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Yu Yamato, Tomohiko Hasegawa, Sho Kobayashi, Tatsuya Yasuda, Daisuke Togawa, Go Yoshida, Tomohiro Banno, Shin Oe, Yuki Mihara, and Yukihiro Matsuyama

OBJECTIVE

Despite the significant incidence of rod fractures (RFs) following long-segment corrective fusion surgery, little is known about the optimal treatment strategy. The objectives of this study were to investigate the time course of clinical symptoms and treatments in patients with RFs following adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery and to establish treatment recommendations.

METHODS

This study was a retrospective case series of patients with RFs whose data were retrieved from a prospectively collected single-center database. The authors reviewed the cases of 304 patients (mean age 62.9 years) who underwent ASD surgery. Primary symptoms, time course of symptoms, and treatments were investigated by reviewing medical records. Standing whole-spine radiographs obtained before and after RF development and at last follow-up were evaluated. Osseous union was assessed using CT scans and intraoperative findings.

RESULTS

There were 54 RFs in 53 patients (mean age 68.5 years [range 41–84 years]) occurring at a mean of 21 months (range 6–47 months) after surgery. In 1 patient RF occurred twice, with each case at a different time and level, and the symptoms and treatments for these 2 RFs were analyzed separately (1 case of revision surgery and 1 case of nonoperative treatment). The overall rate of RF observed on radiographs after a minimum follow-up of 1 year was 18.0% (54 of 300 cases). The clinical symptoms at the time of RF were pain in 77.8% (42 of 54 cases) and no onset of new symptoms in 20.5% (11 of 54 cases). The pain was temporary and had subsided in 19 of 42 cases (45%) within 2 weeks. In 36 of the 54 cases (66.7%) (including the first RF in the patient with 2 RFs), patients underwent revision surgery at a mean of 116 days (range 5–888 days) after diagnosis. In 18 cases patients received only nonoperative treatment as of the last follow-up, including 17 cases in which the patients experienced no pain and no remarkable progression of deformity (mean 18.5 months after RF development).

CONCLUSIONS

This analysis of 54 RFs in 53 patients following corrective fusion surgery for ASD demonstrates a relationship between symptoms and alignment change. Revision surgeries were performed in a total of 36 cases. Nonoperative care was offered in 18 (33.3%) of 54 cases at the last follow-up, with no additional symptoms in 17 of the 18 cases. These data offer useful information regarding informed decision making for patients in whom an RF occurs after ASD surgery.

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Hiroki Ushirozako, Go Yoshida, Tomohiko Hasegawa, Yu Yamato, Tatsuya Yasuda, Tomohiro Banno, Hideyuki Arima, Shin Oe, Tomohiro Yamada, Koichiro Ide, Yuh Watanabe, Tadayoshi Kurita, and Yukihiro Matsuyama

OBJECTIVE

Transcranial motor evoked potential (TcMEP) monitoring may be valuable for predicting postoperative neurological complications with a high sensitivity and specificity, but one of the most frequent problems is the high false-positive rate. The purpose of this study was to clarify the differences in the risk factors for false-positive TcMEP alerts seen when performing surgery in patients with pediatric scoliosis and adult spinal deformity and to identify a method to reduce the false-positive rate.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed 393 patients (282 adult and 111 pediatric patients) who underwent TcMEP monitoring while under total intravenous anesthesia during spinal deformity surgery. They defined their cutoff (alert) point as a final TcMEP amplitude of ≤ 30% of the baseline amplitude. Patients with false-positive alerts were classified into one of two groups: a group with pediatric scoliosis and a group with adult spinal deformity.

RESULTS

There were 14 cases of false-positive alerts (13%) during pediatric scoliosis surgery and 62 cases of false-positive alerts (22%) during adult spinal deformity surgery. Compared to the true-negative cases during adult spinal deformity surgery, the false-positive cases had a significantly longer duration of surgery and greater estimated blood loss (both p < 0.001). Compared to the true-negative cases during pediatric scoliosis surgery, the false-positive cases had received a significantly higher total fentanyl dose and a higher mean propofol dose (0.75 ± 0.32 mg vs 0.51 ± 0.18 mg [p = 0.014] and 5.6 ± 0.8 mg/kg/hr vs 5.0 ± 0.7 mg/kg/hr [p = 0.009], respectively). A multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that the duration of surgery (1-hour difference: OR 1.701; 95% CI 1.364–2.120; p < 0.001) was independently associated with false-positive alerts during adult spinal deformity surgery. A multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that the mean propofol dose (1-mg/kg/hr difference: OR 3.117; 95% CI 1.196–8.123; p = 0.020), the total fentanyl dose (0.05-mg difference; OR 1.270; 95% CI 1.078–1.497; p = 0.004), and the duration of surgery (1-hour difference: OR 2.685; 95% CI 1.131–6.377; p = 0.025) were independently associated with false-positive alerts during pediatric scoliosis surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

Longer duration of surgery and greater blood loss are more likely to result in false-positive alerts during adult spinal deformity surgery. In particular, anesthetic doses were associated with false-positive TcMEP alerts during pediatric scoliosis surgery. The authors believe that false-positive alerts during pediatric scoliosis surgery, in particular, are caused by “anesthetic fade.”

