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1.  Comparison of Clinical and Radiologic Results between Expandable Cages and Titanium Mesh Cages for Thoracolumbar Burst Fracture 
A thoracolumbar burst fracture is usually unstable and can cause neurological deficits and angular deformity. Patients with unstable thoracolumbar burst fracture usually need surgery for decompression of the spinal canal, correction of the angular deformity, and stabilization of the spinal column. We compared two struts, titanium mesh cages (TMCs) and expandable cages.
33 patients, who underwent anterior thoracolumbar reconstruction using either TMCs (n=16) or expandable cages (n=17) between June 2000 and September 2011 were included in this study. Clinical outcome was measured by visual analogue scale (VAS), American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) scale and Low Back Outcome Score (LBOS) for functional neurological evaluation. The Cobb angle, body height of the fractured vertebra, the operation time and amount of intra-operative bleeding were measured in both groups.
In the expandable cage group, operation time and amount of intraoperative blood loss were lower than that in the TMC group. The mean VAS scores and LBOS in both groups were improved, but no significant difference. Cobb angle was corrected higher than that in expandable cage group from postoperative to the last follow-up. The change in Cobb angles between preoperative, postoperative, and the last follow-up did not show any significant difference. There was no difference in the subsidence of anterior body height between both groups.
There was no significant difference in the change in Cobb angles with an inter-group comparison, the expandable cage group showed better results in loss of kyphosis correction, operation time, and amount of intraoperative blood loss.
PMCID: PMC4024813  PMID: 24851149
Thoracolumbar; Lumbar; Fracture; Corpectomy; Cage; Kyphosis
2.  Activation of Matrix Metalloproteinases-9 after Photothrombotic Spinal Cord Injury Model in Rats 
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), especially MMP-2 and MMP-9 have been known to play an important role in secondary inflammatory reaction after spinal cord injury (SCI). The aim of this study was to investigate the expression and activity of MMP-2 and MMP-9 and to determine their relationship with disruption of endothelial blood-barrier after photochemically induced SCI in rats.
Female Sprague-Dawley rats, weighing between 250 and 300 g (aged 8 weeks) received focal spinal cord ischemia by photothrombosis using Rose Bengal. Expressions and activities of MMP-2 and MMP-9 were assessed by Western blot and gelatin zymography at various times from 6 h to 7 days. Endothelial blood-barrier integrity was assessed indirectly using spinal cord water content.
Zymography and Western blot analysis demonstrated rapid up-regulation of MMP-9 protein levels in spinal cord after ischemic onset. Expressions and activities of MMP-9 showed a significant increased at 6 h after the photothrombotic ischemic event, and reached a maximum level at 24 h after the insult. By contrast, activated MMP-2 was not detected at any time point in either the experimental or the control groups. When compared with the control group, a significant increase in spinal cord water content was detected in rats at 24 h after photothrombotic SCI.
Early up-regulation of MMP-9 might be correlated with increased water content in the spinal cord at 24 h after SCI in rats. Results of this study suggest that MMP-9 is the key factor involved in disruption of the endothelial blood-barrier of the spinal cord and subsequent secondary damage after photothrombotic SCI in rats.
PMCID: PMC3243829  PMID: 22200008
Endothelial blood-barrier; Matrix metalloproteinases-9; Photothrombosis; Rat; Spinal cord injury
3.  Laminotomy with Continuous Irrigation in Patients with Pyogenic Spondylitis in Thoracic and Lumbar Spine 
Pyogenic spondylitis often results in acute neurological deterioration requiring adequate surgical intervention and appropriate antibiotic treatment. The purpose of this study was to conduct an analysis of the clinical effect of continuous irrigation via laminotomy in a series of patients with pyogenic spondylitis in thoracic and lumbar spine.
The authors conducted a retrospective investigation of 31 consecutive patients with pyogenic thoracic and lumbar spondylitis who underwent continuous irrigation through laminotomy from 2004 to 2008. The study included 22 men and 9 women, ranging in age from 38 to 78 years (mean 58.1 years). The average follow-up duration was 13.4 months (range, 8-34 months). We performed debridement and abscess removal after simple laminotomy, and then washed out epidural and disc space using a continuous irrigation system. Broad spectrum antibiotics were administered empirically and changed according to the subsequent culture result. Clinical outcomes were based on the low back outcome scale (LBOS), visual analogue scale (VAS) score, and Frankel grade at the last follow-up. Radiological assessment involved plain radiographs, including functional views.
