Solitary fibrous tumor is rare benign mesenchymal neoplasm. The spinal solitary fibrous tumor is extremely rare. The authors experienced a case of intramedullary solitary fibrous tumor of cervicothoracic spinal cord in a 48-year-old man with right lower extremity sensory disturbance. Spinal MRI showed intradural mass lesion in the level of C7-T1, the margin between the spinal cord and tumor was not clear on MRI. A Left unilateral laminectomy and mass removal was performed. Intra operative finding, the tumor boundary was unclear from spinal cord and it had intramedullary and extramedullary portion. After surgery, patient had good recovery and had uneventful prognosis. Follow up spinal MRI showed no recurrence of tumor.
Solitary fibrous tumor; Intramedulla; Spine; Benign
Multiple myeloma occurs primarily in elderly patients. Considering the high prevalence of comorbidities, comorbidity is an important issue for the management of myeloma. However, the impact of comorbidity on clinical outcomes has not been fully investigated. We retrospectively analyzed patients with newly diagnosed myeloma. Comorbidities were assessed based on the Charlson comorbidity index (CCI) and the Freiburg comorbidity index (FCI). The CCI is a summary measure of 19 comorbid conditions. FCI is determined by performance status, renal impairment, and lung disease. This study included 127 patients with a median age of 71 years. Approximately half of the patients had additional disorders at the time of diagnosis, and diabetes mellitus was the most frequent diagnosis (18.9%). The most significant factors for prognosis among patient-related conditions were a history of solid cancer and performance status (ECOG ≥ 2). The FCI score was divided into 3 groups (0, 1, and 2-3), and the CCI score was divided into 2 groups (2-3 and ≥4). FCI was a strong prognostic tool for OS (P > 0.001) and predicted clinical outcome better than CCI (P = 0.059). In conclusion, FCI was more useful than CCI in predicting overall survival in elderly patients with myeloma.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the differences in sagittal spinopelvic alignment between lumbar degenerative spondylolisthesis (DSPL) and degenerative spinal stenosis (DSS).
Seventy patients with DSPL and 72 patients with DSS who were treated with lumbar interbody fusion surgery were included in this study. The following spinopelvic parameters were measured on whole spine lateral radiographs in a standing position : pelvic incidence (PI), pelvic tilt (PT), sacral slope (SS), lumbar lordosis angle (LL), L4-S1 segmental lumbar angle (SLL), thoracic kyphosis (TK), and sagittal vertical axis from the C7 plumb line (SVA). Two groups were subdivided by SVA value, respectively. Normal SVA subgroup and positive SVA subgroup were divided as SVA value (<50 mm and ≥50 mm). Spinopelvic parameters/PI ratios were assessed and compared between the groups.
The PI of DSPL was significantly greater than that of DSS (p=0.000). The SVA of DSPL was significantly greater than that of DSS (p=0.001). In sub-group analysis between the positive (34.3%) and normal SVA (65.7%), there were significant differences in LL/PI and SLL/PI (p<0.05) in the DSPL group. In sub-group analysis between the positive (12.5%) and normal SVA (87.5%), there were significant differences in PT/PI, SS/PI, LL/PI and SLL/PI ratios (p<0.05) in the DSS group.
Patients with lumbar degenerative spondylolisthesis have the propensity for sagittal imbalance and higher pelvic incidence compared with those with degenerative spinal stenosis. Sagittal imbalance in patients with DSPL is significantly correlated with the loss of lumbar lordosis, especially loss of segmental lumbar lordosis.
Sagittal spinopelvic alignment; Pelvic incidence; SVA; Lumbar lordosis; Degenerative spondylolisthesis; Degenerative spinal stenosis
To evaluate the radiographic results of minimally invasive (MIS) anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF).
Twelve and nineteen patients who underwent MIS-ALIF, MIS-TLIF, respectively, from 2006 to 2008 were analyzed with a minimum 24-months' follow-up. Additionally, 18 patients treated with single level open TLIF surgery in 2007 were evaluated as a comparative group. X-rays and CT images were evaluated preoperatively, postoperatively, and at the final follow-up. Fusion and subsidence rates were determined, and radiographic parameters, including lumbar lordosis angle (LLA), fused segment angle (FSA), sacral slope angle (SSA), disc height (DH), and foraminal height (FH), were analyzed. These parameters were also compared between the open and MIS-TLIF groups.
