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Jared M. Pisapia, Casey H. Halpern, Noel N. Williams, Thomas A. Wadden, Gordon H. Baltuch and Sherman C. Stein

Object

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is the gold standard treatment for morbid obesity, although failure rates may be high, particularly in patients with a BMI > 50 kg/m2. With improved understanding of the neuropsychiatric basis of obesity, deep brain stimulation (DBS) offers a less invasive and reversible alternative to available surgical treatments. In this decision analysis, the authors determined the success rate at which DBS would be equivalent to the two most common bariatric surgeries.

Methods

Medline searches were performed for studies of laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB), laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGB), and DBS for movement disorders. Bariatric surgery was considered successful if postoperative excess weight loss exceeded 45% at 1-year follow-up. Using complication and success rates from the literature, the authors constructed a decision analysis model for treatment by LAGB, LRYGB, DBS, or no surgical treatment. A sensitivity analysis in which major parameters were systematically varied within their 95% CIs was used.

Results

Fifteen studies involving 3489 and 3306 cases of LAGB and LRYGB, respectively, and 45 studies involving 2937 cases treated with DBS were included. The operative successes were 0.30 (95% CI 0.247–0.358) for LAGB and 0.968 (95% CI 0.967–0.969) for LRYGB. Sensitivity analysis revealed utility of surgical complications in LRYGB, probability of surgical complications in DBS, and success rate of DBS as having the greatest influence on outcomes. At no values did LAGB result in superior outcomes compared with other treatments.

Conclusions

Deep brain stimulation must achieve a success rate of 83% to be equivalent to bariatric surgery. This high-threshold success rate is probably due to the reported success rate of LRYGB, despite its higher complication rate (33.4%) compared with DBS (19.4%). The results support further research into the role of DBS for the treatment of obesity.

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Sherman C. Stein, Patrick Georgoff, Sudha Meghan, Kasim L. Mirza and Omar M. El Falaky

Object

Despite being common practice for decades and being recommended by national guidelines, aggressive monitoring and treatment of patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) have not been supported by convincing evidence.

Methods

The authors reviewed trials and case series reported after 1970 in which patients were treated for severe closed TBI, and mortality rates and favorable outcomes at 6 months after injury were analyzed. The patient groups were divided into those with and without intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring and intensive therapy, and the authors performed a meta-analysis to assess the effects of treatment intensity on outcome.

Results

Although the mortality rate fell during the years reviewed, it was consistently ~ 12% lower among patients in the intense treatment group (p < 0.001). Favorable outcomes did not change significantly over time, and were 6% higher among the aggressively treated patients (p = 0.0105).

Conclusions

Aggressive ICP monitoring and treatment of patients with severe TBI is associated with a statistically significant improvement in outcome. This improvement occurs independently of temporal effects.

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Robert G. Whitmore, Jayesh P. Thawani, M. Sean Grady, Joshua M. Levine, Matthew R. Sanborn and Sherman C. Stein

Object

The object of this study was to determine whether aggressive treatment of severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), including invasive intracranial monitoring and decompressive craniectomy, is cost-effective.

Methods

A decision-analytical model was created to compare costs, outcomes, and cost-effectiveness of 3 strategies for treating a patient with severe TBI. The aggressive-care approach is compared with “routine care,” in which Brain Trauma Foundation guidelines are not followed. A “comfort care” category, in which a single day in the ICU is followed by routine floor care, is included for comparison only. Probabilities of each treatment resulting in various Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) scores were obtained from the literature. The GOS scores were converted to quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), based on expected longevity and calculated quality of life associated with each GOS category. Estimated direct (acute and long-term medical care) and indirect (loss of productivity) costs were calculated from the perspective of society. Sensitivity analyses employed a 2D Monte Carlo simulation of 1000 trials, each with 1000 patients. The model was also used to estimate these values for patients 40, 60, and 80 years of age.

Results

For the average 20-year-old, aggressive care yields 11.7 (± 1.6 [SD]) QALYs, compared with routine care (10.0 ± 1.5 QALYs). This difference is highly significant (p < 0.0001). Although the differences in effectiveness between the 2 strategies diminish with advancing age, aggressive care remains significantly better at all ages. When all costs are considered, aggressive care is also significantly less costly than routine care ($1,264,000 ± $118,000 vs $1,361,000 ± $107,000) for the average 20-year-old. Aggressive care remains significantly less costly until age 80, at which age it costs more than routine care. However, even in the 80-year-old, aggressive care is likely the more cost-effective approach. Comfort care is associated with poorer outcomes at all ages and with higher costs for all groups except 80-year-olds.

