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Zhipeng Chen, Shuizhong Cen, Jionglin Wu, Rui Guo, Zhenhua Liu, and Liangbin Gao

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to compare a traditional cervical cage with a zero-profile (ZP) fixation device in patients who underwent three-level anterior cervical decompression and fusion (ACDF) in terms of patient-reported outcomes (visual analog scale [VAS], Japanese Orthopaedic Association [JOA], and Neck Disability Index [NDI] scores), radiographic findings (sagittal alignment 2 years after surgery and likelihood of fusion), and complications.

METHODS

This study was a retrospective case series. Between January 2012 and December 2016, 58 patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) who required three-level ACDF procedures, as identified by spinal surgeons, were treated with three-level ACDF and an anterior cage-plate construct (ACPC) (n = 38) or a three-level stand-alone ZP device (n = 20). On the basis of patient choice, patients were divided into two groups (ACPC group and ZP group). All patients completed a minimum of 2 years of follow-up. Patient-reported outcome scores included VAS, JOA, and NDI scores. The radiographic findings included sagittal alignment and likelihood of fusion 2 years after surgery. Data related to patient-reported outcomes and sagittal alignment were collected preoperatively, postoperatively, and at the final follow-up. Intraoperative and postoperative complications were also documented and analyzed.

RESULTS

The clinical outcomes, including VAS, JOA, and NDI scores, showed improvement in both groups, and no significant difference was observed between the two groups. Sagittal alignment and height of the fused segments were restored in all patients. However, the authors found no differences between the ZP and ACPC groups, and the groups exhibited similar fusion rates. The authors found no differences in complications, including dysphagia, adjacent-segment degeneration, and postoperative hematoma, between the groups.

CONCLUSIONS

Use of ZP implants yielded satisfactory long-term clinical and radiological outcomes that were similar to those of the standard ACPC. Additionally, the rates of complications between the groups were not significantly different. Although the best surgical option for multilevel CSM remains controversial, the results of this work suggest that ACDF with the ZP device is feasible, safe, and effective, even for multilevel CSM.

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Lu Zhao, Xiaoming Wu, Yu Si, Zhipeng Yao, Zengxiang Dong, Valerie A. Novakovic, Li Guo, Dongxia Tong, He Chen, Yayan Bi, Junjie Kou, Huaizhang Shi, Ye Tian, Shaoshan Hu, Jin Zhou, and Jialan Shi

OBJECTIVE

Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a major component of the inner leaflet of membrane bilayers. During cell activation or apoptosis, PS is externalized to the outer membrane, providing an important physiological signal necessary for the release of the microparticles (MPs) that are generated through the budding of cellular membranes. MPs express PS and membrane antigens that reflect their cellular origin. PS exposure on the cell surface and the release of MPs provide binding sites for factor Xa and prothrombinase complexes that promote thrombin formation. Relatively little is known about the role of PS exposure on blood cells and MPs in patients with internal carotid artery (ICA) stenosis who have undergone carotid artery stenting (CAS). The authors aimed to investigate the extent of PS exposure on blood cells and MPs and to define its role in procoagulant activity (PCA) in the 7 days following CAS.

METHODS

The study included patients with ICA stenosis who had undergone CAS (n = 70), matched patients who had undergone catheter angiography only (n = 30), and healthy controls (n = 30). Blood samples were collected from all patients just before the procedure after an overnight fast and at 2, 6, 24, 48, and 72 hours and 7 days after the CAS procedure. Blood was collected from healthy controls after an overnight fast. Phosphatidylserine-positive (PS+) MPs and blood cells were analyzed by flow cytometry, while PCA was assessed with clotting time analysis, purified coagulation complex assays, and fibrin formation assays.

RESULTS

The authors found that levels of PS+ blood cells and PS+ blood cell–derived MPs (platelets and platelet-derived MPs [PMPs], neutrophils and neutrophil-derived MPs [NMPs], monocytes and monocyte-derived MPs [MMPs], erythrocytes and erythrocyte-derived MPs [RMPs], and endothelial cells and endothelial cell–derived MPs [EMPs]) were increased in the 7 days following the CAS procedure. Specifically, elevation of PS exposure on platelets/PMPs, neutrophils/NMPs, and monocytes/MMPs was detected within 2 hours of CAS, whereas PS exposure was delayed on erythrocytes/RMPs and EMPs, with an increase detected 24 hours after CAS. In addition, PS+ platelets/PMPs peaked at 2 hours, while PS+ neutrophils/NMPs, monocytes/MMPs, and erythrocytes/RMPs peaked at 48 hours. After their peak, all persisted at levels above baseline for 7 days post-CAS. Moreover, the level of PS+ blood cells/MPs was correlated with shortened coagulation time and significantly increased intrinsic and extrinsic Xase, thrombin generation, and fibrin formation. Pretreatment of blood cells with lactadherin at their peak time point after CAS blocked PS, resulting in prolonged coagulation times, decreased procoagulant enzyme activation, and fibrin production.

CONCLUSIONS

The results of this study suggest that increased exposure of PS on blood cells and MPs may contribute to enhanced PCA in patients with ICA stenosis who have undergone CAS, explaining the risk of perioperative thromboembolic complications in these patients. PS on blood cells and MPs may serve as an important biomarker for predicting, and as a pivotal target for monitoring and treating, acute postoperative complications after CAS.

■ CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE Type of question: association; study design: prospective cohort trial; evidence: Class I.