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1.  A Faster and Wider Skin Incision Technique for Decompressive Craniectomy: n-Shaped Incision for Decompressive Craniectomy 
Korean Journal of Neurotrauma  2016;12(2):72-76.
Decompressive craniectomy (DC) is a useful surgical method to achieve adequate decompression in hypertensive intracranial patients. This study suggested a new skin incision for DC, and analyzed its efficacy and safety.
In the retrograde reviews, 15 patients underwent a newly suggested surgical approach using n-shape skin incision technique (Group A) and 23 patients were treated with conventional question mark skin incision technique (Group B). Two groups were compared in the terms of the decompressed area of the craniectomy, protruded brain volume out of the skull layer, the operation time from skin incision to bone flap removal, and modified Rankin Scale (mRS) which was evaluated for 3 months after surgery.
The decompressed area of craniectomy (389.1 cm2 vs. 318.7 cm2, p=0.041) and the protruded brain volume (151.8 cm3 vs. 116.2 cm3, p=0.045) were significantly larger in Group A compared to the area and the volume in Group B. The time interval between skin incision and bone flap removal was much shorter in Group A (23.3 minutes vs. 29.5 minutes, p=0.013). But, the clinical results were similar between 2 groups. Group A showed more favorable outcome proportion (mRS 0-3, 6/15 patients vs. 5/23 patients, p=0.225) and lesser mortality cases proportion 1/15 patients vs. 4/23 patients, but these differences were not significantly observed (p=0.225 and 0.339).
DC using n-shaped skin incision was a feasible and safe surgical technique. It may be an easier and faster method for the purpose of training neurosurgeons.
PMCID: PMC5110922  PMID: 27857911
Dermatologic surgical procedures; Decompressive craniectomy; Surgical procedures, operative; Surgical flaps
2.  Comparison of the Effects of Sufentanil and Fentanyl Intravenous Patient Controlled Analgesia after Lumbar Fusion 
Postoperative pain is one of the major complaints of patients after lumbar fusion surgery. The authors evaluated the effects of intravenous patient controlled analgesia (IV-PCA) using fentanyl or sufentanil on postoperative pain management and pain-related complications.
Forty-two patients that had undergone surgery with lumbar instrumentation and fusion at single or double levels constituted the study cohort. Patients were equally and randomly allocated to a sufentanil group (group S) or a fentanyl group (group F) for patient controlled analgesia (PCA). Group S received sufentanil at a dose of 4 μg/kg IV-PCA and group F received fentanyl 24 μg/kg IV-PCA. A numeric rating scale (NRS) of postoperative pain was applied before surgery, and immediately and at 1, 6, and 24 hours (hrs) after surgery. Oswestry disability index (ODI) scores were obtained before surgery and one month after surgery. Opioid-related side effects were also evaluated.
No significant intergroup difference was observed in NRS or ODI scores at any of the above-mentioned time points. Side effects were more frequent in group F. More specifically, nausea, vomiting rates were significantly higher (p=0.04), but pruritus, hypotension, and headache rates were non-significantly different in the two groups.
Sufentanil displayed no analgesic advantage over fentanyl postoperatively. However, sufentanil should be considerable for patients at high risk of GI issues, because it had lower postoperative nausea and vomiting rates than fentanyl.
PMCID: PMC5223752  PMID: 28061485
Postoperative pain; Lumbar fusion; Sufentanil; Fentanyl; IV-PCA
3.  Clinical and Radiological Comparison of Semirigid (WavefleX) and Rigid System for the Lumbar Spine 
Korean Journal of Spine  2016;13(2):57-62.
Spinal fusion operation is an effective treatment in the spinal pathology, but it could change the physiological distribution of load at the instrumented and adjacent segments. This retrospective study compared the radiological and clinical outcomes of patients undergoing lumbar fusion with semirigid rods versus rigid rods system.
Using transpedicular fixation and posterior lumbar interbody fusion at the level of L4/L5, 20 patients were treated with semirigid rods (WavefleX, SR group), and 20 patients with rigid rods (titanium, RR group). Clinical and radiological outcomes were evaluated, including visual analog score for lower back pain and leg pain, Prolo functional and economic scores, statues of implanted instruments, fusion rate, and complications during 24-month follow-up.
Clinical scores were significantly improved until postoperative 24-month follow-up as compared with preoperative scores in both groups (p<0.05), with similar levels of improvement observed at the same time points postoperatively between the 2 groups. Prolo economic scores were significantly improved in SR group compared to RR until 12 months, but this improvement became similar after 18 months. The overall fusion rate was 94.1% until the 24-month follow-up for both groups. No significant complication was observed in both groups.
