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Yusuke Nishimura, Atsushi Natsume and Howard J. Ginsberg

The authors describe a case of a 79-year-old man with a lumbar spinal dural arteriovenous fistula (DAVF) and isthmic spondylolisthesis at the same level. The patient's thoracic spine MRI study demonstrated swelling and increased T2 signal in the spinal cord and regional dilated perimedullary vessels. Lumbar spine MRI showed L-4 isthmic spondylolisthesis with severe bilateral L4–5 foraminal stenoses. Spinal angiography revealed a fistulous connection at the left L-4 nerve root sleeve between perimedullary veins and a dural branch of the L-4 radicular artery. Based on previous reports about secondary spinal DAVFs, the abnormal vascular communication likely developed secondary to the microtrauma and inflammation on the left L-4 nerve root sleeve, which was attributable to the isthmic spondylolisthesis. The authors performed disconnection of the arteriovenous shunt as well as an L4–5 decompression and posterior instrumented fusion with pedicle screws. The patient's postoperative course was uneventful, and he improved neurologically. It is important to bear in mind that a spinal DAVF may develop as a consequence of any sort of trauma or inflammation involving nerve roots. One should consider the concomitant treatment of both the spinal DAVF and the underlying pathology that may have given rise to the spinal DAVF.

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Shoichi Haimoto, Ralph T. Schär, Yusuke Nishimura, Masahito Hara, Toshihiko Wakabayashi and Howard J. Ginsberg

OBJECTIVE

Recent studies have demonstrated the efficacy of subfascial intrawound application of vancomycin powder in spine surgery in reducing the rate of surgical site infections (SSIs). However, to date no study has evaluated the efficacy and safety of suprafascial application of vancomycin powder in spine surgery. The purpose of this study was to quantify the rate of SSIs after open instrumented posterior spinal fusion with and without application of suprafascial vancomycin powder and to evaluate the rate of vancomycin powder–related local adverse effects.

METHODS

The authors conducted a single-center retrospective case-control study of adult patients undergoing open instrumented posterior fusion of the cervical, thoracic, or lumbar spine performed by a single surgeon from January 2010 through December 2016. In March 2013, routine application of 1 g of suprafascial vancomycin powder was started for all cases in addition to standard systemic antibiotic prophylaxis. Baseline demographics and operative data as well as the SSI rates were compared between the study groups. The incidence of vancomycin powder–related adverse effects was analyzed.

RESULTS

A total of 515 patients (268 in the untreated group and 247 in the treated group) were included in the study. The mean age was significantly higher in the treated group than in the untreated group (58.4 vs 54.4 years, p < 0.01). Operative variables were similar between the study groups. Patients receiving vancomycin powder had a significantly lower infection rate (5.6% in the untreated group vs 0% in the treated group, p < 0.001). No vancomycin powder–related adverse effects were identified in the treated group.

CONCLUSIONS

Routine application of suprafascial intrawound vancomycin powder in addition to systemic antibiotic prophylaxis is an easy-to-use, safe, and effective strategy for preventing SSIs after instrumented posterior spinal fusion. Suprafascial application of vancomycin powder could be a valuable alternative to previously reported subfascial distribution, minimizing the risk of local adverse drug reactions.

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Shoichi Haimoto, Yusuke Nishimura and Howard J. Ginsberg

The pathogenesis of thoracic ventral intradural spinal arachnoid cyst (ISAC) is unknown due to its extremely low incidence. In addition, its surgical treatment is complicated because of the ventral location, large craniocaudal extension, and frequent coexistence of syringomyelia. The optimal surgical strategy for thoracic ventral ISAC remains unclear and continues to be a matter of debate. In this report, the authors describe an extremely rare case presenting with a compressive thoracic ventral ISAC associated with syringomyelia that was successfully treated with a simple cyst-pleural shunt. The patient’s medical history revealed bacterial spinal meningitis along with an extensive spinal epidural abscess, suggesting the incidence of extensive adhesive arachnoiditis (AA) to be a plausible cause for this pathology. Thoracic ventral ISAC reportedly occurs secondary to AA and is commonly associated with syringomyelia. Placement of a cyst-pleural shunt is an effective, safe, and uncomplicated surgical strategy, which can provide sufficient cyst drainage regardless of the coexistence of AA, and thus should be considered as primary surgical treatment. Syrinx drainage could be reserved for a later attempt in case the cyst-pleural shunt fails to reduce the extent of syringomyelia.