Common predisposing factors included local injection for pain therapy, diabetes mellitus, chronic renal failure, and liver cirrhosis. Causative microorganisms were identified in 22 cases (70.9%) : Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus spp. were the main organisms. After surgery, LBOS, VAS score, and Frankel grade showed significant improvement in most patients. Spinal stability was maintained during the follow-up period, making secondary reconstructive surgery unnecessary for all patients, except one.
Simple laminotomy with continuous irrigation by insertion of a catheter into intervertebral disc space or epidural space was minimally invasive and effective in the treatment of pyogenic spondylitis. This procedure could be a beneficial treatment option in patients with thoracolumbar spondylitis combined with minimal or moderate destructive change of vertebrae.
PMCID: PMC3243837  PMID: 22200016
Irrigation; Laminotomy; Pyogenic; Spondylitis; Thoracolumbar
4.  Post-Traumatic Cerebral Infarction : Outcome after Decompressive Hemicraniectomy for the Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury 
Posttraumatic cerebral infarction (PTCI), an infarction in well-defined arterial distributions after head trauma, is a known complication in patients with severe head trauma. The primary aims of this study were to evaluate the clinical and radiographic characteristics of PTCI, and to assess the effect on outcome of decompressive hemicraniectomy (DHC) in patients with PTCI.
We present a retrospective analysis of 20 patients with PTCI who were treated between January 2003 and August 2005. Twelve patients among them showed malignant PTCI, which is defined as PTCI including the territory of Middle Cerebral Artery (MCA). Medical records and radiologic imaging studies of patients were reviewed.
Infarction of posterior cerebral artery distribution was the most common site of PTCI. Fourteen patients underwent DHC an average of 16 hours after trauma. The overall mortality rate was 75%. Glasgow outcome scale (GOS) of survivors showed that one patient was remained in a persistent vegetative state, two patients were severely disabled and only two patients were moderately disabled at the time of discharge. Despite aggressive treatments, all patients with malignant PTCI had died. Malignant PTCI was the indicator of poor clinical outcome. Furthermore, Glasgow coma scale (GCS) at the admission was the most valuable prognostic factor. Significant correlation was observed between a GCS less than 5 on admission and high mortality (p<0.05).
In patients who developed non-malignant PTCI and GCS higher than 5 after head injury, early DHC and duroplasty should be considered, before occurrence of irreversible ischemic brain damage. High mortality rate was observed in patients with malignant PTCI or PTCI with a GCS of 3-5 at the admission. A large prospective randomized controlled study will be required to justify for aggressive treatments including DHC and medical treatment in these patients.
PMCID: PMC3243842  PMID: 22200021
Brain trauma; Cerebral infarction; Decompressive craniectomy
5.  Clinical Features and Treatments of Upper Lumbar Disc Herniations 
Disc herniations at the L1-L2 and L2-L3 levels are different from those at lower levels of the lumbar spine with regard to clinical characteristics and surgical outcome. Spinal canals are narrower than those of lower levels, which may compromise multiple spinal nerve roots or conus medullaris. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical features and surgical outcomes of upper lumbar disc herniations.
We retrospectively reviewed the clinical features of 41 patients who had undergone surgery for single disc herniations at the L1-L2 and L2-3 levels from 1998 to 2007. The affected levels were L1-L2 in 14 patients and L2-L3 in 27 patients. Presenting symptoms and signs, patient characteristics, radiologic findings, operative methods, and surgical outcomes were investigated.
