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Nai-Feng Tian, Ai-Min Wu, Li-Jun Wu, Xin-Lei Wu, Yao-Sen Wu, Xiao-Lei Zhang, Hua-Zi Xu, and Yong-Long Chi

Object

This study aimed to investigate the incidence rate of heterotopic ossification (HO) after implantation of Coflex interspinous devices. Possible risk factors associated with HO were evaluated.

Methods

The authors retrospectively analyzed patients who had undergone single-level (L4–5) implantation of a Coflex device for the treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis. Patient data recorded were age, sex, height, weight, body mass index, smoking habits, and surgical time. Heterotopic ossification was identified through lumbar anteroposterior and lateral view radiographs. The authors developed a simple classification for defining HO and compared HO-positive and HO-negative cases to identify possible risk factors.

Results

Among 32 patients with follow-up times of 24–57 months, HO was detectable in 26 (81.2%). Among these 26 patients, HO was in the lateral space of the spinous process but not in the interspinous space in 8, HO was in the interspinous space but did not bridge the adjacent spinous process in 16, and interspinous fusion occurred at the level of the device in 2. Occurrence of HO was not associated with patient age, sex, height, weight, body mass index, smoking habits, or surgical time.

Conclusions

A high incidence of HO has been detected after implantation of Coflex devices. Clinicians should be aware of this possible outcome, and more studies should be conducted to clarify the clinical effects of HO.

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Bo Xiao, Fang-Fang Wu, Hong Zhang, and Yan-Bin Ma

Object

When treating patients with a spontaneous supratentorial massive (≥ 70 ml) intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), the results of surgery are gloomy. A worsening pupil response has been observed in patients preoperatively, despite blood pressure control and diuretic administration. Because open surgery needs time for decompression to occur, the authors conducted a prospective randomized study to determine whether patients who have suffered a massive ICH can benefit from a more urgently performed decompressive procedure.

Methods

Overall, 36 eligible patients admitted 6 or fewer hours post-ictus were enrolled in the study. In Group A, 12 patients underwent CT-based hematoma puncture and partial aspiration in the emergency department (ED) and subsequent evacuation via a craniectomy; in Group B, 24 patients underwent hematoma evacuation via a craniectomy only. Pupil responses were categorized into 5 grades (Grade 0, bilaterally fixed; Grade 1, unilaterally fixed with the fixed pupil > 7 mm; Grade 2, unilaterally fixed with the fixed pupil ≤ 7 mm; Grade 3, a unilaterally sluggish response; and Grade 4, a bilaterally brisk response). Grades were obtained on admission, at surgical decompression (defined as the point at which liquid hematoma began to flow out in Group A and at dural opening in Group B), and at completion of craniectomy. The Barthel Scale was used to assess survivors' functional outcome at 12 months. Comparisons were made between Groups A and B. Logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the positive likelihood ratio of all variables for survival and function (Barthel Scale score of ≥ 35 at 12 months).

Results

Decompressive surgery was undertaken approximately 60 minutes earlier in Group A than B. A worsening pupil reflex before decompression was observed in no Group A patient and in 9 Group B patients. At the time of decompression pupil response was better in Group A than B (p < 0.05). Although only approximately one-third of the hematoma volume documented on initial CT scanning had been drained before the craniectomy in Group A, when partial aspiration was followed by craniectomy, better pupil-response results were obtained in Group A at the completion of craniectomy, and survival rate and 12-month Barthel Scale score were better as well (p < 0.05). Logistic regression analysis revealed that one variable, a minimum pupil grade of 3 at the time of decompression, had the highest predictive value for survival at 12 months (8.0, 95% CI 2.0–32.0), and a pupil grade of 4 at the same time was the most valuable predictor of a Barthel Scale score of 35 or greater at 12 months (15.0, 95% CI 1.9–120.9).

Conclusions

Patients with massive spontaneous supratentorial ICHs may benefit from more urgent surgical decompression. The results of logistic regression analysis implied that, to improve long-term functional outcome, decompression should be performed in patients before herniation occurs. Due to the fact that most of these patients have signs of herniation when presenting to the ED and because conventional surgical decompression requires time to take effect, this combination of surgical treatment provides a feasible and effective surgical option.

