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Lin-Feng Wang, Ying-Ze Zhang, Yong Shen, Yan-Ling Su, Jia-Xin Xu, Wen-Yuan Ding and Ying-Hua Zhang

Object

The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical significance of both the signal intensity ratio obtained from MR imaging and clinical manifestations on the prognosis of patients with cervical ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed the records of 58 patients with cervical ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament who underwent cervical laminoplasty from February 1999 to July 2007. Magnetic resonance imaging (1.5-T) was performed in all patients before surgery. Sagittal T2-weighted images of the cervical spinal cord compressed by the ossified posterior longitudinal ligament showed increased intramedullary signal intensity, whereas the sagittal images obtained at the C7–T1 disc levels were of normal intensity. The signal intensity ratio between regions of intramedullary increased signal intensity and the normal C7–T1 disc level was calculated based on the signal intensity values generated from the MR imaging workstation. Patients were divided into 3 groups according to their signal intensity ratio (high, intermediate, and low signal intensity groups).

Results

There were significant differences between the 3 groups regarding recovery rate (p < 0.001), age (p = 0.022), duration of disease (p = 0.001), Babinski sign (p < 0.001), ankle clonus (p < 0.001), and both pre- and postoperative Japanese Orthopaedic Association score (p < 0.001). There was no significant difference in sex among the 3 groups (p = 0.391).

Conclusions

Patients with low signal intensity ratios that changed on T2-weighted imaging experienced a good surgical outcome. Low increased signal intensity might reflect mild neuropathological alteration in the spinal cord and greater recuperative potential. An increased signal intensity ratio with positive pyramidal signs indicates less recuperative potential of the spinal cord and a poor surgical outcome.

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Ying Guo, J. Lynn Palmer, Loren Shen, Guddi Kaur, Jie Willey, Tao Zhang, Eduardo Bruera, Jean-Paul Wolinsky and Ziya L. Gokaslan

Object

Total or partial sacrectomy is a rare procedure in patients with locally invasive tumors involving the sacrum; it may be associated with functional loss, such as bowel and bladder dysfunction and gait abnormality. In this study the authors examined functional outcome following sacrectomy.

Methods

The authors reviewed the charts of 50 consecutive patients who had undergone sacrectomy between July 1993 and August 2002. There were 23 male and 27 female patients whose mean age was 46 years (range 13–86 years). Twelve patients with rectal cancer underwent a separate analysis. The patients without rectal cancer were divided into two groups: those who had undergone colostomy for bowel diversion (Group 1, six cases), and those who had not (Group 2, 32 cases).

In Group 1 patients the median hospital length of stay (LOS) was 48.5 days (the 25th% and 75th percentiles are 26 and 58, respectively), and in Group 2 patients the median LOS was 18.5 days (the 25th and 75th percentiles are 8 and 41, respectively; p = 0.14). In Group 2 (non—rectal cancer without colostomy), LOS was greater in patients in whom a myocutaneous flap was used compared with those in whom no flap was used (36 days compared with 8.5 days, respectively; p = 0.0012); in patients with bowel incontinence the median LOS was significantly longer than that in patients with bowel continence (39 days compared with 8 days, respectively; p = 0.0026). The incidence of bowel incontinence in Group 2 was closely related to the integrity of the S-3 nerve root (p = 0.05).

Conclusions

Awareness of the association between S-3 nerve root resection and bowel and bladder incontinence may help surgeons' decision-making process.

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Yong-Jian Zhu, Guang-Yu Ying, Ai-Qin Chen, Lin-Lin Wang, Dan-Feng Yu, Liang-Liang Zhu, Yu-Cheng Ren, Chen Wang, Peng-Cheng Wu, Ying Yao, Fang Shen and Jian-Min Zhang

OBJECT

Posterior midline laminectomy or hemilaminectomy has been successfully applied as the standard microsurgical technique for the treatment of spinal intradural pathologies. However, the associated risks of postoperative spinal instability increase the need for subsequent fusion surgery to prevent potential long-term spinal deformity. Continuous efforts have been made to minimize injuries to the surrounding tissue resulting from surgical manipulations. The authors report here their experiences with a novel minimally invasive surgical approach, namely the interlaminar approach, for the treatment of lumbar intraspinal tumors.

METHODS

A retrospective review was conducted of patients at the Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine who underwent minimally invasive resection of lumbar intradural-extramedullary tumors. By using an operative microscope, in addition to an endoscope when necessary, the authors were able to treat all patients with a unilateral, paramedian, bone-sparing interlaminar technique. Data including preoperative neurological status, tumor location, size, pathological diagnosis, extension of resections, intraoperative blood loss, length of hospital stay, and clinical outcomes were obtained through clinical and radiological examinations.

RESULTS

Eighteen patients diagnosed with lumbar intradural-extramedullary tumors were treated from October 2013 to March 2015 by this interlaminar technique. A microscope was used in 15 cases, and the remaining 3 cases were treated using a microscope as well as an endoscope. There were 14 schwannomas, 2 ependymomas, 1 epidermoid cyst, and 1 enterogenous cyst. Postoperative radiological follow-up revealed complete removal of all the lesions and no signs of bone defects in the lamina. At clinical follow-up, 14 of the 18 patients had less pain, and patients' motor/sensory functions improved or remained normal in all cases except 1.

CONClUSIONS

When meeting certain selection criteria, intradural-extramedullary lumbar tumors, especially schwannomas, can be completely and safely resected through a less-invasive interlaminar approach using a microscope, or a microscope in addition to an endoscope when necessary. This approach was advantageous because it caused even less bone destruction, resulting in better postoperative spinal stability, no need for facetectomy and fusion, and quicker functional recovery for the patients. Individualized surgical planning according to preoperative radiological findings is key to a successful microsurgical resection of these lesions through the interlaminar space.

