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Ashish Sonig, Imad Saeed Khan, Rishi Wadhwa, Jai Deep Thakur and Anil Nanda

Object

Hospitalization cost and patient outcome after acoustic neuroma surgery depend on several factors. There is a paucity of data regarding the relationship between demographic features such as age, sex, race, insurance status, and patient outcome. Apart from demographic factors, there are several hospital-related factors and regional issues that can affect outcomes and hospital costs. To the authors' knowledge, no study has investigated the issue of regional disparity across the country in terms of cost of hospitalization and discharge disposition.

Methods

The authors analyzed the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) database over the years 2005–2009. Several variables were analyzed from the database, including patient demographics, comorbidities, and surgical complications. Hospital variables, such as bedsize, rural/urban location, teaching status, federal or private ownership, and the region, were also examined. Patient outcome and increased hospitalization costs were the dependent variables studied.

Results

A total of 2589 admissions from 242 hospitals were analyzed from the NIS data over the years 2005–2009. The mean age was 48.99 ± 13.861 years (± SD), and 304 (11.7%) of the patients were older than 65 years. The cumulative cost incurred by the hospitals from 2005 to 2009 was $948.77 million. The mean expenditure per admission was $76,365.09 ± $58,039.93. The mean total charges per admission rose from $59,633.00 in 2005 to $97,370.00 in 2009. The factors that predicted most significantly with other than routine (OTR) disposition outcome were age older than 65 years (OR 2.22, 95% CI 1.411–3.518; p < 0.001), aspiration pneumonia (OR 16.085, 95% CI 4.974–52.016; p < 0.001), and meningitis (OR 11.299, 95% CI 3.126–40.840; p < 0.001). When compared with patients with Medicare and Medicaid, patients with private insurance had a protective effect against OTR disposition outcome. Higher comorbidities predicted independently for OTR disposition outcome (OR 1.409, 95% CI 1.072–1.852; p = 0.014). The West region predicted negatively for OTR disposition outcome. Large hospitals were independently associated with higher hospital charges (OR 4.269, 95% CI 3.106–5.867; p < 0.001). The West region had significantly higher (p < 0.001) mean hospital charges than the other regions. Patient factors such as meningitis and aspiration pneumonia were strong independent predictors of increased hospital charges (p < 0.001). Higher comorbidities (OR 1.297, 95% CI 1.036–1.624; p = 0.023) and presence of neurofibromatosis Type 2 (OR 2.341, 95% CI 1.479–3.707; p < 0.001) were associated with higher hospital charges.

Conclusions

The authors' study shows that several factors can affect patient outcome and hospital charges for patients who have undergone acoustic neuroma surgery. Factors such as younger age, higher ZIP code income, less comorbidity, private insurance, elective surgery, and the West region predicted for better disposition outcome. However, the West region, higher comorbidities, and weekend admissions were associated with higher hospitalization costs.

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Jai Deep Thakur, Ashish Sonig, Prashant Chittiboina, Imad Saeed Khan, Rishi Wadhwa and Anil Nanda

Humphrey Ridley, M.D. (1653–1708), is a relatively unknown historical figure, belonging to the postmedieval era of neuroanatomical discovery. He was born in the market town of Mansfield, 14 miles from the county of Nottinghamshire, England. After studying at Merton College, Oxford, he pursued medicine at Leiden University in the Netherlands. In 1688, he was incorporated as an M.D. at Cambridge. Ridley authored the first original treatise in English language on neuroanatomy, The Anatomy of the Brain Containing its Mechanisms and Physiology: Together with Some New Discoveries and Corrections of Ancient and Modern Authors upon that Subject.

Ridley described the venous anatomy of the eponymous circular sinus in connection with the parasellar compartment. His methods were novel, unique, and effective. To appreciate the venous anatomy, he preferred to perform his anatomical dissections on recently executed criminals who had been hanged. These cadavers had considerable venous engorgement, which made the skull base venous anatomy clearer. To enhance the appearance of the cerebral vasculature further, he used tinged wax and quicksilver in the injections. He set up experimental models to answer questions definitively, in proving that the arachnoid mater is a separate meningeal layer. The first description of the subarachnoid cisterns, blood-brain barrier, and the fifth cranial nerve ganglion with its branches are also attributed to Ridley.

