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Robert D. Winkelman, Michael D. Kavanagh, Joseph E. Tanenbaum, Dominic W. Pelle, Edward C. Benzel, Thomas E. Mroz, and Michael P. Steinmetz

OBJECTIVE

On August 31, 2017, the state of Ohio implemented legislation limiting the dosage and duration of opioid prescriptions. Despite the widespread adoption of such restrictions, few studies have investigated the effects of these reforms on opioid prescribing and patient outcomes. In the present study, the authors aimed to evaluate the effect of recent state-level reform on opioid prescribing, patient-reported outcomes (PROs), and postoperative emergency department (ED) visits and hospital readmissions after elective lumbar decompression surgery.

METHODS

This study was a retrospective cohort study of patients who underwent elective lumbar laminectomy for degenerative disease at one of 5 hospitals within a single health system in the years prior to and after the implementation of the statewide reform (September 1, 2016–August 31, 2018). Patients were classified according to the timing of their surgery relative to implementation of the prescribing reform: before reform (September 1, 2016–August 31, 2017) or after reform (September 1, 2017– August 31, 2018). The outcomes of interest included total outpatient opioids prescribed in the 90 days following discharge from surgery as measured in morphine-equivalent doses (MEDs), total number of opioid refill prescriptions written, patient-reported pain at the first postoperative outpatient visit as measured by the Numeric Pain Rating Scale, improvement in patient-reported health-related quality of life as measured by the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System–Global Health (PROMIS-GH) questionnaire, and ED visits or hospital readmissions within 90 days of surgery.

RESULTS

A total of 1031 patients met the inclusion criteria for the study, with 469 and 562 in the before- and after-reform groups, respectively. After-reform patients received 26% (95% CI 19%–32%) fewer MEDs in the 90 days following discharge compared with the before-reform patients. No significant differences were observed in the overall number of opioid prescriptions written, PROs, or postoperative ED or hospital readmissions within 90 days in the year after the implementation of the prescribing reform.

CONCLUSIONS

Patients undergoing surgery in the year after the implementation of a state-level opioid prescribing reform received significantly fewer MEDs while reporting no change in the total number of opioid prescriptions, PROs, or postoperative ED visits or hospital readmissions. These results demonstrate that state-level reforms placing reasonable limits on opioid prescriptions written for acute pain may decrease patient opioid exposure without negatively impacting patient outcomes after lumbar decompression surgery.

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Jinping Liu, Pingguo Duan, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Rong Xie, Bo Li, Yinhui Dong, Sigurd Berven, and Dean Chou

OBJECTIVE

Conflicting reports exist about whether transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) induces lordosis or kyphosis, ranging from decreasing lordosis by 3.71° to increasing it by 18.8°. In this study, the authors’ aim was to identify factors that result in kyphosis or lordosis after TLIF.

METHODS

A single-center, retrospective study of open TLIF without osteotomy for spondylolisthesis with a minimum 2-year follow-up was undertaken. Preoperative and postoperative clinical and radiographic parameters and cage specifics were collected. TLIFs were considered to be “lordosing” if postoperative induction of lordosis was > 0° and “kyphosing” if postoperative induction of lordosis was ≤ 0°.

RESULTS

A total of 137 patients with an average follow-up of 52.5 months (range 24–130 months) were included. The overall postoperative disc angle (DA) and segmental lordosis (SL) increased by 1.96° and 1.88° (p = 0.003 and p = 0.038), respectively, whereas overall lumbar lordosis remained unchanged (p = 0.133). Seventy-nine patients had lordosing TLIFs with a mean SL increase of 5.72° ± 3.97°, and 58 patients had kyphosing TLIFs with a mean decrease of 3.02° ± 2.98°. Multivariate analysis showed that a lower preoperative DA, lower preoperative SL, and anterior cage placement were correlated with the greatest increase in postoperative SL (p = 0.040, p < 0.001, and p = 0.035, respectively). There was no difference in demographics, cage type or height, or spinopelvic parameters between the groups (p > 0.05). Linear regression showed that the preoperative DA and SL correlated with SL after TLIF (R2 = 0.198, p < 0.001; and R2 = 0.2931, p < 0.001, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

Whether a TLIF induces kyphosis or lordosis depends on the preoperative DA, preoperative SL, and cage position. Less-lordotic segments became more lordotic postoperatively, and highly lordotic segments may lose lordosis after TLIF. Cages placed more anteriorly were associated with more lordosis.

