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Aaron M. Yengo-Kahn, Andrew T. Hale, Brian H. Zalneraitis, Scott L. Zuckerman, Allen K. Sills and Gary S. Solomon

OBJECTIVE

Over the last 2 decades, sport-related concussion (SRC) has garnered significant attention. Even with increased awareness and athlete education, sideline recognition and real-time diagnosis remain crucial. The need for an objective and standardized assessment of concussion led to the eventual development of the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT) during the Second International Conference on Concussion in Sport in 2004, which is now in its third iteration (SCAT3). In an effort to update our understanding of the most well-known sideline concussion assessment, the authors conducted a systematic review of the SCAT and the evidence supporting its use to date.

METHODS

English-language titles and abstracts published between 1995 and October 2015 were searched systematically across 4 electronic databases and a review was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines adapted for the review of a heterogeneous collection of study designs. Peer-reviewed journal articles were included if they reported quantitative data on any iteration of the SCAT, Standardized Assessment of Concussion (SAC), or modified Balance Error Scoring System (mBESS) data at baseline or following concussion in an exclusively athlete population with any portion older than 13 years of age. Studies that included nonathletes, only children less than 13 years old, exclusively BESS data, exclusively symptom scale data, or a non–SCAT-related assessment were excluded.

RESULTS

The database search process yielded 549 abstracts, and 105 full-text articles were reviewed with 36 meeting criteria for inclusion. Nineteen studies were associated with the SAC, 1 was associated with the mBESS exclusively, and 16 studies were associated with a full iteration of the SCAT. The majority of these studies (56%) were prospective cohort studies. Male football players were the most common athletes studied. An analysis of the studies focused on baseline differences associated with age, sex, concussion history, and the ability to detect an SRC.

CONCLUSIONS

Looking toward the upcoming Concussion in Sport Group meeting in fall 2016, one may expect further revision to the SCAT3. However, based on this systematic review, the authors propose further, in-depth study of an already comprehensive concussion test, with acute, diagnostic, as well as long-term use.

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Michael C. Dewan, Robert Shults, Andrew T. Hale, Vishad Sukul, Dario J. Englot, Peter Konrad, Hong Yu, Joseph S. Neimat, William Rodriguez, Benoit M. Dawant, Srivatsan Pallavaram and Robert P. Naftel

OBJECTIVE

Stereotactic electroencephalography (SEEG) is being used with increasing frequency to interrogate subcortical, cortical, and multifocal epileptic foci. The authors describe a novel technique for SEEG in patients with suspected epileptic foci refractory to medical management.

METHODS

In the authors’ technique, standard epilepsy evaluation and neuroimaging are used to create a hypothesis-driven SEEG plan, which informs the 3D printing of a novel single-path, multiple-trajectory, omnidirectional platform. Following skull-anchor platform fixation, electrodes are sequentially inserted according to the preoperative plan. The authors describe their surgical experience and technique based on a review of all cases, adult and pediatric, in which patients underwent invasive epilepsy monitoring via SEEG during an 18-month period at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Platform and anatomical variables influencing localization error were evaluated using multivariate linear regression.

RESULTS

Using this novel technology, 137 electrodes were inserted in 15 patients with focal epilepsy with favorable recording results and no clinical complications. The mean entry point localization error was 1.42 mm (SD 0.98 mm), and the mean target point localization error was 3.36 mm (SD 2.68 mm). Platform distance, electrode trajectory angle, and intracranial distance, but not skull thickness, were independently associated with localization error.

CONCLUSIONS

The multiple-trajectory, single-path, omnidirectional platform offers satisfactory accuracy and favorable clinical results, while avoiding cumbersome frames and prohibitive up-front costs associated with other SEEG technologies.

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Jaims Lim, Alan R. Tang, Campbell Liles, Alexander A. Hysong, Andrew T. Hale, Christopher M. Bonfield, Robert P. Naftel, John C. Wellons III and Chevis N. Shannon

OBJECTIVE

Many studies have aimed to determine the most clinically effective surgical intervention for hydrocephalus. However, the costs associated with each treatment option are poorly understood. In this study, the authors conducted a cost-effectiveness analysis, calculating the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of ventriculoperitoneal shunting (VPS), endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV), and ETV with choroid plexus cauterization (ETV/CPC) in an effort to better understand the clinical effectiveness and costs associated with treating hydrocephalus.

METHODS

The study cohort includes patients under the age of 18 who were initially treated for hydrocephalus between January 2012 and January 2015 at the authors’ institution. Overall treatment costs were calculated using patient-level hospitalization costs and professional fees reimbursable to the hospital and directly related to the initial and follow-up (postoperative day 1 to 12 months) treatment of hydrocephalus. TreeAge Pro was used to conduct the cost-effectiveness analyses.

