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Hongwei Wang, Yuan Zhang, Qiang Xiang, Xuke Wang, Changqing Li, Hongyan Xiong and Yue Zhou

Object

The main objective of this study was to analyze the epidemiological data obtained from patients with traumatic spinal fracture at 2 university-affiliated hospitals in Chongqing, China.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed the hospital records of all patients who suffered traumatic spinal fracture and were treated at Xinqiao Hospital and Southwest Hospital (both affiliated with The Third Military Medical University) between January 2001 and December 2010. The demographic characteristics, injury characteristics, and clinical outcomes of patients over this 10-year period were compared.

Results

A total of 3142 patients (mean age 45.7 years, range 1–92 years) with traumatic spinal fractures were identified; 65.5% of the patients were male. The peak frequency of these injuries occurred in the 31- to 40-year-old age group. Accidental falls and traffic accidents were the most common causes of spinal fractures (58.9% and 20.9%, respectively). Traffic accidents tended to occur in younger patients, whereas accidental falls tended to occur in older patients. The most common area of fracture was the thoracolumbar spine (54.9%). Cervical spinal fractures were significantly more common in patients injured in traffic accidents, while lumbar spinal fractures were more common in accidental fall patients. Using the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) classification, 479 (15.3%) patients were classified as having ASIA A injuries; 913 (29.1%), ASIA B, ASIA C, or ASIA D; and 1750 (55.7%), ASIA E. ASIA A injuries were more common in patients who suffered thoracic spinal fractures (15.09%) than in those with fractures in other areas of the spine. A total of 954 (30.4%) patients had associated nonspinal injuries. Of these patients, 389 (40.78%) suffered a thoracic injury, and 191 (20.02%) sustained a head and neck injury. The length of hospitalization differed significantly between the accidental falls from high heights and falls from low heights, as did the mean cost of hospitalization (p < 0.05), but no significant difference was found between accidental falls from high heights and traffic accidents (p > 0.05). The length of hospitalization differed significantly among the 3 groups according to the ASIA classification, as did the mean cost of hospitalization (p < 0.05). Of patients with incomplete lesions, 39.3% improved 1 or more grades in ASIA classification during hospitalization.

Conclusions

Accidental falls emerged as the leading cause of traumatic spinal fracture in this study, and the numbers of fall-induced and sports-related injuries increased steadily with age. These results indicate that there should be increased concern for the consequences of fall- and sports-related injuries among the elderly.

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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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Hao Li, Haiyan Yue, Yajing Hao, Haowen Li, Shuo Wang, Lanbing Yu, Dong Zhang, Yong Cao and Jizong Zhao

OBJECTIVE

The pathogenesis of cerebral aneurysms (CAs) remains largely unknown. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) were reported recently to play crucial roles in many physiological and biological processes. Here, the authors compared the gene-expression profiles of CAs and their control arteries to investigate the potential functions of lncRNAs in the formation of CAs.

METHODS

A prospective case-control study was designed to identify the changes in expression of lncRNAs and mRNAs between 12 saccular CA samples (case group) and 12 paired superficial temporal artery samples (control group). Microarray analysis was performed to investigate the expression of lncRNAs and messenger RNAs (mRNAs), and reverse-transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction was used to validate the microarray analysis findings. Then, an lncRNA target-prediction program and gene ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analyses were applied to explore potential lncRNA functions.

RESULTS

A comparison between the case and control groups revealed that 1518 lncRNAs and 2545 mRNAs were expressed differentially. By using target-prediction program analysis, the authors constructed a complex network consisting of 2786 matched lncRNA-mRNA pairs, in which ine1 mRNA was potentially targeted by one to tens of lncRNAs, and vice versa. The results of further gene ontology and KEGG pathway analyses indicated that lncRNAs were involved mainly in regulating immune/inflammatory processes/pathways and vascular smooth muscle contraction, both of which are known to have crucial pathobiological relevance in terms of CA formation.

