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Il-Nam Son, Young-Hoon Kim and Kee-Yong Ha

OBJECT

This retrospective study was designed to evaluate the clinical outcomes and radiological findings after open lumbar discectomy (OLD) in patients who were followed up for 10 years or longer.

METHODS

The authors classified 79 patients who had a mean age (± SD) of 53.6 ± 13.6 years (range 30–78 years) into 4 groups according to the length of their follow-up. Patients in Group 1 were followed up for 10–14 years, in Group 2 for 15–19 years, in Group 3 for 20–24 years, and in Group 4 for more than 25 years. In all of these patients, the clinical outcomes were assessed by using patients' self-reported scores on visual analog scales (VASs) measuring back and leg pain and by using scores from the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI). In addition, 10 radiological parameters suggesting degenerative changes or instability at the operated segment were recorded at various time points and used to calculate a numeric radiological finding (NRF) score by rating a presence for each finding of spinal degeneration or instability as 1.

RESULTS

The authors observed that OLD decreased pain and disability scores in all groups. Numeric radiological findings were highest in Group 4, and a significant correlation was detected between NRFs and VAS scores of back pain (p = 0.039). In this cohort, the reoperation rate was 13.9% during a mean follow-up period of 15.3 years. Clinical outcomes tended to be most favorable in Group 1, representing patients who had OLD most recently, and they tended to deteriorate in the other 3 groups, indicating some worsening of outcomes over time. Degeneration of the spine at the operated level measured with radiographic methods tended to increase over time, but some stabilization was observed. Although spinal degeneration was stable, clinical outcomes deteriorated over time.

CONCLUSIONS

This cross-sectional assessment of a retrospective cohort indicates that outcomes after OLD deteriorate over time. Increased back pain indicated a worsening of clinical outcomes, and this worsening was correlated with radiological findings of degeneration at the operated segment.

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Yang Kwon, Jae Sung Ahn, Sang Ryong Jeon, Jeong Hoon Kim, Chang Jin Kim, Jung Kyo Lee, Byung Duk Kwun, Do Hee Lee and Sun Young Kim

Object. The authors evaluated whether gamma knife radiosurgery (GKS) could be a causative factor in intratumoral bleeding in meningiomas.

Methods. Gamma knife radiosurgery was used in the treatment of 173 meningiomas during a 10-year period. Four patients suffered post-GKS intratumoral hemorrhage. The course in these patients was reviewed.

Four of 173 patients suffered an intratumoral hemorrhage during a follow-up period of 1 to 8 years. The risk of intratumoral bleeding after GKS for meningioma was 2.3%. Intracystic hemorrhage occurred in two patients 1 and 5 years, respectively, after radiosurgery. In the other two cases intratumoral bleeding occurred 2 and 8 years, respectively, after radiosurgery. Histological examination in three cases found no specific findings related to the postradiosurgical changes.

Conclusions. Because the reported risk of spontaneous intratumoral bleeding in meningiomas is 1.3 to 2.7%, the incidence in this series was not unduly high. Radiosurgery itself could not be shown to be a significant factor in the development of the intratumoral bleeding.

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Nicholas M. Barbaro

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Jun-Yeong Seo, Kee-Yong Ha, Tae-Hyok Hwang, Ki-Won Kim and Young-Hoon Kim

Object

In this paper the authors' goal was to determine the factors associated with the progression of degenerative lumbar scoliosis (DLS).

Methods

Twenty-seven patients (3 men and 24 women; mean age 64.9 years) with more than 10° of lumbar scoliosis at baseline were monitored for a mean period of 10 years. The radiological evaluation included measurement of the scoliosis angle using the Cobb method, the direction of the scoliosis, the relationship between the intercrest line and the L-5 vertebra, lateral listhesis, segmental angle, distance from the center of the sacral line to the apical vertebra, degenerative listhesis anteriorly or posteriorly or both, and lordosis angle. In addition, the lateral osteophyte difference, disc index, and severity of osteoporosis were measured. The pain and disability outcomes were assessed using the visual analog scale and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) relative to severity of the angle of scoliosis.

