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Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Mohammed Ali Alvi, Daniel S. Ubl, Kristine T. Hanson, William E. Krauss, Fredric B. Meyer, Robert J. Spinner, Elizabeth B. Habermann, and Mohamad Bydon

OBJECTIVE

Patient-reported outcomes have been increasingly mandated by regulators and payers to evaluate hospital and physician performance. The purpose of this study is to delineate the differences in patient-reported experience of hospital care for cranial and spinal operations.

METHODS

The authors selected all patients who underwent inpatient, elective cranial or spinal procedures and completed the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey at a single, high-volume, tertiary care institution between October 2012 and September 2015. The association of the surgical procedure and diagnosis with various HCAHPS composite measures, calculated across 9 domains using standard top-box methodology, was investigated. Multivariable logistic regression models were fitted for outcomes that were significant with procedure type and diagnosis group on univariate analysis, adjusting for age, sex, case complexity, overall health rating, and education level.

RESULTS

A total of 1484 patients met criteria and returned an HCAHPS survey. Overall, patients undergoing a cranial procedure gave top-box (most favorable) scores more often in pain management measure (66.3% vs 59.6%, p = 0.01) compared with those undergoing spine surgery. Furthermore, despite better discharge scores (93.1% vs 87.1%, p < 0.001), spinal patients were less likely to report excellent health (7.4% vs 12.7%). Lastly, patients with a primary diagnosis of brain or spinal tumor compared with those with degenerative spinal disease and those with other neurosurgical diagnoses provided top-box scores more often regarding communication with doctors (82.7% vs 76.4% vs 75.2%, p = 0.04), pain management (71.8% vs 60.9% vs 59.1%, p = 0.002), and global rating (90.4% vs 84.0% vs 87.3%, p = 0.02). On multivariable analysis, spinal patients had significantly lower odds of reporting top-box scores in pain management (OR 0.67, 95% CI 0.52–0.85; p = 0.001), staff responsiveness (OR 0.68, 95% CI 0.53–0.87; p = 0.002), and global rating (OR 0.59, 95% CI 0.42–0.82; p = 0.002), and significantly higher odds of top-box scoring in discharge information (OR 2.15, 95% CI 1.45–3.18; p < 0.001) than cranial patients. Similarly, brain tumor cases were associated with significantly higher odds of top-box scoring in communication with doctors (OR 1.46, 95% CI 1.01–2.12; p = 0.04), pain management (OR 1.81, 95% CI 1.29–2.55; p < 0.001), staff responsiveness (OR 1.88, 95% CI 1.33–2.66; p < 0.001), and global rating (OR 2.00, 95% CI 1.26–3.17; p = 0.003) compared with degenerative spine cases.

CONCLUSIONS

Significant differences in patient-reported experience with hospital care exist across different cranial and spine surgery patient populations. Overall, spinal patients, particularly those with degenerative spine disease, rated their health and their hospital experience lower relative to cranial patients. Identifying weaker areas of hospital performance in target populations can stimulate quality initiatives that aim to increase the overall hospital score.

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Jason M. Hoover, Macaulay Nwojo, Ross Puffer, Jay Mandrekar, Fredric B. Meyer, and Ian F. Parney

Object

The object of this study was to assess outcomes after surgery for recurrent intracranial glioma.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed cases involving adult patients with intracranial glioma patients undergoing initial surgery (biopsy or resection) and one or more additional surgeries at their institution.

Results

A total of 323 operations were performed in 131 patients. The median survival was 76 months after first surgery, 36 months after second, 24 months after third, and 26.5 months after 4 or more surgeries. The overall complication rate was 12.8% after first surgery, 27.0% after second (OR 2.52, p = 0.0068), 22.0% after third (OR 1.92, not statistically significant [NS]), and 22.2% after 4 or more (OR 1.95, NS). Neurological complications occurred in 4.8% of patients at first surgery, 12.1% at second (OR 2.7, p = 0.0437), 8.2% at third (OR 1.75, NS), and 11.1% at 4 or more surgeries (OR 2.4583, NS). Regional complications occurred in 6.2% after first surgery, 9.9% after second surgery (OR 2.30, p = 0.095), 13.7% after third surgery (OR 3.31, p = 0.015), and 22.2% after 4 or more surgeries (OR 5.95, p = 0.056). Systemic complications occurred in 3.2% after first surgery, in 7.3% after second surgery (OR 2.3, p = 0.NS), in 4.1% after third surgery (OR 1.3, NS), and 0% after 4 or more surgeries. Reduction in Karnofsky Performance Status score occurred in 0% after first surgery, 8.1% after second surgery (OR 3.13, p = 0.0018), 10.2% after third surgery (OR 5.52, p < 0.0001), and 11.1% after 4 or more surgeries (OR 1.037, NS).

