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Daily bibliographic review of the Neurosurgery Department. La Fe University Hospital. Valencia, Spain

Cervical Spine Deformity—Part 3: Posterior Techniques, Clinical Outcome, and Complications

Neurosurgery 81:893–898, 2017

The goals of cervical deformity surgery include deformity correction, restoration of horizontal gaze, decompression of neural elements, spinal stabilization with a biomechanically sound construct, and meticulous arthrodesis technique to prevent pseudoarthrosis and minimizing surgical complications.

Many different surgical options exist, but selecting the correct approach that ensures the optimal clinical outcome can be challenging and often controversial. In this last part of the cervical deformity review series, various posterior deformity correction techniques are discussed in detail, along with an overview of surgical outcome and postoperative complications.

The Role of Hypoxia in Angiogenesis and Extracellular Matrix Regulation of Intervertebral Disc Cells During Inflammatory Reactions

Neurosurgery 81:867–875, 2017

The intervertebral disc (IVD) is an avascular structure, and is therefore stable under hypoxic conditions. Previous studies have demonstrated that hypoxia might be related to symptomatic degenerative disc diseases (DDDs); however, the pathomechanism is still poorly understood.

OBJECTIVE: To identify the effect of hypoxia on the production of inflammatory mediators, angiogenic factors, and extracellularmatrix-regulating enzymes of IVD cells during inflammatory reactions.

METHODS: Human nucleus pulposus (NP) and annulus fibrosus (AF) cells harvested during surgery for DDDs were cultured in macrophage conditioned media or interleukin (IL)-1β-stimulated media under hypoxic (2%) and normoxic (21%) conditions. Hypoxiainducible factor-1α transcription factor activation was analyzed by western blotting. IL-6, IL-8, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM), matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1,MMP-3, tissue inhibitor ofmetalloprotease (TIMP)-1, and TIMP-2 in conditioned media weremeasured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

RESULTS: NP cells expressed higher hypoxia-inducible factor-1α in the IL-1β-stimulated group under hypoxic condition. MMP-1 was significantly increased in the AF cells under hypoxic condition; TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 were significantly decreased in both naïve NP and AF cells during hypoxia. Both cells in macrophage conditioned media significantly diminished the production of IL-6 and VCAM, while VEGF significantly increased during hypoxia. After 1 ng/mL IL-1β stimulation, IL-8, VEGF, MMP-1, and MMP-3 were significantly increased in both cell types during hypoxia, while VCAM, TIMP-1, and TIMP-2 were decreased.

CONCLUSION: We found that hypoxia can enhance the angiogenic ability of IVD during inflammatory reactions, and cause progress in development of DDD via extracellular matrix regulation in this in vitro study.

A Staged Protocol for Circumferential Minimally Invasive Surgical Correction of Adult Spinal Deformity

Neurosurgery 81:733–739, 2017

Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) techniques used for management of adult spinal deformity (ASD) aim to decrease the physiological demand on patients and minimize postoperative complications. A circumferential MIS (cMIS) protocol offers the potential to maximize this advantage over standard open approaches, through the concurrent use of multiple MIS techniques.

OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate through a case example the execution of a cMIS protocol for management of an ASD patient with severe deformity.

METHODS: Thorough preoperative assessment, surgical planning, and medical optimization were completed. Deformity correction was performed over 2 stages. During the first stage, interbody fusion was performed via an oblique lateral approach at all levels of the lumbar spine intended to be included in the final construct. The patient was kept as an inpatient and mobilized postoperatively. They were then re-imaged with standing films. The second stage occurred after 3 d and involved percutaneous instrumentation of all levels. Posterior fusion of the thoracic levels was achieved through decortication of pars and facets. These areas were accessed through the intermuscular plane established by the percutaneous screws. The patient was mobilizing on their first postoperative day.

RESULTS: In a 66-yr-old female with severe sagittal imbalance and debilitating back pain, effective use of this cMIS protocol allowed for correction of the Cobb angle from 52◦ to 4◦ correction of spinopelvic parameters and 13 cm of sagittal vertical axis improvement. No complications were identified by 2 yr postoperative.

CONCLUSION: As a systematization of multiple MIS techniques combined, in a specific and staged manner, this cMIS protocol could provide a safe and effective approach to the management of ASD.

