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1.  Study of Length of Umbilical Cord and Fetal Outcome: A Study of 1,000 Deliveries 
Objective
To study the correlation of umbilical cord length with fetal parameters like Apgar score, sex, weight, and length, and its effect on labor outcome.
Design
Prospective study of 1,000 cases.
Setting
Government Hospital
Material and Method
Examination of umbilical cord was done for any loop around neck, trunk, etc; no. of loops of cord and positions; Knots of cord (True or false), any cord abnormalities. Fetal parameters recorded were sex, weight, and length of the newborn. Fetal outcome studied by Apgar score at 1 and 5 min.
Results
In our study, the cord length varied from 24 to 124 cm. The mean cord length was 63.86 cm (±15.69 cm). Maximum cases seen were in the group of cord length between 51 and 60 cm. Lower 5th percentile was considered as short cord and upper 5th percentile was considered as long cord. Short-cord group was associated with significantly higher (p < 0.05) incidence of LSCS cases. Cord length did not vary according to the weight, length, and sex of the baby. The incidence of all types of cord complications increases as the cord length increases (p < 0.001*). Nuchal cords had higher mean cord length than in cases without nuchal cords (p < 0.001). As the number of loops in a nuchal cord increases to more than two loops, the operative interference increases. The significance was tested by using a Chi-square test, and it was found to be statistically significant (p < 0.05). Nuchal cords were seen to be associated with more cases of fetal heart abnormalities (p < 0.001). There is higher incidence of variability in fetal heart rate with extremes of cord length (p < 0.001). The incidence of birth asphyxia was significantly more in long and short cords as compared to cords with normal cord length (p < 0.001).
Conclusion
The present study showed that the length of umbilical cord is variable; however, maximum number of cases had normal cord length. Cases which had short and long cords constituted abnormal cord length. These cases had higher incidence of cord complications, increased incidence of operative interference, intrapartum complications, increased fetal heart rate abnormalities, and more chances of birth asphyxia. But cord length did not vary according to the weight, length, and sex of the baby.
doi:10.1007/s13224-012-0194-0
PMCID: PMC3526711  PMID: 24082551
2.  Central Cord Syndrome in a High School Wrestler: A Case Report 
Journal of Athletic Training  2006;41(3):341-344.
Objective: To alert athletic trainers to the importance of recognizing the signs and symptoms of central cord syndrome.
Background: A 15-year-old high school wrestler was found lying supine on the mat after sustaining a hyperextension injury to his neck while drilling during practice, complaining of numbness, tingling, and a burning sensation in all 4 extremities. Touching the extremities elicited an extreme burning sensation. After in-line stabilization of the cervical spine was performed, palpation of the spinous processes elicited tenderness and an increase in pain. Six weeks before the injury, the athlete had experienced forced lateral flexion of the cervical spine during a match, resulting in an episode of bilateral numbness and burning in his arms. On evaluation by the athletic trainer, symptoms were limited to the right hand, and brachial plexus neurapraxia was diagnosed.
Differential Diagnosis: Central cord syndrome, brachial plexus injury, cervical spine injury, burning hands syndrome, Brown-Séquard syndrome, anterior cord syndrome.
Treatment: Upon assessment, the athlete's cervical spine was immobilized until emergency medical services arrived and applied a cervical collar. Radiographs taken at the hospital revealed a congenital fusion of C6-7. Magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography showed evidence of stenosis, a herniated disc at C3-4, and a central cord injury. He was admitted to the hospital for observation and was placed on a corticosteroid protocol. At approximately 1 week after the injury, the athlete underwent a cervical decompression and fusion at C3-4. Subsequently, he underwent extensive rehabilitation and has had some persistent neck stiffness. The athlete is no longer allowed to participate in contact sports as a result of the presence of stenosis at multiple levels.
Uniqueness: Central cord syndrome is typically seen in an older population with cervical spondylosis and rarely occurs in young adolescents. However, this athlete sustained 2 central cord injuries, 1 mild and 1 severe, in less than 6 weeks' time.
Conclusions: The original injury sustained by the wrestler was thought to be a brachial plexus injury but, in fact, was a mild central cord injury. Central cord syndrome was not suspected in the original injury because the athlete's complaint was of unilateral numbness. With the second injury, the central cord injury was more severe. Proper recognition, assessment, and handling of this situation were crucial in providing optimal care to this athlete.
PMCID: PMC1569555  PMID: 17043705
spinal cord injury; athletic injury; neurologic injury
3.  Syringomyelia associated with cervical spondylosis: A rare condition 
Spinal spondylosis is an extremely common condition that has only rarely been described as a cause of syringomyelia. We describe a case of syringomyelia associated with cervical spondylosis admitted at our division and treated by our institute. It is the case of a 66-year-old woman. At our observation she was affected by moderate-severe spastic tetraparesis. T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed an hyperintense signal within spinal cord from C3 to T1 with a more sharply defined process in the inferior cervical spinal cord. At the same level bulging discs, facets and ligamenta flava hypertrophy determined a compression towards subarachnoid space and spinal cord. Spinal cord compression was more evident in hyperextension rather than flexion. A 4-level laminectomy and subsequent posterior stabilization with intra-articular screws was executed. At 3-mo follow up there was a regression of tetraparesis but motor deficits of the lower limbs residuated. At the same follow up postoperative MRI was executed. It suggested enlargement of the syrinx. Perhaps hyperintensity within spinal cord appeared “bounded” from C3 to C7 with clearer margins. At the level of surgical decompression, subarachnoid space and spinal cord enlargement were also evident. A review of the literature was executed using PubMed database. The objective of the research was to find an etiopathological theory able to relate syringomyelia with cervical spondylosis. Only 6 articles have been found. At the origin of syringomyelia the mechanisms of compression and instability are proposed. Perhaps other studies assert the importance of subarachnoid space regard cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) dynamic. We postulate that cervical spine instability may be the cause of multiple microtrauma towards spinal cord and consequently may damage spinal cord parenchyma generating myelomalacia and consequently syrinx. Otherwise the hemorrhage within spinal cord central canal can cause an obstruction of CSF outflow, finally generating the syrinx. On the other hand in cervical spondylosis the stenotic elements can affect subarachnoid space. These elements rubbing towards spinal cord during movements of the neck can generate arachnoiditis, subarachnoid hemorrhages and arachnoid adhesions. Analyzing the literature these “complications” of cervical spondylosis are described at the origin of syringomyelia. So surgical decompression, enlarging medullary canal prevents rubbings and contacts between the bone-ligament structures of the spine towards spinal cord and subarachnoid space therefore syringomyelia. Perhaps stabilization is also necessary to prevent instability of the cervical spine at the base of central cord syndrome or syringomyelia. Finally although patients affected by central cord syndrome are usually managed conservatively we advocate, also for them, surgical treatment in cases affected by advanced state of the symptoms and MRI.