Results

The mean initial and final scoliosis angles were 14° ± 5.4° and 25° ± 8.5°, respectively. The initial disc index at the L-3 vertebra (Spearman ρ = 0.7, p < 0.001), the sum of the segmental wedging angles above and below the L-3 vertebra (ρ = 0.6, p < 0.001), and the initial disc index at the apical vertebra (ρ = 0.6, p < 0.001) were correlated with the last follow-up angle of the scoliosis. By contrast, there was no statistically significant correlation between the initial segmental angles at L2–3 and L3–4 and the final follow-up scoliosis angle (ρ = 0.2, p = 0.67; and ρ = 0.1, p = 0.22; respectively). When the authors separated the patients into 3 groups according to the sum of the segmental angles above and below L-3 (< 5°, 5° to 10°, and > 10°), they found that 3 (42.9%) of 7, 8 (66.7%) of 12, and 6 (75.0%) of 8 patients in the 3 groups showed increases of greater than 10° in scoliosis angle. The mean distance from the center of the sacral line to the apical vertebra was 36.0 ± 9.7 mm, and the distance correlated with the measurement of the last follow-up angle of the scoliosis (ρ = 0.6, p < 0.001). The mean angle of the scoliosis was significantly greater when the intercrest line passed through the L-5 or L4–5 disc space than when the line passed through the L-4 vertebral body (31.4° ± 7.9° vs 21.8° ± 6.7°, p = 0.01). The ODI correlated with the measurement of the angle of the scoliosis (ρ = 0.6, p < 0.001). Age, sex, osteoporosis, the direction of the scoliosis, listhesis of coronal and sagittal planes, the lateral osteophyte difference, and the vertebral body index did not correlate with curve progression.

Conclusions

The findings of this study demonstrated that the progression of DLS was affected by the relationship between the intercrest line and the L-5 vertebra. When L-5 was deep seated, progression of DLS was found. Asymmetrical change in the disc space above and below the L-3 or apical vertebra may also be an important predictor of curve progression.

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Hyung-Youl Park, Young-Hoon Kim, Sang-Il Kim, Sung-Bin Han and Kee-Yong Ha

OBJECTIVE

Few studies have addressed that dynamic sagittal imbalance can develop distal to the spinal fusion and cause sagittal malalignment, unlike proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK) in the proximal portion. The purpose of this study was to investigate risk factors between the 2 different types of postoperative sagittal imbalance after long fusion to the sacrum for the treatment of degenerative sagittal imbalance (DSI).

METHODS

Eighty patients who had undergone surgical correction for DSI were included. Radiographic measurements included spinopelvic parameters on whole-spine plain radiographs and degeneration of paravertebral muscles on MRI. Univariate and multivariate analyses for clinical and radiological factors were conducted for respective risk factors. In subgroup analyses, the 2 different types of postoperative sagittal imbalance were directly compared.

RESULTS

Forty patients (50%) developed postoperative sagittal imbalance; of these patients, 22 (55.0%) developed static proximal kyphosis from PJK, and 18 patients (45.0%) developed dynamic sagittal imbalance without PJK. The independent risk factors in proximal kyphosis were greater postoperative pelvic tilt (HR 1.11) and less change in sacral slope (SS) (HR 1.09), whereas there were more fusion levels (HR 3.11), less change in SS (HR 1.28), and less change in thoracic kyphosis (HR 1.26) in dynamic sagittal imbalance. Directly compared with the proximal kyphosis group, dynamic sagittal imbalance was more commonly found in patients who had less correction of sagittal parameters as well as fatty atrophy of the paravertebral muscles. Clinical outcomes in the dynamic sagittal imbalance group were superior to those in the proximal kyphosis group.

CONCLUSIONS

Optimal correction of sagittal alignment should be considered in long instrumented fusion for DSI, because insufficient correction might cause one of 2 different types of postoperative sagittal imbalance at different sites of decompression. Dynamic sagittal imbalance compared with proximal kyphosis was significantly associated with less correction of sagittal alignment, in conjunction with more fusion levels and degeneration of the paravertebral muscles.

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Gwanhee Ehm, Han-Joon Kim, Ji-Young Kim, Jee-Young Lee, Hee Jin Kim, Ji Young Yun, Young Eun Kim, Hui-Jun Yang, Yong Hoon Lim, Beomseok Jeon and Sun Ha Paek

OBJECTIVE

For patients with highly asymmetrical Parkinson’s disease (PD), unilateral subthalamic nucleus (STN) deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been suggested as a reasonable treatment. However, the results of a previous 2-year follow-up study involving patients with prominently asymmetrical PD who had unilateral STN DBS suggested that simultaneous bilateral surgery should be performed. In the present study, the authors analyze 7-year follow-up data from the same patient group to examine changes in motor benefit from unilateral STN DBS over time and the interval between initial unilateral surgery and a second (contralateral) STN DBS surgery.

