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1.  Surgical Treatment of Pyogenic Spondylitis with the Use of Freeze-Dried Structural Allograft 
Korean Journal of Spine  2014;11(3):136-144.
Radical debridement and reconstruction is necessary for surgical treatment of pyogenic spondylitis to control infection and to provide segmental stability. The authors identified 25 patients who underwent surgery for pyogenic spondylitis using freeze-dried structural allograft for reconstruction. This study aimed to evaluate and demonstrate the effectiveness and safety of a freeze-dried structural allograft during the surgical treatment of pyogenic spondylitis.
From January 2011 to May 2013, we retrospectively reviewed 25 surgically treated patients of pyogenic spondylitis. Surgical techniques used were anterior radical debridement and reconstruction with a freeze-dried structural allograft and instrumentation. In these 25 patients, we retrospectively examined whether the symptoms had improved and the infection was controlled after surgery by evaluating laboratory data, clinical and radiological outcomes. The average follow-up period was 15.7 months (range, 12.2-37.5 months).
The infection resolved in all of the patients and there were no cases of recurrent infection. The mean Visual Analog Scale score was 6.92 (range, 5-10) before surgery and 1.90 (range, 0-5) at the time of the last follow-up. Preoperatively, lower extremity motor deficits related to spinal infection were noted in 10 patients, and they improved in 7 patients after surgery. Follow-up computed tomographic scans were obtained from 10 patients, and osseous union between the vertebral body and the structural allograft was achieved in 2 patients.
The freeze-dried structural allograft can be a safe and effective alternative for surgical treatment of pyogenic spondylitis, and another option for vertebral reconstruction instead of using the other materials.
PMCID: PMC4206958  PMID: 25346759
Spondylitis; Allografts
2.  Reverse Latissimus Dorsi Muscle Flap for an Extensive Soft Tissue Defect Accompanied by Infectious Spondylitis 
Spinal infection is an inflammatory process around the vertebral body, and it can extend to the epidural space, posterior elements and paravertebral soft tissues. Infectious spondylitis is a rare infectious disorder, which is often associated with significant neurologic deficits and mortality. When an extensive soft tissue defect is accompanied by infectious spondylitis, effective infection control and proper coverage of soft tissue are directly connected to successful outcomes. However, it is not simple to choose the appropriate treatment methods for infectious spondylitis accompanied by a soft tissue defect. Herein, we report a case of severe infectious spondylitis that was accompanied by an extensive soft tissue defect which was closed with a reverse latissimus muscle flap after traumatic spinal epidural hemorrhage.
PMCID: PMC3488658  PMID: 23133738
Infectious; Spondylits; Latissimus dorsi muscle; Flap
3.  Inferolateral Entry Point for C2 Pedicle Screw Fixation in High Cervical Lesions 
The purpose of this retrospective study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of atlantoaxial stabilization using a new entry point for C2 pedicle screw fixation.
Data were collected from 44 patients undergoing posterior C1 lateral mass screw and C2 screw fixation. The 20 cases were approached by the Harms entry point, 21 by the inferolateral point, and three by pars screw. The new inferolateral entry point of the C2 pedicle was located about 3-5 mm medial to the lateral border of the C2 lateral mass and 5-7 mm superior to the inferior border of the C2-3 facet joint. The screw was inserted at an angle 30° to 45° toward the midline in the transverse plane and 40° to 50° cephalad in the sagittal plane. Patients received followed-up with clinical examinations, radiographs and/or CT scans.
There were 28 males and 16 females. No neurological deterioration or vertebral artery injuries were observed. Five cases showed malpositioned screws (2.84%), with four of the screws showing cortical breaches of the transverse foramen. There were no clinical consequences for these five patients. One screw in the C1 lateral mass had a medial cortical breach. None of the screws were malpositioned in patients treated using the new entry point. There was a significant relationship between two group (p=0.036).
Posterior C1-2 screw fixation can be performed safely using the new inferolateral entry point for C2 pedicle screw fixation for the treatment of high cervical lesions.
