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1.  Thoracic Extradural Cavernous Hemangioma Mimicking a Dumbbell-Shaped Tumor 
Dumbbell-shaped spinal extradural cavernous hemangioma is rare. The differential diagnosis of dumbbell-shaped spinal tumors based on magnetic resonance imaging includes schwannoma and lymphoma. Here, we report a dumbbell-shaped spinal extradural cavernous hemangioma with intrathoracic growth on T2-3 in a 64-year-old man complaining of right side infrascapular area back pain with no neurologic deficit. The cavernous hemangioma was resected through combined video-assisted thoracoscopy and laminectomy without a fusion procedure. The patient had tolerable operative wound pain with no neurologic deficit after surgery. Based on magnetic resonance imaging findings and a review of the literature, we discuss cavernous hemangioma among the differential diagnosis of paravertebral dumbbell-shaped spinal tumors and the importance of complete resection.
PMCID: PMC4534743  PMID: 26279817
Hemangioma; Cavernous; Extradural Tumor; Spine
2.  Extra-intradural Spinal Meningioma: A Case Report 
Korean Journal of Spine  2014;11(3):202-204.
Extradural spinal meningiomas are uncommon, and their pathophysiology is not entirely understood. Here, we present the case of a 49-year-old woman with low back and left leg pain of 5 years duration. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a mass, 1.8-cm in size, with rim enhancement in the spinal canal at the T12 level and extending into the left T12-L1 foramen. In the surgical field, the mass presented with the characteristics of an extra-intradural spinal meningioma. The patient underwent a T12 total laminectomy. A linear durotomy was performed at the midline, and the intradural portion was removed. The extradural portion was not separable from the adjacent dura and the left T12 root, and it was removed by dural excision. Pathological examination confirmed the diagnosis of psammomatous meningioma. We also conducted a literature review of similar cases. Based on our experience with this case, we believe that it is important to clearly distinguish extradural meningiomas from other types of tumors as misdiagnosis can change the operative plan. The long term prognosis of extradural meningiomas is not clear but total excision is thought to be essential.
PMCID: PMC4206960  PMID: 25346770
Extra-intradural; Spinal meningioma; Psammomatous
3.  Spinal Extradural Arachnoid Cyst 
Spinal extradural arachnoid cyst (SEAC) is a rare disease and uncommon cause of compressive myelopathy. The etiology remains still unclear. We experienced 2 cases of SEACs and reviewed the cases and previous literatures. A 59-year-old man complained of both leg radiating pain and paresthesia for 4 years. His MRI showed an extradural cyst from T12 to L3 and we performed cyst fenestration and repaired the dural defect with tailored laminectomy. Another 51-year-old female patient visited our clinical with left buttock pain and paresthesia for 3 years. A large extradural cyst was found at T1-L2 level on MRI and a communication between the cyst and subarachnoid space was illustrated by CT-myelography. We performed cyst fenestration with primary repair of dural defect. Both patients' symptoms gradually subsided and follow up images taken 1-2 months postoperatively showed nearly disappeared cysts. There has been no documented recurrence in these two cases so far. Tailored laminotomy with cyst fenestration can be a safe and effective alternative choice in treating SEACs compared to traditional complete resection of cyst wall with multi-level laminectomy.
PMCID: PMC3841282  PMID: 24294463
Arachnoid cyst; Cerebrospinal fluid; Thoracolumbar spine
4.  Occipital Neuralgia after Occipital Cervical Fusion to Treat an Unstable Jefferson Fracture 
Korean Journal of Spine  2012;9(4):358-361.
In this report we describe a patient with an unstable Jefferson fracture who was treated by occipitocervical fusion and later reported sustained postoperative occipital neuralgia. A 70-year-old male was admitted to our center with a Jefferson fracture induced by a car accident. Preoperative lateral X-ray revealed an atlanto-dens interval of 4.8mm and a C1 canal anterior-posterior diameter of 19.94mm. We performed fusion surgery from the occiput to C5 without decompression of C1. The patient reported sustained continuous pain throughout the following year despite strong analgesics. The pain dermatome was located mainly in the great occipital nerve territory and posterior neck. Magnetic resonance images revealed no evidence of cord compression, however a C1 lamina compressed dural sac and C2 root compression could not be excluded. We performed bilateral C2 root decompression via a C1 laminectomy. After decompression, bilateral C2 root redundancy was identified by palpation. After decompression surgery, pain was reduced. This case indicates that occipital neuralgia, suggesting the need for diagnostic block, should be considered in the differential diagnosis of patients with sustained occipital headache after occipitocervical fusion surgery.
