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Hui Liu, Zemin Li, Sibei Li, Kuibo Zhang, Hao Yang, Jianru Wang, Xiang Li and Zhaomin Zheng

OBJECT

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of rod stiffness and implant density on coronal and sagittal plane correction in patients with main thoracic curve adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS).

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective study of 77 consecutive cases involving 56 female and 21 male patients with Lenke Type 1 main thoracic curve AIS who underwent single-stage posterior correction and instrumented spinal fusion with pedicle screw fixation between July 2009 and July 2012. The patients' mean age at surgery was 15.79 ± 3.21 years. All patients had at least 1 year of follow-up. Radiological parameters in the coronal and sagittal planes, including Cobb angle of the major curve, side-bending Cobb angle of the major curve, thoracic kyphosis (TK), correction rates, and screw density, were measured and analyzed. Screw densities (calculated as number of screws per fusion segment × 2) of < 0.60 and ≥ 0.60 were defined as low and high density, respectively. Titanium rods of 5.5 mm and 6.35 mm diameter were defined as low and high stiffness, respectively. Patients were divided into 4 groups based on the type of rod and density of screw placement that had been used: Group A, low-stiffness rod with low density of screw placement; Group B, low-stiffness rod with high density of screw placement; Group C, high-stiffness rod with low density of screw placement; Group D, high-stiffness rod with high density of screw placement.

RESULTS

The mean coronal correction rate of the major curve, for all 77 patients, was (81.45% ± 7.51%), and no significant difference was found among the 4 groups (p > 0.05). Regarding sagittal plane correction, Group A showed a significant decrease in TK after surgery (p < 0.05), while Group D showed a significant increase (p < 0.05); Group B and C showed no significant postoperative changes in TK (p > 0.05). The TK restoration rate was highest in Group D and lowest in Group A (A, −39.32% ± 7.65%; B, −0.37% ± 8.25%; C, −4.04% ± 6.77%; D, 37.59% ± 8.53%). Screw density on the concave side was significantly higher than that on the convex side in all the groups (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

For flexible main thoracic curve AIS, both rods with high stiffness and those with low stiffness combined with high or low screw density could provide effective correction in the coronal plane; rods with high stiffness along with high screw density on the concave side could provide better outcome with respect to sagittal TK restoration.

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Xinyu Liu, Lianlei Wang, Suomao Yuan, Yonghao Tian, Yanping Zheng and Jianmin Li

OBJECT

Lumbar spondylolysis and isthmic spondylolisthesis occur most commonly at only one spinal level. The authors report on 13 cases of lumbar spondylolysis with spondylolisthesis at multiple levels.

METHODS

During July 2007–March 2012, multiple-level spondylolysis associated with spondylolisthesis was diagnosed in 13 patients (10 male, 3 female) at Qilu Hospital of Shandong University. The mean patient age was 43.5 ± 14.6 years. The duration of low-back pain was 11.7 ± 5.1 months. Spondylolysis occurred at L-2 in 2 patients, L-3 in 4 patients, L-4 in all patients, and L-5 in 5 patients. Spondylolysis occurred at 3 spinal levels in 3 patients and at 2 levels in 10 patients. All patients had spondylolisthesis at 1 or 2 levels. Japanese Orthopaedic Association and visual analog scale scores were used to evaluate preoperative and postoperative neurological function and low-back pain. All patients underwent pedicle screw fixation and interbody fusion or direct pars interarticularis repair.

RESULTS

Both low-back pain scores improved significantly after surgery (p < 0.05). Postoperative radiographs or CT scans showed satisfactory interbody fusion or pars interarticularis healing. No breakage, dislodging, or loosening of the pedicle screw hardware was observed for any patient.

CONCLUSIONS

Multiple-level lumbar spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis occurred more often in men. Most multiplelevel lumbar spondylolysis occurred at 2 spinal levels and was associated with sports, trauma, or heavy labor. Multiplelevel lumbar spondylolysis occurred mostly at L3–5; associated spondylolisthesis usually occurred at L-4 and L-5, mostly at L-4. The treatment principle was the same as that for single-level spondylolisthesis.

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Xinyu Liu, Suomao Yuan, Yonghao Tian, Lianlei Wang, Yanping Zheng and Jianmin Li

OBJECT

The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of a modified vertebral column resection for the treatment of thoracolumbar angular kyphosis.

METHODS

A total of 13 patients (8 male, 5 female) with thoracolumbar kyphosis (kyphotic angle > 60°) were included in this study (Group A). There were 3 patients with failure of spinal formation (Type 1 deformity), 6 patients with old thoracic or lumbar compression fracture, and 4 patients with old spinal tuberculosis (including 1 case of T3–5 vertebral malunion). The average preoperative kyphotic angle was 67.3° (range 62°–75°). Each patient underwent an expanded eggshell procedure combined with the closing-opening technique for the treatment of thoracolumbar angular kyphosis. Sixteen patients who were previously treated with a closing-opening wedge osteotomy in the same spine classification group (kyphotic angle > 60°) were used as a control group (Group B).

