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Lei Zhang, Zhiqiang Yi, Hongzhou Duan and Liang Li

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to introduce a novel autologous duraplasty procedure for the treatment of Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I).

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed data from patients who had been diagnosed with CM-I and had undergone suboccipital decompression and autologous duraplasty in situ or synthetic dural graft duraplasty; patients were treated in the authors' department between 2011 and 2014. All procedures were performed by the same surgeon. The 2 duraplasty methods were compared in terms of surgical factors and complications. The authors assessed the neurological outcome and MRI-documented syrinx size at the 6-month follow-up visit.

RESULTS

Twenty-seven patients were enrolled in this study, 13 in the duraplasty in situ group and 14 in the synthetic dural graft duraplasty group. The results showed no significant differences between the duraplasty in situ and synthetic dural graft duraplasty groups in overall operative time (4.9 hours vs 4.1 hours; p = 0.070), estimated blood loss (229 ml vs 254 ml; p = 0.159), and duration of hospital stay after the operation (13.5 days vs 12.8 days; p = 0.808). In the duraplasty in situ group, 1 case of meningitis occurred (7.7%). In the synthetic dural graft duraplasty group, the complications included 1 case of meningitis (7.1%) and 1 CSF leak (7.1%). The mean cost of hospitalization in the duraplasty in situ group (CNY 23,354) was significantly lower than that in the synthetic dural graft duraplasty group (CNY 29,385; p = 0.036).

CONCLUSIONS

Compared with synthetic dural graft duraplasty, autologous duraplasty in situ is a safe, effective, and cost-effective procedure for the treatment of CM-I. The long-term outcome of this procedure requires investigation.

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Xiang-Ming Li, Jian-Tao Yang, Yi Hou, Yi Yang, Ben-Gang Qin, Guo Fu and Li-Qiang Gu

OBJECT

Donor-side morbidity associated with contralateral C-7 (CC7) nerve transfer remains controversial. The purpose of this study was to evaluate functional deficits in the donor limb resulting from prespinal route CC7 nerve transfer.

METHODS

A total of 63 patients were included. Forty-one patients had undergone CC7 nerve transfer surgery at least 6 months previously and were assigned to one of 2 groups based on the duration of postoperative follow-up. Group 1 (n = 21) consisted of patients who had undergone surgery between 6 months and 2 years previously, and Group 2 (n = 20) consisted of patients who had undergone surgery more than 2 years previously. An additional 22 patients who underwent CC7 nerve transfer surgery later than those in Groups 1 and 2 were included as a control group (Group 3). Results of preoperative testing in these patients and postoperative testing in Groups 1 and 2 were compared. Testing included subjective assessments and objective examinations. An additional 3 patients had undergone surgery more than 6 months previously but had severe motor weakness and were therefore evaluated separately; these 3 patients were not included in any of the study groups.

RESULTS

The revised Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire (SF-MPQ-2) was the only subjective test that showed a significant difference between Group 3 and the other 2 groups, while no significant differences were found in objective sensory, motor, or dexterity outcomes. The interval from injury to surgery for patients with a normal SF-MPQ-2 score in Groups 1 and 2 was significantly less than for those with abnormal SF-MFQ-2 scores (2.4 ± 1.1 months vs 4.6 ± 2.9 months, p = 0.002). The 3 patients with obvious motor weakness showed a tendency to gradually recover.

CONCLUSIONS

Although some patients suffered from long-term sensory disturbances, resection of the C-7 nerve had little effect on the function of the donor limb. Shortening preoperative delay time can improve sensory recovery of the donor limb.

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Asim Mahmood, Dunyue Lu, Yi Li, Jae Li Chen and Michael Chopp

Object. The authors tested the hypothesis that intracranial bone marrow (BM) transplantation after traumatic brain injury (TBI) in rats provides therapeutic benefit.

Methods. Sixty-six adult Wistar rats, weighing 275 to 350 g each, were used for the experiment. Bone marrow prelabeled with bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) was harvested from tibias and femurs of healthy adult rats. Other animals were subjected to controlled cortical impact, and BM was injected adjacent to the contusion 24 hours after the impact. The animals were killed at 4, 7, 14, or 28 days after transplantation. Motor function was evaluated both before and after the injury by using the rotarod test. After the animals had been killed, brain sections were examined using hemotoxylin and eosin and immunohistochemical staining methods. Histological examination revealed that, after transplantation, BM cells survived, proliferated, and migrated toward the injury site. Some of the BrdU-labeled BM cells were reactive, with astrocytic (glial fibrillary acid protein) and neuronal (NeuN and microtubule-associated protein) markers. Transplanted BM expressed proteins phenotypical of intrinsic brain cells, that is, neurons and astrocytes. A statistically significant improvement in motor function in rats that underwent BM transplantation, compared with control rats, was detected at 14 and 28 days posttransplantation.

Conclusions. On the basis of their findings, the authors assert that BM transplantation improves neurological outcome and that BM cells survive and express nerve cell proteins after TBI.