RESULTS

A total of 147 patients were identified. Based on the initial intervention for hydrocephalus, their cases were classified as follows: 113 VPS, 14 ETV, and 20 ETV/CPC. During the initial intervention, VPS patients required a longer length of stay at 5.6 days, compared to ETV/CPC (3.35 days) and ETV (2.36 days) patients. Failure rates for all treatment options ranged from 29% to 45%, leading to recurrent hydrocephalus and additional surgical intervention between postoperative day 1 and 12 months. Cost-effectiveness analyses found ETV to be less costly and more clinically effective, with an ICER of $94,797 compared to VPS ($130,839) and ETV/CPC ($126,394). However, when stratified by etiology, VPS was found to be more clinically effective and cost-effective in both the myelomeningocele and posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus patient groups with an incremental cost per clinical unit of effectiveness (success or failure of intervention) of $76,620 compared to ETV and ETV/CPC. However, when assessing cases categorized as “other etiologies,” ETV was found to be more cost-effective per clinical unit, with an ICER of $60,061 compared to ETV/CPC ($93,350) and VPS ($142,135).

CONCLUSIONS

This study is one of the first attempts at quantifying the patient-level hospitalization costs associated with surgical management of hydrocephalus in pediatric patients treated in the United States. The results indicate that the conversation regarding CSF diversion techniques must be patient-specific and consider etiology as well as any previous surgical intervention. Again, these findings are short-run observations, and a long-term follow-up study should be conducted to assess the cost of treating hydrocephalus over the lifetime of a patient.

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Andrew T. Hale, David P. Stonko, Li Wang, Megan K. Strother and Lola B. Chambless

OBJECTIVE

Prognostication and surgical planning for WHO grade I versus grade II meningioma requires thoughtful decision-making based on radiographic evidence, among other factors. Although conventional statistical models such as logistic regression are useful, machine learning (ML) algorithms are often more predictive, have higher discriminative ability, and can learn from new data. The authors used conventional statistical models and an array of ML algorithms to predict atypical meningioma based on radiologist-interpreted preoperative MRI findings. The goal of this study was to compare the performance of ML algorithms to standard statistical methods when predicting meningioma grade.

METHODS

The cohort included patients aged 18–65 years with WHO grade I (n = 94) and II (n = 34) meningioma in whom preoperative MRI was obtained between 1998 and 2010. A board-certified neuroradiologist, blinded to histological grade, interpreted all MR images for tumor volume, degree of peritumoral edema, presence of necrosis, tumor location, presence of a draining vein, and patient sex. The authors trained and validated several binary classifiers: k-nearest neighbors models, support vector machines, naïve Bayes classifiers, and artificial neural networks as well as logistic regression models to predict tumor grade. The area under the curve–receiver operating characteristic curve was used for comparison across and within model classes. All analyses were performed in MATLAB using a MacBook Pro.

RESULTS

The authors included 6 preoperative imaging and demographic variables: tumor volume, degree of peritumoral edema, presence of necrosis, tumor location, patient sex, and presence of a draining vein to construct the models. The artificial neural networks outperformed all other ML models across the true-positive versus false-positive (receiver operating characteristic) space (area under curve = 0.8895).

CONCLUSIONS

ML algorithms are powerful computational tools that can predict meningioma grade with great accuracy.

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Andrew T. Hale, David P. Stonko, Amber Brown, Jaims Lim, David J. Voce, Stephen R. Gannon, Truc M. Le and Chevis N. Shannon

OBJECTIVE

Modern surgical planning and prognostication requires the most accurate outcomes data to practice evidence-based medicine. For clinicians treating children following traumatic brain injury (TBI) these data are severely lacking. The first aim of this study was to assess published CT classification systems in the authors’ pediatric cohort. A pediatric-specific machine-learning algorithm called an artificial neural network (ANN) was then created that robustly outperformed traditional CT classification systems in predicting TBI outcomes in children.

METHODS

The clinical records of children under the age of 18 who suffered a TBI and underwent head CT within 24 hours after TBI (n = 565) were retrospectively reviewed.

RESULTS

“Favorable” outcome (alive with Glasgow Outcome Scale [GOS] score ≥ 4 at 6 months postinjury, n = 533) and “unfavorable” outcome (death at 6 months or GOS score ≤ 3 at 6 months postinjury, n = 32) were used as the primary outcomes. The area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) was used to delineate the strength of each CT grading system in predicting survival (Helsinki, 0.814; Rotterdam, 0.838; and Marshall, 0.781). The AUC for CT score in predicting GOS score ≤ 3, a measure of overall functionality, was similarly predictive (Helsinki, 0.717; Rotterdam, 0.748; and Marshall, 0.663). An ANN was then constructed that was able to predict 6-month outcomes with profound accuracy (AUC = 0.9462 ± 0.0422).

