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Yao Li, Zhonghai Shen, Xiangyang Wang, Yongli Wang, Hongming Xu, Feng Zhou, Shaoyu Zhu and Huazi Xu

OBJECT

The authors' goal in this paper was to quantify reference data on the dimensions and relationships of the maximum posterior screw angle and the thoracic spinal canal in different pediatric age groups.

METHODS

One hundred twelve pediatric patients were divided into 4 age groups, and their thoracic vertebrae were studied on CT scans. The width, depth, and maximum posterior screw angles with different screw entrance points were measured on a Philips Brilliance 16 CT. The statistical analysis was performed using the Student t-test and Pearson's correlation analysis.

RESULTS

The width and depth of the thoracic vertebrae increased from T-5 to T-12. The width ranged from 18.5 to 37.1 mm, while the depth ranged from 16.1 to 28.2 mm. The maximum posterior screw angle decreased from T-5 to T-12 in all groups. The ranges and mean angles at the entrance points were as follows: initial entrance point, 6.9° to 12.3° with a mean angle of 9.1°; second entrance point, 20.6° to 27.0° with a mean angle of 24.2°; and third entrance point, 29.2° to 37.5° with a mean angle of 33.7°. There were no significant age-related differences noted for the maximum posterior screw angles.

CONCLUSIONS

The angle decreased from T-5 to T-12. No significant age-related differences were noted in the maximum posterior screw angles. Screws should be placed between the initial and second points and parallel to the coronal section or at a slight anterior orientation.

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Xi Wang, Kai Kang, Shiquan Wang, Jianhua Yao and Xijing Zhang

OBJECTIVE

The goal of this study was to demonstrate that repetitive pure oxygen exposure preconditioning (O2PC) for 8 hours per day for 3 or 7 days, a practicable preconditioning for clinical use, is able to induce cerebral ischemic tolerance (IT) and further clarify the accompanying changes in the blood-brain barrier (BBB) that may be involved.

METHODS

A total of 68 adult male Sprague-Dawley rats and eight 1-day-old rat pups were used in this study. The adult rats were exposed to pure O2 (38 rats) 8 hours a day for 3 or 7 days or to room air (in an identical setup) for 8 hours a day for 7 days as controls (30 rats). Arterial O2 tension (PaO2) was measured in 6 rats exposed to O2 and 3 controls. Focal cerebral ischemia was elicited by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in 37 rats, of which 21 had been exposed to pure O2 for 3 or 7 days and 16 to room air for 7 days as controls. Neurological behavior was scored with the Garcia score in 15 MCAO rats, of which 10 had been exposed to pure O2 for 3 or 7 days and 5 to room air for 7 days as controls, and cerebral infarct volumes were assessed with TTC (2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride) staining in 10 rats (5 from each group) after 7 days of exposure. Formamide-extraction method was used to detect leakage of Evans blue (EB) dye in 7 rats exposed to pure O2 for 7 days and 7 exposed to room air for 7 days. Fluorescence microscopy was used to analyze the leaked EB in the nonischemic areas of 4 rats exposed to pure O2 for 7 days and 4 exposed to room air for 7 days before MCAO and the brain of the rats that had not been subjected to MCAO. Astrocyte changes associated with O2PC were evaluated by means of fluorescence microscopy and electron microscopy in 14 rats that were exposed to the same O2 or control conditions as the MCAO rats but without MCAO. Astrocytes were also obtained from 8 rat pups and cultured; levels of AQP4 and VEGF were detected by Western blot and ELISA in cells with and without O2 treatment.