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Alvin Y. Chan, Elliot H. Choi, Michael Y. Oh, Sumeet Vadera, Jefferson W. Chen, Kiarash Golshani, William C. Wilson, and Frank P. K. Hsu

OBJECTIVE

Elective surgical cases generally have lower costs, higher profit margins, and better outcomes than nonelective cases. Investigating the differences in cost and profit between elective and nonelective cases would help hospitals in planning strategies to withstand financial losses due to potential pandemics. The authors sought to evaluate the exact cost and profit margin differences between elective and nonelective supratentorial tumor resections at a single institution.

METHODS

The authors collected economic analysis data in all patients who underwent supratentorial tumor resection at their institution between January 2014 and December 2018. The patients were grouped into elective and nonelective cases. Propensity score matching was used to adjust for heterogeneity of baseline characteristics between the two groups.

RESULTS

There were 143 elective cases and 232 nonelective cases over the 5 years. Patients in the majority of elective cases had private insurance and in the majority of nonelective cases the patients had Medicare/Medicaid (p < 0.01). The total charges were significantly lower for elective cases ($168,800.12) compared to nonelective cases ($254,839.30, p < 0.01). The profit margins were almost 6 times higher for elective than for nonelective cases ($13,025.28 vs $2,128.01, p = 0.04). After propensity score matching, there was still a significant difference between total charges and total cost.

CONCLUSIONS

Elective supratentorial tumor resections were associated with significantly lower costs with shorter lengths of stay while also being roughly 6 times more profitable than nonelective cases. These findings may help future planning for hospital strategies to survive financial losses during future pandemics that require widespread cancellation of elective cases.

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Lianwang Li, Shengyu Fang, Guanzhang Li, Kenan Zhang, Ruoyu Huang, Yinyan Wang, Chuanbao Zhang, Yiming Li, Wei Zhang, Zhong Zhang, Qiang Jin, Dabiao Zhou, Xing Fan, and Tao Jiang

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to investigate the epidemiological characteristics, associated risk factors, and prognostic value of glioma-related epilepsy in patients with diffuse high-grade gliomas (DHGGs) that were diagnosed after the 2016 updated WHO classification was released.

METHODS

Data from 449 patients with DHGGs were retrospectively collected. Definitive diagnosis was reaffirmed according to the 2016 WHO classification. Seizure outcome was assessed using the Engel classification at 12 months after surgery. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify risk factors associated with preoperative and postoperative glioma-related epilepsy. Lastly, the prognostic value of glioma-related epilepsy was evaluated by Kaplan-Meier and Cox analysis.

RESULTS

The incidence of glioma-related epilepsy decreased gradually as the malignancy of the tumor increased. Age < 45 years (OR 2.601, p < 0.001), normal neurological function (OR 3.024, p < 0.001), and lower WHO grade (OR 2.028, p = 0.010) were independently associated with preoperative glioma-related epilepsy, while preoperative glioma-related epilepsy (OR 7.554, p < 0.001), temporal lobe involvement (OR 1.954, p = 0.033), non–gross-total resection (OR 2.286, p = 0.012), and lower WHO grade (OR 2.130, p = 0.021) were identified as independent predictors of poor seizure outcome. Furthermore, postoperative glioma-related epilepsy, rather than preoperative glioma-related epilepsy, was demonstrated as an independent prognostic factor for overall survival (OR 0.610, p = 0.010).