The results of the present study indicate that semirigid rods system with posterior lumbar interbody fusion showed similar clinical and radiological result with rigid rods system until 2 years after instrumentation. The WavefleX rods system, as a semirigid rods with unique characteristics, may be an effective alternative treatment for patients in lumbar fusion.
PMCID: PMC4949168  PMID: 27437014
Spinal fusion; Semirigid instruments; WavefleX; Outcome; Fusion
4.  Early Decompression of Acute Subdural Hematoma for Postoperative Neurological Improvement: A Single Center Retrospective Review of 10 Years 
Korean Journal of Neurotrauma  2016;12(1):11-17.
This study was conducted to investigate survival related factors, as well as to evaluate the effects of early decompression on acute subdural hematoma (ASDH).
We retrospectively reviewed cases of decompressive craniectomy (DC) for decade. In total, 198 cases of DC involved ASDH were available for review, and 65 cases were excluded due to missing data on onset time and a delayed operation after closed observation with medical care. Finally, 133 cases of DC with ASDH were included in this study, and various factors including the time interval between trauma onset and operation were evaluated.
In the present study, survival rate after DC in patients with ASDH was shown to be related to patient age (50 years old, p=0.012), brain compression ratio (p=0.042) and brain stem compression (p=0.020). Sex, preoperative mental status, and time interval between trauma onset and operation were not related with survival rate. Among those that survived (n=78), improvements in Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score of more than three points, compared to preoperative measurement, were more frequently observed among the early (less than 3 hours between trauma onset and operation) decompressed cases (p=0.013). However, improvements of more than 4 or 5 points on the GCS were not affected by early decompression.
Early decompression of ASDH was not correlated with survival rate, but was related with neurological improvement (more than three points on the GCS). Accordingly, early decompression in ASDH, if indicated, may be of particular benefit.
PMCID: PMC4866559  PMID: 27182496
Acute subdural hematoma; Early operation; Decompression; Survival rate; Neurological improvement
5.  Interference of Detection Rate of Lumbar Disc Herniation by Socioeconomic Status 
Asian Spine Journal  2013;7(1):14-19.
Study Design
Retrospective study.
The objective of the study is to evaluate the relationship between the detection rate of lumbar disc herniation and socioeconomic status.
Overview of Literature
Income is one important determinant of public health. Yet, there are no reports about the relationship between socioeconomic status and the detective rate of disc herniation.
In this study, 443 cases were checked for lumbar computed tomography for lumbar disc herniation, and they reviewed questionnaires about their socioeconomic status, the presence of back pain or radiating pain and the presence of a medical certificate (to check the medical or surgical treatment for the pain) during the Korean conscription.
Without the consideration for the presence of a medical certificate, there was no difference in spinal physical grade according to socioeconomic status (p=0.290). But, with the consideration of the presence of a medical certificate, the significant statistical differences were observed according to socioeconomic status in 249 cases in the presence of a medical certificate (p=0.028). There was a lower detection rate in low economic status individuals than those in the high economic class. The common reason for not submitting a medical certificate is that it is neither necessary for the people of lower socioeconomic status nor is it financially affordable.
The prevalence of lumbar disc herniation is not different according to socioeconomic status, but the detective rate was affected by socioeconomic status. Socioeconomic status is an important factor for detecting lumbar disc herniation.
PMCID: PMC3596579  PMID: 23508288
Herniated disc; Prevalence; Socioeconomic status; Conscription
6.  Paralytic Ileus and Prophylactic Gastrointestinal Motility Medication after Spinal Operation 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2015;56(6):1627-1631.
To investigate the prevalence of paralytic ileus after spinal operation in the supine or prone operative position and to determine the efficacy of prophylactic gastrointestinal motility medications in preventing symptomatic paralytic ileus after a spinal operation.
Materials and Methods
All patients received spinal surgery in the supine or prone operative position. The study period was divided into two phases: first, to analyze the prevalence of radiographic and symptomatic paralytic ileus after a spinal operation, and second, to determine the therapeutic effects of prophylactic gastrointestinal motility medications (postoperative intravenous injection of scopolamine butylbromide and metoclopramide hydrochloride) on symptomatic paralytic ileus after a spinal operation.
Basic demographic data were not different. In the first phase of this study, 27 patients (32.9%) with radiographic paralytic ileus and 11 patients (13.4%) with symptomatic paralytic ileus were observed. Radiographic paralytic ileus was more often noted in patients who underwent an operation in the prone position (p=0.044); whereas the occurrence of symptomatic paralytic ileus was not different between the supine and prone positioned patients (p=0.385). In the second phase, prophylactic medications were shown to be ineffective in preventing symptomatic paralytic ileus after spinal surgery [symptomatic paralytic ileus was observed in 11.1% (4/36) with prophylactic medication and 16.7% (5/30) with a placebo, p=0.513].