PMCID: PMC4430563  PMID: 25983846
Spinal fracture; Cervical atlas; Nerve root compression
5.  Ossified Ligamentum Flavum causing Cervical Myelopathy 
Korean Journal of Spine  2012;9(1):24-27.
Ossification of the ligamentum flavum (OLF) causing compressive cervical myelopathy or radiculopathy is rare. A 50-year-old male was admitted for progressive hypesthesia and paresthesia of both hands and a gradually worsening gait. MRI and CT scans demonstrated ossification of the left ligamentum flavum with dural sac and cord compression at the C5-6 level. The ossified ligamentum flavum was removed through a subtotal laminectomy and left side foraminotomy of the C5-6. Postoperatively, his gait improved remarkably and the sensory symptoms gradually resolved.
PMCID: PMC4432380  PMID: 25983784
Ligamentum flavum; Ossification; Myelopathy
6.  Radiographic Analysis of Instrumented Posterolateral Fusion Mass Using Mixture of Local Autologous Bone and b-TCP (PolyBone®) in a Lumbar Spinal Fusion Surgery 
Although iliac crest autograft is the gold standard for lumbar fusion, the morbidity of donor site leads us to find an alternatives to replace autologous bone graft. Ceramic-based synthetic bone grafts such as hydroxyapatite (HA) and b-tricalcium phosphate (b-TCP) provide scaffolds similar to those of autologous bone, are plentiful and inexpensive, and are not associated with donor morbidity. The present report describes the use of Polybone® (Kyungwon Medical, Korea), a beta-tricalcium phosphate, for lumbar posterolateral fusion and assesses clinical and radiological efficacy as a graft material.
This study retrospectively analyzed data from 32 patients (11 men, 21 women) who underwent posterolateral fusion (PLF) using PolyBone® from January to August, 2008. Back and leg pain were assessed using a Numeric Rating Scale (NRS), and clinical outcome was assessed using the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI). Serial radiological X-ray follow up were done at 1, 3, 6 12 month. A computed tomography (CT) scan was done in 12 month. Radiological fusion was assessed using simple anterior-posterior (AP) X-rays and computed tomography (CT). The changes of radiodensity of fusion mass showed on the X-ray image were analyzed into 4 stages to assess PLF status.
The mean NRS scores for leg pain and back pain decreased over 12 months postoperatively, from 8.0 to 1.0 and from 6.7 to 1.7, respectively. The mean ODI score also decreased from 60.5 to 17.7. X-rays and CT showed that 25 cases had stage IV fusion bridges at 12 months postoperatively (83.3% success). The radiodensity of fusion mass on X-ray AP image significantly changed at 1 and 6 months.
The present results indicate that the use of a mixture of local autologous bone and PolyBone® results in fusion rates comparable to those using autologous bone and has the advantage of reduced morbidity. In addition, the graft radiodensity ratio significantly changed at postoperative 1 and 6 months, possibly reflecting the inflammatory response and stabilization.
PMCID: PMC3115146  PMID: 21716898
Postero-Lateral fusion; PolyBone®; Radiodensity
7.  Sparganosis in the Lumbar Spine : Report of Two Cases and Review of the Literature 
Sparganosis is a rare parasitic infection affecting various organs, including the central nervous system, especially the lumbar epidural space. This report describes the identification of disease and different strategies of treatments with preoperative information. A 42-year-old man presented with a 2-year history of urinary incontinence and impotence. He had a history of ingesting raw frogs 40 years ago. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging showed an intramedullary nodular mass at conus medullaris and severe inflammation in the cauda equina. A 51-year-old woman was admitted with acute pain in the left inguinal area. We observed a lesion which seemed to be a tumor of the lumbar epidural space on MR imaging. She also had a history of ingesting inadequately cooked snakes 10 years ago. In the first patient, mass removal was attempted through laminectomy and parasite infection was identified during intra-operative frozen biopsy. Total removal could not be performed because of severe arachnoiditis and adhesion. We therefore decided to terminate the operation and final histology confirmed dead sparganum infection. We also concluded further surgical trial for total removal of the dead worm and inflammatory grannulation totally. However, after seeing another physician at different hospital, he was operated again which resulted in worsening of pain and neurological deficit. In the second patient, we totally removed dorsal epidural mass. Final histology and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) confirmed living sparganum infection and her pain disappeared. Although the treatment of choice is surgical resection of living sparganum with inflammation, the attempt to remove dead worm and adhesive granulation tissue may cause unwanted complications to the patients. Therefore, the result of preoperative ELISA, as well as the information from image and history, must be considered as important factors to decide whether a surgery is necessary or not.
