Clinical Neuroscience

[Early experiences in surgical treatment of thoracic disc herniation from posterior transdural approach at Neurosurgery Clinic Szeged University]


MAY 30, 2020

Clinical Neuroscience - 2020;73(05-06)


Case Reports

[Background – Because of the rare occurrence of thoracic disc herniation and surgery needed treatment the used approaches and their efficiency are still subjects of discussions. In Hungarian practice, the most frequent explorations are costotransversectomy and laminectomy, but there are many other important methods available like thoracoscopic and posterior transdural approaches. This case report will present the benefits and the surgical procedure of posterior transdural sequesterectomy, carry out for the first time in Hungary at the Neurosurgical Department on Szeged University. Case presentation – A 50-year-old female patient with achondroplasic nanism has been operated several times since 2011. She suffered from a progressive, multi-segment affected degenerative discopathy and myelopathy. Finally in the background of the recurrent paraparesis was confirmed thoracic disc herniations at the levels of T8 and T9. The use of intraoperative electrophysiology was not feasable, because the earlier described cervical myelopathy. For this reason we used the posterior transdural approach, as the best and safest, visual control warranted technique. Conclusions – The posterior transdural approach offers an alternative option for experienced surgeons, furthermore in contrast with traditional, technically difficult to implement or special instrumentation demanding approaches this technique seems to be more efficient.]


  1. SZTE, SZAKK, Idegsebészeti Klinika, Szeged



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

Alexithymia is associated with cognitive impairment in patients with Parkinson’s disease

SENGUL Yildizhan, KOCAK Müge, CORAKCI Zeynep, SENGUL Serdar Hakan, USTUN Ismet

Cognitive dysfunction (CD) is a common non-motor symptom of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Alexithy­mia is a still poorly understood neuropsychiatric feature of PD. Cognitive impairment (especially visuospatial dysfunction and executive dysfunction) and alexithymia share com­mon pathology of neuroanatomical structures. We hypo­thesized that there must be a correlation between CD and alexithymia levels considering this relationship of neuroanatomy. Objective – The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between alexithymia and neurocognitive function in patients with PD. Thirty-five patients with PD were included in this study. The Toronto Alexithymia Scale–20 (TAS-20), Geriatric Depression Inventory (GDI) and a detailed neuropsychological evaluation were performed. Higher TAS-20 scores were negatively correlated with Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) similarities test score (r =-0.71, p value 0.02), clock drawing test (CDT) scores (r=-0.72, p=0.02) and verbal fluency (VF) (r=-0.77, p<0.01). Difficulty identifying feelings subscale score was negatively correlated with CDT scores (r=-0.74, p=0.02), VF scores (r=-0.66, p=0.04), visual memory immediate recall (r=-0.74, p=0.01). VF scores were also correlated with difficulty describing feelings (DDF) scores (r=-0.66, p=0.04). There was a reverse relationship bet­ween WAIS similarities and DDF scores (r=-0.70, p=0.02), and externally oriented-thinking (r=-0.77,p<0.01). Executive function Z score was correlated with the mean TAS-20 score (r=-62, p=0.03) and DDF subscale score (r=-0.70, p=0.01) Alexithymia was found to be associated with poorer performance on visuospatial and executive function test results. We also found that alexithymia was significantly correlated with depressive symptoms. Presence of alexithymia should therefore warn the clinicians for co-existing CD.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Neurological aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus]


[By the spring of 2020 the COVID-19 outbreak caused by the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has become a pandemic, requiring fast and efficient reaction from societies and health care systems all over the world. Fever, coughing and dyspnea are considered the major signs of COVID-19. In addition to the involvement of the respiratory system, the infection may result in other symptoms and signs as well. Based on reports to date, neurological signs or symptoms appear in 30-50% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients, with higher incidence in those with more severe disease. Classical acute neurological syndromes have also been reported to associate with COVID-19. A drop in the volume of services for other acute diseases has been described in countries with healthcare systems focusing on COVID-19. During the COVID-19 epidemic it is also important to provide appropriate continuous care for those with chronic neurological disorders. It will be the task of the future to estimate the collateral damage caused by the COVID-19 epidemic on the outcome of other neurological disorders, and to screen for the possible late neurological complications of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Autonomic nervous system may be affected after carpal tunnel syndrome surgery: A possible mechanism for persistence of symptoms after surgery