Spinal surgery in the prone position was shown to increase the likelihood of radiographic paralytic ileus occurrence, but not symptomatic paralytic ileus. Unfortunately, the prophylactic medications to prevent symptomatic paralytic ileus after spine surgery were shown to be ineffective.
PMCID: PMC4630052  PMID: 26446646
Spine surgery; position; prone; supine; paralytic ileus
7.  The Impact of Primary Spontaneous Pneumothorax on Multiphasic Personal Inventory Test Results in Young South Korean Males 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2012;53(5):901-905.
Few reports have documented psychopathological abnormalities in patients with primary spontaneous pneumothorax (PSP). We analyzed the results of a multiphasic personal inventory test to investigate the psychopathologic impact of PSP in young Korean males.
Materials and Methods
The authors reviewed the results of a Korean military multiphasic personal inventory (KMPI) administered to military conscripts in South Korea. A total of 234 young males participated in this study. The normal volunteer group (n=175) comprised individuals who did not have any lung disease. The PSP group (n=59) included individuals with PSP. None of the examinees had any psychological problems. The KMPI results of both groups were compared.
There were more abnormal responses in the PSP group (17.0%) than the normal volunteer group (9.1%, p=0.002). The anxiety scale and depression scale scores of the neurosis category were greater for the PSP group than the normal group (p=0.039 and 0.014, respectively). The personality disorder and paranoia scale scores of the psychopathy category were greater for the PSP group than the normal group (p=0.007 and 0.018, respectively).
Young males with PSP may have greater tendencies to suffer from anxiety, depression, personality disorders, and paranoia compared to normal individuals. Clinicians should be advised to evaluate the psychopathological aspects of patients with PSP.
PMCID: PMC3423837  PMID: 22869471
Primary spontaneous pneumothorax; multiphasic personal inventory test; personality changes; psychopathology
8.  Mysterious Foreign Body in Transverse Sinus 
This case report describes a patient who had a foreign body in transverse sinus. A 35-year-old Korean-Chinese man visited the emergency room with lacerated wound in left eyelid and a foreign body which was stumbled upon in the skull. On examination, there was right side hemianopsia in his left eye. He did not complain any headache or show any abnormal neurological signs, but there was a foreign body at left transverse sinus in computed tomography which was taken at another hospital. There was no intracranial abnormality except the foreign body in computed tomography. Because of the financial problem, additional evaluations were not possible. We herein report a strange case in which the pathway of a foreign body to locate in transverse sinus was ambiguous, and suggest that the foreign body located in transverse sinus might have been the penetrated along the anterior fontanelle and passed through the superior sagittal sinus.
PMCID: PMC3358606  PMID: 22639716
Foreign body; Skull; Accident; Fontanelle; Sinus
9.  The Clinical and Radiological Effect of Abnormal Axis after Cervical Arthroplasty 
The clinical outcomes according to the radiological results after cervical total disc replacement (TDR) are not well established. Here, the authors reviewed the clinical results according to the asymmetry in radiographs.
This retrospective analysis included patients after TDR (Mobi-C® disc) with at least 12 months follow up, and the clinical and radiological data were obtained preoperatively and postoperatively for 12 months. Clinical outcome measures numerical rating scale (NRS) score for neck pain, visual analog scale (VAS) for arm pain, and the Oswestry disability index (ODI) value. The asymmetries of TDRs were evaluated on the anterior-posterior (AP) and the lateral radiographs, and the radiographic adjacent segment degenerations were evaluated for 12 months.
A total of 24 patients (one level cervical TDR; 10 male and 14 female; aged 41.50±8.35 years) were included in this study. The clinical results including NRS for neck pain, VAS for arm pain, and ODIs were similar between the normal and asymmetrized TDRs in AP and lateral radiographs. The radiographic adjacent segment degenerations were significantly increased in deviated TDRs (AP>10 mm asymmetry and lateral>10 mm asymmetry).
Asymmetrical location of TDR is not related to the clinical outcomes, but related to the risk of radiographic adjacent disc segment degeneration.
PMCID: PMC4630353  PMID: 26539265
Cervical arthroplasty; Malposition; Mobi-c; Fusion; Total disc replacement
10.  Brain Activation Evoked by Sensory Stimulation in Patients with Spinal Cord Injury : Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Correlations with Clinical Features 
The purpose of this study is to determine whether the changes of contralateral sensorimotor cortical activation on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) can predict the neurological outcome among spinal cord injury (SCI) patients when the great toes are stimulated without notice.