PMCID: PMC3243838  PMID: 22200017
Atlantoaxial fixation; C2 pedicle screw; Entry point
4.  Is Titanium Mesh Cage Safe in Surgical Management of Pyogenic Spondylitis? 
To report our experience with pyogenic spondylitis treated with anterior radical debridement and insertion of a titanium mesh cage and to demonstrate the effectiveness and safety of the use of a titanium mesh cage in the surgical management of pyogenic spondylitis.
We retrospectively analyzed the clinical characteristics of 19 patients who underwent surgical treatment in our department between January 2004 and December 2008. The average follow-up period was 11.16 months (range, 6-64 months). We evaluated risk factors, cultured organisms, lab data, clinical outcomes, and radiographic results. Surgical techniques for patients with pyogenic spondylitis were anterior radical debridement and reconstruction with titanium mesh cage insertion and screw fixation. All patients received intravenous antibiotics for at least 6 weeks postoperatively, and some patients received oral antibiotics.
The infections resolved in all of the patients as noted by normalization of their erythrocyte sedimentation rates and C-reactive protein levels. The mean pain score on a Visual Analog Scale was 7.8 (range, 4-10) before surgery and 2.4 (range, 1-5) after surgery. The Frankel grade was improved by one grade in seven patients. After surgery, the average difference of the angle was improved about 6.96° in all patients. At the last follow-up, the mean loss of correction was 4.86°.
Anterior radical debridement followed by the placement of instrumentation with a titanium mesh cage may be a safe and effective treatment for selected patients with pyogenic spondylitis. This surgical therapy does not lead to recurrent pyogenic spondylitis.
PMCID: PMC3243840  PMID: 22200019
Pyogenic spondylitis; Corpectomy; Titanium
5.  Posterior Atlantoaxial Screw-Rod Fixation in a Case of Aberrant Vertebral Artery Course Combined with Bilateral High-Riding Vertebral Artery 
We present a case of posterior atlantoaxial screw-rod fixation in a patient with an aberrant vertebral artery (VA) course combined with bilateral high-riding VA. An aberrant VA which courses below the posterior arch of the atlas (C1) that does not pass through the C1 transverse foramen and without an osseous anomaly is rare. However, it is important to consider an abnormal course of the VA both preoperatively and intraoperatively in order to avoid critical vascular injuries in procedures which require exposure or control of the VA, such as the far-lateral approach and spinal operations.
PMCID: PMC2982919  PMID: 21113368
Atlanto-axial joint; Vertebral artery; Bone screws
6.  Oral Extrusion of Screw after Anterior Cervical Interbody Fusion 
We present a case of delayed oral extrusion of a screw after anterior cervical interbody fusion in a 68-year-old man with osteoporosis. Fifteen months earlier, he had undergone C5 corpectomy and anterior cervical interbody fusion at C4-6 for multiple spinal stenoses. The patient was nearly asymptomatic, except for a foreign body sensation in his throat. We conclude that the use of a mesh graft or other instrument in elderly patients and those with osteoporosis or problematic bone quality should be considered carefully and that if surgery were to be performed, periodic postoperative follow-up evaluations are mandatory.
PMCID: PMC2588314  PMID: 19096688
Extrusion; Istrumentation; Cervical; Spine; Complication
7.  Clinical Experiences and Usefulness of Cervical Posterior Stabilization with Polyaxial Screw-Rod System 
The objective of this study is to investigate the safety, surgical efficacy, and advantages of a polyaxial screw-rod system for posterior occipitocervicothoracic arthrodesis.
Charts and radiographs of 32 patients who underwent posterior cervical fixation between October 2004 and February 2006 were retrospectively reviewed. Posterior cervical polyaxial screw-rod fixation was applied on the cervical spine and/or upper thoracic spine. The surgical indication was fracture or dislocation in 18, C1-2 ligamentous injury with trauma in 5, atlantoaxial instability by rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) in 4, cervical spondylosis with myelopathy in 4, and spinal metastatic tumor in 1. The patients were followed up and evaluated based on their clinical status and radiographs at 1, 3, 6 months and 1 year after surgery.