Conclusions

When all the costs of severe TBI are considered, aggressive treatment is a cost-effective option, even for older patients. Comfort care for severe TBI is associated with poor outcomes and high costs, and should be reserved for situations in which aggressive approaches have failed or testing suggests such treatment is futile.

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Robert G. Whitmore, Christopher Urban, Ephraim Church, Michael Ruckenstein, Sherman C. Stein and John Y. K. Lee

Object

Widespread use of MR imaging has contributed to the more frequent diagnosis of vestibular schwannomas (VSs). These tumors represent 10% of primary adult intracranial neoplasms, and if they are symptomatic, they usually present with hearing loss and tinnitus. Currently, there are 3 treatment options for quality of life (QOL): wait and scan, microsurgery, and radiosurgery. In this paper, the authors' purpose is to determine which treatment modality yields the highest QOL at 5- and 10-year follow-up, considering the likelihood of recurrence and various complications.

Methods

The MEDLINE, Embase, and Cochrane online databases were searched for English-language articles published between 1990 and June 2008, containing key words relating to VS. Data were pooled to calculate the prevalence of treatment complications, tumor recurrence, and QOL with various complications. For parameters in which incidence varied with time of follow-up, the authors used meta-regression to determine the mean prevalence rates at a specified length of follow-up. A decision-analytical model was constructed to compare 5- and 10-year outcomes for a patient with a unilateral tumor and partially intact hearing. The 3 treatment options, wait and scan, microsurgery, and radiosurgery, were compared.

Results

After screening more than 2500 abstracts, the authors ultimately included 113 articles in this analysis. Recurrence, complication rates, and onset of complication varied with the treatment chosen. The relative QOL at the 5-year follow-up was 0.898 of normal for wait and scan, 0.953 for microsurgery, and 0.97 for radiosurgery. These differences are significant (p < 0.0052). Data were too scarce at the 10-year follow-up to calculate significant differences between the microsurgery and radiosurgery strategies.

Conclusions

At 5 years, patients treated with radiosurgery have an overall better QOL than those treated with either microsurgery or those investigated further with serial imaging. The authors found that the complications associated with wait-and-scan and microsurgery treatment strategies negatively impacted patient lives more than the complications from radiosurgery. One limitation of this study is that the 10-year follow-up data were too limited to analyze, and more studies are needed to determine if the authors' results are still consistent at 10 years.

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Luke Macyszyn, Mark Attiah, Tracy S. Ma, Zarina Ali, Ryan Faught, Alisha Hossain, Karen Man, Hiren Patel, Rosanna Sobota, Eric L. Zager and Sherman C. Stein

OBJECTIVE

Moyamoya disease (MMD) is a chronic cerebrovascular disease that can lead to devastating neurological outcomes. Surgical intervention is the definitive treatment, with direct, indirect, and combined revascularization procedures currently employed by surgeons. The optimal surgical approach, however, remains unclear. In this decision analysis, the authors compared the effectiveness of revascularization procedures in both adult and pediatric patients with MMD.

METHODS

A comprehensive literature search was performed for studies of MMD. Using complication and success rates from the literature, the authors constructed a decision analysis model for treatment using a direct and indirect revascularization technique. Utility values for the various outcomes and complications were extracted from the literature examining preferences in similar clinical conditions. Sensitivity analysis was performed.

RESULTS

A structured literature search yielded 33 studies involving 4197 cases. Cases were divided into adult and pediatric populations. These were further subdivided into 3 different treatment groups: indirect, direct, and combined revascularization procedures. In the pediatric population at 5- and 10-year follow-up, there was no significant difference between indirect and combination procedures, but both were superior to direct revascularization. In adults at 4-year follow-up, indirect was superior to direct revascularization.

CONCLUSIONS

In the absence of factors that dictate a specific approach, the present decision analysis suggests that direct revascularization procedures are inferior in terms of quality-adjusted life years in both adults at 4 years and children at 5 and 10 years postoperatively, respectively. These findings were statistically significant (p < 0.001 in all cases), suggesting that indirect and combination procedures may offer optimal results at long-term follow-up.