This study enrolled a total of 49 patients with SCI and investigated each patient's preoperative fMRI, postoperative fMRI, American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) score, and neuropathic pain occurrence. Patients were classified into 3 groups according to the change of blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) response on perioperative fMRI during proprioceptive stimulation with repetitive passive toe movements : 1) patients with a response of contralateral sensorimotor cortical activation in fMRI were categorized; 2) patients with a response in other regions; and 3) patients with no response. Correlation between the result of fMRI and each parameter was analyzed.
In fMRI data, ASIA score was likely to show greater improvement in patients in group A compared to those belonging to group B or C (p<0.001). No statistical significance was observed between the result of fMRI and neuropathic pain (p=0.709). However, increase in neuropathic pain in response to the signal change of the ipsilateral frontal lobe on fMRI was statistically significant (p=0.030).
When there was change of BOLD response at the contralateral sensorimotor cortex on perioperative fMRI after surgery, relief of neurological symptoms was highly likely for traumatic SCI patients. In addition, development of neuropathic pain was likely to occur when there was change of BOLD response at ipsilateral frontal lobe.
PMCID: PMC4630356  PMID: 26539268
Functional MRI; Spinal cord injury; Proprioceptive; Neuropathic pain
11.  Efficacy and Safety of Sodium Hyaluronate with 1,4-Butanediol Diglycidyl Ether Compared to Sodium Carboxymethylcellulose in Preventing Adhesion Formation after Lumbar Discectomy 
Korean Journal of Spine  2015;12(2):41-47.
Epidural injection of hyaluronic acid may prevent adhesion formation after spine surgery, but the compounds used to stabilize hyaluronidase could interfere with its anti-adhesion effects. The present study was conducted as a clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of an experimental medical gel in preventing adhesion formation.
This study was designed as a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, and comparative controlled clinical trial with an observation period of 6 weeks. Subjects were randomly assigned into two groups: group A with sodium hyaluronate + 1,4-butanediol diglycidyl ether (BDDE) and group B with sodium hyaluronate + sodium carboxymethylcellulose (CMC). Visual analogue scale (VAS) of back and leg pain and the Oswestry disability index (ODI) and scar score ratings were assessed after surgery.
Mean scar grade was 2.37±1.13 in group A and 2.75±0.97 in group B, a statistically significant difference (p=0.012). VAS of back and leg pain and ODI scores decreased significantly from baseline to 3 and 6 weeks postoperatively in both groups (p<0.001). However, VAS and ODI scores were not statistically different between groups A and B at baseline or at 3 and 6 weeks after operation (p>0.3). The number of adverse reactions related to the anti-adhesion gels was not statistically different (p=0.569), but subsequent analysis of nervous adverse reactions showed group B was superior with a statistically difference (p=0.027).
Sodium hyaluronate with BDDE demonstrated similar anti-adhesion properties to sodium hyaluronate with CMC. But, care should be used to nervous adverse reactions by using sodium hyaluronate with BDDE.
PMCID: PMC4513167  PMID: 26217381
Anti-adhesion; Scar formation; Lumbar discectomy; Sodium hyaluronate; 1,4-butanediol diglycidyl ether (BDDE); Sodium carboxymethylcellulose (CMC)
12.  Preliminary Experiences of the Combined Midline-Splitting French Door Laminoplasty with Polyether Ether Ketone (PEEK) Plate for Cervical Spondylosis and OPLL 
Korean Journal of Spine  2015;12(2):48-54.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of cervical midline-splitting French-door laminoplasty with a polyether ether ketone (PEEK) plate. The authors retrospectively analyzed the results of patients with cervical laminoplasty miniplate (MAXPACER®) without bone grafts in multilevel cervical stenosis.
Fifteen patients (13 males and 2 females, mean age 50.0 years (range 35-72)) with multilevel cervical stenosis (ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament and cervical spondylotic myelopathy) underwent a combined surgery of midline-splitting French-door laminoplasty with or without mini plate. All 15 patients were followed for at least 12 months (mean follow-up 13.3 months) after surgery, and a retrospective review of the clinical, radiological and surgical data was conducted.
The radiographic results showed a significant increase over the postoperative period in anterior-posterior diameter (9.4±2.2 cm to 16.2±1.1 cm), open angles in cervical lamina (46.5±16.0° to 77.2±13.1°), and sectional volume of cervical central canal (100.5±0.7 cm2 to 146.5±4.9 cm2) (p<0.001). The sagittal alignment of the cervical spine was well preserved (31.7±10.0° to 31.2±7.6°, p=0.877) during the follow-up period. The clinical results were successful, and there were no significant intraoperative complications except for screw displacement in two cases. The mini plate constructs did not fail during the 12 month follow-up period, and the decompression was maintained.
