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Hormuzdiyar H. Dasenbrock, Robert F. Rudy, Timothy R. Smith, William B. Gormley, Nirav J. Patel, Kai U. Frerichs, M. Ali Aziz-Sultan and Rose Du

OBJECTIVE

The complex decision analysis of unruptured intracranial aneurysms entails weighing the benefits of aneurysm repair against operative risk. The goal of the present analysis was to build and validate a predictive scale that identifies patients with the greatest odds of a postsurgical adverse event.

METHODS

Data on patients who underwent surgical clipping of an unruptured aneurysm were extracted from the prospective National Surgical Quality Improvement Program registry (NSQIP; 2007–2014); NSQIP does not systematically collect data on patients undergoing intracranial endovascular intervention. Multivariable logistic regression evaluated predictors of any 30-day adverse event; variables screened included patient demographics, comorbidities, functional status, preoperative laboratory values, aneurysm location/complexity, and operative time. A predictive scale was constructed based on statistically significant independent predictors, which was validated using both NSQIP (2015–2016) and the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS; 2002–2011).

RESULTS

The NSQIP unruptured aneurysm scale was proposed: 1 point was assigned for a bleeding disorder; 2 points for age 51–60 years, cardiac disease, diabetes mellitus, morbid obesity, anemia (hematocrit < 36%), operative time 240–330 minutes; 3 points for leukocytosis (white blood cell count > 12,000/μL) and operative time > 330 minutes; and 4 points for age > 60 years. An increased score was predictive of postoperative stroke or coma (NSQIP: p = 0.002, C-statistic = 0.70; NIS: p < 0.001, C-statistic = 0.61), a medical complication (NSQIP: p = 0.01, C-statistic = 0.71; NIS: p < 0.001, C-statistic = 0.64), and a nonroutine discharge (NSQIP: p < 0.001, C-statistic = 0.75; NIS: p < 0.001, C-statistic = 0.66) in both validation populations. Greater score was also predictive of increased odds of any adverse event, a major complication, and an extended hospitalization in both validation populations (p ≤ 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS

The NSQIP unruptured aneurysm scale may augment the risk stratification of patients undergoing microsurgical clipping of unruptured cerebral aneurysms.

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Hormuzdiyar H. Dasenbrock, Robert F. Rudy, Pui Man Rosalind Lai, Timothy R. Smith, Kai U. Frerichs, William B. Gormley, M. Ali Aziz-Sultan and Rose Du

OBJECTIVE

Although cigarette smoking is one of the strongest risk factors for cerebral aneurysm development and rupture, there are limited data evaluating the impact of smoking on outcomes after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Additionally, two recent studies suggested that nicotine replacement therapy was associated with improved neurological outcomes among smokers who had sustained an SAH compared with smokers who did not receive nicotine.

METHODS

Patients who underwent endovascular or microsurgical repair of a ruptured cerebral aneurysm were extracted from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS, 2009–2011) and stratified by cigarette smoking. Multivariable logistic regression analyzed in-hospital mortality, complications, tracheostomy or gastrostomy placement, and discharge to institutional care (a nursing or an extended care facility). Additionally, the composite NIS-SAH outcome measure (based on mortality, tracheostomy or gastrostomy, and discharge disposition) was evaluated, which has been shown to have excellent agreement with a modified Rankin Scale score greater than 3. Covariates included in regression constructs were patient age, sex, race/ethnicity, insurance status, socioeconomic status, comorbidities (including hypertension, drug and alcohol abuse), the NIS-SAH severity scale (previously validated against the Hunt and Hess grade), treatment modality used for aneurysm repair, and hospital characteristics. A sensitivity analysis was performed matching smokers to nonsmokers on age, sex, number of comorbidities, and NIS-SAH severity scale score.

RESULTS

Among the 5784 admissions evaluated, 37.1% (n = 2148) had a diagnosis of tobacco use, of which 31.1% (n = 1800) were current and 6.0% (n = 348) prior tobacco users. Smokers were significantly younger (mean age 51.4 vs 56.2 years) and had more comorbidities compared with nonsmokers (p < 0.001). There were no significant differences in mortality, total complications, or neurological complications by smoking status. However, compared with nonsmokers, smokers had significantly decreased adjusted odds of tracheostomy or gastrostomy placement (11.9% vs 22.7%, odds ratio [OR] 0.63, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.51–0.78, p < 0.001), discharge to institutional care (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.57–0.89, p = 0.002), and a poor outcome (OR 0.65, 95% CI 0.55–0.77, p < 0.001). Similar statistical associations were noted in the matched-pairs sensitivity analysis and in a subgroup of poor-grade patients (the upper quartile of the NIS-SAH severity scale).