 

Patterns of C-2 fracture in the elderly: comparison of etiology, treatment, and mortality among speci c fracture types

J Neurosurg Spine 27:494–500, 2017

Previous studies have focused on Type II odontoid fractures and have failed to report on the effect of other C-2 fracture types on treatment and outcome. The purpose of this study was to compare patient characteristics, cause of injury, predisposing factors to fracture, treatments, and mortality rates among C-2 fracture types in a cohort of elderly patients 70 years of age and older.

METHODS A retrospective cohort study design was used. Patients who sustained a C-2 fracture between 2002 and 2011 and who were admitted to the authors’ Level 1 trauma center were identified using the Discharge Abstract Database and the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10) code S12.1. Fractures were classified as odontoid Type I, II, or III; hangman’s; C-2 complex (hangman’s appearance on sagittal images, Type III odontoid on coronal cuts); and other (miscellaneous). Age, sex, predisposing factors to falls, cause of injury, treatment, presence of autofusion in the subaxial cervical spine, and mortality rates were compared between fracture patterns.

RESULTS One hundred forty-one patients were included; their mean age was 82 years. Fractures included Type II odontoid (57%), complex (19%), Type III odontoid (11%), hangman’s (8%), and other (5%). Falls from a standing height accounted for 47% of injuries, and 65% of patients had ≥ 3 risk factors for falls. Subaxial autofusion was more common in odontoid fractures (p = 0.002). Treatment was mainly nonoperative (p < 0.0001). The 1-year mortality rate was 27%. Four patients died of spinal cord injury.

CONCLUSIONS Although not as common as Type II odontoid fractures, other C-2 fractures including hangman’s, complex, and Type III odontoid fractures accounted for close to half of the injuries in the study cohort. There were few differences between the fracture types with respect to cause of injury, predisposing factors, or mortality rate. However, surgical treatment was more common for Type II odontoid fractures.

Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion Versus Mini-open Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion With Oblique Self-anchored Stand-alone Cages for the Treatment of Lumbar Disc Herniation

Spine 2017;42:E1259–E1265

The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical and radiological outcomes of mini-open ALIF (MO-ALIF) with self-anchored stand-alone cages for the treatment of lumbar disc herniation in comparison with transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF). Summary of Background Data. Currently, whether ALIF is superior to TLIF for the treatment of lumbar disc herniation remains controversial.

Summary of Background Data. Currently, whether ALIF is superior to TLIF for the treatment of lumbar disc herniation remains controversial.

Methods. This study retrospectively reviewed 82 patients who underwent MO-ALIF with self-anchored standalone cages (n=42) or TLIF (n=40) for the treatment of lumbar disc herniation between April 2013 and October 2014. Patient demographics, intraoperative parameters, and perioperative complications were collated. Clinical outcomes were evaluated using the visual analog scale (VAS) scoring, the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) for pain in the leg and back, and radiological outcomes, including fusion, lumbar lordosis (LL), disc height (DH), and cage subsidence were evaluated at each follow-up for up to 2 years.

Results. Patients who underwent TLIF had a significantly higher volume of blood loss (295.2±81.4 vs. 57.0±15.2mL) and longer surgery time (130.7±45.1 vs. 60.4±20.8 min) than those who had MO-ALIF. Compared with baseline, both groups had significant improvements in the VAS and ODI scores and DH and LL postoperatively, though no significant difference was found between the two groups regarding these indexes. All patients reached solid fusion at the final follow-up in both groups. Three patients (3/42) with three levels (3/50) suffered from cage subsidence in the MO-ALIF group; meanwhile, no cage subsidence occurred in the TLIF group. Conclusion. MO-ALIF with self-anchored stand-alone cages is a safe and effective treatment of lumbar disc herniation with less surgical trauma and similar clinical and radiological outcomes compared with TLIF.

Conclusion. MO-ALIF with self-anchored stand-alone cages is a safe and effective treatment of lumbar disc herniation with less surgical trauma and similar clinical and radiological outcomes compared with TLIF.

Level of Evidence: 3

Predictors for Patient Discharge Destination After Elective Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion

Spine 2017;42:1538–1544

Study Design. Retrospective study of prospectively collected data.

Objective. To identify risk factors for nonhome patient discharge after elective anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF).

Summary of Background Data. ACDF is one of the most performed spinal procedures and this is expected to increase in the coming years. To effectively deal with an increasing patient volume, identifying variables associated with patient discharge destination can expedite placement applications and subsequently reduce hospital length of stay.

Methods. The 2011 to 2014 ACS-NSQIP database was queried using Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes 22551 or 22554. Patients were divided into two cohorts based on discharge destination. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were employed to identify predictors for patient discharge destination and extended hospital length of stay.