Despite the small cohort and short follow-up duration, the present study demonstrated that combined cervical expansive laminoplasty using the mini plate is an effective treatment for multilevel cervical stenosis.
PMCID: PMC4513168  PMID: 26217382
Cervical laminoplasty; French-door laminoplasty; PEEK plate; OPLL; Cervical spondylotic myelopathy
13.  Delayed Vertebral Artery Dissection after Posterior Cervical Fusion with Traumatic Cervical Instability: A Case Report 
Korean Journal of Spine  2015;12(2):79-83.
Vascular injury presented immediately after the penetration, but delayed onset of vascular symptom caused by an embolism or vessel dissection after cervical fusion or traumatic event is extremely rare. We present a case of a 56-year-old woman who underwent an operation for cervical fusion for type II Odontoid process fracture. She presented symptoms of seizure with hemiparesis in 6 days after the operation. Multifocal acute infarction due to an embolism from the left VA (V3 segment) dissection was observed without a definite screw breach the transverse foramen. We hereby reported the instructive case report of delayed onset of vertebral artery dissection after posterior cervical fusion with type II odontoid process fracture patient. When a cervical operation performed in the cervical trauma patient, even if no apparent VA injury occurs before and during the operation, the surgeon must take caution not to risk cerebral infarction because of the delayed VA dissection.
PMCID: PMC4513173  PMID: 26217387
Cervical trauma; Cervical fusion; Cerebral infarction; Vertebral artery dissection; Embolism
14.  Grisel's Syndrome Induced by Mycobacterium tuberculosis 
Korean Journal of Spine  2015;12(2):84-87.
Grisel's syndrome is a non-traumatic subluxation of the atlantoaxial joints, which is caused by an inflammatory process in the upper neck. It is rare to find literary reports of Grisel's syndrome with an evident pathogen in a lesion. For the first time in Korea, we report a 36-year-old female with Grisel's syndrome having an atlantoaxial subluxation, which was caused by a retropharyngeal abscess secondary to pulmonary Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The patient was treated with an anti-tuberculosis regimen and was prescribed a Philadelphia collar for the control of torticollis. The result of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed an improved atlantoaxial alignment, after drug treatment and immobilization. This patient was neurologically intact and free from symptomatic complaints at follow-up visit. Dynamic cervical radiograph confirmed that the atlantoaxial joints had been stable. The pathophysiology of Grisel's syndrome, along with anatomical attributes, was explained on the basis of the patient's clinical course.
PMCID: PMC4513174  PMID: 26217388
Grisel's syndrome; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; Non-traumatic atlantoaxial rotatory subluxation; Torticollis
15.  Efficacy of Percutaneous Epidural Neuroplasty Does Not Correlate with Dural Sac Cross-Sectional Area in Single Level Disc Disease 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2015;56(3):691-697.
Percutaneous epidural neuroplasty (PEN) is a minimally invasive treatment. The efficacy of PEN has been relatively well investigated; however, the relationship between the clinical effectiveness of PEN and the severity of spinal canal stenosis by disc material has not yet been established. The purpose of this study was to compare clinical outcomes of PEN according to the dural sac cross-sectional area in single level disc disease.
Materials and Methods
This study included 363 patients with back pain from single level disc disease with and without radiculopathy. Patients were categorized into groups according to spinal canal compromise by disc material: Category 1, less or more than 50%; and Category 2, three subgroups with lesser than a third, between a third and two thirds, and more than two thirds. Clinical outcomes were assessed according to the Visual Analog Scale (VAS) score for back pain and leg pain and Odom's criteria at 1, 3, 6, 12, and 24 months after treatment.
The demographic data showed no difference between groups according to spinal canal compromise by disc material except age (older age correlated with more spinal canal compromise). The dural sac cross-sectional area did not correlate with the VAS scores for back and leg pain after PEN in single level disc disease in Groups 1 and 2. Odom's criteria after PEN were also not different according to dural sac cross-sectional area by disc material.
PEN is an effective procedure in treating single level lumbar disc herniation without affecting dural sac cross-sectional area.