In the MIS interbody fusion group, statistically significant increases were observed in LLA, FSA, and DH and FH between preoperative and final values. The changes in LLA, FSA, and DH were significantly increased in the MIS-ALIF group compared with the MIS-TLIF group, but SSA and FH were not significantly different. No significant differences were seen between open and MIS-TLIF except for DH. The interbody subsidence and fusion rates of the MIS groups were 12.0±4% and 96%, respectively.
Radiographic results of MIS interbody fusion surgery are as favorable as those with conventional surgery regarding fusion, restoration of disc height, foraminal height, and lumbar lordosis. MIS-ALIF is more effective than MIS-TLIF for intervertebral disc height restoration and lumbar lordosis.
Minimally Invasive Interbody Fusion; Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion; Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion; Radiographic Results
Background and Purpose
We compared the levels of serum lipid, protein, and glucose between patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and healthy controls.
The serum levels of lipids [including triglycerides, cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and high-density lipoprotein (HDL)], protein, and glucose of 95 patients with ALS (60 men) were compared with those of 99 age- and sex-matched healthy controls (64 men). Both groups had normal dietary intakes.
Total cholesterol (p=0.004), LDL (p=0.040), triglyceride (p=0.025), and protein (p=0.010) levels, and LDL/HDL ratios (p<0.001) in men with ALS were significantly lower than those in their control counterparts. There were no such significant differences in these parameters between female patients with ALS and female controls.
The serum levels of lipid and protein were significantly lower in male patients with ALS than in the male controls. Since we controlled for the confounding effects of dietary intake, hypolipidemia in ALS might be associated with the pathophysiology of the disease rather than being the result of the decreased dietary intake in ALS patients. Metabolic demand might increase in ALS, and it may be affected by gender.
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; dyslipidemia; gender differences
The purpose of this study was to analyze the differences of spinopelvic parameters between degenerative spondylolisthesis (DSPL) and isthmic spondylolisthesis (ISPL) patients.
Thirty-four patients with DSPL and 19 patients with ISPL were included in this study. Spinopelvic parameters were evaluated on whole spine X-rays in a standing position. The following spinopelvic parameters were measured : pelvic incidence (PI), sacral slope, pelvic tilt (PT), lumbar lordosis (LL), and sagittal vertical axis from C7 plumb line (SVA). The population of patients was compared with a control population of 30 normal and asymptomatic adults.
There were statistically significant differences in LL (p=0.004) and SVA (p=0.005) between the DSPL and ISPL group. The LL of DSPL (42±13°) was significantly lower than that of the control group (48±11°; p=0.029), but that of ISPL (55±6°) was significantly greater than a control group (p=0.004). The SVA of DSPL (55±49 mm) was greater than that of a control group (<40 mm), but that of ISPL (21±22 mm) was within 40 mm as that of a control group. The PT of DSPL (24±7°) and ISPL (21±7°) was significantly greater than that of a control group (11±6°; p=0.000).
Both symptomatic DSPL and ISPL patients had a greater PI than that of the asymptomatic control group. In conclusion, DSPL populations are likely to have global sagittal imbalance (high SVA) compared with ISPL populations because of the difference of lumbar lordosis between two groups.
Spinopelvic alignment; Pelvic incidence; Lumbar lordosis; Degenerative spondylolisthesis; Isthmic spondylolisthesis
The aim of this study was to determine whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of fibroblast growth factor (FGF) 2 gene and fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) genes are associated with ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL).
A total of 157 patients with OPLL and 222 controls were recruited for a case control association study investigating the relationship between SNPs of FGF2, FGFR1, FGFR2 and OPLL. To identify the association among polymorphisms of FGF2 gene, FGFR1, FGFR2 genes and OPLL, the authors genotyped 9 SNPs of the genes (FGF2 : rs1476217, rs308395, rs308397, and rs3747676; FGFR1 : rs13317 and rs2467531; FGFR2 : rs755793, rs1047100, and rs3135831) using direct sequencing method. SNPs data were analyzed using the SNPStats, SNPAnalyzer, Haploview, and Helixtree programs.
