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Shunsuke Amagasa, Satoko Uematsu and Satoshi Tsuji

OBJECTIVE

There is disagreement about the occurrence of severe traumatic brain injury, especially subdural hematoma, caused by short falls in very young children. To verify intracranial injury due to these falls and examine its characteristics, the authors compared infants and toddlers with head trauma witnessed by a nonrelative with those whose injuries were not witnessed by a nonrelative.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed clinical records of children younger than 2 years with head trauma due to a short fall who visited the emergency department of the National Center for Child Health and Development in Japan between April 2015 and March 2018. Patients were classified into two groups: falls that were witnessed by a nonrelative and falls not witnessed by a nonrelative. The authors compared the age in months, sex, mechanism of injury, fall height, prevalence rate of intracranial injury, skull fracture, type of traumatic brain injury, retinal hemorrhage, rib or long-bone fracture, and outcomes between patients whose fall was witnessed by a nonrelative and those whose fall was not witnessed by a nonrelative.

RESULTS

Among 1494 patients included in the present analysis, 392 patients were classified into the group of falls witnessed by a nonrelative, and 1102 patients were classified into the group of falls that were not witnessed by a nonrelative. The prevalence rates of intracranial injury, skull fracture, epidural hematoma, and subarachnoid hemorrhage were equal between the groups. The prevalence rate of subdural hematoma in the group whose falls were witnessed by a nonrelative was significantly lower than that of the other group (p = 0.027). There were no patients with subdural hematoma, retinal hemorrhage, or neurological sequelae in the group whose fall was witnessed by a nonrelative.

CONCLUSIONS

Subdural hematoma, retinal hemorrhage, and neurological sequelae due to short falls were not seen after witnessed falls in the present study.

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Anthony Marmarou, Harold F. Young, Gunes A. Aygok, Satoshi Sawauchi, Osamu Tsuji, Takuji Yamamoto and Jana Dunbar

Object. The diagnosis and management of idiopathic normal-pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) remains controversial, particularly in selecting patients for shunt insertion. The use of clinical criteria coupled with imaging studies has limited effectiveness in predicting shunt success. The goal of this prospective study was to assess the usefulness of clinical criteria together with brain imaging studies, resistance testing, and external lumbar drainage (ELD) of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in determining which patients would most likely benefit from shunt surgery.

Methods. One hundred fifty-one patients considered at risk for idiopathic NPH were prospectively studied according to a fixed management protocol. The clinical criterion for idiopathic NPH included ventriculomegaly demonstrated on computerized tomography or magnetic resonance imaging studies combined with gait disturbance, incontinence, and dementia. Subsequently, all patients with a clinical diagnosis of idiopathic NPH underwent a lumbar tap for the measurement of CSF resistance. Following this procedure, patients were admitted to the hospital neurosurgical service for a 3-day ELD of CSF. Video assessment of gait and neuropsychological testing was conducted before and after drainage. A shunt procedure was then offered to patients who had experienced clinical improvement from ELD. Shunt outcome was assessed at 1 year postsurgery.

Conclusions. Data in this report affirm that gait improvement immediately following ELD is the best prognostic indicator of a positive shunt outcome, with an accuracy of prediction greater than 90%. Furthermore, bolus resistance testing is useful as a prognostic tool, does not require hospitalization, can be performed in an outpatient setting, and has an overall accuracy of 72% in predicting successful ELD outcome. Equally important is the finding that improvement with shunt surgery is independent of age up to the ninth decade of life in patients who improved on ELD.

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Masahiro Ozaki, Nobuyuki Fujita, Azusa Miyamoto, Satoshi Suzuki, Osahiko Tsuji, Narihito Nagoshi, Eijiro Okada, Mitsuru Yagi, Takashi Tsuji, Masaya Nakamura, Morio Matsumoto, Hitoshi Kono and Kota Watanabe

OBJECTIVE

Lumbar spinal canal stenosis (LSS) and knee osteoarthritis (KOA), both of which are age-related degenerative diseases, are independently correlated with increased pain and dysfunction of the lower extremities. However, there have been few studies that investigated whether LSS patients with KOA exhibit poor clinical recovery following lumbar spinal surgery. The aim of this study was to elucidate the surgical outcomes of lumbar spinal surgery for LSS patients with KOA using multiple health-related quality of life (HRQOL) parameters.

