Publications by authors named "Gopalakrishnan Balamurali"

7 Publications

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The assessment of neuronal status in normal and cervical spondylotic myelopathy using diffusion tensor imaging.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2014 Jul;39(15):1183-9

*Ganga Hospital, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India; and †Ganga Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation, Tatabad, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India.

Study Design: A prospective observational analysis of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) datametrics collected from control and patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM).

Objective: The aims were to study the use of DTI in CSM and to probe whether DTI datametrics and tractography will correlate with magnetic resonance imaging and clinical findings.

Summary Of Background Data: Magnetic resonance imaging is the current "gold standard" in the assessment of cord status in CSM; however, various parameters such as extent of compression and presence of signal intensity changes do not correlate well with clinical status. DTI is a novel investigation tool with proven applications in brain pathologies but is not routinely used in spinal cord evaluation.

Methods: Patients with CSM (n = 35) who required surgical decompression (mean age = 48 yr) and 40 normal individuals (mean age = 38 yr) were included. Diffusion Tensor Imaging of the cervical spine was obtained using a 1.5T magnetic resonance image. Apparent diffusion coefficient, fractional anisotropy, and eigenvalues (E1, E2, and E3) were obtained at each cervical level. The DTI datametrics of CSM patients were compared with normal volunteers and correlated with individual and grouped Nurick grades, which indicate the neurological status of patients.

Results: There was significant difference in DTI datametrics between patients with myelopathy and control (P < 0.05), with decrease in fractional anisotropy (0.49 ± 0.081 vs. 0.53 ± 0.07) and increase in apparent diffusion coefficient (1.8 ± 0.315 vs. 1.44 ± 0.145) and eigenvalues (E1: 2.82 ± 0.395 vs. 2.37 ± 0.221, E2: 1.64 ± 0.39 vs. 1.18 ± 0.198, E3: 0.956 ± 0.277 vs. 0.76 ± 0.142). There was also a significant difference between increasing grades of myelopathy when individuals were grouped as-control, self-ambulant (Nurick grades 1 and 2), and dependent (Nurick grades 3, 4, and 5).

Conclusion: The study shows that DTI is a promising and useful investigational tool in evaluation of CSM. There was a significant difference in all DTI values between control and patients with CSM, and there was a significant trend of change in values between control, self-ambulant, and dependent patients. Our results encourage further investigation of this important modality.

Level Of Evidence: 3.
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July 2014

Kyphoplasty for lytic tumour lesions of the spine: prospective follow-up of 11 cases from procedure to death.

Eur Spine J 2012 Sep 6;21(9):1873-9. Epub 2012 Apr 6.

Centre for Spinal Studies and Surgery, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham, NG7 2UH, UK.

Background: The life span of cancer patients has improved due to advancements in cancer management. With long survival periods, more patients show metastatic disease. Osteolytic tumours of spine are generated by metastatic deposits or primary tumours of the spine. A prospective study was performed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of percutaneous kyphoplasty in patients with osteolytic tumours of the thoracic and lumbar spine.

Materials And Methods: Eleven patients (age range 52-77/average 65 years; 7 female, 4 male) with osteolytic tumours of the spine were treated with kyphoplasty. The main Tokuhashi score was registered preoperatively. Outcome was assessed prospectively by visual analogue scale (VAS) for pain, ECOG performance status, walking distance, standing and sitting time.

Results: Preoperative VAS (average 7.5; range 2.6-10) dropped to 3.0, 5 days postoperatively and remained below 5 for follow-up. Main Tokuhashi score was 6.3, ranging from 3 to 9. Survival time ranged from 2 to 293 (average 74.4) weeks. Average walking distance, standing and sitting time and ECOG performance score showed improvement. All patients returned home and no patient required re-operation or readmission due to local disease progression or recurrence.

Conclusion: Kyphoplasty is a suitable palliative treatment option for patients with advanced metastatic disease of the spine even with low Tokuhashi scores allowing rapid pain relief and mobilisation to increase the quality of life.
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September 2012

Avoidance of wrong-level thoracic spine surgery: intraoperative localization with preoperative percutaneous fiducial screw placement.

J Neurosurg Spine 2012 Mar 4;16(3):280-4. Epub 2011 Nov 4.

Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, California, USA.

Object: The accurate intraoperative localization of the correct thoracic spine level remains a challenging problem in both open and minimally invasive spine surgery. The authors describe a technique of using preoperatively placed percutaneous fiducial screws to localize the area of interest in the thoracic spine, and they assess the safety and efficacy of the technique.

Methods: To avoid wrong-level surgery in the thoracic spine, the authors preoperatively placed a percutaneous 5-mm fiducial screw at the level of intended surgery using CT guidance. Plain radiographs and CT images with reconstructed views can then be referenced in the operating room to verify the surgical level, and the fiducial screw is easily identified on intraoperative fluoroscopy. The authors compared a group of 26 patients who underwent preoperative (often outpatient) fiducial screw placement prior to open or minimally invasive thoracic spine surgery to a historical group of 26 patients who had intraoperative localization with fluoroscopy alone.

Results: In the treatment group of 26 patients, no complications related to fiducial screw placement occurred, and there was no incidence of wrong-level surgery. In comparison, there were no wrong-level surgeries in the historical cohort of 26 patients who underwent mini-open or open thoracic spine surgery without placement of a fiducial screw. However, the authors found that the intraoperative localization fluoroscopy time was greatly reduced when a fiducial screw localization technique was employed.