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Hiroki Ushirozako, Go Yoshida, Sho Kobayashi, Tomohiko Hasegawa, Yu Yamato, Tatsuya Yasuda, Tomohiro Banno, Hideyuki Arima, Shin Oe, Yuki Mihara, Daisuke Togawa, and Yukihiro Matsuyama

OBJECTIVE

Intraoperative neuromonitoring may be valuable for predicting postoperative neurological complications, and transcranial motor evoked potentials (TcMEPs) are the most reliable monitoring modality with high sensitivity. One of the most frequent problems of TcMEP monitoring is the high rate of false-positive alerts, also called “anesthetic fade.” The purpose of this study was to clarify the risk factors for false-positive TcMEP alerts and to find ways to reduce false-positive rates.

METHODS

The authors analyzed 703 patients who underwent TcMEP monitoring under total intravenous anesthesia during spinal surgery within a 7-year interval. They defined an alert point as final TcMEP amplitudes ≤ 30% of the baseline. Variations in body temperature (maximum − minimum body temperature during surgery) were measured. Patients with false-positive alerts were classified into 2 groups: a global group with alerts observed in 2 or more muscles of the upper and lower extremities, and a focal group with alerts observed in 1 muscle.

RESULTS

False-positive alerts occurred in 100 cases (14%), comprising 60 cases with global and 40 cases with focal alerts. Compared with the 545 true-negative cases, in the false-positive cases the patients had received a significantly higher total propofol dose (1915 mg vs 1380 mg; p < 0.001). In the false-positive cases with global alerts, the patients had also received a higher mean propofol dose than those with focal alerts (4.5 mg/kg/hr vs 4.2 mg/kg/hr; p = 0.087). The cutoff value of the total propofol dose for predicting false-positive alerts, with the best sensitivity and specificity, was 1550 mg. Multivariate logistic analysis revealed that a total propofol dose > 1550 mg (OR 4.583; 95% CI 2.785–7.539; p < 0.001), variation in body temperature (1°C difference; OR 1.691; 95% CI 1.060–2.465; p < 0.01), and estimated blood loss (500-ml difference; OR 1.309; 95% CI 1.155–1.484; p < 0.001) were independently associated with false-positive alerts.

CONCLUSIONS

Intraoperative total propofol dose > 1550 mg, larger variation in body temperature, and greater blood loss are independently associated with false-positive alerts during spinal surgery. The authors believe that these factors may contribute to the false-positive global alerts that characterize anesthetic fade. As it is necessary to consider multiple confounding factors to distinguish false-positive alerts from true-positive alerts, including variation in body temperature or ischemic condition, the authors argue the importance of a team approach that includes surgeons, anesthesiologists, and medical engineers.

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Hideyuki Arima, Yu Yamato, Tomohiko Hasegawa, Daisuke Togawa, Go Yoshida, Tatsuya Yasuda, Tomohiro Banno, Shin Oe, Hiroki Ushirozako, Tomohiro Yamada, Yuh Watanabe, Koichiro Ide, and Yukihiro Matsuyama

OBJECTIVE

Extensive corrective fusion surgery was performed on elderly patients with adult spinal deformity (ASD) to improve abnormal posture. Varying improvements in postoperative walking function were expected owing to differences in muscular strength and bone quality between patients in their 40s and those over 75 years of age. The purpose of this study was to compare preoperative and postoperative gait posture and physical functionality in elderly patients with ASD who underwent extensive corrective fusion to the thoracic spine.

METHODS

A prospectively maintained surgical database was reviewed for patients with ASD who underwent corrective fusion surgery (thoracic spine to pelvis) between 2011 and 2016. The cohort was divided into three age groups: nonelderly (40–64 years), young-old (65–74 years), and old-old (> 75 years). Patients underwent a 4-m walk test preoperatively and 2 years postoperatively to measure gait-trunk tilt angle and walking speed (meters per minute).

RESULTS

Among 291 patients with ASD who underwent corrective fusion surgery, 56 patients (14 men and 42 women; mean age 68.8 years) were included. Mean preoperative gait-trunk tilt angle (12.9° vs 5.2°, p < 0.01) and walking speed (41.2 m/min vs 45.7 m/min, p < 0.01) significantly improved postoperatively. Intergroup analysis revealed that the mean preoperative gait-trunk tilt angles in the nonelderly (n = 13), young-old (n = 28), and old-old (n = 15) groups were 11.9°, 10.0°, and 19.3°, respectively; postoperatively, these improved to 4.5°, 4.5°, and 7.2°, respectively. Mean preoperative walking speeds of 47.9, 40.0, and 37.7 m/min improved to 52.4, 44.8, and 41.5 m/min postoperatively in the nonelderly, young-old, and old-old groups, respectively. There were no statistically significant differences in degree of improvement in gait-trunk tilt angle and walking speed among groups.

