Human Amniotic Membrane for the Prevention of Intradural Spinal Cord Adhesions: Retrospective Review of Its Novel Use in a Case Series of 14 Patients
BACKGROUND: Tethering after spinal surgery is caused by adhesions that arise from intradural tissue manipulation. Microsurgical detethering is the only treatment for symptomatic patients, but retethering occurs commonly and no treatment is widely available to prevent this complication. OBJECTIVE: To apply human amniotic membrane (HAM) grafts, which are immuneprivileged and known to possess antifibrogenic properties, in patients requiring microsurgical detethering. For this first-in-human use, we evaluated the safety and potential efficacy of these grafts for preventing retethering. METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of all patients who required detethering surgery and received an HAM graft between 2013 and 2016 at our institution after various previous intradural spinal surgeries. In all 14 cases, intradural lysis of adhesions was achieved, an HAM graft was sewn in place intradurally, and a dural patch was closed in a watertight fashion over the graft. RESULTS: Fourteen patients had received HAM grafts to prevent retethering. All patients had at least 6 mo of follow-up (mean follow-up, 14 mo). Retethering was noted in only 1 patient. Surgical re-exploration showed that the retethering occurred caudal to the edge of the HAM graft, with no tethering underneath the original graft. No complications were attributed specifically to the HAM graft placement. CONCLUSION: This first-in-human series provides evidence that HAM grafts are a safe and potentially efficacious method for preventing retethering after microsurgical intradural lysis of adhesions. These results lay the groundwork for further prospective controlled trials in patients with this difficult-to-treat pathology.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Walker, Corey T.; Godzik, Jakub; Kakarla, Udaya Kumar; Turner, Jay D.; Whiting, Alexander C.; and Nakaji, Peter, "Human Amniotic Membrane for the Prevention of Intradural Spinal Cord Adhesions: Retrospective Review of Its Novel Use in a Case Series of 14 Patients" (2018). Neurosurgery. 197.