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Quan Wan, Daying Zhang, Xintian Cao, Yong Zhang, Mengye Zhu and Wei Zuo

OBJECTIVE

Although CT-guided selective percutaneous radiofrequency thermocoagulation (PRFT) via the foramen rotundum (FR) has been used in the clinic as a novel successful treatment for isolated, second division (maxillary nerve [V2]), idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia (ITN), there is only very limited related literature published to date. This report aims to provide more detail for physicians about this technique.

METHODS

Between March 2013 and April 2014, 20 patients with isolated V2 ITN refractory to or intolerant of drug treatment were treated by CT-guided selective PRFT via the FR at the First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University. The outcome of pain relief was assessed using the Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) pain score, and grouped as good (BNI Class I or II, no medication required) and bad (BNI Class III–V, medication required or failed). Recurrence was defined as a relapse to a previous lower level after attainment of any higher level of pain relief. Adverse effects and complications were also monitored and recorded.

RESULTS

All patients (100%) obtained good pain relief including BNI Class I in 17 patients (85%) and BNI Class II in 3 patients (15%) immediately postoperatively. None of the patients were lost to follow-up. During the mean follow-up period of 24.3 months (range 18–30 months), 2 patients (10%) experienced recurring pain and the mean time until recurrence was 10.5 months (range 8–13 months). No adverse effects or complications occurred except for transient numbness restricted to the V2 dermatome in all patients (100%) and facial hematoma in 3 patients (15%).

CONCLUSIONS

In the current study, CT-guided selective PRFT via the FR not only achieved absolute selective lesioning to V2, but also helped patients attain successful pain relief with few adverse effects. These limited data suggest that CT-guided selective PRFT via the FR appears to be a feasible, safe, effective, and even relatively ideal treatment for isolated V2 ITN, but these findings need confirmation from further studies.

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Qian-Nan Wang, Xiang-Yang Bao, Yong Zhang, Qian Zhang, De-Sheng Li and Lian Duan

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to investigate long-term outcomes after encephaloduroarteriosynangiosis (EDAS) for the treatment of hemorrhagic moyamoya disease (MMD) and identify the risk factors for recurrent hemorrhages.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed 95 patients with hemorrhagic MMD who were treated with EDAS at 307th Hospital PLA. Clinical features, angiographic findings, and clinical outcomes were investigated. Rebleeding incidences were compared between anterior or posterior hemorrhagic sites. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to estimate rebleeding risks after EDAS.

RESULTS

The average age at symptom onset was 37.1 years (range 20–54 years) for adult patients. The ratio of female to male patients was 1.16:1. In 61 of 95 hemorrhagic hemispheres (64.2%), the anterior choroidal artery (AChA) or posterior communicating artery (PCoA) was extremely dilated, with extensive branches beyond the choroidal fissure, which only occurred in 28 of 86 nonhemorrhagic hemispheres (32.6%). Fifty-seven incidences were classified as anterior hemorrhages and 38 as posterior. Sixteen of 95 patients (16.8%) suffered cerebral rebleeding after a median follow-up duration of 8.5 years. The annual rebleeding rate was 2.2% per person per year. The incidence rate was higher for the posterior group than for the anterior group, but this difference was not statistically significant (p > 0.05). Cox regression analysis revealed that the age of symptom onset (OR 1.075, 95% CI 1.008–1.147, p = 0.028) was a predictor of rebleeding strokes.

CONCLUSIONS

Through long-term follow up, EDAS proved beneficial for patients with hemorrhagic MMD. Dilation of the AChA-PCoA is associated with the initial hemorrhage of MMD, and rebleeding is age-related. Patients with hemorrhagic MMD should undergo follow-up over the course of their lives, even when neurological status is excellent.

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Liu Xue-Song, You Chao, Yang Kai-Yong, Huang Si-Qing and Zhang Heng

Object

An extensive sacrococcygeal chordoma is considered a challenge for neurosurgeons. Because of the complex anatomy of the sacral region, the risk of uncontrollable intraoperative hemorrhage, and the typically large tumor size at presentation, complete resections are technically difficult and the tumor recurrence rate is high. The aim of this study was to assess the value of using occlusion of the abdominal aorta by means of a balloon dilation catheter and electrophysiological monitoring when an extensive sacrococcygeal chordoma is removed.