doi:10.12998/wjcc.v1.i3.111
PMCID: PMC3845911  PMID: 24303479
Syringomyelia; Cervical spondylosis; Syringomyelia surgery; Syringomyelia etiology; Syringomyelia physiopathology
4.  A patient presenting with intact sensory modalities in acute spinal cord ischemia syndrome: a case report 
Introduction
Acute spinal cord ischemia syndrome is a rare condition comprising a small fraction of neurovascular accidents, the majority of which occur within the cerebral circulation. The circulation of the spinal cord has several unique features that determine the clinical presentation.
Case presentation
In this case of a 67-year-old Caucasian man who came to our emergency department with sudden-onset, severe right-sided pain and bilateral upper limb weakness, an atypical pattern of sensory deficit was observed. In this case report, we review acute spinal cord ischemia syndrome and consider the pathophysiology, diagnostic measures and prognostic factors associated with patient recovery.
Conclusion
Acute spinal cord ischemia syndrome with atypical patterns of sensory deficit is uncommon. Clinicians must consider acute spinal cord ischemia syndrome when assessing all patients with acute neck pain and focal neurological deficits; atypical presentations can present a diagnostic challenge. Current knowledge of the long-term outcome in patients with spinal cord ischemia is based on only a few small studies, some of which are discussed here.
doi:10.1186/1752-1947-5-31
PMCID: PMC3224536  PMID: 21269425
5.  Lhermitte's Syndrome After Chemo-IMRT of Head and Neck Cancer: Incidence, Doses, and Potential Mechanisms 
Purpose
We have observed a higher rate of Lhermitte's syndrome (LS) after chemo-IMRT of head and neck cancer than the published rates after conventional radiotherapy. We hypothesized that the inhomogeneous spinal cord dose distributions produced by IMRT caused a “bath and shower” effect, characterized by low doses in the vicinity of high doses, reducing spinal cord tolerance.
Methods and Materials
73 patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx participated in a prospective study of IMRT concurrent with weekly carboplatin and taxol. 15 (21%) reported LS in at least 2 consecutive follow-up visits. Mean dose, maximum dose, partial (Vd) as well as the absolute volume (cc) of spinal cord receiving specified doses (≥10 Gy, 20 Gy, 30 Gy, 40 Gy), and the pattern of dose distributions at the “anatomical” (from the base of the skull to the aortic arch) and “plan-related” (from the top through the bottom of the PTV's) spinal cords were compared between LS and 34 non-LS patients.
Results
LS patients had significantly higher spinal cord mean doses, V30, V40, and volumes receiving ≥30 and ≥ 40 Gy compared to the non-LS patients (p < 0.05). Strongest predictors of LS were higher V40 and higher cord volumes receiving ≥40 Gy (p ≤ 0.007). There was no evidence of larger spinal cord volumes receiving low doses in the vicinity of higher doses (“bath and shower”) in LS compared to non-LS patients.
Conclusions
Greater mean dose, V30, V40, and cord volumes receiving ≥30 and ≥40 Gy characterized LS compared to non-LS patients. “Bath and shower” effects could not be validated in this study as a potential contributor to LS. The higher than expected rates of LS may be due to the specific concurrent chemotherapy agents, or to more accurate identification of LS in the setting of a prospective study.
doi:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2011.10.052
PMCID: PMC3481166  PMID: 22284690
Lhermitte's syndrome; Predictive factors; Head and neck cancer; Bath and shower effect; IMRT
6.  Prescribed dose versus calculated dose of spinal cord in standard head and neck irradiation assessed by 3-D plan 
South Asian Journal of Cancer  2014;3(1):22-27.
Background and Purpose:
Spinal cord toxicity can be dreaded complication while treating head and neck cancer by conventional radiotherapy. Cord sparing approach is applied by two phase planning in conventional head neck radiotherapy. In spite of cord sparing approach spinal cord still receives considerable scatter dose. Our study aims to do the volumetric analysis of spinal cord dosimetry and to correlate with the clinical findings.
Materials and Methods:
Treatment planning was done in two phases. First phase treatment fields include gross disease- both tumor and involved nodes. in the second phase, treatment field shrinkage was done to cover the gross disease sparing the spinal cord. These fields are termed as off-cord fields. 42 patients with histological proven squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck region were analysed with two groups. In Group A, 46 Gy was given in 23 fractions, and then tumor-boost with off-cord field received 24 Gy in 12 fractions. In Group B 50 Gy was prescribed in 25 fractions initially, then off-cord field given 20 Gy in 10 fractions to analyze theoutcome. Planning Computed tomography (CT) scan was done Philips Brilliance 16 slice CT scan machine, and contouring and dose calculation were done at ASHA treatment planning software.