The mean age of patients with upper lumbar disc was 55.5 years (ranged 31 to 78). The mean follow-up period was 16.6 months. Most patients complained of back and buttock pain (38 patients, 92%), and radiating pain in areas such as the anterior or anterolateral aspect of the thigh (32 patients, 78%). Weakness of lower extremities was observed in 16 patients (39%) and sensory disturbance was presented in 19 patients (46%). Only 6 patients (14%) had undergone previous lumbar disc surgery. Discectomy was performed using three methods : unilateral laminectomy in 27 cases, bilateral laminectomy in 3 cases, and the transdural approach in 11 cases, which were performed through total laminectomy in 10 cases and unilateral laminectomy in 1 case. With regard to surgical outcomes, preoperative symptoms improved significantly in 33 patients (80.5%), partially in 7 patients (17%), and were aggravated in 1 patient (2.5%).
Clinical features of disc herniations at the L1-L2 and L2-L3 levels were variable, and localized sensory change or pain was rarely demonstrated. In most cases, the discectomy was performed successfully by conventional posterior laminectomy. On the other hand, in large central broad based disc herniation, when the neural elements are severely compromised, the posterior transdural approach could be an alternative.
PMCID: PMC2941853  PMID: 20856659
Clinical feature; Disc herniation; Transdural; Upper lumbar
6.  Synovial Sarcoma of the Posterior Neck : A Case Report and Review of Literature 
We recently experienced a case of synovial sarcoma in the posterior neck, which involved adjacent bony structures. Synovial sarcoma is rare, malignant soft tissue tumor that occur predominantly in the lower extremities. Wide surgical excision with involved tissue is the treatment of first choice, because most synovial sarcomas reveal aggressive features. We removed the tumor with involved bony structures and patient was given postoperative radiation therapy. Despite these treatment options, the patient died 1 year after surgery. We report this case with a review of the literature.
PMCID: PMC2864827  PMID: 20461175
Synovial sarcoma; Posterior neck; Bony involvement
7.  Small Bowel Injury as a Complication of Lumbar Microdiscectomy : Case Report and Literature Review 
Small bowel injury resulting from unforeseen penetration of the anterior annulus fibrosus and longitudinal ligament is a rare complication of lumbar microdiscectomy. The patient complained of abdominal tenderness and distention immediately after microdiscectomy for L4-5 and L5-S1 disc herniation. Using abdominal computed tomography, we found several foci of air overlying the anterior aspect of the vertebral body at the L5-S1 level. Segmental resection of the small bowel including small tears and primary anastomosis of the jejunum were performed. Here, we present a case of intestinal perforation after lumbar microdiscectomy and discuss technical methods to prevent this complication with a review of literature.
PMCID: PMC2851092  PMID: 20379478
Bowel injury; Complication; Lumbosacral region; Microdiscectomy
8.  A Mouse Model of Photochemically Induced Spinal Cord Injury 
A mouse model of spinal cord injury (SCI) could further increase our basic understanding of the mechanisms involved in injury and repair of the nervous system. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether methods used to produce and evaluate photochemical graded ischemic SCI in rats, could be successfully adapted to mice, in a reliable and reproducible manner.
Thirty female imprinting control region mice (weighting 25-30 g, 8 weeks of age) were used in this study. Following intraperitoneal injection of Rose bengal, the translucent dorsal surface of the T8-T9 vertebral laminae of the mice were illuminated with a fiber optic bundle of a cold light source. The mice were divided into three groups; Group 1 (20 mg/kg Rose bengal, 5 minutes illumination), Group 2 (20 mg/kg Rose bengal, 10 minutes illumination), and Group 3 (40 mg/kg Rose bengal, 10 minutes illumination). The locomotor function, according to the Basso-Beattie-Bresnahan scale, was assessed at three days after the injury and then once per week for four weeks. The animals were sacrificed at 28 days after the injury, and the histopathology of the lesions was assessed.
The mice in group 1 had no hindlimb movement until seven days after the injury. Most mice had later recovery with movement in more than two joints at 28 days after injury. There was limited recovery of one joint, with only slight movement, for the mice in groups 2 and 3. The histopathology showed that the mice in group 1 had a cystic cavity involving the dorsal and partial involvement of the dorsolateral funiculi. A larger cavity, involving the dorsal, dorsolateral funiculi and the gray matter of the dorsal and ventral horns was found in group 2. In group 3, most of the spinal cord was destroyed and only a thin rim of tissue remained.
