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Andrew K. Chan, Praveen V. Mummaneni, John F. Burke, Rory R. Mayer, Erica F. Bisson, Joshua Rivera, Brenton Pennicooke, Kai-Ming Fu, Paul Park, Mohamad Bydon, Steven D. Glassman, Kevin T. Foley, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Eric A. Potts, Mark E. Shaffrey, Domagoj Coric, John J. Knightly, Michael Y. Wang, Jonathan R. Slotkin, Anthony L. Asher, Michael S. Virk, Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Mohammed A. Alvi, Jian Guan, Regis W. Haid, and Dean Chou

OBJECTIVE

Reduction of Meyerding grade is often performed during fusion for spondylolisthesis. Although radiographic appearance may improve, correlation with patient-reported outcomes (PROs) is rarely reported. In this study, the authors’ aim was to assess the impact of spondylolisthesis reduction on 24-month PRO measures after decompression and fusion surgery for Meyerding grade I degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis.

METHODS

The Quality Outcomes Database (QOD) was queried for patients undergoing posterior lumbar fusion for spondylolisthesis with a minimum 24-month follow-up, and quantitative correlation between Meyerding slippage reduction and PROs was performed. Baseline and 24-month PROs, including the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), EQ-5D, Numeric Rating Scale (NRS)–back pain (NRS-BP), NRS-leg pain (NRS-LP), and satisfaction (North American Spine Society patient satisfaction questionnaire) scores were noted. Multivariable regression models were fitted for 24-month PROs and complications after adjusting for an array of preoperative and surgical variables. Data were analyzed for magnitude of slippage reduction and correlated with PROs. Patients were divided into two groups: < 3 mm reduction and ≥ 3 mm reduction.

RESULTS

Of 608 patients from 12 participating sites, 206 patients with complete data were identified in the QOD and included in this study. Baseline patient demographics, comorbidities, and clinical characteristics were similarly distributed between the cohorts except for depression, listhesis magnitude, and the proportion with dynamic listhesis (which were accounted for in the multivariable analysis). One hundred four (50.5%) patients underwent lumbar decompression and fusion with slippage reduction ≥ 3 mm (mean 5.19, range 3 to 11), and 102 (49.5%) patients underwent lumbar decompression and fusion with slippage reduction < 3 mm (mean 0.41, range 2 to −2). Patients in both groups (slippage reduction ≥ 3 mm, and slippage reduction < 3 mm) reported significant improvement in all primary patient reported outcomes (all p < 0.001). There was no significant difference with regard to the PROs between patients with or without intraoperative reduction of listhesis on univariate and multivariable analyses (ODI, EQ-5D, NRS-BP, NRS-LP, or satisfaction). There was no significant difference in complications between cohorts.

CONCLUSIONS

Significant improvement was found in terms of all PROs in patients undergoing decompression and fusion for lumbar spondylolisthesis. There was no correlation with clinical outcomes and magnitude of Meyerding slippage reduction.

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Mohammed Ali Alvi, Waseem Wahood, Shyam J. Kurian, Jad Zreik, Molly M. Jeffery, James M. Naessens, Robert J. Spinner, and Mohamad Bydon

OBJECTIVE

Spinal procedures are increasingly conducted as outpatient procedures, with a growing proportion conducted in ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs). To date, studies reporting outcomes and cost analyses for outpatient spinal procedures in the US have not distinguished the various outpatient settings from each other. In this study, the authors used a state-level administrative database to compare rates of overnight stays and nonroutine discharges as well as index admission charges and cumulative 7-, 30-, and 90-day charges for patients undergoing outpatient lumbar decompression in freestanding ASCs and hospital outpatient (HO) settings.

METHODS

For this project, the authors used the Florida State Ambulatory Surgery Database (SASD), offered by the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), for the years 2013 and 2014. Patients undergoing outpatient lumbar decompression for degenerative diseases were identified using CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) and ICD-9 codes. Outcomes of interest included rates of overnight stays, rate of nonroutine discharges, index admission charges, and subsequent admission cumulative charges at 7, 30, and 90 days. Multivariable analysis was performed to assess the impact of outpatient type on index admission charges. Marginal effect analysis was employed to study the difference in predicted dollar margins between ASCs and HOs for each insurance type.

