Care of rats with complete high-thoracic spinal cord injury.

By London Spine

Care of rats with complete high-thoracic spinal cord injury.

J Neurotrauma. 2010 Sep;27(9):1709-22

Authors: Ramsey JB, Ramer LM, Inskip JA, Alan N, Ramer MS, Krassioukov AV

The complications of spinal cord injury (SCI) increase in number and severity with the level of injury. A recent survey of SCI researchers reveals that animal models of high SCI are essential. Despite this consensus, most laboratories continue to work with mid- or low-thoracic SCI. The available data on cervical SCI in animals characterize incomplete injuries; for example, nearly all studies published in 2009 examine discrete, tract-specific lesions that are not clinically-relevant. A primary barrier to developing animal models of severe, higher SCI is the challenge of animal care, a critical determinant of experimental outcome. Currently, many of these practices vary substantially between laboratories, and are passed down anecdotally within institutions. The care of animals with SCI is complex, and becomes much more challenging as the lesion level ascends. In our experience, the care of animals with high-thoracic (T3) SCI is much more demanding than the care of animals with low-thoracic SCI, even though both injuries result in paraplegia. We have developed an animal care regimen for rats with complete high-thoracic SCI. Our practices have been refined over the past 7 years, in collaboration with animal care centre staff and veterinarians. During this time, we have cared for more than 300 rats with T3 complete transection SCI, with experimental end-points of up to 3 months. Here we provide details of our animal care procedures, including acclimatization, housing, diet, antibiotic prophylaxis, surgical procedures, post-operative monitoring, and prevention of complications. In our laboratory, this comprehensive approach consistently produces good outcomes following T3 complete transection SCI: using body weight as an objective indicator of animal health, we have found that our rats typically return to pre-operative weights within 10 days of T3 complete SCI. It is our hope that the information provided here will improve care of experimental animals, and facilitate adoption of models that directly address the complications associated with higher level injuries.

PMID: 20597687 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

What’s the best surgical treatment for patients with cervical radiculopathy due to single-level degenerative disease? A randomized controlled trial.

By London Spine
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What’s the best surgical treatment for patients with cervical radiculopathy due to single-level degenerative disease? A randomized controlled trial.

PLoS One. 2017;12(8):e0183603

Authors: Donk RD, Verbeek ALM, Verhagen WIM, Groenewoud H, Hosman AJF, Bartels RHMA

BACKGROUND: To investigate the efficacy of adding supplemental fusion or arthroplasty after cervical anterior discectomy for symptomatic mono-level cervical degenerative disease (radiculopathy), which has not been substantiated in controlled trials until now.
METHODS: A randomized controlled trial is reported with 9 years follow up comparing anterior cervical anterior discectomy without fusion, with fusion by cage standalone, or with disc prosthesis. Patients suffering from symptomatic cervical disk degeneration at one level referred to spinal sections of department of neurosurgery or orthopedic surgery of a large general hospital with educational facilities were eligible. Neck Disability Index (NDI), McGill Pain Questionnaire Dutch language version (MPQ-DLV), physical-component summary (PCS), and mental-component summary (MCS) of the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), and re operation rate were evaluated.
FINDINGS: 142 patients between 18 and 55 years were allocated. The median follow-up was 8.9±1.9 years (5.6 to 12.2 years). The response rate at last follow-up was 98.5%. NDI at the last follow-up did not differ between the three treatment groups, nor did the secondary outcomes as MPQ-DLV and PCS or MCS from SF-36. The major improvement occurred within the first 6 weeks after surgery. Afterward, it remained stable. Eleven patients underwent surgery for recurrent symptoms and signs due to nerve root compression at the index or adjacent level.
CONCLUSIONS: This randomized trial could not detect a difference between three surgical modalities for treating a single-level degenerative disk disease. Anterior cervical discectomy without implant seems to be similar to anterior cervical discectomy with fusion by cage stand-alone or with disk prosthesis. Due to the small study sample size, this statement should be considered as inconclusive so far.

PMID: 28850600 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]