The results of this study show that the photochemical graded ischemic SCI model, described in rats, can be successfully adapted to mice, in a reliable and reproducible manner. The functional deficits are correlated an increase in the irradiation time and, therefore, to the severity of the injury. The photothrombotic model of SCI, in mice with 20 mg/kg Rose bengal for 5 minutes illumination, provides an effective model that could be used in future research. This photochemical model can be used for investigating secondary responses associated with traumatic SCI.
PMCID: PMC2796355  PMID: 20041059
Photochemical; Spinal cord Injury; Mouse
9.  Thoracic Myelopathy Caused by Ossification of the Ligamentum Flavum 
Ossification of the ligamentum flavum (OLF) is a rare cause of thoracic myelopathy. The aim of this study was to identify factors associated with the surgical outcome on the basis of preoperative clinical and radiological findings.
Data obtained in 26 patients whot underwent posterior decompression for thoracic myelopathy, caused by thoracic OLF, were analyzed retrospectively. Patient age, duration of symptoms, OLF type, preoperative and postoperative neurological status using the Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) scoring system, surgical outcome, and other factors were reviewed. We compared the various factors and postoperative prognosis. All patients had undergone decompressive laminectomy and excision of the OLF.
Using the JOA score, the functional improvement was excellent in 8 patients, good in 14, fair in 2, and unchanged in 2. A mean preoperative JOA score of 6.65 improved to 8.17 after an average of 27.3 months. According to our analysis, age, gender, duration of symptoms, the involved spinal level, coexisting spinal disorders, associated trauma, intramedullary signal change, and dural adhesions were not related to the surgical outcome. However, the preoperative JOA score and type of OLF were the most important predictors of the surgical outcome.
Early diagnosis and sufficient surgical decompression could improve the functional prognosis for thoracic OLF. The postoperative results were found to be significantly associated with the preoperative severity of myelopathy and type of OLF.
PMCID: PMC2764014  PMID: 19844616
Ossification of ligamentum flavum; Thoracic myelopathy; Surgical outcome
10.  Clinical Analysis of Risk Factors Related to Recurrent Chronic Subdural Hematoma 
Burr hole drainage has been widely used to treat chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH). However, the incidence of recurrent CSDH varies from 3.7 to 30% after surgery. The authors attempted to elucidate the risk factors associated with the recurrence of CSDH in one burr hole drainage technique.
A total of 255 consecutive cases who underwent one burr hole drainage for CSDH were included in this study. Twenty-four patients (9.4%) underwent a repeated operation because of the recurrence of CSDH. We analyzed retrospectively the demographic, clinical and radiologic factors associated with the recurrence of CSDH.
In this study, two risk factors were found to be independently associated with the recurrence of CSDH. The incidence of CSDH recurrence in the high- and mixed-density groups was significantly higher than those in the low- and iso-density groups (p<0.001). Bleeding tendency such as in leukemia, liver disease and chronic renal failure was also significantly associated with recurrence of CSDH (p=0.037).
These results suggest that high- and mixed- density shown on computed tomographic scan was closely relates with a high incidence of recurrence. Therefore, the operation could be delayed in those cases unless severe symptoms or signs are present. Reoperation using the previous burr hole site is a preferred modality to treat the recurrent CSDH.
PMCID: PMC2588154  PMID: 19096538
Chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH); Recurrence; Computed tomography
11.  Predictive Factors for a Kyphosis Recurrence Following Short-Segment Pedicle Screw Fixation Including Fractured Vertebral Body in Unstable Thoracolumbar Burst Fractures 
The technique of short segment pedicle screw fixation (SSPSF) has been widely used for stabilization in thoracolumbar burst fractures (TLBFs), but some studies reported high rate of kyphosis recurrence or hardware failure. This study was to evaluate the results of SSPSF including fractured level and to find the risk factors concerned with the kyphosis recurrence in TLBFs.
