Preinjection gelfoam embolization during percutaneous vertebroplasty (PVP) has been thought alternative technique to prevent the leakage of bone cement. The goal of this study was to evaluate whether the gelfoam techniques are useful to reduce bone cement leakage.
Total 100 PVPs of osteoporotic spine compression fractures were performed by 1 spine surgeon who experienced more than 500 PVP cases under prospective control study. Operation was done in T-L junction (T10-L2) fractures with bi-transpedicular approach. Preinjection gelfoam PVP was done in the 50 levels. As control group, PVP without gelfoam was done in the 50 levels. We did not perform preoperative venography. We inserted normal saline-mixed gelfoam to the anterior third of vertebral body via PVP needle, and then 3mL of polymethylmetacrylate (PMMA) was injected. We prospectively evaluated the incidence and leakage pattern of PMMA by postoperative computed tomography.
Between gelfoam and control groups, there were 11 leaks (22%) versus 12 leaks (26%). The mean operation time was 7.00 minutes versus 6.30 minutes. In gelfoam group, there were 6 spinal canal leaks, 4 paravertebral venous leaks, and 1 soft tissue leaks. In control group, there were 4 spinal canal leaks, 8 paravertebral venous leaks, and 1 disc space leak. In spite of cement leakage, there was no symptomatic case in both groups. Statistically, gelfoam technique was not related to decrease the incidence of leakage (p=0.64).
Our prospective study showed that it did not significantly decrease cement leakage when vertebroplasty is performed by experienced spine surgeon.
Vertebroplasty; Gelfoam; Osteoporotic fracture; Spine fractures
Fractures in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) are often difficult to identify and treat. If combined with osteoporosis, the spine becomes weaker and vulnerable to minor trauma. An 83-year-old woman with a history of chronic AS and severe osteoporosis developed paraparesis and voiding difficulty for 4 days prior. She had been placed in the lateral decubitus position in a bedridden state in a convalescent hospital due to the progressive paraparesis. The laboratory findings showed CO2 retention in the arterial blood gas analysis. After the patient was transferred to the computed tomography (CT) room, a CT was taken in the supine position. Approximately half an hour later, the resident in our neurosurgical department checked on her, and the neurological examination showed a complete paraplegic state. She was treated conservatively and finally expired 20 days later.
Ankylosing spondylitis; Osteoporosis; Spine fractures
Although many patients with infective endocarditis (IE) complain of joint, muscle, and back pain, infections at these sights are rare. The incidence of spinal abscess in cervical spine complicating endocarditis is very rare. Although the surgical management is the mainstay of treatment, conservative treatment can get success in selected patients. We report a patient with cervical epidural abscess due to Streptococcus viridans endocarditis. Both epidural abscess and IE were managed conservatively with intravenous antibiotics for 8 weeks, with recovery. It is important to remind spinal epidural abscess can occur in those patients with bacterial endocarditis.
Spondylitis; Abscess; Endocarditis; Streptococcus viridans
Decompressive craniectomy is an effective therapy to relieve high intracranial pressure after acute brain damage. However, the optimal timing for cranioplasty after decompression is still controversial. Many authors reported that early cranioplasty may contribute to improve the cerebral blood flow and brain metabolism. However, despite all the advantages, there always remains a concern that early cranioplasty may increase the chance of infection. The purpose of this retrospective study is to investigate whether the early cranioplasty increase the infection rate. We also evaluated the risk factors of infection following cranioplasty.
We retrospectively examined the results of 131 patients who underwent cranioplasty in our institution between January 2008 and June 2015. We divided them into early (≤90 days) and late (>90 days after craniectomy) groups. We examined the risk factors of infection after cranioplasty. We analyzed the infection rate between two groups.
There were more male patients (62%) than female (38%). The mean age was 49 years. Infection occurred in 17 patients (13%) after cranioplasty. The infection rate of early cranioplasty was lower than that of late cranioplasty (7% vs. 20%; p=0.02). Early cranioplasty, non-metal allograft materials, re-operation before cranioplasty and younger age were the significant factors in the infection rate after cranioplasty (p<0.05). Especially allograft was a significant risk factor of infection (odds ratio, 12.4; 95% confidence interval, 3.24–47.33; p<0.01). Younger age was also a significant risk factor of infection after cranioplasty by multivariable analysis (odds ratio, 0.96; 95% confidence interval, 0.96–0.99; p=0.02).
