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Eui Hyun Kim, Jung Yong Ahn, and Sun Ho Kim

Object

The transcranial approach has been the standard technique for removal of craniopharyngiomas for several decades. However, many reports of successful suprasellar craniopharyngioma removal accomplished using extended transsphenoidal surgery (TSS) have recently been published. In the present study, the authors describe their technique and the outcomes of removal of suprasellar craniopharyngiomas aided by the use of an operating microscope and an endoscope concurrently during extended TSS.

Methods

Between 1999 and 2008, 18 patients with suprasellar craniopharyngiomas underwent TSS. Tumors that adhered to the optic nerve were safely dissected, and fine perforating vessels were precisely preserved with the aid of a magnified, detailed microscopic view. Portions of the tumor that could not be properly visualized with the microscope were visualized with the endoscope.

Results

Total resection was achieved in all patients, and all visual symptoms improved. Preoperative hypopituitarism improved in 2 patients but persisted postoperatively in 15 patients (hormonal outcome was not available in 1 patient). Diabetes insipidus was present in 16 patients postoperatively. Cerebrospinal fluid leakage developed in 3 patients in the conventional fascia lata graft group, whereas no CSF leakage occurred after the dural suture technique with a fascia lata graft was introduced. This technique could be more precisely applied when using a microscopic view. Tumor recurrence was documented for 1 patient 2 years after surgery.

Conclusions

The authors achieved good results by using extended TSS for the removal of suprasellar craniopharyngiomas. Endoscopy-assisted microscopic extended TSS harnesses the advantages of a microscope as well as those of an endoscope. Surgeons should consider using the advantages of both surgical modalities to achieve the best result possible.

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Jung Yong Ahn, Young Sun Chung, and Byung-Hee Lee

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Yong Ahn, Sang-Ho Lee, Woo-Min Park, and Ho-Yeon Lee

✓ The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy and feasibility of posterolateral percutaneous endoscopic lumbar foraminotomy (PELF) for foraminal or lateral exit zone stenosis of the L5—S1 level in the awake patient.

Twelve consecutive patients with L5—S1 foraminal stenosis and associated leg pain underwent PELF between May 2001 and July 2002. Under fluoroscopic guidance, posterolateral endoscopic foraminal decompression was performed using a bone reamer, endoscopic forceps, and a laser. Using this new technique, the authors removed part of the hypertrophied superior facet, thickened ligamentum flavum, and protruded disc compressing the exiting (L-5) nerve root. Clinical outcome was measured using the Macnab criteria. The mean follow-up period was 12.9 months. All the patients were discharged within 24 hours. Satisfactory (excellent or good) results were demonstrated in 10 patients. There was no complication.

The PELF procedure provides a simple alternative for treating lumbar foraminal or lateral exit zone stenosis in selected cases. The authors found that the posterolateral endoscopic approach to the L5—S1 foramen was usually possible and that using a bone reamer to undercut the superior facet was effective.

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Byung-Uk Kang, Sang-Ho Lee, Yong Ahn, Won-Chul Choi, and Young-Geun Choi

Object

C-reactive protein (CRP) is a well-known sensitive laboratory parameter that shows an increase within 6 hours after the onset of bacterial infection. In relation to surgery, a normal CRP response is a rapid increase followed by a gradual reduction, eventually returning to the normal range. The goal of this study was to determine the diagnostic significance of CRP as a detector for early onset surgical site infection in spinal surgery and to discuss effective medical treatment through clinical interpretation and application of the measured CRP values.

Methods

A prospective study was performed in 348 consecutive cases involving patients who underwent spinal surgery under general anesthesia between February and September 2008. Blood samples were obtained preoperatively and on postoperative Days 1, 3, and 5 in patients undergoing single-level decompression surgery. An additional blood specimen was obtained at postoperative Day 7 in patients requiring more extensive surgeries. Recorded laboratory results were compared with the patients' clinical course to determine the diagnostic significance of CRP. All of the patients received intravenous prophylactic antibiotic therapy. Once an abnormal response of CRP, indicated by a tendency toward continuous elevation, was noted on Day 5 or Day 7, the prophylactic antibiotics were replaced with another regimen and administration was resumed along with careful observation for signs of surgical site infection.

Results

Monitoring of CRP revealed a characteristic increase and decrease pattern in 332 of 348 patients (95.4%) showing a normal clinical course with regard to early infectious complications. The mean measured CRP (reference range < 4 mg/L) averaged 14.9 ± 20.3 mg/L on Day 1, 15.4 ± 25.1 mg/L on Day 3, and 7.9 ± 13.3 mg/L on Day 5. In contrast, there were 16 cases (4.6%) of abnormal CRP responses resulting in the resumption of intravenous antibiotic treatment, which included a second rise (in 12 cases) and a steady rise (in 4) in the CRP value. Five (1.4%) of 16 patients experienced infectious complications related to spinal surgery. Three patients (0.9%) received long-term antibiotic therapy for 4–6 weeks; however, all patients recovered with medical treatment alone and did not experience gross wound disruption or subsequent discitis. As a predictor for early wound infection, the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value for abnormal CRP responses were calculated as 100%, 96.8%, 31.3%, and 100%, respectively.