RESULTS

A total of 25,486 patients were identified; of these, 7067 patients (27.7%) underwent lumbar decompression in a freestanding ASC and 18,419 (72.3%) in an HO. No patient in the ASC group required an overnight stay compared to 9.2% (n = 1691) in the HO group (p < 0.001). No clinically significant difference in the rate of nonroutine discharge was observed between the two groups. The mean index admission charge for the ASC group was found to be significantly higher than that for the HO group ($35,017.28 ± $14,335.60 vs $33,881.50 ± $15,023.70; p < 0.001). Patients in ASCs were also found to have higher mean 7-day (p < 0.001), 30-day (p < 0.001), and 90-day (p = 0.001) readmission charges. ASC procedures were associated with increased charges compared to HO procedures for patients on Medicare or Medicaid (mean index admission charge increase $4049.27, 95% CI $2577.87–$5520.67, p < 0.001) and for patients on private insurance ($4775.72, 95% CI $4171.06–$5380.38, p < 0.001). For patients on self-pay or no charge, a lumbar decompression procedure at an ASC was associated with a decrease in index admission charge of −$10,995.38 (95% CI −$12124.76 to −$9866.01, p < 0.001) compared to a lumbar decompression procedure at an HO.

CONCLUSIONS

These “real-world” results from an all-payer statewide database indicate that for outpatient spine surgery, ASCs may be associated with higher index admission and subsequent 7-, 30-, and 90-day charges. Given that ASCs are touted to have lower overall costs for patients and better profit margins for physicians, these analyses warrant further investigation into whether this cost benefit is applicable to outpatient spine procedures.

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Oluwaseun O. Akinduro, Diogo P. Garcia, Dominique M. O. Higgins, Tito Vivas-Buitrago, Mark Jentoft, David A. Solomon, David J. Daniels, Zach Pennington, Wendy J. Sherman, Mychael Delgardo, Mohamad Bydon, Maziyar A. Kalani, George Zanazzi, Nadejda Tsankova, Bernard R. Bendok, Paul C. McCormick, Daniel M. Sciubba, Sheng-fu Larry Lo, Jennifer L. Clarke, Kingsley Abode-Iyamah, and Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa

OBJECTIVE

High-grade spinal glioma (HGSG) is a rare but aggressive tumor that occurs in both adults and children. Histone H3 K27M mutation correlates with poor prognosis in children with diffuse midline glioma. However, the role of H3 K27M mutation in the prognosis of adults with HGSG remains unclear owing to the rarity of this mutation, conflicting reports, and the absence of multicenter studies on this topic.

METHODS

The authors studied a cohort of 30 adult patients with diffuse HGSG who underwent histological confirmation of diagnosis, surgical intervention, and treatment between January 2000 and July 2020 at six tertiary academic centers. The primary outcome was the effect of H3 K27M mutation status on progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS).

RESULTS

Thirty patients (18 males and 12 females) with a median (range) age of 50.5 (19–76) years were included in the analysis. Eighteen patients had H3 K27M mutation–positive tumors, and 12 had H3 K27M mutation–negative tumors. The median (interquartile range) PFS was 3 (10) months, and the median (interquartile range) OS was 9 (23) months. The factors associated with increased survival were treatment with concurrent chemotherapy/radiation (p = 0.006 for PFS, and p ≤ 0.001 for OS) and American Spinal Injury Association grade C or better at presentation (p = 0.043 for PFS, and p < 0.001 for OS). There were no significant differences in outcomes based on tumor location, extent of resection, sex, or H3 K27M mutation status. Analysis restricted to HGSG containing necrosis and/or microvascular proliferation (WHO grade IV histological features) revealed increased OS for patients with H3 K27M mutation–positive tumors (p = 0.017).

CONCLUSIONS

Although H3 K27M mutant–positive HGSG was associated with poor outcomes in adult patients, the outcomes of patients with H3 K27M mutant–positive HGSG were somewhat more favorable compared with those of their H3 K27M mutant–negative HGSG counterparts. Further preclinical animal studies and larger clinical studies are needed to further understand the age-dependent effects of H3 K27M mutation.

