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The 21st-century challenge to neurocritical care: the rise of the superbug Acinetobacter baumannii. A meta-analysis of the role of intrathecal or intraventricular antimicrobial therapy in reduction of mortality

Nasser Mohammed, Amey R. Savardekar, Devi Prasad Patra, Vinayak Narayan, and Anil Nanda

OBJECTIVE

Neurosurgical infections due to multidrug-resistant organisms have become a nightmare that neurosurgeons are facing in the 21st century. This is the dawn of the so-called postantibiotic era. There is an urgent need to review and evaluate ways to reduce the high mortality rates due to these infections. The present study evaluates the efficacy of combined intravenous plus intrathecal or intraventricular (IV + IT) therapy versus only intravenous (IV) therapy in treating postneurosurgical Acinetobacter baumannii infections.

METHODS

The authors performed a meta-analysis of all peer-reviewed studies from the PubMed, Cochrane Library database, ScienceDirect, and EMBASE in accordance with the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines. Five studies were finally included in the present analysis: 126 patients were studied who had postneurosurgical A. baumannii infection. The Cochrane collaboration tool was used to evaluate risk of bias, and a test of heterogeneity was performed. The I2 statistic was calculated. The patients were divided into 2 groups: the IV group received only intravenous therapy and the IV + IT group received both intravenous and intrathecal or intraventricular antimicrobial therapy. The outcome was mortality attributed specifically to A. baumannii infection in postneurosurgical cases. The pooled data were analyzed using the Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel method in a fixed-effects model.

RESULTS

The total number of patients in the IV-only group was 73, and the number of patients in the IV + IT group was 53. The mean duration of intravenous therapy was 27 days. The mean duration of intrathecal colistin was 21 days. The intravenous dose of colistin ranged from 3.75 to 8.8 MIU per day. The dose of intrathecal colistin ranged between 125,000 and 250,000 IU per day. The overall calculated odds ratio for mortality for the IV + IT group after pooling the data was 0.16 (95% CI 0.06–0.40, p < 0.0001). The patients who received IV + IT therapy had an 84% lower risk of dying due to the infection compared with those who received only IV therapy.

CONCLUSIONS

There is an 84% lower risk of mortality in patients who have been treated with combined intrathecal or intraventricular plus intravenous antimicrobial therapy versus those who have been treated with intravenous therapy alone. The intrathecal or intraventricular route should be strongly considered when dealing with postneurosurgical multidrug-resistant A. baumannii infections.

Free access

Investigating the efficacy of allograft cellular bone matrix for spinal fusion: a systematic review of the literature

Ryan R. Diaz, Amey R. Savardekar, Jared R. Brougham, Danielle Terrell, and Anthony Sin

OBJECTIVE

The use of allograft cellular bone matrices (ACBMs) in spinal fusion has expanded rapidly over the last decade. Despite little objective data on its effectiveness, ACBM use has replaced the use of traditional autograft techniques, namely iliac crest bone graft (ICBG), in many centers.

METHODS

In accordance with PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines, a systematic review was conducted of the PubMed, Cochrane Library, Scopus, and Web of Science databases of English-language articles over the time period from January 2001 to December 2020 to objectively assess the effectiveness of ACBMs, with an emphasis on the level of industry involvement in the current body of literature.

RESULTS

Limited animal studies (n = 5) demonstrate the efficacy of ACBMs in spinal fusion, with either equivalent or increased rates of fusion compared to autograft. Clinical human studies utilizing ACBMs as bone graft expanders or bone graft substitutes (n = 5 for the cervical spine and n = 8 for the lumbar spine) demonstrate the safety of ACBMs in spinal fusion, but fail to provide conclusive level I, II, or III evidence for its efficacy. Additionally, human studies are plagued with several limiting factors, such as small sample size, lack of prospective design, lack of randomization, absence of standardized assessment of fusion, and presence of industry support/relevant conflict of interest.