A total of 189 screws were implanted in 32 patients. Fixation was carried out over an average of 3.3 spinal segment (range, 2 to 7). The mean follow-up interval was 20.2 months. This system allowed for screw placement in the occiput, C1 lateral mass, C2 pars, C3-7 lateral masses, as well as the lower cervical and upper thoracic pedicles. Satisfactory bony fusion and reduction were achieved and confirmed in postoperative flexion-extension lateral radiographs and computed tomography (CT) scans in all cases. Revision surgery was required in two cases due to deep wound infection. One case needed a skin graft due to necrotic change. There was one case of kyphotic change due to adjacent segmental degeneration. There were no other complications, such as cord or vertebral artery injury, cerebrospinal fluid leak, screw malposition or back-out, or implant failure, and there were no cases of postoperative radiculopathy due to foraminal stenosis.
Posterior cervical stabilization with a polyaxial screw-rod system is a safe and reliable technique that appears to offer several advantages over existing methods. Further biomechanical testings and clinical experiences are needed in order to determine the true benefits of this procedure.
PMCID: PMC2588202  PMID: 19096562
Cervical spine; Lateral mass; Polyaxial screw-rod
8.  Anesthetic requirements and stress hormone responses in chronic spinal cord-injured patients undergoing surgery below the level of injury: nitrous oxide vs remifentanil 
Korean Journal of Anesthesiology  2013;65(6):531-538.
Nitrous oxide (N2O) and remifentanil both have anesthetic-reducing and antinociceptive effects. We aimed to determine the anesthetic requirements and stress hormone responses in spinal cord-injured (SCI) patients undergoing surgery under sevoflurane anesthesia with or without pharmacodynamically equivalent doses of N2O or remifentanil.
Forty-five chronic, complete SCI patients undergoing surgery below the level of injury were randomly allocated to receive sevoflurane alone (control, n = 15), or in combination with 67% N2O (n = 15) or target-controlled infusion of 1.37 ng/ml remifentanil (n = 15). Sevoflurane concentrations were titrated to maintain a Bispectral Index (BIS) value between 40 and 50. Measurements included end-tidal sevoflurane concentrations, mean arterial blood pressure (MAP), heart rate (HR), and plasma catecholamine and cortisol concentrations.
During surgery, MAP, HR, and BIS did not differ among the groups. Sevoflurane concentrations were lower in the N2O group (0.94 ± 0.30%) and the remifentanil group (1.06 ± 0.29%) than in the control group (1.55 ± 0.34%) (P < 0.001, both). Plasma concentrations of norepinephrine remained unchanged compared to baseline values in each group, with no significant differences among groups throughout the study. Cortisol levels decreased during surgery as compared to baseline values, and returned to levels higher than baseline at 1 h after surgery (P < 0.05) without inter-group differences.
Remifentanil (1.37 ng/ml) and N2O (67%) reduced the sevoflurane requirements similarly by 31-39%, with no significant differences in hemodynamic and neuroendocrine responses. Either remifentanil or N2O can be used as an anesthetic adjuvant during sevoflurane anesthesia in SCI patients undergoing surgery below the level of injury.
PMCID: PMC3888846  PMID: 24427459
Catecholamines; Nitrous oxide; Remifentanil; Sevoflurane; Spinal cord injuries
9.  Tophaceous Gout of the Spine Causing Neural Compression 
Korean Journal of Spine  2013;10(3):185-188.
Gout is a common metabolic disease in which monosodium urate crystals called tophi develop. Spinal involvement in gout resulting in neural compression is unusual. We describe a case of a 64-year-old man with a history of gouty arthritis of the knee. The patient presented with thoracic myelopathy and radiculopathy. Imaging of the spine revealed an extradural mass lesion with bony erosion of the thoracic spine. A decompressive operation was performed, and a chalky white material was found. Histopathological examination confirmed a gouty tophus. The symptoms of spinal gout vary and its radiological features are not sufficiently specific to provide a definite diagnosis. Therefore, in patients with a history of gouty arthritis who present with neural compressive symptoms of the spine, spinal gout should be strongly suspected.
PMCID: PMC3941767  PMID: 24757485
Gout; Spine; Myelopathy; Radiculopathy
11.  The Analysis of Patterns and Risk Factors of Newly Developed Vertebral Compression Fractures after Percutaneous Vertebroplasty 
The purpose of this study was to investigate the patterns and the risk factors of newly developed vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) after percutaneous vertebroplasty (PVP).