METHODS

Eight patients with highly asymmetrical parkinsonism who underwent unilateral STN DBS were evaluated. The factors measured were scores on the motor part of the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS III), Hoehn and Yahr (HY) stage, and levodopa equivalent daily dose (LEDD). Evaluations occurred at 3, 6, and 12 months after the initial surgery and annually thereafter.

RESULTS

The mean follow-up period was 91.5 months (range 36–105 months). Three years after the initial unilateral surgery, motor benefits on the contralateral side continued; however, an aggravation of the ipsilateral parkinsonism attenuated the improvement in total UPDRS III scores, which reverted to baseline. Axial motor score, LEDD, and HY stage did not differ from the baseline. Seven of 8 patients (87.5%) were considered candidates for a second surgery to offer additional motor benefits. Of the 7 candidates, 4 patients (50% of total patients) underwent the second surgery at 58.5 ± 11.6 (mean ± SD) months after the initial surgery. Three patients were not able to have the second surgery: one patient died of gastric cancer, one patient was severely immobilized by an accident, and one patient could not afford the second surgery. One patient remained content with the initial unilateral surgery throughout the follow-up period.

CONCLUSIONS

Seven of 8 patients with unilateral STN DBS became candidates for second surgery before battery replacement surgery of the first implanted device. Baseline asymmetry alone may not predict appropriate candidates for unilateral STN DBS. This study provides further evidence that, from a long-term perspective, initial simultaneous bilateral STN DBS should be considered for PD patients with prominently asymmetrical motor symptoms.

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Seung-Hoon Lim, Dae-Jean Jo, Sung-Min Kim and Young-Jin Lim

Despite various complications associated with sacrectomy to remove sacral tumors, total or en bloc sacrectomy has been suggested as the most appropriate surgical treatment in such cases. The authors present the case of a 62-year-old male patient with intractable back pain and voiding difficulty whom they treated with posterior en bloc sacral hemiresection followed by reconstruction using dual U-shaped rods. They report that good spinopelvic stability was achieved without complications. The authors conclude that this technique is relatively simple compared with other sacral reconstructive techniques and can prevent complications, including herniation.

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Eun Jung Lee, Jeong Hoon Kim, Eun Suk Park, Young-Hoon Kim, Jae Koo Lee, Seok Ho Hong, Young Hyun Cho and Chang Jin Kim

OBJECTIVE

Advances in neuroimaging techniques have led to the increased detection of asymptomatic intracranial meningiomas (IMs). Despite several studies on the natural history of IMs, a comprehensive evaluation method for estimating the growth potential of these tumors, based on the relative weight of each risk factor, has not been developed. The aim of this study was to develop a weighted scoring system that estimates the risk of rapid tumor growth to aid treatment decision making.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective analysis of 232 patients with presumed IM who had been prospectively followed up in the absence of treatment from 1997 to 2013. Tumor volume was measured by imaging at each follow-up visit, and the growth rate was determined by regression analysis. Predictors of rapid tumor growth (defined as ≥ 2 cm3/year) were identified using a logistic regression model; each factor was awarded a score based on its own coefficient value. The probability (P) of rapid tumor growth was estimated using the following formula:

FD1

RESULTS

Fifty-nine tumors (25.4%) showed rapid growth. Tumor size (OR per cm3 1.07, p = 0.000), absence of calcification (OR 3.87, p = 0.004), peritumoral edema (OR 2.74, p = 0.025), and hyperintense or isointense signal on T2-weighted MRI (OR 3.76, p = 0.049) were predictors of tumor growth rate. In the Asan Intracranial Meningioma Scoring System (AIMSS), tumor size was categorized into 3 groups of < 2.5 cm, ≥ 2.5 to < 4.0 cm, and ≥ 4.0 cm in diameter and awarded a score of 0, 3, and 6, respectively; the parameters of calcification and peritumoral edema were categorized into 2 groups based on their presence or absence and given a score of 0 or 2 and 1 or 0, respectively; and the signal on T2-weighted MRI was categorized into 2 groups of hypointense and hyperintense/isointense and given a score of 0 or 2, respectively. The risk of rapid tumor growth was estimated to be < 10% when the total score was 0–2, 10%–50% when the total score was 3–6, and ≥ 50% when the total score was 7–11 (Hosmer-Lemeshow goodness-of-fit test, p = 0.9958). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.86.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors suggest a weighted scoring system (AIMSS) that predicts the specific probability of rapid tumor growth for patients with untreated IM. This scoring system will aid treatment decision making in clinical settings by screening out patients at high risk for rapid tumor growth.