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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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Hao-Li Liu, Hung-Wei Yang, Mu-Yi Hua and Kuo-Chen Wei

Malignant glioma is a severe primary CNS cancer with a high recurrence and mortality rate. The current strategy of surgical debulking combined with radiation therapy or chemotherapy does not provide good prognosis, tumor progression control, or improved patient survival. The blood-brain barrier (BBB) acts as a major obstacle to chemotherapeutic treatment of brain tumors by severely restricting drug delivery into the brain. Because of their high toxicity, chemotherapeutic drugs cannot be administered at sufficient concentrations by conventional delivery methods to significantly improve long-term survival of patients with brain tumors. Temporal disruption of the BBB by microbubble-enhanced focused ultrasound (FUS) exposure can increase CNS-blood permeability, providing a promising new direction to increase the concentration of therapeutic agents in the brain tumor and improve disease control. Under the guidance and monitoring of MR imaging, a brain drug-delivery platform can be developed to control and monitor therapeutic agent distribution and kinetics. The success of FUS BBB disruption in delivering a variety of therapeutic molecules into brain tumors has recently been demonstrated in an animal model. In this paper the authors review a number of critical studies that have demonstrated successful outcomes, including enhancement of the delivery of traditional clinically used chemotherapeutic agents or application of novel nanocarrier designs for actively transporting drugs or extending drug half-lives to significantly improve treatment efficacy in preclinical animal models.

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Chun-Gen Wu, Yong-Dong Li, Ming-Hua Li, Yi-Feng Gu and Min Li

Object

Anterior approaches to the lumbosacral spine have become an increasingly common procedure in spine surgery, but transabdominal percutaneous lumbar discectomy (TPLD) performed anteriorly under fluoroscopic guidance is challenging. In this study the authors describe the TPLD and evaluate its safety and early clinical results in the management of L5–S1 disc herniation.

Methods

Between January 2005 and June 2007, 30 consecutive patients with L5–S1 disc herniation were treated with L5–S1 TPLD. All procedures were performed with the patient in a state of local anesthesia. After bowel preparation, the hypogastrium was compressed to move the intestinal canal away from the puncture site. The TPLD was then performed with fluoroscopic guidance to remove herniated disc material. Patients were evaluated prospectively using the visual analog scale (VAS) and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) during ≤ 30 months of follow-up.

Results

The mean hospital stay was 6.7 days. Scores on the VAS for leg pain (preoperative mean score 7.10, postoperative mean score 0.93) and the ODI (preoperative mean index 62.03, postoperative mean index 10.33) were statistically significantly (p = 0.00) improved at the last follow-up examination compared with preoperative scores. All members of the study group showed favorable results. On the day after the procedure pancreatitis developed in 1 patient but was cured by fasting and intravenous nutrition with antibiotics for 7 days. No other complications occurred during the follow-up.

Conclusions

Transabdominal percutaneous lumbar discectomy is a safe, effective, and minimally invasive procedure for the treatment of disc herniations at the L5–S1 level.

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Donald Seyfried, Jennifer Ding, Yuxia Han, Yi Li, Jieli Chen and Michael Chopp

Object

The goal of this study was to investigate whether human bone marrow stromal cells (hBMSCs) administered by intravenous injection have a beneficial effect on outcome after intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) in rats.

Methods

An ICH was induced in 54 adult male Wistar rats by a stereotactically guided injection of autologous blood into the right striatum. Intravenous infusion of the hBMSCs (3, 5, or 8 million cells) was performed 1 day after ICH, and for each dose group there was a control group that received injections of vehicle. Neurological function, which was evaluated using the Neurological Severity Score (NSS) and the corner turn test, was tested before and at 1, 7, and 14 days after ICH. After 14 days of survival, the area of encephalomalacia was calculated and histochemical labeling was performed.

For all three groups, there were no statistical differences in either the NSS or corner turn tests after 1 day. After 7 and 14 days, however, the three groups that received the hBMSCs showed significant improvement in functional scores compared with the control group. In addition, after 14 days there was significantly more striatal tissue loss in the placebo groups compared with each of the three treatment groups. The region of injury in the treated animals demonstrated a significantly increased presence of hBMSCs, immature neurons, neuronal migration, synaptogenesis, and newly formed DNA.

Conclusions

Intravenous administration of hBMSCs significantly improves neurological function in rats subjected to ICH. This improvement in the treated animals is associated with reduced tissue loss and increased local presence of the hBMSCs, mitotic activity, immature neurons, synaptogenesis, and neuronal migration.

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Haichun Liu, Wenliang Wu, Yi Li, Jinwei Liu, Kaiyun Yang and Yunzhen Chen

Object

During the past decades, lumbar fusion has increasingly become a standard treatment for degenerative spinal disorders. However, it has also been associated with an increased incidence of adjacent-segment degeneration (ASD). Previous studies have reported less ASD in anterior fusion surgeries; thus, the authors hypothesized that the integrity of the posterior complex plays an important role in ASD. This study was designed to investigate the effect of the posterior complex on adjacent instability after lumbar instrumentation and the development of ASD.