ONDER Burcu, KELES Yavuz Betul

After carpal tunnel surgery, some patients report complaints such as edema, pain, and numbness. Purpose – The aim of this study was to evaluate autonomic nervous system function in patients with a history of carpal tunnel surgery using sympathetic skin response (SSR). Thirty three patients (55 ±10 years old) with a history of unilateral operation for carpal tunnel syndrome were included in the study. The SSR test was performed for both hands. Both upper extremities median and ulnar nerve conduction results were recorded. A reduced amplitude (p=0.006) and delayed latency (p<0.0001) were detected in the SSR test on the operated side compared to contralateral side. There was no correlation between SSR and carpal tunnel syndrome severity. Although complex regional pain syndrome does not develop in patients after carpal tunnel surgery, some of the complaints may be caused by effects on the autonomic nervous system.

Clinical Neuroscience

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease: A single center experience and systemic analysis of cases in Turkey

USLU Ilgen Ferda, ELIF Gökçal, GÜRSOY Esra Azize, KOLUKISA Mehmet, YILDIZ Babacan Gulsen

We aimed to analyze the clinical, laboratory and neuroimaging findings in patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in a single center as well as to review other published cases in Turkey. Between January 1st, 2014 and June 31st, 2017, all CJD cases were evaluated based on clinical findings, differential diagnosis, the previous misdiagnosis, electroencephalography (EEG), cerebrospinal fluid and cranial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in our center. All published cases in Turkey between 2005-2018 were also reviewed. In a total of 13 patients, progressive cognitive decline was the most common presenting symptom. Two patients had a diagnosis of Heidenhain variant, 1 patient had a diagnosis of Oppenheimer-Brownell variant. Seven patients (53.3%) had been misdiagnosed with depression, vascular dementia, normal pressure hydrocephalus or encephalitis. Eleven patients (87%) had typical MRI findings but only 5 of these were present at baseline. Asymmetrical high signal abnormalities on MRI were observed in 4 patients. Five patients (45.4%) had periodic spike wave complexes on EEG, all appeared during the follow-up. There were 74 published cases in Turkey bet­ween 2005 and 2018, with various clinical presentations. CJD has a variety of clinical features in our patient series as well as in cases reported in Turkey. Although progressive cognitive decline is the most common presenting symptom, unusual manifestations in early stages of the disease might cause misdiagnosis. Variant forms should be kept in mind in patients with isolated visual or cerebellar symptoms. MRI and EEG should be repeated during follow-up period if the clinical suspicion still exists.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Family planning in multiple sclerosis: conception, pregnancy, breastfeeding]

RÓZSA Csilla

[Family planning is an exceptionally important question in multiple sclerosis, as women of childbearing age are the ones most often affected. Although it is proven that pregnancy does not worsen the long-term prognosis of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, many patients are still doubtful about having children. This question is further complicated by the fact that patients – and often even doctors – are not sufficiently informed about how the ever-increasing number of available disease-modifying treatments affect pregnancies. Breastfeeding is an even less clear topic. Patients usually look to their neurologists first for answers concerning these matters. It falls to the neurologist to rationally evaluate the risks and benefits of contraception, pregnancy, assisted reproduction, childbirth, breastfeeding and disease modifying treatments, to inform patients about these, and then together come to a decision about the best possible therapeutic approach, taking the patients’ individual family plans into consideration. Here we present a review of relevant literature adhering to international guidelines on the topics of conception, pregnancy and breastfeeding, with a special focus on the applicability of approved disease modifying treatments during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The goal of this article is to provide clinicians involved in the care of MS patients with up-to-date information that they can utilize in their day-to-day clinical practice. ]

All articles in the issue

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Application of minimally invasive instrumental spine surgery technique in lumbal diseases of degenerative or traumatic origin]