Of the SNPs, a SNP (rs13317) in FGFR1 was significantly associated with the susceptibility of OPLL in the codominant (odds ratio=1.35, 95% confidence interval=1.01-1.81, p=0.048) and recessive model (odds ratio=2.00, 95% confidence interval=1.11-3.59, p=0.020). The analysis adjusted for associated condition showed that the SNP of rs1476217 (p=0.03), rs3747676 (p=0.01) polymorphisms in the FGF2 were associated with diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) and rs1476217 (p=0.01) in the FGF2 was associated with ossification of the ligament flavum (OLF).
The results of the present study revealed that an FGFR1 SNP was significantly associated with OPLL and that a SNP in FGF2 was associated with conditions that were comorbid with OPLL (DISH and OLF).
OPLL; FGF2 gene; FGFR 1 & 2 genes; Polymorphism
To evaluate radiographic results of anterior fusion methods in two-level cervical disc disease : tricortical autograft and plate fixation (ACDF-AP), cage and plate fixation (ACDF-CP), stand-alone cage (ACDF-CA), and corpectomy and plate fixation (ACCF).
The numbers of patients were 70 with a minimum 6 month follow-up (ACDF-AP : 12, ACDF-CP : 27, ACDF-CA : 15, and ACCF : 16). Dynamic simple X-ray and computed tomography were evaluated preoperatively, postoperatively, 6 month, and at the final follow-up. The fusion and subsidence rates at the final were determined, and global cervical lordosis (GCL), cervical range of motion, fused segment angle (FSA), and fused segment height (FSH) were analyzed.
Nonunion was observed in 4 (25%) patients with ACDF-CA, 1 (8%) patient with ACDF-AP, 1 (4%) patient with ACDF-CP. The number of loss of FSH (%) more than 3 mm were 2 patients (16%) in ACDF-AP, 3 patients (11%) in ACDF-CP, 5 patients (33%) in ACDF-CA, and 3 patients (20%) in ACCF. The GCL was decreased with ACDF-CA and increased with others. The FSA was increased with ACDF-AP, ACDF-CP, and ACCF, but ACDF-CA was decreased. At the final follow-up, the FSH was slightly decreased in ACDF-CP, ACDF-AP, and ACCF, but ACDF-CA was more decreased. Graft related complication were minimal. Screw loosening, plate fracture, cage subsidence and migration were not identified.
ACDF-CP demonstrated a higher fusion rate and less minimal FSH loss than the other fusions in two-level cervical disc disease. The ACDF-AP and ACCF methods had a better outcome than the ACDF-CA with respect to GCL, FSA, and FSH.
Radiographic comparison; Anterior cervical fusion methods; Two-level cervical disc diseases
Coronoid process hyperplasia is a rare condition that causes mouth opening limitation, otherwise known as trismus. The elongated coronoid processes impinge on the medial surfaces of the zygomatic arches when opening the mouth, which limits movement of the mandible and leads to trismus. Patients with trismus due to coronoid process hyperplasia do not have any definite symptoms such as temporomandibular joint pain or sounds upon clinical examination, and no significant abnormal signs are observed on panoramic radiographs or magnetic resonance images of the temporomandibular joint. Thus, the diagnosis of trismus is usually very difficult. However, computed tomography can help with the diagnosis, and the condition can be treated by surgery and postoperative physical therapy. This paper describes four cases of patients who visited our clinic for trismus and were subsequently diagnosed with coronoid process hyperplasia. Three were successfully treated with a coronoidectomy and postoperative physical therapy.