Results:
Maximum dose and dose at 1 cm3, 2 cm3, and 5 cm3 were calculated. Maximum dose to cord was 52.6 Gy (range 48.1-49.7 Gy) in Group A and 54.3 Gy (range 51.48-52.33 Gy) in Group B initially. Off-cord fields received mean dose 8.07 Gy (85.85% of maximum) in Group A and 5.47 Gy (86.84% of maximum) in Group B. At the end of 6 months from the last date of radiotherapy, grade 1 spinal cord toxicity found in two patients in Group A and one patient in Group B respectively (P = 0.55). Both groups received additional dose, which are higher than the prescribed dose, but no patients show significant spinal cord toxicity after 6 month of follow-up.
Conclusion:
Spinal cord received scatter dose which much higher than the predicted dose in conventional radiotherapy of head neck cancer. Short term follow up failed to establish clinical correlation with volumetric dose of spinal cord. Two phase cord sparing head neck radiation planning if practiced should be used with caution.
doi:10.4103/2278-330X.126510
PMCID: PMC3961863  PMID: 24665442
Head neck cancer; off-cord field; spinal cord; volumetric analysis
7.  Two Faces of Chondroitin Sulfate Proteoglycan in Spinal Cord Repair: A Role in Microglia/Macrophage Activation 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(8):e171.
Background
Chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan (CSPG) is a major component of the glial scar. It is considered to be a major obstacle for central nervous system (CNS) recovery after injury, especially in light of its well-known activity in limiting axonal growth. Therefore, its degradation has become a key therapeutic goal in the field of CNS regeneration. Yet, the abundant de novo synthesis of CSPG in response to CNS injury is puzzling. This apparent dichotomy led us to hypothesize that CSPG plays a beneficial role in the repair process, which might have been previously overlooked because of nonoptimal regulation of its levels. This hypothesis is tested in the present study.
Methods and Findings
We inflicted spinal cord injury in adult mice and examined the effects of CSPG on the recovery process. We used xyloside to inhibit CSPG formation at different time points after the injury and analyzed the phenotype acquired by the microglia/macrophages in the lesion site. To distinguish between the resident microglia and infiltrating monocytes, we used chimeric mice whose bone marrow-derived myeloid cells expressed GFP. We found that CSPG plays a key role during the acute recovery stage after spinal cord injury in mice. Inhibition of CSPG synthesis immediately after injury impaired functional motor recovery and increased tissue loss. Using the chimeric mice we found that the immediate inhibition of CSPG production caused a dramatic effect on the spatial organization of the infiltrating myeloid cells around the lesion site, decreased insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) production by microglia/macrophages, and increased tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) levels. In contrast, delayed inhibition, allowing CSPG synthesis during the first 2 d following injury, with subsequent inhibition, improved recovery. Using in vitro studies, we showed that CSPG directly activated microglia/macrophages via the CD44 receptor and modulated neurotrophic factor secretion by these cells.
Conclusions
Our results show that CSPG plays a pivotal role in the repair of injured spinal cord and in the recovery of motor function during the acute phase after the injury; CSPG spatially and temporally controls activity of infiltrating blood-borne monocytes and resident microglia. The distinction made in this study between the beneficial role of CSPG during the acute stage and its deleterious effect at later stages emphasizes the need to retain the endogenous potential of this molecule in repair by controlling its levels at different stages of post-injury repair.
Michal Schwartz and colleagues describe the role of chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan in the repair of injured tissue and in the recovery of motor function during the acute phase after spinal cord injury.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Every year, spinal cord injuries paralyze about 10,000 people in the United States. The spinal cord, which contains bundles of nervous system cells called neurons, is the communication superhighway between the brain and the body. Messages from the brain travel down the spinal cord to control movement, breathing, and other bodily functions; messages from the skin and other sensory organs travel up the spinal cord to keep the brain informed about the body. All these messages are transmitted along axons, long extensions on the neurons. The spinal cord is protected by the bones of the spine but if these are displaced or broken, the axons can be compressed or cut, which interrupts the information flow. Damage near the top of the spinal cord paralyzes the arms and legs (tetraplegia); damage lower down paralyzes the legs only (paraplegia). Spinal cord injuries also cause other medical problems, including the loss of bowel and bladder control. Currently there is no effective treatment for spinal cord injuries. Treatment with drugs to reduce inflammation has, at best, only modest effects. Moreover, because damaged axons rarely regrow, most spinal cord injuries are permanent.
Why Was This Study Done?
One barrier to recovery after a spinal cord injury seems to be an inappropriate immune response to the injury. After an injury, microglia (immune system cells that live in the nervous system), and macrophages (blood-borne immune system cells that infiltrate the injury) become activated. Microglia/macrophage activation can be either beneficial (the cells make IGF-1, a protein that stimulates axon growth) or destructive (the cells make TNF-α, a protein that kills neurons), so studies of microglia/macrophage activation might suggest ways to treat spinal cord injuries. Another possible barrier to recovery is “chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan” (CSPG). This is a major component of the scar tissue (the “glial scar”) that forms around spinal cord injuries. CSPG limits axon regrowth, so attempts have been made to improve spinal cord repair by removing CSPG. But if CSPG prevents spinal cord repair, why is so much of it made immediately after an injury? In this study, the researchers investigate this paradox by asking whether CSPG made in the right place and in the right amount might have a beneficial role in spinal cord repair that has been overlooked.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers bruised a small section of the spinal cord of mice to cause hind limb paralysis, and then monitored the recovery of movement in these animals. They also examined the injured tissue microscopically, looked for microglia and infiltrating macrophages at the injury site, and measured the production of IGF-1 and TNF-α by these cells. Inhibition of CSPG synthesis immediately after injury impaired the functional recovery of the mice and increased tissue loss at the injury site. It also altered the spatial organization of infiltrating macrophages at the injury site, reduced IGF-1 production by these microglia/macrophages, and increased TNF-α levels. In contrast, when CSPG synthesis was not inhibited until two days after the injury, the mice recovered well from spinal cord injury. Furthermore, the interaction of CSPG with a cell-surface protein called CD44 activated microglia/macrophages growing in dishes and increased their production of IGF-1 but not of molecules that kill neurons.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that, immediately after a spinal cord injury, CSPG is needed for the repair of injured neurons and the recovery of movement, but that later on the presence of CSPG hinders repair. The findings also indicate that CSPG has these effects, at least in part, because it regulates the activity and localization of microglia and macrophages at the injury site and thus modulates local immune responses to the damage. Results obtained from experiments done in animals do not always accurately reflect the situation in people, so these findings need to be confirmed in patients with spinal cord injuries. However, they suggest that the effect of CSPG on spinal cord repair is not an inappropriate response to the injury, as is widely believed. Consequently, careful manipulation of CSPG levels might improve outcomes for people with spinal cord injuries.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050171.