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Myles E. Gombert, Sheldon H. Landesman, Michael L. Corrado, Sherman C. Stein, Ellen T. Melvin and Marinella Cummings

✓ Three patients with Staphylococcus epidermidis meningitis associated with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunt devices were treated with a combination of intravenous vancomycin and oral rifampin. Two of the isolates were methicillin-resistant. All patients had a favorable clinical response. Time-kill curves showed that the addition of rifampin to vancomycin resulted in enhanced bactericidal activity against all isolates when compared to either antibiotic alone. This finding suggests that the combination of oral rifampin and intravenous vancomycin may be useful in the treatment of methicillin-resistant and recalcitrant methicillin-sensitive S. epidermidis meningitis associated with CSF shunts. In vitro susceptibility testing should be performed.

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Michael D. Cusimano, Katrina Zanetti and Conor Sheridan

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Matthew R. Sanborn, Stephen R. Thom, Leif-Erik Bohman, Sherman C. Stein, Joshua M. Levine, Tatyana Milovanova, Eileen Maloney-Wilensky, Suzanne Frangos and Monisha A. Kumar

Object

Microparticles (MPs), small membrane fragments shed from various cell types, have been implicated in thrombosis, inflammation, and endothelial dysfunction. Their involvement in subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and the development of cerebral infarction and clinical deterioration caused by delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI) remain ill defined. The authors sought to quantify the magnitude of elevations in MPs, delineate the temporal dynamics of elevation, and analyze the correlation between MPs and DCI in patients with SAH.

Methods

On the day of hemorrhage and on Days 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10 after hemorrhage, peripheral blood samples were drawn from 22 patients with SAH. Plasma samples were labeled with Annexin V and CD142, CD41a, CD235a, CD146, CD66b, or von Willebrand factor (vWF) and were quantified by flow cytometry. Clinical data, including the 3-month extended Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS-E) scores, infarction as measured on MRI at 14 days after SAH, and vasospasm as measured by transcranial Doppler ultrasonography and angiography, were collected and compared with the MP burden.

Results

When averaged over time, all MP subtypes were elevated relative to controls. The CD235a+(erythrocyte)−, CD66b+(neutrophil)−, and vWF-associated MPs peaked on the day of hemorrhage and quickly declined. The CD142+(tissue factor [TF])–associated MPs and CD146+(endothelial cell)–associated MPs were significantly elevated throughout the study period. There was a strong negative correlation between TF-expressing and endothelial-derived MPs at Day 1 after SAH and the risk of infarction at Day 14 after SAH.

Conclusions

Microparticles of various subtypes are elevated following SAH; however, the temporal profile of this elevation varies by subtype. Those subtypes closely associated with thrombosis and endothelial dysfunction, for example, CD145+(TF)-associated MPs and CD146+(endothelial cell)–associated MPs, had the most durable response and demonstrated a significant negative correlation with radiographic infarction at 14 days after SAH. Levels of these MPs predict infarction as early as Day 1 post-SAH.

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Matthew R. Sanborn, Jayesh P. Thawani, Robert G. Whitmore, Michael Shmulevich, Benjamin Hardy, Conrad Benedetto, Neil R. Malhotra, Paul Marcotte, William C. Welch, Stephen Dante and Sherman C. Stein

Object

There is considerable variation in the use of adjunctive technologies to confirm pedicle screw placement. Although there is literature to support the use of both neurophysiological monitoring and isocentric fluoroscopy to confirm pedicle screw positioning, there are no studies examining the cost-effectiveness of these technologies. This study compares the cost-effectiveness and efficacy of isocentric O-arm fluoroscopy, neurophysiological monitoring, and postoperative CT scanning after multilevel instrumented fusion for degenerative lumbar disease.

Methods

Retrospective data were collected from 4 spine surgeons who used 3 different strategies for monitoring of pedicle screw placement in multilevel lumbar degenerative disease. A decision analysis model was developed to analyze costs and outcomes of the 3 different monitoring strategies. A total of 448 surgeries performed between 2005 and 2010 were included, with 4 cases requiring repeat operation for malpositioned screws. A sample of 64 of these patients was chosen for structured interviews in which the EuroQol-5D questionnaire was used. Expected costs and quality-adjusted life years were calculated based on the incidence of repeat operation and its negative effect on quality of life and costs.

Results

The decision analysis model demonstrated that the O-arm monitoring strategy is significantly (p < 0.001) less costly than the strategy of postoperative CT scanning following intraoperative uniplanar fluoroscopy, which in turn is significantly (p < 0.001) less costly than neurophysiological monitoring. The differences in effectiveness of the different monitoring strategies are not significant (p = 0.92).

Conclusions

Use of the O-arm for confirming pedicle screw placement is the least costly and therefore most cost-effective strategy of the 3 techniques analyzed.