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Yasuaki Imajo, Tsukasa Kanchiku, Yuichiro Yoshida, Norihiro Nishida, and Toshihiko Taguchi

Here the authors report the case of a fresh vertebral body fracture with a large spinal intraosseous arteriovenous fistula (AVF). A 74-year-old woman started to experience low-back pain following a rear-end car collision. Plain radiography showed diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH). Sagittal CT sections revealed a transverse fracture of the L-4 vertebral body with a bone defect. Sagittal fat-suppressed T2-weighted MRI revealed a flow void in the fractured vertebra. Spinal angiography revealed an intraosseous AVF with a feeder from the right L-4 segmental artery. A fresh fracture of the L-4 vertebral body with a spinal intraosseous AVF was diagnosed. Observation of a flow void in the vertebral body on fat-suppressed T2-weighted MRI was important for the diagnosis of the spinal intraosseous AVF. Because conservative treatment was ineffective, surgery was undertaken. The day before surgery, embolization through the right L-4 segmental artery was performed using 2 coils to achieve AVF closure. Posterolateral fusion with instrumentation at the T12–S2 vertebral levels was performed without L-4 vertebroplasty. The spinal intraosseous AVF had disappeared after 4 months. At 24 months after surgery, the bone defect was completely replaced by bone and the patient experienced no limitations in daily activities. Given their experience with the present case, the authors believe that performing vertebroplasty or anterior reconstruction may not be necessary in treating spinal intraosseous AVF.

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Yoshihiko Kato, Yasuaki Imajo, Tsukasa Kanchiku, Takanori Kojima, Hideo Kataoka, and Toshihiko Taguchi

Cervical flexion myelopathy is thought to arise following compression of the spinal cord by vertebrae or intervertebral discs and dura mater, or from overstretching of the spinal cord induced by cervical spinal flexion. However, the influence of spinal flexion on the spinal cord and the detailed origins of this disease are unknown. In this article the authors report a case of cervical flexion myelopathy in which dynamic electrophysiological examination was performed using an epidural electrode. This investigation showed the real-time influence of flexion of the cervical spine on spinal cord function. This technique was considered to be useful for diagnosis and in decision making for treatment. Anterior fusion was the optimal surgical method for treating this disease.

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Yoshihiko Kato, Tsukasa Kanchiku, Yasuaki Imajo, Kotaro Kimura, Kazuhiko Ichihara, Syunichi Kawano, Daisuke Hamanaka, Kentaro Yaji, and Toshihiko Taguchi

Object

The authors evaluated the biomechanical effect of 3 different degrees of static compression in a model of the spinal cord in order to investigate the effect of cord compression in patients with ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL).

Methods

A 3D finite element spinal cord model consisting of gray matter, white matter, and pia mater was established. As a simulation of OPLL-induced compression, a rigid plate compressed the anterior surface of the cord. The degrees of compression were 10, 20, and 40% of the anteroposterior (AP) diameter of the cord. The cord was supported from behind by the rigid body along its the posterior border, simulating the lamina. Stress distributions inside of the cord were evaluated.

Results

The stresses on the cord were very low under 10% compression. At 20% compression, the stresses on the cord increased very slightly. At 40% compression, the stresses on the cord became much higher than with 20% compression, and high stress distributions were observed in gray matter and the lateral and posterior funiculus. The stresses on the compressed layers were much higher than those on the uncompressed layer.

Conclusions

The stress distributions at 10 and 20% compression of the AP diameter of the spinal cord were very low. The stress distribution at 40% compression was much higher. The authors conclude that a critical point may exist between 20 and 40% compression of the AP diameter of the cord such that when the degree of the compression exceeds this point, the stress distribution becomes much higher, and that this may contribute to myelopathy.

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Sho Kobayashi, Yukihiro Matsuyama, Kenichi Shinomiya, Shigenori Kawabata, Muneharu Ando, Tsukasa Kanchiku, Takanori Saito, Masahito Takahashi, Zenya Ito, Akio Muramoto, Yasushi Fujiwara, Kazunobu Kida, Kei Yamada, Kanichiro Wada, Naoya Yamamoto, Kazuhiko Satomi, and Toshikazu Tani

Object

Although multimodal intraoperative spinal cord monitoring provides greater accuracy, transcranial electrical stimulation motor evoked potential (TcMEP) monitoring became the gold standard for intraoperative spinal cord monitoring. However, there is no definite alarm point for TcMEPs because a multicenter study is lacking. Thus, based on their experience with 48 true-positive cases (that is, a decrease in potentials followed by a new neurological motor deficit postoperatively) encountered between 2007 and 2009, the authors set a 70% decrease in amplitude as the alarm point for TcMEPs.

