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Tsung-Ming Su, Ching-Hsiao Cheng, Wu-Fu Chen and Shih-Wei Hsu

A 7-month-old baby presented with a 4-day history of drowsiness and vomiting after a falling accident. Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated diffuse subarachnoid hemorrhage, intraventricular hemorrhage, and variable stages of subdural hematoma in bilateral occipital and left temporal subdural spaces. A partially thrombosed aneurysm was noted in the right craniocervical junction. Ophthalmological examination revealed bilateral retinal petechial hemorrhages. Conventional cerebral angiography revealed a dissecting aneurysm in the right posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA). Endovascular embolization was suggested, but the family refused. After conservative treatment, follow-up MRI revealed that the PICA aneurysm had remodeled and ultimately disappeared completely at the 10th month. This case illustrates the relatively plastic nature of intracranial aneurysms in pediatric patients. More studies are necessary to clarify the natural history of spontaneously thrombosed aneurysms to assist in their overall management.

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Chiu-Hao Hsu, Sheng-Che Chou, Shih-Hung Yang, Ming-Chieh Shih and Meng-Fai Kuo

OBJECTIVE

Proximal malfunction is the most common cause of ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt failure in young children. In this study, the authors sought to determine factors that affect the migration rate of ventricular catheters in hydrocephalic children who undergo shunt implantation in the first 3 years of life.

METHODS

The authors reviewed the medical records and imaging studies of newly diagnosed and treated hydrocephalic children who were younger than 3 years. Patients who received VP shunt insertion through the parieto-occipital route were not included. In total, 78 patients were found who underwent VP shunt insertion between December 2006 and April 2017. Eighteen patients were excluded due to mortality, short follow-up period (< 1 year), and lack of imaging follow-up. The age, sex, etiology of hydrocephalus, initial length of ventricular catheter, valve type (burr hole vs non–burr hole), time to ventricular catheter migration, subsequent revision surgery, and follow-up period were analyzed. The diagnosis of a migrated ventricular catheter was made when serial imaging follow-up showed progressive withdrawal of the catheter tip from the ventricle, with the catheter shorter than 4 mm inside the ventricle, or progressive deviation of the ventricular catheter toward the midline or anterior ventricular wall.

RESULTS

Sixty patients were enrolled. The mean age was 5.1 months (range 1–30 months). The mean follow-up period was 50.9 months (range 13–91 months). Eight patients had ventricular catheter migration, and in 7 of these 8 patients a non–burr hole valve was used. In the nonmigration group, a non–burr hole valve was used in only 6 of the 52 patients. Six of the 8 patients with catheter migration needed second surgeries, which included removal of the shunt due to disconnection in 1 patient. The remaining 2 patients with shunt migration were followed for 91 and 46 months, respectively, without clinical and imaging changes. The authors found that patient age at catheter insertion, ventricular catheter length, and the use of a burr hole valve were protective factors against migration. After ventricular catheter length and patient age at catheter insertion were treated as confounding variables and adjusted with multivariable Weibull proportional hazards regression, the use of a burr hole valve shunt remained a protective factor.

CONCLUSIONS

The use of burr hole valves is a protective factor against ventricular catheter migration when the shunt is inserted via a frontal route. The authors suggest the use of a burr hole valve along with a frontal entry point in hydrocephalic children younger than 3 years to maintain long-term shunt function.

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Hsuan-Kan Chang, Wen-Cheng Huang, Tsung-Hsi Tu, Li-Yu Fay, Chao-Hung Kuo, Chih-Chang Chang, Ching-Lan Wu, Jiing-Feng Lirng, Jau-Ching Wu, Henrich Cheng and Shih-Ming Hsu

OBJECTIVE

One- and two-level cervical disc arthroplasty (CDA) has been compared to anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) in several large-scale, prospective, randomized trials that have demonstrated similar clinical outcomes. However, whether these results would be similar when treating 3-level disc herniation and/or spondylosis has remained unanswered. This study aimed to investigate the differences between 3-level CDA and ACDF.

METHODS

A series of 50 patients who underwent 3-level CDA at C3–7 was retrospectively reviewed and compared with another series of 50 patients (age- and sex-matched controls) who underwent ACDF at C3–7. Clinical outcomes were measured using the visual analog scale (VAS) for neck and arm pain, the modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association (mJOA) scale, and the Neck Disability Index (NDI). Radiological outcomes included range of motion (ROM) at the index levels. Every patient was evaluated by CT for the presence of fusion in the ACDF group. Also, complication profiles were investigated.

RESULTS

The demographics and levels of distribution in both groups were very similar. During the follow-up period of 24 months, clinical outcomes improved (overall and respectively in each group) for both the CDA and ACDF patients when compared with the patients’ preoperative condition. There were essentially few differences between the two groups in terms of neck and arm pain VAS scores, mJOA scores, and NDI scores preoperatively and at 3, 6, 12, and 24 months postoperatively. After the 3-level surgery, the CDA group had an increased mean ROM of approximately 3.4°, at 25.2° ± 8.84°, compared to their preoperative ROM (21.8° ± 7.20°) (p = 0.001), whereas the ACDF group had little mobility (22.8° ± 5.90° before and 1.0° ± 1.28° after surgery; p < 0.001). The mean operative time, estimated blood loss, and complication profiles were similar for both groups.

CONCLUSIONS

In this selectively matched retrospective study, clinical outcomes after 3-level CDA and ACDF were similar during the 2-year follow-up period. CDA not only successfully preserved but slightly increased the mobility at the 3 index levels. However, the safety and efficacy of 3-level CDA requires more long-term data for validatation.