Results. A total of 14,602 patients met the inclusion criteria for the study of which 498 (3.4%) had nonhome discharge. Multivariate logistic regression found that Hispanic versus Black race/ ethnicity (odds ratio, OR¼0.21, 0.05–0.91, P¼0.037), American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander versus Black race/ethnicity (OR¼0.52, 0.34–0.80, p-value¼0.003), White versus Black race/ethnicity (OR¼0.55, 0.42–0.71), elderly age 65 years (OR¼3.32, 2.72–4.06), obesity (OR¼0.77, 0.63–0.93, P¼0.008), diabetes (OR¼1.32, 1.06–1.65, P¼0.013), independent versus partially/totally dependent functional status (OR¼0.11, 0.08–0.15), operation time 4hours (OR¼2.46, 1.87–3.25), cardiac comorbidity (OR ¼1.38, 1.10– 1.72, P ¼0.005), and ASA Class 3 (OR¼2.57, 2.05–3.20) were predictive factors in patient discharge to a facility other than home. In addition, multivariate logistic regression analysis also found nonhome discharge to be the most predictive variable in prolonged hospital length of stay.

Conclusion. Several predictive factors were identified in patient discharge to a facility other than home, many being preoperative variables. Identification of these factors can expedite patient discharge applications and potentially can reduce hospital stay, thereby reducing the risk of hospital acquired conditions and minimizing health care costs.

Level of Evidence: 3

Anterior lumbar discectomy and fusion for acute cauda equina syndrome caused by recurrent disc prolapse

J Neurosurg Spine 27:352–356, 2017

There is a lack of information and consensus regarding the optimal treatment for recurrent disc herniation previously treated by posterior discectomy, and no reports have described an anterior approach for recurrent disc herniation causing cauda equina syndrome (CES). Revision posterior decompression, irrespective of the presence of CES, has been reported to be associated with significantly higher rates of dural tears, hematomas, and iatrogenic nerve root damage.

The authors describe treatment and outcomes in 3 consecutive cases of patients who underwent anterior lumbar discectomy and fusion (ALDF) for CES caused by recurrent disc herniations that had been previously treated with posterior discectomy. All 3 patients were operated on within 12 hours of presentation and were treated with an anterior retroperitoneal lumbar approach. Follow-up ranged from 12 to 24 months. Complete retrieval of herniated disc material was achieved without encountering significant epidural scar tissue in all 3 cases. No perioperative infection or neurological injury occurred, and all 3 patients had neurological recovery with restoration of bladder and bowel function and improvement in back and leg pain.

ALDF is one option to treat CES caused by recurrent lumbar disc prolapse previously treated with posterior discectomy. The main advantage is that it avoids dissection around epidural scar tissue, but the procedure is associated with other risks and further evaluation of its safety in larger series is required.

Microendoscopic laminotomy versus conventional laminoplasty for cervical spondylotic myelopathy: 5-year follow-up study

J Neurosurg Spine 27:403–409, 2017

The goal of this study was to characterize the long-term clinical and radiological results of articular segmental decompression surgery using endoscopy (cervical microendoscopic laminotomy [CMEL]) for cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) and to compare outcomes to conventional expansive laminoplasty (ELAP).

METHODS Consecutive patients with CSM who required surgical treatment were enrolled. All enrolled patients (n = 78) underwent CMEL or ELAP. All patients were followed postoperatively for more than 5 years. The preoperative and 5-year follow-up evaluations included neurological assessment (Japanese Orthopaedic Association [JOA] score), JOA recovery rates, axial neck pain (using a visual analog scale), the SF-36, and cervical sagittal alignment (C2–7 subaxial cervical angle).

RESULTS Sixty-one patients were included for analysis, 31 in the CMEL group and 30 in the ELAP group. The mean preoperative JOA score was 10.1 points in the CMEL group and 10.9 points in the ELAP group (p > 0.05). The JOA recovery rates were similar, 57.6% in the CMEL group and 55.4% in the ELAP group (p > 0.05). The axial neck pain in the CMEL group was significantly lower than that in the ELAP group (p < 0.01). At the 5-year follow-up, cervical alignment was more favorable in the CMEL group, with an average 2.6° gain in lordosis (versus 1.2° loss of lordosis in the ELAP group [p < 0.05]) and lower incidence of postoperative kyphosis.

CONCLUSIONS CMEL is a novel, less invasive technique that allows for multilevel posterior cervical decompression for the treatment of CSM. This 5-year follow-up data demonstrates that after undergoing CMEL, patients have similar neurological outcomes to conventional laminoplasty, with significantly less postoperative axial pain and improved subaxial cervical lordosis when compared with their traditional ELAP counterparts.