This study included 42 patients, including 25 males and 17 females, who underwent SSPSF for stabilization of TLBFs between January 2003 and December 2010. For radiologic assessments, Cobb angle (CA), vertebral wedge angle (VWA), vertebral body compression ratio (VBCR), and difference between VWA and Cobb angle (DbVC) were measured. The relationships between kyphosis recurrence and radiologic parameters or demographic features were investigated. Frankel classification and low back outcome score (LBOS) were used for assessment of clinical outcomes.
The mean follow-up period was 38.6 months. CA, VWA, and VBCR were improved after SSPSF, and these parameters were well maintained at the final follow-up with minimal degree of correction loss. Kyphosis recurrence showed a significant increase in patients with Denis burst type A, load-sharing classification (LSC) score >6 or DbVC >6 (p<0.05). There were no patients who worsened to clinical outcome, and there was no significant correlation between kyphosis recurrence and clinical outcome in this series.
SSPSF including the fractured vertebra is an effective surgical method for restoration and maintenance of vertebral column stability in TLBFs. However, kyphosis recurrence was significantly associated with Denis burst type A fracture, LSC score >6, or DbVC >6.
PMCID: PMC4217060  PMID: 25368766
Kyphosis; Short-segment pedicel screw fixation; Thoracolumbar burst fractures; Instability
12.  Arachnoid Membrane Suturing for Prevention of Subdural Fluid Collection in Extracranial-intracranial Bypass Surgery 
Water-tight closure of the dura in extracranial-intracranial (EC-IC) bypass is impossible because the superficial temporal artery (STA) must run through the dural defect. Consequently, subdural hygroma and subcutaneous cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) collection frequently occur postoperatively. To reduce these complications, we prospectively performed suturing of the arachnoid membrane after STA-middle cerebral artery (STA-MCA) and evaluated the clinical usefulness.
Materials and Methods
Between Mar. 2005 and Oct. 2010, extracranial-intracranial arterial bypass (EIAB) with/without encephalo-myo-synangiosis was performed in 88 cases (male : female = 53 : 35). As a control group, 51 patients (57 sides) underwent conventional bypass surgery without closure of the arachnoid membrane. Postoperative computed tomography (CT) scan was performed twice in three days and seven days later, respectively, for evaluation of the presence of subdural fluid collection and other mass lesions.
The surgical result was excellent, with no newly developing ischemic event until recent follow-up. The additional time needed for arachnoid suture was five to ten minutes, when three to eight sutures were required. Post-operative subdural fluid collection was not seen on follow-up computed tomography scans in all patients.
Arachnoid suturing is simple, safe, and effective for prevention of subdural fluid collection in EC-IC bypass surgery, especially the vulnerable ischemic hemisphere.
PMCID: PMC4102753  PMID: 25045645
Arachnoid suture; Extracranial-intracranial bypass surgery; Subdural hygroma; Mass effect
13.  Evaluation of Probability of Survival Using Trauma and Injury Severity Score Method in Severe Neurotrauma Patients 
Despite several limitations, the Trauma Injury Severity Score (TRISS) is normally used to evaluate trauma systems. The aim of this study was to evaluate the preventable trauma death rate using the TRISS method in severe trauma patients with traumatic brain injury using our emergency department data.
The use of the TRISS formula has been suggested to consider definitively preventable death (DP); the deaths occurred with a probability of survival (Ps) higher than 0.50 and possible preventable death (PP); the deaths occurred with a Ps between 0.50 and 0.25. Deaths in patients with a calculated Ps of less than 0.25 is considered as no-preventable death (NP). A retrospective case review of deaths attributed to mechanical trauma occurring between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011 was conducted.
A total of 565 consecutive severe trauma patients with ISS>15 or Revised Trauma Score<7 were admitted in our institute. We excluded a total of 24 patients from our analysis : 22 patients younger than 15 years, and 2 patients with burned injury. Of these, 221 patients with head injury were analyzed in the final study. One hundred eighty-two patients were in DP, 13 in PP and 24 in NP. The calculated predicted mortality rates were 11.13%, 59.04%, and 90.09%. The actual mortality rates were 12.64%, 61.547%, and 91.67%, respectively.
Although it needs to make some improvements, the present study showed that TRISS performed well in predicting survival of traumatic brain injured patients. Also, TRISS is relatively exact and acceptable compared with actual data, as a simple and time-saving method.