We performed a retrospective review of the 244 patients treated with PVP from September 2006 to February 2011. Among these patients, we selected 49 patients with newly developed VCFs following PVP as the new VCFs group, and the remaining 195 patients as the no VCFs group. The new VCFs group was further divided into 2 groups : an adjacent fractures group and a nonadjacent fractures group. The following data were collected from the groups : age, gender, body weight/height, body mass index (BMI), bone mineral density (BMD) score of the spine and femur, level of initial fracture, restoration rate of anterior/middle vertebral height, and intradiscal cement leakage, volume of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA).
Age, gender, mean body height/weight, mean BMI and volume of PMMA of each of the group are not statistically significantly associated with fractures. In comparison between the new VCFs group and the no VCFs group, lower BMD, intradiscal cement leakage and anterior vertebral height restoration were the significant predictive factors of the fracture. In addition, new VCFs occurrence at the adjacent spines was statistically significant, when the initial fracture levels were confined to the thoracolumbar junction, among the subgroups of new VCFs.
Lower spinal BMD, the greater anterior vertebral height restoration rate and intradiscal cement leakage were confirmed as risk factors for newly formed VCFs after PVP.
PMCID: PMC3488642  PMID: 23133722
Compression fracture; Vertebroplasty; Risk factor; Osteoporosis; Pattern
12.  Incidentally Discovered a Self-Inflicted a Nail in the Brain of Schizophrenia Patient 
Psychiatry Investigation  2011;8(3):272-274.
The self-infliction of foreign bodies into the brain represents rare a clinical phenomenon that has been reported primarily in cases involving accidents and suicide attempts. However, various motivations for self-injurious behaviors as well as suicide attempts have been reported, especially in patients with psychotic illnesses. A 47-year-old man with a history of schizophrenia presented to our hospital due to the presence of a nail on his plain skull X-ray. He diagnosed paranoid type of schizophrenia about 17 years earlier, and his psychiatric symptoms were well controlled by medication. Interestingly, he was not aware of the presence of the nail in his brain and showed no neurological deficits. In the course of detailed history taking, we discovered that the nail was driven into his brain during a hallucinatory experience that had occurred more than 10 years earlier. Because we believed that removing the nail from his brain would be more dangerous than maintaining the status quo, the nail was not removed. This is a very rare case of a self-inflicted injury involving inserting a nail into the brain under the influence of hallucinations. The absence of adverse effects or neurological symptoms/signs related to the presence of a foreign metallic body in the brain for over 10 years is exceptional.
PMCID: PMC3182395  PMID: 21994517
Hallucination; Intracranial self-stabbing; Nail; Penetrating injury; Suicide attempt; Schizophrenia
13.  A Case of Broncho-Paraspinal Fistula Induced by Metallic Devices: Delayed Complication of Thoracic Spinal Surgery 
We present a case report of a 45-year-old woman with spontaneous pneumocephalus accompanied by pneumorrhachis of the thoracic spine, which is a very rare condition generally associated with trauma and thoracic or spinal surgery. The patient had undergone an operation about 10 years earlier to treat a giant cell tumor of the thoracic spine. During the operation, a metallic device was installed, which destroyed the bronchus and caused the formation of a broncho-paraspinal fistula. This is the suspected cause of her pneumocephalus and pneumorrhachis. To our knowledge, this is a very rare case of pneumocephalus accompanied by pneumorrhachis induced by metallic device, and when considering the length of time after surgery these complications presented are also exceptional.
PMCID: PMC3159887  PMID: 21892410
Giant cell tumor; Pneumocephalus; Pneumorrhachis; Spinal surgery
14.  Spontaneous Rapid Reduction of a Large Acute Subdural Hematoma 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2009;24(6):1224-1226.