RESULTS

In Group A, the average (± SD) operative time was 400 ± 60 minutes, and the average blood loss was 960 ± 120 ml. There were no surgery-related complications observed during or after the operations. The average local kyphotic angle was 20.3° (range 18°–24.5°), and the average correction rate was 68.7%. In Group B, the average operative time was 470 ± 90 minutes, and the average blood loss was 2600 ± 1600 ml (range 1200–8200 ml). There were segmental vessels and spinal canal venous plexus injury in 1 case, spinal cord injury in 1 case, dural tearing in 2 cases, pleural rupture in 2 cases, and hemothorax and pneumothorax in 1 case. Each patient had more than 2 years of follow-up. At the latest follow-up examination, the average regional kyphotic angle was 19.9° ± 9.1° (range 19°–34°), and there was no significant loss of correction (p > 0.05). There was greater blood loss and a higher complication rate in Group B than in Group A (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

An expanded eggshell procedure combined with the closing-opening technique for the treatment of thoracolumbar angular kyphosis resulted in significant reduction of the kyphotic angle, few complications, and good follow-up results. However, a larger series of patients and long-term follow-up results is still required to verify the effectiveness and safety of this method.

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Jinqian Liang, Ran Ding, Sooyong Chua, Zheng Li and Jianxiong Shen

Object

The safety of spinal fusion has been poorly studied in children with surgically corrected congenital cardiac malformations (CCMs). The objective of this study was to evaluate the safety of spinal fusion in patients with CCMs following cardiac surgery.

Methods

A retrospective study was conducted on 32 patients with scoliosis who received surgical treatment for their CCMs (CCM group). Sixty-four age- and sex-matched patients with scoliosis and normal hearts who received spinal fusion served as the control group. These 2 groups were compared for demographic distribution, blood loss, transfusion requirements, and incidence of postoperative complications.

Results

The ages, curve pattern distributions, and number of levels fused were similar between the 2 groups before spinal fusion. Overall, a total of 7 patients in the CCM group (21.9%) and 5 (7.8%) in the control group had documented postoperative complications. The perioperative allogenic blood transfusion rate and mean red blood cell transfusion requirement in the CCM group were significantly higher than those found in patients in the control group (68.7% vs 28.1%, respectively, p = 0.000; and 2.68 ± 2.76 units/patient vs 0.76 ± 1.07 units/patient, respectively, p = 0.011). In the CCM group, a preoperative major curve magnitude ≥ 80° was the most accurate indicator of an increased risk for a major complication (p = 0.019), whereas no statistically significant correlation was noted between postoperative complications and age, type of congenital heart disease, operative duration, and estimated blood loss during the operation and transfusion.

Conclusions

Spinal fusion subsequent to prior cardiac surgery is relatively safe and effective in correcting the spinal deformity for patients with scoliosis and surgically corrected CCMs. A preoperative major curve magnitude ≥ 80° may be a risk factor in predicting postoperative complications in scoliotic patients with surgically corrected CCMs.

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Zhiyuan Yu, Rui Guo, Jun Zheng, Hao Li, Chao You and Lu Ma

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Xinghua Xu, Xiaolei Chen, Fangye Li, Xuan Zheng, Qun Wang, Guochen Sun, Jun Zhang and Bainan Xu

OBJECTIVE

The goal of this study was to investigate the effectiveness and practicality of endoscopic surgery for treatment of supratentorial hypertensive intracerebral hemorrhage (HICH) compared with traditional craniotomy.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed 151 consecutive patients who were operated on for treatment of supratentorial HICH between January 2009 and June 2014 in the Department of Neurosurgery at Chinese PLA General Hospital. Patients were separated into an endoscopy group (82 cases) and a craniotomy group (69 cases), depending on the surgery they received. The hematoma evacuation rate was calculated using 3D Slicer software to measure the hematoma volume. Comparisons of operative time, intraoperative blood loss, Glasgow Coma Scale score 1 week after surgery, hospitalization time, and modified Rankin Scale score 6 months after surgery were also made between these groups.

RESULTS

There was no statistically significant difference in preoperative data between the endoscopy group and the craniotomy group (p > 0.05). The hematoma evacuation rate was 90.5% ± 6.5% in the endoscopy group and 82.3% ± 8.6% in the craniotomy group, which was statistically significant (p < 0.01). The operative time was 1.6 ± 0.7 hours in the endoscopy group and 5.2 ± 1.8 hours in the craniotomy group (p < 0.01). The intraoperative blood loss was 91.4 ± 93.1 ml in the endoscopy group and 605.6 ± 602.3 ml in the craniotomy group (p < 0.01). The 1-week postoperative Glasgow Coma Scale score was 11.5 ± 2.9 in the endoscopy group and 8.3 ± 3.8 in the craniotomy group (p < 0.01). The hospital stay was 11.6 ± 6.9 days in the endoscopy group and 13.2 ± 7.9 days in the craniotomy group (p < 0.05). The mean modified Rankin Scale score 6 months after surgery was 3.2 ± 1.5 in the endoscopy group and 4.1 ± 1.9 in the craniotomy group (p < 0.01). Patients had better recovery in the endoscopy group than in the craniotomy group. Data are expressed as the mean ± SD.