Conclusions

The above results demonstrate that CRP screening is a simple and reliable test for the detection of early infectious complications after spinal surgery. Close observation and appropriate medical management should be performed in a timely fashion when abnormal CRP responses are observed at 5 or 7 days after surgery.

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Yong Ahn, June Ho Lee, Ho-Yeon Lee, Sang-Ho Lee, and Sang-Hyun Keem

Object

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the predictive factors for subsequent vertebral fracture occurring after percutaneous vertebroplasty (PVP) at the neighboring levels (adjacent vs nonadjacent levels).

Methods

The medical records of 508 consecutive patients treated with PVP between January 2000 and December 2002 were retrospectively reviewed. A total of 45 patients with 49 painful vertebral fractures occurring after PVP was identified based on clinical and radiological findings. New vertebral fractures, developing at any of the 3 consecutive vertebral bodies (VBs) above or below the previously treated level, were the focus of the study. The patients were divided into 3 groups: an adjacent-level fracture group, nonadjacent-level fracture group, and a control group composed of 50 randomly selected patients in whom there was no evidence of a new fracture. Clinical, imaging, and procedure-related factors for each group were statistically analyzed.

Results

In 31 patients 35 VBs were classified as adjacent-level fractures, and in 14 patients 14 VBs were classified as nonadjacent-level fractures. After further vertebroplasty, the overall pain intensity and satisfaction rate in patients with post-PVP fractures were similar to those in the control group. In cases involving adjacent fractures, lower body mass index and intradiscal cement leakage were the significant predictive factors of fracture. In contrast, lower mobility of the index segment was related to nonadjacent-level fracture.

Conclusions

According to the authors' results, the mechanisms of subsequent fracture at adjacent and nonadjacent vertebrae are different. A direct pillar effect (that is, the difference in strength caused by cement augmentation) may provoke an adjacent-level fracture, whereas a dynamic hammer effect (the difference in segmental mobility) may lead to a nonadjacent fracture.

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Young-Seop Park, Seung-Jae Hyun, Ho Yong Choi, Ki-Jeong Kim, and Tae-Ahn Jahng

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to investigate the risk of upper instrumented vertebra (UIV) fractures associated with UIV screw fixation (unicortical vs bicortical) and polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) augmentation after adult spinal deformity surgery.

METHODS

A single-center, single-surgeon consecutive series of adult patients who underwent lumbar fusion for ≥ 4 levels (that is, the lower instrumented vertebra at the sacrum or pelvis and the UIV of the thoracolumbar spine [T9–L2]) were retrospectively reviewed. Age, sex, follow-up duration, sagittal UIV angle immediately postoperatively including several balance-related parameters (lumbar lordosis [LL], pelvic incidence, and sagittal vertical axis), bone mineral density, UIV screw fixation type, UIV PMMA augmentation, and UIV fracture were evaluated. Patients were divided into 3 groups: Group U, 15 patients with unicortical screw fixation at the UIV; Group P, 16 with bicortical screw fixation and PMMA augmentation at the UIV; and Group B, 21 with bicortical screw fixation without PMMA augmentation at the UIV.

RESULTS

The mean number of levels fused was 6.5 ± 2.5, 7.5 ± 2.5, and 6.5 ± 2.5; the median age was 50 ± 29, 72 ± 6, and 59 ± 24 years; and the mean follow-up was 31.5 ± 23.5, 13 ± 6, and 24 ± 17.5 months in Groups U, P, and B, respectively (p > 0.05). There were no significant differences in balance-related parameters (LL, sagittal vertical axis, pelvic incidence–LL, and so on) among the groups. UIV fracture rates in Groups U (0%), P (31.3%), and B (42.9%) increased in sequence by group (p = 0.006). UIV bicortical screw fixation increased the risk for UIV fracture (OR 5.39; p = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS

Bicortical screw fixation at the UIV is a major risk factor for early UIV compression fracture, regardless of whether a thoracolumbosacral orthosis is used. To reduce the proximal junctional failure, unicortical screw fixation at the UIV is essential in adult spinal deformity correction surgery.

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Jung Yong Ahn, Seong Oh Kwon, Moon Soo Shin, Jin Yang Joo, and Tai Sung Kim

✓ Idiopathic trigeminal sensory neuropathy is a clinically benign disorder in which the main feature is facial numbness limited to the territory of one or more divisions of the trigeminal nerve; the disorder persists for a few weeks to several years, and no underlying disease can be identified. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging findings are occasionally consistent with a small trigeminal neuroma of the left gasserian ganglion associated with idiopathic trigeminal sensory neuropathy. The authors report on two patients who were treated using a skull base approach in which the gasserian ganglion was exposed and the lesion was removed. The pathological diagnosis was chronic granulomatous neuritis. The authors conclude that, in patients with MR findings suggestive of a small trigeminal neuroma, benign idiopathic trigeminal sensory neuropathy should also be considered in the differential diagnosis. A conservative approach featuring sequential MR imaging studies may avoid an unnecessary surgical exploration.