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Yusuke Nishimura, Nova B. Thani, Satoru Tochigi, Henry Ahn and Howard J. Ginsberg

Object

Symptomatic thoracic disc herniations (TDHs) are relatively uncommon, and the technical challenges of resecting the offending disc are formidable due to the location of spinal cord that has relatively poor perfusion characteristics within a narrow canal. The majority of disc herniations are long-standing calcified discs that can be adherent to the ventral dura. Real-time intraoperative ultrasound (RIOUS) visualization of the spinal cord during the retraction and resection of the disc greatly enhances the safety and efficacy of disc resection. The authors have adopted the posterior laminectomy with pedicle-sparing transfacet approach with real-time ultrasound guidance in their practice, and they present the clinical outcome in their patients to illustrate the safety profile of this technique.

Methods

Sixteen consecutive patients undergoing operative management of TDHs were identified from the authors' database. All patients underwent microdiscectomy through a posterior transfacet pedicle-sparing approach under RIOUS. Outcomes and complications were retrospectively assessed in this patient series. Clinical records and pre- and postoperative imaging studies were scrutinized to assess levels and types of disc herniation, blood loss, surgical time, pre- and postoperative Nurick grades, Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) scores, and complications.

Results

All patients had single-level symptomatic TDHs. The patients presented with symptoms including thoracic myelopathy, axial back pain, urinary symptoms, and thoracic radiculopathy. Thoracic disc herniations involved levels T2–3 to T12–L1. Discs were classified as central or paracentral, and as calcified or noncalcified. All discs were successfully removed with no incidence of neural injury or CSF leak. The mean estimated blood loss was 523 ml, and the mean surgical time was 159 minutes. Nurick grades improved on average from 3.3 to 1.6. The mean JOA scores improved from 5.7 to 8.3 out of 11. The mean Hirabayashi recovery rate of the JOA score was 57%. All patients reported improvement in symptoms compared with preoperative status except for 1 patient with an American Spinal Injury Association Grade A spinal cord injury prior to surgery. The average duration of follow-up was 10.5 months. One patient developed postoperative wound infection that required additional operative debridement and revision of hardware.

Conclusions

Thoracic discectomy via a posterior pedicle-sparing transfacet approach is an adequate method of managing herniations at any thoracic level. The safety of the operation is significantly enhanced by the use of realtime intraoperative ultrasonography.

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Yusuke Nishimura, Masahito Hara, Atsushi Natsume, Yasuhiro Nakajima, Ryuichi Fukuyama, Toshihiko Wakabayashi and Howard J. Ginsberg

A spinal intradural extramedullary venous angioma is extremely rare and has not been previously reported. In this paper, the authors report on this entity with morphological and immunohistochemical evidence, and discuss the surgical strategy for its treatment. A 54-year-old woman presented to Nagoya University Hospital complaining of left-sided pain in the hip, thigh, and inguinal and perianal regions, with progressive worsening during the previous 2 weeks. Lumbar spine MRI showed an intradural extramedullary cyst at the level of T12–L1, which extended from the conus medullaris to the cauda equina. The cyst wall was not enhanced on T1-weighted MRI with Gd. Intraoperatively, a midline dural opening allowed the authors to easily visualize a dark-reddish cyst behind the spinal nerve rootlets in the cauda equina adjacent to the conus medullaris. The cyst was believed to originate from one of the spinal nerve rootlets in the cauda equina and a cluster of veins was identified on the cyst wall. The cyst was resected with the affected nerve rootlet. The surgery left no detectable neurological deficit. Based on the morphological and immunohistochemical evidence, the lesion was diagnosed as a venous angioma. No tumor recurrence was confirmed based on MRI at the time of the 2-year follow up. This is the first report of an intradural extramedullary cystic venous angioma that was successfully resected.