Methods

Between 2004 and 2008, 9 patients underwent resection of extensive sacrococcygeal chordomas in the authors' department with the aid of occlusion of the abdominal aorta and electrophysiological monitoring. All of these operations were performed via the posterior approach. The records of the 9 patients were reviewed retrospectively.

Results

Wide resections were performed in 6 cases and marginal excisions in the other 3. Five patients underwent postoperative radiotherapy. Intraoperative hemorrhage was controlled at 100–400 ml. Postoperatively, none of the patients had any new neurological dysfunction, and 2 patients regained normal urinary and bowel function. The mean follow-up period was 31.4 months (range 10–57 months). No patient developed local recurrence or had metastatic spread of tumor during follow-up.

Conclusions

Occlusion of the abdominal aorta and electrophysiological monitoring are useful methods for assisting in resection of sacrococcygeal chordoma. They can reduce intraoperative hemorrhage and entail little chance of tumor cell contamination. They can also help surgeons to protect the organs in the pelvic cavity and neurological function. Use of these methods could give patients better quality of life.

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Bang-ping Qian, Ji-chen Huang, Yong Qiu, Bin Wang, Yang Yu, Ze-zhang Zhu, Sai-hu Mao and Jun Jiang

OBJECTIVE

To describe the incidence of complications in spinal osteotomy for thoracolumbar kyphosis caused by ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and to investigate the risk factors for these complications.

METHODS

From April 2000 to July 2017, 342 consecutive AS patients with a mean age (± SD) of 35.4 ± 9.8 years (range 17–71 years) undergoing spinal osteotomy were enrolled. Patients with complications within the 1st postoperative year were identified. Demographic, radiological, and surgical data were compared between patients with and without complications. The complications were classified into intraoperative and postoperative complications.

RESULTS

A total of 310 consecutive pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO) and 37 multiple Smith-Petersen osteotomy (SPO) procedures were performed in 342 patients. Overall, 47 complications were identified in 47 patients (13.7%), including 31 intraoperative complications and 16 postoperative complications. Patients with complications were older than those without (p = 0.006). A significant difference was observed in preoperative global kyphosis (GK), lumbar lordosis (LL), sagittal vertical axis (SVA), and the correction of these radiographic parameters between patients with and without complications (p < 0.05). Two-level PSO (p = 0.022) and an increased number of instrumented vertebrae (p = 0.019) were significantly associated with an increased risk of complications.

CONCLUSIONS

The overall incidence of complications was 13.7%. Age; preoperative GK, LL, and SVA; the correction of GK, LL, and SVA; 2-level PSO; and number of instrumented vertebrae were risk factors. Therefore, the potential risk of extensive surgeries with large correction and long fusion in older AS patients with severe GK should be seriously considered in surgical decision-making.

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Yong Yu, Fan Hu, Xiaobiao Zhang, Junqi Ge and Chongjing Sun

Object

Transoral microscopic odontoidectomy has been accepted as a standard procedure to treat basilar invagination over the past several decades. In recent years the emergence of new technologies, including endoscopic odontoidectomy and posterior reduction, has presented a challenge to the traditional treatment algorithm. In this article, the authors describe 1 patient with basilar invagination who was successfully treated with endoscopic transnasal odontoidectomy combined with posterior reduction. The purpose of this report is to validate the effectiveness of this treatment algorithm in selected cases and describe several operative nuances and pearls based on the authors' experience.

Methods

One patient with basilar invagination caused by a congenital osseous malformation underwent endoscopic transnasal odontoidectomy combined with posterior reduction in a single operative setting. The purely endoscopic transnasal odontoidectomy was first conducted with the patient supine. The favorable anatomical reduction was then achieved through a posterior approach after the patient was moved prone.

Results

The patient was extubated after recovery from anesthesia and allowed oral food intake the next day. No complications were noted, and the patient was discharged 4 days after the operation. Postoperative imaging demonstrated excellent decompression of the anterior cervicomedullary junction pathology. The patient was followed up for 12 months and remarkable neurological recovery was observed.

Conclusions

The endoscopic transnasal odontoidectomy is a better minimally invasive approach for anterior decompression and can make the posterior reduction easier because the anterior resistant force is eliminated. The subsequent posterior reduction can make decompression of the ventral side of the cervicomedullary junction more effective because the C-2 vertebral body is pushed forward. A combination of these 2 approaches has the advantages of minimally invasive access and a faster patient recovery, and thus is a valid alternative in selected cases.