Trismus; Temporomandibular joint disorders; Hyperplasia; Mandible; Diagnosis
Organic-inorganic hybrid tandem solar cells attract a considerable amount of attention due to their potential for realizing high efficiency photovoltaic devices at a low cost. Here, highly efficient triple-junction (TJ) hybrid tandem solar cells consisting of a double-junction (DJ) amorphous silicon (a-Si) cell and an organic photovoltaic (OPV) rear cell were developed. In order to design the TJ device in a logical manner, a simulation was carried out based on optical absorption and internal quantum efficiency. In the TJ architecture, the high-energy photons were utilized in a more efficient way than in the previously reported a-Si/OPV DJ devices, leading to a significant improvement in the overall efficiency by means of a voltage gain. The interface engineering such as tin-doped In2O3 deposition as an interlayer and its UV-ozone treatment resulted in the further improvement in the performance of the TJ solar cells. As a result, a power conversion efficiency of 7.81% was achieved with an open-circuit voltage of 2.35 V. The wavelength-resolved absorption profile provides deeper insight into the detailed optical response of the TJ hybrid solar cells.
Background and Purpose
Activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) is a crucial step in the pathogenesis of hepatic fibrosis. Histone deacetylase (HDAC) is an attractive target in liver fibrosis because it plays a key role in gene expression and cell differentiation. We have developed a HDAC inhibitor, N-hydroxy-7-(2-naphthylthio)heptanomide (HNHA), and investigated the anti-fibrotic activity of HNHA in vitro and in vivo.
We investigated the anti-fibrotic effect of HNHA on mouse and human HSC activation in vitro and in the liver of bile duct-ligated (BDL) rats in vivo using cell proliferation assays, cell cycle analysis, biochemical assay, immunohistochemistry and Western blots. Liver pathology was assessed with histochemical techniques.
HNHA inhibited proliferation and arrested the cell cycle via p21 induction in HSCs. In addition, HNHA induced apoptosis of HSCs, which was correlated with reduced COX-2 expression, NF-κB activation and cell death signals. HNHA restored liver function and decreased the accumulation of extracellular matrix in the liver via suppression of HSC activation in BDL rats in vivo. HNHA administration also increased survival in BDL rats.
Conclusions and Implications
HNHA improved liver function, suppressed liver fibrosis and increased survival of BDL rats, accompanied by reduction of cell growth, activation and survival of HSCs. These findings show that HNHA may be a potent anti-fibrosis agent against hepatic fibrosis because of its multi-targeted inhibition of HSC activity in vivo and in vitro.
To evaluate the clinical and radiological outcomes of lumbar interbody fusion and its correlation with various factors (e.g., age, comorbidities, fusion level, bone quality) in patients over and under 65 years of age who underwent lumbar fusion surgery for degenerative lumbar disease.
One-hundred-thirty-three patients with lumbar degenerative disease underwent lumbar fusion surgery between June 2006 and June 2007 and were followed for more than one year. Forty-eight (36.1%) were older than 65 years of age (group A) and 85 (63.9%) were under 65 years of age (group B). Diagnosis, comorbidities, length of hospital stay, and perioperative complications were recorded. The analysis of clinical outcomes was based on the visual analogue scale (VAS). Radiological results were evaluated using plain radiographs. Clinical outcomes, radiological outcomes, length of hospital stay, and complication rates were analyzed in relation to lumbar fusion level, the number of comorbidities, bone mineral density (BMD), and age.
The mean age of the patients was 61.2 years (range, 33-86 years) and the mean BMD was -2.2 (range, -4.8 to -2.8). The mean length of hospital stay was 15.0 days (range, 5-60 days) and the mean follow-up was 23.0 months (range, 18-30 months). Eighty-five (64.0%) patients had more than one preoperative comorbidities. Perioperative complications occurred in 27 of 133 patients (20.3%). The incidence of overall complication was 22.9% in group A, and 18.8% in group B but there was no statistical difference between the two groups. The mean VAS scores for the back and leg were significantly decreased in both groups (p < 0.05), and bony fusion was achieved in 125 of 133 patients (94.0%). There was no significant difference in bony union rates between groups A and B (91.7% in group A vs. 95.3% in group B, p = 0.398). In group A, perioperative complications were more common with the increase in fusion level (p = 0.027). Perioperative complications in both groups A (p = 0.035) and B (p = 0.044) increased with an increasing number of comorbidities.
Elderly patients with comorbidities are at a high risk for complications and adverse outcomes after lumbar spine surgery. In our study, clinical outcomes, fusion rates, and perioperative complication rates in older patients were comparable with those in younger populations. The number of comorbidities and the extent of fusion level were significant factors in predicting the occurrence of postoperative complications. However, proper perioperative general supportive care with a thorough fusion strategy during the operation could improve the overall postoperative outcomes in lumbar fusion surgery for elderly patients.