RESULTS

A significant increase in PaO2 was seen after O2PC. The neurological score was significantly increased in the O2PC groups (10.6 ± 0.6 in the 3-day O2PC group, p < 0.05; 12 ± 0.84 in the 7-day O2PC group, p < 0.05) compared with the control group (7 ± 0.55). The ratio of cerebral infarct volume to contralateral cerebral hemisphere volume was significantly lower in the O2PC group than in the control group (0.204 ± 0.03 vs 0.48 ± 0.05, p < 0.05). The amount of leaked EB in the ischemic cerebral hemisphere was also lower in the O2-treated rats than in controls (7.53 ± 1.4 vs 11.79 ± 3.3 μg EB/g brain weight, p < 0.05). However, fluorescence microscopy showed significantly greater BBB permeability in the nonischemic areas in the O2PC group than in controls (p < 0.05). More red fluorescence could be observed in the nonischemic areas in both the ipsilateral and contralateral sides of the ischemic brain in the O2PC animals than in the nonischemic areas in the corresponding sides of the controls. Further investigation of the effect of the O2PC itself on the BBB of rats that were not subjected to MCAO showed that there was no EB leakage in the brain parenchyma in the rats exposed to room air, but some red fluorescence patches were noticed in the normal brain from the rats in the O2PC group. Astrocytes, including those from areas around the BBB, were activated in the O2PC group. Levels of both aquaporin 4 (AQP4) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were significantly increased in cultured astrocytes after O2PC.

CONCLUSIONS

These findings suggest that O2PC is able to induce IT, which makes it a strong candidate for clinical use. Moreover, O2PC can also promote BBB opening, which may contribute to the induction of IT as well as representing a possible strategy for promoting drug transportation into the CNS. Activated astrocytes are likely to be involved in these processes through astrocyte-derived factors, such as AQP4 and VEGF.

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Pei-Sen Yao, Shu-Fa Zheng, Feng Wang, De-Zhi Kang and Yuan-Xiang Lin

OBJECTIVE

Using intraoperative electrocorticography (ECoG) to identify epileptogenic areas and improve postoperative seizure control in patients with low-grade gliomas (LGGs) remains inconclusive. In this study the authors retrospectively report on a surgery strategy that is based on intraoperative ECoG monitoring.

METHODS

A total of 108 patients with LGGs presenting at the onset of refractory seizures were included. Patients were divided into 2 groups. In Group I, all patients underwent gross-total resection (GTR) combined with resection of epilepsy areas guided by intraoperative ECoG, while patients in Group II underwent only GTR. Tumor location, tumor side, tumor size, seizure-onset features, seizure frequency, seizure duration, preoperative antiepileptic drug therapy, intraoperative electrophysiological monitoring, postoperative Engel class, and histological tumor type were compared between the 2 groups.

RESULTS

Univariate analysis demonstrated that tumor location and intraoperative ECoG monitoring correlated with seizure control. There were 30 temporal lobe tumors, 22 frontal lobe tumors, and 2 parietal lobe tumors in Group I, with 18, 24, and 12 tumors in those same lobes, respectively, in Group II (p < 0.05). In Group I, 74.07% of patients were completely seizure free (Engel Class I), while 38.89% in Group II (p < 0.05). In Group I, 96.30% of the patients achieved satisfactory postoperative seizure control (Engel Class I or II), compared with 77.78% in Group II (p < 0.05). Intraoperative ECoG monitoring indicated that in patients with temporal lobe tumors, most of the epileptic discharges (86.7%) were detected at the anterior part of the temporal lobe. In these patients with epilepsy discharges located at the anterior part of the temporal lobe, satisfactory postoperative seizure control (93.3%) was achieved after resection of the tumor and the anterior part of the temporal lobe.

CONCLUSIONS

Intraoperative ECoG monitoring provided the exact location of epileptogenic areas and significantly improved postoperative seizure control of LGGs. In patients with temporal lobe LGGs, resection of the anterior temporal lobe with epileptic discharges was sufficient to control seizures.

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Alexey Dimov, Wahaj Patel, Yihao Yao, Yi Wang, Rafael O’Halloran and Brian H. Kopell

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between iron and white matter connectivity in the subthalamic nucleus (STN) in patients undergoing deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the STN for treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

METHODS

Nine Parkinson’s disease patients underwent preoperative 3T MRI imaging which included acquisition of T1-weighted anatomical images along with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM). MR tractography was performed for the seed voxels located within the STN, and the correlations between normalized QSM values and the STN’s connectivity to a set of a priori chosen regions of interest were assessed.

