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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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Wei-Ying Yue, Su-Huan Yu, Shi-Guang Zhao, and Zhong-Ping Chen

Object

Astrocytoma may progress rapidly or remain stable for many years. To clarify whether molecular characteristics could be prognostic factors, several cell cycling–associated molecular alterations in the diffuse astrocytoma have been investigated.

Methods

Thirty-three patients in whom WHO Grade II astrocytoma had been initially diagnosed were assigned to 1 of 3 groups. Group 1 consisted of 10 patients with malignant progression; the tumor had recurred within 5 years and histological analysis had confirmed that the tumor progressed to Grade III or IV. Group 2 consisted of 10 patients in whom there was no malignant progression; the tumor recurred within 5 years, but histological analysis confirmed that the tumor remained at Grade II. Group 3 consisted of 13 patients who did not experience recurrence within 5 years. Expression of Ki 67, TP53, p27, and p21 was examined using immunohistochemical analysis for the tumor samples obtained during the first and second (in recurrent cases) surgeries. Exons 5, 7, and 8 of TP53 were scanned by DNA sequencing.

Results

The Ki 67 labeling index expression was significantly higher in Group 1 (even though it was similar between initial and recurrent tumors) than that of Group 3 (p < 0.05). However, there was no difference between Group 2 (both initial and recurrent tumors) and Group 3. The TP53 protein accumulation was also higher in Group 1 than in Group 2 or 3 (p < 0.05); a difference in TP53 expression was not found between Groups 2 and 3. The p27 and p21 was expressed in all cases, but no predictive values were found. The p53 mutation was found only in 6 cases in Group 1.

Conclusions

Overexpression of TP53, TP53 mutation, and Ki 67 labeling index could be molecular markers in astrocytomas predicting malignant progression.

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Nan Lv, Ying Yu, Jinyu Xu, Christof Karmonik, Jianmin Liu, and Qinghai Huang

OBJECT

Unruptured posterior communicating artery (PCoA) aneurysms with oculomotor nerve palsy (ONP) have a very high risk of rupture. This study investigated the hemodynamic and morphological characteristics of intracranial aneurysms with high rupture risk by analyzing PCoA aneurysms with ONP.

METHODS

Fourteen unruptured PCoA aneurysms with ONP, 33 ruptured PCoA aneurysms, and 21 asymptomatic unruptured PCoA aneurysms were included in this study. The clinical, morphological, and hemodynamic characteristics were compared among the different groups.

RESULTS

The clinical characteristics did not differ among the 3 groups (p > 0.05), whereas the morphological and hemodynamic analyses showed that size, aspect ratio, size ratio, undulation index, nonsphericity index, ellipticity index, normalized wall shear stress (WSS), and percentage of low WSS area differed significantly (p < 0.05) among the 3 groups. Furthermore, multiple comparisons revealed that these parameters differed significantly between the ONP group and the asymptomatic unruptured group and between the ruptured group and the asymptomatic unruptured group, except for size, which differed significantly only between the ONP group and the asymptomatic unruptured group (p = 0.0005). No morphological or hemodynamic parameters differed between the ONP group and the ruptured group.

CONCLUSIONS

Unruptured PCoA aneurysms with ONP demonstrated a distinctive morphological-hemodynamic pattern that was significantly different compared with asymptomatic unruptured PCoA aneurysms and was similar to ruptured PCoA aneurysms. The larger size, more irregular shape, and lower WSS might be related to the high rupture risk of PCoA aneurysms.

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Yu-Cheng Ren, Bin-Jie Zhao, Zhi-Yi Xie, Guang-Yu Ying, Fang Shen, and Yong-Jian Zhu

Bead-like schwannomas at the cauda equina are rare but benign intraspinal tumors. They can involve multiple nerve roots and spread within the spinal canal, and open resection would cause significant trauma. The authors have successfully applied a novel minimally invasive technique for the total removal of such schwannomas. A 68-year-old woman presented with a 1-month history of left waist and leg pain. MRI demonstrated multiple intraspinal lesions located from L1 to S1. The diagnosis was bead-like schwannomas at the cauda equina. Two incisions were made at the T12 and L5 levels. A flexible endoscope was introduced into the spinal canal following hemisemilaminectomy under a microscope to identify the relationship between the tumors and the carrying nerves. After dissecting both cranial and caudal ends of the carrying nerve, the string of bead-like tumors was gently pulled out from the caudal end as a whole. The endoscope was reintroduced into the spinal canal to ensure complete tumor removal. The patient recovered quickly, and no tumor residual was found at postoperative MRI. Flexible endoscope–assisted visualization plus microscopic hemisemilaminectomy via 2 incisions is a feasible minimally invasive approach for selected patients with bead-like schwannomas at the cauda equina.

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Chen Wang, Chien-Min Chen, Fang Shen, Xiao-Dong Fang, Guang-Yu Ying, Yu-Cheng Ren, Dan-Feng Yu, Liang-Liang Zhu, Yong-Jian Zhu, and Jian-Min Zhang

Spinal dural arteriovenous fistulas (SDAVFs) are the most common type of spinal arteriovenous malformations, and microsurgical ligation is the treatment modality most frequently used for these lesions. Developments in endoscopic techniques have made endoscopy an even less invasive alternative to routine microsurgical approaches in spine surgery, but endoscopic management of SDAVF or other intradural spinal lesions has not been reported to date.