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Jae Ho Kim, Sung Jun Ahn, Mina Park, Yong Bae Kim, Bio Joo, Woosung Lee, and Sang Hyun Suh

OBJECTIVE

Metallic susceptibility artifact due to implanted clips is a major limitation of using 3D time-of-flight magnetic resonance angiography (TOF-MRA) for follow-up imaging of clipped aneurysms (CAs). The purpose of this study was to compare pointwise encoding time reduction with radial acquisition (PETRA) subtraction-based MRA with TOF-MRA in terms of imaging quality and visibility of clip-adjacent arteries for use in follow-up imaging of CAs.

METHODS

Sixty-two patients with 73 CAs were included retrospectively in this comparative study. All patients underwent PETRA-MRA after TOF-MRA performed simultaneously with 3-T MRI between September 2019 and March 2020. Two neuroradiologists independently compared images obtained with both MRA modalities to evaluate overall image quality using a 4-point scale and visibility of the parent artery and branching vessels near the clips using a 3-point scale. Subgroup analysis was performed according to the number of clips (less-clipped [1–2 clips] vs more-clipped [≥ 3 clips] aneurysms). The ability to detect aneurysm recurrence was also assessed.

RESULTS

Compared with TOF-MRA, PETRA-MRA showed acceptable image quality (score of 3.97 ± 0.18 for TOF-MRA vs 3.73 ± 0.53 for PETRA-MRA) and had greater visibility of the adjacent vessels near the CAs (score of 1.25 ± 0.59 for TOF-MRA vs 2.27 ± 0.75 for PETRA-MRA, p < 0.0001). PETRA-MRA had greater visibility of vessels adjacent to less-clipped aneurysms (score of 2.39 ± 0.75 for less-clipped aneurysms vs 2.09 ± 0.72 for more-clipped aneurysms, p = 0.014). Of 73 CAs, aneurysm recurrence in 4 cases was detected using PETRA-MRA.

CONCLUSIONS

This study demonstrated that PETRA-MRA is superior to TOF-MRA for visualizing adjacent vessels near clips and can be an advantageous alternative to TOF-MRA for follow-up imaging of CAs.

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Eui Hyun Kim, Se Hoon Kim, Jin Mo Cho, Jung Yong Ahn, and Jong Hee Chang

The authors report a case of IgG4-related hypertrophic pachymeningitis that involved cerebral parenchyma. The mass was removed surgically. Histopathological studies showed diffuse infiltration of lymphoplasmacytic cells without evidence of Langerhans histiocytes or meningothelial cells. Immunoglobulin G4 was strongly positive on immunohistochemical staining. The Gd-enhanced lesion deep inside brain parenchyma was completely resolved after 3 months of oral corticosteroid medication. A nodular type of hypertrophic pachymeningitis that mimics a meningioma is rare. Nevertheless, preoperative presumption is very important, and immunohistochemical studies for IgG4 may be helpful in the differential diagnosis.

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Tae Seok Jeong, Seong Son, Sang Gu Lee, Yong Ahn, Jong Myung Jung, and Byung Rhae Yoo

OBJECTIVE

The object of this study was to compare, after a long-term follow-up, the incidence and features of adjacent segment disease (ASDis) following lumbar fusion surgery performed via an open technique using conventional interbody fusion plus transpedicular screw fixation or a minimally invasive surgery (MIS) using a tubular retractor together with percutaneous pedicle screw fixation.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective chart review of patients with a follow-up period > 10 years who had undergone instrumented lumbar fusion at the L4–5 level between January 2004 and December 2010. The patients were divided into an open surgery group and MIS group based on the surgical method performed. Baseline characteristics and radiological findings, including factors related to ASDis, were compared between the two groups. Additionally, the incidence of ASDis and related details, including diagnosis, time to diagnosis, and treatment, were analyzed.

RESULTS

Among 119 patients who had undergone lumbar fusion at the L4–5 level in the study period, 32 were excluded according to the exclusion criteria. The remaining 87 patients were included as the final study cohort and were divided into an open group (n = 44) and MIS group (n = 43). The mean follow-up period was 10.50 (range 10.0–14.0) years in the open group and 10.16 (range 10.0–13.0) years in the MIS group. The overall facet joint violation rate was significantly higher in the open group than in the MIS group (54.5% vs 30.2%, p = 0.022). However, in terms of adjacent segment degeneration, there were no significant differences in corrected disc height, segmental angle, range of motion, or degree of listhesis of the adjacent segments between the two groups during follow-up. The overall incidence of ASDis was 33.3%, with incidences of 31.8% in the open group and 34.9% in the MIS group, showing no significant difference between the two groups (p = 0.822). Additionally, detailed diagnosis and treatment factors were not different between the two groups.

CONCLUSIONS

After a minimum 10-year follow-up, the incidence of ASDis did not differ significantly between patients who had undergone open fusion and those who had undergone MIS fusion at the L4–5 level.