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Anshit Goyal, Stephanie Payne, Lindsey R. Sangaralingham, Molly Moore Jeffery, James M. Naessens, Halena M. Gazelka, Elizabeth B. Habermann, William Krauss, Robert J. Spinner, and Mohamad Bydon

OBJECTIVE

Sustained postoperative opioid use after elective surgery is a matter of growing concern. Herein, the authors investigated incidence and predictors of long-term opioid use among patients undergoing elective lumbar spine surgery, especially as a function of opioid prescribing practices at postoperative discharge (dose in morphine milligram equivalents [MMEs] and type of opioid).

METHODS

The OptumLabs Data Warehouse (OLDW) was queried for postdischarge opioid prescriptions for patients undergoing elective lumbar decompression and discectomy (LDD) or posterior lumbar fusion (PLF) for degenerative spine disease. Only patients who received an opioid prescription at postoperative discharge and those who had a minimum of 180 days of insurance coverage prior to surgery and 180 days after surgery were included. Opioid-naive patients were defined as those who had no opioid fills in 180 days prior to surgery. The following patterns of long-term postoperative use were investigated: additional fills (at least one opioid fill 90–180 days after surgery), persistent fills (any span of opioid use starting in the 180 days after surgery and lasting at least 90 days), and Consortium to Study Opioid Risks and Trends (CONSORT) criteria for persistent use (episodes of opioid prescribing lasting longer than 90 days and 120 or more total days’ supply or 10 or more prescriptions in 180 days after the index fill). Multivariable logistic regression was performed to identify predictors of long-term use.

RESULTS

A total of 25,587 patients were included, of whom 52.7% underwent PLF (n = 13,486) and 32.5% (n = 8312) were opioid-naive prior to surgery. The rates of additional fills, persistent fills, and CONSORT use were 47%, 30%, and 23%, respectively, after PLF and 35.4%, 19%, and 14.2%, respectively, after LDD. The rates among opioid-naive patients were 18.9%, 5.6%, and 2.5% respectively, after PLF and 13.3%, 2.0%, and 0.8%, respectively, after LDD. Using multivariable logistic regression, the following were identified to be significantly associated with higher risk of long-term opioid use following PLF: discharge opioid prescription ≥ 500 MMEs, prescription of a long-acting opioid, female sex, multilevel surgery, and comorbidities such as depression and drug abuse (all p < 0.05). Elderly (age ≥ 65 years) and opioid-naive patients were found to be at lower risk (all p < 0.05). Similar results were obtained on analysis for LDD with the following significant additional risk factors identified: discharge opioid prescription ≥ 400 MMEs, prescription of tramadol alone at discharge, and inpatient surgery (all p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

In an analysis of pharmacy claims from a national insurance database, the authors identified incidence and predictors of long-term opioid use after elective lumbar spine surgery.

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Anthony L. Asher, Adham M. Khalafallah, Debraj Mukherjee, Mohammed Ali Alvi, Yagiz U. Yolcu, Inamullah Khan, Jacquelyn S. Pennings, Claudia A. Davidson, Kristin R. Archer, Yaron A. Moshel, John Knightly, Marie Roguski, Brad E. Zacharia, Robert E. Harbaugh, Steven N. Kalkanis, and Mohamad Bydon

OBJECTIVE

Neurosurgeons generate an enormous amount of data daily. Within these data lie rigorous, valid, and reproducible evidence. Such evidence can facilitate healthcare reform and improve quality of care. To measure the quality of care provided objectively, evaluating the safety and efficacy of clinical activities should occur in real time. Registries must be constructed and collected data analyzed with the precision akin to that of randomized clinical trials to accomplish this goal.

METHODS

The Quality Outcomes Database (QOD) Tumor Registry was launched in February 2019 with 8 sites in its initial 1-year pilot phase. The Tumor Registry was proposed by the AANS/CNS Tumor Section and approved by the QOD Scientific Committee in the fall of 2018. The initial pilot phase aimed to assess the feasibility of collecting outcomes data from 8 academic practices across the United States; these outcomes included length of stay, discharge disposition, and inpatient complications.