CONCLUSIONS

In this nationwide study, smokers experienced SAH at a younger age and had a greater number of comorbidities compared with nonsmokers, highlighting the negative ramifications of cigarette smoking among patients with cerebral aneurysms. However, smoking was also associated with paradoxical superior outcomes on some measures, and future research to confirm and further understand the basis of this relationship is needed.

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Michael A. Silva, Alfred P. See, Priyank Khandelwal, Ashutosh Mahapatra, Kai U. Frerichs, Rose Du, Nirav J. Patel and Mohammad A. Aziz-Sultan

OBJECTIVE

Paraclinoid aneurysms represent approximately 5% of intracranial aneurysms (Drake et al. [1968]). Visual impairment, which occurs in 16%–40% of patients, is among the most common presentations of these aneurysms (Day [1990], Lai and Morgan [2013], Sahlein et al. [2015], and Silva et al. [2017]). Flow-diverting stents, such as the Pipeline Embolization Device (PED), are increasingly used to treat these aneurysms, in part because of their theoretical reduction of mass effect (Fiorella et al. [2009]). Limited data on paraclinoid aneurysms treated with a PED exist, and few studies have compared outcomes of patients after PED placement with those of patients after clipping or coiling.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective analysis of 115 patients with an aneurysm of the cavernous to ophthalmic segments of the internal carotid artery treated with clipping, coiling, or PED deployment between January 2011 and March 2017. Postoperative complications were defined as new neurological deficit, aneurysm rupture, recanalization, or other any operative complication that required reintervention.

RESULTS

A total of 125 paraclinoid aneurysms in 115 patients were treated, including 70 with PED placement, 23 with coiling, and 32 with clipping. Eighteen (14%) aneurysms were ruptured. The mean aneurysm size was 8.2 mm, and the mean follow-up duration was 18.4 months. Most aneurysms were discovered incidentally, but visual impairment, which occurred in 21 (18%) patients, was the most common presenting symptom. Among these patients, 15 (71%) experienced improvement in their visual symptoms after treatment, including 14 (93%) of these 15 patients who were treated with PED deployment. Complete angiographic occlusion was achieved in 89% of the patients. Complications were seen in 17 (15%) patients, including 10 (16%) after PED placement, 2 (9%) after coiling, and 5 (17%) after clipping. Patients with incomplete aneurysm occlusion had a higher rate of procedural complications than those with complete occlusion (p = 0.02). The rate of postoperative visual improvement was significantly higher among patients treated with PED deployment than in those treated with coiling (p = 0.01). The significant predictors of procedural complications were incomplete occlusion (p = 0.03), hypertension, (p = 0.04), and diabetes (p = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS

In a large series in which patient outcomes after treatment of paraclinoid aneurysms were compared, the authors found a high rate of aneurysm occlusion and a comparable rate of procedural complications among patients treated with PED placement compared with the rates among those who underwent clipping or coiling. For patients who presented with visual symptoms, those treated with PED placement had the highest rate of visual improvement. The results of this study suggest that the PED is an effective and safe modality for treating paraclinoid aneurysms, especially for patients who present with visual symptoms.

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Bradley A. Gross, Felipe C. Albuquerque, Cameron G. McDougall, Brian T. Jankowitz, Ashutosh P. Jadhav, Tudor G. Jovin and Rose Du

OBJECTIVE

The rarity of cerebral dural arteriovenous fistulas (dAVFs) has precluded analysis of their natural history across large cohorts. Investigators from a considerable proportion of the few reports that do exist have evaluated heterogeneous groups of untreated and partially treated lesions. In the present study, the authors exclusively evaluated the untreated course of dAVFs across a multi-institutional data set to delineate demographic, angiographic, and natural history data.