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Nathan McDannold, Yong-Zhi Zhang, Chanikarn Power, Ferenc Jolesz and Natalia Vykhodtseva

Object

Tumors at the skull base are challenging for both resection and radiosurgery given the presence of critical adjacent structures, such as cranial nerves, blood vessels, and brainstem. Magnetic resonance imaging–guided thermal ablation via laser or other methods has been evaluated as a minimally invasive alternative to these techniques in the brain. Focused ultrasound (FUS) offers a noninvasive method of thermal ablation; however, skull heating limits currently available technology to ablation at regions distant from the skull bone. Here, the authors evaluated a method that circumvents this problem by combining the FUS exposures with injected microbubble-based ultrasound contrast agent. These microbubbles concentrate the ultrasound-induced effects on the vasculature, enabling an ablation method that does not cause significant heating of the brain or skull.

Methods

In 29 rats, a 525-kHz FUS transducer was used to ablate tissue structures at the skull base that were centered on or adjacent to the optic tract or chiasm. Low-intensity, low-duty-cycle ultrasound exposures (sonications) were applied for 5 minutes after intravenous injection of an ultrasound contrast agent (Definity, Lantheus Medical Imaging Inc.). Using histological analysis and visual evoked potential (VEP) measurements, the authors determined whether structural or functional damage was induced in the optic tract or chiasm.

Results

Overall, while the sonications produced a well-defined lesion in the gray matter targets, the adjacent tract and chiasm had comparatively little or no damage. No significant changes (p > 0.05) were found in the magnitude or latency of the VEP recordings, either immediately after sonication or at later times up to 4 weeks after sonication, and no delayed effects were evident in the histological features of the optic nerve and retina.

Conclusions

This technique, which selectively targets the intravascular microbubbles, appears to be a promising method of noninvasively producing sharply demarcated lesions in deep brain structures while preserving function in adjacent nerves. Because of low vascularity—and thus a low microbubble concentration—some large white matter tracts appear to have some natural resistance to this type of ablation compared with gray matter. While future work is needed to develop methods of monitoring the procedure and establishing its safety at deep brain targets, the technique does appear to be a potential solution that allows FUS ablation of deep brain targets while sparing adjacent nerve structures.

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Zhe-Feng Zhao, Li-Zhuang Yang, Chuan-Lu Jiang, Yong-Ri Zheng and Jin-Wei Zhang

Object

The authors' goal was to observe histopathological changes in the trigeminal nerve after Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) in rhesus monkeys, and to investigate the radiobiological mechanism of GKS for primary trigeminal neuralgia. The nerve length–dosage effect of irradiation is also discussed.

Methods

One of 5 rhesus monkeys randomly served as a control, and the other 4 monkeys were randomly administered a target radiation dose of 60, 70, 80, or 100 Gy (a different dose in each animal). The size of the collimator was 4 mm, and the target point was the trigeminal nerve root. In each experimental monkey, one side was exposed to single-target-point irradiation, and the contralateral side was exposed to double-target-point irradiation. After 6 months, the trigeminal nerve root was examined using light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and immunohistochemistry.

Results

At each radiation dose, the damage to the nerve tissue by single-target-point irradiation was identical to that caused by double-target-point irradiation. In the trigeminal nerve tissues of the monkeys irradiated with 60 and 70 Gy, there was limited nerve demyelination and degeneration, fragmentation, or loss of axons. In the trigeminal nerve tissue of the monkey irradiated with 80 Gy, the nerve tissue showed a disordered structure. In the trigeminal nerve tissue of the monkey irradiated with 100 Gy, there was severe derangement in the structure of the nerve tissue, and extensive demyelination, fragmentation, and loss of axons.

Conclusions

The target doses of 60 and 70 Gy have very little impact on the structure of the trigeminal nerve. Irradiation at 80 Gy can cause partial degeneration and loss of axons and demyelination. A 100-Gy dose can cause some necrosis of neurons. Comparing the single-target-point with the double-target-point irradiation, the extent of damage to the nerve tissue is identical, and no difference in the nerve length–dosage effect was found.

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Min He, Heng Zhang, Ding Lei, Bo-Yong Mao, Chao You, Xiao-Dong Xie, Hong Sun, Yan Ju and Jia-Ming Zhang

Object

Utilization of covered stent grafts in treating neurovascular disorders has been reported, but their efficacy and safety in vertebral artery (VA) dissecting aneurysms needs further investigation.

