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Mohamad Bydon, Anshit Goyal, Aaron Biedermann, Allie J. Canoy Illies, Travis Paul, Abdul Karim Ghaith, Bernard Bendok, Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, Robert J. Spinner, and Fredric B. Meyer

In an era when healthcare “value” remains a much-emphasized concept, measuring and reporting the quality of neurosurgical care and costs remains a challenge for large multisite health systems. Ensuring cohesion in outcomes across multiple sites is important to the development of a holistic competitive marketing strategy that seeks to promote “brand” performance characterized by a superior quality of patient care. This requires mechanisms for data collection and development of a single uniform outcomes measurement system site wide. Operationalizing a true multidisciplinary effort in this space requires intersection of a vast array of information technology and administrative resources along with the neurosurgeons who provide subject-matter expertise relevant to patient care. To measure neurosurgical quality and safety as well as improve payor contract negotiations, a practice analytics dashboard was created to allow summary visualization of operational indicators such as case volumes, quality outcomes, and relative value units and financial indicators such as total hospital costs and charges in order to provide a comprehensive overview of the “value” of surgical care. The current version of the dashboard summarizes these metrics by site, surgeon, and procedure for nearly 30,000 neurosurgical procedures that have been logged into the Mayo Clinic Enterprise Neurosurgery Registry since transition to the Epic electronic health record (EHR) system. In this article, the authors sought to review their experience in launching this EHR-linked data-driven neurosurgical practice initiative across a large, national multisite academic medical center.

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Shashwat Tripathi, Tito Vivas-Buitrago, Ricardo A. Domingo, Gaetano De Biase, Desmond Brown, Oluwaseun O. Akinduro, Andres Ramos-Fresnedo, Wendy Sherman, Vivek Gupta, Erik H. Middlebrooks, David S. Sabsevitz, Alyx B. Porter, Joon H. Uhm, Bernard R. Bendok, Ian Parney, Fredric B. Meyer, Kaisorn L. Chaichana, Kristin R. Swanson, and Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa

OBJECTIVE

Recent studies have proposed resection of the T2 FLAIR hyperintensity beyond the T1 contrast enhancement (supramarginal resection [SMR]) for IDH–wild-type glioblastoma (GBM) to further improve patients’ overall survival (OS). GBMs have significant variability in tumor cell density, distribution, and infiltration. Advanced mathematical models based on patient-specific radiographic features have provided new insights into GBM growth kinetics on two important parameters of tumor aggressiveness: proliferation rate (ρ) and diffusion rate (D). The aim of this study was to investigate OS of patients with IDH–wild-type GBM who underwent SMR based on a mathematical model of cell distribution and infiltration profile (tumor invasiveness profile).

METHODS

Volumetric measurements were obtained from the selected regions of interest from pre- and postoperative MRI studies of included patients. The tumor invasiveness profile (proliferation/diffusion [ρ/D] ratio) was calculated using the following formula: ρ/D ratio = (4π/3)2/3 × (6.106/[VT2 1/1 − VT1 1/1])2, where VT2 and VT1 are the preoperative FLAIR and contrast-enhancing volumes, respectively. Patients were split into subgroups based on their tumor invasiveness profiles. In this analysis, tumors were classified as nodular, moderately diffuse, or highly diffuse.

RESULTS

A total of 101 patients were included. Tumors were classified as nodular (n = 34), moderately diffuse (n = 34), and highly diffuse (n = 33). On multivariate analysis, increasing SMR had a significant positive correlation with OS for moderately and highly diffuse tumors (HR 0.99, 95% CI 0.98–0.99; p = 0.02; and HR 0.98, 95% CI 0.96–0.99; p = 0.04, respectively). On threshold analysis, OS benefit was seen with SMR from 10% to 29%, 10% to 59%, and 30% to 90%, for nodular, moderately diffuse, and highly diffuse, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

The impact of SMR on OS for patients with IDH–wild-type GBM is influenced by the degree of tumor invasiveness. The authors’ results show that increasing SMR is associated with increased OS in patients with moderate and highly diffuse IDH–wild-type GBMs. When grouping SMR into 10% intervals, this benefit was seen for all tumor subgroups, although for nodular tumors, the maximum beneficial SMR percentage was considerably lower than in moderate and highly diffuse tumors.