RESULTS

A strong negative correlation was found between STN connectivity and QSM intensity for the thalamus, premotor, motor, and sensory regions, while a strong positive correlation was found for frontal, putamen, and brain stem areas.

CONCLUSIONS

Quantitative susceptibility mapping not only accurately delineates the STN borders but is also able to provide functional information about the STN functional subdivisions. The observed iron-to-connectivity correlation patterns may aid in planning DBS surgery to avoid unwanted side effects associated with DBS.

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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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Ya-Bin Ji, Yong-Ming Wu, Zhong Ji, Wei Song, Sui-Yi Xu, Yao Wang and Su-Yue Pan

Object

Intracarotid artery cold saline infusion (ICSI) is an effective method for protecting brain tissue, but its use is limited because of undesirable secondary effects, such as severe decreases in hematocrit levels, as well as its relatively brief duration. In this study, the authors describe and investigate the effects of a novel ICSI pattern (interrupted ICSI) relative to the traditional method (uninterrupted ICSI).

Methods

Ischemic strokes were induced in 85 male Sprague-Dawley rats by occluding the middle cerebral artery for 3 hours using an intraluminal filament. Uninterrupted infusion groups received an infusion at 15 ml/hour for 30 minutes continuously. The same infusion speed was used in the interrupted infusion groups, but the whole duration was divided into trisections, and there was a 20-minute interval without infusion between sections. Forty-eight hours after reperfusion, H & E and silver nitrate staining were utilized for morphological assessment. Infarct sizes and brain water contents were determined using H & E staining and the dry-wet weight method, respectively. Levels of neuron-specific enolase (NSE), S100β protein, and matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) in the serum were determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Neurological deficits were also evaluated.

Results

Histology showed that interrupted ICSI did not affect neurons or fibers in rat brains, which suggests that this method is safe for brain tissues with ischemia. The duration of hypothermia induced by interrupted ICSI was longer than that induced via the traditional method, and the decrease in hematocrit levels was less pronounced. There were no differences in infarct size or brain water content between uninterrupted and interrupted ICSI groups, but neuron-specific enolase and matrix metalloproteinase 9 serum levels were more reduced after interrupted ICSI than after the traditional method.

Conclusions

Interrupted ICSI is a safe method. Compared with traditional ICSI, the interrupted method has a longer duration of hypothermia and less effect on hematocrit and offers more potentially improved neuroprotection, thereby making it more attractive as an infusion technique in the clinic.

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Liang-Hua Ma, Guang Li, Hong-Wei Zhang, Zhi-Yu Wang, Jun Dang, Shuo Zhang, Lei Yao and Xiao-Meng Zhang

Object

This study was undertaken to analyze outcomes in patients with newly diagnosed brain metastases from non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who were treated with hypofractionated stereotactic radiotherapy (HSRT) with or without whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT).

Methods

One hundred seventy-one patients comprised the study population. Fifty-four patients received HSRT alone, and 117 patients received both HSRT and WBRT. The median survival time (MST) was determined using the Kaplan-Meier method. Recursive Partitioning Analysis (RPA) and Graded Prognostic Assessment (GPA) were also used to evaluate the results. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to determine significant prognostic factors for overall survival. Tumor control, radiation toxicity, and cause of death in the HSRT and HSRT+WBRT groups were evaluated.

