictal discharges. These findings illustrate the importance of thoroughly considering the role of the TP prior to resective surgery for TLE, particularly when selective mesial resection is being considered.