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Junming Ma, Zhipeng Wu, Xinghai Yang, and Jianru Xiao

Object

The goal in this study was to retrospectively investigate the clinical efficacy of surgical treatment for cervical dystrophic kyphotic deformity due to neurofibromatosis Type 1.

Methods

Between January 1998 and July 2008, 8 patients with cervical dystrophic kyphotic deformity due to neurofibromatosis Type 1 (mean Cobb angle of 58.5°) were surgically treated in the authors' department. The mean age at surgery was 19 years (range 12–38 years). Among these patients, 1 with a Cobb angle of 52° and good flexibility underwent single anterior correction, whereas the other 7 patients with severe deformity and poor flexibility received combined anterior and posterior cervical osteotomy. Motor-evoked potential studies were used intraoperatively for spinal cord monitoring. Radiographic assessment and Japanese Orthopaedic Association scoring were used to evaluate the clinical outcome.

Results

No severe neurological complications were noted. Two patients complained of persistent neck and shoulder pain after combined anterior and posterior correction, which alleviated after conservative treatment half a year later. All patients were followed up for a mean of 21.1 months (range 6–36 months). All patients had a solid bone fusion at the latest follow-up, with Japanese Orthopaedic Association scoring improving from 11.5 preoperatively to 14.1 postoperatively (p < 0.01) at the final follow-up. The kyphotic deformities improved significantly, with average Cobb angles of 2.5° postoperatively and 4.1° at final follow-up.

Conclusions

The deformity of neurofibromatosis with cervical kyphosis is severe, and surgery carries a high risk of failure. Although premature fusion may be performed, the deformity may still progress, and this situation may lead to failure of surgery. The successful management of this disease requires early recognition and a more aggressive and reliable intervention to prevent disastrous worsening of the deformity. Meticulous preoperative evaluation, appropriate surgical strategy, and skilled technique were essential for successful surgical treatment and good clinical results.

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Qing Zhu, Ming Qian, Jianru Xiao, Zhipeng Wu, Yu Wang, and Jishen Zhang

Object

Calcified meningiomas are an uncommon type of meningioma. This study details the clinical features, treatment, and follow-up of 11 calcified meningiomas treated from 2002 to 2009, for the purpose of providing general information, describing the skill required for the surgery, and detailing the imaging study of these tumors.

Methods

Between 2002 and 2009, 11 patients underwent surgery for the treatment of calcified meningiomas. All were treated by the same group of doctors at the same institution, including surgery and rehabilitation after surgery. The minimum 3-year (> 36 months) follow-up data from the 11 patients were detailed. Neurological function was evaluated twice, based on the Frankel scale and Japanese Orthopaedic Association scoring system. The first evaluation occurred before surgery and the second 3 years after surgery.

Results

In 3 cases, the Frankel score decreased by 1 level. In a comparison of the duration of preoperative symptoms, age, degree of canal stenosis, and intraoperative blood loss, it was found that the greater the degree of canal stenosis, the poorer the outcome of the patient. Calcified meningiomas were more likely to adhere to the nerves and dura, a finding that might explain the high incidence of neurological dysfunction and CSF leakage after surgery.

Conclusions

Calcified meningiomas are the most rare of all meningiomas. It appears that a greater degree of canal stenosis can lead to a poorer outcome. Computed tomography scans and MRI with contrast enhancement are recommended for intraspinal tumors before surgery to exclude the possibility of calcification. For calcified meningiomas, precise tumor resection, dura repair during surgery, and medical care after surgery are important for achieving an acceptable outcome.

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Jie Zhang, Dong-Xiao Zhuang, Cheng-Jun Yao, Ching-Po Lin, Tian-Liang Wang, Zhi-Yong Qin, and Jin-Song Wu

OBJECT

The extent of resection is one of the most essential factors that influence the outcomes of glioma resection. However, conventional structural imaging has failed to accurately delineate glioma margins because of tumor cell infiltration. Three-dimensional proton MR spectroscopy (1H-MRS) can provide metabolic information and has been used in preoperative tumor differentiation, grading, and radiotherapy planning. Resection based on glioma metabolism information may provide for a more extensive resection and yield better outcomes for glioma patients. In this study, the authors attempt to integrate 3D 1H-MRS into neuronavigation and assess the feasibility and validity of metabolically based glioma resection.