CONCLUSIONS

Compared with traditional craniotomy, endoscopic surgery was more effective, less invasive, and may have improved the prognoses of patients with supratentorial HICH. Endoscopic surgery is a promising method for treatment of supratentorial HICH. With the development of endoscope technology, endoscopic evacuation will become more widely used in the clinic. Prospective randomized controlled trials are needed.

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Zhiyuan Yu, Jun Zheng, Lu Ma, Chao You and Hao Li

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Xinyu Liu, Suomao Yuan, Yonghao Tian, Lianlei Wang, Liangtai Gong, Yanping Zheng and Jianmin Li

OBJECTIVE

This study aimed to evaluate the clinical outcomes of percutaneous endoscopic transforaminal discectomy (PETD), microendoscopic discectomy (MED), and microdiscectomy (MD) for treatment of symptomatic lumbar disc herniation (LDH).

METHODS

One hundred ninety-two patients with symptomatic LDH at L3–4 and L4–5 were included in this study. The mean (± SD) age of patients was 34.2 ± 2.6 years (range 18–62 years). The patients were divided into groups as follows: group A was treated with PETD and included 60 patients (31 men and 29 women) with a mean age of 36.2 years; group B was treated with MED and included 63 patients (32 men and 31 women) with a mean age of 33.1 years; and group C was treated with MD and included 69 patients (36 men and 33 women) with a mean age of 34.0 years. The Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) scale for low-back pain (LBP), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), creatine phosphokinase activity 3 days after surgery, and visual analog scale (VAS) scores for LBP and leg pain were used for evaluation of clinical results.

RESULTS

There were no significant differences in mean preoperative JOA score, ODI score, and VAS scores for LBP and leg pain among groups A, B, and C. Incision length, duration of the operation, blood loss, creatine phosphokinase, length of hospital stay, and postoperative incision pain according to the VAS were best in the PETD group (p < 0.05). The number of seconds of intraoperative fluoroscopy was highest in the PETD group (p < 0.05), whereas there was no difference between the MED and MD groups. Three cases from the MED group and 2 cases from the MD group had an intraoperative durotomy. No CSF leakage was observed after surgery. One case from the MED group and 3 cases from the MD group had incision infections. There were no neurological deficits related to the surgeries in any of the groups. Fifty-five (91.6%), 59 (93.7%), and 62 patients (89.9%) had at least 2 years of follow-up in groups A, B, and C, respectively. At the last follow-up, JOA scores, VAS scores of LBP and leg pain, and ODI scores were significantly better than preoperative correlates in all groups. There were no differences among the 3 groups in JOA scores, JOA recovery rate, ODI scores, and VAS scores for leg pain. The VAS score for LBP was best in the PETD group (p < 0.05). No lumbar instability was observed in any group. Three cases (5.5%) in the PETD group had recurrent LDH, and 2 recurrent cases (3.4%) were confirmed in the MED group.

CONCLUSIONS

PETD, MED, and MD were all reliable techniques for the treatment of symptomatic LDH. With a restricted indication, PETD can result in rapid recovery and better clinical results after at least 2 years of follow-up.

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Jian Zheng, Zhen Liu, Weishan Li, Jiaxin Tang, Dongwei Zhang and Xiaobo Tang

OBJECTIVE

Inflammation and apoptosis are two key factors contributing to secondary brain injury after intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of lithium posttreatment on behavior, brain atrophy, inflammation, and perihematomal cell death. Furthermore, the authors aimed to determine the role of the pro-apoptotic glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) after experimental ICH.

METHODS

Male Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 108) were subjected to intracerebral infusion of semicoagulated autologous blood. Window of opportunity and dose optimization studies of lithium on ICH-induced injury were performed by measuring neurological deficits. Animals with ICH received vehicle administration or lithium posttreatment (60 mg/kg) for up to 21 days. Hemispheric atrophy was evaluated. Perihematomal cell death was quantified through terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase–mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling (TUNEL). The number of myeloperoxidase (MPO)-positive neutrophils and OX42-positive microglia in the perihematomal areas were calculated. Western blotting was used for the quantification of GSK-3β, heat shock protein 70 (HSP70), nuclear factor-κB p65 (NF-κB p65), and cy-clooxygenase-2 (COX-2).

RESULTS

Lithium, at a dose of 60 mg/kg initiated from 2 hours after injury, exhibited the best effects of improving neurological outcomes 3, 5, 7, 14, 21, and 28 days after ICH, reduced the hemispheric atrophy at 42 days after surgery, and reduced the number of TUNEL-positive cells, MPO-positive neutrophils, and OX42-positive microglia in the perihematomal areas. Furthermore, lithium posttreatment modulated GSK-3β, increased HSP70, and decreased NF-κB p65 and COX-2 expression in the ipsilateral hemisphere.

CONCLUSIONS

Lithium posttreatment at a dose of 60 mg/kg, initiated beginning 2 hours after injury, improves functional and morphological outcomes, and inhibits inflammation and perihematomal cell death in a rat model of semicoagulated autologous blood ICH through inactivation of GSK-3β.