The authors describe the use of a microscope-assisted endoscopic interlaminar approach for the ligation of the proximal draining vein of an L-1 SDAVF in a 58-year-old man. A complete cure was confirmed by postoperative angiography. The postoperative course was uneventful, and short-term follow-up showed improvements in the patient's neurological function. The authors conclude that the endoscopic interlaminar approach with microscope assistance is a safe, minimally invasive, innovative technique for the surgical management of SDAVFs in selected patients.

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Jiang Liu, Yue Yuan, Ying Fang, Li Zhang, Xiao-Li Xu, Hong-Ju Liu, Zhe Zhang, and Yan-Bing Yu

OBJECT

Typical hemifacial spasm (HFS) commonly initiates from the orbicularis oculi muscle to the orbicularis oris muscle. Atypical HFS (AHFS) is different from typical HFS, in which the spasm of muscular orbicularis oris is the primary presenting symptom. The objective of this study was to analyze the sites of compression and the effectiveness of microvascular decompression (MVD) for AHFS.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed the clinical data for 12 consecutive patients who underwent MVD for AHFS between July 2008 and July 2013.

RESULTS

Postoperatively, complete remission of facial spasm was found in 10 of the 12 patients, which gradually disappeared after 2 months in 2 patients. No recurrence of spasm was observed during follow-up. Immediate postoperative facial paralysis accompanied by hearing loss occurred in 1 patient and temporary hearing loss with tinnitus in 2. All 3 patients with complications had gradual improvement during the follow-up period.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors conclude that most cases of AHFS were caused by neurovascular compression on the posterior/rostral side of the facial nerve distal to the root entry zones. MVD is a safe treatment for AHFS, but the incidence of postoperative complications, such as facial paralysis and decrease in hearing, remains high.

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Qiang Yuan, Xing Wu, Yirui Sun, Jian Yu, Zhiqi Li, Zhuoying Du, Ying Mao, Liangfu Zhou, and Jin Hu

OBJECT

Some studies have demonstrated that intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring reduces the mortality of traumatic brain injury (TBI). But other studies have shown that ICP monitoring is associated with increased mortality. Thus, the authors performed a meta-analysis of studies comparing ICP monitoring with no ICP monitoring in patients who have suffered a TBI to determine if differences exist between these strategies with respect to mortality, intensive care unit (ICU) length of stay (LOS), and hospital LOS.

METHODS

The authors systematically searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (Central) from their inception to October 2013 for relevant studies. Randomized clinical trials and prospective cohort, retrospective observational cohort, and case-control studies that compared ICP monitoring with no ICP monitoring for the treatment of TBI were included in the analysis. Studies included had to report at least one point of mortality in an ICP monitoring group and a no–ICP monitoring group. Data were extracted for study characteristics, patient demographics, baseline characteristics, treatment details, and study outcomes.

RESULTS

A total of 14 studies including 24,792 patients were analyzed. The meta-analysis provides no evidence that ICP monitoring decreased the risk of death (pooled OR 0.93 [95% CI 0.77–1.11], p = 0.40). However, 7 of the studies including 12,944 patients were published after 2012 (January 2012 to October 2013), and they revealed that ICP monitoring was significantly associated with a greater decrease in mortality than no ICP monitoring (pooled OR 0.56 [95% CI 0.41–0.78], p = 0.0006). In addition, 7 of the studies conducted in North America showed no evidence that ICP monitoring decreased the risk of death, similar to the studies conducted in other regions. ICU LOSs were significantly longer for the group subjected to ICP monitoring (mean difference [MD] 0.29 [95% CI 0.21–0.37]; p < 0.00001). In the pooled data, the hospital LOS with ICP monitoring was also significantly longer than with no ICP monitoring (MD 0.21 [95% CI 0.04–0.37]; p = 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

In this systematic review and meta-analysis of ICP monitoring studies, the authors found that the current clinical evidence does not indicate that ICP monitoring overall is significantly superior to no ICP monitoring in terms of the mortality of TBI patients. However, studies published after 2012 indicated a lower mortality in patients who underwent ICP monitoring.

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Wei Ni, Hanqiang Jiang, Bin Xu, Yu Lei, Heng Yang, Jiabin Su, Yuxiang Gu, and Ying Mao

OBJECTIVE

Moyamoya disease (MMD) is occasionally accompanied by intracranial aneurysms. The purpose of this study was to delineate the efficacy of the authors’ current surgical strategy in the management of MMD-associated aneurysms of different types.

METHODS

Between January 2007 and March 2016, a consecutive cohort of 34 patients with 36 MMD-associated aneurysms was enrolled in this prospective single-center cohort study. The lesions were classified as peripheral (17 aneurysms) or main trunk aneurysms (13 in the anterior circulation and 6 in the posterior circulation). For the peripheral aneurysms, revascularization with or without endovascular treatment was suggested. For the main trunk aneurysms, revascularization alone, revascularization with aneurysm clipping, or revascularization with aneurysm embolization were used, depending on the location of the aneurysms.