Conclusions

Postoperative survival is relatively prolonged but complication risk increases in patients with glioma who undergo multiple cranial surgeries. The largest increase in neurological risk occurs between the first and second surgery. In contrast, regional complication risk increases consistently with each surgery. The risk of systemic complications is not significantly altered with increasing surgeries. However, these complications only result in a modestly increased risk of functional decline after 2 or more surgeries. These findings may help counsel patients considering multiple glioma surgeries.

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Shota Tanaka, Fredric B. Meyer, Jan C. Buckner, Joon H. Uhm, Elizabeth S. Yan, and Ian F. Parney

Object

Optimum management for elderly patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma (GBM) in the temozolomide (TMZ) era is not well defined. The object of this study was to clarify outcomes in this population.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed 105 consecutive cases involving elderly patients (age ≥ 65 years) with newly diagnosed GBM who were treated at the Mayo Clinic between 2003 and 2008.

Results

The patients' median age was 74 years (range 66–87 years), and the median Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) score was 80 (range 40–90). Half of the patients underwent biopsy and half underwent resection. Patients with deep-seated lesions (19 patients [18%]) or multifocal lesions (34 patients [32%]) were more likely to have biopsy than resection (p = 0.0001 and 0.0009, respectively). New persistent neurological deficits developed in 7 patients (6.7%). Postoperative hemorrhage occurred in 6 patients (5.7%), all of whom underwent biopsy. Complete follow-up data regarding adjuvant treatment was available in 84 patients. Forty-one (49%) were treated with chemotherapy (mostly TMZ) and radiation therapy (RT), and 23 (27%) with RT alone. Nineteen (23%) received only palliative care after surgery (more common with biopsy, p = 0.03). Chemotherapy complications occurred in 28.6% (Grade 3 or 4 hematological complications in 11.9%). The median values for progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 3.5 and 5.5 months. In a multivariate analysis, younger age (p = 0.03, risk ratio [RR] 0.34, 95% CI 0.13–0.89), single lesion (p = 0.02, RR 0.51, 95% CI 0.30–0.89), resection (p = 0.04, RR 0.54, 95% CI 0.31–0.94), and adjuvant treatment (p = 0.0001, RR 0.24, 95% CI 0.11–0.49) were associated with better OS. Only adjuvant treatment was significantly associated with prolonged PFS (p = 0.0007, RR 0.27, 95% CI 0.13–0.57). With combined therapy with resection, RT, and chemotherapy, the median PFS and OS were 8 and 12.5 months, respectively.

Conclusions

The prognosis for GBM worsens with increasing age in elderly patients. With important risks, resection and adjuvant treatment are associated with prolonged survival. Although selection bias cannot be excluded in this retrospective study, advanced age alone should not necessarily preclude optimal resection followed by adjuvant radiochemotherapy.

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Matthew C. Murphy, John Huston III, Kevin J. Glaser, Armando Manduca, Fredric B. Meyer, Giuseppe Lanzino, Jonathan M. Morris, Joel P. Felmlee, and Richard L. Ehman

Object

The object of this study was to determine the potential of magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) to preoperatively assess the stiffness of meningiomas.

Methods

Thirteen patients with meningiomas underwent 3D brain MRE examination to measure stiffness in the tumor as well as in surrounding brain tissue. Blinded to the MRE results, neurosurgeons made a qualitative assessment of tumor stiffness at the time of resection. The ability of MRE to predict the surgical assessment of stiffness was tested using a Spearman rank correlation.

Results

One case was excluded due to a small tumor size. In the remaining 12 cases, both tumor stiffness alone (p = 0.023) and the ratio of tumor stiffness to surrounding brain tissue stiffness (p = 0.0032) significantly correlated with the surgeons' qualitative assessment of tumor stiffness. Results of the MRE examination provided a stronger correlation with the surgical assessment of stiffness compared with traditional T1- and T2-weighted imaging (p = 0.089), particularly when considering meningiomas of intermediate stiffness.

Conclusions

In this cohort, preoperative MRE predicted tumor consistency at the time of surgery. Tumor stiffness as measured using MRE outperformed conventional MRI because tumor appearance on T1- and T2-weighted images could only accurately predict the softest and hardest meningiomas.

