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Tianhao Wang, Yongfei Zhao, Yan Liang, Haocong Zhang, Zheng Wang, and Yan Wang

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this paper was to analyze the incidence and risk factors of proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK) in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) who underwent pedicle subtraction osteotomy.

METHODS

The records of 83 patients with AS and thoracolumbar kyphosis who underwent surgery at the authors’ institution between 2007 and 2013 were reviewed. The patients were divided into 2 groups based on the presence or absence of PJK. The radiographic measurements, including proximal junctional angle (PJA), sagittal parameters, and pelvic parameters of these 2 groups, were compared at different time points: before surgery and 2 weeks, 12 months, and 2 years after surgery. Oswestry Disability Index scores were also evaluated.

RESULTS

Overall, 14.5% of patients developed PJK. Before surgery, the mean PJAs in the 2 groups were 13.6° and 8.5°, respectively (p = 0.008). There were no significant differences in age, sex, and body mass index between groups. Patients with PJK had a larger thoracolumbar kyphotic angle (50.8° ± 12.6°) and a greater sagittal vertical axis (21.7 ± 4.3 cm) preoperatively than those without PJK. The proportion of patients with PJK whose fusion extended to the sacrum was 41.2% (7/17), which is significantly greater than the proportion of patients with PJK whose lowest instrumented vertebra was above the sacrum. Oswestry Disability Index scores did not significantly increase in the PJK group compared with the non-PJK group.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors found that PJK occurs postoperatively in patients with AS with an incidence of 14.5%. Risk factors of PJK include larger preoperative sagittal vertical axis, PJA, and osteotomy angle. Reducing the osteotomy angle in some severe cases and extending fusion to a higher, flatter level would be also beneficial in decreasing the risk of PJK.

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Yi Ma, Yan-feng Li, Quan-cai Wang, Bin Wang, and Hai-tao Huang

OBJECT

The object of this study was to investigate the immediate and long-term follow-up results of glossopharyngeal nerve rhizotomy (GPNR) with or without partial vagus nerve rhizotomy (VNR) for treating glossopharyngeal neuralgia (GPN).

METHODS

A retrospective review of the case notes of patients who had undergone surgery for GPN in the authors’ department between 2008 and 2013 was performed to investigate baseline characteristics and immediate outcomes during the hospitalization. For the long-term results, a telephone survey was performed, and information on pain recurrence and permanent complications was collected. Pain relief meant no pain or medication, any pain persisting after surgery was considered to be treatment failure, and any pain returning during the follow-up period was considered to be pain recurrence. For comparative study, the patients were divided into 2 cohorts, that is, patients treated with GPNR alone and those treated with GPNR+VNR.

RESULTS

One hundred three procedures, consisting of GPNR alone in 38 cases and GPNR+VNR in 65 cases, were performed in 103 consecutive patients with GPN. Seventy-nine of the 103 patients could be contacted for the follow-up study, with a mean follow-up duration of 2.73 years (range 1 month–5.75 years). While there were similar results (GPNR vs GPNR+VNR) in immediate pain relief rates (94.7% vs 93.8%), immediate complication rates (7.9% vs 4.6%), and long-term pain relief rates (92.3% vs 94.3%) between the 2 cohorts, a great difference was seen in long-term complications (3.8% vs 35.8%). The long-term complication rate for the combined GPNR+VNR cohort was 9.4 times higher than that in the GPNR cohort.

There was no operative or perioperative mortality. Immediate complications occurred in 6 cases, consisting of poor wound healing in 3 cases, and CSF leakage, hoarseness, and dystaxia in 1 case each. Permanent complications occurred in 20 patients (25.3%) and included cough while drinking in 10 patients, pharyngeal discomfort in 8 patients, and hoarseness and dysphagia in 1 case each.

CONCLUSIONS

In general, this study indicates that GPNR alone or in combination with VNR is a safe, simple, and effective treatment option for GPN. It may be especially valuable for patients who are not suitable for the microvascular decompression (MVD) procedure and for surgeons who have little experience with MVD. Of note, this study renews the significance of GPNR alone, which, the authors believe, is at least valuable for a subgroup of GPN patients, with significantly fewer long-term complications than those for rhizotomy for both glossopharyngeal nerve and rootlets of the vagus nerve.

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Qiguang Wang, Si Zhang, and Yan Ju

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Qiguang Wang, Si Zhang, and Yan Ju

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Si Zhang, Xiang Wang, Xuesong Liu, Yan Ju, and Xuhui Hui

Object

The authors retrospectively analyzed data on brainstem gangliogliomas treated in their department and reviewed the pertinent literature to foster understanding of the preoperative characteristics, management, and clinical outcomes of this disease.

Methods

In 2006, the authors established a database of treated lesions of the posterior fossa. The epidemiology findings, clinical presentations, radiological investigations, pathological diagnoses, management, and prognosis for brainstem gangliogliomas were retrospectively analyzed.

Results

Between 2006 and 2012, 7 patients suffering from brainstem ganglioglioma were treated at the West China Hospital of Sichuan University. The mean age of the patients, mean duration of symptoms prior to diagnosis, and mean duration of follow-up were 28.6 years, 19.4 months, and 38.1 months, respectively. The main presentations were progressive cranial nerve deficits and cerebellar signs. Subtotal resection was achieved in 2 patients, and partial resection in 5. All tumors were pathologically diagnosed as WHO Grade I or II ganglioglioma. Radiotherapy and adjuvant chemotherapy were not administered. After 21–69 months of follow-up, patient symptoms were resolved or stable without aggravation, and MRI showed that the size of residual lesions was unchanged without progression or recurrence.

Conclusions

The diagnosis of brainstem ganglioglioma is of great importance given its favorable prognosis. The authors recommend the maximal safe resection followed by close observation without adjuvant therapy as the optimal treatment for this disease.