PMCID: PMC4397438  PMID: 25837174
Lower back pain; lumbar disc disease; percutaneous epidural neuroplasty; percutaneous adhesiolysis; dural sac cross-sectional area
16.  A Case of Hemifacial Spasm Caused by an Artery Passing Through the Facial Nerve 
Hemifacial spasm (HFS) is a clinical syndrome characterized by unilateral facial nerve dysfunction. The usual cause involves vascular compression of the seventh cranial nerve, but compression by an artery passing through the facial nerve is very unusual. A 20-year-old man presented with left facial spasm that had persisted for 4 years. Compression of the left facial nerve root exit zone by the anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA) was revealed on magnetic resonance angiography. During microvascular decompression surgery, penetration of the distal portion of the facial nerve root exit zone by the AICA was observed. At the penetrating site, the artery was found to have compressed the facial nerve and to be immobilized. The penetrated seventh cranial nerve was longitudinally split about 2 mm. The compressing artery was moved away from the penetrating site and the decompression was secured by inserting Teflon at the operative site. Although the facial spasm disappeared in the immediate postoperative period, the patient continued to show moderate facial weakness. At postoperative 12 months, the facial weakness had improved to a mild degree. Prior to performing microvascular decompression of HFS, surgeons should be aware of a possibility for rare complex anatomy, such as compression by an artery passing through the facial nerve, which cannot be observed by modern imaging techniques.
PMCID: PMC4373055  PMID: 25810866
Hemifacial spasm; Penetrating artery; Facial nerve; Facial weakness
17.  Feasibility of Translaminar Screw Placement in Korean Population: Morphometric Analysis of Cervical Spine 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2014;56(1):159-166.
To analyze the feasibility of unilateral and bilateral translaminar screw placement in Koran population, and compare the acceptance rate using previously reported data in American population.
Materials and Methods
The translaminar lengths, thickness, heights, and sagittal-diagonal measurements were performed. The feasibility analysis was performed using unilateral and bilateral 3.5 mm cervical screw placement on the CT scans within 0.5 mm of safety margin. We also performed radiographic analysis of the morphometric dimensions and the feasibility of unilateral and bilateral translaminar screw placement at C3-C7.
Korean population had similar or significantly shorter translaminar lengths and thickness (lengths and thickness in C7 among males; lengths in C6-C7 and thickness in C4 among females) than American population, but had similar or significantly longer translaminar heights and sagittal-diagonal measurements (heights in C3-C7 and sagittal-diagonal measurements in C3-C6 among males; heights in C7 and sagittal-diagonal measurements in C3-C7 among females). Unilaterally, translaminar screw acceptance rates in C3-C7 were similar between Korean and American male population, but the rates in C4-C6 were significantly smaller between Korean and American female population. Bilaterally, translaminar screw acceptance rates in C3 and C5-C6 were significantly larger between Korean and American male population, but the rates in C3-C7 were similar between Korean and American female population.
The feasibility of unilateral and bilateral translaminar screw placement is different depending on different ethnics. Subaxial cervical unilateral translaminar screw placement among Korean male population and bilateral placement at C4-C7 among Korean female population are more acceptable than American population.
PMCID: PMC4276750  PMID: 25510760
Translaminar; cervical fusion; cervical spine; ethics; Korean; American
18.  HOX-7 suppresses body weight gain and adipogenesis-related gene expression in high-fat-diet-induced obese mice 
HOX-7 is a newly developed dietary formula composed of traditional oriental herbal medicines. The formula was developed with the aim of improving weight control. We investigated the anti-obesity effect of HOX-7 on high-fat-diet (HFD)-induced obesity in C57BL/6 mice.
The mice were divided into four groups and were fed a normal diet (ND), HFD, or HFD with oral administration of HOX-7 at 100 or 200 mg/kg/day for 12 weeks. Body and fat weight, histological changes of fat tissue, and the expression of key adipogenic transcription factors were investigated.
The body weight of mice fed the HFD with HOX-7 was significantly decreased compared to the HFD group. There were no obvious differences in weekly food intake among the 4 groups. The weight of the epididymal and total fat pads was reduced in mice fed the HFD with HOX-7. Treatment with HOX-7 also substantially attenuated the expression of key adipogenic transcription factors, including peroxisome proliferatoractivated receptor γ, CCAAT/enhancer binding protein α, sterol regulatory element binding protein 1c, adipocyte P2, liver X receptor, and lipoprotein lipase in the epididymal adipose tissue.
Overall, this study highlighted the anti-obesity effects of HOX-7, a finding that could contribute to the development of natural anti-obesity herbal medicines.
PMCID: PMC4320579  PMID: 25515293
C/EBPα; Mice; Obesity; PPARγ; SREBP1c; Traditional herbal medicine
19.  Surface Landmarks do not Correspond to Exact Levels of the Cervical Spine: References According to the Sex, Age and Height 
Korean Journal of Spine  2014;11(3):178-182.