PMCID: PMC3772286  PMID: 24044080
Traumatic brain injury; TRISS; Survival
14.  Changes in 18F-Fluorodeoxyglucose Uptake in the Spinal Cord in a Healthy Population on Serial Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography 
Chonnam Medical Journal  2013;49(1):38-42.
We aimed to determine the changes in 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) uptake in the spinal cord on two serial positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) scans in a healthy population. We retrospectively enrolled healthy people who underwent PET/CT twice for cancer screening. We excluded those who had degenerative vertebral disease, neurologic disease, or a history of a vertebral operation. The standardized uptake value (SUVmax) of the spinal cord of each mid-vertebral body was obtained by drawing a region of interest on an axial image of PET/CT. For analysis, the cord-to-background ratio (CTB) was used (CTB=SUVmax of each level/SUVmax of L5 level). Differences in pattern, sex, age, and intervals of the two serial PET/CT scans were analyzed. A total of 60 PET/CT images of 30 people were analyzed. The mean interval between the two PET/CT imaging studies was 2.80±0.94 years. On the follow-up PET/CT, significant change was shown only at the level of the C6 and T10 vertebrae (p<0.005). Mean CTB showed a decreasing pattern from cervical to lumbar vertebrae. There were two peaks at the lower cervical level (C4-6) and at the lower thoracic level (T12). Neither sex nor age significantly affected CTB. The FDG uptake of the spinal cord changed significantly on follow-up PET/CT only at the level of the C6 and T10 vertebrae. This finding is valuable as a baseline reference in the follow-up of metabolic changes in the spinal cord.
PMCID: PMC3651985  PMID: 23678476
Spinal cord; Fluorodeoxyglucose F18; Positron-emission tomography and computed tomography
15.  Rapid resolution of acute subdural hematoma in child with severe head injury: a case report 
Rapid spontaneous resolution of traumatic acute subdural hematoma is an infrequent phenomenon and mainly develops in a case of simple acute subdural hematoma without parenchymal contusion. However, it has been rarely reported in a pediatric case with severe initial head injury.
Case presentation
A 7-year-old Asian girl with traumatic acute subdural hematoma was transferred to our hospital for an emergency operation based on the results of an initial computed tomography scan and neurological examination. However, a repeat computed tomography scan two hours after trauma disclosed considerable reduction of the hematoma and midline shift with neurological improvements. Serial follow-up imaging studies demonstrated apparent redistribution of the hematoma over the cerebellar tentorium, posterior interhemispheric fissure and subarachnoid space. The patient was discharged with mild confusion 40 days after the admission.
A follow-up computed tomography scan is strongly recommended before surgery when a child with a severe head injury presents with any sign of neurological improvement, especially with a mixed density hematoma on the initial computed tomography scan.
PMCID: PMC3607936  PMID: 23497374
Acute subdural hematoma; Pediatric head injury; Rapid resolution; Spontaneous resolution
16.  Two Cases of Primary Osteolytic Intraosseous Meningioma of the Skull Metastasizing to Whole Skull and the Spine 
We report here two cases of primary intraosseous meningioma with aggressive behavior. A 68-year-old man presented with a one year history of a soft, enlarging mass in the right parietal region. Magnetic resonance image (MRI) revealed a 6 cm sized, heterogeneously-enhancing, bony expansile mass in the right parietal bone, and computed tomograph (CT) showed a bony, destructive lesion. The tumor, including the surrounding normal bone, was totally resected. Dural invasion was not apparent. Diagnosis was atypical meningioma, which extensively metastasized within the skull one year later. A 74-year-old woman presented with a 5-month history of a soft mass on the left frontal area. MRI revealed a 4 cm sized, multilobulated, strongly-enhancing lesion on the left frontal bone, and CT showed a destructive lesion. The mass was adhered tightly to the scalp and dura mater. The lesion was totally removed. Biopsy showed a papillary meningioma. The patient refused adjuvant radiation therapy and later underwent two reoperations for recurred lesions, at 19 and at 45 months postoperative. The patient experienced back pain 5 years later, and MRI showed an osteolytic lesion on the 11th thoracic vertebra. After her operation, a metastatic papillary meningioma was diagnosed. These osteolytic intraosseous meningiomas had atypical/malignant pathologies, which metastasized to whole skull and the spine.