PMCID: PMC3098431  PMID: 21607186
Sparganosis; Sparganosis in the lumbar vertebrae; Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
8.  Clinical and Radiological Outcomes of Unilateral Facetectomy and Interbody Fusion Using Expandable Cages for Lumbosacral Foraminal Stenosis 
Surgical treatment of lumbosacral foraminal stenosis requires an understanding of the anatomy of the lumbosacral area in individual patients. Unilateral facetectomy has been used to completely decompress entrapment of the L5 nerve root, followed in some patients by posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) with stand-alone cages.
We assessed 34 patients with lumbosacral foraminal stenosis who were treated with unilateral facetectomy and PLIF using stand-alone cages in our center from January 2004 to September 2007. All the patients underwent follow-up X-rays, including a dynamic view, at 3, 6, 12, 24 months, and computed tomography (CT) at 24 months postoperatively. Clinical outcomes were analyzed with the mean numeric rating scale (NRS), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and Odom's criteria. Radiological outcomes were assessed with change of disc height, defined as the average of anterior, middle, and posterior height in plain X-rays. In addition, lumbosacral fusion was also assessed with dynamic X-ray and CT.
Mean NRS score, which was 9.29 prior to surgery, was 1.5 at 18 months after surgery. The decrease in NRS was statistically significant. Excellent and good groups with regard to Odom's criteria were 31 cases (91%) and three cases (9%) were fair. Pre-operative mean ODI of 28.4 decreased to 14.2 at post-operative 24 months. In 30 patients, a bone bridge on CT scan was identified. The change in disc height was 8.11 mm, 10.02 mm and 9.63 mm preoperatively, immediate postoperatively and at 24 months after surgery, respectively.
In the treatment of lumbosacral foraminal stenosis, unilateral facetectomy and interbody fusion using expandable stand-alone cages may be considered as one treatment option to maintain post-operative alignment and to obtain satisfactory clinical outcomes.
PMCID: PMC3053543  PMID: 21430975
Expandable cage; Foraminal stenosis; Lumbosacral spine
9.  Lumbar Spinal Extradural Angiolipoma: Case Report and Review of the Literature 
Angiolipomas in the lumbar spinal region are extremely rare. The present report describes the identification of such a tumor and its removal, and discusses the tumor characteristics and prognosis. A 74-year-old woman was presented with a 5-month history of lower back pain. Severe radiculopathy was experienced in the left leg for 5 days prior to the presentation, and there were no neurological deficits. Magnetic resonance (MR) images showed an approximately 3.5 cm heterogeneously enhanced and elongated mass at the left L5-S1 level. A portion of the mass appeared with high signal intensity on T2-weighted MR images, with low signal intensity on T1-weighted images, and with high signal intensity on T1 fat suppression enhancement images. Resection of the tumor was approached via an L5 and S1 laminectomy. A fibrous sticky yellowish hypervascular tumor was identified. Histological study revealed the tumor as an angiolipoma. Symptoms were relieved after tumor excision, and there were no neurological sequelae. Although extremely rare, lumbar epidural angiolipoma should be considered in the differential diagnosis of lumbar spinal epidural lesions. The prognosis after surgical management of this lesion is favorable.
PMCID: PMC2588319  PMID: 19096690
Angiolipoma; Spinal neoplasm; Lumbar epidural tumor
10.  Surgical Flow Alteration for the Treatment of Intracranial Aneurysms That Are Unclippable, Untrappable, and Uncoilable 
The treatment of complex intracranial aneurysms remains challenging. One approach is the application of surgical flow alteration to treat aneurysms that are neither clippable, trappable, or coilable. The efficacy and limitations of surgical flow alteration have not yet been established.