Results

The MST for all patients was 13 months. According to the Kaplan-Meier method, the probability of survival at 1, 2, and 3 years was 51.2%, 21.7%, and 10.1%. The MSTs for RPA Classes I, II, and III were 19, 12, and 5 months, respectively; and the MSTs for GPA Scores 4, 3, 2, and 1 were 24, 14, 12, and 6 months, respectively. The MSTs in the HSRT+WBRT and HSRT groups were 13 and 9 months (p = 0.044), respectively, for all patients, 13 and 8 months (p = 0.031), respectively, for patients with multiple brain metastases, and 16 and 15 months (p = 0.261), respectively, for patients with a single brain metastasis. The multivariate analysis showed that HSRT+WBRT was a significant factor only for patients with multiple brain metastases (p = 0.010). The Kaplan-Meier–estimated tumor control rates at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months were 92.2%, 82.7%, 79.5%, and 68.3% in the HSRT+WBRT group and 73.5%, 58.4%, 51.0%, and 43.3% in the HSRT group, respectively, in all 165 patients (p = 0.001). The estimated tumor control rates at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months were 94.3%, 81.9%, 79.6%, and 76.7%, respectively, in the HSRT+WBRT group and 77.8%, 61.4%, 52.6%, and 48.2%, respectively, in the HSRT group in the 80 patients harboring a single metastasis (p = 0.009). The estimated tumor control rates at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months were 90.5%, 83.5%, 79.5%, and 60.9%, respectively, in the HSRT+WBRT group and 68.2%, 54.5%, 48.5%, and 36.4%, respectively, in the HSRT group in the 85 patients with multiple metastases (p = 0.010). The toxicity incidences of Grade 3 or worse were 6.0% (7 of 117 patients) in the HSRT+WBRT group and 1.9% (1 of 54 patients) in the HSRT group (p = 0.438). The differences in neurological death rates between the HSRT+WBRT group and the HSRT group were not statistically significant (34.4% vs 44.7%, p = 0.125, in all patients; 30.0% vs 52.0%, p = 0.114, in patients with a single metastasis; and 38.0% vs 36.4%, p = 0.397, in patients with multiple metastases).

Conclusions

The overall survival results in the present study were similar to those in other studies. Hypofractionated stereotactic radiotherapy provides an alternative method to traditional stereotactic radiosurgery. We suggest that WBRT should be combined with HSRT in patients with single or multiple newly diagnosed brain metastases from NSCLC.

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Yong-Jian Zhu, Guang-Yu Ying, Ai-Qin Chen, Lin-Lin Wang, Dan-Feng Yu, Liang-Liang Zhu, Yu-Cheng Ren, Chen Wang, Peng-Cheng Wu, Ying Yao, Fang Shen and Jian-Min Zhang

OBJECT

Posterior midline laminectomy or hemilaminectomy has been successfully applied as the standard microsurgical technique for the treatment of spinal intradural pathologies. However, the associated risks of postoperative spinal instability increase the need for subsequent fusion surgery to prevent potential long-term spinal deformity. Continuous efforts have been made to minimize injuries to the surrounding tissue resulting from surgical manipulations. The authors report here their experiences with a novel minimally invasive surgical approach, namely the interlaminar approach, for the treatment of lumbar intraspinal tumors.

METHODS

A retrospective review was conducted of patients at the Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine who underwent minimally invasive resection of lumbar intradural-extramedullary tumors. By using an operative microscope, in addition to an endoscope when necessary, the authors were able to treat all patients with a unilateral, paramedian, bone-sparing interlaminar technique. Data including preoperative neurological status, tumor location, size, pathological diagnosis, extension of resections, intraoperative blood loss, length of hospital stay, and clinical outcomes were obtained through clinical and radiological examinations.

RESULTS

Eighteen patients diagnosed with lumbar intradural-extramedullary tumors were treated from October 2013 to March 2015 by this interlaminar technique. A microscope was used in 15 cases, and the remaining 3 cases were treated using a microscope as well as an endoscope. There were 14 schwannomas, 2 ependymomas, 1 epidermoid cyst, and 1 enterogenous cyst. Postoperative radiological follow-up revealed complete removal of all the lesions and no signs of bone defects in the lamina. At clinical follow-up, 14 of the 18 patients had less pain, and patients' motor/sensory functions improved or remained normal in all cases except 1.

CONClUSIONS

When meeting certain selection criteria, intradural-extramedullary lumbar tumors, especially schwannomas, can be completely and safely resected through a less-invasive interlaminar approach using a microscope, or a microscope in addition to an endoscope when necessary. This approach was advantageous because it caused even less bone destruction, resulting in better postoperative spinal stability, no need for facetectomy and fusion, and quicker functional recovery for the patients. Individualized surgical planning according to preoperative radiological findings is key to a successful microsurgical resection of these lesions through the interlaminar space.