CONCLUSIONS

By comparing CAs with their control arteries, the authors created an expression profile of lncRNAs in CAs and propose here their possible roles in the pathogenesis of CAs. The results of this study provide novel insight into the mechanisms of CA pathogenesis and shed light on developing new therapeutic intervention for CAs in the future.

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Hua-Qiao Tan, Ming-Hua Li, Pei-Lei Zhang, Yong-Dong Li, Jian-Bo Wang, Yue-Qi Zhu and Wu Wang

Object

Placement of covered stents has emerged as a promising therapeutic option for cerebrovascular diseases. However, the medium- and long-term efficacy and safety of covered stents in the treatment of these diseases remain unclear. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the medium-term clinical and angiographic outcomes of covered stent placement for the treatment of intracranial aneurysms.

Methods

The authors' institutional review board approved the study. Thirty-four patients (13 females and 21 males; mean age 41.9 years) with 38 intracranial aneurysms were treated with the Willis covered stent. Clinical and angiographic follow-up were performed at 3 months, at 6–12 months, and annually thereafter. The initial procedural and follow-up outcomes were collected and analyzed retrospectively.

Results

Forty-two covered stents were successfully implanted into the target artery in 33 patients with 37 aneurysms, and 1 covered stent navigation failed in 1 patient. A complete aneurysm exclusion was initially achieved in 24 patients with 28 aneurysms, and a minor endoleak occurred in 9 patients with 9 aneurysms. Postoperatively, 2 patients died of complications related to the procedure. Angiographic and clinical follow-up data are available in 30 patients. The angiographic follow-up (17.5 ± 9.4 months [mean ± SD]) exhibited complete occlusion in 28 patients with 31 aneurysms, and incomplete occlusion in 2 aneurysms, with an asymptomatic in-stent stenosis in 3 patients (10%). The clinical follow-up (26.7 ± 13 months [mean ± SD]) demonstrated that 16 patients (53.3%) experienced a full recovery, and 14 patients (46.7%) improved. No aneurysm rupture, thromboembolic events, or neurological deficits resulting from closure of a perforating vessel by covered stent placement occurred.

Conclusions

Endovascular reconstruction with the Willis covered stent represents a safe, durable, and curative treatment option for selected intracranial aneurysms, yielding an excellent medium-term patency of the parent artery and excellent clinical outcomes.

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Hua-Qiao Tan, Ming-Hua Li, Yue-Qi Zhu, Chun Fang, Chun-Geng Wu, Ying-Sheng Cheng, Jue Wang, Jian Xie and He Zhang

Object

The development and preclinical assessment of new endovascular devices necessitate readily available and reproducible animal models. The purpose of this study was to develop an in vivo carotid siphon model for testing the properties of covered stents specially designed for the intracranial vasculature.

Methods

Six carotid siphon–shaped devices were created. Six dogs underwent surgery to expose and isolate both common carotid arteries (CCAs). The right CCA origin was ligated and incised distal to the ligation point after temporary constriction of the distal right CCA. The distal left CCA was ligated and incised proximal to the ligation point after the left CCA origin was temporarily clamped. The proximal isolated left CCA was passed through the shaped device and then anastomosed end-to-end to the distal isolated right CCA. Finally, the shaped device was fixed and embedded in the neck. Intraarterial digital subtraction angiography was performed at 7 days, 2 weeks, and 1 month postprocedure. All models underwent endovascular interventional simulation. The carotid siphon models were evaluated.

Results

The animals tolerated the surgical procedure well. The mean time for surgical construction of the model was 90 minutes. The morphology and endovascular manipulation of the siphon models were similar to those in humans. Stenosis of anastomotic stoma occurred in 2 models, and mural thrombosis of anastomotic stoma occurred in 1 model; however, all models were patent at postprocedural follow-up angiography.

Conclusions

Surgical construction of an in vivo carotid siphon model in dogs with carotid siphon–shaped devices is feasible and potentially useful for testing neurovascular devices.