CONCLUSIONS

There exist very few objective, unbiased human clinical studies demonstrating ACBM effectiveness or superiority in spinal fusion. Impartial, well-designed prospective studies are needed to offer evidence-based best practices to patients in this domain.

Free access

Direct thrombectomy versus bridging thrombolysis with mechanical thrombectomy in middle cerebral artery stroke: a real-world analysis through National Inpatient Sample data

Sandeep Kandregula, Amey R. Savardekar, Pankaj Sharma, Jerry McLarty, Jennifer Kosty, Krystle Trosclair, Hugo Cuellar, and Bharat Guthikonda

OBJECTIVE

A paradigm shift in the management of acute ischemic stroke (AIS) due to large-vessel occlusion (LVO) occurred after 2015 when 7 randomized controlled trials demonstrated better outcomes using second-generation thrombectomy devices combined with best medical management than did stand-alone intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) with tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). All recently published landmark trials were designed to study the outcome of mechanical thrombectomy (MT); therefore, the majority of the patients enrolled in these trials received intravenous tPA. Currently, initiating IVT before MT is a matter of debate. Recent trials (DIRECT-MT, DEVT) exploring this clinical question showed noninferiority of MT alone compared with the combined treatment. With this uncertainty, the authors aimed to explore real-world data through the latest National Inpatient Sample (NIS) to compare the safety and outcomes of MT alone with bridging IVT and MT in AIS due to LVO in the middle cerebral artery (MCA).

METHODS

NIS data from 2017 to 2018 were analyzed to compare the outcomes and safety profiles of patients who underwent MT+IVT with those who underwent MT alone.

RESULTS

A total of 2895 patients were included in the final analysis (MT, n = 1669; MT+IVT, n = 1226). The mean National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score was 16.2 (SD 6.1) in the MT group and 16.6 (SD 5.97) in the MT+IVT group (p = 0.04). With respect to comorbidities, the two groups did not differ in rates of hypertension (p = 0.730), atrial fibrillation/flutter (p = 0.828), and smoking status (p = 0.914). The rate of diabetes mellitus was significantly higher in the MT group (28%) than in the MT+IVT group (22.1%) (p < 0.001). The frequency of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) in the MT group was 17.7% (n = 296) and 21.5% (n = 263) in the MT+IVT group (p = 0.012). Intraventricular hemorrhage (p = 0.875), subarachnoid hemorrhage (p = 0.99), and vasospasm (p = 0.976) did not differ significantly between the groups. The primary outcome considered was disability status between the groups; 23.8% of patients in the MT+IVT group had minimal disability versus 18.2% in the MT group (p = 0.001). The risk of progressing to severe disability from minimal disability decreased with the addition of IVT to MT (OR 0.762, 95% CI 0.637–0.912). The adjusted odds ratio for ICH in the MT+IVT group was 1.28 (95% CI 1.043–1.571, p = 0.018) and 2.676 (95% CI 1.259–5.686, p = 0.01) for access-site hemorrhages.

CONCLUSIONS

In the analysis of the NIS database, the MT+IVT group had significantly higher rates of minimal disability at the time of hospital discharge versus the MT-alone group, despite a higher rate of ICH. The question of whether to treat patients with MT+IVT rather than MT alone is currently being addressed in ongoing prospective clinical trials (SWIFT-DIRECT [NCT03494920], MR CLEAN–NO IV [ISRCTN80619088], and DIRECT-SAFE [NCT03494920]). The results of these studies will contribute to greater understanding and progressive improvement in outcomes for AIS patients.

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Safety profile of superior petrosal vein (the vein of Dandy) sacrifice in neurosurgical procedures: a systematic review

Vinayak Narayan, Amey R. Savardekar, Devi Prasad Patra, Nasser Mohammed, Jai D. Thakur, Muhammad Riaz, and Anil Nanda

OBJECTIVE

Walter E. Dandy described for the first time the anatomical course of the superior petrosal vein (SPV) and its significance during surgery for trigeminal neuralgia. The patient’s safety after sacrifice of this vein is a challenging question, with conflicting views in current literature. The aim of this systematic review was to analyze the current surgical considerations regarding Dandy’s vein, as well as provide a concise review of the complications after its obliteration.