Elderly patients; Lumbar interbody fusion; Comorbidities; Complications
The purpose of this retrospective study is to find the differentiating characteristics of cystic and cystic-appearing lesions that involve the impacted mandibular third molar by analyzing panoramic radiographs and computed tomography images, and to aid the preoperative diagnosis.
Materials and Methods
Eighty-one patients who had a mandibular cystic or cystic-appearing lesion that involved impacted mandibular third molar and underwent cyst enucleation were included in the study. The preoperative panoramic radiograph and computed tomography findings were analyzed in accordance to the histopathologic type.
Most of the cystic lesions containing the mandibular third molar were diagnosed as a dentigerous cyst (77.8%). The occurrence of mesio-distal displacement of the third molar was more frequent in the odontogenic keratocyst (71.4%) and in the ameloblastoma (85.7%) than in the dentigerous cyst (19.1%). Downward displacement was primarily observed in each group. Odontogenic keratocyst and ameloblastoma showed more aggressive growth pattern with higher rate of bony discontinuity and cortical bone expansion than in dentigerous cyst.
When evaluating mandibular cystic lesions involving the impacted mandibular third molar, dentigerous cyst should first be suspected. However, when the third molar displacement and cortical bone absorption are observed, then odontogenic keratocyst or ameloblastoma should be considered.
Third molar; Dentigerous cyst; Odontogenic cysts; Ameloblastoma; Mandible
The presence of distant metastases from differentiated thyroid carcinoma decreases the 10-year survival rates of patients by 50%. This is a report of a 61-year-old female with follicular thyroid carcinoma who presented initially with low back pain. 2-deoxy-2-[18F] fluoro-D-glucose whole-body positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) demonstrated a hypointensity lesion in the left thyroid gland with malignant uptake in L1 vertebra and magnetic resonance images revealed paravertebral and epidural extension of mass in L1 vertebra. After thyroidectomy, histopathological study showed a follicular carcinoma. We performed L1 total en bloc spondylectomy with expandable cage for long-term local control. The technical details of total en bloc spondylectomy in follicular carcinoma are described herein.
Thyroid carcinoma; Total en bloc spondylectomy; Metastasis
To evaluate the surgical outcomes of ventral interbody grafting and anterior or posterior spinal instrumentation for the treatment of advanced spondylodiscitis in patients who had failed medical management.
A total of 28 patients were evaluated for associated medical illness, detected pathogen, level of involved spine, and perioperative complications. Radiological evaluation including the rate of bony union, segmental Cobb angle, graft- and instrumentation-related complications, and clinical outcomes by mean Frankel scale and VAS score were performed.
There are 14 pyogenic spondylodiscitis, 6 postoperative spondylodiscitis, and 8 tuberculous spondylodiscitis. There were 21 males and 7 females. Mean age was 51 years, with a range from 18 to 77. Mean follow-up period was 10.9 months. Associated medical illnesses were 6 diabetes, 3 pulmonary tuberculosis, and 4 chronic liver diseases. Staphylococcus was the most common pathogen isolated (25%), and Mycobacterium tuberculosis was found in 18% of the patients. Operative approaches, either anterior or posterior spinal instrumentation, were done simultaneously or delayed after anterior aggressive debridement, neural decompression, and structural interbody bone grafting. All patients with neurological deficits improved after operation, except only one who died from aggravation as military tuberculosis. Mean Frankel scale was changed from 3.78±0.78 preoperatively to 4.78±0.35 at final follow up and mean VAS score was improved from 7.43±0.54 to 2.07±1.12. Solid bone fusion was obtained in all patients except only one patient who died. There was no need for prolongation of duration of antibiotics and no evidence of secondary infection owing to spinal instrumentations.
According to these results, debridement and anterior column reconstruction with ventral interbody grafting and instrumentation is effective and safe in patients who had failed medical management and neurological deficits in advanced spondylodiscitis.