Early cranioplasty did not increase the infection rate in this study. The use of non-metal allograft materials influenced a more important role in infection in cranioplasty. Actually, timing itself was not a significant risk factor in multivariate analysis. So the early cranioplasty may bring better outcomes in cognitive functions or wound without raising the infection rate.
Cranioplasty; Infection; Decompressive craniectomy; Hydroxyapatities
Bone cement leakage is a well-known potential complication of percutaneous vertebroplasty (PVP) in patients with osteoporotic compression fracture. Even though there has been a controversy in the efficacy of antecedent venography to prevent this complication, many authors have performed intraosseous venography before bone cement injection. The goal of this study was to classify the venous drainage patterns of spine before PVP, and compare their patterns at different vertebral levels.
The authors retrospectively reviewed 1,042 intraosseous venographic patterns in 321 patients with 574 osteoporotic compression fractures during six-year period in one institution. To classify venogram patterns, we selected simple lateral X-ray of spine taken immediately after injection of the contrast dye. We classified the venography patterns according to contrast leakage pattern and leakage direction as follows; trabecular (TR), trabecular anterior (TA), trabecular posterior (TP), trabecular anterior-posterior (TAP), trabecular lateral (TL), venous anterior(VA), venous posterior (VP), venous anterior-posterior (VAP), soft tissue (ST). Also, we compared venogram patterns according to different spinal levels.
In overall, the most common pattern was TP type accounting for 37.4% (390/1042) of all intraosseous venograms. This is followed by TAP in 21.5%, TR 17.4%, TA 11.6%, TL 5.8%, ST 4.1%, VA 1.2%, VP 0.6%, and VAP 0.4% in descending order of frequency. According to the spinal level, TR and TAP types were most common in thoracic spine (T6-T10), TP type was most common in thoraco-lumbar spine (T11-L2), and TP and TAP types were most common in lumbo-sacral spine (L3-S1). Contrast dye leakage to soft tissue such as psoas muscle or disc were detected in 43 (4.1%) venograms. Direct venous drainage without staining of vertebral body was found in 23 (2.2%) venograms. The 8.3% of thoracic venogram showed direct venous drainage. Thoracic level showed a more tendency of direct venous drainage than other spine levels (p<0.01).
The authors propose a new classification system of intraosseous venography during PVP. The trabecular-posterior (TP) type is most common through all spine, and venous-filling (V) type was most frequent in thoracic spine. Further study would be necessary to elucidate the efficacy of this classification system to prevent bone cement leakage during PVP.
Percutaneous vertebroplasty; Bone cement leakage; Venography pattern; Osteoporosis; Compression fracture
Retro-rectal cystic hamartoma (tailgut cyst), is an uncommon congenital developmental lesion, generally located in the retro-rectal space. Its diagnosis and approach is challenging because the retropelvic space is not familiar. We report a 51-year-old woman who presented with paresthesia and pain in perianal area. The magnetic resonance image showed high signal intensity on the T1-weighted image and iso to high signal intensity on the T2-weighted image of the retropelvic space and CT showed sacral bony defect. We chose the posterior approach for removal of the tailgut cyst. Histopathology exam of the retropelvic cyst revealed a multiloculated cyst containing abundant mucoid material lined by both squamous and glandular mucinous epithelium. The patient has recovered nicely with no recurrence. Tailgut cyst needs complete surgical excision for good prognosis. So, a preoperative high-resolution image and co-operation between neurosurgen and general surgeon would help to make safe and feasible diagnosis and surgical access.
Cysts; Agenesis of sacrum; Retrorectal hamartoma; Retropelvic cyst
Normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) is a syndrome characterized by gait disturbance, memory impairment and urinary incontinence. The isotope cisternography (ICG) became less useful because of low accuracy and complications. We tried to evaluate the safety and value of the ICG.
We retrospectively collected data on ICG of 175 consecutive patients with a suspected hydrocephalus. We classified the ICG into four types by the ventricular reflux and circulation time. The ventricular size was measured by Evans index and the width of the third ventricle.