METHODS

A systematic review was performed according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. A thorough literature search was conducted on PubMed, Web of Science, and the Cochrane database; articles were selected systematically based on the PRISMA protocol and reviewed completely, and then relevant data were summarized and discussed.

RESULTS

A total of 35 publications pertaining to the SPV were included and reviewed. Although certain studies report almost negligible complications of SPV sectioning, there are reports demonstrating the deleterious effects of SPV obliteration when achieving adequate exposure in surgical pathologies like trigeminal neuralgia, vestibular schwannoma, and petroclival meningioma. The incidence of complications after SPV sacrifice (32/50 cases in the authors’ series) is 2/32 (6.2%), and that reported in various case series varies from 0.01% to 31%. It includes hemorrhagic and nonhemorrhagic venous infarction of the cerebellum, sigmoid thrombosis, cerebellar hemorrhage, midbrain and pontine infarct, intracerebral hematoma, cerebellar and brainstem edema, acute hydrocephalus, peduncular hallucinosis, hearing loss, facial nerve palsy, coma, and even death. In many studies, the difference in incidence of complications between the SPV-sacrificed group and the SPV-preserved group was significant.

CONCLUSIONS

The preservation of Dandy’s vein is a neurosurgical dilemma. Literature review and experiences from large series suggest that obliterating the vein of Dandy while approaching the superior cerebellopontine angle corridor may be associated with negligible complications. However, the counterview cannot be neglected in light of some series showing an up to 30% complication rate from SPV sacrifice. This review provides the insight that although the incidence of complications due to SPV obliteration is low, they can happen, and the sequelae might be worse than the natural history of the existing pathology. Therefore, SPV preservation should be attempted to optimize patient outcome.

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A comparison of the techniques of direct pars interarticularis repairs for spondylolysis and low-grade spondylolisthesis: a meta-analysis

Nasser Mohammed, Devi Prasad Patra, Vinayak Narayan, Amey R. Savardekar, Rimal Hanif Dossani, Papireddy Bollam, Shyamal Bir, and Anil Nanda

OBJECTIVE

Spondylosis with or without spondylolisthesis that does not respond to conservative management has an excellent outcome with direct pars interarticularis repair. Direct repair preserves the segmental spinal motion. A number of operative techniques for direct repair are practiced; however, the procedure of choice is not clearly defined. The present study aims to clarify the advantages and disadvantages of the different operative techniques and their outcomes.

METHODS

A meta-analysis was conducted in accordance with the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines. The following databases were searched: PubMed, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, and CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature). Studies of patients with spondylolysis with or without low-grade spondylolisthesis who underwent direct repair were included. The patients were divided into 4 groups based on the operative technique used: the Buck repair group, Scott repair group, Morscher repair group, and pedicle screw–based repair group. The pooled data were analyzed using the DerSimonian and Laird random-effects model. Tests for bias and heterogeneity were performed. The I2 statistic was calculated, and the results were analyzed. Statistical analysis was performed using StatsDirect version 2.

RESULTS

Forty-six studies consisting of 900 patients were included in the study. The majority of the patients were in their 2nd decade of life. The Buck group included 19 studies with 305 patients; the Scott group had 8 studies with 162 patients. The Morscher method included 5 studies with 193 patients, and the pedicle group included 14 studies with 240 patients. The overall pooled fusion, complication, and outcome rates were calculated. The pooled rates for fusion for the Buck, Scott, Morscher, and pedicle screw groups were 83.53%, 81.57%, 77.72%, and 90.21%, respectively. The pooled complication rates for the Buck, Scott, Morscher, and pedicle screw groups were 13.41%, 22.35%, 27.42%, and 12.8%, respectively, and the pooled positive outcome rates for the Buck, Scott, Morscher, and pedicle screw groups were 84.33%, 82.49%, 80.30%, and 80.1%, respectively. The pedicle group had the best fusion rate and lowest complication rate.