Advanced spondylodiscitis; Ventral interbody grafting; Spinal instrumentation
Although a significant correction of local kyphosis has been reported previously, only a few studies have investigated whether this correction leads to an improved overall sagittal alignment. The study objective was to determine whether an improvement in the local kyphotic angle improves the overall sagittal alignment. We examined and compared the effects of thoracic and lumbar level kyphoplasty procedures on local versus overall sagittal alignment of the spine.
Thirty-eight patients with osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures who showed poor response to conventional, palliative medical therapy underwent single-level kyphoplasty. The pertinent clinical data of these patients, from June 2006 to November 2006, were reviewed retrospectively. We measured preoperative and postoperative vertebral body heights, which were classified as anterior, middle, or posterior fractured vertebral body heights. Furthermore, the local and overall sagittal angles after polymethylmethacrylate deposition were measured.
More height was gained at the thoracic level, and the middle vertebral height regained the most. A significant local kyphosis correction was observed at the fractured level, and the correction at larger spanning segments decreased with the distance from the fractured level.
The inflatable balloon kyphoplasty procedure was the most effective in regaining the height of the thoracic fractured vertebra in the middle vertebral body. The kyphosis correction by kyphoplasty was mainly achieved in the fractured vertebral body. Sagittal angular correction decreased with an increase in the distance from the fractured vertebra. No significant improvement was observed in the overall sagittal alignment after kyphoplasty. Further studies in a larger population are required to clarify this issue.
Kyphoplasty; Vertebral compression fracture; Sagittal alignment
The relative frequencies of demyelinating diseases among Korean patients with idiopathic inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (IIDD) have not been sufficiently studied. We therefore describe a cohort of 203 patients with IIDD from three centers in Korea whose syndromes were identified precisely according to international clinical criteria and autoantibody to aquaporin 4 (AQP4-Ab) status.
In total, 260 consecutive patients were screened and 203 were included from three hospitals in Korea. All were tested for AQP4-Ab by using a cell-based assay. Patients who met the criteria for definite neuromyelitis optica (NMO) or had a positive AQP4-Ab test result were defined as the NMO group. Among the others, patients were assessed if they had acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, multiple sclerosis (MS), acute transverse myelitis, optic neuritis, or other demyelinating disease as a clinically isolated syndrome of the brain.
Eighteen percent of patients were classified as the NMO group, 2% as acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, 18% as MS, 41% as acute transverse myelitis, 11% as optic neuritis, and 8% as other clinically isolated syndrome of the brain. AQP4-Ab was positive in 18% of patients and the relative frequency of NMO to MS (NMO/MS ratio) was 1.06. The mean duration of follow up in our patients was 64 months.
Among Korean patients with idiopathic inflammatory demyelinating diseases, the incidence of NMO may be similar to that of MS, and the overall positivity of AQP4-Ab could be lower than previously reported. In addition, acute transverse myelitis that is not associated with MS or NMO can be relatively common in these patients. Further population-based studies with AQP4-Ab are needed to determine the exact incidence of NMO and other idiopathic inflammatory demyelinating diseases in Korea.
Neuromyelitis optica; Multiple sclerosis; Anti-aquaporin-4 antibody; Idiopathic inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system; Korean
In scalp skin examinations, it is difficult to find a previously treated region on a patient's scalp through images captured by a camera attached to a diagnostic device because the zoom lens on camera has a small field of view. Thus, doctors manually record the region on a chart or manually mark the region. However, this process is slow and inconveniences the patient. Thus, we propose a new system for tracking the diagnostic device for the scalp skin of patients. Our research is novel in four ways. First, our proposed system consists of two cameras to capture the face and the diagnostic device. Second, the user can easily set the position of camera to capture the diagnostic device by manually moving a frame to which the camera is attached. Third, the position of patient's nostrils and corners of the eyes are detected to align the position of his/her head more accurately with the recorded position from previous sessions. Fourth, the position of the diagnostic device is continuously tracked during the examination through images that help detect the position of the color marker attached to the device. Experimental results show that our system has a higher performance than conventional method.
scalp skin examinations; tracking the diagnostic device; color marker
Background and Objective
Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is an inflammatory demyelinating disorder of the central nervous system with a relapsing and remitting course. We aimed to identify factors associated with the time to next attack, including the effect of the natural disease course and the diverse treatment regimens, by applying a longitudinal statistical analysis to the individual attacks of each patient.