There were three complications including one case of paraplegia. Type 4 was the most common type, observed in 53%. Type 3 (33%), type 2 (7%), and type 1 (7%) were observed less often. Type 4 was more common in patients with large ventricles. Types of the ICG were not related to the causes of hydrocephalus, gender, or age of the patients. Shunting was more frequently performed in type 4 (71%), compared to type 1 (17%), type 2 (33%), and type 3 (46%). Surgery was more common when the cause was vascular. After the shunt surgery, 33.0% were graded as the improved. Although there were some improvements even in the not-improved patients, they still needed many helps. The improvement was related to the preoperative state.
ICG may bring a serious complication, however the incidence is very low. Although the predictability of response rate on the shunting is doubtful, ICG is a cheap and useful tool to select surgical candidates in NPH.
Hydrocephalus; Diagnosis; Radionuclide imaging; Meningitis, aseptic; Malpractice
Posttraumatic cerebral infarction (CI) is a well-known complication of traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, the causation and apportionment of trauma in patients with CI after TBI is not easy. There is a scoring method, so-called trauma apportionment score (TAS) for CI, consisted with the age, the interval, and the severity of the TBI. We evaluated the reliability of this score.
We selected two typical cases of traumatic CI. We also selected consecutive 50 patients due to spontaneous CI. We calculated TAS in both patients with traumatic and spontaneous CI. To enhance the reliability, we revised TAS (rTAS) adding three more items, such as systemic illness, bad health habits, and doctor's opinion. We also calculated rTAS in the same patients.
Even in 50 patients with spontaneous CI, the TAS was 4 in 44 patients, and 5 in 6 patients. TAS could not assess the apportionment of trauma efficiently. We recalculated the rTAS in the same patients. The rTAS was not more than 11 in more than 70% of the spontaneous CI. Compared to TAS, rTAS definitely enhanced the discriminating ability. However, there were still significant overlapping areas.
TAS alone is insufficient to differentiate the cause or apportionment of trauma in some obscure cases of CI. Although the rTAS may enhance the reliability, it also should be used with cautions.
Cerebral infarction; Causality; Compensation and redress; Craniocerebral trauma
We assessed the life-time prevalence (LTP) of chronic low back pain (LBP) in young Korean males. We also evaluated the relationship between lumbar spinal lesions and their health related quality-of-life (HRQOL).
A cross-sectional, self-reported survey was conducted in Korean males (aged 19-year-old) who underwent physical examinations for the conscript. We examined 3331 examinees in November 2014. We included 2411 subjects, who accepted to participate this study without any comorbidities. We interviewed using simple binary questions for their LBP experience and chronicity. HRQOL was assessed by Short-Form Health-Survey-36 (SF-36) in chronic LBP and healthy control groups. Radiological assessment was performed in chronic LBP group to determine whether there were any pathological causes of their symptoms.
The LTP of chronic LBP was 13.4%. Most (71.7%) of them didn't have any lumbar spinal lesions (i.e., non-specific chronic LBP). The SF-36 subscale and summary scores were significantly lower in subjects with chronic LBP. Between specific and non-specific chronic LBP group, all physical and mental subscale scores were significantly lower in specific chronic LBP group, except mental health (MH) subscale score. In MH subscale and mental component summary score, statistical significant differences didn't appear between two groups (p=0.154, 0.126).
In Korean males 19 years of age, the LTP of chronic LBP was 13.4%, and more than two-thirds were non-specific chronic LBP. Chronic LBP had a significant impact on HRQOL. The presence of lumbar spinal pathoanatomical lesions affected mainly on the physical aspect of HRQOL. It influenced little on the mental health.
Chronic low back pain; Public health; Quality of life; Health surveys
Age is a strong predictor of mortality in traumatic brain injuries. A surgical decision making is difficult especially for the elderly patients with severe head injuries. We studied so-called 'withholding a life-saving surgery' over a two year period at a university hospital.
We collected data from 227 elderly patients. In 35 patients with Glasgow Coma Score 3-8, 28 patients had lesions that required operation. A life-saving surgery was withheld in 15 patients either by doctors and/or the families (Group A). Surgery was performed in 13 patients (Group B). We retrospectively examined the medical records and radiological findings of these 28 patients. We calculated the predicted probability of 6 month mortality (IPM) and 6 month unfavorable outcome (IPU) to compare the result of decision by the International Mission for Prognosis and Analysis of Clinical Trials in TBI (IMPACT) calculator.