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Hirotaka Hasegawa, Kunal Vakharia, Lucas P. Carlstrom, Jamie J. Van Gompel, Colin L. W. Driscoll, Matthew L. Carlson, Fredric B. Meyer, and Michael J. Link

OBJECTIVE

The authors’ objective was to reevaluate the role of microsurgery for epidermoid tumors by examining the associations between extent of resection (EOR), tumor control, and clinical outcomes.

METHODS

This was a retrospective study of patients with microsurgically treated intracranial epidermoid tumors. The recurrence-free and intervention-free rates were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method. EOR was graded as gross-total resection (GTR) (total resection without residual on MRI), near-total resection (NTR) (a cyst lining was left in place), subtotal resection (STR) (> 90% resection), and partial resection (PR) (any other suboptimal resection) and used to stratify outcomes.

RESULTS

Sixty-three patients with mean clinical and radiological follow-up periods of 87.3 and 81.8 months, respectively, were included. Sixteen patients underwent second resections, and 5 underwent third resections. The rates of GTR/NTR, STR, and PR were 43%, 35%, and 22%, respectively, for the initial resections; 44%, 13%, and 44% for the second resections; and 40%, 0%, and 60% for the third resections (p < 0.001). The 5- and 10-year cumulative recurrence-free rates after initial resection were 64% and 32%, respectively. When stratified according to EOR, the 10-year recurrence-free rate after GTR/NTR was marginally better than that after STR (61% vs 35%, p = 0.130) and significantly better than that after PR (61% vs 0%, p < 0.001). The recurrence-free rates after initial microsurgery were marginally better than those after second surgery (p = 0.102) and third surgery (p = 0.065). The 5- and 10-year cumulative intervention-free rates after initial resection were 91% and 58%, respectively. When stratified according to EOR, the 10-year intervention-free rate after GTR/NTR was significantly better than that after STR (100% vs 51%, p = 0.022) and PR (100% vs 27%, p < 0.001). The 5-year intervention-free rate after initial surgery was marginally better than that after second surgery (52%, p = 0.088) and significantly better than that after third surgery (0%, p = 0.004). After initial, second, and third resections, permanent neurological complications were observed in 6 (10%), 1 (6%), and 1 (20%) patients, respectively. At the last follow-up visit, 82%, 23%, and 7% of patients were free from radiological recurrence after GTR/NTR, STR, and PR as the initial surgical procedure, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

GTR/NTR seems to contribute to better disease control without significantly impairing functional status. Initial resection offers the best chance to achieve better EOR, leading to better disease control.

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Tito Vivas-Buitrago, Ricardo A. Domingo, Shashwat Tripathi, Gaetano De Biase, Desmond Brown, Oluwaseun O. Akinduro, Andres Ramos-Fresnedo, David S. Sabsevitz, Bernard R. Bendok, Wendy Sherman, Ian F. Parney, Mark E. Jentoft, Erik H. Middlebrooks, Fredric B. Meyer, Kaisorn L. Chaichana, and Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa

OBJECTIVE

The authors’ goal was to use a multicenter, observational cohort study to determine whether supramarginal resection (SMR) of FLAIR-hyperintense tumor beyond the contrast-enhanced (CE) area influences the overall survival (OS) of patients with isocitrate dehydrogenase–wild-type (IDH-wt) glioblastoma after gross-total resection (GTR).

METHODS

The medical records of 888 patients aged ≥ 18 years who underwent resection of GBM between January 2011 and December 2017 were reviewed. Volumetric measurements of the CE tumor and surrounding FLAIR-hyperintense tumor were performed, clinical variables were obtained, and associations with OS were analyzed.

RESULTS

In total, 101 patients with newly diagnosed IDH-wt GBM who underwent GTR of the CE tumor met the inclusion criteria. In multivariate analysis, age ≥ 65 years (HR 1.97; 95% CI 1.01–2.56; p < 0.001) and contact with the lateral ventricles (HR 1.59; 95% CI 1.13–1.78; p = 0.025) were associated with shorter OS, but preoperative Karnofsky Performance Status ≥ 70 (HR 0.47; 95% CI 0.27–0.89; p = 0.006), MGMT promotor methylation (HR 0.63; 95% CI 0.52–0.99; p = 0.044), and increased percentage of SMR (HR 0.99; 95% CI 0.98–0.99; p = 0.02) were associated with longer OS. Finally, 20% SMR was the minimum percentage associated with beneficial OS (HR 0.56; 95% CI 0.35–0.89; p = 0.01), but > 60% SMR had no significant influence (HR 0.74; 95% CI 0.45–1.21; p = 0.234).