A Prospective Study of Interbody Fat Graft ApplicationWith the Anterior Contralateral Cervical Microdiscectomy to Preserve Segmental Mobility

Neurosurgery 81:627–637, 2017

Any surgical procedure aims at protecting mobile segments at the operated level, and the sagittal balance of the columna vertebralis. Interbody fusion has become an often applied technique in anterior cervical discectomy.

OBJECTIVE: To indicate that a minimally invasive technique in which we use interbody fat graft placement showed great results and effectiveness, especially in patients who were suffering from cervical paramedian disc herniation.

METHODS: In this study, 432 patients were observed from 2000 to 2013. All these consecutive patients had paramedian disc herniation. The initial 239 patients (group 1) underwent microdiscectomy without graft placement, whereas the remaining 193 patients (group 2) had a microdiscectomy with interbody fat graft insertion. The Neck Disability Index (NDI) and Short Form-36 (SF-36)were used to evaluate clinical outcomes. Theywere followed up for 5.3 years (range 2-13 years).

RESULTS: Spontaneous radiological fusionwas noticed in 12%of group 1 patients and none of the group 2 patients. It has been observed that the mean overall cervical curvature (C2- 7) angles and segmental lordosis did not change significantly in late follow-up findings. During both early and late follow-ups, all patients indicated a decreasing NDI score, but in late follow-up, an improving SF-36 score.

CONCLUSION: This surgical technique provides good direct decompression and preserves mobility at the treated level, while preventing disc collapse.

Cervical Spine Deformity—Part 2: Management Algorithm and Anterior Techniques

Neurosurgery 81:561–567, 2017

A sound operative plan based on solid understanding of the pathology and biomechanics is the most important part of cervical deformity correction.

Many different surgical options exist for operative management of cervical spine deformities. However, selecting the correct approach that ensures the optimal clinical outcome can be challenging and often controversial.

In Part 2 of this three-part review series, we discuss the pre-operative planning, management algorithm, and anterior surgical techniques for cervical deformity correction.

 

Surgical management of spinal osteoblastomas

J Neurosurg Spine 27:321–327, 2017

Osteoblastoma is a rare primary benign bone tumor with a predilection for the spinal column. Although of benign origin, osteoblastomas tend to behave more aggressively clinically than other benign tumors. Because of the low incidence of osteoblastomas, evidence-based treatment guidelines and high-quality research are lacking, which has resulted in inconsistent treatment. The goal of this study was to determine whether application of the Enneking classification in the management of spinal osteoblastomas influences local recurrence and survival time.

METHODS A multicenter database of patients who underwent surgical intervention for spinal osteoblastoma was developed by the AOSpine Knowledge Forum Tumor. Patient data pertaining to demographics, diagnosis, treatment, crosssectional survival, and local recurrence were collected. Patients in 2 cohorts, based on the Enneking classification of the tumor (Enneking appropriate [EA] and Enneking inappropriate [EI]), were analyzed. If the final pathology margin matched the Enneking-recommended surgical margin, the tumor was classified as EA; if not, it was classified as EI.

RESULTS A total of 102 patients diagnosed with a spinal osteoblastoma were identified between November 1991 and June 2012. Twenty-nine patients were omitted from the analysis because of short follow-up time, incomplete survival data, or invalid staging, which left 73 patients for the final analysis. Thirteen (18%) patients suffered a local recurrence, and 6 (8%) patients died during the study period. Local recurrence was strongly associated with mortality (relative risk 9.2; p = 0.008). When adjusted for Enneking appropriateness, this result was not altered significantly. No significant differences were found between the EA and EI groups in regard to local recurrence and mortality.

CONCLUSIONS In this evaluation of the largest multicenter cohort of spinal osteoblastomas, local recurrence was found to be strongly associated with mortality. Application of the Enneking classification as a treatment guide for preventing local recurrence was not validated.

Spinal navigation for posterior instrumentation of C1–2 instability using a mobile intraoperative CT scanner

J Neurosurg Spine 27:268–275, 2017

Spinal navigation techniques for surgical fixation of unstable C1–2 pathologies are challenged by complex osseous and neurovascular anatomy, instability of the pathology, and unreliable preoperative registration techniques. An intraoperative CT scanner with autoregistration of C-1 and C-2 promises sufficient accuracy of spinal navigation without the need for further registration procedures. The aim of this study was to analyze the accuracy and reliability of posterior C1–2 fixation using intraoperative mobile CT scanner–guided navigation.