SCHWARCZ Attila, KASÓ Gábor, BÜKI András, DÓCZI Tamás

[Paradigm change has recently taken place in spine surgery with the application of minimally invasive techniques. Minimally invasive techniques have several advantages over the open traditional techniques: less blood loss, preservation of spine muscle integrity, shorter hospitalization, early mobilization, reduced pain levels, lower risk of infection. The presented cases cover following lumbar pathologies: segmental spinal instability, LV-SI grade II. spondylolisthesis, degenerative spondylolisthesis, spine trauma. Unilateral or bilateral mini-open technique was employed in the degenerative cases, depending on symptoms and signes. If unilateral symptoms - pathology was identified, screws and rod were implanted percutaneously on the side contralateral to the pathology. The segmental fusion between vertebral bodies was always assured by a cage and autologous bone. The presented trauma case involved combined AO type A2 and B fractures. The anterior column was strengthened with vertebral body stents filled with bone cement, the posterior column was fixed with a percutaneously implanted screw rod system. Insertion of stents in the collapsed vertebra significantly increased the vertebral body height and also improved the stability of the spine. Minimally invasive spine surgery techniques appear more advantageous over the traditional open spine surgery that necessitates for large midline approaches.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Early experience with minimal invasive treatment of thirty-one thoracolumbar injury cases]

VARGA Ádám, VERES Róbert, ELEK Péter, MENCSER Zoltán, RIDEG Zoltán, BARZÓ Pál

[A szerzők 31 thoracolumbalis gerincsérült minimálisan invazív műtéti ellátásával szerzett tapasztalataikról számolnak be. A betegek orvosi dokumentációját, radiológiai (preoperatív CT és MRI, valamint posztoperatív CT három és hat hónap után) képanyagát retrospektíven elemzik. A be-avatkozások során minden behelyezett csavar megfelelő pozícióba került, idegrendszeri funkcióromlás és sebfertőzés nem fordult elő. Az utánkövetés során három esetben alakult ki radiológiai korrekcióvesztés, melynek azonban klinikai következménye nem volt. Csavarlazulást, a fémanyag törését nem észleltük. Saját tapasztalataink alapján, a nemzetközi irodalmi adatokkal egybevágóan, a mini-málisan invazív módszer alkalmazását a gerincsérültek ellátása során javasoljuk.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Evaluation of the effectiveness of transforaminal epidural steroid injection in far lateral lumbar disc herniations

EVRAN Sevket, KATAR Salim

Far lateral lumbar disc herniations (FLDH) consist approximately 0.7-12% of all lumbar disc herniations. Compared to the more common central and paramedian lumbar disc herniations, they cause more severe and persistent radicular pain due to direct compression of the nerve root and dorsal root ganglion. In patients who do not respond to conservative treatments such as medical treatment and physical therapy, and have not developed neurological deficits, it is difficult to decide on surgical treatment because of the nerve root damage and spinal instability risk due to disruption of facet joint integrity. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the effect of transforaminal epidural steroid injection (TFESI) on the improvement of both pain control and functional capacity in patients with FLDH. A total of 37 patients who had radicular pain caused by far lateral disc herniation which is visible in their lumbar magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, had no neurological deficit and did not respond to conservative treatment, were included the study. TFESI was applied to patients by preganglionic approach. Pre-treatment Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) scores of the patients were compared with the 3rd week, 3rd month and 6th month scores after the procedure. The mean initial VAS score was 8.63 ± 0.55, while it was 3.84 ± 1.66, 5.09 ± 0.85, 4.56 ± 1.66 at the 3rd week, 3rd month and 6th month controls, respectively. This decrease in the VAS score was found statistically significant (p = 0.001). ODI score with baseline mean value of 52.38 ± 6.84 was found to be 18.56 ± 4.95 at the 3rd week, 37.41 ± 14.1 at the 3rd month and 34.88 ± 14.33 at the 6th month. This downtrend of pa­tient’s ODI scores was found statistically significant (p = 0.001). This study has demonstrated that TFESI is an effective method for gaining increased functional capacity and pain control in the treatment of patients who are not suitable for surgical treatment with radicular complaints due to far lateral lumbar disc hernia.