METHODS

A multi-institutional database of dAVFs was queried for demographic and angiographic data as well as untreated disease course. After dAVFs were stratified by Djindjian type, annual nonhemorrhagic neurological deficit (NHND) and hemorrhage rates were derived, as were risk factors for each. A multivariable Cox proportional-hazards regression model was used to calculate hazard ratios.

RESULTS

Two hundred ninety-five dAVFs had at least 1 month of untreated follow-up. For 126 Type I dAVFs, there were no episodes of NHND or hemorrhage over 177 lesion-years. Respective annualized NHND and hemorrhage rates were 4.5% and 3.4% for Type II, 6.0% and 4.0% for Type III, and 4.5% and 9.1% for Type IV dAVFs. The respective annualized NHND and hemorrhage rates were 2.3% and 2.9% for asymptomatic Type II–IV dAVFs, 23.1% and 3.3% for dAVFs presenting with NHND, and 0% and 46.2% for lesions presenting with hemorrhage. On multivariate analysis, NHND presentation (HR 11.49, 95% CI 3.19–63) and leptomeningeal venous drainage (HR 5.03, 95% CI 0.42–694) were significant risk factors for NHND; hemorrhagic presentation (HR 17.67, 95% CI 2.99–117) and leptomeningeal venous drainage (HR 10.39, 95% CI 1.11–1384) were significant risk factors for hemorrhage.

CONCLUSIONS

All Type II–IV dAVFs should be considered for treatment. Given the high risk of rebleeding, lesions presenting with NHND and/or hemorrhage should be treated expediently.

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Hormuzdiyar H. Dasenbrock, Timothy R. Smith, Robert F. Rudy, William B. Gormley, M. Ali Aziz-Sultan and Rose Du

OBJECTIVE

Although reoperation and readmission have been used as quality metrics, there are limited data evaluating the rate of, reasons for, and predictors of reoperation and readmission after microsurgical clipping of unruptured aneurysms.

METHODS

Adult patients who underwent craniotomy for clipping of an unruptured aneurysm electively were extracted from the prospective National Surgical Quality Improvement Program registry (2011–2014). Multivariable logistic regression and recursive partitioning analysis evaluated the independent predictors of nonroutine hospital discharge, unplanned 30-day reoperation, and readmission. Predictors screened included patient age, sex, comorbidities, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) classification, functional status, aneurysm location, preoperative laboratory values, operative time, and postoperative complications.

RESULTS

Among the 460 patients evaluated, 4.2% underwent any reoperation at a median of 7 days (interquartile range [IQR] 2–17 days) postoperatively, and 1.1% required a cranial reoperation. The most common reoperation was ventricular shunt placement (23.5%); other reoperations were tracheostomy, craniotomy for hematoma evacuation, and decompressive hemicraniectomy. Independent predictors of any unplanned reoperation were age greater than 51 years and longer operative time (p ≤ 0.04). Readmission occurred in 6.3% of patients at a median of 6 days (IQR 5–13 days) after discharge from the surgical hospitalization; 59.1% of patients were readmitted within 1 week and 86.4% within 2 weeks of discharge. The most common reason for readmission was seizure (26.7%); other causes of readmission included hydrocephalus, cerebrovascular accidents, and headache. Unplanned readmission was independently associated with age greater than 65 years, Class II or III obesity (body mass index > 35 kg/m2), preoperative hyponatremia, and preoperative anemia (p ≤ 0.04). Readmission was not associated with operative time, complications during the surgical hospitalization, length of stay, or discharge disposition. Recursive partitioning analysis identified the same 4 variables, as well as ASA classification, as associated with unplanned readmission. The most potent predictors of nonroutine hospital discharge (16.7%) were postoperative neurological and cardiopulmonary complications; other predictors were age greater than 51 years, preoperative hyponatremia, African American and Asian race, and a complex vertebrobasilar circulation aneurysm.

CONCLUSIONS

In this national analysis, patient age greater than 65 years, Class II or III obesity, preoperative hyponatremia, and anemia were associated with adverse events, highlighting patients who may be at risk for complications after clipping of unruptured cerebral aneurysms. The preponderance of early readmissions highlights the importance of early surveillance and follow-up after discharge; the frequency of readmission for seizure emphasizes the need for additional data evaluating the utility and duration of postcraniotomy seizure prophylaxis. Moreover, readmission was primarily associated with preoperative characteristics rather than metrics of perioperative care, suggesting that readmission may be a suboptimal indicator of the quality of care received during the surgical hospitalization in this patient population.

