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Hui-Ren Tao, Tian-Li Yang, Michael S. Chang, Huan Li, Da-Wei Zhang, Hong-Bin Fan, Chao Shen, and Zhuo-Jing Luo

Tethered cord is a common finding in congenital scoliosis. The most frequently advocated approach for this condition is to perform prophylactic detethering of the cord before scoliosis corrective surgery. The authors report on a 14-year-old patient with congenital thoracic kyphoscoliosis associated with a tethered cord, who developed progressive paraparesis and was successfully treated by posterior spine shortening osteotomy alone without prophylactic untethering. The patient had a 103° scoliotic curve together with a 93° kyphotic curve with an apical vertebra of T-7. Furthermore, he developed a significant progression of neurological deficits, including weakness of both legs and urinary and bowel incontinence. Preoperative MRI revealed that the spinal cord was entrapped by the apical vertebra and the low-placed conus medullaris was at approximately L-5. A posterior vertebral column resection of T-7 was performed for the purpose of simultaneously correcting the kyphoscoliosis and releasing tension on the tethered cord without a true detethering surgery. The patient's spinal cord function recovered completely from Frankel D to Frankel E by 6 months after the procedure. Evaluation at 31 months after surgery showed maintenance of good curve correction and normal neurological function.

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Jianping Song, Peiliang Li, Yanlong Tian, Xiaochun Zhao, Xiaowen Wang, and Wei Zhu

The large intracranial hemangioblastoma is a top surgical challenge due to its nature of invading brain parenchyma, tight adherence to the pia, and rich blood supply from numerous pial vasculatures and arteries in the proximity. If the brainstem is involved in the lesion, the surgery will be more dangerous because of potential brainstem impingement. In this illustrative video, we present a case of a 54-year-old male with a large hemangioblastoma at the mesencephalic-cerebellar region, which was successfully treated by hybrid endovascular embolization and microsurgery via an occipital interhemispheric transtentorial approach with minimal intraoperative blood loss and a favorable outcome.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/pJqFhY_Zhv0.

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Kai-Bing Tian, Jing-Jie Zheng, Jun-Peng Ma, Shu-Yu Hao, Liang Wang, Li-Wei Zhang, Zhen Wu, Jun-Ting Zhang, and Da Li

OBJECTIVE

The natural history of cerebral cavernous malformations (CMs) has been widely studied, but the clinical course of untreated thalamic CMs is largely unknown. Hemorrhage of these lesions can be devastating. The authors undertook this study to obtain a prospective hemorrhage rate and provide a better understanding of the prognosis of untreated thalamic CMs.

METHODS

This longitudinal cohort study included patients with thalamic CMs who were diagnosed between 2000 and 2015. Clinical data were recorded, radiological studies were extensively reviewed, and follow-up evaluations were performed.

RESULTS

A total of 121 patients were included in the study (56.2% female), with a mean follow-up duration of 3.6 years. The overall annual hemorrhage rate (subsequent to the initial presentation) was calculated to be 9.7% based on the occurrence of 42 hemorrhages over 433.1 patient-years. This rate was highest in patients (n = 87) who initially presented with hemorrhage and focal neurological deficits (FNDs) (14.1%) (χ2 = 15.358, p < 0.001), followed by patients (n = 19) with hemorrhage but without FND (4.5%) and patients (n = 15) without hemorrhage regardless of symptoms (1.2%). The initial patient presentations of hemorrhage with FND (hazard ratio [HR] 2.767, 95% CI 1.336–5.731, p = 0.006) and associated developmental venous anomaly (DVA) (HR 2.510, 95% CI 1.275–4.942, p = 0.008) were identified as independent hemorrhage risk factors. The annual hemorrhage rate was significantly higher in patients with hemorrhagic pres entation at diagnosis (11.7%, p = 0.004) or DVA (15.7%, p = 0.002). Compared with the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score at diagnosis (mean 2.2), the final mRS score (mean 2.0) was improved in 37 patients (30.6%), stable in 59 patients (48.8%), and worse in 25 patients (20.7%). Lesion size (odds ratio [OR] per 0.1 cm increase 3.410, 95% CI 1.272–9.146, p = 0.015) and mRS score at diagnosis (OR per 1 point increase 3.548, 95% CI 1.815–6.937, p < 0.001) were independent adverse risk factors for poor neurological outcome (mRS score ≥ 2). Patients experiencing hemorrhage after the initial ictus (OR per 1 ictus increase 6.923, 95% CI 3.023–15.855, p < 0.001) had a greater chance of worsened neurological status.

CONCLUSIONS

This study verified the adverse predictors for hemorrhage and functional outcomes of thalamic CMs and demonstrated an overall annual symptomatic hemorrhage rate of 9.7% after the initial presentation. These findings and the mode of initial presentation are useful for clinicians and patients when selecting an appropriate treatment, although the tertiary referral bias of the series should be taken into account.