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Fengming Lan, Xiao Yue, Lei Han, Xubo Yuan, Zhendong Shi, Kai Huang, Yang Yang, Jian Zou, Junxia Zhang, Tao Jiang, Peiyu Pu and Chunsheng Kang

Object

The goal in this study was to investigate the antitumor effect of aspirin in glioblastoma cells and the molecular mechanism involved in its antineoplastic activities.

Methods

The authors used the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide method, flow cytometry, the annexin V method, and Transwell cell invasion test to detect the proliferation and invasive activity of U87 and A172 glioma cells before and after being treated with aspirin. To determine the effects of aspirin on β-catenin/T-cell factor (TCF) transcription activity, reporter constructs containing 3 repeats of the wild-type (TOPflash) or mutant (FOPflash) TCF-binding sites were used. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analyses were used to detect the expression of multiple β-catenin/TCF target genes following aspirin treatment.

Results

The transcriptional activity of the β-catenin/TCF complex was strongly inhibited by aspirin. Increasing the concentration of aspirin resulted in decreased expression of c-myc, cyclin D1, and fra-1 mRNA and protein in U87 and A172 cells in a dose-dependent manner. Aspirin inhibited glioma cell proliferation and invasive ability, and induced apoptotic cell death.

Conclusions

The results suggest that aspirin is a potent antitumor agent, and that it exerts its antineoplastic action by inhibition of the β-catenin/TCF signaling pathway in glioma cells.

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Hongbin Cao, Zhiyan Xiao, Yin Zhang, Tiffany Kwong, Shabbar F. Danish, Joseph Weiner, Xiao Wang, Ning Yue, Zhitao Dai, Yu Kuang, Yongrui Bai and Ke Nie

OBJECTIVE

The authors sought to compare the dosimetric quality of hypofractionated stereotactic radiosurgery in treating sizeable brain tumors across the following treatment platforms: GammaKnife (GK) Icon, CyberKnife (CK) G4, volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) on the Varian TrueBeam STx, double scattering proton therapy (DSPT) on the Mevion S250, and intensity modulated proton therapy (IMPT) on the Varian ProBeam.

METHODS

In this retrospective study, stereotactic radiotherapy treatment plans were generated for 10 patients with sizeable brain tumors (> 3 cm in longest diameter) who had been treated with VMAT. Six treatment plans, 20–30 Gy in 5 fractions, were generated for each patient using the same constraints for each of the following radiosurgical methods: 1) GK, 2) CK, 3) coplanar arc VMAT (VMAT-C), 4) noncoplanar arc VMAT (VMAT-NC), 5) DSPT, and 6) IMPT. The coverage; conformity index; gradient index (GI); homogeneity index; mean and maximum point dose of organs at risk; total dose volume (V) in Gy to the normal brain for 2 Gy (V2), 5 Gy (V5), and 12 Gy (V12); and integral dose were compared across all platforms.

RESULTS

Among the 6 techniques, GK consistently produced a sharper dose falloff despite a greater central target dose. GK gave the lowest GI, with a mean of 2.7 ± 0.1, followed by CK (2.9 ± 0.1), VMAT-NC (3.1 ± 0.3), and VMAT-C (3.5 ± 0.3). The highest mean GIs for the proton beam treatments were 3.8 ± 0.4 for DSPT and 3.9 ± 0.4 for IMPT. The GK consistently targeted the lowest normal brain volume, delivering 5 to 12 Gy when treating relatively smaller- to intermediate-sized lesions (less than 15–20 cm3). Yet, the differences across the 6 modalities relative to GK decreased with the increase of target volume. In particular, the proton treatments delivered the lowest V5 to the normal brain when the target size was over 15–20 cm3 and also produced the lowest integral dose to the normal brain regardless of the target size.

CONCLUSIONS

This study provides an insightful understanding of dosimetric quality from both photon and proton treatment across the most advanced stereotactic radiotherapy platforms.