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Antonio Meola, Ayhan Comert, Fang-Cheng Yeh, Sananthan Sivakanthan, and Juan C. Fernandez-Miranda

OBJECT

The dentatorubrothalamic tract (DRTT) is the major efferent cerebellar pathway arising from the dentate nucleus (DN) and decussating to the contralateral red nucleus (RN) and thalamus. Surprisingly, hemispheric cerebellar output influences bilateral limb movements. In animals, uncrossed projections from the DN to the ipsilateral RN and thalamus may explain this phenomenon. The aim of this study was to clarify the anatomy of the dentatorubrothalamic connections in humans.

METHODS

The authors applied advanced deterministic fiber tractography to a template of 488 subjects from the Human Connectome Project (Q1–Q3 release, WU-Minn HCP consortium) and validated the results with microsurgical dissection of cadaveric brains prepared according to Klingler’s method.

RESULTS

The authors identified the “classic” decussating DRTT and a corresponding nondecussating path (the nondecussating DRTT, nd-DRTT). Within each of these 2 tracts some fibers stop at the level of the RN, forming the dentatorubro tract and the nondecussating dentatorubro tract. The left nd-DRTT encompasses 21.7% of the tracts and 24.9% of the volume of the left superior cerebellar peduncle, and the right nd-DRTT encompasses 20.2% of the tracts and 28.4% of the volume of the right superior cerebellar peduncle.

CONCLUSIONS

The connections of the DN with the RN and thalamus are bilateral, not ipsilateral only. This affords a potential anatomical substrate for bilateral limb motor effects originating in a single cerebellar hemisphere under physiological conditions, and for bilateral limb motor impairment in hemispheric cerebellar lesions such as ischemic stroke and hemorrhage, and after resection of hemispheric tumors and arteriovenous malformations. Furthermore, when a lesion is located on the course of the dentatorubrothalamic system, a careful preoperative tractographic analysis of the relationship of the DRTT, nd-DRTT, and the lesion should be performed in order to tailor the surgical approach properly and spare all bundles.

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Alec W. Gibson, Abdullah H. Feroze, Madeline E. Greil, Margaret E. McGrath, Sananthan Sivakanthan, Gabrielle A. White-Dzuro, John R. Williams, Christopher C. Young, and Christoph P. Hofstetter

OBJECTIVE

Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is the most common treatment for degenerative disease of the cervical spine. Given the high rate of pseudarthrosis in multilevel stand-alone ACDF, there is a need to explore the utility of novel grafting materials. In this study, the authors present a single-institution retrospective study of patients with multilevel degenerative spine disease who underwent multilevel stand-alone ACDF surgery with or without cellular allograft supplementation.

METHODS

In a prospectively collected database, 28 patients who underwent multilevel ACDF supplemented with cellular allograft (ViviGen) and 25 patients who underwent multilevel ACDF with decellularized allograft between 2014 and 2020 were identified. The primary outcome was radiographic fusion determined by a 1-year follow-up CT scan. Secondary outcomes included change in Neck Disability Index (NDI) scores and change in visual analog scale scores for neck and arm pain.

RESULTS

The study included 53 patients with a mean age of 53 ± 0.7 years who underwent multilevel stand-alone ACDF encompassing 2.6 ± 0.7 levels on average. Patient demographics were similar between the two cohorts. In the cellular allograft cohort, 2 patients experienced postoperative dysphagia that resolved by the 3-month follow-up. One patient developed cervical radiculopathy due to graft subsidence and required a posterior foraminotomy. At the 1-year CT, successful fusion was achieved in 92.9% (26/28) of patients who underwent ACDF supplemented with cellular allograft, compared with 84.0% (21/25) of patients who underwent ACDF without cellular allograft. The cellular allograft cohort experienced a significantly greater improvement in the mean postoperative NDI score (p < 0.05) compared with the other cohort.

CONCLUSIONS

Cellular allograft is a low-morbidity bone allograft option for ACDF. In this study, the authors determined favorable arthrodesis rates and functional outcomes in a complex patient cohort following multilevel stand-alone ACDF supplemented with cellular allograft.