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author:("bodnar, Simon")
Neurourology and urodynamics  2010;29(8):1387-1392.
Sphincter electromyography (EMG) is an important method in diagnosis of neuropathic sacral lesions. Quantitative EMG analysis increases utility of the test, but requires valid reference values. Although commonly employed, validity of sharing reference data between electrodiagnostic laboratories has not been confirmed. In this study, this approach was assessed by comparing the reproducibility of data sets obtained by the same and different laboratories.
Confidence intervals and sensitivity of motor unit potential (MUP) parameters in the external anal sphincter (EAS) muscles were calculated using data obtained from 3 different control groups of women (number of women: 41, 48 and 66), examined by the same (the first two groups) and another investigator (the third group). Sensitivities to diagnose neuropathic changes in a known patient group were compared.
When compared to the first reference group, the MUP parameter means of 2/7 (same investigator) vs. 3/7 (different investigator) were significantly different. Similarly, 3/14 vs. 4/14 MUP parameter outliers were different. Finally, 6/14 vs. 7/14 sensitivities (using a combination of MUP parameter means and outliers) were different.
This study demonstrated somewhat larger differences between confidence intervals obtained by different investigators, as compared to those obtained by a single investigator. However, most of these differences can be explained by differences in recruited groups of women, and slight inconsistencies in applied techniques. Presented data suggest that confidence intervals from other laboratories can be used, but only if exact protocols from original normative studies are strictly followed.
PMCID: PMC2966037  PMID: 20976812
anal sphincter muscle; neuropathic lesion; reproducibility; sacral nerves; sensitivity
2.  Cauda equina lesions as a complication of spinal surgery 
European Spine Journal  2009;19(3):451-457.
Although the most common aetiology of cauda equina lesions is lumbar intervertebral disc herniation, iatrogenic lesions may also be the cause. The aim of this study was to identify and present patients in whom cauda equina lesions occurred after spinal surgery. From the author’s series of patients with cauda equina lesions, those with the appearance of sacral symptoms after spinal surgery were identified. To demonstrate lesions more objectively, electrodiagnostic studies were performed in addition to history and clinical examination. Imaging studies were also reviewed. Of 69 patients from the series, 11 patients in whom a cauda equina lesion developed after spinal surgery were identified. The aetiology comprised surgery for herniated intervertebral disc in 5 (4 performed by a single surgeon), spinal stenosis surgery in 4, and postoperative lumbar epidural haematoma in 2 patients (each performed by a different surgeon). Proportion of spinal surgeries with this complication varied from 0 to 6.6‰ in different centres. Patients with iatrogenic cauda equina lesion were significantly older (p < 0.001), and reported more severe urinary, but similar bowel and sexual symptoms compared to other patients in the series. In conclusion the study identified spinal surgery as the cause of approximately 15% of cauda equina lesions. More than a third of lesions developed after procedures performed by a single surgeon. Most of the remaining lesions could probably be avoided by better surgical technique (e.g. the use of a high-speed drill instead of a Kerrison rongeur in patients with severe spinal stenosis), or prevented by closer postoperative monitoring (e.g. in patients with postoperative lumbar epidural haematoma).
PMCID: PMC2899755  PMID: 19768646
Cauda equina; Disc herniation; Spinal stenosis; Spinal surgery; Sacral
3.  T1-nerve root neuroma presenting with apical mass and Horner's syndrome 
The appearance of dumbbell neuroma of the first thoracic root is extremely rare. The extradural component of a T1-dumbbell neuroma may present as an apical mass. The diagnosis of hand weakness is complex and may be delayed in T1-neuroma because of absence of the palpable cervical mass. One-stage removal of a T1-root neuroma and its intrathoracic extension demanded an extended posterior midline approach in the sitting position.
Case presentation
A 51-year old man had suffered a traumatic partial tendon rupture of his wrist flexor muscles 6 years ago. Since the incident he occasionally felt fullness and tenderness in the affected forearm with some tingling in his fingers bilaterally. During the last two years the hand weakness was continuous and hypotrophy of the medial flexor and intrinsic hand muscles had become apparent. Electrophysiological studies revealed an ulnar neuropathy in addition to mild median and radial nerve dysfunction, including a mild contralateral carpal tunnel syndrome. The diagnostic work-up for multiple mononeuropathy in the upper extremity was negative. Repeated electrophysiological studies revealed fibrillations in the C7 paravertebral muscles on the affected side. Chest x-ray revealed a large round apical mass on the affected side. A Horner's syndrome was noted at this point of diagnostic work-up. MRI of the cervical and thoracic spine revealed a dumbbell T1 neuroma enlarging the intervertebral foramen at T1-2 and a 5 cm large extradural tumor with extension into the apex of the ipsilateral lung. The patient underwent surgery in sitting position using a left dorsal midline approach. Although the T1 root could not be preserved, the patient's neurological condition was unchanged after the surgery.
Extended posterior midline exposure described here using hemilaminectomy, unilateral facetectomy and costo-transversectomy is efficient and safe for one-stage removal of dumbbell tumors at the T1 level with a predominantly extraforaminal component in the apex of the lung extending up to 6–7 cm laterally. Horner's syndrome, if present and observed, may significantly narrow the differential diagnosis of hand weakness caused by T1-root tumors.
PMCID: PMC1831774  PMID: 17371587

Results 1-3 (3)