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Xiaoguang Han, Wei Tian, Yajun Liu, Bo Liu, Da He, Yuqing Sun, Xiao Han, Mingxing Fan, Jingwei Zhao, Yunfeng Xu, and Qi Zhang

OBJECTIVE

The object of this study was to compare the safety and accuracy of pedicle screw placement using the TiRobot system versus conventional fluoroscopy in thoracolumbar spinal surgery.

METHODS

Patients with degenerative or traumatic thoracolumbar spinal disorders requiring spinal instrumentation were randomly assigned to either the TiRobot-assisted group (RG) or the freehand fluoroscopy-assisted group (FG) at a 1:1 ratio. The primary outcome measure was the accuracy of screw placement according to the Gertzbein-Robbins scale; grades A and B (pedicle breach < 2 mm) were considered clinically acceptable. In the RG, discrepancies between the planned and actual screw placements were measured by merging postoperative CT images with the trajectory planning images. Secondary outcome parameters included proximal facet joint violation, duration of surgery, intraoperative blood loss, conversion to freehand approach in the RG, postoperative hospital stay, and radiation exposure.

RESULTS

A total of 1116 pedicle screws were implanted in 234 patients (119 in the FG, and 115 in the RG). In the RG, 95.3% of the screws were perfectly positioned (grade A); the remaining screws were graded B (3.4%), C (0.9%), and D (0.4%). In the FG, 86.1% screws were perfectly positioned (grade A); the remaining screws were graded B (7.4%), C (4.6%), D (1.4%), and E (0.5%). The proportion of clinically acceptable screws was significantly greater in the RG than in the FG (p < 0.01). In the RG, the mean deviation was 1.5 ± 0.8 mm for each screw. The most common direction of screw deviation was lateral in the RG and medial in the FG. Two misplaced screws in the FG required revision surgery, whereas no revision was required in the RG. None of the screws in the RG violated the proximal facet joint, whereas 12 screws (2.1%) in the FG violated the proximal facet joint (p < 0.01). The RG had significantly less blood loss (186.0 ± 255.3 ml) than the FG (217.0 ± 174.3 ml; p < 0.05). There were no significant differences between the two groups in terms of surgical time and postoperative hospital stay. The mean cumulative radiation time was 81.5 ± 38.6 seconds in the RG and 71.5 ± 44.2 seconds in the FG (p = 0.07). Surgeon radiation exposure was significantly less in the RG (21.7 ± 11.5 μSv) than in the FG (70.5 ± 42.0 μSv; p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

TiRobot-guided pedicle screw placement is safe and useful in thoracolumbar spinal surgery.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT02890043 (clinicaltrials.gov)

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Hanqiang Jiang, Wei Ni, Bin Xu, Yu Lei, Yanlong Tian, Feng Xu, Yuxiang Gu, and Ying Mao

Object

The outcome of patients with hemorrhagic moyamoya disease (MMD) after cerebral revascularization is uncertain. The purpose of this study was to delineate the efficacy of this surgical method in the treatment of hemorrhagic MMD.

Methods

Between January 2007 and August 2011, a consecutive cohort of 113 patients with hemorrhagic MMD was enrolled into this prospective single-center cohort study. The surgical method was combined direct and indirect bypass. The cumulative probability of the primary end point (all stroke and deaths from surgery through 30 days after surgery and ipsilateral recurrent hemorrhage afterward) was analyzed. The angiographic outcome was measured by the following parameters: bypass patency, reduction of basal MMD vessels, improved degree of dilation, and branch extension of the anterior choroidal and posterior communicating arteries (AChA-PCoA).

Results

Of the 113 enrolled cases, CT scans revealed pure intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) in 63 cases (55.7%), pure intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) in 14 cases (12.4%), and ICH with IVH in 36 cases (31.9%). In 74 of 113 hemorrhagic hemispheres (65.5%), the AChA-PCoA was extremely dilated with extensive branches beyond the choroidal fissure. A total of 114 surgeries were performed. No patient suffered ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke through 30 days after surgery. Ipsilateral rebleeding occurred in 5 patients, 4 of whom died of the rebleeding event. The cumulative probability of the primary end point was 0% at 1 year and 1.9% at 2 years. The annual rebleeding rate was 1.87%/person/year. The improvement in AChA-PCoA extension was observed in 75 of 107 operated hemispheres (70.1%), which was higher than that in 7 of 105 unoperated hemispheres (35.2%).

Conclusions

Revascularization may provide a benefit over conservative therapy for hemorrhagic MMD patients. The improvement of dilation and branch extension of AChA-PCoA might be correlated with the low rebleeding rate.