RESULTS

As of November 2019, 923 eligible patients have been entered, with the following subsets: intracranial metastasis (17.3%, n = 160), high-grade glioma (18.5%, n = 171), low-grade glioma (6%, n = 55), meningioma (20%, n = 184), pituitary tumor (14.3%, n = 132), and other intracranial tumor (24%, n = 221).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors have demonstrated here, as a pilot study, the feasibility of documenting demographic, clinical, operative, and patient-reported outcome characteristics longitudinally for 6 common intracranial tumor types.

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Anthony L. Mikula, Brandon W. Smith, Nikita Lakomkin, Matthew K. Doan, Megan M. Jack, Mohamad Bydon, and Robert J. Spinner

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to determine if patients with nerve sheath tumors affecting the C5 spinal nerve are at greater risk for postoperative weakness than those with similar tumors affecting other spinal nerves contributing to the brachial plexus.

METHODS

A retrospective chart review (1998–2020)identified patients with pathologically confirmed schwannomas or neurofibromas from the C5 to T1 nerves. Patients with plexiform nerve sheath tumors, tumors involving more than 1 nerve, and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors were excluded. Collected variables included basic demographics, tumor dimensions, its location relative to the dura, involved nerve level, surgical approach, extent of resection, presenting symptoms, postoperative neurological deficits, and recurrence rate.

RESULTS

Forty-six patients (23 men, 23 women) were identified for inclusion in the study with an average age of 47 ± 17 years, BMI of 28 ± 5 kg/m, and follow-up of 32 ± 45 months. Thirty-nine patients (85%) had schwannomas and 7 (15%) had neurofibromas. Tumors involved the C5 (n = 12), C6 (n = 11), C7 (n = 14), C8 (n = 6), and T1 (n = 3) nerves. Multivariable logistic regression analysis with an area under the curve of 0.85 demonstrated C5 tumor level as an independent predictor of new postoperative weakness (odds ratio 7.4, p = 0.028). Of those patients with new postoperative weakness, 75% improved and 50% experienced complete resolution of their motor deficits.

CONCLUSIONS

Patients with C5 nerve sheath tumor resections are at higher odds of new postoperative weakness. This may be due to the predominant single innervation of shoulder muscle targets in contrast to other upper extremity muscles that receive input from 2 or more spinal nerves. These findings are important for clinical decision-making and preoperative patient counseling.

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Clinton J. Devin, Anthony L. Asher, Mohammed Ali Alvi, Yagiz U. Yolcu, Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Erica F. Bisson, John J. Knightly, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Kevin T. Foley, and Mohamad Bydon

OBJECTIVE

The impact of the type of pain presentation on outcomes of spine surgery remains elusive. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of predominant symptom location (predominant arm pain vs predominant neck pain vs equal neck and arm pain) on postoperative improvement in patient-reported outcomes.

METHODS

The Quality Outcomes Database cervical spine module was queried for patients undergoing 1- or 2-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) for degenerative spine disease.

RESULTS

A total of 9277 patients were included in the final analysis. Of these patients, 18.4% presented with predominant arm pain, 32.3% presented with predominant neck pain, and 49.3% presented with equal neck and arm pain. Patients with predominant neck pain were found to have higher (worse) 12-month Neck Disability Index (NDI) scores (coefficient 0.24, 95% CI 0.15–0.33; p < 0.0001). The three groups did not differ significantly in odds of return to work and achieving minimal clinically important difference in NDI score at the 12-month follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS

Analysis from a national spine registry showed significantly lower odds of patient satisfaction and worse NDI score at 1 year after surgery for patients with predominant neck pain when compared with patients with predominant arm pain and those with equal neck and arm pain after 1- or 2-level ACDF. With regard to return to work, all three groups (arm pain, neck pain, and equal arm and neck pain) were found to be similar after multivariable analysis. The authors’ results suggest that predominant pain location, especially predominant neck pain, might be a significant determinant of improvement in functional outcomes and patient satisfaction after ACDF for degenerative spine disease. In addition to confirmation of the common experience that patients with predominant neck pain have worse outcomes, the authors’ findings provide potential targets for improvement in patient management for these specific populations.