The majority of acute post-traumatic subdural hematomas (ASDH) require urgent surgical evacuation. Spontaneous resolution of ASDH has been reported in some cases. We report here on a case of a patient with a large amount of ASDH that was rapidly reduced. A 61-yr-old man was found unconscious following a high speed motor vehicle accident. On initial examination, his Glasgow Coma Score scale was 4/15. His pupils were fully dilated and non-reactive to bright light. Brain computed tomography (CT) showed a massive right-sided ASDH. The decision was made to treat him conservatively because of his poor clinical condition. Another brain CT approximately 14 hr after the initial scan demonstrated a remarkable reduction of the previous ASDH and there was the new appearance of high density in the subdural space adjacent to the falx and the tentorium. Thirty days after his admission, brain CT revealed chronic SDH and the patient underwent surgery. The patient is currently able to obey simple commands. In conclusion, spontaneous rapid resolution/reduction of ASDH may occur in some patients. The mechanisms are most likely the result of dilution by cerebrospinal fluid and the redistribution of hematoma especially in patients with brain atrophy.
PMCID: PMC2775881  PMID: 19949689
Hematoma, Subdural, Acute; Spontaneous Reduction; Brain Atrophy
15.  Intraarterial Nimodipine Infusion to Treat Symptomatic Cerebral Vasospasm after Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage 
Cerebral vasospasm leading to cerebral ischemic infarction is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the patients who suffer with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Despite adequate treatment, some patients deteriorate and they develop symptomatic vasospasm. The objective of the present study was to investigate the efficacy and clinical outcome of intraarterial nimodipine infusion on symptomatic vasospasm that is refractory to hemodynamic therapy.
We retrospectively reviewed the procedure reports, the clinical charts and the transcranial doppler, computed tomography and digital subtraction angiography results for the patients who underwent endovascular treatment for symptomatic cerebral vasospasm due to aneurysmal SAH. During the 36 months between Jan. 2005 and Dec. 2007, 19 patients were identified who had undergone a total of 53 procedures. We assessed the difference in the arterial vessel diameter, the blood flow velocity and the clinical outcome before and after these procedures.
Vascular dilatation was observed in 42 of 53 procedures. The velocities of the affected vessels before and after procedures were available in 33 of 53 procedures. Twenty-nine procedures exhibited a mean decrease of 84.1 cm/s. We observed clinical improvement and an improved level of consciousness with an improved GCS score after 23 procedures.
Based on our results, the use of intraarterial nimodipine is effective and safe in selected cases of vasospasm following aneurysmal SAH. Prospective, randomized studies are needed to confirm these results.
PMCID: PMC2764023  PMID: 19844625
Subarachnoid hemorrhage; Vasospasm; Intraarterial nimodipine infusion
16.  Superimposed Propionibacterium Acnes Subdural Empyema in a Patient with Chronic Subdural Hematoma 
The authors present a case of subdural empyema in a macrocephalic patient. A 23-year-old male was admitted due to headache and fever. One month ago, he had mild head injury by his coworkers. Physical examination showed a macrocephaly and laboratory findings suggested purulent meningitis. Neuroimaging studies revealed a huge size of epidural space-occupying lesion. Under the impression of epidural abscess, operation was performed. Eventually, the lesion was located at subdural space and was proven to be subdural empyema. Later, histological examination of the specimen obtained by surgery demonstrated finings consistent with the capsule of the chronic subdural hematoma. Two weeks after operation, Propionibacterium acnes was isolated. The intravenous antibiotics were used for total of eight weeks under monitoring of the serum level of the C-reactive protein. Follow-up brain computed tomography (CT) scan showed the presence of significant amount of remaining subdural lesion. However, he has complained of minimal discomfort. It is suggested that the subdural empyema occurred with preexisting chronic subdural hematoma after head injury about one month prior to admission and it took a long time to treat Propionibacterium acnes subdural empyema with systemic antibiotics, at least over eight weeks.
PMCID: PMC2640823  PMID: 19242574
Subdural empyema; Chronic subdural hematoma; Propionibacterium acnes; C-reactive protein
17.  Discal Cyst of the Lumbar Spine 
Discal cysts are rare lesions that can cause radiating leg pain. Because they are very rare, their natural history and the details of the therapeutic guidelines for the treatment of these cysts are still unknown. A 30-year-old male patient presented to our institute with radiating pain in his left leg and mild back pain. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed an intraspinal extradural cystic mass with low signal intensity on T1-weighted images and high signal intensity on T2-weighted images at the L5-S1 level. The partial hemilaminectomy and cyst resection were performed. We report a patient with low back pain and radiating leg pain caused by a lumbar discal cyst and discuss the treatment of this cyst.