The MedlinePlus encyclopedia provides information about spinal cord injuries; MedlinePlus provides an interactive tutorial and a list of links to additional information about spinal cord injuries (in English and Spanish)
The US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke also provides information about spinal cord injury (in English and Spanish)
Wikipedia has a page on glial scars (note: Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050171
PMCID: PMC2517615  PMID: 18715114
8.  Vocal cord palsy: An uncommon presenting feature of myasthenia gravis 
Vocal cord palsy can have myriad causes. Unilateral vocal cord palsy is common and frequently asymptomatic. Trauma, head, neck and mediastinal tumors as well as cerebrovascular accidents have been implicated in causing unilateral vocal cord palsy. Viral neuronitis accounts for most idiopathic cases. Bilateral vocal cord palsy, on the other hand, is much less common and is a potentially life-threatening condition. Myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disorder caused by antibodies targeting the post-synaptic acetylcholine receptor, has been infrequently implicated in its causation. We report here a case of bilateral vocal cord palsy developing in a 68-year-old man with no prior history of myasthenia gravis 2 months after he was operated on for diverticulitis of the large intestine. Delay in considering the diagnosis led to endotracheal intubation and prolonged mechanical ventilation with attendant complications. Our case adds to the existing literature implicating myasthenia gravis as an infrequent cause of bilateral vocal cord palsy. Our case is unusual as, in our patient, acute-onset respiratory distress and stridor due to bilateral vocal cord palsy was the first manifestation of a myasthenic syndrome.
doi:10.4103/0972-2327.78049
PMCID: PMC3108077  PMID: 21655204
Myasthenia gravis; respiratory distress; stridor; vocal cord palsy; vocal cord paralysis
9.  Nuchal cord entanglement and outcome of labour induction 
Journal of Prenatal Medicine  2007;1(4):57-60.
Summary
Aim of the study
To assess whether nuchal cord entanglement would affect the outcome of elective labour induction.
Method
In a group of pregnant women, the outcome of elective labour induction was evaluated in relation to a list of possibly related variables, including the presence of nuchal cord at delivery.
Results
Overall 184 women submitted to induction of labour were prospectively examined. Vaginal delivery was observed in 141 women (76.6%), with 105 of them (or 57%) having been delivered within 24 h from induction. At delivery, nuchal cord was detected in 59 out of 184 neonates (32%). Among the pre-induction and post-induction variables, only parity ≥ 1 (OR 3.44; 95% CI: 1.67–7.06) and a Bishop score ≥ 5 (OR 3.59; 95% CI: 1.93–6.70) appeared statistically associated with the success of induction. The chance of vaginal delivery within 24 hours from labour induction (31/59 or 53% vs 74/125 or 59%; OR: 0.92; 95% CI: 0.75–1.12) were comparable among the neonates with and without nuchal cord at birth.
Conclusions
In women undergoing cervical ripening, multiparity and a favourable cervical score seem the only factors that predict a successful induction. An entangled cord around the fetal neck does not seem to increase the risk of induction failure.
PMCID: PMC3309341  PMID: 22470830
nuchal cord; induction of labour; fetal distress
10.  Fetal demise due to cord entanglement in the early second trimester 
In this report, we describe a rare cause of in utero fetal death, a complex entanglement of the umbilical cord around the fetal neck. At the 16th gestational week of pregnancy, routine fetal ultrasonography showed no fetal heartbeat. Thereafter, the fetus was delivered vaginally in the breech presentation. The neck was found to be encircled by multiple tight loops of the umbilical cord. Other than a thin and elongated neck, there were no dysmorphic features and no chromosomal abnormality on cytogenetic analysis.
PMCID: PMC3954675  PMID: 24688205
11.  Correlation of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Findings and Reported Symptoms in Patients with Chronic Cervical Dysfunction 
Information gathered from the patient history, physical examination, and advanced testing augments the decision-making process and is proposed to improve the probability of diagnostic and prognostic accuracy. However, these findings may provide inconsistent results and can lead to errors in decision-making. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between common clinical complaints and specific findings on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in patients with chronic neck dysfunction. Forty-five English-speaking participants (25 female), with mean age of 52 (SD = 13.4), were evaluated by a neurosurgeon for complaints of symptoms related to the cervical spine. All participants answered a subjective questionnaire and received an MRI of the cervical spine. Cramer's V nominal correlation was performed to explore the relationship between the targeted variables. The correlation matrix calculations captured three significant findings. Evidence of spinal cord compression was significantly correlated to 1) anteroposterior canal diameter of less than or equal to 9 mm (r = .31; p<0.05) and 2) diminished subarachnoid fluid around the cord (r = .48; p<0.01). Report of loss of dexterity was significantly correlated with 3) report of lower extremity clumsiness (r = .33; p<0.05). In this study, no definitive relationships were found between the clinical complaints of neck pain, hand function, or clumsiness and specific MRI findings of spinal cord compression. Further research is needed to investigate the diagnostic utility of subjective complaints and their association with advanced testing.