Conclusions: The aforementioned technique for intraoperative localization is safe, efficient, and accurate for identifying the target level in thoracic spine exposures. The fiducial marker screw can be placed using CT guidance on an outpatient basis. There is a reduction in the amount of intraoperative fluoroscopy time needed for localization in the fiducial screw group.
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March 2012

Combined transnasal and transoral endoscopic approaches to the craniovertebral junction.

J Craniovertebr Junction Spine 2010 Jan;1(1):44-8

Department of Otololaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, UCSF Spine Center, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, USA.

Objectives: To describe and evaluate a new technique of a combined endoscope-assisted transnasal and transoral approach to decompress the craniovertebral junction.

Materials And Methods: A retrospective cohort of patients requiring an anterior decompression at the craniovertebral junction over a 12-month period was studied. Eleven patients were identified and included in the study. Eight of the patients had an endoscopic approach [endonasal (2), endooral (2), and combined (4)]. Four of the 8 patients in the endoscopic group had a prior open transoral procedure at other institutions. These 8 patients were compared with a contemporary group of 3 patients who had an open, transoral-transpalatal approach. Charts, radiographic images, and pathologic diagnosis were reviewed. We evaluated the following issues: airway obstruction, dysphagia, velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI), length of hospital stay (LOS), adequate decompression, and the need for revision surgery.

Results: Adequate anterior decompression was achieved in all the patients. The endoscopic cohort had a reduced LOS (P = 0.014), reduced need for prolonged intubation/tracheotomy (P =0.024) and a trend toward reduced VPI (P = 0.061) when compared with the open surgery group. None of the patients required a revision surgery.

Conclusion: Proper choice of endoscopic transnasal, transoral, or combined approaches allows anterior decompression at the craniovertebral junction, while avoiding the need to split the palate. A combined transnasal-transoral approach appears to reduce procedure-related morbidity compared with open, transoral, and transpalatal surgeries.
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January 2010

Thorotrast-induced primary cerebral angiosarcoma: case report.

Neurosurgery 2009 Jul;65(1):E210-1; discussion E211

Department of Neurosurgery, Salford Royal Hospitals, Manchester, England.

Objective: Thorotrast was used as a contrast medium in clinical practice until the 1960s for outlining cerebral abscess cavities and ventricular cavities, and for angiography. Gliosarcomas, meningiomas, and schwannomas have been reported previously, as has Thorotrast-associated angiosarcoma, typically in the liver. A unique case of a primary intracerebral well-differentiated angiosarcoma in a 68-year-old man with a history of colocalized exposure to Thorotrast is described. This may be the first case of a primary angiosarcoma in the brain.

Clinical Presentation: The patient presented with a progressive left-sided weakness 62 years after initial surgery for a right parietal cerebral abscess, which included the instillation of Thorotrast into the abscess cavity. Computed tomography showed a right parietal tumor.

Intervention: An explorative craniotomy showed an intrinsic, infiltrating, very vascular tumor with surrounding calcification. The tumor appeared to arise from a benign cavernous vasoformative lesion intimately associated with a Thorotrast-type granuloma. The patient declined further surgery or radiotherapy.

Conclusion: The histology, confirmation of radioactivity of the material obtained from within the tumor, and latency period of presentation provide compelling support for tumor induction by the Thorotrast. Primary lesions of the central nervous system associated with Thorotrast are very rarely reported, despite its extensive use in cerebral angiography and management of brain abscess between 1930 and 1960.
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July 2009

Rupture of brainstem cyst with clinical benefit after head injury. Case report.

J Neurosurg 2007 Jan;106(1 Suppl):41-3

Department of Neurosurgery, Hope Hospital, Salford, United Kingdom.

The authors report an interesting case of the rupture of a brainstem cyst following blunt head trauma. They discuss the case, review reports of similar events, and suggest a possible mechanism by which the cyst could have resolved without surgery.
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January 2007

Papillary endothelial hyperplasia associated with cortical dysplasia.

Acta Neuropathol 2003 Mar 14;105(3):303-8. Epub 2002 Nov 14.

Department of Neuropathology, Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Lower Lane, Liverpool L9 7LJ, UK.

We report a unique case of papillary endothelial hyperplasia (PEH) presenting as a subcortical mass lesion intimately associated with focal cortical dysplasia (CD) and consider a possible causal relationship. A 6-year old girl presented with a 6-month history of a painless, frontoparietal skull "bump" associated with slowly progressive localised bossing followed by a 4-month history of absence attacks. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed an adjacent parietal enhancing mass lesion beneath abnormal appearing cortex. A haemorrhagic vascular lesion with histology consistent with that of papillary endothelial hyperplasia was completely resected. Biopsies of the adjacent cortex showed CD. The patient has been symptom free post-surgery for 12 months with no MRI evidence of recurrence. Intracranial PEH is very rare and, in contrast to extracranial examples, half of the reported cases lacked a demonstrable vascular origin. Given that CD may be associated with intrinsic capillary hypervascularity, vascular malformations and tumours (e.g. dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumour) of a potential hypervascular or haemorrhagic nature, the association between PEH and CD may not be incidental. The abnormal vascularity not uncommonly found in CD may predispose to haemorrhage and/or thrombosis, the organisation of which may rarely be complicated by PEH. Alternatively, PEH and CD may both represent local, independent complications of a pre-existing vascular event or trauma.
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March 2003