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Ranjith Babu and John H. Sampson

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Peter E. Fecci, Ranjith Babu, D. Cory Adamson and John H. Sampson

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Ranjith Babu, Steven Thomas, Matthew A. Hazzard, Allan H. Friedman, John H. Sampson, Cory Adamson, Ali R. Zomorodi, Michael M. Haglund, Chirag G. Patil, Maxwell Boakye and Shivanand P. Lad

Object

On July 1, 2003, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) implemented duty-hour restrictions for resident physicians due to concerns for patient and resident safety. Though duty-hour restrictions have increased resident quality of life, studies have shown mixed results with respect to patient outcomes. In this study, the authors have evaluated the effect of duty-hour restrictions on morbidity, mortality, length of stay, and charges in patients who underwent brain tumor and cerebrovascular procedures.

Methods

The Nationwide Inpatient Sample was used to evaluate the effect of duty-hour restrictions on complications, mortality, length of stay, and charges by comparing the pre-reform (2000–2002) and post-reform (2005–2008) periods. Outcomes were compared between nonteaching and teaching hospitals using a difference-in-differences (DID) method.

Results

A total of 90,648 patients were included in the analysis. The overall complication rate was 11.7%, with the rates not significantly differing between the pre– and post–duty hour eras (p = 0.26). Examination of hospital teaching status revealed that complication rates decreased in nonteaching hospitals (12.1% vs 10.4%, p = 0.0004) and remained stable in teaching institutions (11.8% vs 11.9%, p = 0.73) in the post-reform era. Multivariate analysis demonstrated a significantly higher complication risk in teaching institutions (OR 1.33 [95% CI 1.11–1.59], p = 0.0022), with no significant change in nonteaching hospitals (OR 1.11 [95% CI 0.91–1.37], p = 0.31). A DID analysis to compare the magnitude in change between teaching and nonteaching institutions revealed that teaching hospitals had a significantly greater increase in complications during the post-reform era than nonteaching hospitals (p = 0.040). The overall mortality rate was 3.0%, with a significant decrease occurring in the post-reform era in both nonteaching (5.0% vs 3.2%, p < 0.0001) and teaching (3.2% vs 2.3%, p < 0.0001) hospitals. DID analysis to compare the changes in mortality between groups did not reveal a significant difference (p = 0.40). The mean length of stay for all patients was 8.7 days, with hospital stay decreasing from 9.2 days to 8.3 days in the post-reform era (p < 0.0001). The DID analysis revealed a greater length of stay decrease in nonteaching hospitals than teaching institutions, which approached significance (p = 0.055). Patient charges significantly increased in the post-reform era for all patients, increasing from $70,900 to $96,100 (p < 0.0001). The DID analysis did not reveal a significant difference between the changes in charges between teaching and nonteaching hospitals (p = 0.17).

Conclusions

The implementation of duty-hour restrictions correlated with an increased risk of postoperative complications for patients undergoing brain tumor and cerebrovascular neurosurgical procedures. Duty-hour reform may therefore be associated with worse patient outcomes, contrary to its intended purpose. Due to the critical condition of many neurosurgical patients, this patient population is most sensitive and likely to be negatively affected by proposed future increased restrictions.

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Ranjith Babu, Jeffrey Hatef, Roger E. McLendon, Thomas J. Cummings, John H. Sampson, Allan H. Friedman and Cory Adamson

Object

Rhabdoid glioblastoma (GB) is an exceedingly rare tumor in which some of the tumor cells possess rhabdoid features such as eccentric nuclei, abundant eosinophilic cytoplasm, and pseudopapillary formations. These tumors are exceptionally aggressive, and leptomeningeal dissemination is common. In the 9 previously reported cases, the longest survival was only 9 months, with a median survival of 17.8 weeks. The authors report the clinicopathological characteristics of 4 cases of rhabdoid GB and demonstrate the utility of intensive temozolomide and adjuvant therapy in these tumors. The authors also review the literature to provide the most comprehensive understanding of these rare tumors to date.

Methods

A retrospective review was performed of patients treated for GB at the Duke University Medical Center between 2004 and 2012. One of two experienced neuropathologists identified 4 cases as being rhabdoid GBs. Immunohistochemistry and fluorescence in situ hybridization analyses were performed in all cases. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to assess overall survival, with the log-rank test being used to evaluate differences between survival curves. An extensive review of the literature was also performed.

Results

The median age of patients with rhabdoid GB was 30 years. Clinical presentation varied with location, with headache being a presenting symptom in 90% of patients. All lesions were supratentorial, and 45.5% of the cases involved the temporal lobe. Leptomeningeal dissemination occurred in 63.6% of patients, with 1 patient having extracranial metastasis to the scalp and lungs. Fluorescence in situ hybridization revealed epidermal growth factor receptor gain or amplification in all study cases. The median survival in the authors' cohort was significantly higher than that of all previously reported cases (27.5 vs 4.5 months, p = 0.003). Postoperative treatment in the authors' cohort included radiotherapy with concurrent temozolomide, bevacizumab, interleukin 13, CCNU, and/or etoposide.

Conclusions

Enhanced survival in the authors' 4 patients suggests that the current standard of care for the treatment of GB may be beneficial in rhabdoid GB cases, with postoperative radiotherapy and concomitant temozolomide treatment followed by adjuvant therapy. Due to the rapid tumor dissemination associated with these lesions, aggressive and timely therapy is warranted, with frequent surveillance and/or continued therapy despite stable disease. Additionally, patients should undergo full craniospinal imaging to monitor the development of distant metastatic disease.