Methods

Six cases are presented involving VA dissecting aneurysms that were treated by positioning a covered stent graft. Two aneurysms were located distal to the posterior inferior cerebellar artery, and 4 were located proximal to the posterior inferior cerebellar artery. Aspirin as well as ticlopidine or clopidogrel were administered after the procedure to prevent stent-related thrombosis. All patients were followed up both angiographically and clinically.

Results

Five of the 6 patients underwent successful placement of a covered stent graft. The covered stent could not reach the level of the aneurysm in 1 patient with serious vasospasm who died secondary to severe subarachnoid hemorrhage that occurred 3 days later. Patient follow-up ranged from 6 to 14 months (mean 10.4 months), and demonstrated complete stabilization of the obliterated aneurysms, and no obvious intimal hyperplasia. No procedure-related complications such as stenosis or embolization occurred in the 5 patients with successful stent graft placement.

Conclusions

Although long-term follow-up studies using a greater number of patients is required for further validation of this technique, this preliminary assessment shows that covered stent graft placement is an efficient, safe, and microinvasive technique, and is a promising tool in treating intracranial VA dissecting aneurysms.

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Lin-Feng Wang, Ying-Ze Zhang, Yong Shen, Yan-Ling Su, Jia-Xin Xu, Wen-Yuan Ding and Ying-Hua Zhang

Object

The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical significance of both the signal intensity ratio obtained from MR imaging and clinical manifestations on the prognosis of patients with cervical ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed the records of 58 patients with cervical ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament who underwent cervical laminoplasty from February 1999 to July 2007. Magnetic resonance imaging (1.5-T) was performed in all patients before surgery. Sagittal T2-weighted images of the cervical spinal cord compressed by the ossified posterior longitudinal ligament showed increased intramedullary signal intensity, whereas the sagittal images obtained at the C7–T1 disc levels were of normal intensity. The signal intensity ratio between regions of intramedullary increased signal intensity and the normal C7–T1 disc level was calculated based on the signal intensity values generated from the MR imaging workstation. Patients were divided into 3 groups according to their signal intensity ratio (high, intermediate, and low signal intensity groups).

Results

There were significant differences between the 3 groups regarding recovery rate (p < 0.001), age (p = 0.022), duration of disease (p = 0.001), Babinski sign (p < 0.001), ankle clonus (p < 0.001), and both pre- and postoperative Japanese Orthopaedic Association score (p < 0.001). There was no significant difference in sex among the 3 groups (p = 0.391).

Conclusions

Patients with low signal intensity ratios that changed on T2-weighted imaging experienced a good surgical outcome. Low increased signal intensity might reflect mild neuropathological alteration in the spinal cord and greater recuperative potential. An increased signal intensity ratio with positive pyramidal signs indicates less recuperative potential of the spinal cord and a poor surgical outcome.

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Hong-Qi Zhang, Tong Chen, Shao-Shuai Wu, Liang-Hong Teng, Yong-Zhong Li, Li-Yong Sun, Zhi-Ping Zhang, De-Yu Guo, De-Hong Lu and Feng Ling

Object

The authors undertook this study to establish an animal model to investigate the pathophysiological changes of venous hypertensive myelopathy (VHM).

Methods

This study was a randomized control animal study with blinded evaluation. The VHM model was developed in 24 adult New Zealand white rabbits by means of renal artery and vein anastomosis and trapping of the posterior vena cava; 12 rabbits were subjected to sham surgery. The rabbits were investigated by spinal function evaluation, abdominal aortic angiography, spinal MRI, and pathological examination of the spinal cord at different follow-up stages.

Results

Twenty-two (91.67%) of 24 model rabbits survived the surgery and postoperative period. The patency rate of the arteriovenous fistula was 95.45% in these 22 animals. The model rabbits had significantly decreased motor and sensory hindlimb function as well as abnormalities at the corresponding segments of the spinal cord. Pathological examination showed dilation and hyalinization of the small blood vessels, perivascular and intraparenchymal lymphocyte infiltration, proliferation of glial cells, and neuronal degeneration. Electron microscopic examination showed loose lamellar structure of the myelin sheath, increased numbers of mitochondria in the thin myelinated fibers, and pyknotic neurons.

Conclusions

This model of VHM is stable and repeatable. Exploration of the sequential changes in spinal cord and blood vessels has provided improved understanding of this pathology, and the model may have potential for improving therapeutic results.