CONCLUSIONS

SMR is associated with improved OS in patients with IDH-wt GBM who undergo GTR of CE tumor. At least 20% SMR of the CE tumor was associated with beneficial OS, but greater than 60% SMR had no significant influence on OS.

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Hirotaka Hasegawa, Jamie J. Van Gompel, W. Richard Marsh, Robert E. Wharen Jr., Richard S. Zimmerman, David B. Burkholder, Brian N. Lundstrom, Jeffrey W. Britton, and Fredric B. Meyer

OBJECTIVE

Surgical site infection (SSI) is a rare but significant complication after vagus nerve stimulator (VNS) placement. Treatment options range from antibiotic therapy alone to hardware removal. The optimal therapeutic strategy remains open to debate. Therefore, the authors conducted this retrospective multicenter analysis to provide insight into the optimal management of VNS-related SSI (VNS-SSI).

METHODS

Under institutional review board approval and utilizing an institutional database with 641 patients who had undergone 808 VNS-related placement surgeries and 31 patients who had undergone VNS-related hardware removal surgeries, the authors retrospectively analyzed VNS-SSI.

RESULTS

Sixteen cases of VNS-SSI were identified; 12 of them had undergone the original VNS placement procedure at the authors’ institutions. Thus, the incidence of VNS-SSI was calculated as 1.5%. The mean (± standard deviation) time from the most recent VNS-related surgeries to infection was 42 (± 27) days. Methicillin-sensitive staphylococcus was the usual causative bacteria (58%). Initial treatments included antibiotics with or without nonsurgical procedures (n = 6), nonremoval open surgeries for irrigation (n = 3), generator removal (n = 3), and total or near-total removal of hardware (n = 4). Although 2 patients were successfully treated with antibiotics alone or combined with generator removal, removal of both the generator and leads was eventually required in 14 patients. Mild swallowing difficulties and hoarseness occurred in 2 patients with eventual resolution.

CONCLUSIONS

Removal of the VNS including electrode leads combined with antibiotic administration is the definitive treatment but has a risk of causing dysphagia. If the surgeon finds dense scarring around the vagus nerve, the prudent approach is to snip the electrode close to the nerve as opposed to attempting to unwind the lead completely.

Open access

Marjorie C. Wang, Frederick A. Boop, Douglas Kondziolka, Daniel K. Resnick, Steven N. Kalkanis, Elizabeth Koehnen, Nathan R. Selden, Carl B. Heilman, Alex B. Valadka, Kevin M. Cockroft, John A. Wilson, Richard G. Ellenbogen, Anthony L. Asher, Richard W. Byrne, Paul J. Camarata, Judy Huang, John J. Knightly, Elad I. Levy, Russell R. Lonser, E. Sander Connolly Jr., Fredric B. Meyer, and Linda M. Liau

The American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS) was incorporated in 1940 in recognition of the need for detailed training in and special qualifications for the practice of neurological surgery and for self-regulation of quality and safety in the field. The ABNS believes it is the duty of neurosurgeons to place a patient’s welfare and rights above all other considerations and to provide care with compassion, respect for human dignity, honesty, and integrity. At its inception, the ABNS was the 13th member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), which itself was founded in 1933. Today, the ABNS is one of the 24 member boards of the ABMS.

To better serve public health and safety in a rapidly changing healthcare environment, the ABNS continues to evolve in order to elevate standards for the practice of neurological surgery. In connection with its activities, including initial certification, recognition of focused practice, and continuous certification, the ABNS actively seeks and incorporates input from the public and the physicians it serves. The ABNS board certification processes are designed to evaluate both real-life subspecialty neurosurgical practice and overall neurosurgical knowledge, since most neurosurgeons provide call coverage for hospitals and thus must be competent to care for the full spectrum of neurosurgery.

The purpose of this report is to describe the history, current state, and anticipated future direction of ABNS certification in the US.