CONCLUSIONS

The updated WHO classification seems conducive to reveal the distribution of glioma-related epilepsy in DHGG patients. For DHGG patients with high-risk predictors of poor seizure control, timely antiepileptic interventions could be beneficial. Moreover, glioma-related epilepsy (especially postoperative glioma-related epilepsy) is associated with favorable overall survival.

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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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Clara Kwon Starkweather, Sarah K. Bick, Jeffrey M. McHugh, Darin D. Dougherty, and Ziv M. Williams

OBJECTIVE

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is among the most debilitating and medically refractory psychiatric disorders. While cingulotomy is an anatomically targeted neurosurgical treatment that has shown significant promise in treating OCD-related symptoms, the precise underlying neuroanatomical basis for its beneficial effects has remained poorly understood. Therefore, the authors sought to determine whether lesion location is related to responder status following cingulotomy.

METHODS

The authors reviewed the records of 18 patients who had undergone cingulotomy. Responders were defined as patients who had at least a 35% improvement in the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (YBOCS) score. The authors traced the lesion sites on T1-weighted MRI scans and used an anatomical registration matrix generated by the imaging software FreeSurfer to superimpose these lesions onto a template brain. Lesion placement was compared between responders and nonresponders. The placement of lesions relative to various anatomical regions was also compared.

RESULTS

A decrease in postoperative YBOCS score was significantly correlated with more superiorly placed lesions (decrease −0.52, p = 0.0012). While all lesions were centered within 6 mm of the cingulate sulcus, responder lesions were placed more superiorly and posteriorly along the cingulate sulcus (1-way ANOVA, p = 0.003). The proportions of the cingulum bundle, cingulate gyrus, and paracingulate cortex affected by the lesions were the same between responders and nonresponders. However, all responders had lesions covering a larger subregion of Brodmann area (BA) 32. In particular, responder lesions covered a significantly greater proportion of the posterior BA32 (1-way ANOVA, p = 0.0064).

CONCLUSIONS

Lesions in patients responsive to cingulotomy tended to be located more superiorly and posteriorly and share greater coverage of a posterior subregion of BA32 than lesions in patients not responsive to this treatment.

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Ivan David Lozada-Martínez, William Camargo-Martínez, Amit Agrawal, Rakesh Mishra, Bukkambudhi V. Murlimanju, Adesh Shrivastava, and Luis Rafael Moscote-Salazar

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Mallory R. Peterson, Venkateswararao Cherukuri, Joseph N. Paulson, Paddy Ssentongo, Abhaya V. Kulkarni, Benjamin C. Warf, Vishal Monga, and Steven J. Schiff

OBJECTIVE

The study of brain size and growth has a long and contentious history, yet normal brain volume development has yet to be fully described. In particular, the normal brain growth and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) accumulation relationship is critical to characterize because it is impacted in numerous conditions of early childhood in which brain growth and fluid accumulation are affected, such as infection, hemorrhage, hydrocephalus, and a broad range of congenital disorders. The authors of this study aim to describe normal brain volume growth, particularly in the setting of CSF accumulation.

METHODS

The authors analyzed 1067 magnetic resonance imaging scans from 505 healthy pediatric subjects from birth to age 18 years to quantify component and regional brain volumes. The volume trajectories were compared between the sexes and hemispheres using smoothing spline ANOVA. Population growth curves were developed using generalized additive models for location, scale, and shape.

RESULTS

Brain volume peaked at 10–12 years of age. Males exhibited larger age-adjusted total brain volumes than females, and body size normalization procedures did not eliminate this difference. The ratio of brain to CSF volume, however, revealed a universal age-dependent relationship independent of sex or body size.

CONCLUSIONS

These findings enable the application of normative growth curves in managing a broad range of childhood diseases in which cognitive development, brain growth, and fluid accumulation are interrelated.