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Bradley A. Gross and Rose Du

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this paper is to define an overall cavernous malformation (CM) hemorrhage rate and risk factors for hemorrhage.

METHODS

The authors performed a systematic, pooled analysis via the PubMed database through October 2015 using the terms “cavernoma,” “cavernous malformation,” “natural history,” “bleeding,” and “hemorrhage.” English-language studies providing annual rates and/or risk factors for CM hemorrhage were included. Data extraction, performed independently by the authors, included demographic data, hemorrhage rates, and hemorrhage risk factors.

RESULTS

Across 12 natural history studies with 1610 patients, the mean age at presentation was 42.7 years old and 52% of patients (95% CI 49%–55%) were female. Presentation modality was seizure in 30% (95% CI 25%–35%), hemorrhage in 26% (95% CI 17%–37%), incidental in 17% (95% CI 9%–31%), and focal deficits only in 16% of cases (95% CI 11%–23%). CM location was lobar in 66% (95% CI 61%–70%), brainstem in 18% (95% CI 13%–24%), deep supratentorial in 8% (95% CI 6%–10%), and cerebellar in 8% (95% CI 5%–11%). Pooling 7 studies that did not assume CM presence since birth, the annual hemorrhage rate was 2.5% per patient-year over 5081.2 patient-years of follow-up (95% CI 1.3%–5.1%). Pooling hazard ratios across 5 studies that evaluated hemorrhage risk factors, prior CM hemorrhage was a significant risk factor for hemorrhage (HR 3.73, 95% CI 1.26–11.1; p = 0.02) while younger age, female sex, deep location, size, multiplicity, and associated developmental venous anomalies (DVAs) were not.

CONCLUSIONS

Although limited by the heterogeneity of incorporated reports and selection bias, this study found prior hemorrhage to be a significant risk factor for CM bleeding, while age, sex, CM location, size, multiplicity, and associated DVAs were not. Future natural history studies should compound annual hemorrhage rate with prospective seizure and nonhemorrhagic neurological deficit rates.

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Hormuzdiyar H. Dasenbrock, Sandra C. Yan, Bradley A. Gross, Donovan Guttieres, William B. Gormley, Kai U. Frerichs, M. Ali Aziz-Sultan and Rose Du

OBJECTIVE

Although aspirin usage may be associated with a decreased risk of rupture of cerebral aneurysms, any potential therapeutic benefit from aspirin must be weighed against the theoretical risk of greater hemorrhage volume if subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) occurs. However, few studies have evaluated the association between prehemorrhage aspirin use and outcomes. This is the first nationwide analysis to evaluate the impact of long-term aspirin and anticoagulant use on outcomes after SAH.

METHODS

Data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS; 2006–2011) were extracted. Patients with a primary diagnosis of SAH who underwent microsurgical or endovascular aneurysm repair were included; those with a diagnosis of an arteriovenous malformation were excluded. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to calculate the adjusted odds of in-hospital mortality, a nonroutine discharge (any discharge other than to home), or a poor outcome (death, discharge to institutional care, tracheostomy, or gastrostomy) for patients with long-term aspirin or anticoagulant use. Multivariable linear regression was used to evaluate length of hospital stay. Covariates included patient age, sex, comorbidities, primary payer, NIS-SAH severity scale, intracerebral hemorrhage, cerebral edema, herniation, modality of aneurysm repair, hospital bed size, and whether the hospital was a teaching hospital. Subgroup analyses exclusively evaluated patients treated surgically or endovascularly.