PMCID: PMC2762837  PMID: 20046621
Cervical Spine; Correlation; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Myelopathy
12.  Split Cord Malformation Combined with Tethered Cord Syndrome in an Adult 
Split cord malformations (SCMs) usually present in childhood, and are rarely reported in adults. And also, a cervicothoracic SCM associated with tethered cord syndrome has very rarely been reported in the literature. We report a case of SCM associated with tethered cord and spina bifida in an adult. This report describes the case of a 34-year-old woman who presented for evaluation of neck pain, back pain, and intermittent paraparesis of several months duration. The MRI and CT showed a SCM at the cervicothoracic level and a fibrous septum at the thoracic level. She underwent surgery for the SCM and tethered cord syndrome, and was followed for 7 years. Patient presented complete recovery in the follow-up. The authors discuss this unusual lesion and describe the anatomical relationship of the level of cord duplication and fibrous septum.
doi:10.3340/jkns.2013.54.4.363
PMCID: PMC3841284  PMID: 24294465
Split cord malformation; Adult; Tethered cord syndrome
13.  Malignancy of the larynx 
Summary
Squamous cell carcinoma is by far the commonest malignancy of the larynx and I would confine my present paper mainly to this along with the management and post-operative rehabilitation after total laryngectomy. High survival rate in majority of the cases, if diagnosed and treated early and adequately, provokes and encourages the interested laryngologist to consider not only about performing effective surgery, including on those cases where radiotherapy is inadequate or has failed, but also resorting to rehabilitative surgical procedures after total laryngectomy with or without neck dissection, offering to the laryngectomee a ‘Biologic’ Neo-Larynx, created from the patients own tissues, for tracheo-oesopharyngeal phonation.
I am of the opinion that if a Neo-Larynx is constructed from the upper parts of the patient’s own trachea and oesophagus without using any extraneous synthetic material, the patient would be happy to learn that the new voice box has been created out of his own tissues and no extraneous foreign material has been implanted and left in his body and he can effortlessly phonate ‘tracheo-oesophageally’ instaneously after removal of the silastic sheet from the Neoglottis five weeks after the operation without any rigorous training and the voice is better than the conventional alaryngeal ‘pharyngo-oesophageal’ one after total laryngectomy. Moreover, the complications associated with the prostheses viz. fungal and bacterial invasion with subsequent leakage around it and its displacement, and the tedious maintenance and replacement problems can be obviated by providing the patient with a ‘biologic’ Neo-Larynx of viable tissues.
Therefore, my present paper will deal with the construction of Neo-Larynx after conducting experiments on animals. In the Neo-Larynx, a Neo-Epiglottis (hitherto not reported in the literature to my knowledge) and a Neo-Glottis are ingeniously constructed in order to enable the laryngectomee to phonate tracheooesophageally (c.f. pharyngoesophageally). The Neo-Glottis is transversely disposed since it offers better protection against aspiration than the vertically disposed one. The Neo-Epiglottis is constructed from the posterior tracheal wall, inferiorly based, or from the superiorly based tongue-shaped flap, raised from the full-thickness membranous posterior tracheal wall, or from the anterior tracheal wall, folded posteriorly (as in ‘Duck-Bill’ Neo-Larynx), for preventing aspiration through the Neo-Glottis into the tracheaobronchial tree during deglutition. In addition, a statico-dynamic sphincter or sling, reminiscent of the original primitive one, has been constructed around the Neo-Larynx, utilizing the strap muscles of the neck, in order to bring about competency of the Neo-Larynx for preventing aspiration through the Neo-Glottis. By this operation the problems of aspiration and stenosis of the Neo-Glottis have been largely solved. The Neo-Glottis is constructed in a transverse slit in the anterior oesophageal wall in a protective gutter in the anterior wall of the oesophageal lumen and the inferior lip of the slit is reinforced with a small cartilage bar in order to make it a stiff neo-vocal cord for producing stronger and better voice than pharyngo-oesophageal one which (i.e. tracheo-oesophageal one) is akin to normal voice. Presumably, the sphincter influences the voice quality by its continuously changing tension. The upper end of the trachea is closed to form a cul-de-sac and the phonetic stream is stopped here and channelised through the only available outlet i.e. the tracheooesophageal fistula (Neo-Glottis) into the oesophagus and pharynx for articulation.
The latest proposed procedure is easier than the previous ones in which a biologic ‘Duck-Bill’ Neo-larynx is constructed from the upper parts of the trachea and oesophagus. Neo-Epiglottis and Neo-Vocal cords are incorporated in this. The Neo-Glottis is situated in the trachea anterior to the tracheo-oesophageal fistula. In this there are two additional phonatory mechanisms through which the phonetic stream passes :The two tracheal flaps, projecting into the oesophageal lumen, vibrate during phonation.Pseudoglottis at cricopharyngeus level.
It is presumed that these, by producing harmonics, enrich the voice produced by the Neo-Glottis. Voice would be good with inflectional patterns and aspiration and stenosis problems would be significantly minimized.
doi:10.1007/BF02991283
PMCID: PMC3450577  PMID: 23119301
14.  Idiopathic spinal cord herniation with duplicated dura mater and dorsal subarachnoid septum. Report of a case and review of the literature 
Background
Idiopathic spinal cord herniation (ISCH) is a rare condition and its pathogenesis remains unclear. The purpose of this case report is to present an ISCH case with dorsal subarachnoid septum suggesting the pathogenesis of ISCH being adhesions from preexisting inflammation.
Methods
Single case report.
Results
A 60-year-old woman presented with Brown-Séquard syndrome below the level of T6. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed the thoracic spinal cord was displaced ventrally, and the dorsal subarachnoid space was enlarged and had a septum between the spinal cord and dura mater. Intraoperatively, the dorsal dura mater was seen to be adherent and the subarachnoid septum was identified after durotomy. The inner layer defect of the duplicated dura mater was found in the ventral dura mater, through which the spinal cord had herniated. After releasing the septum, the adhesions around the dura mater, and the hiatus, the spinal cord was reduced.