Methods

A total of 959 cases of spinal deformity, spinal cord tumor, and ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) treated between 2010 and 2012 are included in this prospective multicenter study (18 institutions). These institutions are part of the Japanese Society for Spine Surgery and Related Research monitoring working group and the study group on spinal ligament ossification. The authors prospectively analyzed TcMEP variability and pre- and postoperative motor deficits. A 70% decrease in amplitude was designated as the alarm point.

Results

There were only 2 false-negative cases, which occurred during surgery for intramedullary spinal cord tumors. This new alarm criterion provided high sensitivity (95%) and specificity (91%) for intraoperative spinal cord monitoring and favorable accuracy, except in cases of intramedullary spinal cord tumor.

Conclusions

This study is the first prospective multicenter study to investigate the alarm point of TcMEPs. The authors recommend the designation of an alarm point of a 70% decrease in amplitude for routine spinal cord monitoring, particularly during surgery for spinal deformity, OPLL, and extramedullary spinal cord tumor.

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Takaki Inoue, Satoshi Maki, Toshitaka Yoshii, Takeo Furuya, Satoru Egawa, Kenichiro Sakai, Kazuo Kusano, Yukihiro Nakagawa, Takashi Hirai, Kanichiro Wada, Keiichi Katsumi, Kengo Fujii, Atsushi Kimura, Narihito Nagoshi, Tsukasa Kanchiku, Yukitaka Nagamoto, Yasushi Oshima, Kei Ando, Masahiko Takahata, Kanji Mori, Hideaki Nakajima, Kazuma Murata, Shunji Matsunaga, Takashi Kaito, Kei Yamada, Sho Kobayashi, Satoshi Kato, Tetsuro Ohba, Satoshi Inami, Shunsuke Fujibayashi, Hiroyuki Katoh, Haruo Kanno, Shiro Imagama, Masao Koda, Yoshiharu Kawaguchi, Katsushi Takeshita, Morio Matsumoto, Seiji Ohtori, Masashi Yamazaki, Atsushi Okawa, and

OBJECTIVE

It is unclear whether anterior cervical decompression and fusion (ADF) or laminoplasty (LMP) results in better outcomes for patients with K-line–positive (+) cervical ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL). The purpose of the study is to compare surgical outcomes and complications of ADF versus LMP in patients with K-line (+) OPLL.

METHODS

The study included 478 patients enrolled in the Japanese Multicenter Research Organization for Ossification of the Spinal Ligament and who underwent surgical treatment for cervical OPLL. The patients who underwent anterior-posterior combined surgery or posterior decompression with instrumented fusion were excluded. The patients with a follow-up period of fewer than 2 years were also excluded, leaving 198 patients with K-line (+) OPLL. Propensity score matching was performed on 198 patients with K-line (+) OPLL who underwent ADF (44 patients) or LMP (154 patients), resulting in 39 pairs of patients based on the following predictors for surgical outcomes: age, preoperative Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) score, C2–7 angle, and the occupying ratio of OPLL. Clinical outcomes were assessed 1 and 2 years after surgery using the recovery rate of the JOA score. Complications and reoperation rates were also investigated.

RESULTS

The mean recovery rate of the JOA score 1 year after surgery was 55.3% for patients who underwent ADF and 42.3% (p = 0.06) for patients who underwent LMP. Two years after surgery, the recovery rate was 53.4% for those who underwent ADF and 38.7% for LMP (p = 0.07). Although both surgical procedures yielded good results, the mean recovery rate of JOA scores tended to be higher in the ADF group. The incidence of surgical complications, however, was higher following ADF (33%) than LMP (15%; p = 0.06). The reoperation rate was also higher in the ADF group (15%) than in the LMP group (0%; p = 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

Clinical outcomes were good for both ADF and LMP, indicating that ADF and LMP are appropriate procedures for patients with K-line (+) OPLL. Clinical outcomes of ADF 1 and 2 years after surgery tended to be better than LMP, but the analysis did not detect any significant difference in clinical outcomes between the groups. Conversely, patients who underwent ADF had a higher incidence of surgery-related complications. When considering indications for ADF or LMP, benefits and risks of the surgical procedures should be carefully weighed.