CONCLUSIONS

The pedicle screw–based direct pars repair for spondylolysis and low-grade spondylolisthesis is the best choice of procedure, with the highest fusion and lowest complication rates, followed by the Buck repair. The Morscher and Scott repairs were associated with a high rate of complication and lower rates of fusion.

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Preoperative diffusion tensor imaging–fiber tracking for facial nerve identification in vestibular schwannoma: a systematic review on its evolution and current status with a pooled data analysis of surgical concordance rates

Amey R. Savardekar, Devi P. Patra, Jai D. Thakur, Vinayak Narayan, Nasser Mohammed, Papireddy Bollam, and Anil Nanda

OBJECTIVE

Total tumor excision with the preservation of neurological function and quality of life is the goal of modern-day vestibular schwannoma (VS) surgery. Postoperative facial nerve (FN) paralysis is a devastating complication of VS surgery. Determining the course of the FN in relation to a VS preoperatively is invaluable to the neurosurgeon and is likely to enhance surgical safety with respect to FN function. Diffusion tensor imaging–fiber tracking (DTI-FT) technology is slowly gaining traction as a viable tool for preoperative FN visualization in patients with VS.

METHODS

A systematic review of the literature in the PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science databases was performed in accordance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, and those studies that preoperatively localized the FN in relation to a VS using the DTI-FT technique and verified those preoperative FN tracking results by using microscopic observation and electrophysiological monitoring during microsurgery were included. A pooled analysis of studies was performed to calculate the surgical concordance rate (accuracy) of DTI-FT technology for FN localization.

RESULTS

Fourteen studies included 234 VS patients (male/female ratio 1:1.4, age range 17–75 years) who had undergone preoperative DTI-FT for FN identification. The mean tumor size among the studies ranged from 29 to 41.3 mm. Preoperative DTI-FT could not visualize the FN tract in 8 patients (3.4%) and its findings could not be verified in 3 patients (1.2%), were verified but discordant in 18 patients (7.6%), and were verified and concordant in 205 patients (87.1%).

CONCLUSIONS

Preoperative DTI-FT for FN identification is a useful adjunct in the surgical planning for large VSs (> 2.5 cm). A pooled analysis showed that DTI-FT successfully identifies the complete FN course in 96.6% of VSs (226 of 234 cases) and that FN identification by DTI-FT is accurate in 90.6% of cases (205 of 226 cases). Larger studies with DTI-FT–integrated neuronavigation are required to look at the direct benefit offered by this specific technique in preserving postoperative FN function.

Restricted access

Letter to the Editor: Transvertebral screws

Atul Goel

Restricted access

Biomechanics of transvertebral screw fixation in the thoracic spine: an in vitro study

Nestor G. Rodriguez-Martinez, Amey Savardekar, Eric W. Nottmeier, Stephen Pirris, Phillip M. Reyes, Anna G. U. S. Newcomb, George A. C. Mendes, Samuel Kalb, Nicholas Theodore, and Neil R. Crawford

OBJECTIVE

Transvertebral screws provide stability in thoracic spinal fixation surgeries, with their use mainly limited to patients who require a pedicle screw salvage technique. However, the biomechanical impact of transvertebral screws alone, when they are inserted across 2 vertebral bodies, has not been studied. In this study, the authors assessed the stability offered by a transvertebral screw construct for posterior instrumentation and compared its biomechanical performance to that of standard bilateral pedicle screw and rod (PSR) fixation.

METHODS

Fourteen fresh human cadaveric thoracic spine segments from T-6 to T-11 were divided into 2 groups with similar ages and bone quality. Group 1 received transvertebral screws across 2 levels without rods and subsequently with interconnecting bilateral rods at 3 levels (T8–10). Group 2 received bilateral PSR fixation and were sequentially tested with interconnecting rods at T7–8 and T9–10, at T8–9, and at T8–10. Flexibility tests were performed on intact and instrumented specimens in both groups. Presurgical and postsurgical O-arm 3D images were obtained to verify screw placement.