METHODS In the period from July 2014 to February 2016, 10 consecutive patients with instability of C1–2 underwent posterior fixation using C-2 pedicle screws and C-1 lateral mass screws, and 2 patients underwent posterior fixation from C-1 to C-3. Spinal navigation was performed using intraoperative mobile CT. Following navigated screw insertion in C-1 and C-2, intraoperative CT was repeated to check for the accuracy of screw placement. In this study, the accuracy of screw positioning was retrospectively analyzed and graded by an independent observer.

RESULTS The authors retrospectively analyzed the records of 10 females and 2 males, with a mean age of 80.7 ± 4.95 years (range 42–90 years). Unstable pathologies, which were verified by fracture dislocation or by flexion/extension radiographs, included 8 Anderson Type II fractures, 1 unstable Anderson Type III fracture, 1 hangman fracture Levine Effendi Ia, 1 complex hangman-Anderson Type III fracture, and 1 destructive rheumatoid arthritis of C1–2. In 4 patients, critical anatomy was observed: high-riding vertebral artery (3 patients) and arthritis-induced partial osseous destruction of the C-1 lateral mass (1 patient). A total of 48 navigated screws were placed. Correct screw positioning was observed in 47 screws (97.9%). Minor pedicle breach was observed in 1 screw (2.1%). No screw displacement occurred (accuracy rate 97.9%).

CONCLUSION Spinal navigation using intraoperative mobile CT scanning was reliable and safe for posterior fixation in unstable C1–2 pathologies with high accuracy in this patient series.

Correction of severe spinopelvic mismatch: decreased blood loss with lateral hyperlordotic interbody grafts as compared with pedicle subtraction osteotomy

Neurosurg Focus 43 (2):E15, 2017

Pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO) provides extensive correction in patients with fixed sagittal plane imbalance but is associated with high estimated blood loss (EBL). Anterior column realignment (ACR) with lateral graft placement and sectioning of the anterior longitudinal ligament allows restoration of lumbar lordosis (LL). The authors compare peri- and postoperative measures in 2 groups of patients undergoing correction of a sagittal plane imbalance, either through PSO or the use of lateral lumbar fusion and ACR with hyperlordotic (20°–30°) interbody cages, with stabilization through standard posterior instrumentation in all cases.

METHODS The authors performed a retrospective chart review of cases involving a lumbar PSO or lateral lumbar interbody fusion and ACR (LLIF-ACR) between 2010 and 2015 at the authors’ institution. Patients who had a PSO in the setting of a preexisting fusion that spanned more than 4 levels were excluded. Demographic characteristics, spinopelvic parameters, EBL, operative time, and LOS were analyzed and compared between patients treated with PSO and those treated with LLIF-ACR.

RESULTS The PSO group included 14 patients and the LLIF-ACR group included 13 patients. The mean follow-up was 13 months in the LLIF-ACR group and 26 months in the PSO group. The mean EBL was significantly lower in the LLIF-ACR group, measuring approximately 50% of the mean EBL in the PSO group (1466 vs 2910 ml, p < 0.01). Total LL correction was equivalent between the 2 groups (35° in the PSO group, 31° in the LLIF-ACR group, p > 0.05), as was the preoperative PI-LL mismatch (33° in each group, p > 0.05) and the postoperative PI-LL mismatch (< 1° in each group, p = 0.05). The fusion rate as assessed by the need for reoperation due to pseudarthrosis was lower in the LLIF-ACR group but not significantly so (3 revisions in the PSO group due to pseudarthrosis vs 0 in the LLIF-ACR group, p > 0.5). The total operative time and LOS were not significantly different in the 2 groups.

CONCLUSIONS This is the first direct comparison of the LLIF-ACR technique with the PSO in adult spinal deformity correction. The study demonstrates that the LLIF-ACR provides equivalent deformity correction with significantly reduced blood loss in patients with a previously unfused spine compared with the PSO. This technique provides a powerful means to avoid PSO in selected patients who require spinal deformity correction.

Open versus percutaneous instrumentation in thoracolumbar fractures

J Neurosurg Spine 27:235–241, 2017

Percutaneous instrumentation in thoracolumbar fractures is intended to decrease paravertebral muscle damage by avoiding dissection. The aim of this study was to compare muscles at instrumented levels in patients who were treated by open or percutaneous surgery.