Conclusions
The present case indicates that adhesions around the dura mater can be the pathogenesis of ISCH.
doi:10.14444/1029
PMCID: PMC4325502
Spinal cord herniation; Subarachnoid septum; Adhesion; Dura mater
15.  A new minimally invasive posterior approach for the treatment of cervical radiculopathy and myelopathy: surgical technique and preliminary results 
European Spine Journal  2003;12(3):268-273.
Degenerative cervical disorders predominantly lead to anterior spinal cord compression (by bony spurs at the posterior margin of the vertebral body or by degenerated disc), which may be central and/or foraminal. In a smaller percentage of cases, there is encroachment of the canal mainly from posterior by bulging yellow ligaments or bony appositions, resulting in compression syndromes of roots or spinal cord. The aim of this work is to present a minimally invasive posterior approach avoiding detachment of muscles for the treatment of cervical radiculopathy and myelopathy. Thirteen patients suffering from cervical radiculopathy (four patients) or myelopathy (nine patients) were operated according to this technique. In principle, the technique secures access to the diseased spinal segment via a percutaneously placed working channel (11 mm outer diameter and 9 mm inner diameter). The cervical paraspinal muscles are not deflected, but just spread between their fibres by special dilators. All further steps are performed through this channel under control of three-dimensional vision through the operating microscope. The mean follow-up period was 17 months (one patient died 9 months postoperatively), and patients were evaluated using a modified version of the Oswestry Index, called the Neck Disability Index (NDI), and the visual analogue scale (VAS) for neck and arm pain. The mean NDI (P<0.0001) improved from 13.2 (preoperatively) to 4.8 (postoperatively). The VAS for arm pain (P<0.001) and for neck pain (P<0.001) also showed marked postoperative improvement. Complete recovery of the preoperative neurological deficit was found in four patients, while the remaining eight patients showed improvement of the neurological symptoms during the follow-up period. There were no intra-operative or postoperative complications and no re-operation. The preliminary experience with this technique, and the good clinical outcome, seem to promise that this minimally invasive technique is a valid alternative to the conventional open exposure for treatment of lateral disc prolapses, foraminal bony stenosis and central posterior ligamentous stenosis of the cervical spine.
doi:10.1007/s00586-002-0522-7
PMCID: PMC3615500  PMID: 12687439
Minimally invasive posterior approach Radiculopathy Myelopathy Foraminotomy Cervical spine
16.  Case report of comorbid alcohol-induced psychotic disorder and Madelung’s disease 
Shanghai Archives of Psychiatry  2014;26(3):160-164.
Summary
Madelung’s disease, also known as benign symmetric lipomatosis (BSL), multiple symmetric lipomatosis (MSL), fatty neck syndrome or Launois-Bensaude syndrome, is a rare disease characterized by the presence of multiple, symmetric, loose adipose tissues distributed around the neck, occipitalis, shoulder, back or chest. The fat masses are non-encapsulated and therefore can move freely between adjacent areas. This disease is most commonly seen among middle-aged Caucasian men of Mediterranean origins; it is rarely reported in Asia. Among individuals with Madelung’s syndrome, 60 to 90% have a history of chronic alcohol abuse. We report a case of a 51-year-old Chinese man with a history of alcohol use disorder who had fat masses in his neck which gradually enlarged over a period of three years. Based on the case history and the results of physical examination, neck CT and other routine tests, he was diagnosed with Madelung’s syndrome.
doi:10.3969/j.issn.1002-0829.2014.03.008
PMCID: PMC4118014  PMID: 25114492
alcohol use disorders; Madelung’s syndrome; benign symmetric lipomatosis; China
17.  Predicting Chronic Stinger Syndrome Using the Mean Subaxial Space Available for the Cord Index 
Sports Health  2011;3(3):264-267.
A 21-year-old division I collegiate football player who had a history of several stingers presented with 5 days of persistent left neck and shoulder pain associated with paresthesias and upper extremity weakness. His symptoms began immediately during a game when he was struck on the right side of his helmet, which induced a compression-extension mechanism of injury to his neck. Clinical and electrodiagnostic evaluation was consistent with a left C5 radiculopathy, but magnetic resonance imaging of the cervical spine yielded normal results. The mean subaxial cervical space available for the cord (MSCSAC) index is a novel tool to predict chronic stinger syndrome. It is calculated by subtracting the sagittal diameter of the spinal cord from the disc-level sagittal diameter of the spinal canal at levels C3 through C6 and then averaging these values. A cutoff of < 4.3 mm has been shown to predict a greater-than-13-fold increase in risk of developing chronic stinger syndrome. This patient had a MSCSAC index of 3.2 mm, which correlated with his history of multiple stingers. The MSCSAC index may be a useful tool to help counsel athletes on the risk of developing future stingers, although more extensive research on this measurement tool is indicated.
doi:10.1177/1941738111403866
PMCID: PMC3445165  PMID: 23016016
stinger; burner; radiculopathy; cervical spondylosis
18.  Cervical spine abnormalities associated with Down syndrome 
International Orthopaedics  2006;30(4):284-289.
Atlantoaxial instability (AAI) affects 10–20% of individuals with Down syndrome (DS). The condition is mostly asymptomatic and diagnosed on radiography by an enlarged anterior atlanto-odontoid distance. Symptomatic AAI, which affects 1–2% of individuals with DS, manifests with spinal cord compression. Cervical spondylosis, which is common in DS, also has the potential for cord damage but it has received less attention because paediatric populations were mostly studied. Forty-four Kuwaiti subjects with DS, whose ages were ≥15 years, were evaluated clinically and radiographically. Lateral neck radiographs were taken in the neutral and flexion positions. Asymptomatic AAI was diagnosed in eight subjects (18%) and congenital anomalies of C1–2 were found in five (12%). Five patients had AAI in flexion only while three patients had it in both views. Three patients with AAI had odontoid anomalies contributing to the condition. When assessing AAI, the posterior atlanto-odontoid distance has to be considered because it indicates the space available for the cord. Cervical spondylosis was noted in 16 (36%) subjects. Degenerative changes increased with age, occurred earlier than in the normal population, and affected mostly the lower cervical levels. Half the patients with AAI had cervical spondylosis, a comorbidity that puts the cord at increased risk.