A general orientation along the cervical spine could be estimated by external landmarks, and it was useful, quick and less exposable to radiation, but, sometimes it gave reference confusion of target cervical level. The authors reviewed the corresponding between the neck external landmarks and cervical levels.
Totally 1,031 cervical lateral radiographs of different patients were reviewed in single university hospital. Its compositions were 534 of males and 497 females; 86 of second decades (10-19 years-old), 169 of third decades, 159 of fourth decades, 209 of fifth decades, 275 of sixth decades, and 133 of more than seventh decades (>60 years-old). Reference external landmarks (mandible, hyoid bone, thyroid cartilage, and cricothyroid membrane) with compounding factors were reviewed.
The reference levels of cervical landmarks were C2.13 with mandible angle, C3.54 with hyoid bone, C5.12 with thyroid cartilage, and C6.01 with cricothyroid membrane. The reference levels of cervical landmarks were differently observed by sex, age, and somatometric measurement (height) accordingly mandible angle from C1 to C3, hyoid bone from disc level of C2 and C3 to C5, thyroid cartilage from disc level of C3 and C4 to C7, and cricothyroid membrane from C4 to disc level of C7 and T1.
Surface landmarks only provide general reference points, but not correspond to exact levels of the cervical spine. Intraoperative fluoroscopy ensures a more precise placement to the targeted cervical level.
PMCID: PMC4206974  PMID: 25346765
External landmark; Cervical level; Mandible; Hyoid bone; Thyroid cartilage; Cricothyroid membrane
21.  Cervical Arthroplasty for Moderate to Severe Disc Degeneration: Clinical and Radiological Assessments after a Minimum Follow-Up of 18 Months: Pfirrmann Grade and Cervical Arthroplasty 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2014;55(4):1072-1079.
Clinical outcomes and radiologic results after cervical arthroplasty have been reported in many articles, yet relatively few studies after cervical arthroplasty have been conducted in severe degenerative cervical disc disease.
Materials and Methods
Sixty patients who underwent cervical arthroplasty (Mobi-C®) between April 2006 and November 2011 with a minimum follow-up of 18 months were enrolled in this study. Patients were divided into two groups according to Pfirrmann classification on preoperative cervical MR images: group A (Pfirrmann disc grade III, n=38) and group B (Pfirrmann disc grades IV or V, n=22). Visual analogue scale (VAS) scores of neck and arm pain, modified Oswestry Disability Index (mODI) score, and radiological results including cervical range of motion (ROM) were assessed before and after surgery.
VAS and mean mODI scores decreased after surgery from 5.1 and 57.6 to 2.7 and 31.5 in group A and from 6.1 and 59.9 to 3.7 and 38.4 in group B, respectively. In both groups, VAS and mODI scores significantly improved postoperatively (p<0.001), although no significant intergroup differences were found. Also, cervical dynamic ROM was preserved or gradually improved up to 18 months after cervical arthroplasty in both groups. Global, segmental and adjacent ROM was similar for both groups during follow-up. No cases of device subsidence or extrusion were recorded.
Clinical and radiological results following cervical arthroplasty in patients with severe degenerative cervical disc disease were no different from those in patients with mild degenerative cervical disc disease after 18 months of follow-up.
PMCID: PMC4075369  PMID: 24954339
Total disc replacement; cervical arthroplasty; disc degeneration; clinical outcome; range of motion
22.  The Effectiveness Evaluation of Helicopter Ambulance Transport among Neurotrauma Patients in Korea 
Helicopter ambulance transport (HAT) is a highly resource-intensive facility that is a well-established part of the trauma transport system in many developed countries. Here, we review the benefit of HAT for neurosurgical patients in Korea.
This retrospective study followed neurotrauma patients who were transferred by HAT to a single emergency trauma center over a period of 2 years. The clinical benefits of HAT were measured according to the necessity of emergency surgical intervention and the differences in the time taken to transport patients by ground ambulance transport (GAT) and HAT.
Ninety-nine patients were transferred to a single university hospital using HAT, of whom 32 were taken to the neurosurgery department. Of these 32 patients, 10 (31.3%) needed neurosurgical intervention, 14 (43.8%) needed non-neurosurgical intervention, 3 (9.4%) required both, and 11 (34.4%) did not require any intervention. The transfer time was faster using HAT than the estimated time needed for GAT, although for a relatively close distance (<50 km) without ground obstacles (mountain or sea) HAT did not improve transfer time. The cost comparison showed that HAT was more expensive than GAT (3,292,000 vs. 84,000 KRW, p<0.001).