Open access

Marjorie C. Wang, Frederick A. Boop, Douglas Kondziolka, Daniel K. Resnick, Steven N. Kalkanis, Elizabeth Koehnen, Nathan R. Selden, Carl B. Heilman, Alex B. Valadka, Kevin M. Cockroft, John A. Wilson, Richard G. Ellenbogen, Anthony L. Asher, Richard W. Byrne, Paul J. Camarata, Judy Huang, John J. Knightly, Elad I. Levy, Russell R. Lonser, E. Sander Connolly Jr., Fredric B. Meyer, and Linda M. Liau

The American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS) was incorporated in 1940 in recognition of the need for detailed training in and special qualifications for the practice of neurological surgery and for self-regulation of quality and safety in the field. The ABNS believes it is the duty of neurosurgeons to place a patient’s welfare and rights above all other considerations and to provide care with compassion, respect for human dignity, honesty, and integrity. At its inception, the ABNS was the 13th member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), which itself was founded in 1933. Today, the ABNS is one of the 24 member boards of the ABMS.

To better serve public health and safety in a rapidly changing healthcare environment, the ABNS continues to evolve in order to elevate standards for the practice of neurological surgery. In connection with its activities, including initial certification, recognition of focused practice, and continuous certification, the ABNS actively seeks and incorporates input from the public and the physicians it serves. The ABNS board certification processes are designed to evaluate both real-life subspecialty neurosurgical practice and overall neurosurgical knowledge, since most neurosurgeons provide call coverage for hospitals and thus must be competent to care for the full spectrum of neurosurgery.

The purpose of this report is to describe the history, current state, and anticipated future direction of ABNS certification in the US.

Free access

Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Anshit Goyal, Ross C. Puffer, Ian F. Parney, Fredric B. Meyer, and Mohamad Bydon

OBJECTIVE

Acute traumatic subdural hematoma (atSDH) can be a life-threatening neurosurgical emergency that necessitates immediate evacuation. The elderly population can be particularly vulnerable to tearing bridging veins. The aim of this study was to evaluate inpatient morbidity and mortality, as well as predictors of inpatient mortality, in a national trauma database.

METHODS

The authors queried the 2016–2017 National Trauma Data Bank registry for patients aged 65 years and older who had undergone evacuation of atSDH. Patients were categorized into three age groups: 65–74, 75–84, and 85+ years. A multivariable logistic regression model was fitted for inpatient mortality adjusting for age group, sex, race, presenting Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) category (3–8, 9–12, and 13–15), Injury Severity Score, presence of coagulopathy, presence of additional hemorrhages (epidural hematoma [EDH], intraparenchymal hematoma [IPH], and subarachnoid hemorrhage [SAH]), presence of midline shift > 5 mm, and pupillary reactivity (both, one, or none).

RESULTS

A total of 2508 patients (35% females) were analyzed. Age distribution was as follows: 990 patients at 65–74 years, 1096 at 75–84, and 422 at 85+. Midline shift > 5 mm was present in 72% of cases. With regard to additional hemorrhages, SAH was present in 21%, IPH in 10%, and EDH in 2%. Bilaterally reactive pupils were noted in 90% of patients. A major complication was observed in 14.4% of patients, and the overall mortality rate was 18.3%. In the multivariable analysis, the presenting GCS category was found to be the strongest predictor of postoperative inpatient mortality (3–8 vs 13–15: OR 3.63, 95% CI 2.68–4.92, p < 0.001; 9–12 vs 13–15: OR 2.64, 95% CI 1.79–3.90, p < 0.001; 30% of overall variation), followed by the presence of SAH (OR 2.86, 95% CI 2.21–3.70, p < 0.001; 25% of overall variation) and the presence of midline shift > 5 mm (OR 2.40, 95% CI 1.74–3.32, p < 0.001; 11% of overall variation). Model discrimination was excellent (c-index 0.81). Broken down by age decile group, mortality increased from 8.0% to 15.4% for GCS 13–15 to around 36% for GCS 9–12 to almost as high as 60% for GCS 3–8, particularly in those aged 85 years and older.

CONCLUSIONS

The present results from a national trauma database will, the authors hope, assist surgeons in preoperative discussions with patients and their families with regard to expected postoperative outcomes following surgical evacuation of an atSDH.

Free access

Benjamin T. Himes, Arnoley S. Abcejo, Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Adip G. Bhargav, Katherine Trelstad-Andrist, Patrick R. Maloney, John L. D. Atkinson, Fredric B. Meyer, W. Richard Marsh, and Mohamad Bydon

OBJECTIVE

The sitting or semisitting position in neurosurgery allows for several technical advantages, including improved visualization of the surgical field. However, it has also been associated with an increased risk of venous air embolisms and positioning-related complications that limit its commonplace adoption. The authors report a large, single-center series of cervical spine procedures performed with patients in the sitting or prone position in order to assess the perceived risk of intraoperative and postoperative complications associated with the sitting position.

