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  • Author or Editor: Abdullah M. Abunimer x
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Asad M. Lak, Amina Rahimi, Abdullah M. Abunimer, Ian Tafel, Sharmila Devi, Akash Premkumar, Fidelia Ida, Yi Lu, John H. Chi, Shyam Tanguturi, Michael W. Groff and Hasan A. Zaidi

OBJECTIVE

Metastatic spinal cord compression (MSCC) imposes significant impairment on patient quality of life and often requires immediate surgical intervention. In this study the authors sought to estimate the impact of surgical intervention on patient quality of life in the form of mean quality-adjusted life years (QALY) gained and identify factors associated with positive outcomes.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective chart review and collected data for patients who had neurological symptoms resulting from radiologically and histologically confirmed MSCC and were treated with surgical decompression during the last 12 years.

RESULTS

A total of 151 patients were included in this study (mean age 60.4 years, 57.6% males). The 5 most common metastatic tumor types were lung, multiple myeloma, renal, breast, and prostate cancer. The majority of patients had radioresistant tumors (82.7%) and had an active primary site at presentation (67.5%). The median time from tumor diagnosis to cord compression was 12 months and the median time from identification of cord compression to death was 4 months. Preoperative presenting symptoms included motor weakness (70.8%), pain (70.1%), sensory disturbances (47.6%), and bowel or bladder disturbance (31.1%). The median estimated blood loss was 500 mL and the average length of hospital stay was 10.3 days. About 18% of patients had postoperative complications and the mean follow-up was 7 months. The mean pre- and postoperative ECOG (Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group) performance status grades were 3.2 and 2.4, respectively. At follow-up, 58.3% of patients had improved status, 31.5% had no improvement, and 10.0% had worsening of functional status. The mean QALY gained per year in the entire cohort was 0.55. The mean QALY gained in the first 6 months was 0.1 and in the first year was 0.4. For patients who lived 1–2, 2–3, 3–4, or 4–5 years, the mean QALY gained were 0.8, 1.4, 1.7, and 2.3, respectively. Preoperative motor weakness, bowel dysfunction, bladder dysfunction, and ASA (American Society of Anesthesiologists) class were identified as independent predictors inversely associated with good outcome.

CONCLUSIONS

The mean QALY gained from surgical decompression in the first 6 months and first year equals 1.2 months and 5 months of life in perfect health, respectively. These findings suggest that surgery might also be beneficial to patients with life expectancy < 6 months.

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Herschel Wilde, Mohammed A. Azab, Abdullah M. Abunimer, Hussam Abou-Al-Shaar, Michael Karsy, Jian Guan, Sarah T. Menacho and Randy L. Jensen

OBJECTIVE

Gliomas occur in 3–4 individuals per 100,000 individuals and are one of the most common primary brain tumors. Treatment options are limited for gliomas despite the progressive nature of the disease. The authors used the Value Driven Outcomes (VDO) database to identify cost drivers and subgroups that are involved in the surgical treatment of gliomas.

METHODS

A retrospective cohort of patients with gliomas treated at the authors’ institution from August 2011 to February 2018 was evaluated using medical records and the VDO database.

RESULTS

A total of 263 patients with intracranial gliomas met the authors’ inclusion criteria and were included in the analysis (WHO grade I: 2.0%; grade II: 18.5%; grade III: 18.1%; and grade IV: 61.4%). Facility costs were the major (64.4%) cost driver followed by supplies (16.2%), pharmacy (10.1%), imaging (4.5%), and laboratory (4.7%). Univariate analysis of cost contributors demonstrated that American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status (p = 0.002), tumor recurrence (p = 0.06), Karnofsky Performance Scale score (p = 0.002), length of stay (LOS) (p = 0.0001), and maximal tumor size (p = 0.03) contributed significantly to the total costs. However, on multivariate analysis, only LOS (p = 0.0001) contributed significantly to total costs. More extensive tumor resection in WHO grade III and IV tumors was associated with significant improvement in survival (p = 0.004 and p = 0.02, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

Understanding care costs is challenging because of the highly complex, fragmented, and variable nature of healthcare delivery. Adopting effective strategies that would reduce facility costs and limit LOS is likely the most important aspect in reducing intracranial glioma treatment costs.