doi:10.1007/s00264-005-0070-y
PMCID: PMC2532127  PMID: 16525818
19.  Catastrophic rugby injuries of the spinal cord: changing patterns of injury. 
In reports from the UK and New Zealand, it is noted that the incidence of rugby injuries to the cervical spinal cord has dropped and that the percentage of players injured in the tackle has similarly decreased. In contrast, this does not appear to be the pattern in South Africa and an analysis has therefore been made of 40 rugby players sustaining injuries to the spinal cord during the period 1985 to 1989. The radiological appearances on admission have been correlated with the circumstances of injury, associated orthopaedic injuries and neurological deficits. The tackle was responsible for the majority of injuries, causing more than the scrum. Tackles were also responsible for more cases of complete, permanent quadriplegia than the scrum. The commonest cause of injury in players being tackled was the high tackle around the neck, while the commonest cause of injury in players making the tackle was the dive tackle. This survey has shown that the tackle is now the major cause of spinal cord injury in South African rugby, in contrast to earlier analyses in which the scrum was identified as the most common cause.
Images
PMCID: PMC1478801  PMID: 1913034
20.  Biomechanical analysis of cervical spondylotic myelopathy: The influence of dynamic factors and morphometry of the spinal cord 
Objective
Patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) have the same clinical symptoms that vary according to the degree of spinal cord compression and the cross-sectional cord shape. We used a three-dimensional finite element method (3D-FEM) to analyze the stress distributions of the spinal cord with neck extension under three cross-sectional cord shapes.
Methods
Experimental condition for the 3D-FEM spinal cord, ligamentum flavum, and anterior compression shape (central, lateral, and diffuse types) was established. To simulate neck extension, the spinal cord was extended by 20° and the ligamentum flavum was shifted distally according to movement of the cephalad lamina.
Results
The stress distribution in the spinal cord increased due to invagination of the ligamentum flavum into the neck extension. The range of stress distribution observed for the diffuse type was wider than for the central and lateral types. In addition, the stress distribution in the spinal cord was increased by the pincer movement of the ligamentum flavum and by the anterior compression of the spinal cord. The range of stress distribution observed for the diffuse type under antero-posterior compression was also wider than for the central and lateral types.
Conclusion
This simulation model showed that the clinical symptoms of CSM due to compression of the diffuse type may be stronger than for the central and lateral types. Therefore, careful follow-up is recommended for anterior compression of the spinal cord of diffuse type.
doi:10.1179/2045772312Y.0000000024
PMCID: PMC3425882  PMID: 22925752
Spinal cord; Morphometry; Cervical spondylotic myelopathy; Finite element method; Ligamentum flavum; Pincer effect; Spinal cord; Anterior compression
21.  Kinematic Analysis of the Cervical Cord and Cervical Canal by Dynamic Neck Motion 
Asian Spine Journal  2014;8(6):747-752.
Study Design
Normal cervical sagittal length patterns were measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Purpose
The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship of sagittal length patterns between the cervical cord and the cervical canal in flexion-extension kinematics.
Overview of Literature
Cervical dynamic factors sometimes cause a cervical spondylotic myelopathy in elderly subjects and an overstretching myelopathy in juvenile subjects. Previous studies showed the length changing of the cervical cord in flexion and extension. However, there is no detailed literature about the relationship between cervical vertebral motion and cord distortion yet.
Methods
Sixty-two normal subjects (28 male and 34 female, 42.1±8.5 years old) without neck motion disturbances and abnormalities on cervical X-ray and MRI were enrolled in this study.
Results
The cervical cord length was significantly longer in flexion and significantly shorter in extension in all cervical cord sagittal lines. The cervical canal length pattern was also the same as the cervical cord. The elongation of the cervical cord and canal was the largest at the site of the posterior cervical canal and the shortest at the anterior canal site. The positions of the cerebellar tonsils were verified at each neck position.
Conclusions
The posterior elements of the cervical canal were most affected by neck motion. Movement directions of the upper cervical cord were verified among the various neck positions.
doi:10.4184/asj.2014.8.6.747
PMCID: PMC4278979  PMID: 25558316
Cervical spine; Biomechanics; Magnetic resonance imaging
22.  Red ear syndrome precipitated by a dietary trigger: a case report 
Introduction
Red ear syndrome is a rare condition characterized by episodic attacks of erythema of the ear accompanied by burning ear pain. Symptoms are brought on by touch, exertion, heat or cold, stress, neck movements and washing or brushing of hair. Diagnosis and treatment of this condition are challenging. The case we report here involves a woman whose symptoms were brought on by a dietary trigger: orange juice as well as stress, causing significant physical and psychological morbidity. Avoidance of triggers resulted in symptomatic improvement.
Case presentation
A 22-year-old Caucasian woman who was a student presented twice to our department with evolving symptoms, the first time with hyperacusis (abnormal sound sensitivity arising from within the auditory system to sounds of moderate volume), intermittent right tinnitus and subjective hearing difficulties. She presented five years later with highly distressing episodes of erythematous ears, which were associated with burning pain around the ear and temporal areas, and intolerance to noise. After keeping a symptom diary, she identified orange juice and stress as triggers of her symptoms. No local head and neck pathology was present. Investigations and imaging were negative. Avoidance of triggers led to great symptomatic improvement. To the best of our knowledge, dietary triggers have not previously been reported as a trigger for this syndrome. This case shows a direct temporal link to a dietary trigger and supports a primary pathogenesis. Recognition and management of primary headache disorder and simple dietary and lifestyle changes brought about symptomatic relief.