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Shoichi Haimoto, Yusuke Nishimura and Howard J. Ginsberg

The pathogenesis of thoracic ventral intradural spinal arachnoid cyst (ISAC) is unknown due to its extremely low incidence. In addition, its surgical treatment is complicated because of the ventral location, large craniocaudal extension, and frequent coexistence of syringomyelia. The optimal surgical strategy for thoracic ventral ISAC remains unclear and continues to be a matter of debate. In this report, the authors describe an extremely rare case presenting with a compressive thoracic ventral ISAC associated with syringomyelia that was successfully treated with a simple cyst-pleural shunt. The patient’s medical history revealed bacterial spinal meningitis along with an extensive spinal epidural abscess, suggesting the incidence of extensive adhesive arachnoiditis (AA) to be a plausible cause for this pathology. Thoracic ventral ISAC reportedly occurs secondary to AA and is commonly associated with syringomyelia. Placement of a cyst-pleural shunt is an effective, safe, and uncomplicated surgical strategy, which can provide sufficient cyst drainage regardless of the coexistence of AA, and thus should be considered as primary surgical treatment. Syrinx drainage could be reserved for a later attempt in case the cyst-pleural shunt fails to reduce the extent of syringomyelia.

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Yusuke Ishiwata, Shigeo Inomori, Kazuhiko Fujitsu, Satoshi Nishimura, Kazuhiro Hirata, Gakuji Gondo, Toshinori Yamashita, Hideyo Fujino and Takeo Kuwabara

✓ A new encircling clip made of a silicone tube has been designed for treating accidentally injured cerebral vessels. No special holders are necessary. This clip can be tailored depending on the shape of the injured vessel. The clip is a simple and effective tool for achieving complete hemostasis.

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Yoshimoto Ishikawa, Tokumi Kanemura, Go Yoshida, Akiyuki Matsumoto, Zenya Ito, Ryoji Tauchi, Akio Muramoto, Shuichiro Ohno and Yusuke Nishimura

Object

The aim of this study was to retrospectively evaluate the reliability and accuracy of cervical pedicle screw (CPS) placement using an intraoperative, full-rotation, 3D image (O-arm)–based navigation system and to assess the advantages and disadvantages of the system.

Methods

The study involved 21 consecutive patients undergoing posterior stabilization surgery of the cervical spine between April and December 2009. The patients, in whom 108 CPSs had been inserted, underwent screw placement based on intraoperative 3D imaging and navigation using the O-arm system. Cervical pedicle screw positions were classified into 4 grades, according to pedicle-wall perforations, by using postoperative CT.

Results

Of the 108 CPSs, 96 (88.9%) were classified as Grade 0 (no perforation), 9 (8.3%) as Grade 1 (perforations < 2 mm, CPS exposed, and < 50% of screw diameter outside the pedicle), and 3 (2.8%) as Grade 2 (perforations between ≥ 2 and < 4 mm, CPS breached the pedicle wall, and > 50% of screw diameter outside the pedicle). No screw was classified as Grade 3 (perforation > 4 mm, complete perforation). No neurovascular complications occurred because of CPS placement.

Conclusions

The O-arm offers high-resolution 2D or 3D images, facilitates accurate and safe CPS insertion with high-quality navigation, and provides other substantial benefits for cervical spinal instrumentation. Even with current optimized technology, however, CPS perforation cannot be completely prevented, with 8.3% instances of minor violations, which do not cause significant complications, and 2.8% instances of major pedicle violations, which may cause catastrophic complications. Therefore, a combination of intraoperative 3D image–based navigation with other techniques may result in more accurate CPS placement.