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Hai-Ying Shen, Hai Sun, Marissa M. Hanthorn, Zhongwei Zhi, Jing-Quan Lan, David J. Poulsen, Ruikang K. Wang and Detlev Boison

Object

New experimental models and diagnostic methods are needed to better understand the pathophysiology of focal neocortical epilepsies in a search for improved epilepsy treatment options. The authors hypothesized that a focal disruption of adenosine homeostasis in the neocortex might be sufficient to trigger electrographic seizures. They further hypothesized that a focal disruption of adenosine homeostasis might affect microcirculation and thus offer a diagnostic opportunity for the detection of a seizure focus located in the neocortex.

Methods

Focal disruption of adenosine homeostasis was achieved by injecting an adeno-associated virus (AAV) engineered to overexpress adenosine kinase (ADK), the major metabolic clearance enzyme for the brain's endogenous anticonvulsant adenosine, into the neocortex of mice. Eight weeks following virus injection, the affected brain area was imaged via optical microangiography (OMAG) to detect changes in microcirculation. After completion of imaging, cortical electroencephalography (EEG) recordings were obtained from the imaged brain area.

Results

Viral expression of the Adk cDNA in astrocytes generated a focal area (~ 2 mm in diameter) of ADK overexpression within the neocortex. OMAG scanning revealed a reduction in vessel density within the affected brain area of approximately 23% and 29% compared with control animals and the contralateral hemisphere, respectively. EEG recordings revealed electrographic seizures within the focal area of ADK overexpression at a rate of 1.3 ± 0.2 seizures per hour (mean ± SEM).

Conclusions

The findings of this study suggest that focal adenosine deficiency is sufficient to generate a neocortical focus of hyperexcitability, which is also characterized by reduced vessel density. The authors conclude that their model constitutes a useful tool to study neocortical epilepsies and that OMAG constitutes a noninvasive diagnostic tool for the imaging of seizure foci with disrupted adenosine homeostasis.

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Chen Wang, Chien-Min Chen, Fang Shen, Xiao-Dong Fang, Guang-Yu Ying, Yu-Cheng Ren, Dan-Feng Yu, Liang-Liang Zhu, Yong-Jian Zhu and Jian-Min Zhang

Spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas (SDAVFs) are the most common type of spinal arteriovenous malformations, and microsurgical ligation is the treatment modality most frequently used for these lesions. Developments in endoscopic techniques have made endoscopy an even less invasive alternative to routine microsurgical approaches in spine surgery, but endoscopic management of SDAVF or other intradural spinal lesions has not been reported to date.

The authors describe the use of a microscope-assisted endoscopic interlaminar approach for the ligation of the proximal draining vein of an L-1 SDAVF in a 58-year-old man. A complete cure was confirmed by postoperative angiography. The postoperative course was uneventful, and short-term follow-up showed improvements in the patient's neurological function. The authors conclude that the endoscopic interlaminar approach with microscope assistance is a safe, minimally invasive, innovative technique for the surgical management of SDAVFs in selected patients.

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Xin Zhang, Tamrakar Karuna, Zhi-Qiang Yao, Chuan-Zhi Duan, Xue-Min Wang, Shun-Ting Jiang, Xi-Feng Li, Jia-He Yin, Xu-Ying He, Shen-Quan Guo, Yun-Chang Chen, Wen-Chao Liu, Ran Li and Hai-Yan Fan

OBJECTIVE

Among clinical and morphological criteria, hemodynamics is the main predictor of aneurysm growth and rupture. This study aimed to identify which hemodynamic parameter in the parent artery could independently predict the rupture of anterior communicating artery (ACoA) aneurysms by using multivariate logistic regression and two-piecewise linear regression models. An additional objective was to look for a more simplified and convenient alternative to the widely used computational fluid dynamics (CFD) techniques to detect wall shear stress (WSS) as a screening tool for predicting the risk of aneurysm rupture during the follow-up of patients who did not undergo embolization or surgery.

METHODS

One hundred sixty-two patients harboring ACoA aneurysms (130 ruptured and 32 unruptured) confirmed by 3D digital subtraction angiography at three centers were selected for this study. Morphological and hemodynamic parameters were evaluated for significance with respect to aneurysm rupture. Local hemodynamic parameters were obtained by MR angiography and transcranial color-coded duplex sonography to calculate WSS magnitude. Multivariate logistic regression and a two-piecewise linear regression analysis were performed to identify which hemodynamic parameter independently characterizes the rupture status of ACoA aneurysms.

RESULTS

Univariate analysis showed that WSS (p < 0.001), circumferential wall tension (p = 0.005), age (p < 0.001), the angle between the A1 and A2 segments of the anterior cerebral artery (p < 0.001), size ratio (p = 0.023), aneurysm angle (p < 0.001), irregular shape (p = 0.005), and hypertension (grade II) (p = 0.006) were significant parameters. Multivariate analyses showed significant association between WSS in the parent artery and ACoA aneurysm rupture (p = 0.0001). WSS magnitude, evaluated by a two-piecewise linear regression model, was significantly correlated with the rupture of the ACoA aneurysm when the magnitude was higher than 12.3 dyne/cm2 (HR 7.2, 95% CI 1.5–33.6, p = 0.013).

CONCLUSIONS

WSS in the parent artery may be one of the reliable hemodynamic parameters characterizing the rupture status of ACoA aneurysms when the WSS magnitude is higher than 12.3 dyne/cm2. Analysis showed that with each additional unit of WSS (even with a 1-unit increase of WSS), there was a 6.2-fold increase in the risk of rupture for ACoA aneurysms.