Methods

To evaluate different surgical interventions, 120 patients were randomly allocated into 3 groups of 40 patients each who were statistically similar with respect to demographic and clinical data. Patients in Group A were allocated for facet joint resection and L4–5 fusion, Group B for semilaminectomy and fusion, and Group C for complete laminectomy and fusion. All of the patients were followed up for 5–7 years (mean 5.9 years). The disc height, intervertebral disc angle, dynamic intervertebral angular range of motion (ROM), L3–4 slip, and the total lordosis angle were each measured before the operation and at the final follow-up. The Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) score was determined before surgery and at the final follow-up to evaluate the clinical results.

Results

Among the 3 groups, no significant differences were detected in all clinical and demographic assessments before surgery. At 3 months after surgery, the JOA score of all groups improved significantly and showed no significant differences among the groups. At the final follow-up, Group C had a significantly (p < 0.05) lower JOA score than the other 2 groups. Moreover, the disc height and total lumbar lordosis in patients of Group C were significantly decreased compared with disc height and total lumbar lordosis in the other 2 groups. In contrast, disc angle, dynamic angular ROM, and listhesis were significantly higher in Group C than in the other 2 groups. Twenty-four patients showed signs of ASD after the operation (3 patients in Group A, 4 in B, and 17 in C). The number of patients in Group C showing ASD was significantly different from that in Groups A and B.

Conclusions

During follow-up for 6 years, a significantly higher number of patients with ASD were noted in the complete-laminectomy group. The number of reoperations for treating ASD was much higher in this patient group than in the patients undergoing facet joint resection and L4–5 fusion or semilaminectomy and fusion. Therefore, preserving the posterior complex as much as possible during surgery plays an important role in preventing ASD and in reducing the reoperation rate.

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Dunyue Lu, Yi Li, Asim Mahmood, Lei Wang, Tahir Rafiq and Michael Chopp

Object. This study was designed to investigate the effect of treatment with a novel composite material consisting of embryonic neurospheres and bone marrow—derived stromal cell spheres (NMSCSs) in a rat model of traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Methods. The NMSCS composite was injected into the TBI contusion site 24 hours after injury, and all rats were killed on Day 14 after the transplantation. The Rotarod test and the neurological severity score were used to evaluate neurological function. The transplanted NMSCS was analyzed in recipient rat brains by using histological staining and laser scanning confocal microscopy. The lesion volumes in the brains were also calculated using computer image analysis.

Conclusions. Rats that received NMSCS transplants had reduced lesion volume and showed improved motor and neurological function when compared with control groups 14 days after the treatment. These results suggest that transplantation of this novel biological material (NMSCS) may be useful in the treatment of TBI.

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Yi Yang, Qiu Li, Marian T. Nakada, Tao Yang and Ashfaq Shuaib

Object. Antagonists of the glycoprotein IIb/IIIa (GPIIb/IIIa) receptor complex are currently used for the treatment of acute coronary syndromes. The platelet GPIIb/IIIa mediates platelet aggregation, and blocking this receptor complex can reduce or prevent arterial thrombosis. To study the recanalization efficacy of a GPIIb/IIIa antagonist in treating cerebral ischemia, we investigated the therapeutic effects of murine 7E3 F(ab′)2 in a focal embolic cerebral ischemia model in rats.

Methods. Focal cerebral ischemia was produced by introducing an autologous thrombus into the right side of the middle cerebral artery (MCA). Thirty male Wistar rats were randomly divided into three groups of 10 rats each: control, 7E3 F(ab′)2 administered 1 hour postischemia, and 7E3 F(ab′)2 administered 3 hours postischemia. Animals in the therapeutic groups received intravenous infusion of 6 mg/kg 7E3 F(ab′)2 at 1 or 3 hours following cerebral embolization. Brain infarct volume, neurobehavioral scores, duration of bleeding, and findings on angiograms of the MCA (before and after infusion) were assessed in all animals.

Angiographic evaluation revealed full MCA recanalization in three of 10 animals in each 7E3 F(ab′)2 treatment group. Animals in these groups exhibited a significant reduction in infarct volume when compared with animals in the control group: 1) infarct volume 1 hour postischemia, 22 ± 13.9% (p = 0.005); 2) infarct volume 3 hours postischemia, 22.1 ± 14.8% (p = 0.008); and 3) infarct volume in control animals, 42.4 ± 16%. Postischemia treatment with 7E3 F(ab′)2 also improved the animal's neurobehavioral performance. The duration of bleeding significantly increased by more than two times, but there was no associated increase in intracerebral hemorrhage in any group.

Conclusions. On the basis of their findings, the authors conclude that murine 7E3 F(ab′)2 is a potent and safe antiplatelet agent in this experimental focal embolic cerebral ischemia model. Neuronal lesions were significantly reduced when the treatment was delayed up to 3 hours.