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Wen-Chao Liu, Liang Wen, Tao Xie, Hao Wang, Jiang-Biao Gong and Xiao-Feng Yang

OBJECTIVE

Erythropoietin (EPO) exerts a neuroprotective effect in animal models of traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, its effectiveness in human patients with TBI is unclear. In this study, the authors conducted the first meta-analysis to assess the effectiveness and safety of EPO in patients with TBI.

METHODS

In December 2015, a systematic search was performed of PubMed, Web of Science, MEDLINE, Embase, the Cochrane Library databases, and Google Scholar. Only English-language publications of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) using EPO in patients with TBI were selected for analysis. The assessed outcomes included mortality, favorable neurological outcome, hospital stay, and associated adverse effects. Continuous variables were presented as mean difference (MD) with a 95% confidence interval (CI). Dichotomous variables were presented as risk ratio (RR) or risk difference (RD) with a 95% CI. Statistical heterogeneity was examined using both I2 and chi-square tests.

RESULTS

Of the 346 studies identified in the search, 5 RCTs involving 915 patients met the inclusion criteria. The overall results demonstrated that EPO significantly reduced mortality (RR 0.69, 95% CI 0.49–0.96, p = 0.03) and shortened the hospitalization time (MD −7.59, 95% CI −9.71 to −5.46, p < 0.0001) for patients with TBI. Pooled results of favorable outcome (RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.88–1.15, p = 0.97) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT; RD 0.00, 95% CI −0.05 to 0.05, p = 1.00) did not show a significant difference.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors suggested that EPO is beneficial for patients with TBI in terms of reducing mortality and shortening hospitalization time without increasing the risk of DVT. However, its effect on improving favorable neurological outcomes did not reach statistical significance. Therefore, more well-designed RCTs are necessary to ascertain the optimum dosage and time window of EPO treatment for patients with TBI.

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Feng Xu, Hai Jin, Xingwang Yang, Xiao Sun, Yu Wang, Mengting Xu and Yingqun Tao

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to determine whether a modified registration method could reduce registration error and postoperative electrode vector error and to analyze the method’s clinical significance in deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery.

METHODS

The first part of the study involved a skull model, in which three registration methods were tested using the ROSA (robotic stereotactic assistance) system. In the second part, four registration methods were clinically tested in patients undergoing DBS surgery using the ROSA system. Thirty-three patients (65 sides, group I) underwent the conventional registration method 2E, and registration errors were recorded. Thirty-eight patients (75 sides, group II) underwent four types of modified registration methods including 2A, 2B, 2C, and 2D. Registration and electrode vector errors, intraoperative electrophysiological signal length (IESL), and DBS power-on voltage were recorded. The primary measure of efficacy was the change in the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) and UPDRS Part III scores from baseline to 10 weeks after surgery.

RESULTS

In the skull model, the registration error (mean ± SD) was 0.56 ± 0.11 mm for method 1A, 0.35 ± 0.11 mm for method 1B (vs. 1A, p < 0.001), and 0.90 ± 0.15 mm for method 1C (vs. 1A, p < 0.001). In the clinical study, method 2C was selected for DBS surgery in group II since it had the smallest registration error among the four methods tested. The registration error was 0.62 ± 0.22 mm (mean ± SD) for group I and 0.27 ± 0.07 mm for group II (p < 0.001). Postoperative electrode vector error was 0.97 ± 0.31 mm for group I and 0.65 ± 0.23 mm for group II (p < 0.001). There was a positive correlation between registration error and electrode vector error in both groups (group I: r = 0.69, p < 0.001; group II: r = 0.71, p < 0.001). The mean IESL was 5.0 ± 0.9 mm in group I and 5.8 ± 0.7 mm in group II (p < 0.001). The mean DBS power-on voltage was 1.63 ± 0.44 V in group I and 1.48 ± 0.38 V in group II (p = 0.027). In the UPDRS score, group I showed 50% ± 16% improvement and group II showed 52% ± 18% improvement (p = 0.724); there was no statistically significant difference in improvement on the UPDRS.

CONCLUSIONS

In DBS surgery assisted by the ROSA system, registration error and electrode vector error showed a positive correlation. The modified registration method could reduce the registration error and electrode vector error, but the long-term effects need to be further observed and evaluated.