In this Korean-based study, we found that HAT has a clinical benefit for neurotrauma cases involving a transfer from a distant site or an isolated area. A more precise triage for using HAT should be considered to prevent overuse of this expensive transport method.
PMCID: PMC4185318  PMID: 25289124
Helicopter ambulance transport; Aeromedical evacuation; Neurotrauma; Clinical benefit; Korea
23.  Comparison of Outcomes after Atlantoaxial Fusion with Transarticular Screws and Screw-Rod Constructs 
The purpose of this study was to compare the radiological and neurological outcomes between two atlantoaxial fusion method for atlantoaxial stabilization; C1 lateral mass-C2 pedicle screws (screw-rod constructs, SRC) versus C1-2 transarticular screws (TAS).
Forty-one patients in whom atlantoaxial instability was treated with atlantoaxial fixation by SRC group (27 patients, from March 2005 to May 2011) or TAS group (14 patients, from May 2000 to December 2005) were retrospectively reviewed. Numeric rating scale (NRS) for pain assessment, Oswestry disability index (ODI), and Frankel grade were also checked for neurological outcome. In radiologic outcome assessment, proper screw position and fusion rate were checked. Perioperative parameters such as blood loss during operation, operation time, and radiation exposure time were also reviewed.
The improvement of NRS and ODI were not different between both groups significantly. Good to excellent response in Frankel grade is shown similarly in both groups. Proper screw position and fusion rate were also observed similarly between two groups. Total bleeding amount during operation is lesser in SRC group than TAS group, but not significantly (p=0.06). Operation time and X-ray exposure time were shorter in SRC group than in TAS group (all p<0.001).
Both TAS and SRC could be selected as safe and effective treatment options for C1-2 instability. But the perioperative result, which is technical demanding and X-ray exposure might be expected better in SRC group compared to TAS group.
PMCID: PMC4130950  PMID: 25132931
Atlantoaxial fixation; C-1 lateral mass screw; C-2 pedicle screw; Transarticular screw; Complications; Fusion
24.  Incidence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: Preliminary Investigation Using the Brief Neuropsychological Screening Test 
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a group of diseases that are observed in patients who had experienced a serious trauma or accident. However, some experienced it even after only a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), and they are easily ignored due to the relatively favorable course of mild TBI. Herein, the authors investigated the incidence of PTSD in mild TBI using brief neuropsychological screening test (PTSD checklist, PCL).
This study was conducted on patients with mild TBI (Glasgow coma scale ≥13) who were admitted from January 2012 to December 2012. As for PCL, it was done on patients who showed no difficulties in communication upon admission and agreed to participate in this study. By using sum of PCL, the patients were divided into high-risk group and low-risk group. PTSD was diagnosed as the three major symptoms of PTSD according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth-edifion.
A total of 314 TBI patients were admitted and 71 of them met the criteria and were included in this study. The mean age was 52.9 years-old (range: 15-94). The mean PCL score was 28.8 (range: 17-68), and 10 patients were classified as high-risk group. During follow-up, 2 patients (2.7%) of high risk group, were confirmed as PTSD and there was no patient who was suspected of PTSD in the low-risk group (p=0.017).
PTSD is observed 2.8% in mild TBI. Although PTSD after mild TBI is rare, PCL could be considered as a useful tool for screening of PTSD after mild TBI.
PMCID: PMC4094742  PMID: 25024821
Post-trauamatic stress disorder; Mild traumatic brain injury; PTSD checklist
25.  Repeated Complication Following Atlantoaxial Fusion: A Case Report 
Korean Journal of Spine  2014;11(1):7-11.
A patients with atlantoaixial instability and osodontoideum underwent atlantoaixial fusion (Harms and Melcher technique) with demineralized bone matrix. But, unfortunately, the both pedicle screws in C2 were fractured within 9 weeks follow-up periods after several suspected episode of neck hyper-flexion. Fractured screws were not contact to occipital bone in several imaging studies, but it could irritate the occipital bone when neck extension because the relatively close distance between the occipital bone and C1 posterior arch. The patient underwent revision operation with translaminar screw fixation with autologus iliac bone graft. Postsurgical course were uneventful except donor site pain, but the bony fusion was not satisfied after 4 months follow-up. The patient re-underwent revision operation in other hospital. Continuous complication after atlantoaixial fusion is rare, but the clinical course could be unlucky to patients. Postoperative immobilization could be important to prevent the unintended clinical course of patients.
PMCID: PMC4040632  PMID: 24891865
Atlantoaxial fusion; Cervical spine; Transpedicle screw; Pedicle screw fracture; Bone fusion; Complication

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