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Domenique M. J. Müller, Pierre A. Robe, Hilko Ardon, Frederik Barkhof, Lorenzo Bello, Mitchel S. Berger, Wim Bouwknegt, Wimar A. Van den Brink, Marco Conti Nibali, Roelant S. Eijgelaar, Julia Furtner, Seunggu J. Han, Shawn L. Hervey-Jumper, Albert J. S. Idema, Barbara Kiesel, Alfred Kloet, Emmanuel Mandonnet, Jan C. De Munck, Marco Rossi, Tommaso Sciortino, W. Peter Vandertop, Martin Visser, Michiel Wagemakers, Georg Widhalm, Marnix G. Witte, Aeilko H. Zwinderman, and Philip C. De Witt Hamer

OBJECTIVE

The aim of glioblastoma surgery is to maximize the extent of resection while preserving functional integrity. Standards are lacking for surgical decision-making, and previous studies indicate treatment variations. These shortcomings reflect the need to evaluate larger populations from different care teams. In this study, the authors used probability maps to quantify and compare surgical decision-making throughout the brain by 12 neurosurgical teams for patients with glioblastoma.

METHODS

The study included all adult patients who underwent first-time glioblastoma surgery in 2012–2013 and were treated by 1 of the 12 participating neurosurgical teams. Voxel-wise probability maps of tumor location, biopsy, and resection were constructed for each team to identify and compare patient treatment variations. Brain regions with different biopsy and resection results between teams were identified and analyzed for patient functional outcome and survival.

RESULTS

The study cohort consisted of 1087 patients, of whom 363 underwent a biopsy and 724 a resection. Biopsy and resection decisions were generally comparable between teams, providing benchmarks for probability maps of resections and biopsies for glioblastoma. Differences in biopsy rates were identified for the right superior frontal gyrus and indicated variation in biopsy decisions. Differences in resection rates were identified for the left superior parietal lobule, indicating variations in resection decisions.

CONCLUSIONS

Probability maps of glioblastoma surgery enabled capture of clinical practice decisions and indicated that teams generally agreed on which region to biopsy or to resect. However, treatment variations reflecting clinical dilemmas were observed and pinpointed by using the probability maps, which could therefore be useful for quality-of-care discussions between surgical teams for patients with glioblastoma.

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Seppo Juvela

OBJECTIVE

Treatment indications in unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs) are challenging because of the lack of prospective natural history studies without treatment selection and the decreasing incidence of aneurysm rupture. The purpose of this study was to test whether the population, hypertension, age, size of aneurysm, earlier aneurysm rupture, site of aneurysm (PHASES) score obtained from an individual-based meta-analysis could predict the long-term rupture risk of UIAs.

METHODS

The series included 142 patients of working age with UIAs diagnosed before 1979, when these were not treated but were followed up until the first rupture, death, or the last contact. PHASES scores were recorded for all patients by using the baseline variables and compared with the new treatment score obtained from a recent cohort, consisting of age, smoking status, and aneurysm size and location.

RESULTS

Of the 142 patients, 34 had an aneurysm rupture during a total follow-up of 3064 person-years. The median time between diagnosis and an aneurysm rupture was 10.6 years. The PHASES score at baseline was higher in those with an aneurysm rupture than in the others (5.3 ± 2.3 vs 4.2 ± 2.2, p = 0.012), and the difference relative to the new treatment score was 5.3 ± 2.4 versus 3.0 ± 2.2 (p < 0.001). The receiver operating characteristic curve of the PHASES score for predicting rupture showed a fair area under the curve (0.674, 95% CI 0.558–0.790) where the optimal cutoff point was obtained at ≥ 6 versus < 6 points for sensitivity (0.500) and specificity (0.811). The area under the curve of the new score was 0.755 (95% CI 0.657–0.853), with the optimal cutoff point at ≥ 5 versus < 5 points for sensitivity (0.607) and specificity (0.789).

CONCLUSIONS

The PHASES and the new scores predicted the long-term aneurysm rupture risk moderately well, with the latter, which also included smoking, being slightly better and easier in clinical practice. The findings suggest that treatment decisions about UIAs in patients of working age can be done with an improved cost-effectiveness.