Types of the mass lesion did not affect on the surgical decision making. None of the motor score 1 underwent surgery, while all patients with reactive pupils underwent surgery. Causes of injury or episodes of hypoxia/hypotension might have affected on the decision making, however, their role was not distinct. All patients in the group A died. In the group B, the outcome was unfavorable in 11 of 13 patients. Patients with high IPM or IPU were more common in group A than group B. Wrong decisions brought futile cares.
Ethical training and developing decision-making skills are necessary including shared decision making.
Prognosis; Decision making; Patient participation; Craniocerebral trauma
Ligamentum flavum cysts have rarely been reported and known to be the uncommon cause of spinal compression and radiculopathy. A 63-year-old man presented right sciatica lasting for 1 month. Lumbar computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated an extradural cystic mass adjacent to the L5-S1 facet joints. Partial hemilaminectomy and flavectomy at the L5-S1 space were performed, and then the cystic mass was excised. Histopathology confirmed a connective tissue cyst, which is consistent with the ligamentum flavum. Microscopic examination of the cyst wall revealed that it is closely packed collagen fibril. The symptom of patient was improved after surgery. Because of rarity of ligamentum flavum cysts and nonspecific clinical and radiologic findings, the preoperative diagnosis is not easy. The histologic features of ligamentum flavum cysts are distinct from other cystic lesion of lumbar spine. This study presents a case and literature review of ligamentum flavum cyst. We summarize the pathophysiology, occurrence, differential diagnosis of rare ligamentum flavum cyst, especially on lumbar spine.
Cyst; Ligamentum flavum; Lumbar vertebrae
Density of the chronic subdural hematoma (cSDH) is variable. It often appears to be mixed density. Multiple densities of cSDH may result from multiple episodes of trauma. We investigated the frequency of mixed density and the causes of head injuries representing each density.
We could collect 242 cases of chronic SDH. The cSDHs were classified into four groups; hypodensity, homogeneous isodensity, layered type, and mixed type on the basis of CT scans.
The density of cSDH was isodense in 115 patients, hypodense in 31 patients, mixed in 79 cases, and layered in 17 cases. The cSDH was on the left side in 115 patients, on the right side in 70 patients, and bilateral in 40 patients. The history of trauma was identifiable in 122 patients. The etiology could be identified in 67.7% of the hypodense hematomas, while it was obscure in 59.5% of the mixed hematomas.
Mixed density of cSDH results from multiple episodes of trauma, usually in the aged. It is hard to remember all the trivial traumas for the patients with the mixed density cSDHs. Although there were membranes within the mixed density hematomas, burr-holes were usually enough to drain the hematomas.
Chronic subdural hematoma; Computed tomography; Craniocerebral trauma; Diagnosis
The purpose of this study is to elucidate the anatomic relationships between the uncinate process and surrounding neurovascular structures to prevent possible complications in anterior cervical surgery.
Twenty-eight formalin-fixed cervical spines were removed from adult cadavers and were studied. The authors investigated the morphometric relationships between the uncinate process, vertebral artery and adjacent nerve roots.
The height of the uncinate process was 5.6-7.5 mm and the width was 5.8-8.0 mm. The angle between the posterior tip of the uncinate process and vertebral artery was 32.2-42.4°. The distance from the upper tip of the uncinate process to the vertebral body immediately above was 2.1-3.3 mm, and this distance was narrowest at the fifth cervical vertebrae. The distance from the posterior tip of the uncinate process to the nerve root was 1.3-2.0 mm. The distance from the uncinate process to the vertebral artery was measured at three different points of the uncinate process : upper-posterior tip, lateral wall and the most antero-medial point of the uncinate process, and the distances were 3.6-6.1 mm, 1.7-2.8 mm, and 4.2-5.7 mm, respectively. The distance from the uncinate process tip to the vertebral artery and the angle between the uncinate process tip and vertebral artery were significantly different between the right and left side.
These data provide guidelines for anterior cervical surgery, and will aid in reducing neurovascular injury during anterior cervical surgery, especially in anterior microforaminotomy.
Anterior cervical surgery; Foraminotomy; Uncinate process, Vertebral artery; Nerve root
Patients with asymptomatic chronic subdural hematoma (SDH) are prone to fall or slip. Acute trauma on these patients may develop acute subdural bleeding over the chronic SDH. We recently experienced 9 patients with acute-on-chronic SDH. We report the clinical and radiological features of this lesion.