CONCLUSIONS

This study showed that machine-learning can be leveraged to more accurately predict TBI outcomes in children.

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Andrew T. Hale, David P. Stonko, Jaims Lim, Oscar D. Guillamondegui, Chevis N. Shannon and Mayur B. Patel

OBJECTIVE

Pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) is common, but not all injuries require hospitalization. A computational tool for ruling in patients who will have a clinically relevant TBI (CRTBI) would be valuable, providing an evidence-based way to safely discharge children who are at low risk for a CRTBI. The authors hypothesized that an artificial neural network (ANN) trained on clinical and radiologist-interpreted imaging metrics could provide a tool for identifying patients likely to suffer from a CRTBI.

METHODS

The authors used the prospectively collected, publicly available, multicenter Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN) TBI data set. All patients under the age of 18 years with TBI and admission head CT imaging data were included. The authors constructed an ANN using clinical and radiologist-interpreted imaging metrics in order to predict a CRTBI, as previously defined by PECARN: 1) neurosurgical procedure, 2) intubation > 24 hours as direct result of the head trauma, 3) hospitalization ≥ 48 hours and evidence of TBI on a CT scan, or 4) death due to TBI.

RESULTS

Among 12,902 patients included in this study, 480 were diagnosed with CRTBI. The authors’ ANN had a sensitivity of 99.73% with precision of 98.19%, accuracy of 97.98%, negative predictive value of 91.23%, false-negative rate of 0.0027%, and specificity for CRTBI of 60.47%. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.9907.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors are the first to utilize artificial intelligence to predict a CRTBI in a clinically meaningful manner, using radiologist-interpreted CT information, in order to identify pediatric patients likely to suffer from a CRTBI. This proof-of-concept study lays the groundwork for future studies incorporating iterations of this algorithm directly into the electronic medical record for real-time, data-driven predictive assistance to physicians.

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Andrew T. Hale, Amanda N. Stanton, Shilin Zhao, Faizal Haji, Stephen R. Gannon, Anastasia Arynchyna, John C. Wellons, Brandon G. Rocque and Robert P. Naftel

OBJECTIVE

At failure of endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) with choroid plexus cauterization (CPC), the ETV ostomy may be found to be closed or open. Failure with a closed ostomy may indicate a population that could benefit from evolving techniques to keep the ostomy open and may be candidates for repeat ETV, whereas failure with an open ostomy may be due to persistently abnormal CSF dynamics. This study seeks to identify clinical and radiographic predictors of ostomy status at the time of ETV/CPC failure.

METHODS

The authors conducted a multicenter, retrospective cohort study on all pediatric patients with hydrocephalus who failed initial ETV/CPC treatment between January 2013 and October 2016. Failure was defined as the need for repeat ETV or ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt placement. Clinical and radiographic data were collected, and ETV ostomy status was determined endoscopically at the subsequent hydrocephalus procedure. Statistical analysis included the Mann-Whitney U-test, Wilcoxon rank-sum test, t-test, and Pearson chi-square test where appropriate, as well as multivariate logistic regression.

RESULTS

Of 72 ETV/CPC failures, 28 patients (39%) had open-ostomy failure and 44 (61%) had closed-ostomy failure. Patients with open-ostomy failure were older (median 5.1 weeks corrected age for gestation [interquartile range (IQR) 0.9–15.9 weeks]) than patients with closed-ostomy failure (median 0.2 weeks [IQR −1.3 to 4.5 weeks]), a significant difference by univariate and multivariate regression. Etiologies of hydrocephalus included intraventricular hemorrhage of prematurity (32%), myelomeningocele (29%), congenital communicating (11%), aqueductal stenosis (11%), cyst/tumor (4%), and other causes (12%). A wider baseline third ventricle was associated with open-ostomy failure (median 15.0 mm [IQR 10.3–18.5 mm]) compared to closed-ostomy failure (median 11.7 mm [IQR 8.9–16.5 mm], p = 0.048). Finally, at the time of failure, patients with closed-ostomy failure had enlargement of their ventricles (frontal and occipital horn ratio [FOHR], failure vs baseline, median 0.06 [IQR 0.00–0.11]), while patients with open-ostomy failure had no change in ventricle size (median 0.01 [IQR −0.04 to 0.05], p = 0.018). Previous CSF temporizing procedures, intraoperative bleeding, and time to failure were not associated with ostomy status at ETV/CPC failure.

CONCLUSIONS

Older corrected age for gestation, larger baseline third ventricle width, and no change in FOHR were associated with open-ostomy ETV/CPC failure. Future studies are warranted to further define and confirm features that may be predictive of ostomy status at the time of ETV/CPC failure.

