Clinical Neuroscience



NOVEMBER 30, 2007

Clinical Neuroscience - 2007;60(11-12)

[Objective - The standard surgical procedures used in degenerative thoracic and lumbar spinal canal stenosis allows decompression of the neural structures by unroofing the spinal canal, often resulted in destruction or insufficiency of facet joints, sacrifice the interspinosus/supraspinosus ligament complexes and stripping of the paraspinal muscles altering an already pathologic biomechanical milieu causing segmental instability. Various less invasive techniques exists to save the integrity and prevent the instability of the spine and allow decompression of neural structures located in the spinal canal. The authors discusses the experiences with technique of unilateral laminotomy for bilateral decompression. Methods - The unilateral laminotomy for bilateral decompression technique was performed at 60 levels in 51 patients to decompress the symptomatic degenerative stenosis of the thoracic and lumbar spinal canal. The inclusion criteria were used as follows: symptoms of neurogenic claudication and/or radiculopathy, myelopathy, neuroimaging evidence of degenerative stenosis and absence of instability. Symptoms were considered refractory to nonsurgical conservative management or myelopathy was detected. Results - The distribution of mostly affected segments were the L 4-5 (45%) and L3-4 (28.4%). Neurogenic claudication and walking distance improved during the follow up period in all patients. Seven patients (13.73%) reported excellent, 32 (62.74%) good, 12 (23.53%) fair outcome and no patient a poor overall outcome. The low back pain was the major residual postoperative complaint. 25 (49%) patients were very satisfied with their outcome, 23 (45.1%) were fairly satisfied, 2 (3.9%) were not very satisfied and 1 (2%) patients was dissatisfied. Conclusion - The unilateral laminotomy for bilateral microdecompression technique minimizes resection of and injury to tissues not directly involved in the pathologic process, while affording a safe and through decompression of neural structures located in a degeneratively stenotic spinal canal.]



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience


KOVÁCS Gábor Géza

[acquired. The human prion protein gene (PRNP) is located to chromosome 20 (20p12-ter). Mutations and polymorphisms in the PRNP are associated with prion disease. Genetic prion diseases are inherited in an autosomal dominant trait, examination of the penetrance is restricted to mutation E200K (59-89%). Mutations can be substitutions or insertions. Genetic prion diseases are classified according to the clinicopathological phenotype and comprise genetic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker disease and fatal familial insomnia. Base pair insertions may resemble Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease or Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker disease phenotypes, however, their unique clinicopathological presentations are also emphasized. Among the polymorphisms of the PRNP, the one at codon 129 is the most important, where methionine or valine may be encoded. This polymorphism is known to influence the phenotype of disease forms. Molecular classification of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease also depends on the codon 129 polymorphisms in addition to the Western blot pattern of the protease resistant prion protein. According to this at least six well characterised forms of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease are known. Influence of other genes were also investigated. Contrasting results are reported regarding the role of apolipoprotein E allele ε4, but presence of allele ε2 seems to influence the prognosis. Polymorphisms in the doppel gene or ADAM10 could not be clearly associated with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Polymorphisms in the upstream and intronic regulatory region of the PRNP gene may be a risk factor for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The PRNP codon 129 polymorphism was examined in non-prion diseases. Some studies suggest that this polymorphism may have influence on the cognitive decline and early onset Alzheimer’s disease.]

Clinical Neuroscience


SZABÓ József, LAPIS István, MARIK László, KONDACS András, RUSZNYÁK Csaba

[Objectives - Between 2001 and 2005 86 patients were treated for cervical disc herniations and spondylosis at our department. Stabilization was performed with different cervical cages or spacer after discectomy and decompression. The aim of the study was to examine the changes of the patients’ pain, quality of life and work ability, fusion rate, the intervertebral disc height, changes of under and upper segments and finally curvature of cervical spine. Patients and methods - Patients were followed by the authors, clinical examination, lateral and antero-posterior radiographic examinations were performed. They were asked to fill in a questionnaire, concerning their pre- and postoperative pain, quality of life and work ability. The patients’ pain was graded using a 10-point analog scale (VAS) and with a simplified, McGill-Melzak analog scale. The quality of life was measured with a 10-graduated analog scale as well. Results - More than 77% of our patients appeared at follow up examination. The fusion rate was 89.3%, operated spaces were held in 61%. In the upper segment of operated space 7%, and in the under-segment 14% were found increasingly degenerated. The curvature of cervical spine of the patients’ were 64.51% lordotic, 27.42% straight and 8.07% kyphotic. On average the patients’ pain changed on VAS from 8.179 to 5.015; on McGill-Melzak scale from 3.89 to 2.80; quality of life changed from 8.045 to 5.463. Conclusion - By the advantage of using cages, the operative approach has become smaller than before, consequently the operative pain has become less too. In addition operation time and hospital stay were significantly shorter (p<0.005) than using traditional operation approach. The majority of the patients, pain was decreased, quality of life got better. Despite this fact only 3 patients continue their original work and 5 patients do easier work. The majority of our patients were disabled before the operation, but from that time many of them became disabled, in some cases the grade of disability increased. There can be some reasons for it: the majority of the patients have other diseases for example: lumbar spondylosis and disc herniation, hypertension, diabetes, asthma and depression. There is just a few possibility of work for the disabled people. To conclude, with some of the patients, their disability means “the way out” from unemployment. These facts do not decrease the importance and usefulness of this method. Our results with this type of operation are very similar to the international statistics. This method seems to be applicable and useful.]