We retrospectively examined the computed tomographic (CT) scans of 107 consecutive patients who diagnosed as chronic SDH from January 2008 to December 2010. All cases of CSDH were diagnosed on CT with or without MRI scan.
Acute-on-chronic SDH is not rare, being 8% of chronic SDH. The most common cause of trauma was a slip in drunken state. Alcoholism with multiple episodes of trauma was one of the prominent histories. Acute-on-chronic SDH appeared as a hyperdense layer of clot with irregular blurred margin or lumps in liquefied hematoma. Single or two burr holes was usually effective to remove the hematoma.
Repeated trauma may cause acute bleeding over the chronic SDH. It will be helpful to understand the role of repeated trauma as a mechanism of hematoma enlargement.
Chronic subdural hematoma; Computed tomography; Craniocerebral trauma; Diagnosis
Chronic subdural hematomas (CSDH) are more common on the left hemisphere than on the right. We verified this left predilection of CSDH and tried to explain the reason for this discrepancy.
We investigated the laterality of CSDH in 182 patients who were treated from January 2005 to December 2009. We examined the symmetry of the cranium and the location of the lesion.
CSDH was more common on the left-side. The cranium was symmetric in 63 patients, asymmetric in 119 patients. The asymmetric crania were flat on the right-side in 77 patients, on the left-side in 42 patients. The density of the CSDHs was hypodense in 29 patients, isodense 132 patients, and the others in 21 patients. Bilateral hematomas were more common in the hypodense group. In the right flat crania, the hematoma was more commonly located on the opposite side of the flat side. While in the left flat crania, the hematoma was more common on the same side.
CSDHs occurred more frequently on the left side. The anatomical asymmetry of the cranium influences the left predilection of CSDH.
Chronic subdural hematoma; Computed tomography; Craniocerebral trauma; Diagnosis; Laterality
Pain has long been regarded as a subjective symptom. Recently, however, some regard a type of intractable chronic pain as a disease. Furthermore, chronic persistent pain becomes a cause of permanent impairment (PI). In 6th edition, the American Medical Association (AMA) Guides has rated the pain as a PI. In Korea, pain has been already been rated as a PI. Here, we examined the present status and the prospect of disability evaluation for the pain in Korea.
Pain can be rated as a PI by the Workmen's Compensation Insurance Act (WCIA) and Patriots and Veterans Welfare Corporation Act (PVWCA) in Korea. We examined the definition, diagnostic criteria and grades of the pain related disability (PRD) in these two acts. We also examined legal judgments, which were made in 2005 for patients with severe pain. We also compared the acts and the judgments to the criteria of the 6th AMA Guides.
The PRD can be rated as one of the 4 grades according to the WCIA. The provisions of the law do not limit the pain only for the complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). The PRD can be rated as one of the 3 grades by the PVWCA. If there were objective signs such as osteoporosis, joint contracture and muscle atrophy corresponding to the CRPS, the grade is rated as 6. When the pain always interferes with one's job except easy work, the grade is rated as high as 5. In Korea, judicial precedents dealt the pain as a permanent disability in 2005.
Although there were no objective criteria for evaluation of the PRD, pain has been already rated as a PI by the laws or judicial precedents, in Korea. Thus, we should regulate the Korean criteria of PRD like the AMA 6th edition. We also should develop the objective tools for evaluation of the PRD near in future.
Pain; Disability evaluation; Treatment outcome; Craniocerebral trauma
Acute neurologic deterioration is not a rare event in the surgical decompression for thoracic spinal stenosis. We report a case of transient paraparesis after decompressive laminectomy in a 50-yr-old male patient with multi-level thoracic ossification of the ligamentum flavum and cervical ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament. Decompressive laminectomy from T9 to T11 was performed without gross neurological improvement. Two weeks after the first operation, laminoplasty from C4 to C6 and additional decompressive laminectomies of T3, T4, T6, and T8 were performed. Paraparesis developed 3 hr after the second operation, which recovered spontaneously 5 hr thereafter. CT and MRI were immediately performed, but there were no corresponding lesions. Vascular compromise of the borderlines of the arterial supply by microthrombi might be responsible for the paraparesis.
Ossification of Posterior Longitudinal Ligament; Ligamentum Flavum; Paraparesis; Laminectomy; Spinal Stenosis; Postoperative Complications