RESULTS

The mean range of motion (ROM) per motion segment with transvertebral screws spanning 2 levels compared with the intact condition was 66% of the mean intact ROM during flexion-extension (p = 0.013), 69% during lateral bending (p = 0.015), and 47% during axial rotation (p < 0.001). The mean ROM per motion segment with PSR spanning 2 levels compared with the intact condition was 38% of the mean intact ROM during flexion-extension (p < 0.001), 57% during lateral bending (p = 0.007), and 27% during axial rotation (p < 0.001). Adding bilateral rods to the 3 levels with transvertebral screws decreased the mean ROM per motion segment to 28% of intact ROM during flexion-extension (p < 0.001), 37% during lateral bending (p < 0.001), and 30% during axial rotation (p < 0.001). The mean ROM per motion segment for PSR spanning 3 levels was 21% of intact ROM during flexion-extension (p < 0.001), 33% during lateral bending (p < 0.001), and 22% during axial rotation (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

Biomechanically, fixation with a novel technique in the thoracic spine involving transvertebral screws showed restoration of stability to well within the stability provided by PSR fixation.

Free access

Microsurgical clipping and endovascular management of unruptured anterior circulation aneurysms: how age, frailty, and comorbidity indexes influence outcomes

Sandeep Kandregula, Amey R. Savardekar, Danielle Terrell, Nimer Adeeb, Stephen Whipple, Robbie Beyl, Harjus S. Birk, William Christopher Newman, Jennifer Kosty, Hugo Cuellar, and Bharat Guthikonda

OBJECTIVE

Frailty is one of the important factors in predicting the outcomes of surgery. Many surgical specialties have adopted a frailty assessment in the preoperative period for prognostication; however, there are limited data on the effects of frailty on the outcomes of cerebral aneurysms. The object of this study was to find the effect of frailty on the surgical outcomes of anterior circulation unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs) and compare the frailty index with other comorbidity indexes.

METHODS

A retrospective study was performed utilizing the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) database (2016–2018). The Hospital Frailty Risk Score (HFRS) was used to assess frailty. On the basis of the HFRS, the whole cohort was divided into low-risk (0–5), intermediate-risk (> 5 to 15), and high-risk (> 15) frailty groups. The analyzed outcomes were nonhome discharge, complication rate, extended length of stay, and in-hospital mortality.

RESULTS

In total, 37,685 patients were included in the analysis, 5820 of whom had undergone open surgical clipping and 31,865 of whom had undergone endovascular management. Mean age was higher in the high-risk frailty group than in the low-risk group for both clipping (63 vs 55.4 years) and coiling (64.6 vs 57.9 years). The complication rate for open surgical clipping in the high-risk frailty group was 56.1% compared to 0.8% in the low-risk group. Similarly, for endovascular management, the complication rate was 60.6% in the high-risk group compared to 0.3% in the low-risk group. Nonhome discharges were more common in the high-risk group than in the low-risk group for both open clipping (87.8% vs 19.7%) and endovascular management (73.1% vs 4.4%). Mean hospital charges for clipping were $341,379 in the high-risk group compared to $116,892 in the low-risk group. Mean hospital charges for coiling were $392,861 in the high-risk frailty group and $125,336 in the low-risk group. Extended length of stay occurred more frequently in the high-risk frailty group than in the low-risk group for both clipping (82.9% vs 10.7%) and coiling (94.2% vs 12.7%). Frailty had higher area under the receiver operating characteristic curve values than those for other comorbidity indexes and age in predicting outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS

Frailty affects surgical outcomes significantly and outperforms age and other comorbidity indexes in predicting outcome. It is imperative to include frailty assessment in preoperative planning.