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1.  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
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.  Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage in Third and Fourth Decades of Life 
The aim of this study was to compare clinical characteristics of ruptured aneurysms in young adults, of the third and fourth decades of life, and to compare several clinical characteristics affecting the outcome of patients.
We retrospectively investigated 1459 patients who underwent surgery and endovascular treatment for ruptured cerebral aneurysms from June 1992 to December 2010 and compared clinical characteristics. We also reviewed pre-existing medical conditions and perioperative complications.
Among 1459 patients, there were 21 patients (1.44%) in the third decade and 104 patients (7.13%) in the fourth decade of life. Within two age groups, 88 (70.4%) were male and 37 (29.6%) were female, a ratio of 2.37 : 1. In both groups, we observed the anterior cerebral artery (ACA) aneurysm with the most frequency (p=0.028). In general, favorable outcome was achieved in both age groups (90.5% and 81.7%, respectively). An initial univariate analysis showed Hunt-Hess grade, Fisher grade, location of aneurysm, and rebleeding significantly associated with outcome after aneurysm rupture. Further, multivariate analysis demonstrated that only Hunt-Hess grade (grade 4-5) was a risk factor for the outcome (odds ratio=9.730, 95% confidence interval 2.069-45.756, p=0.004).
The incidence of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) was higher in the male population of the third and fourth decades of life. Aneurysms on the ACA were most frequently occurred in both age groups and the outcome of aneurysmal SAH among the third and fourth decades was favorable. Multivariate analysis revealed that high Hunt-Hess grade was a risk factor for patient's outcome.
PMCID: PMC3483314  PMID: 23115656
Aneurysm; Subarachnoid hemorrhage; Young adult
4.  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
5.  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
6.  Laparotomy versus Laparoscopic Placement of Distal Catheter in Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt Procedure 
Traditionally, peritoneal catheter is inserted with midline laparotomy incision in ventriculoperitoneal (V-P) shunt procedures. Complications of V-P shunt is not uncommon and have been reported to occur in 5-37% of cases. The aim of this study is to compare the clinical outcomes and the operation time between laparotomy and laparoscopic groups.
A total of 155 V-P shunt procedures were performed to treat hydrocephalic patients of various origins in our institute between June 2006 to January 2010; 95 of which were laparoscopically guided and 65 were not. We reviewed the operation time, surgery-related complications, and intraoperative and postoperative problems.
In the laparoscopy group, the mean duration of the procedure (52 minutes) was significantly shorter (p < 0.001) than the laparotomy group (109 minutes). There were two cases of malfunctions and one incidence of diaphragm injury in the laparotomy group. In contrast, there were neither malfunction nor any internal organ injuries in the laparoscopy group (p = 0.034). There were total of two cases of infections from both groups (p = 0.7).
Laparoscopically guided insertions of distal shunt catheter is considered a fast and safe method in contrast to the laparotomy technique. This method allows the exact localization of the peritoneal catheter and a confirmation of its patency.
PMCID: PMC2982910  PMID: 21113359
Hydrocephalus; Laparoscopy; Peritoneal catheter
7.  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
8.  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
9.  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
10.  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
11.  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
12.  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

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