METHODS Twenty-seven patients underwent open instrumentation, and 65 were treated percutaneously. A standardized MRI protocol using axial T1-weighted sequences was performed at a minimum 1-year follow-up after implant removal. Two independent observers measured cross-sectional areas (CSAs, in cm2) and region of interest (ROI) signal intensity (in pixels) of paravertebral muscles by using OsiriX at the fracture level, and at cranial and caudal instrumented pedicle levels. An interobserver comparison was made using the Bland-Altman method. Reference ROI muscle was assessed in the psoas and ROI fat subcutaneously. The ratio ROI-CSA/ROI-fat was compared for patients treated with open versus percutaneous procedures by using a linear mixed model. A linear regression analyzed additional factors: age, sex, body mass index (BMI), Pfirrmann grade of adjacent discs, and duration of instrumentation in situ.

RESULTS The interobserver agreement was good for all CSAs. The average CSA for the entire spine was 15.7 cm2 in the open surgery group and 18.5 cm2 in the percutaneous group (p = 0.0234). The average ROI-fat and ROI-muscle signal intensities were comparable: 497.1 versus 483.9 pixels for ROI-fat and 120.4 versus 111.7 pixels for ROI-muscle in open versus percutaneous groups. The ROI-CSA varied between 154 and 226 for open, and between 154 and 195 for percutaneous procedures, depending on instrumented levels. A significant difference of the ROI-CSA/ROI-fat ratio (0.4 vs 0.3) was present at fracture levels T12–L1 (p = 0.0329) and at adjacent cranial (p = 0.0139) and caudal (p = 0.0100) instrumented levels. Differences were not significant at thoracic levels. When adjusting based on age, BMI, and Pfirrmann grade, a significant difference between open and percutaneous procedures regarding the ROI-CSA/ROI-fat ratio was present in the lumbar spine (p < 0.01). Sex and duration of instrumentation had no significant influence.

CONCLUSIONS Percutaneous instrumentation decreased muscle atrophy compared with open surgery. The MRI signal differences for T-12 and L-1 fractures indicated less fat infiltration within CSAs in patients who received percutaneous treatment. Differences were not evidenced at thoracic levels, where CSAs were smaller. Fat infiltration was not significantly different at lumbar levels with either procedure in elderly patients with associated discopathy and higher BMI. In younger patients, there was less fat infiltration of lumbar paravertebral muscles with percutaneous procedures.

 

Spinal epidural hematomas: personal experience and literature review of more than 1000 cases

J Neurosurg Spine 27:198–208, 2017

The goal of this study was to identify factors that contribute to the formation of acute spinal epidural hematoma (SEH) by correlating etiology, age, site, clinical status, and treatment with immediate results and long-term outcomes.

METHODS The authors reviewed their series of 15 patients who had been treated for SEH between 1996 and 2012. In addition, the authors reviewed the relevant international literature from 1869 (when SEH was first described) to 2012, collecting a total of 1010 cases. Statistical analysis was performed in 959 (95%) cases that were considered valid for assessing the incidence of age, sex, site, and clinical status at admission, correlating each of these parameters with the treatment results. Statistical analysis was also performed in 720 (71.3%) cases to study the incidence of etiological factors that favor SEH formation: coagulopathy, trauma, spinal puncture, pregnancy, and multifactorial disorders. The clinical status at admission and long-term outcome were studied for each group. Clinical status was assessed using the Neuro-Grade (NG) scale.

RESULTS The mean patient age was 47.97 years (range 0–91 years), and a significant proportion of patients were male (60%, p < 0.001). A bimodal distribution has been reported for age at onset with peaks in the 2nd and 6th decades of life. The cause of the SEH was not reported in 42% of cases. The etiology concerned mainly iatrogenic factors (18%), such as coagulopathy or spinal puncture, rather than noniatrogenic factors (29%), such as genetic or metabolic coagulopathy, trauma, and pregnancy. The etiology was multifactorial in 11.1% of cases. The most common sites for SEH were C-6 (n = 293, 31%) and T-12 (n = 208, 22%), with maximum extension of 6 vertebral bodies in 720 cases (75%). At admission, 806 (84%) cases had moderate neurological impairment (NG 2 or 3), and only lumbar hematoma was associated with a good initial clinical neurological status (NG 0 or 1). Surgery was performed in 767 (80%) cases. Mortality was greater in patients older than 40 years of age (9%; p < 0.01). Sex did not influence any of these data (p > 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS Factors that contribute to the formation of acute SEH are iatrogenic, not iatrogenic, or multifactorial. The treatment of choice is surgery, and the results of treatment are influenced by the patient’s clinical and neurological status at admission, age, and the craniocaudal site.