METHODS

Choline (Cho)–N-acetylaspartate (NAA) index (CNI) maps were calculated and integrated into neuronavigation. The CNI thresholds were quantitatively analyzed and compared with structural MRI studies. Glioma resections were performed under 3D 1H-MRS guidance. Volumetric analyses were performed for metabolic and structural images from a low-grade glioma (LGG) group and high-grade glioma (HGG) group. Magnetic resonance imaging and neurological assessments were performed immediately after surgery and 1 year after tumor resection.

RESULTS

Fifteen eligible patients with primary cerebral gliomas were included in this study. Three-dimensional 1H-MRS maps were successfully coregistered with structural images and integrated into navigational system. Volumetric analyses showed that the differences between the metabolic volumes with different CNI thresholds were statistically significant (p < 0.05). For the LGG group, the differences between the structural and the metabolic volumes with CNI thresholds of 0.5 and 1.5 were statistically significant (p = 0.0005 and 0.0129, respectively). For the HGG group, the differences between the structural and metabolic volumes with CNI thresholds of 0.5 and 1.0 were statistically significant (p = 0.0027 and 0.0497, respectively). All patients showed no tumor progression at the 1-year follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS

This study integrated 3D MRS maps and intraoperative navigation for glioma margin delineation. Optimum CNI thresholds were applied for both LGGs and HGGs to achieve resection. The results indicated that 3D 1H-MRS can be integrated with structural imaging to provide better outcomes for glioma resection.

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Honglin Teng, John Hsiang, Chunlei Wu, Meihao Wang, Haifeng Wei, Xinghai Yang, and Jianru Xiao

Object

The authors propose an easy MR imaging method to measure and categorize individual anatomical variations within the cervicothoracic junction (CTJ). Furthermore, they propose guidelines for selection of the appropriate approach based on this new categorization system.

Methods

In the midsagittal section of the cervicothoracic MR imaging studies obtained in 95 Chinese patients, a triangle was drawn among 3 points: the suprasternal notch (SSN), the midpoint of the anterior border of the C7/T1 intervertebral disc, and the corresponding anterior border in the CTJ at the level of the SSN. The angle above the SSN was specified as the cervicothoracic angle (CTA). The spatial position between the brachiocephalic vein (BCV), the aortic arch, and the CTA was also measured. Based on these measurements involving the CTA, 3 different patient-specific categorizations are proposed to assist surgeons with selection of the appropriate anterior approach to the CTJ. Three categories of operative approach based on whether the most caudal part of the lesion site was above, within, or below the area of the CTA were classified. The patients were divided into long- or short-necked groups based on whether their own CTA was greater than (long necked) or less than (short necked) the average CTA. Finally, a left BCV was called superiorly located when it coursed above the manubrium. The method was evaluated in 21 patients with spinal bone tumors in the CTJ to illustrate the measurement of both the CTA and the great vessels, and corresponding approach selections.

Results

In this series of 95 patients, the most common vertebra above the SSN was T-3, especially the upper one-third of T-3. The mean CTA was 47.64°. The left BCV was superior to the manubrium in 21.1% of the 95 cases, and 93.6% of the left BCVs were at the T-2 and T-3 levels. Type A and most Type B lesions could be addressed via a low suprasternal approach, or this approach combined with manubriotomy, if necessary. Type C lesions falling below the CTA will need alternative exposure techniques, including manubriotomy, sternotomy, lateral extracavitary, or thoracotomy. The spinal levels that could be exposed in the long-necked CTJ group were always 1 or 2 vertebral levels lower than those in the short-necked CTJ group during the anterior low suprasternal approach without the manubriotomy.

Conclusions

Imaging of the thoracic manubrium should be routinely included on MR imaging studies obtained in the CTJ. It is important for the surgeon to understand the pertinent anatomy of the individual patients and to determine the feasible surgical approaches after evaluating the CTA and vascular factors preoperatively. An anterior low suprasternal approach, or this approach combined with manubriotomy, is applicable in most of the cases in the CTJ. It should be cautioned that preoperatively unrecognized variations of the left BCV above the SSN might result in potential intraoperative trauma during an anterior approach.