RESULTS

The study examined 11,549 hospital admissions. Both aspirin (2.1%, n = 245) and anticoagulant users (0.9%, n = 108) were significantly older and had a greater burden of comorbid disease (p < 0.001); severity of SAH was slightly lower in those with long-term aspirin use (p = 0.03). Neither in-hospital mortality (13.5% vs 12.6%) nor total complication rates (79.6% vs 80.0%) differed significantly by long-term aspirin use. Additionally, aspirin use was associated with decreased odds of a cardiac complication (OR 0.57, 95% CI 0.36%–0.91%, p = 0.02) or of venous thromboembolic events (OR 0.53, 95% CI 0.30%–0.94%, p = 0.03). Length of stay was significantly shorter (15 days vs 17 days [12.73%], 95% CI 5.22%–20.24%, p = 0.001), and the odds of a nonroutine discharge were lower (OR 0.63, 95% CI 0.48%–0.83%, p = 0.001) for aspirin users. In subgroup analyses, the benefits of aspirin were primarily noted in patients who underwent coil embolization; likewise, among patients treated endovascularly, the adjusted odds of a poor outcome were lower among long-term aspirin users (31.8% vs 37.4%, OR 0.63, 95% CI 0.42%–0.94%, p = 0.03). Although the crude rates of in-hospital mortality (19.4% vs 12.6%) and poor outcome (53.6% vs 37.6%) were higher for long-term anticoagulant users, in multivariable logistic regression models these variations were not significantly different (mortality: OR 1.36, 95% CI 0.89%–2.07%, p = 0.16; poor outcome: OR 1.09, 95% CI 0.69%–1.73%, p = 0.72).

CONCLUSIONS

In this nationwide study, neither long-term aspirin nor anticoagulant use were associated with differential mortality or complication rates after SAH. Aspirin use was associated with a shorter hospital stay and lower rates of nonroutine discharge, with these benefits primarily observed in patients treated endovascularly.

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Hormuzdiyar H. Dasenbrock, Michael O. Nguyen, Kai U. Frerichs, Donovan Guttieres, William B. Gormley, M. Ali Aziz-Sultan and Rose Du

OBJECTIVE

Although the prevalence of obesity is increasing rapidly both nationally and internationally, few studies have analyzed outcomes among obese patients undergoing cranial neurosurgery. The goal of this study, which used a nationwide data set, was to evaluate the association of both obesity and morbid obesity with treatment outcomes among patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH); in addition, the authors sought to analyze how postoperative complications for obese patients with SAH differ by the treatment modality used for aneurysm repair.

METHODS

Clinical data for adult patients with SAH who underwent microsurgical or endovascular aneurysm repair were extracted from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS). The body habitus of patients was classified as nonobese (body mass index [BMI] < 30 kg/m2), obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 and ≤ 40 kg/m2), or morbidly obese (BMI > 40 kg/m2). Multivariable logistic regression analyzed the association of body habitus with in-hospital mortality rate, complications, discharge disposition, and poor outcome as defined by the composite NIS-SAH outcome measure. Covariates included patient demographics, comorbidities (including hypertension and diabetes), health insurance status, the NIS-SAH severity scale, treatment modality used for aneurysm repair, and hospital characteristics.

RESULTS

In total, data from 18,281 patients were included in this study; the prevalence of morbid obesity increased from 0.8% in 2002 to 3.5% in 2011. Obese and morbidly obese patients were significantly younger and had a greater number of comorbidities than nonobese patients (p < 0.001). Mortality rates for obese (11.5%) and morbidly obese patients (10.5%) did not significantly differ from those for nonobese patients (13.5%); likewise, no differences in neurological complications or poor outcome were observed among these 3 groups. Morbid obesity was associated with significantly increased odds of several medical complications, including venous thromboembolic (OR 1.52, 95% CI 1.01–2.30, p = 0.046) and renal (OR 1.64, 95% CI: 1.11–2.43, p = 0.01) complications and infections (OR 1.34, 95% CI 1.08–1.67, p = 0.009, attributable to greater odds of urinary tract and surgical site infections). Moreover, morbidly obese patients had higher odds of a nonroutine hospital discharge (OR 1.33, 95% CI 1.03–1.71, p = 0.03). Patients with milder obesity had decreased odds of some medical complications, including cardiac, pulmonary, and infectious complications, primarily among patients who had undergone coil embolization.

CONCLUSIONS

In this study involving a nationwide administrative database, milder obesity was not significantly associated with increased mortality rates, neurological complications, or poor outcomes after SAH. Morbid obesity, however, was associated with increased odds of venous thromboembolic, renal, and infectious complications, as well as of a nonroutine hospital discharge. Notably, milder obesity was associated with decreased odds of some medical complications, primarily in patients treated with coiling.