PMCID: PMC3358602  PMID: 22639712
Intraosseous; Meningioma; Metastasis; Osteolysis
17.  The transdural approach for thoracic disc herniations: a technical note 
European Spine Journal  2010;19(7):1206-1211.
Surgery for thoracic disc herniations is still challenging, and the disc excision via a posterior laminectomy is considered risky. A variety of dorsolateral and ventral approaches have been developed. However, the lateral extracavitary and transthoracic approach require extensive surgical exposure. Therefore, we adopted a posterior transdural approach for direct visualization without entry into the thoracic cavity. Three cases that illustrate this procedure are reported here with the preoperative findings, radiological findings and surgical techniques used. After the laminectomy, at the involved level, the dorsal dura was opened with a longitudinal paramedian incision. The cerebrospinal fluid was drained to gain more operating space. After sectioning of the dentate ligaments, gentle retraction was applied to the spinal cord. Between the rootlets above and below, the ventral dural bulging was clearly observed. A small paramedian dural incision was made over the disc space and the protruded disc fragment was removed. Neurological symptoms were improved, and no surgery-related complication was encountered. The posterior transdural approach may offer an alternative surgical option for selected patients with thoracic paracentral soft discs, while limiting the morbidity associated with the exposure.
PMCID: PMC2900008  PMID: 20143105
Disc herniation; Transdural approach; Thoracic
18.  Vertebral artery injury after cervical spine trauma: A prospective study using computed tomographic angiography 
Although the vertebral artery injuries (VAI) associated with cervical spine trauma are usually clinically occult, they may cause fatal ischemic damage to the brain stem and cerebellum.
We performed a prospective study using computed tomographic angiography (CTA) to determine the frequency of VAI associated with cervical spine injuries and investigate the clinical and radiological characteristics. Between January 2005 and August 2007, 99 consecutive patients with cervical spine fractures and/or dislocations were prospectively evaluated for patency of the VA, using the CTA, at the time of injury.
Complete disruption of blood flow through the VA was demonstrated in seven patients with unilateral occlusion (7.1%). There were four men and three women with a mean age of 43 (range, 33-55 years). Unilateral occlusion of the right vertebral artery occurred in four patients and of the left in three. Regarding the cervical injury type, two cases were cervical burst fractures (C6 and C7), two had C4-5 fracture/dislocations, two had a unilateral transverse foraminal fracture, and one had dens type III fracture. All patients presented with good patency of the contralateral VA. None of the patients developed secondary neurological deterioration due to vertebrobasilar ischemia during the follow-up period with a mean duration of 23 months.
VAI should be suspected in patients with cervical trauma that have cervical spine fractures and/or dislocations or transverse foramen fractures. CTA was useful as a rapid diagnostic method for ruling out VAI after cervical spine trauma.
PMCID: PMC3086173  PMID: 21541205
Cervical spine; computed tomographic angiography; injury; vertebral artery
20.  Alzheimer Precursor Protein Interaction with the Nogo-66 Receptor Reduces Amyloid-β Plaque Deposition 
Pathophysiologic hypotheses for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are centered on the role of the amyloid plaque Aβpeptide and the mechanism of its derivation from the amyloid precursor protein (APP). As part of the disease process, an aberrant axonal sprouting response is known to occur near Aβ deposits. A Nogo to Nogo-66 receptor (NgR) pathway contributes to determining the ability of adult CNS axons to extend after traumatic injuries. Here, we consider the potential role of NgR mechanisms in AD. Both Nogo and NgR are mislocalized in AD brain samples. APP physically associates with the NgR. Overexpression of NgR decreases Aβ production in neuroblastoma culture, and targeted disruption of NgR expression increases transgenic mouse brain Aβ levels, Aβ plaque deposition, and dystrophic neurites. Infusion of a soluble NgR fragment reduces Aβlevels, amyloid plaque deposits, and dystrophic neurites in a mouse transgenic AD model. Changes in NgR level produce parallel changes in secreted APPαand Aβ, implicating NgR as a blocker of secretase processing of APP. The NgR provides a novel site for modifying the course of AD and highlights the role of axonal dysfunction in the disease.
