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Satoshi Kawaguchi, Keiko Horigome, Hideki Yajima, Takashi Oda, Yuichiro Kii, Kazunori Ida, Mitsunori Yoshimoto, Kousuke Iba, Tsuneo Takebayashi and Toshihiko Yamashita


The present study was designed to determine clinical and radiographic characteristics of unhealed osteoporotic vertebral fractures (OVFs) and the role of fracture mobility and an intravertebral cleft in the regulation of pain symptoms in patients with an OVF.


Patients who had persistent low-back pain for 3 months or longer and a collapsed thoracic or lumbar vertebra that had an intervertebral cleft and abnormal mobility were referred to as having unhealed OVFs. Twenty-four patients with an unhealed OVF and 30 patients with an acute OVF were compared with regard to several clinical and radiographic features including the presence of an intravertebral fluid sign. Subsequently, the extent of dynamic mobility of the fractured vertebra was analyzed for correlation with the patients' age, duration of symptoms, back pain visual analog scale (VAS) score, and performance status. Finally, in cases of unhealed OVFs, the subgroup of patients with positive fluid signs was compared with the subgroup of patients with negative fluid signs.


Patients with an unhealed OVF were more likely to have a crush-type fracture, shorter vertebral height of the fractured vertebra, and a fracture with a positive fluid sign than those with an acute OVF. The extent of dynamic mobility of the vertebra correlated significantly with the VAS score in patients with an unhealed OVF. In addition, a significant correlation with the extent of dynamic vertebral mobility with performance status was seen in patients with an unhealed OVF and those with an acute OVF. Of the 24 patients with an unhealed OVF, 14 had a positive fluid sign in the affected vertebra. Patients with a positive fluid sign exhibited a statistically significantly greater extent of dynamic vertebral mobility, a higher VAS score, a higher performance status grade, and a greater likelihood of having a crush-type fracture than those with a negative fluid sign. All but 1 patient with an unhealed OVF and a positive fluid sign had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status Grade 3 or 4 (bedridden most or all of the time). In sharp contrast, all 10 patients with an unhealed OVF and a negative fluid sign were Grade 1 or 2.


Unhealed OVFs form a group of fractures that are distinct from acute OVFs regarding radiographic morphometry and contents of the intravertebral cleft. Dynamic vertebral mobility serves as a primal pain determinant in patients with an unhealed OVF and potentially in those with an acute OVF. Fluid accumulation in the intravertebral cleft of unhealed OVFs likely reflects long-term bedridden positioning of the patients in daily activity.

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Nakao Ota, Rokuya Tanikawa, Hirotake Eda, Takashi Matsumoto, Takanori Miyazaki, Hidetoshi Matsukawa, Takeshi Yanagisawa, Go Suzuki, Shiro Miyata, Jumpei Oda, Kosumo Noda, Toshiyuki Tsuboi, Rihei Takeda, Hiroyasu Kamiyama and Sadahisa Tokuda


Bilateral vertebral artery dissecting aneurysms (VADAs) have a poor prognosis because progressive enlargement of the aneurysms compresses the brainstem or causes subarachnoid hemorrhage. The trapping of 1 vertebral artery (VA) places increased hemodynamic stress on the contralateral VA and may lead to enlargement and rupture. Therefore, management strategies are controversial. This study describes a radical treatment for bilateral VADAs using bypass surgery.


Seven patients with bilateral VADAs were included. Three patients were treated by trapping of 1 VA via coiling or clipping at another hospital; the previously treated VA in 1 patient and the contralateral untreated VA in 2 patients subsequently enlarged. The other 4 patients presented without previous intervention and progressive enlargement of the aneurysms.


The post–coil embolization patients underwent V3–posterior cerebral artery (PCA) bypass and trapping. The other 4 patients underwent VA reconstruction via V3–V4 or V4–V4 bypass, with contralateral trapping on a separate day in 3 patients and observation in 1 patient. Perioperative complications included 1 case of cerebrospinal fluid leakage for which the patient required an additional operation, 1 case of dysphagia and facial palsy due to sigmoid sinus thrombosis, and 1 case of dysphagia. The long-term outcomes of these patients were favorable.


Patients with bilateral VADAs require treatment on both sides. If VA trapping is performed first, the treatment options for the other side are limited to V3-PCA bypass and trapping. This procedure is effective; however, it is also invasive and technically difficult. In cases of bilateral VADAs in which it is feasible to reconstruct 1 side, the best approach is to begin by reconstructing the VA that appears technically easiest, followed by trapping of the contralateral VADA. This strategy allows enough time to suture vessels because contralateral reverse flow is maintained.