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Praveen V. Mummaneni, Mohamad Bydon, John J. Knightly, Mohammed Ali Alvi, Yagiz U. Yolcu, Andrew K. Chan, Kevin T. Foley, Jonathan R. Slotkin, Eric A. Potts, Mark E. Shaffrey, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Kai-Ming Fu, Michael Y. Wang, Paul Park, Cheerag D. Upadhyaya, Anthony L. Asher, Luis Tumialan, and Erica F. Bisson

OBJECTIVE

Optimizing patient discharge after surgery has been shown to impact patient recovery and hospital/physician workflow and to reduce healthcare costs. In the current study, the authors sought to identify risk factors for nonroutine discharge after surgery for cervical myelopathy by using a national spine registry.

METHODS

The Quality Outcomes Database cervical module was queried for patients who had undergone surgery for cervical myelopathy between 2016 and 2018. Nonroutine discharge was defined as discharge to postacute care (rehabilitation), nonacute care, or another acute care hospital. A multivariable logistic regression predictive model was created using an array of demographic, clinical, operative, and patient-reported outcome characteristics.

RESULTS

Of the 1114 patients identified, 11.2% (n = 125) had a nonroutine discharge. On univariate analysis, patients with a nonroutine discharge were more likely to be older (age ≥ 65 years, 70.4% vs 35.8%, p < 0.001), African American (24.8% vs 13.9%, p = 0.007), and on Medicare (75.2% vs 35.1%, p < 0.001). Among the patients younger than 65 years of age, those who had a nonroutine discharge were more likely to be unemployed (70.3% vs 36.9%, p < 0.001). Overall, patients with a nonroutine discharge were more likely to present with a motor deficit (73.6% vs 58.7%, p = 0.001) and more likely to have nonindependent ambulation (50.4% vs 14.0%, p < 0.001) at presentation. On multivariable logistic regression, factors associated with higher odds of a nonroutine discharge included African American race (vs White, OR 2.76, 95% CI 1.38–5.51, p = 0.004), Medicare coverage (vs private insurance, OR 2.14, 95% CI 1.00–4.65, p = 0.04), nonindependent ambulation at presentation (OR 2.17, 95% CI 1.17–4.02, p = 0.01), baseline modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association severe myelopathy score (0–11 vs moderate 12–14, OR 2, 95% CI 1.07–3.73, p = 0.01), and posterior surgical approach (OR 11.6, 95% CI 2.12–48, p = 0.004). Factors associated with lower odds of a nonroutine discharge included fewer operated levels (1 vs 2–3 levels, OR 0.3, 95% CI 0.1–0.96, p = 0.009) and a higher quality of life at baseline (EQ-5D score, OR 0.43, 95% CI 0.25–0.73, p = 0.001). On predictor importance analysis, baseline quality of life (EQ-5D score) was identified as the most important predictor (Wald χ2 = 9.8, p = 0.001) of a nonroutine discharge; however, after grouping variables into distinct categories, socioeconomic and demographic characteristics (age, race, gender, insurance status, employment status) were identified as the most significant drivers of nonroutine discharge (28.4% of total predictor importance).

CONCLUSIONS

The study results indicate that socioeconomic and demographic characteristics including age, race, gender, insurance, and employment may be the most significant drivers of a nonroutine discharge after surgery for cervical myelopathy.

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Erica F Bisson, Jian Guan, Mohamad Bydon, Mohammed A Alvi, Anshit Goyal, Steven D Glassman, Kevin T Foley, Eric A Potts, Christopher I Shaffrey, Mark E Shaffrey, Domagoj Coric, John J Knightly, Paul Park, Michael Y Wang, Kai-Ming Fu, Jonathan R Slotkin, Anthony L Asher, Michael S Virk, Andrew Y Yew, Regis W Haid, Andrew K Chan, and Praveen V Mummaneni

OBJECTIVE

The ideal surgical management of grade I lumbar spondylolisthesis has not been determined despite extensive prior investigations. In this cohort study, the authors used data from the large, multicenter, prospectively collected Quality Outcomes Database to bridge the gap between the findings in previous randomized trials and those in a more heterogeneous population treated in a typical practice. The objective was to assess the difference in patient-reported outcomes among patients undergoing decompression alone or decompression plus fusion.