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Kee-Yong Ha, Jun-Yeong Seo, Soon-Eok Kwon, Il-Nam Son, Ki-Won Kim and Young-Hoon Kim

Object

The authors undertook this study to investigate the validity of the rationale for posterior dynamic stabilization using the Device for Intervertebral Assisted Motion (DIAM) in the treatment of degenerative lumbar stenosis.

Methods

A cohort of 31 patients who underwent single-level decompression and DIAM placement for degenerative lumbar stenosis were followed up for at least 2 years and data pertaining to their cases were analyzed prospectively. Of these patients, 7 had retrolisthesis. Preoperative and postoperative plain lumbar radiographs obtained in all patients and CT images obtained in 14 patients were analyzed. Posterior disc heights; range of motion (ROM) of proximal, distal, and implant segments; lordotic angles of implant segments; percentage of retrolisthesis; and cross-sectional area and heights of intervertebral foramina on CT sagittal images were analyzed. Clinical outcomes were evaluated using visual analog scale scores and Oswestry Disability Index scores.

Results

The mean values for posterior disc height before surgery, at 1 week after surgery, and at the final follow-up visits were 6.4 ± 2.0 mm, 9.7 ± 2.8 mm, and 6.8 ± 2.5 mm, respectively. The mean lordotic angles at the implant levels before surgery, at 1 week after surgery, and at the final follow-up visits were 7.1° ± 3.3°, 4.1° ± 2.7°, and 7.0° ± 3.7°, respectively. No statistically significant difference was found between the preoperative values and values from final follow-up visits for posterior disc height and lordotic angles at implant levels (p = 0.17 and p = 0.10, respectively). There was no statistically significant difference between the preoperative and final follow-up visit values for intervertebral foramen cross-sectional area and heights on CT images. The ROMs of proximal and distal segments also showed no significant decrease (p = 0.98 and p = 0.92, respectively). However, the ROMs of implant segments decreased significantly (p = 0.02). The average 31.4-month improvement for all clinical outcome measures was significant (p < 0.001).

Conclusions

Based on radiological findings, the DIAM failed to show validity in terms of the rationale of indirect decompression, but it did restrict motion at the instrumented level without significant change in adjacent-segment ROM. The clinical condition of the patients, however, was improved, and improvement was maintained despite progressive loss of posterior disc height after surgery.

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Kyu-Won Shim, Sun-Young Joo, Se-Hoon Kim, Joong-Uhn Choi and Dong-Seok Kim

Object

Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant neuroepithelial tumor found in children. Several reports have described efforts to identify the prognostic significance of various patterns of pathological and immunohistochemical features in medulloblastoma, but the published data appear to be controversial. The authors therefore attempted to demonstrate these prognostic factors convincingly in a retrospective study performed in patients with medulloblastoma.

Methods

The data used were obtained in 58 patients with medulloblastoma who were > 3 years of age and in whom > 1 year of follow-up was available after the maximal resection, craniospinal irradiation, and chemotherapy treatments. These assessments were performed to compare the immunohistochemical features to cellular differentiation, the proliferation index (PI), the apoptotic index (AI), and oncogenesis revealed by TrkC and c-erbB-3. In addition, the authors tried to determine the prognostic utility of these results in this tumor category.

Results

There was no statistically significant correlation between the prognosis and the degree of cell differentiation, but a positive correlation was noted between the PI and the AI in a tumor mass. The number of cases with a PI > 10% was significantly greater in the group of tumors in patients with recurrent medulloblastoma. A close association between the PI as a continuous variable and the progression-free and overall survival was also found. Most importantly, the PI is the only significant prognostic factor for the overall survival of patients with medulloblastoma.

Conclusions

Therefore, the authors suggest that the PI is directly linked to the prognostic factor for medulloblastoma and that immunohistochemical staining is a potentially powerful tool for predicting the prognosis of patients with medulloblastoma.