METHODS

A total of 865 consecutive patients who underwent posterior lumbar spinal surgery for LSS were retrospectively reviewed. Baseline characteristics, radiographic parameters, perioperative factors, and multiple HRQOL parameters were analyzed preoperatively and at 1-year follow-up. HRQOL items included the Zurich Claudication Questionnaire, Oswestry Disability Index, Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), and Japanese Orthopaedic Association Back Pain Evaluation Questionnaire (JOABPEQ). The effectiveness of surgical treatment was assessed using the JOABPEQ. The treatment was regarded as effective when it resulted in an increase in postoperative JOABPEQ score by ≥ 20 points compared with preoperative score or achievement of a postoperative score of ≥ 90 points in those with a preoperative score of < 90 points.

RESULTS

A total of 32 LSS patients with KOA were identified, and 128 age- and sex-matched LSS patients without KOA were selected as controls. In both groups, all HRQOL parameters markedly improved at the 1-year follow-up. On the SF-36, the postoperative mean score for the role physical domain was significantly lower in the KOA group than in the control group (p = 0.034). The treatment was significantly less “effective” in the social life domain of JOABPEQ in the KOA group than in the control group (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

The surgical outcomes of LSS patients with KOA are favorable, although poorer than those of LSS patients without KOA, particularly in terms of social life and activities. These results indicate that LSS patients with KOA experience difficulty in routine work or ordinary activities due to knee pain or restricted knee ROM even after lumbar spinal surgery. Hence, preoperative KOA status warrants consideration when planning lumbar spinal surgery and estimating surgical outcomes of LSS.

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Satoshi Nori, Akio Iwanami, Akimasa Yasuda, Narihito Nagoshi, Nobuyuki Fujita, Tomohiro Hikata, Mitsuru Yagi, Takashi Tsuji, Kota Watanabe, Suketaka Momoshima, Morio Matsumoto, Masaya Nakamura and Ken Ishii

OBJECTIVE

A number of studies have reported that surgery for cervical intramedullary tumors via the posterior approach can result in postoperative sagittal malalignment of the cervical spine; however, the risk factors remain unclear. The purpose of this study was to investigate the changes in cervical spinal alignment after surgery for cervical intramedullary tumors in adults and to elucidate the risk factors for cervical spinal sagittal misalignment.

METHODS

Data for the period from April 2001 to December 2011 for all adults who had undergone surgery for cervical intramedullary spinal cord tumors at a single institution were retrospectively analyzed to determine the postoperative changes in cervical spine alignment. Patients younger than 20 years of age and those who required postoperative radiotherapy were excluded from the study. Patients were divided into 2 groups according to tumor location: upper tumor (U) group, in which the central region of the tumor was above the C-5 level; and lower tumor (L) group, in which the central region of the tumor was at or below the C-5 level. Changes in alignment of the cervical spine were measured on plain lateral radiographs. Data on atrophy of the deep extensor muscles (DEMs), tumor location, detachment of the DEMs from the C-2 spinous process, the C2–7 angle before surgery, patient age at surgery, tumor histology, patient sex, tumor size, and number of laminae affected were reviewed for each patient, and the correlation of each of these factors with cervical spinal malalignment was evaluated using statistical analysis.

RESULTS

The 54 adults eligible for analysis had a mean age of 49.1 years. Ependymoma was the most common cervical intramedullary tumor (63.0%) in this series. In the tumor location U group, the kyphotic angle of the C2–7 spinal segments increased after surgery (−5.8° ± 2.8°). In contrast, in the L group, the C2–7 lordotic angle increased after surgery (6.4° ± 2.6°). In the univariate analysis, atrophy of the DEMs, detachment of the DEMs from the C-2 spinous process, and an upper cervical location of the tumor were identified as factors significantly correlated with the development of cervical spinal kyphosis after surgery. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed the following as risk factors for kyphotic change of the cervical spine after surgery: 1) atrophy of the DEMs after surgery (β = −0.54, p < 0.01), and 2) detachment of the DEMs from the C-2 spinous process (β = −0.37, p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

Atrophy of the DEMs after surgery and detachment of the DEMs from the C-2 spinous process are directly related to the risk of cervical spinal kyphosis after surgery for cervical intramedullary tumors in adults. Therefore, preservation of the DEMs, especially those attached to the C-2 spinous process, is important for the prevention of kyphotic malalignment of the cervical spine after surgery for intramedullary tumors.

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Sanjeev Ariyandath Sreenivasan, Kanwaljeet Garg, Manmohan Singh and Poodipedi Sarat Chandra