RESULTS

Of the peripheral aneurysms, 4 were treated endovascularly with staged revascularization, and 13 were treated solely with cerebral revascularization. Of the 13 main trunk aneurysms in the anterior circulation, 10 were clipped followed by revascularization, and 3 were coiled followed by staged cerebral revascularization. Of the 6 main trunk aneurysms in the posterior circulation, 4 underwent endovascular coiling and 2 were treated solely with revascularization. One patient died of contralateral intracerebral hemorrhage 6 months after the operation. No other patients suffered recurrent intracranial hemorrhage, cerebral ischemia, or aneurysm rupture. An angiographic follow-up study showed that all the bypass grafts were patent. Complete occlusion was achieved in all 21 aneurysms that were clipped or embolized. Of the remaining 15 aneurysms that were not directly treated, 12 of 13 peripheral aneurysms were obliterated during the follow-up, whereas 1 remained stable; 1 of 2 posterior main trunk aneurysms remained stable, and the other became smaller.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors’ current treatment strategy may benefit patients with MMD-associated aneurysms.

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Hao Wang, Xiang Ying, Wen H. Yu, Qiang Zhu, Xiao Q. Dong, Yong F. Sheng, and Ding Wang

OBJECTIVE

Surgical exposure and decompression of the entire trigeminal nerve in a conventional lateral supracerebellar approach can be challenging because of blockages from the superior petrosal vein complex, cerebellum, and vestibulocochlear nerve. The authors demonstrate a novel suprafloccular approach via the petrosal fissure and venous corridors that can be used as a substitute for the conventional route used to treat trigeminal neuralgia and present a consecutive series of patients and their clinical outcomes.

METHODS

Preoperative and postoperative clinical data from 420 patients who underwent this modified approach at Hangzhou First People’s Hospital between March 2012 and May 2014 were reviewed. The technique expands the working space by opening the petrosal fissure and dissecting adhesions between the vein of the cerebellopontine fissure and the simple lobule as needed. Via 3 surgical corridors, the entire trigeminal nerve is exposed and decompressed thoroughly with minimal retraction of the surrounding vital structures.

RESULTS

The medial one-third of the trigeminal nerve accounted for the majority (275 [65.5%] cases) of neurovascular conflict sites. The lateral corridor was used in 219 (52.1%) cases, the medial corridor was used in 175 (41.7%) cases, and the intermediate corridor was used in 26 (6.2%) cases. The entire trigeminal nerve in each patient was accessed directly and decompressed properly. At the end of the 24-month follow-up period, the rate of excellent results (Kondo score of T0 or T1) was stable at approximately 90.5%. No complications were related directly to petrosal vein or vestibulocochlear nerve injury.

CONCLUSIONS

Based on data from the large patient series, the authors found this suprafloccular approach via the petrosal fissure and venous corridors provides full exposure and decompression of the entire trigeminal nerve, a high cure rate, and a low neurovascular morbidity rate.

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E-Jian Lee, Ming-Yang Lee, Guan-Liang Chang, Li-Hsuan Chen, Yu-Ling Hu, Tsung-Ying Chen, and Tian-Shung Wu

Object. The authors examined whether delayed treatment with Mg++ would reduce brain infarction and improve electrophysiological and neurobehavioral recovery following cerebral ischemia—reperfusion.

Methods. Male Sprague—Dawley rats were subjected to right middle cerebral artery occlusion for 90 minutes followed by 72 hours of reperfusion. Magnesium sulfate (750 µmol/kg) or vehicle was given via intracarotid infusion at the beginning of reperfusion. Neurobehavioral outcome and somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs) were examined before and 72 hours after ischemia—reperfusion. Brain infarction was assessed after the rats had died.

Before ischemia—reperfusion, stable SSEP waveforms were recorded after individual fore- and hindpaw stimulations. At 72 hours of perfusion the SSEPs recorded from ischemic fore- and hindpaw cortical fields were depressed in vehicle-injected animals and the amplitudes decreased to 19 and 27% of baseline, respectively (p < 0.001). Relative to controls, the amplitudes of SSEPs recorded from both ischemic fore- and hindpaw cortical field in the Mg++-treated animals were significantly improved by 23% (p < 0.005) and 39% (p < 0.001) of baselines, respectively. In addition, Mg++ improved sensory and motor neurobehavioral outcomes by 34% (p < 0.01) and 24% (p < 0.05), respectively, and reduced cortical (p < 0.05) and striatal (p < 0.05) infarct sizes by 42 and 36%, respectively.

Conclusions. Administration of Mg++ at the commencement of reperfusion enhances electrophysiological and neurobehavioral recovery and reduces brain infarction after cerebral ischemia—reperfusion. Because Mg++ has already been used clinically, it may be worthwhile to investigate it further to see if it holds potential benefits for patients with ischemic stroke and for those who will undergo carotid endarterectomy.