Stabilization of Tumor-Associated Craniovertebral Junction Instability

Neurosurgery 81:251–258, 2017

Whether primary or metastatic, tumors of the craniovertebral junction (CVJ) are rare and challenging.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the surgical indications, operative variables, and outcomes in patients with tumors of the CVJ undergoing occipitocervical (OC) stabilization.

METHODS: A single-institution, retrospective case series was performed from a prospectively maintained spine database. Patients with primary or metastatic tumors of the CVJ who underwent OC stabilization were identified. Out of 46 patients who underwent OC fusion, 39 were for tumor. Paired t-tests and Wilcoxon rank-sum tests were performed to assess for postoperative changes.

RESULTS: Ten patients (26%) harbored primary tumors, and the remaining 29 (74%) had metastatic disease. Of the metastatic patients, 14 had a neurological deficit, 10 had severe neck pain, and 5 were deemed mechanically unstable. Postoperative visual analog pain scoreswere significantly reduced at all 3 follow-up times (P<.001, 95% confidence interval [CI; 3.2, 6.0]; P = .001, 95% CI [2.6, 7.7]; P = .020, 95% CI [0.6, 5.5]). The percentage of patients who were ambulatory and neurologically improved or intact remained stable postoperatively with no significant declines. There were 2 perioperative mortalities (5%), and 13 patients (33%) experienced a major complication.

CONCLUSIONS: In patients with primary or metastatic tumor of the CVJ, OC stabilization using a cervical screw-rod system affixed to a midline-keel buttress plate, with or without posterior decompression, is a reliable method for CVJ stabilization in the oncologic setting. Improvement in pain and preservation of neurological function was seen.

 

A New Classification for Pathologies of Spinal Meninges—Part 2: Primary and Secondary Intradural Arachnoid Cysts

Neurosurgery 81:217–229, 2017

Spinal intradural arachnoid cysts are rare causes of radiculopathy or myelopathy. Treatment options include resection, fenestration, or cyst drainage.

OBJECTIVE: To classify intradural spinal arachnoid cysts and present results of their treatment.

METHODS: Among 1519 patientswith spinal space occupying lesions, 130 patients demonstrated intradural arachnoid cysts. Neuroradiological and surgical features were reviewed and clinical data analyzed.

RESULTS: Twenty-one patients presented arachnoid cysts as a result of an inflammatory leptomeningeal reaction related to meningitis, subarachnoid hemorrhage, intrathecal injections, intradural surgery, or trauma, ie, secondary cysts. For the remaining 109 patients, no such history could be elucidated, ie, primary cysts. Forty-six percent of primary and 86% of secondary cysts were associated with syringomyelia. Patients presented after an average history of 53±88 months. Therewere 122 thoracic and 7 lumbar cysts plus 1 cervical cyst. Fifty-nine patients with primary and 15 patients with secondary cysts underwent laminotomies with complete or partial cyst resection and duraplasty. Mean follow-up was 57 ± 52 months. In the first postoperative year, profound improvements for primary cysts were noted, in contrast to marginal changes for secondary cysts. Progression-free survival for 10 years following surgery was determined as 83% for primary compared to 15% for secondary cysts. Despite differences in clinical presentation, progression-free survival was almost identical for patients with or without syringomyelia.

CONCLUSIONS: Complete or partial resection leads to favorable short- and long-term results for primary arachnoid cysts. For secondary cysts, surgery can only provide clinical stabilization for a limited time due to the often extensive arachnoiditis.

 

Long-term clinical and radiographic outcomes of the Prestige LP artificial cervical disc replacement at 2 levels

J Neurosurg Spine 27:7–19, 2017

The aim of this study was to assess long-term clinical safety and effectiveness in patients undergoing anterior cervical surgery using the Prestige LP artificial disc replacement (ADR) prosthesis to treat degenerative cervical spine disease at 2 adjacent levels compared with anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF).

METHODS A prospective, randomized, controlled, multicenter FDA-approved clinical trial was conducted at 30 US centers, comparing the low-profile titanium ceramic composite-based Prestige LP ADR (n = 209) at 2 levels with ACDF (n = 188). Clinical and radiographic evaluations were completed preoperatively, intraoperatively, and at regular postoperative intervals to 84 months. The primary end point was overall success, a composite variable that included key safety and efficacy considerations.