METHODS

Noninstrumented, single-level posterior cervical spine procedures performed with patients in the sitting/semisitting or prone position from 2000 to 2016 at a single institution were reviewed. Institutional abstraction tools (DataMart and Chart Plus) were used to collect data from the medical records. The two positions were compared with regard to preoperative factors, intraoperative variables, and postoperative outcomes. Multivariable logistic regression models were fitted for 30-day readmission, 30-day return to the operating room, and complication rates.

RESULTS

A total of 750 patients (sitting, n = 480; prone, n = 270) were analyzed. The median age was 53 years for those who underwent surgery in the prone position and 50 years for those who underwent surgery in the sitting position (IQRs 45–62 years and 43–60 years, respectively), and 35% of the patients were female. Sitting cases were associated with significantly longer anesthetic times (221 minutes [range 199–252 minutes] vs 205 minutes [range 179–254 minutes]) and operative times (126 minutes [range 101–163 minutes] vs 149 minutes [120–181 minutes]). Cardiorespiratory events in the postanesthesia care unit (PACU) were comparable between the two groups, with the exception of episodes of apnea (2.6% vs 0.6%, p = 0.041) and hypoventilation (4.4% vs 0.8%, p < 0.003), which were more frequent in the prone-position cohort. On multivariable analysis, the effect of the sitting versus the prone position was not significant for 30-day readmission (OR 0.77, 95% CI 0.34–1.71, p = 0.52) or reoperation (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.31–1.60, p = 0.40). The sitting position was associated with lower odds of developing any complication (OR 0.31, 95% CI 0.16–0.62, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

Based on the intraoperative and postoperative complications chosen in this study, the sitting position confers a similar safety profile to the prone position. This can be explained by a more anatomic positioning accounting for reduced temporary neurological deficits and reduced PACU-associated hypoventilation noted in this series. Nevertheless, the findings may also reflect institutional familiarity, experience, and mastery of this position type, and outcomes may not reflect practices in general.

Free access

Salomon Cohen-Cohen, Desmond A. Brown, Benjamin T. Himes, Lydia P. Wheeler, Michael W. Ruff, Brittny T. Major, Naykky M. Singh Ospina, John L. D. Atkinson, Fredric B. Meyer, Irina Bancos, William F. Young Jr., and Jamie J. Van Gompel

OBJECTIVE

Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) is a rare, autosomal-dominant tumor disorder characterized by the development of pituitary tumors and other endocrine neoplasms. Diagnosis is made clinically based on the development of 2 or more canonical lesions (parathyroid gland, anterior pituitary, and enteropancreatic tumors) or in family members of a patient with a clinical diagnosis of MEN1 and the occurrence of one of the MEN1-associated tumors. The goal of this study was to characterize pituitary tumors arising in the setting of MEN1 at a single institution. The probability of tumor progression and the likelihood of surgical intervention in patients with asymptomatic nonfunctional pituitary adenomas were also analyzed.

METHODS

A retrospective review of a prospectively maintained institutional database was performed for patients with MEN1 diagnosed from 1970 to 2017. Data included patient demographics, tumor characteristics, treatment strategies, and outcomes.

RESULTS

A review of the database identified 268 patients diagnosed with MEN1, of whom 158 (59%) were female. Among the 268 patients, 139 (51.8%) had pituitary adenomas. There was a higher prevalence in women than in men (65% vs 35%, p < 0.005). Functional adenomas (57%) were more common. Prolactin-secreting adenomas were the most common functional tumors. Macroadenomas were seen in 27% of patients and were more likely to be symptomatic and locally aggressive (p < 0.001). Forty-nine patients (35%) underwent transsphenoidal resection at some point during their disease course. In 52 patients who were initially observed with MEN1 asymptomatic nonfunctional adenomas, only 5 (10%) progressed to need surgery. In MEN1 patients, an initial parathyroid lesion is most likely followed in order by pituitary, pancreatic, adrenal, and, finally, rare carcinoid tumors.

CONCLUSIONS

Asymptomatic nonfunctional pituitary adenomas in patients with MEN1 may be followed safely with MRI. In this series, parathyroid tumors developed at the lowest median age of all cardinal tumors, and development of additional cardinal MEN1 lesions followed a predictable pattern. This pattern of disease progression could have significant implications for disease surveillance in clinical practice and may help to target clinical resources to the lesions most likely to develop next. This may aid with early detection and treatment and warrants further study.