In total, 184 acute attacks among 58 patients with either NMO or NMO spectrum disorder with anti-aquaporin-4 antibody were assessed retrospectively. Patient demographics, clinical characteristics at each attack, and type of treatment during inter-attack periods were assessed. The dependent variable was defined as the time from each attack to the next attack (inter-attack interval). An exponential accelerated failure time model with shared gamma frailty was adapted for statistical analysis.
A multivariable analysis revealed that the time from each attack to the next attack in NMO increased independently by 1.31 times (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.02–1.67; p = 0.035) with each additional cumulative attack experienced, by 5.34 times (95% CI, 1.57–18.13; p = 0.007) with combined azathioprine treatment and continued oral prednisolone, and by 4.26 times (95% CI, 1.09–16.61; p = 0.037) with rituximab treatment.
The time to next attack in NMO can increase naturally in the later stages of the disease as the number of cumulative attacks increases. Nevertheless, both combined azathioprine treatment with continued oral prednisolone and rituximab treatment were also associated with a longer time to next attack, independently of the natural disease course of NMO.
Patients with ALS may be exposed to variable degrees of chronic intermittent hypoxia. However, all previous experimental studies on the effects of hypoxia in ALS have only used a sustained hypoxia model and it is possible that chronic intermittent hypoxia exerts effects via a different molecular mechanism from that of sustained hypoxia. No study has yet shown that hypoxia (either chronic intermittent or sustained) can affect the loss of motor neurons or cognitive function in an in vivo model of ALS.
To evaluate the effects of chronic intermittent hypoxia on motor and cognitive function in ALS mice.
Sixteen ALS mice and 16 wild-type mice were divided into 2 groups and subjected to either chronic intermittent hypoxia or normoxia for 2 weeks. The effects of chronic intermittent hypoxia on ALS mice were evaluated using the rotarod, Y-maze, and wire-hanging tests. In addition, numbers of motor neurons in the ventral horn of the spinal cord were counted and western blot analyses were performed for markers of oxidative stress and inflammatory pathway activation.
Compared to ALS mice kept in normoxic conditions, ALS mice that experienced chronic intermittent hypoxia had poorer motor learning on the rotarod test, poorer spatial memory on the Y-maze test, shorter wire hanging time, and fewer motor neurons in the ventral spinal cord. Compared to ALS-normoxic and wild-type mice, ALS mice that experienced chronic intermittent hypoxia had higher levels of oxidative stress and inflammation.
Chronic intermittent hypoxia can aggravate motor neuronal death, neuromuscular weakness, and probably cognitive dysfunction in ALS mice. The generation of oxidative stress with activation of inflammatory pathways may be associated with this mechanism. Our study will provide insight into the association of hypoxia with disease progression, and in turn, the rationale for an early non-invasive ventilation treatment in patients with ALS.
MicroRNAs are small noncoding RNAs and microRNA-214 (miR-214) has been associated with the inhibition of cancer cell growth, migration, and invasion. The aim of this study was to investigate whether cell-free miR-214 isolated from urine could be used as a biomarker for non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC).
Materials and Methods
A total of 138 patients with primary NMIBC and 144 healthy normal controls were enrolled in this study. By use of quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR), the urinary levels of cell-free miR-214 were measured and the clinicopathological parameters of patients with NMIBC were compared with those of the controls.
The urinary levels of cell-free miR-214 were significantly higher in the NMIBC patients than in the controls (20.08±3.21 vs. 18.96±2.68, p=0.002). However, the urinary levels of cell-free miR-214 were neither graded nor staged for the NMIBC patients (p>0.05, each). When we compared the urinary levels of cell-free miR-214 according to clinical outcomes, patients with recurrence had lower levels of miR-214 than did those with no recurrence (19.24±2.67 vs. 20.41±3.41, p=0.023). By contrast, there were no significant differences in the urinary level of cell-free miR-214 between the NMIBC patients showing progression and those showing no progression (p=0.919). Multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed that urinary levels of cell-free miR-214 were an independent predictor of NMIBC recurrence (hazard ratio, 2.011; 95% confidence interval, 1.027 to 3.937; p=0.041).
