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Kui-Bo Zhang, Zhao-Min Zheng, Hui Liu, and Xian-Guo Liu


Application of the nucleus pulposus (NP) to the nerve root has been developed as a model of lumbar radicular pain. The relationship between disc degeneration and the induction of radicular pain, however, has not yet been fully explored. The authors of this study investigated pain-related behaviors and expression of tumor necrosis factor–α (TNF-α) in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) to evaluate the effects of punctured NP on lumbar radiculopathy.


An anular needle puncture model of intervertebral disc degeneration in a rat tail was established. Normal and previously punctured NP tissues were obtained and placed on the L-5 nerve root following a hemilaminectomy. Behavioral tests including assessment of motor function, mechanical threshold, and thermal withdrawal latency were performed before and after surgery. The TNF-α immunoreactivity in L-5 DRG specimens was examined through immunohistochemical study.


The punctured discs showed significant degeneration 2 weeks after intervention. Application of both normal and punctured NP induced mechanical hyperalgesia in the ipsilateral paw for 10 days after surgery, but hyperalgesia was more severe in the punctured NP group. No statistically significant within-group changes in thermal withdrawal latency over time were found. A significant increase in the expression of TNF-α–positive neurons in DRG specimens was observed in both NP graft groups.


Needle puncture led to degenerative changes in the rat tail disc, and the degenerated NP enhanced mechanical hyperalgesia induced by application of the NP to the lumbar nerve root. This model of disc degeneration and lumbar radicular pain is appropriate for evaluating the efficacy of biological treatments for degenerative disc diseases.

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Bing Huang, Ming Yao, QiLiang Chen, Huidan Lin, Xindan Du, Hao Huang, Xian Zhao, Huy Do, and Xiang Qian


Hemifacial spasm (HFS) is a debilitating neuromuscular disorder with limited treatment options. The current study describes a novel minimally invasive procedure that provided effective and sustained relief for patients with HFS. The authors provide a detailed description of the awake CT-guided percutaneous radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of the facial nerve for treatment of HFS, and they examine its clinical efficacy. This is the first time in the literature that this procedure has been applied and systematically analyzed for HFS.


Patients with a history of HFS were recruited between August 2018 and April 2020. Those with a history of cerebellopontine lesions, coagulopathy, ongoing pregnancy, cardiac pacemaker or defibrillator implants, or who declined the procedure were excluded from the study. Fifty-three patients who met the study criteria were included and underwent awake CT-guided RFA. Under minimal sedation, a radiofrequency (RF) needle was used to reach the stylomastoid foramen on the affected side under CT guidance, and the facial nerve was localized using a low-frequency stimulation current. Patients were instructed to engage facial muscles as a proxy for motor monitoring during RFA. Ablation stopped when the patients’ hemifacial contracture resolved. Patients were kept for inpatient monitoring for 24 hours postoperatively and were followed up monthly to monitor resolution of HFS and complications for up to 19 months.


The average duration of the procedure was 32–34 minutes. Postoperatively, 91% of the patients (48/53) had complete resolution of HFS, whereas the remaining individuals had partial resolution. A total of 48 patients reported mild to moderate facial paralysis immediately post-RFA, but most resolved within 1 month. No other significant complication was observed during the study period. By the end of the study period, 5 patients had recurrence of mild HFS symptoms, whereas only 2 patients reported dissatisfaction with the treatment results.


The authors report for the first time that awake CT-guided RFA of the facial nerve at the stylomastoid foramen is a minimally invasive procedure and can be an effective treatment option for HFS.

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Bin Ren, Zheng-Shan Zhang, Wei-Wei Liu, Xiang-Yang Bao, De-Sheng Li, Cong Han, Peng Xian, Feng Zhao, Hui Wang, Hai Wang, and Lian Duan


Debate exists regarding the merits and shortcomings of an indirect bypass procedure for treating adult patients with moyamoya disease (MMD). Considerable variation in neovascularization occurs among different organs in patients with diabetes mellitus. Here, the effect of encephaloduroarteriosynangiosis on MMD associated with Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is evaluated.


A retrospective and 1:2 matched case-control study was conducted in moyamoya patients with or without T2DM (n = 180). Postoperative collateral formations were graded according to the Modified Collateral Grading System that originated from the Matsushima Angiographic Stage Classification. Neurological function outcomes before and after the operation were evaluated according to the modified Rankin Scale. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to determine the risk factors for clinical outcome.


There was no statistically significant difference in the constituent ratios of initial symptom and preoperative Suzuki stage between patients with and without T2DM. Progression of angiopathy around the circle of Willis was postoperatively observed in bilateral internal carotid arteries in both groups. Patients with T2DM had a higher postoperative Suzuki stage (p < 0.01) and more frequent development of collateral angiogenesis germinating from the external carotid after indirect revascularization procedures in the surgical cerebral hemisphere (82.7% vs 72.2%; p < 0.05). The extent of postoperative collateral formation in patients with diabetes mellitus was significantly higher (p < 0.01). Postoperative clinical improvement in the diabetes group was more common after revascularization procedures (p < 0.05), and the diabetes group had lower modified Rankin Scale scores (p < 0.05) in comparison with the nondiabetes group. Late postoperative stroke and posterior cerebral artery involvement were identified as predictors of unfavorable clinical outcome in both groups, while T2DM was associated with a favorable clinical outcome.


Encephaloduroarteriosynangiosis is an efficacious treatment for adult patients with MMD. Patients with T2DM could achieve better collateral circulation and clinical improvement following surgery.