Cases of complex aneurysms treated with surgical flow alteration (proximal occlusion with or without bypass, distal occlusion with or without bypass and bypass only) were included in this retrospective study.
Among a total of 16 cases, there were 7 giant aneurysms (≥25 mm diameter) and 9 large aneurysms (>10 mm diameter); 15 of 16 aneurysms were unruptured. There were 8 aneurysms located in the anterior circulation, while the other 8 were in the posterior circulation. Aneurysms were treated with proximal occlusion in 10 cases and distal occlusion in 5 cases; in 1 case, the aneurysm occluded spontaneously after bypass without parent artery occlusion. All but 2 cases underwent prior or concurrent bypass surgery. Complete obliteration of the aneurysm at the latest imaging follow-up was shown in 12 of 16 cases (75.0%). Bypass patency was confirmed in 13 of 15 cases (86.7%). Surgery-related morbidity developed in 3 cases (18.8%, Glasgow outcome scale of 4) and all were perforator infarctions. There were no mortalities.
Surgical flow alteration resulted in a high rate of aneurysmal obliteration with acceptable morbidity. Although several limitations remained, it could represent an alternative method for treating complex aneurysms.
PMCID: PMC4728089  PMID: 26819686
Aneurysm; Revascularization; Clipping; Bypass; Surgery; Brain
11.  Simultaneous Bilateral Stenosis of the Vertebral Arteries Treated by Unilateral Decompression: A Case Report 
Neurologia Medico-Chirurgica  2013;55(2):183-187.
A 56-year-old man presented with a 3-month history of progressive dizziness. His dizziness was aggravated when his head was rotated to the right side. Diagnostic angiography showed that a normal right-sided vertebral artery in the neutral position became an abnormal vertebral artery with two stenotic lesions at the C3–4 and C5–6 levels when the patient’s head was turned to the right. A normal left-sided vertebral artery also showed a stenotic lesion at the C2 level when the patient’s head was turned right. The axial dimensions of the bilateral vertebral arteries were similar. The patient was successfully treated with decompression of only one level (C5–6). We conclude that if a bilateral stenosis is found upon one directional head rotation and the bilateral vertebral arteries are similarly sized, a one-sided treatment may suffice.
PMCID: PMC4533402  PMID: 24390179
vertebral artery compression; bow hunter’s syndrome; dizziness; head rotation; angiography
12.  Progression of lumbar spinal stenosis is influenced by polymorphism of thrombospondin 2 gene in the Korean population 
European Spine Journal  2013;23(1):57-63.
The aim of this study is to determine the contribution of thrombospondin 2 (THBS2) polymorphisms to the development and progression of lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) in the Korean population.
We studied 148 symptomatic patients with radiographically proven LSS and 157 volunteers with no history of back problems from our institution. Magnetic resonance images were obtained for all the patients and controls. Quantitative image evaluation for LSS was performed to evaluate the severity of LSS. All patients and controls were genotyped for THBS2 allele variations using a polymerase chain reaction-based technique.
We found no causal single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) in THBS2 that were significantly associated with LSS. Two SNPs (rs6422747, rs6422748) were over-represented in controls [P = 0.042, odds ratio [OR] = 0.55 and P = 0.042, OR = 0.55, respectively]. Haplotype analysis showed that the ‘‘AGAGACG’’ haplotype (HAP4) and ‘‘AAGGACG’’ haplotype (HAP5) were over-represented in severe LSS patients (P = 0.0147, OR = 2.02 and P = 0.0137, OR = 2.48, respectively). In addition, the ‘‘AAAGGGG’’ haplotype (HAP1) was over-represented in controls (P = 0.0068, OR = 0.30).
Although no SNPs in THBS2 were associated with LSS, haplotypes (HAP4 and HAP5) were significantly associated with progression of LSS in the Korean population, whereas another haplotype (HAP1) may play a protective role against LSS development.
PMCID: PMC3897815  PMID: 23807322
Genetic study; Haplotype; Lumbar spinal stenosis; Polymorphism; Thrombospondin gene
13.  Analysis on Bilateral Hindlimb Mapping in Motor Cortex of the Rat by an Intracortical Microstimulation Method 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2014;29(4):587-592.
Intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) is a technique that was developed to derive movement representation of the motor cortex. Although rats are now commonly used in motor mapping studies, the precise characteristics of rat motor map, including symmetry and consistency across animals, and the possibility of repeated stimulation have not yet been established. We performed bilateral hindlimb mapping of motor cortex in six Sprague-Dawley rats using ICMS. ICMS was applied to the left and the right cerebral hemisphere at 0.3 mm intervals vertically and horizontally from the bregma, and any movement of the hindlimbs was noted. The majority (80%±11%) of responses were not restricted to a single joint, which occurred simultaneously at two or three hindlimb joints. The size and shape of hindlimb motor cortex was variable among rats, but existed on the convex side of the cerebral hemisphere in all rats. The results did not show symmetry according to specific joints in each rats. Conclusively, the hindlimb representation in the rat motor cortex was conveniently mapped using ICMS, but the characteristics and inter-individual variability suggest that precise individual mapping is needed to clarify motor distribution in rats.
Graphical Abstract
PMCID: PMC3991805  PMID: 24753709
Hindlimb; Deep Brain Stimulation; Brain Mapping; Motor Cortex
14.  Extracranial-Intracranial Bypass Surgery Using a Radial Artery Interposition Graft for Cerebrovascular Diseases 
To investigate the efficacy of extracranial-intracranial (EC-IC) bypass surgery using a radial artery interposition graft (RAIG) for surgical management of cerebrovascular diseases.
The study involved a retrospective analysis of 13 patients who underwent EC-IC bypass surgery using RAIG at a single neurosurgical institute between 2003 and 2009. The diseases comprised intracranial aneurysm (n=10), carotid artery occlusive disease (n=2), and delayed stenosis in the donor superficial temporal artery (STA) following previous STA-middle cerebral artery bypass surgery (n=1). Patients were followed clinically and radiographically.
Bypass surgery was successful in all patients. At a mean follow-up of 53.4 months, the short-term patency rate was 100%, and the long-term rate was 92.3%. Twelve patients had an excellent clinical outcome of Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) 5, and one case had GOS 3. Procedure-related complications were a temporary dysthesia on the graft harvest hand (n=1) and a hematoma at the graft harvest site (n=1), and these were treated successfully with no permanent sequelae. In one case, spasm occurred which was relieved with the introduction of mechanical dilators.
EC-IC bypass using a RAIG appears to be an effective treatment for a variety of cerebrovascular diseases requiring proximal occlusion or trapping of the parent artery.
PMCID: PMC3218175  PMID: 22102946
EC-IC arterial bypass; Radial artery interposition graft; Revascularization
15.  A Multi-center Clinical Study of Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion with the Expandable Stand-alone Cage (Tyche® Cage) for Degenerative Lumbar Spinal Disorders 
This multi-center clinical study was designed to determine the long-term results of patients who received a one-level posterior lumbar interbody fusion with expandable cage (Tyche® cage) for degenerative spinal diseases during the same period in each hospital.
Fifty-seven patients with low back pain who had a one-level posterior lumbar interbody fusion using a newly designed expandable cage were enrolled in this study at five centers from June 2003 to December 2004 and followed up for 24 months. Pain improvement was checked with a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and their disability was evaluated with the Oswestry Disability Index. Radiographs were obtained before and after surgery. At the final follow-up, dynamic stability, quality of bone fusion, interveretebral disc height, and lumbar lordosis were assessed. In some cases, a lumbar computed tomography scan was also obtained.
The mean VAS score of back pain was improved from 6.44 points preoperatively to 0.44 at the final visit and the score of sciatica was reduced from 4.84 to 0.26. Also, the Oswestry Disability Index was improved from 32.62 points preoperatively to 18.25 at the final visit. The fusion rate was 92.5%. Intervertebral disc height, recorded as 9.94±2.69 mm before surgery was increased to 12.23±3.31 mm at postoperative 1 month and was stabilized at 11.43±2.23 mm on final visit. The segmental angle of lordosis was changed significantly from 3.54±3.70° before surgery to 6.37±3.97° by 24 months postoperative, and total lumbar lordosis was 20.37±11.30° preoperatively and 24.71±11.70° at 24 months postoperative.
There have been no special complications regarding the expandable cage during the follow-up period and the results of this study demonstrates a high fusion rate and clinical success.
PMCID: PMC2588207  PMID: 19096552
Expandable cage; Degeneration; Interbody fusion; Lumbar spine

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