Clinical Neuroscience


AUER Tibor, SCHWARCZ Attila, EZER Erzsébet, CZEITER Endre, ARADI Mihály, HUDVÁGNER Sándor, JANSZKY József, BÜKI András, DÓCZI Tamás

[Aim of the study - Presentation of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) performed at low magnetic field (1 Tesla) in the algorithm of work-up of a patient suffering from severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Method - DTI and functional MRI (fMRI) were applied at 1 Tesla for visualization of neural pathways and examination of sensory functions of a patient with severe TBI. DTI-measurement was also performed on a healthy patient for comparison. Results - DTI acquired at low magnetic field yielded appropriate visualization of neural pathways. DTI confirmed the results of the clinical and fMRI examinations in the patient suffering from severe TBI. Conclusion - An optimized DTI can be useful in the examination of patients with TBI, moreover, it may also help in the establishment of diagnoses of other central nervous system diseases affecting neuronal pathways. The presented results suggest that DTI of appropriate quality can be performed at low magnetic field.]

Clinical Neuroscience


ZÁDORI Dénes, DATKI Zsolt, PENKE Botond

[In Alzheimer’s disease, which belongs to the neurodegenerative disorders, the ethiopathogenetic role of several risk factors has been proved. A considerable number of them are mainly known as cardiovascular risk factors and can precipitate chronic brain hypoperfusion. Using functional imaging techniques, this hypoperfusion and the resulting hypometabolism become detectable in the watershed areas of the brain as early as in the stage of mild cognitive impairment. Hypoperfusion leads to the degeneration of capillaries in this area causing the deterioration of diffusion. The further reduction of nutrient and oxygen support of neurons is capable to initiate a neurodegenerative process which spreads along the glutamaterg system arising from the neurons of the association cortices. The neuropathological lesions of this neuronal system, such as the neurofibrillary tangles and the β-amyloid plaques, are known to be the characteristic markers of Alzheimer's disease. In our review we present the development of hypoperfusion and its consequences in the watershed areas of the brain and describe the neurodegenerative process of the neuronal system arising from the neurons of the association cortices in the early stage of Alzheimer's disease. Considering the previous hypotheses and the neuropathological lesions of Alzheimer's disease we give a new consensus model to characterize the pathomechanism of the disorder.]

Clinical Neuroscience



[One-and-a-half syndrome is characterized by combination of the clinical features of unilateral horizontal gaze palsy and internuclear ophthalmoplegia. The common symptoms are double vision and oscillopsia. The lesion is located in the paramedian pontine reticular formation, involving the centre of horizontal gaze and medial longitudinal fasciculus. More extensive brainstem damage may result in additional neurological signs. The most frequent underlying diseases are vascular insults, multiple sclerosis, and brainstem tumor. We present two cases of one-and-a-half syndrome. Both patients had lacunar infarction in the paramedian pontine tegmentum, revealed by MRI. The first patient had isolated eye movement disorder, while the second had additional nuclear-type facial paresis. In the first case brainstem evoked potentials indicated brainstem damage, in the second patient it was normal. Ocular symptoms improved within some days in both patients.]

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Clinical Neuroscience


FEKETE Tamás Fülöp, VERES Róbert, NYÁRY István

[Herniation of the meninges through a defect of the spinal canal is a spinal meningocele, and is usually located dorsally in the lumbosacral region. Meningoceles are usually part of a complex developmental disorder, or of a systemic disease, or it can be iatrogenic, as well. We report a very rare case of a true anterior thoracic meningocele.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[New minimal invasive surgical techniques in spine surgery]