METHODS

The primary outcome measure was change in 24-month Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) scores. The minimal clinically important difference (MCID) in ODI score change and 30% change in ODI score at 24 months were also evaluated. After adjusting for patient-specific and clinical factors, multivariable linear and logistic regressions were employed to evaluate the impact of fusion on outcomes. To account for differences in age, sex, body mass index, and baseline listhesis, a sensitivity analysis was performed using propensity score analysis to match patients undergoing decompression only with those undergoing decompression and fusion.

RESULTS

In total, 608 patients who had grade I lumbar spondylolisthesis were identified (85.5% with at least 24 months of follow-up); 140 (23.0%) underwent decompression alone and 468 (77.0%) underwent decompression and fusion. The 24-month change in ODI score was significantly greater in the fusion plus decompression group than in the decompression-only group (−25.8 ± 20.0 vs −15.2 ± 19.8, p < 0.001). Fusion remained independently associated with 24-month ODI score change (B = −7.05, 95% CI −10.70 to −3.39, p ≤ 0.001) in multivariable regression analysis, as well as with achieving the MCID for the ODI score (OR 1.767, 95% CI 1.058–2.944, p = 0.029) and 30% change in ODI score (OR 2.371, 95% CI 1.286–4.371, p = 0.005). Propensity score analysis resulted in 94 patients in the decompression-only group matched 1 to 1 with 94 patients in the fusion group. The addition of fusion to decompression remained a significant predictor of 24-month change in the ODI score (B = 2.796, 95% CI 2.228–13.275, p = 0.006) and of achieving the 24-month MCID ODI score (OR 2.898, 95% CI 1.214–6.914, p = 0.016) and 24-month 30% change in ODI score (OR 2.300, 95% CI 1.014–5.216, p = 0.046).

CONCLUSIONS

These results suggest that decompression plus fusion in patients with grade I lumbar spondylolisthesis may be associated with superior outcomes at 24 months compared with decompression alone, both in reduction of disability and in achieving clinically meaningful improvement. Longer-term follow-up is warranted to assess whether this effect is sustained.

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Robert E. Harbaugh, Clinton Devin, Michelle B. Leavy, Zoher Ghogawala, Kristin R. Archer, Mohamad Bydon, Christine Goertz, Doron Dinstein, David R. Nerenz, Guy S. Eakin, William Lavelle, William O. Shaffer, Paul M. Arnold, Charles H. Washabaugh, and Richard E. Gliklich

OBJECTIVE

The development of new treatment approaches for degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis (DLS) has introduced many questions about comparative effectiveness and long-term outcomes. Patient registries collect robust, longitudinal data that could be combined or aggregated to form a national and potentially international research data infrastructure to address these and other research questions. However, linking data across registries is challenging because registries typically define and capture different outcome measures. Variation in outcome measures occurs in clinical practice and other types of research studies as well, limiting the utility of existing data sources for addressing new research questions. The purpose of this project was to develop a minimum set of patient- and clinician-relevant standardized outcome measures that are feasible for collection in DLS registries and clinical practice.

METHODS

Nineteen DLS registries, observational studies, and quality improvement efforts were invited to participate and submit outcome measures. A stakeholder panel was organized that included representatives from medical specialty societies, health systems, government agencies, payers, industries, health information technology organizations, and patient advocacy groups. The panel categorized the measures using the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Outcome Measures Framework (OMF), identified a minimum set of outcome measures, and developed standardized definitions through a consensus-based process.

RESULTS

The panel identified and harmonized 57 outcome measures into a minimum set of 10 core outcome measure areas and 6 supplemental outcome measure areas. The measures are organized into the OMF categories of survival, clinical response, events of interest, patient-reported outcomes, and resource utilization.

CONCLUSIONS

This effort identified a minimum set of standardized measures that are relevant to patients and clinicians and appropriate for use in DLS registries, other research efforts, and clinical practice. Collection of these measures across registries and clinical practice is an important step for building research data infrastructure, creating learning healthcare systems, and improving patient management and outcomes in DLS.