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Julia J. Compton, Nadia N. Issa Laack, Laurence J. Eckel, David A. Schomas, Caterina Giannini, and Fredric B. Meyer

Object

Gangliogliomas comprise less than 1% of all brain tumors and occur most often in children. Therefore, there are a limited number of patients and data involving the use or role of adjuvant therapy after subtotal resections (STRs) of gangliogliomas. The objective of this study was to examine and review the Mayo Clinic experience of 88 patients with gangliogliomas, their follow-up, risk of recurrence, and the role of radiation therapy after STR or only biopsy.

Methods

Eighty-eight patients with gangliogliomas diagnosed between 1970 and 2007 were reviewed. Data on clinical outcomes and therapy received were analyzed. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to estimate progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival.

Results

The median age at diagnosis was 19 years. The median potential follow-up as of June 2008 was 142 months (range 9–416 months). Fifteen-year overall survival was 94%, median PFS was 5.6 years, with a 10-year PFS rate of 37%. Progression-free survival was dramatically affected by extent of initial resection (p < 0.0001).

Conclusions

This single-institution retrospective series of patients with gangliogliomas is unique given its large cohort size with a long follow-up duration, and confirms the excellent long-term survival rate in this group. The study also shows the importance of resection extent on likelihood of recurrence. Patients with gangliogliomas who undergo STR or biopsy alone have poor PFS. Radiation therapy may delay time to progression in patients with unresectable disease.

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Kelly D. Flemming, George K. Bovis, and Fredric B. Meyer

The risk of hemorrhage from an intracerebral cavernous malformation has been estimated at 2%–4% per year. In patients with multiple cavernous malformations, typically there are 1 or 2 dominant lesions that result in symptoms. This report highlights an unusual case of recurrent hemorrhage from de novo cavernous malformations.

This 35-year-old man had a generalized seizure in 2007. Magnetic resonance imaging performed at the time showed multiple hemorrhagic lesions suggestive of cavernous malformations. Two years later, the patient had clinical symptoms referable to a midbrain hemorrhage. This lesion was not present on 2007 standard and gradient echo images. One year later, the patient had another clinical hemorrhage at the cervical medullary junction. This lesion was also not present on earlier imaging. Genetic testing was negative for the known familial types of cavernous malformation. A lesion was biopsied to ensure correct diagnosis, and the results were pathologically consistent with a cavernous malformation. The patient had a fourth clinical hemorrhage in 2011 from a separate lesion. All hemorrhage symptoms were mild, and he returned to normal functioning and work after each hemorrhage.

This case highlights several unusual features of the known natural history of intracerebral cavernous malformations. In this case, resection of the hemorrhagic lesion would not have altered future hemorrhage risk since each new hemorrhage was from a de novo lesion.

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Fredric B. Meyer

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Editorial

Diffusion tensor tractography and epilepsy

Fredric B. Meyer

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Ryan T. Merrell, S. Keith Anderson, Fredric B. Meyer, and Daniel H. Lachance

Object

Second-generation antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are increasingly used in the care of patients with glioma. There is little data on how this practice compares with the use of traditional AEDs in this population. This noninferiority analysis compares seizure outcomes and side effects in patients with glioma treated with phenytoin and levetiracetam monotherapy.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed the records of 500 consecutive patients with glioma who were treated in clinical trials from 2001 to 2008 at 3 Mayo Clinic campuses. To be eligible for the study, these patients had to have had at least 1 clinical seizure and to have undergone follow-up for at least 6 months. Seizure outcomes, defined by the occurrence of a second seizure, time to second seizure, and seizure frequency, along with AED side effects, were compared between cohorts treated with phenytoin or levetiracetam

Results

Seventy-six patients were identified, 25 treated with phenytoin and 51 with levetiracetam. Sixty-four percent of the patients had a Grade 4 astrocytoma. There was no difference in seizure outcome between the phenytoin and levetiracetam groups when comparing time to second seizure (p = 0.584), second seizure rates (p = 0.561), and average seizures per month (p = 0.776). When adjusting for age, sex, type of seizure, type of glioma, and dosage using univariate and multivariate models, there were no differences between the treatment groups and none of these covariates were statistically significant for explaining the second seizure rates between treatment groups (all p values > 0.05). The incidence of side effects in the levetiracetam group was 6% versus 20% in the phenytoin group (p = 0.106). Additionally, 36% of the patients in the phenytoin group had dose adjustments unrelated to breakthrough seizures compared with only 10% in the levetiracetam group (p = 0.010)

Conclusions

In this study, patients with glioma treated with levetiracetam and phenytoin had similar seizure control. Patients treated with levetiracetam experienced fewer side effects and required fewer nonseizure-related dose adjustments than patients treated with phenytoin. Levetiracetam is a safe, effective, and preferred alternative for seizure management in patients with glioma.