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Campbell Liles, Jonathan Dallas, Andrew T. Hale, Stephen Gannon, E. Haley Vance, Christopher M. Bonfield and Chevis N. Shannon

OBJECTIVE

Open and endoscope-assisted repair are surgical options for sagittal craniosynostosis, with limited research evaluating each technique’s immediate and long-term costs. This study investigates the cost-effectiveness of open and endoscope-assisted repair for single, sagittal suture craniosynostosis.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective cohort study of patients undergoing single, sagittal suture craniosynostosis repair (open in 17 cases, endoscope-assisted in 16) at less than 1 year of age at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt (MCJCHV) between August 2015 and August 2017. Follow-up data were collected/analyzed for 1 year after discharge. Surgical and follow-up costs were derived by merging MCJCHV financial data with each patient’s electronic medical record (EMR) and were adjusted for inflation using the healthcare Producer Price Index. Proxy helmet costs were derived from third-party out-of-pocket helmet prices. To account for variable costs and probabilities, overall costs were calculated using TreeAge tree diagram software.

RESULTS

Open repair occurred in older patients (mean age 5.69 vs 2.96 months, p < 0.001) and required more operating room time (median 203 vs 145 minutes, p < 0.001), more ICU days (median 3 vs 1 day, p < 0.001), more hospital days (median 4 vs 1 day, p < 0.001), and more frequently required transfusion (88% vs 6% of cases). Compared to patients who underwent open surgery, patients who underwent endoscopically assisted surgery more often required postoperative orthotic helmets (100% vs 6%), had a similar number of follow-up clinic visits (median 3 vs 3 visits, p = 0.487) and CT scans (median 3 vs 2 scans), and fewer emergency department visits (median 1 vs 3 visits). The TreeAge diagram showed that, overall, open repair was 73% more expensive than endoscope-assisted repair ($31,314.10 vs $18,081.47). Sensitivity analysis identified surgical/hospital costs for open repair (mean $30,475, SEM $547) versus endoscope-assisted repair (mean $13,746, SEM $833) (p < 0.001) as the most important determinants of overall cost. Two-way sensitivity analysis comparing initial surgical/hospital costs confirmed that open repair remains significantly more expensive under even worst-case initial repair scenarios ($3254.81 minimum difference). No major surgical complications or surgical revisions occurred in either cohort.

CONCLUSIONS

The results of this study suggest that endoscope-assisted craniosynostosis repair is significantly more cost-effective than open repair, based on markedly lower costs and similar outcomes, and that the difference in initial surgical/hospital costs far outweighs the difference in subsequent costs associated with helmet therapy and outpatient management, although independent replication in a multicenter study is needed for confirmation due to practice and cost variation across institutions. Longer-term results will also be needed to examine whether cost differences are maintained.

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Georgina E. Sellyn, Andrew T. Hale, Alan R. Tang, Alaina Waters, Chevis N. Shannon and Christopher M. Bonfield

OBJECTIVE

Spinal conditions and injuries in the pediatric population can necessitate surgical treatment. For many pediatric patients, a return to athletic activity after spinal surgery is a significant postoperative focus. However, there is a lack of standardized guidelines to determine criteria for safe return to play (RTP). To understand clinical criteria for patients to safely RTP, the authors conducted a systematic review of outcomes and the period of time before physicians recommend an RTP for pediatric patients undergoing spinal surgery.

METHODS

English-language publications were searched systematically in the PubMed electronic database, and a review was conducted in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines. Additional relevant studies found via a supplementary literature search were also included. Studies assessing return to athletic activity in a pediatric population after spinal surgery were included. Studies without an RTP, postsurgical activity outcomes, or surgical intervention were excluded.

RESULTS

A PubMed search identified 295 articles, with 29 included for the systematic review. In addition, 4 studies were included from a supplementary literature search. The majority of these studies were retrospective case series and cohort studies, and the remaining studies included questionnaire-based studies, prospective cohorts, and case-control studies. The most common spinal conditions or injuries included spondylolysis, and this was followed by adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Overall, the most frequent recommendation for RTP for noncontact and contact sports was 6 months after surgery (range 1–12 months), and for collision sports it was 12 months after surgery. However, some physicians recommended never returning to collision sports after spinal intervention.

CONCLUSIONS

Most pediatric patients are able to return to some level of sports after spinal surgery. However, no standardized criteria have been proposed, and RTP recommendations vary according to the treating surgeon. In addition, limited data are published on the variation in timelines for RTP with regard to classifications of sports (noncontact, contact, and collision). Further analysis of specific spinal conditions and injuries with postoperative athletic recovery is needed.