PMCID: PMC2588320  PMID: 19096689
Discal cyst; Intraspinal; Lumbar spine
18.  Familial Intracranial Aneurysms 
Numerous studies have compared the characteristics of familial intracranial aneurysms with those of non-familial aneurysms. To better understand familial subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), we studied a series of patients with SAH who had at least one first-degree relative with SAH, and compared our results with those of previous studies.
We identified patients treated for SAH at our hospital between January 1993 and October 2006 and analyzed those patients with one or more first-degree relatives with SAH. We retrospectively collected data from patients with a family history and searched for patients who had relatives with aneurysms or who had been treated at other hospitals for SAH.
We identified 12 patients from six families with at least two first-degree relatives with SAH. All patients had affected first-degree relatives; in five families, they were siblings. The mean age at the time of rupture was 49.75 years; in four families, the age difference was within 5 years. In five patients (42%), the aneurysm was located in the middle cerebral artery. Only one patient had an aneurysm in the anterior communicating artery.
In agreement with previous studies, our results showed that familial aneurysms, in comparison with non-familiar aneurysms, ruptured at a younger age and smaller size, had a high incidence in the middle cerebral artery, and were underrepresented in the anterior communicating artery. Interestingly, the age at the time of rupture was similar between relatives. Screening should be considered in the fifth or sixth decade for those who have a sibling with SAH.
PMCID: PMC2588294  PMID: 19096663
Subarachnoid hemorrhage; Familial; Aneurysm; Screening
19.  A Clinical Analysis of Surgical Treatment for Spontaneous Spinal Infection 
The purpose of the study was to determine the clinical effects of anterior radical debridement on a series of patients with spontaneous spinal infection.
We retrospectively analyzed the clinical characteristics of 32 patients who underwent surgical treatment from January 2000 to December 2005 in our department. The average follow-up Period was 33.4 months (range, 6 to 87 months). Thirty-two patients presented with the following : 23 cases with pyogenic spondylitis, eight with tuberculous spondylitis and one with fungal spondylitis. The indications for surgery were intractable pain, failure of medical management, neurological impairment with or without an associated abscess, vertebral destruction causing spinal instability and/or segmental kyphosis.
The study included 15 (46.9%) males and 17 (53.1%) females ranging in age from 26 to 75 years (mean, 53.1 years). Diabetes mellitus (DM) and pulmonary Tbc were the most common predisposing factors for pyogenic spondylitis and tuberculous spondylitis. Staphylococcus aureus (13%) was the main organism isolated. The most prevalent location was the lumbar spine (75%). Changes in the pain score, Frankel's classification, and laboratory parameters demonstrated a significant clinical improvement in all patients. However, there were recurrent infections in two patients with tuberculous spondylitis and inappropriate debridement and intolerance of medication and noncompliance. Autologous rib, iliac bone and allograft (fibular) were performed in most patients. However, 10 patients were grafted using a titanium mesh cage after anterior radical debridement. There were no recurrent infections in the 10 cases using the mesh cage with radical debridement.
The findings of this study indicate that surgery based on appropriate surgical indications is effective for the control of spinal infection and prevention of recurrence with anterior radical debridement, proper drug use and abscess drainage.
PMCID: PMC2588210  PMID: 19096563
Spinal infection; Spinal instrumentation; Surgical mesh
20.  Anaplastic Ganglioglioma in a Middle-aged Woman: A Case Report with a Review of the Literature 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2007;22(Suppl):S139-S144.
We report a case of anaplastic ganglioglioma. A 45-yr-old woman was admitted with a 5-month history of headache and dizziness, both of which progressed slowly. Preoperative magnetic resonance imaging revealed a strong enhancing mass in the left frontal lobe extending to the cingulate gyrus. Adjuvant radiation therapy and chemotherapy were given after gross total resection of the tumor. Histological and immunohistochemical studies showed an anaplastic ganglioglioma. Gangliogliomas of the central nervous system are rather uncommon tumors, and anaplastic ones are extremely rare. The pertinent literature regarding gangliogliomas is reviewed.
PMCID: PMC2694381  PMID: 17923741
Ganglioglioma; Anaplasia

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