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Dong Wang, Chuang Gao, Xin Xu, Tao Chen, Ye Tian, Huijie Wei, Shu Zhang, Wei Quan, Yi Wang, Shuyuan Yue, Zengguang Wang, Ping Lei, Craig Anderson, Jingfei Dong, Jianning Zhang, and Rongcai Jiang

OBJECTIVE

The authors sought to test the hypothesis that adding dexamethasone (DXM) to atorvastatin (ATO) potentiates the effects of ATO on chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH).

METHODS

Sixty patients with CSDH underwent 5 weeks of treatment with an additional 7-week follow-up. Patients were randomized to receive a 5-week regimen of ATO 20 mg daily or ATO 20 mg daily plus a DXM regimen (ATO+DXM). The 5-week DXM regimen was 2.25 mg daily for 2 consecutive weeks, followed by 0.75 mg twice daily for 2 weeks and 0.75 mg once daily for 1 week. The primary endpoint was hematoma reduction assessed by neuroimaging at baseline and at 5 weeks of follow-up. Secondary outcomes included neurological improvement assessed by using the Markwalder’s Grading Scale and Glasgow Coma Scale (MGS-GCS).

RESULTS

The mean patient age was 66.6 years, and 25% of patients were women. The patients who were treated with ATO+DXM had more obvious hematoma reduction at the 5th week (between-groups difference 18.37 ml; 95% CI 8.17–28.57; p = 0.0005). This reduction started from the 2nd week (14.51 ml; 95% CI 4.31–24.71; p = 0.0056) of treatment and persisted until the 12th week (17.50 ml; 95% CI 7.30–27.70; p = 0.0009). Complete recovery of neurological function (MGS-GCS grade 0) at 5 weeks was achieved in 83.33% and 32.14% of patients in the ATO+DXM and ATO groups, respectively. At the 5th week, patients receiving ATO+DXM had significantly lower levels of T cells and higher levels of regulatory T cells and endothelial progenitor cells in their peripheral blood.

CONCLUSIONS

ATO+DXM was more effective than ATO alone in reducing hematoma and improving neurological function in patients with CSDH. These results require further confirmation in a randomized placebo-controlled trial.

Clinical trial registration no.: ChiCTR-IPR-14005573 (http://www.chictr.org.cn/index.aspx)

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Jun Jae Shin, Hyeongseok Jeon, Jong Joo Lee, Hyung Cheol Kim, Tae Woo Kim, Sung Bae An, Dong Ah Shin, Seong Yi, Keung-Nyun Kim, Do-Heum Yoon, Narihito Nagoshi, Kota Watanabe, Masaya Nakamura, Morio Matsumoto, Nan Li, Sai Ma, Da He, Wei Tian, Kenny Yat Hong Kwan, Kenneth Man Chee Cheung, K. Daniel Riew, Daniel J. Hoh, Yoon Ha, and the Asia Pacific Spine Study Group (APSSG)

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this retrospective multicenter study was to compare prognostic factors for neurological recovery in patients undergoing surgery for cervical ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) based on their presenting mild, moderate, or severe myelopathy.

METHODS

The study included 372 consecutive patients with OPLL who underwent surgery for cervical myelopathy between 2006 and 2016 in East Asian countries with a high OPLL prevalence. Baseline and postoperative clinical outcomes were assessed using the Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) myelopathy score and recovery ratio. Radiographic assessment included occupying ratio, cervical range of motion, and sagittal alignment parameters. Patient myelopathy was classified as mild, moderate, or severe based on the preoperative JOA score. Linear and multivariate regression analyses were performed to identify patient and surgical factors associated with neurological recovery stratified by baseline myelopathy severity.

RESULTS

The mean follow-up period was 45.4 months (range 25–140 months). The mean preoperative and postoperative JOA scores and recovery ratios for the total cohort were 11.7 ± 3.0, 14.5 ± 2.7, and 55.2% ± 39.3%, respectively. In patients with mild myelopathy, only age and diabetes correlated with recovery. In patients with moderate to severe myelopathy, older age and preoperative increased signal intensity on T2-weighted imaging were significantly correlated with a lower likelihood of recovery, while female sex and anterior decompression with fusion (ADF) were associated with better recovery.

CONCLUSIONS

Various patient and surgical factors are correlated with likelihood of neurological recovery after surgical treatment for cervical OPLL, depending on the severity of presenting myelopathy. Older age, male sex, intramedullary high signal intensity, and posterior decompression are associated with less myelopathy improvement in patients with worse baseline function. Therefore, myelopathy-specific preoperative counseling regarding prognosis for postoperative long-term neurological improvement should include consideration of these individual and surgical factors.