Urinary levels of cell-free miR-214 could be an independent prognostic parameter for NMIBC recurrence. Thus, urinary cell-free microRNA-214 might be a useful prognostic marker for NMI BC.
MicroRNAs; Neoplasms; Recurrence; Urinary bladder
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease that leads to progressive weakness of the respiratory and limb muscles. Consequently, most patients with ALS exhibit progressive hypoventilation, which worsens during sleep. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between nocturnal hypoxia and cognitive dysfunction and to assess the pattern of nocturnal hypoxia in patients with ALS.
Twenty-five patients with definite or probable ALS underwent neuropsychologic testing, nocturnal pulse oximetry, and capnography. Patients were grouped according to the presence of nocturnal hypoxia (SpO2<95% for ≥10% of the night) and their clinical characteristics and cognitive function were compared.
Compared to patients without nocturnal hypoxia, those with nocturnal hypoxia (n = 10, 40%) had poor memory retention (p = 0.039) and retrieval efficiency (p = 0.045). A cluster-of-desaturation pattern was identified in 7 patients (70%) in the Hypoxia Group.
These results suggest that nocturnal hypoxia can be related to cognitive dysfunction in ALS. In addition, a considerable number of patients with ALS may be exposed to repeated episodes of deoxygenation–reoxygenation (a cluster-of-desaturation pattern) during sleep, which could be associated with the generation of reactive oxygen species. Further studies are required to define the exact causal relationships between these phenomena, the exact manifestations of nocturnal cluster-of-desaturation patterns, and the effect of clusters of desaturation on ALS progression.
The recent developments of new devices and advances in anesthesiology have greatly improved the utility and accuracy of intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring (IOM). Herein, we review the basic principles of the electrophysiological methods employed under IOM in the operating room. These include motor evoked potentials, somatosensory evoked potentials, electroencephalography, electromyography, brainstem auditory evoked potentials, and visual evoked potentials. Most of these techniques have certain limitations and their utility is still being debated. In this review, we also discuss the optimal stimulation/recording method for each of these modalities during individual surgeries as well as the diverse criteria for alarm signs.
Intraoperative Neurophysiologic Monitoring; Evoked Potential; Guideline
In hyperthyroidism, many patients had neuromuscular symptoms and clinical weakness correlated with free thyroxine (T4) concentrations. The common clinical symptoms of chronic thyrotoxic myopathy were characterized by progressive weakness in proximal muscles and atrophy. A 55-year old woman was visited our hospital with two years of progressive weakness of both legs. Physical examination showed diffuse enlargement of the thyroid gland, muscle atrophy and tachycardia. Motor examination showed proximal weakness in both legs. Serum creatine phosphokinase was normal and electromyography showed a myopathic pattern. Serum thyroxine (T4) was greatly increased and serum thyroid stimulating hormone was very low. Muscle biopsy showed mild atrophic change and type 2 fiber predominance. The patient's symptoms were improved during treatment with methimazole. Herein we report a case of thyrotoxic myopathy with extreme type 2 fiber predominance histologically.
thyrotoxic myopathy; hyperthyroidism; type 2 fiber
Background and Purpose:
Cognitive dysfunction related to antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) is an important issue in the management of patients with epilepsy. The aim of the present study was to evaluate relative long-term effects of oxcarbazepine (OXC) on cognition in drug-naive patients with epilepsy.
Fifteen drug-naïve epilepsy patients were enrolled. Electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings and neuropsychological (NP) tests were performed before and after OXC monotherapy. The relative power of the discrete frequency bandwas obtained. In addition, interhemispheric and intrahemispheric spectral coherence was also calculated.
NP tests showed significant improvement in visuo-spatial, memory and executive function after OXC treatment. However, neither spectral power nor coherence changed significantly with OXC treatment.
Our study supports the notion that OXC has no significant cognitive side effect in patients with epilepsy.
Epilepsy; Oxcarbazepine; Cognition; Quantitative EEG; Coherence