RESULTS At 84 months, the Prestige LP ADR demonstrated statistical superiority over fusion for overall success (observed rate 78.6% vs 62.7%; posterior probability of superiority [PPS] = 99.8%), Neck Disability Index success (87.0% vs 75.6%; PPS = 99.3%), and neurological success (91.6% vs 82.1%; PPS = 99.0%). All other study effectiveness measures were at least noninferior for ADR compared with ACDF. There was no statistically significant difference in the overall rate of implant-related or implant/surgical procedure–related adverse events up to 84 months (26.6% and 27.7%, respectively). However, the Prestige LP group had fewer serious (Grade 3 or 4) implant- or implant/surgical procedure–related adverse events (3.2% vs 7.2%, log hazard ratio [LHR] and 95% Bayesian credible interval [95% BCI] -1.19 [-2.29 to -0.15]). Patients in the Prestige LP group also underwent statistically significantly fewer second surgical procedures at the index levels (4.2%) than the fusion group (14.7%) (LHR -1.29 [95% BCI -2.12 to -0.46]). Angular range of motion at superior- and inferior-treated levels on average was maintained in the Prestige LP ADR group to 84 months.

CONCLUSIONS The low-profile artificial cervical disc in this study, Prestige LP, implanted at 2 adjacent levels, maintains improved clinical outcomes and segmental motion 84 months after surgery and is a safe and effective alternative to fusion.

Surgical treatment of intraforaminal/extraforaminal lumbar disc herniations

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:1273–1281

Several disc disease nomenclatures and approaches for LDH exist. The traditional midline bonedestructive procedures together with approaches requiring extreme muscular retraction are being replaced by muscle sparing, targeted, stability-preserving surgical routes. The increasing speculation on LDHs and the innovative corridors described to treat them have lead to an extensive production of papers frequently treating the same topic but adopting different terminologies and reporting contradictory results.

Methods The review of such literature somehow confounding gave us the chance to regroup by surgical corridors the vast amount of approaches for LDH differently renamed over time. Likewise, LDHs were simplified in intra-foraminal (ILDH), extra-foraminal (ELDH), and intra−/extra-foraminal (IELDH) in relation to precise anatomical boundaries and extent of bulging disc.

Results Through the analysis of the papers, it was possible to identify ideal surgical corridors for ILDHs, ELDHs, and IELDHs, distinguishing for each approach the exposure provided and the technical advantages/disadvantages in terms of muscle trauma, biomechanical stability, and nerve root preservation. A significant disproportion was noted between studies discussing traditional midline approaches or variants of the posterolateral route and those investigating pros and cons of simple or combined alternative corridors. Although rarely discussed, these latter represent valuable strategies particularly for the challenging IELDHs, thanks to the optimal compromise between herniation exposure and bone-muscle preservation.

Conclusions The integration of adequate mastery of traditional approaches together with a greater confidence through unfamiliar surgical corridors can improve the development of combined mini-invasive procedures, which seem promising for future targeted LDH excisions.

A New Classification for Pathologies of Spinal Meninges, Part 1: Dural Cysts, Dissections, and Ectasias

Neurosurgery 81:29–44, 2017

The clinical significance of pathologies of the spinal dura is often unclear and their management controversial.

OBJECTIVE: To classify spinal dural pathologies analogous to vascular aneurysms, present their symptoms and surgical results.

METHODS: Among 1519 patients with spinal space-occupying lesions, 66 patients demonstrated dural pathologies. Neuroradiological and surgical features were reviewed and clinical data analyzed.

RESULTS: Saccular dural diverticula (type I, n = 28) caused by defects of both dural layers, dissections between dural layers (type II, n = 29) due to defects of the inner layer, and dural ectasias (type III, n = 9) related to structural changes of the dura were distinguished. For all types, symptoms consisted of local pain followed by signs of radiculopathy or myelopathy, while one patient with dural ectasia presented a low-pressure syndrome and 10 patients with dural dissections additional spinal cord herniation. Type I and type II pathologies required occlusion of their dural defects via extradural (type I) or intradural (type II) approaches. For type III pathologies of the dural sac no surgerywas recommended. Favorable results were obtained in all 14 patients with type I and 13 of 15 patients with type II pathologies undergoing surgery.

CONCLUSION: The majority of dural pathologies involving root sleeves remain asymptomatic, while those of the dural sac commonly lead to pain and neurological symptoms. Type I and type II pathologies were treated with good long-term results occluding their dural defects, while ectasias of the dural sac (type III) were managed conservatively.

 

Neurosurgery Department. “La Fe” University Hospital. Valencia, Spain

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