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Baotian Zhao, Chao Zhang, Xiu Wang, Yao Wang, Chang Liu, Jiajie Mo, Zhong Zheng, Kai Zhang, Xiao-qiu Shao, Wenhan Hu and Jianguo Zhang

Focal cortical dysplasia type II (FCD II) is a common histopathological substrate of epilepsy surgery. Here, the authors propose a sulcus-centered resection strategy for this malformation, provide technical details, and assess the efficacy and safety of this technique. The main purpose of the sulcus-centered resection is to remove the folded gray matter surrounding a dysplastic sulcus, particularly that at the bottom of the sulcus. The authors also retrospectively reviewed the records of 88 consecutive patients with FCD II treated with resective surgery between January 2015 and December 2018. The demographics, clinical characteristics, electrophysiological recordings, neuroimaging studies, histopathological findings, surgical outcomes, and complications were collected. After the exclusion of diffusely distributed and gyrus-based lesions, 71 patients (30 females, 41 males) who had undergone sulcus-centered resection were included in this study. The mean (± standard deviation) age of the cohort was 17.78 ± 10.54 years (38 pediatric patients, 33 adults). Thirty-five lesions (49%) were demonstrated on MRI; 42 patients (59%) underwent stereo-EEG monitoring before resective surgery; and 37 (52%) and 34 (48%) lesions were histopathologically proven to be FCD IIa and IIb, respectively. At a mean follow-up of 3.34 ± 1.17 years, 64 patients (90%) remained seizure free, and 7 (10%) had permanent neurological deficits including motor weakness, sensory deficits, and visual field deficits. The study findings showed that in carefully selected FCD II cases, sulcus-centered resection is an effective and safe surgical strategy.

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Baotian Zhao, Chao Zhang, Xiu Wang, Yao Wang, Jiajie Mo, Zhong Zheng, Lin Ai, Kai Zhang, Jianguo Zhang, Xiao-qiu Shao and Wenhan Hu

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to characterize the clinical and electrophysiological findings of epilepsy originating from the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) as well as its surgical outcomes.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed 27 consecutive cases of patients with drug-resistant orbitofrontal epilepsy (OFE) who underwent tailored resective surgery after a detailed presurgical workup. Demographic features, seizure semiology, imaging characteristics, resection site, pathological results, and surgical outcomes were analyzed. Patients were categorized according to semiology. The underlying neural network was further explored through quantitative FDG-PET and ictal stereo-electroencephalography (SEEG) analysis at the group level. FDG-PET studies between the semiology group and the control group were compared using a voxel-based independent t-test. Ictal SEEG was quantified by calculating the energy ratio (ER) of high- and low-frequency bands. An ER comparison between the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the amygdala was performed to differentiate seizure spreading patterns in groups with different semiology.

RESULTS

Scalp electroencephalography (EEG) and MRI were inconclusive to a large extent. Patients were categorized into the following 3 semiology groups: the frontal group (n = 14), which included patients with hyperactive automatisms with agitated movements; the temporal group (n = 11), which included patients with oroalimentary or manual automatisms; and the other group (n = 2), which included patients with none of the abovementioned or indistinguishable manifestations. Patients in the frontal and temporal groups (n = 23) or in the frontal group only (n = 14) demonstrated significant hypometabolism mainly across the ipsilateral OFC, ACC, and anterior insula (AI), while patients in the temporal group (n = 9) had hypometabolism only in the OFC and AI. The ER results (n = 15) suggested distinct propagation pathways that allowed us to differentiate between the frontal and temporal groups. Pathologies included focal cortical dysplasia, dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor, cavernous malformation, glial scar, and nonspecific findings. At a minimum follow-up of 12 months, 19 patients (70.4%) were seizure free, and Engel class II, III, and IV outcomes were observed in 4 patients (14.8%), 3 patients (11.1%), and 1 patient (3.7%), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

The diagnosis of OFE requires careful presurgical evaluation. Based on their electrophysiological and metabolic evidence, the authors propose that varied semiological patterns could be explained by the extent of involvement of a network that includes at least the OFC, ACC, AI, and temporal lobe. Tailored resections for OFE may lead to a good overall outcome.