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Qiguang Wang, Xuhui Hui, Qiang Li, and Yan Ju

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Qi Wang, Chi Wang, Xiaobo Zhang, Fanqi Hu, Wenhao Hu, Teng Li, Yan Wang, and Xuesong Zhang

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to investigate whether bone mineral density (BMD) measured in Hounsfield units (HUs) is correlated with proximal junctional failure (PJF).

METHODS

A retrospective study of 104 patients with adult degenerative lumbar disease was performed. All patients underwent posterior instrumented fusion of 4 or more segments and were followed up for at least 2 years. Patients were divided into two groups on the basis of whether they had mechanical complications of PJF. Age, sex ratio, BMI, follow-up time, upper instrumented vertebra (UIV), lower instrumented vertebra, and vertebral body osteotomy were recorded. The spinopelvic parameters were measured on early postoperative radiographs. The HU value of L1 trabecular attenuation was measured on axial and sagittal CT scans. Statistical analysis was performed to compare the difference of continuous and categorical variables. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was used to obtain attenuation thresholds. A Kaplan-Meier curve and log-rank test were used to analyze the differences in PJF-free survival. Multivariate analysis via a Cox proportional hazards model was used to analyze the risk factors.

RESULTS

The HU value of L1 trabecular attenuation in the PJF group was lower than that in the control group (p < 0.001). The spinopelvic parameter L4–S1 lordosis was significantly different between the groups (p = 0.033). ROC curve analysis determined an optimal threshold of 89.25 HUs (sensitivity = 78.3%, specificity = 80.2%, area under the ROC curve = 0.799). PJF-free survival significantly decreased in patients with L1 attenuation ≤ 89.25 HUs (p < 0.001, log-rank test). When L1 trabecular attenuation was ≤ 89.25 HUs, PJF-free survival in patients with the UIV at L2 was the lowest, compared with patients with their UIV at the thoracolumbar junction or above (p = 0.028, log-rank test).

CONCLUSIONS

HUs could provide important information for surgeons to make a treatment plan to prevent PJF. L1 trabecular attenuation ≤ 89.25 HUs measured by spinal CT scanning could predict the incidence of PJF. Under this condition, the UIV at L2 significantly increases the incidence of PJF.

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Wei Pan, Jia-li Zhao, Jin Xu, Ming Zhang, Tao Fang, Jing Yan, Xin-hong Wang, and Quan Zhou

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to compare the preoperative radiographic features of degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis (DLS) with and without local coronal imbalance (LCI) and to investigate the surgical outcomes of transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) in the treatment of DLS with LCI at the spondylolisthesis level. DLS with scoliotic disc wedging and/or lateral listhesis at the same involved segment, as well as LCI, constitutes a distinct subgroup. However, previous studies concerning surgical outcomes focused mainly on sagittal profiles. There is a paucity of valid data regarding lumbar coronal alignment and patient-reported outcomes (PROs) after surgery in DLS with LCI.

METHODS

The authors reviewed consecutive patients who received TLIF for L4/5 DLS between 2009 and 2018. Patients were assigned to the LCI and non-LCI groups based on preoperative radiographs. Demographics, radiographic parameters related to both sagittal and coronal alignment, and PROs were compared between the 2 groups.

RESULTS

There were 21 patients in the LCI and 80 in the non-LCI group. Compared with the non-LCI group, the LCI group was characterized by lower preoperative lumbar lordosis on sagittal alignment (38.3° vs 43.7°, p < 0.05), higher lumbar Cobb angle on coronal alignment (12.4° vs 5.1°, p < 0.05), and worse lumbar coronal balance (18.5 mm vs 6.8 mm, p < 0.05). After surgery, lumbar alignment in the sagittal and coronal planes was significantly improved in the LCI group, whereas no significant changes occurred in the non-LCI group. Scores on the preoperative Oswestry Disability Index and the visual analog scale for back pain and leg pain scores were significantly higher in the LCI group, whereas no differences were found between the 2 groups in the postoperative evaluation (p > 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

DLS with LCI constitutes a distinct subgroup characterized by coronal malalignment and loss of whole lumbar lordosis, which may result in worse PROs. The TLIF procedure allows the reconstruction of the coronal and sagittal lumbar profile and achievement of satisfactory PROs.

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Tao Yu, Xingwen Sun, Yan You, Jie Chen, Jun-mei Wang, Shuo Wang, Ning Lin, Buqing Liang, and Jizong Zhao

Brain capillary telangiectasias (BCTs) are usually small and benign with a predilection in the pons and basal ganglion. Reports of large and symptomatic BCTs are rare. Large BCTs have a much higher risk of causing uncontrolled bleeding and severe neurological defects, and they can be fatal if left untreated. Therefore, large BCTs should be managed with special caution. Because of the lack of reports, diagnosis of large BCTs has been difficult. Strategies of management are undefined for large or giant BCTs.

The current study presents 5 cases of giant and large BCTs. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the largest series of this disease ever reported. Radiological findings, histopathological characteristics, clinical presentations, and surgical management were analyzed in 5 symptomatic, unusually large BCTs (mean diameter 5.06 cm, range 1.8–8 cm).

Four patients presented with focal or generalized seizures, and 1 patient presented with transient vision loss attributed to the lesions. Gross-total resection of the lesion was achieved in all patients. After surgery, the 4 patients with seizures were symptom free for follow-up periods varying from more than 1 to 5 years with no additional neurological deficits.

The unique location, radiological characteristics, and clinical course suggest that giant BCTs could be a different entity from small BCTs. Surgery might be a good option for treatment of patients with intractable neurological symptoms, especially in those with surgically accessible locations. Complete removal would be anticipated to provide relief of the symptoms without causing new neurological deficits.