Conclusion
Red ear syndrome is a little-known clinical syndrome of unknown etiology and management. To the best of our knowledge, our present case report is the first to describe primary red ear syndrome triggered by orange juice. Clinical benefit derived from avoidance of this trigger, which is already known to precipitate migraines, gives some insight into the pathogenesis of red ear syndrome.
doi:10.1186/1752-1947-8-338
PMCID: PMC4196464  PMID: 25303997
Dietary trigger; Erythema; Lifestyle modifications; Migraine; Red ear syndrome
23.  Spontaneous Cervical Intradural Disc Herniation Associated with Ossification of Posterior Longitudinal Ligament 
Case Reports in Orthopedics  2014;2014:256207.
Intradural herniation of a cervical disc is rare; less than 35 cases have been reported to date. A 52-year-old man with preexisting ossification of posterior longitudinal ligament developed severe neck pain with Lt hemiparesis while asleep. Neurological exam was consistent with Brown-Séquard syndrome. Magnetic resonance images showed a C5-6 herniated disc that was adjacent to the ossified ligament and indenting the cord. The mass was surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid signal intensity margin, and caudally the ventral dura line appears divided into two, consistent with the “Y-sign” described by Sasaji et al. Cord edema were noted. Because of preexisting canal stenosis and spinal cord at risk, a laminoplasty was performed, followed by an anterior C6 corpectomy. Spot-weld type adhesions of the posterior longitudinal ligament to the dura was noted, along with a longitudinal tear in the dura. An intradural extra-arachnoid fragment of herniated disc was removed. Clinical exam at 6 months after surgery revealed normal muscle strength but persistent mild paresthesias. It is difficult to make a definite diagnosis of intradural herniation preoperatively; however, the clinical findings and radiographic signs mentioned above are suggestive and should alert the surgeon to look for an intradural fragment.
doi:10.1155/2014/256207
PMCID: PMC4175384  PMID: 25295205
24.  Spinal subarachnoid hematoma in a woman with HELLP syndrome: a case report 
Introduction
Subarachnoid hemorrhages of spinal origin are extremely rare during pregnancy. We present the case of a patient with hemolytic anemia, elevated liver enzymes and low platelet count (the so-called HELLP syndrome), a potentially life-threatening complication associated with pre-eclampsia, who presented with an idiopathic spinal subarachnoid hematoma.
Case presentation
At 29 gestational weeks, a 35-year-old Japanese woman was diagnosed with HELLP syndrome based on bilateral leg paralysis, diminished sensation and reflexes, and laboratory findings. The pregnancy was immediately brought to an end by Cesarean delivery. Post-operatively, an MRI scan revealed a space-occupying lesion in her thoracic spinal canal. Emergency decompression was followed by total laminectomy. A subarachnoid hematoma, partially extending as far as the ventral side, was removed. After thorough washing and drain placement, the operation was completed with the suturing of artificial dura mater. Eight months post-operatively, her lower extremity sensation had improved to a score of 8 out of 10, but improvements in her muscular strength were limited to slight gains in her toes. MRI scans taken two months post-operatively revealed edematous spinal cord changes within her medulla.
Conclusions
A subarachnoid hematoma during pregnancy is extremely rare, possibly due to increased coagulability during pregnancy. However, this complication is potentially devastating should a clot compress the spinal cord or cauda equina. While several causes of hematoma have been proposed, we speculate that the factors underlying hemorrhagic diathesis in our case were the decreased platelet count characteristic of HELLP syndrome and vascular fragility due to elevated estrogen levels, in addition to increased abdominal pressure during pregnancy and pressure from the gravid uterus resulting in ruptured vessels around the spinal cord. In cases displaying a progressive lesion and severe neurological signs, prompt decompression is crucial.
doi:10.1186/1752-1947-6-152
PMCID: PMC3411404  PMID: 22691165
25.  Multi-scenario based robust intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT) plans can account for set-up errors more effectively in terms of normal tissue sparing than planning target volume (PTV) based intensity-modulated photon plans in the head and neck region 
Background
In a previous report, we compared the conformity of robust intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT) plans with that of helical tomotherapy plans for re-irradiations of head and neck carcinomas using a fixed set-up error of 2 mm. Here, we varied the maximum set-up errors between 0 and 5 mm and compared the robust IMPT-plans with planning target volume (PTV) based intensity-modulated photon therapy (IMRT).
Findings
Seven patients were treated with a PTV-based tomotherapy plan. Set-up margins of 0, 2, and 5 mm were subtracted from the PTV to generate target volumes (TV) TV0mm, TV2mm, and TV5mm, for which robust IMPT-plans were created assuming range uncertainties of ±3.5% and using worst case optimization assuming set-up errors of 0, 2, and 5 mm, respectively. Robust optimization makes use of the feature that set-up errors in beam direction alone do not affect the distal and proximal margin for that beam. With increasing set-up errors, the body volumes that were exposed to a selected minimum dose level between 20% and 95% of the prescribed dose decreased. In IMPT-plans with 0 mm set-up error, the exposed body volumes were on average 6.2% ± 0.9% larger than for IMPT-plans with 2 mm set-up error, independent of the considered dose level (p < 0.0001, F-test). In IMPT-plans accounting for 5 mm set-up error, the exposed body volumes were by 11.9% ± 0.8% smaller than for IMPT-plans with 2 mm set-up error at a fixed minimum dose (p < 0.0001, F-test). This set-up error dependence of the normal tissue exposure around the TV in robust IMPT-plans corresponding to the same IMRT-plan led to a decrease in the mean dose to the temporal lobes and the cerebellum, and in the D2% of the brain stem or spinal cord with increasing set-up errors considered during robust IMPT-planning.
Conclusions
For recurrent head and neck cancer, robust IMPT-plan optimization led to a decrease in normal tissue exposure with increasing set-up error for target volumes corresponding to the same PTV.
doi:10.1186/1748-717X-8-145
PMCID: PMC3695849  PMID: 23773560
Intensity modulated proton therapy; IMPT; Robust optimization; Head and neck cancer; Re-irradiation

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