CONCLUSIONS

Extensive corrective fusion surgery improved the postoperative walking posture of patients with ASD. Statistical analysis of gait measurements demonstrated intergroup equivalence, indicating comparable improvement in physical functionality in elderly and middle-aged patients after corrective fusion surgery.

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Tatsuya Yasuda, Tomohiko Hasegawa, Yu Yamato, Daisuke Togawa, Sho Kobayashi, Go Yoshida, Tomohiro Banno, Hideyuki Arima, Shin Oe, and Yukihiro Matsuyama

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of position on lumbar lordosis (LL) in adult spinal deformity (ASD) patients.

METHODS

The authors evaluated the radiographic data of ASD patients who underwent posterior corrective fusion surgery from the thoracic spine to L5, S1, or the ilium for the treatment of ASD of the lumbar spine. The spinopelvic parameters were measured in the standing position preoperatively. LL was also evaluated in the supine position preoperatively and in the prone position on the surgical frame. Changes in LL were compared between groups.

RESULTS

Eighty-five patients were included. The average LL in standing, supine, and prone positions was 11.8°, 24.3°, and 24.0°, respectively. LL increased significantly from standing to supine or prone position (p < 0.001). In 80 patients (94.1%), the difference between supine LL and prone LL was within 5°. Change in LL from standing to prone position was significantly higher in the severe deformity group.

CONCLUSIONS

The lordotic effect of intraoperative prone positioning was remarkable in patients with severe deformities. LL in the supine position was approximately the same as that in the prone position. Therefore, assessing preoperative supine lateral lumbar radiographs enables one to plan corrective spinal surgeries in ASD patients.

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Hiroki Ushirozako, Tomohiko Hasegawa, Shigeto Ebata, Tetsuro Ohba, Hiroki Oba, Keijiro Mukaiyama, Satoshi Shimizu, Yu Yamato, Koichiro Ide, Yosuke Shibata, Toshiyuki Ojima, Jun Takahashi, Hirotaka Haro, and Yukihiro Matsuyama

OBJECTIVE

Nonunion after posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) is associated with poor long-term outcomes in terms of health-related quality of life. Biomechanical factors in the fusion segment may influence spinal fusion rates. There are no reports on the relationship between intervertebral union and the absorption of autografts or vertebral endplates. Therefore, the purpose of this retrospective study was to evaluate the risk factors of nonunion after PLIF and identify preventive measures.

METHODS

The authors analyzed 138 patients who underwent 1-level PLIF between 2016 and 2018 (75 males, 63 females; mean age 67 years; minimum follow-up period 12 months). Lumbar CT images obtained soon after the surgery and at 6 and 12 months of follow-up were examined for the mean total occupancy rate of the autograft, presence of a translucent zone between the autograft and endplate (more than 50% of vertebral diameter), cage subsidence, and screw loosening. Complete intervertebral union was defined as the presence of both upper and lower complete fusion in the center cage regions on coronal and sagittal CT slices at 12 months postoperatively. Patients were classified into either union or nonunion groups.

RESULTS

Complete union after PLIF was observed in 62 patients (45%), while nonunion was observed in 76 patients (55%). The mean total occupancy rate of the autograft immediately after the surgery was higher in the union group than in the nonunion group (59% vs 53%; p = 0.046). At 12 months postoperatively, the total occupancy rate of the autograft had decreased by 5.4% in the union group and by 11.9% in the nonunion group (p = 0.020). A translucent zone between the autograft and endplate immediately after the surgery was observed in 14 and 38 patients (23% and 50%) in the union and nonunion groups, respectively (p = 0.001). The nonunion group had a significantly higher proportion of cases with cage subsidence and screw loosening at 12 months postoperatively in comparison to the union group (p = 0.010 and p = 0.009, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

A lower occupancy rate of the autograft and the presence of a translucent zone between the autograft and endplate immediately after the surgery were associated with nonunion at 12 months after PLIF. It may be important to achieve sufficient contact between the autograft and endplate intraoperatively for osseous union enhancement and to avoid excessive absorption of the autograft. The achievement of complete intervertebral union may decrease the incidence of cage subsidence or screw loosening.