This historical vignette revisits Ridley's life and academic work that influenced neuroscience and neurosurgical understanding in its infancy. It is unfortunate that most of his novel contributions have gone unnoticed and uncited. The authors hope that this article will inform the neurosurgical community of Ridley's contributions to the field of neurosurgery.

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Rishi Wadhwa, Samer Shamieh, Justin Haydel, Gloria Caldito, Mallory Williams and Anil Nanda

Object

As a result of spinal trauma, approximately 12,000 individuals become quadriplegic or paraplegic each year in the US. The cervical spine is the most frequently injured part of the spinal column, and approximately 60% of spinal cord injuries involve the cervical region. The cervical collar remains the best method of prehospital spinal stabilization. Following trauma, difficulty securing an airway, the shielding of life-threatening injuries, and pressure ulcers are just a few of the serious problems that may be encountered in patients placed in cervical collars. The authors' goal was to develop an efficient method of clearing the cervical spine, by incorporating flexion and extension CT scanning with reconstruction (FECTR) into a trauma protocol.

Methods

This prospective study reviewed consecutive patients evaluated by the neurosurgery and trauma services who underwent FECTR. Imaging studies were reviewed using the Picture Activating and Communication System. The incidence of injury detection was recorded, and detection of otherwise-missed cervical spinal injuries using FECTR and CT scanning were also recorded. This technique was also applied, without causing any new neurological complications, for comatose patients if the original CT showed no suspicion of unstable injury. The study end point was determination of the presence of cervical spinal column injury that would pose a threat of instability or injury to the patient.

Results

Seventy-seven consecutive patients who underwent FECTR were identified. Far superior visualization of the cervicothoracic junction was achieved compared with flexion-extension cervical spine radiographs. In this case series, the sensitivity and specificity, respectively, of both FECTR and CT were 80% and 98.6% for all radiographic abnormalities. More importantly, for clinically unstable injuries, FECTR had a sensitivity of 100%. The use of FECTR added approximately 10–12 minutes to the time required for CT scanning.

Conclusions

The authors' initial findings show FECTR to be a safe, effective, and efficient method of posttraumatic cervical spine clearance. In unconscious or obtunded patients, FECTR facilitates cervical spine clearance with a high degree of accuracy. A larger prospective study is needed to confirm these findings.

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Ajay Jawahar, Rishi Wadhwa, Caglar Berk, Gloria Caldito, Allyson Delaune, Federico Ampil, Brian Willis, Donald Smith and Anil Nanda

Object

There are various surgical treatment alternatives for trigeminal neuralgia (TN), but there is no single scale that can be used uniformly to assess and compare one type of intervention with the others. In this study the objectives were to determine factors associated with pain control, pain-free survival, residual pain, and recurrence after gamma knife surgery (GKS) treatment for TN, and to correlate the patients' self-reported quality of life (QOL) and satisfaction with the aforementioned factors.

Methods

Between the years 2000 and 2004, the authors treated 81 patients with medically refractory TN by using GKS. Fifty-two patients responded to a questionnaire regarding pain control, activities of daily living, QOL, and patient satisfaction.

The median follow-up duration was 16.5 months. Twenty-two patients (42.3%) had complete pain relief, 14 (26.9%) had partial but satisfactory pain relief, and in 16 patients (30.8%) the treatment failed. Seven patients (13.5%) reported a recurrence during the follow-up period, and 25 (48.1%) reported a significant (> 50%) decrease in their pain within the 1st month posttreatment. The mean decrease in the total dose of pain medication was 75%. Patients' self-reported QOL scores improved 90% and the overall patient satisfaction score was 80%.

Conclusions

The authors found that GKS is a minimally invasive and effective procedure that yields a favorable outcome for patients with recurrent or refractory TN. It may also be offered as a first-line surgical modality for any patients with TN who are unsuited or unwilling to undergo microvascular decompression.