PMCID: PMC2846286  PMID: 16452662
Alzheimer’s disease; β-amyloid plaque; Nogo; transgenic mice; Nogo-66 receptor; gene targeting; amyloid precursor protein; APP
21.  The clinical utility of the Kopitnik arteriovenous malformation microclip during STA-MCA bypass surgery 
Acta Neurochirurgica  2009;152(3):547-551.
Yasagil temporary clips have been widely used in extracranial-intracranial (EC-IC) arterial bypass surgery. However, the extremely delicate vessels involved often require the application of finer clips. We report on the use of the Kopitnik arteriovenous malformation (AVM) microclip system for superficial temporal artery-middle cerebral artery (STA-MCA) bypass.
Kopitnik AVM microclips are new mechanical devices that are used during AVM surgery. They exert a pre-defined closing force of 50–70 g, and also feature a special, pyramid-shaped structure stamped on inner surfaces of the blades. These characteristics avoid vascular intimal injury and provide a secure grip. We prospectively studied their use in 15 patients requiring STA-MCA anastomosis.
Clinical results were excellent and there were no new ischemic events during 6-months’ follow-up.
Kopitnik AVM microclips have several advantages; they have small and variously sized clip blades (2, 3, 4 and 5 mm), and the small clip head allows the operator an excellent view of the pathology and clip status. The Kopitnik AVM microclip appears to be clinically effective and safe for EC-IC bypass surgery, especially when smaller vessels are involved.
PMCID: PMC2829127  PMID: 19468671
Microvascular anastomosis; Microclip; STA-MCA bypass
22.  Metastatic Glioblastoma in Cervical Lymph Node after Repeated Craniotomies: Report of a Case with Diagnosis by Fine Needle Aspiration 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2004;19(6):911-914.
Head and neck metastasis from glioblastoma is rare event usually seen in patients with previous and repeated surgery. We present the case of a 35 yr-old-female suffering from metastatic glioblastoma in cervical lymph node that was diagnosed by fine needle aspiration. During the last 4 yr, she had four separate craniotomies for the recurrent brain tumors. Cytological diagnosis was made by light microscopy with immunostaining with glial fibrillay acid protein. Chemotherapy with vincristine and procarbazine was performed. The cervical masses were decreased in size and some disappeared while the intracranial glioblastoma continued to grow during chemotherapy. We discuss possible explanations for these different courses after chemotherapy in extraneural metastatic glioblastoma and primary intracranial glioblastoma.
PMCID: PMC2816292  PMID: 15608410
Drug Therapy; Glioblastoma; Lymph Nodes; Neoplasm Metastasis
23.  Simultaneous occurrence of subarachnoid hemorrhage due to ruptured aneurysm and remote hypertensive intracerebral hemorrhage: case report. 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2002;17(1):144-146.
Simultaneous occurrence of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and hypertensive intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is very rare and only two cases have been previously reported in the literatures. We present a case of 68-yr-old man with a history of untreated hypertension, who suffered from sudden onset of headache followed by right hemiparesis. Computed tomographic (CT) scan revealed SAH in the basal cistern and remote ICH at the left putamen. Cerebral angiography showed a saccular aneurysm at the anterior communicating artery. No other vascular anomaly could be found at left putaminal area. Nine days after the ictal attack of SAH, the neck of aneurysm was clipped via the left frontotemporal craniotomy. Because of the ICH at the left frontal lobe and intraventricular hematoma on postoperative CT, we performed hematoma removal and external ventricular drainage 3 hours after the first operation. Postoperative neurological status had been improved to be drowsy and he was discharged in a severely disabled state 4 weeks after surgery. We suggest that the rupture of aneurysm possibly caused a rapid increase in blood pressure and subsequently resulted in hypertensive ICH.
PMCID: PMC3054819  PMID: 11850607

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