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Shin Oe, Yu Yamato, Tomohiko Hasegawa, Go Yoshida, Sho Kobayashi, Tatsuya Yasuda, Tomohiro Banno, Hideyuki Arima, Yuki Mihara, Hiroki Ushirozako, Tomohiro Yamada, Koichiro Ide, Yuh Watanabe, and Yukihiro Matsuyama

OBJECTIVE

Many complications are likely to occur in patients with malnutrition. The prognostic nutritional index (PNI) is often used when evaluating a patient’s nutritional condition. However, no studies have investigated the association between nutritional status and postoperative medical complications or prognosis by using the PNI in the field of spinal surgery. The purpose of this retrospective study was to investigate postoperative medical complications and prognoses of patients who had undergone adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery, according to their preoperative nutritional status.

METHODS

All patients aged ≥ 40 years who had undergone scheduled ASD surgery in the authors’ hospital between March 2010 and June 2017 were eligible for study inclusion and were divided into groups according to their PNI (< 50, group L; ≥ 50, group H). Medical complications diagnosed within 30 days postoperatively were evaluated; however, surgical site infection and death were evaluated until 1 and 5 years after surgery, respectively.

RESULTS

Among the 285 eligible patients, groups L and H consisted of 118 and 167 patients, whose mean ages were 68.6 and 68.3 years, respectively. There was a significant difference in body mass index (22 vs 24 mg/kg2, respectively, p = 0.000), PNI (46 vs 55, p = 0.000), comorbidity of osteoporosis (50% vs 32%, p = 0.005) and autoimmune disease (13% vs 5%, p = 0.036), medical history of malignant disorder (17% vs 6%, p = 0.007), and medical complications (49% vs 23%, p = 0.000) between groups L and H. Multiple logistic regression analysis suggested that significant risk factors for postoperative medical complications were male sex (p = 0.000, OR 3.5, 95% CI 1.78–6.96), PNI < 50 (p = 0.000, OR 2.9, 95% CI 1.69–4.93), and days to ambulation (p = 0.003, OR 1.1, 95% CI 1.02–1.09).

CONCLUSIONS

Medical complication rates are significantly higher in patients with PNI < 50, those with delayed ambulation, and male patients. In malnourished patients scheduled for ASD surgery, improvement of preoperative nutritional status and postoperative early ambulation are important to avoid medical complications.

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Hiroki Ushirozako, Tomohiko Hasegawa, Yu Yamato, Go Yoshida, Tatsuya Yasuda, Tomohiro Banno, Hideyuki Arima, Shin Oe, Yuki Mihara, Tomohiro Yamada, Koichiro Ide, Yuh Watanabe, Keichi Nakai, Takaaki Imada, and Yukihiro Matsuyama

OBJECTIVE

Surgical site infection (SSI) after posterior spinal surgery is one of the severe complications that may occur despite administration of prophylactic antibiotics and the use of intraoperative aseptic precautions. The use of intrawound vancomycin powder for SSI prevention is still controversial, with a lack of high-quality and large-scale studies. The purpose of this retrospective study using a propensity score–matched analysis was to clarify whether intrawound vancomycin powder prevents SSI occurrence after spinal surgery.

METHODS

The authors analyzed 1261 adult patients who underwent posterior spinal surgery between 2010 and 2018 (mean age 62.3 years; 506 men, 755 women; follow-up period at least 1 year). Baseline and surgical data were assessed. After a preliminary analysis, a propensity score model was established with adjustments for age, sex, type of disease, and previously reported risk factors for SSI. The SSI rates were compared between patients with intrawound vancomycin powder treatment (vancomycin group) and those without (control group).

RESULTS

In a preliminary analysis of 1261 unmatched patients (623 patients in the vancomycin group and 638 patients in the control group), there were significant differences between the groups in age (p = 0.041), body mass index (p = 0.013), American Society of Anesthesiologists classification (p < 0.001), malnutrition (p = 0.001), revision status (p < 0.001), use of steroids (p = 0.019), use of anticoagulation (p = 0.033), length of surgery (p = 0.003), estimated blood loss (p < 0.001), and use of instrumentation (p < 0.001). There was no significant difference in SSI rates between the vancomycin and control groups (21 SSIs [3.4%] vs 33 SSIs [5.2%]; OR 0.640, 95% CI 0.368–1.111; p = 0.114). Using a one-to-one propensity score–matched analysis, 444 pairs of patients from the vancomycin and control groups were selected. There was no significant difference in the baseline and surgical data, except for height (p = 0.046), between both groups. The C-statistic for the propensity score model was 0.702. In the score-matched analysis, 12 (2.7%) and 24 (5.4%) patients in the vancomycin and control groups, respectively, developed SSIs (OR 0.486, 95% CI 0.243–0.972; p = 0.041). There were no systemic complications related to the use of vancomycin.

CONCLUSIONS

The current study showed that intrawound vancomycin powder was useful in reducing the risk of SSI after posterior spinal surgery by half, without adverse events. Intrawound vancomycin powder use is a safe and effective procedure for SSI prevention.