[The last decade has brought significant development in spine surgery. As in all field of surgery, introduction of the minimal invasive, atraumatic procedures characterized our activities. The number of short and long-time complications were significantly reduced and the effectiveness of operations were markedly improved by the new technical conditions, for example by the use of neuronavigation, surgical microscope, intraoperative fluoroscopy, high speed drill and the widespread of keyhole concept. The applied multislice CT imaging and the high resolution MRI enabled to improve the accuracy of the planned surgical procedures and to reduce the mortality and morbidity of operations. In our studies technical methods were investigated and new developments were established in the field of minimal invasive spine surgery. The National Institute of Neurosurgery's spinal surgical team pioneers further development and application of novel minimal invasive procedures. Applied methods of vanguard surgical procedures include split laminotomy, the “archbone” technique, the “over the top” decompression, the multilevel hemi-semi laminectomy, the supraforaminal “burr hole”, the facet joint sparing “open tunnel” techniques or parasplit minimal invasive approaches. The new innovative surgical techniques are applied in our daily routine and meet international trends by utilizing benefits of minimal invasive spinal surgery. Using our newly developed innovative techniques allow to decompress neural elements in case of spinal canal stenosis and to remove the intramedullary and extramedullary space-occupying lesions located in the spinal canal and spreading extraspinally through the neuroforamen. These techniques are specially tailored to preserve structural integrity and stability of the spinal column, and allow at the same time to minimize resection of and injury to tissues not directly involved in the pathologic processes. In our studies a classification system of spatial localization of pathological lesions and processes in spinal canal was developed by us. Using this classification system enables the surgeon to select and apply the appropriate minimal invasive technique from dorsal direction and to remove the space-occupying lesions located in the spinal canal. The minimal invasive techniques were characterized and summarized. This overview of the minimal invasive techniques can be applied and recommended in the daily routine of spine surgery. We proudly employ novel surgical techniques having been developed in our institution. These techniques are internationally recognized and applied in our practice on daily basis as well.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Split laminotomy and complementary spacer insertion for opening and enlargement of the thoracic spinal canal at infiltrative intramedullary tumor removal]


[Objective - The author main objective was to improve the previously developed technique of split laminotomy and moderate enlargement of the spinal canal with preservation of the majority of posterior structures, and to avoid the complications of the classic autologous bone grafting procedure. Methods - A multilevel spinous process splitting and distracting laminotomy technique with complementary spacer insertion between the laminar parts was developed. We used Poly-Ether-Ether-Ketone (PEEK) cages. This improved method was used in five patients to remove malignant intramedullary tumors at the thoracic level. Results - Adequate surgery of the tumors located intramedullary, and permanent decompression of the spinal canal was achieved in all patients using our new modified procedure. The results have been postoperatively confirmed with MRI and CT. The affected spine was the thoracic in all cases. The numbers of split laminae were three to five. Histological results were as follows: four intramedullary astrocytomas, one ependymoma. The ependymoma was completely, while the astrocytomas were only subtotally removed. In all cases heterologous grafts were inserted between the sides of the distracted laminas, to achieve the enlargement of the spinal canal. The mean duration of the whole surgical procedure was 118 minutes (range 91 to 145 minutes). The average follow-up was 11.2 months, with the range from five to 16 months. Upon postoperative neurological follow-up, no complications were revealed related to the newly developed procedure. The postoperative followup CT scans demonstrated bony healing, with a cage between the osteotomized faces. No compression or dislocation of the spacer was seen. Instability was not detected in any of the patients by flexion or extension lateral radiographs. Conclusion - This modification of the split laminotomy and heterologous grafting method fulfills the requirements of other laminotomy techniques. The split laminotomy is suitable for removing intramedullary tumors, and the posterior stabilizing structures of the spine, as the vertebral laminae and the longitudinal musculature are completely prevented. Due to use of allograft the complications of the classic hip bone grafting procedures are avoided. The spacers, inserted between the osteotomized faces, provided permanent decompression of the spinal canal, and bony healing - throughout the spacer - of the splitted vertebral laminae, without iliac graft complications.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[The changes in quality of life after instrumented surgical fusion of degenerative spondylolisthesis]


[Objective - There is no internationally accepted guideline for treatment of spondylolisthesis in the literature, otherwise this degenerative disease has great social and economical impact. There is no hungarian study examining the efficacy of instrumented fusion procedure in surgical treatment of spondylolisthesis. In current study we examined the effectiveness of fusion technique focusing on the impact of quality of life. Methods - Between 1st January, 2011 and 30th June, 2012 we examined a group of patients - who were operated on by instrumented fusion technique because of spondylolisthesis -, in the National Institute of Clinical Neurosciences, using the Oswestry Low Back Disability Questionnaire. All patients were treated after ineffective conservative treatment. The question was wheather how has changed the patients’ quality of life after the operation. Paired-sample t-test was used in this study. Results - Eighty-eight of the 97 examined patients reported different levels of impovement in the postoperative period, two patient’s condition has not changed in spite of the surgery, seven patient’s condition showed progression in average one year after the surgery. The pain improved most significantly (55.5%) (p<0.0001). Using the 16 point borderline according to the Questionnaire (over moderate disability), significant improvement was detected in 50 patients (51.5%). Succesful surgical result - according to the quality of life - was seen in 77.41% of male and in 50.98% of female patients. According to the different age groups, 72.72% of the younger (before retirement), and 53.06% of the retired patients belonged to this group. At least 15 point improvement was detected 35.05% of the patients, the overall improvement was 10.5 point. Discussion - Our results proved effectiveness of instrumented surgical fusion procedure in the treatment of degenerative spondylolisthesis. According to our results the younger male population with significant symptoms is the group, where improvement in quality of life is more pronaunced after the surgical procedure. Conclusion - The instrumented fusion surgical technique provides successful clinical and surgical outcome in patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis. It could improve the quality of life. Althought multicentre follow-up studies are needed to determine the exact indication and optimal therapy.]