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Bryan A. Lieber, Taylor A. Wilson, Randy S. Bell, William W. Ashley Jr., Daniel L. Barrow, and Stacey Quintero Wolfe

Indirect costs of the interview tour can be prohibitive. The authors sought to assess the desire of interviewees to mitigate these costs through ideas such as sharing hotel rooms and transportation, willingness to stay with local students, and the preferred modality to coordinate this collaboration. A survey link was posted on the Uncle Harvey website and the Facebook profile page of fourth-year medical students from 6 different medical schools shortly after the 2014 match day. There were a total of 156 respondents to the survey. The majority of the respondents were postinterview medical students (65.4%), but preinterview medical students (28.2%) and current residents (6.4%) also responded to the survey. Most respondents were pursuing a field other than neurosurgery (75.0%) and expressed a desire to share a hotel room and/or transportation (77.4%) as well as stay in the dorm room of a medical student at the program in which they are interviewing (70.0%). Students going into neurosurgery were significantly more likely to be interested in sharing hotel/transportation (89.2% neurosurgery vs 72.8% nonneurosurgery; p = 0.040) and in staying in the dorm room of a local student when on interviews (85.0% neurosurgery vs 57.1% nonneurosurgery; p = 0.040) than those going into other specialties. Among postinterview students, communication was preferred to be by private, email identification–only chat room. Given neurosurgery resident candidates' interest in collaborating to reduce interview costs, consideration should be given to creating a system that could allow students to coordinate cost sharing between interviewees. Moreover, interviewees should be connected to local students from neurosurgery interest groups as a resource.

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Audrey Grossen, Theresa Gavula, Deepti Chrusciel, Alexander Evans, Rene McNall-Knapp, Ashley Taylor, Benay Fossey, Margaret Brakefield, Carrick Carter, Nadine Schwartz, Naina Gross, Andrew Jea, and Virendra Desai

OBJECTIVE

Neurocutaneous syndromes have variable multisystem involvement. The multiorgan involvement, potential pathologies, and various treatment options necessitate collaboration and open discussion to ensure optimal treatment in any given patient. These disorders provide quintessential examples of chronic medical conditions that require a lifelong, multidisciplinary approach. The objectives of this study were to 1) perform a systematic review, thoroughly assessing different multidisciplinary clinic layouts utilized in centers worldwide; and 2) characterize an institutional experience with the management of these conditions, focusing on the patient demographics, clinical presentation, complications, and therapeutic strategies seen in a patient population.

METHODS

A systematic review of studies involving multidisciplinary clinics and their reported structure was performed according to PRISMA guidelines using the PubMed database. Then a retrospective chart review of patients enrolled in the Oklahoma Children’s Hospital Neurocutaneous Syndromes Clinic was conducted.

RESULTS

A search of the PubMed database yielded 251 unique results. Of these, 15 papers were included in the analysis, which identified 16 clinics that treated more than 2000 patients worldwide. The majority of these clinics treated patients with neurofibromatosis (13/16). The remaining clinics treated patients with von Hippel–Lindau syndrome (n = 1), tuberous sclerosis complex (n = 1), and multiple neurocutaneous syndromes (n = 1). The most commonly represented subspecialties in these clinics were genetics (15/16) and neurology (13/16). Five clinics (31%) solely saw pediatric patients, 10 clinics saw a combination of children and adults, and the final clinic had separate pediatric and adult clinics. The retrospective chart review of the Neurocutaneous Syndromes Clinic demonstrated that 164 patients were enrolled and seen in the clinic from April 2013 to December 2021. Diagnoses were made based on clinical findings or results of genetic testing; 115 (70%) had neurofibromatosis type 1, 9 (5.5%) had neurofibromatosis type 2, 35 (21%) had tuberous sclerosis complex, 2 (1%) had von Hippel–Lindau syndrome, 2 (1%) had Gorlin syndrome, and the remaining patient (0.6%) had Aarskog-Scott syndrome. Patient demographics, clinical presentation, complications, and therapeutic strategies are also discussed.

CONCLUSIONS

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first detailed description of a comprehensive pediatric neurocutaneous clinic in the US that serves patients with multiple syndromes. There is currently heterogeneity between described multidisciplinary clinic structures and practices. More detailed accounts of clinic compositions and practices along with patient data and outcomes are needed in order to establish the most comprehensive and efficient multidisciplinary approach for neurocutaneous syndromes.

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Jeffery D. St. Jeor, Taylor J. Jackson, Ashley E. Xiong, Aamir Kadri, Brett A. Freedman, Arjun S. Sebastian, Bradford L. Currier, Ahmad Nassr, Jeremy L. Fogelson, Kurt A. Kennel, Paul A. Anderson, and Benjamin D. Elder

OBJECTIVE

The goal of this study was to compare different recognized definitions of osteoporosis in patients with degenerative lumbar spine pathology undergoing elective spinal fusion surgery to determine which patient population should be considered for preoperative optimization.

METHODS

A retrospective review of patients in whom lumbar spine surgery was planned at 2 academic medical centers was performed, and the rate of osteoporosis was compared based on different recognized definitions. Assessments were made based on dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), CT Hounsfield units (HU), trabecular bone score (TBS), and fracture risk assessment tool (FRAX). The rate of osteoporosis was compared based on different definitions: 1) the WHO definition (T-score ≤ −2.5) at total hip or spine; 2) CT HU of < 110; 3) National Bone Health Alliance (NBHA) guidelines; and 4) “expanded spine” criteria, which includes patients meeting NBHA criteria and/or HU < 110, and/or “degraded” TBS in the setting of an osteopenic T-score. Inclusion criteria were adult patients with a DXA scan of the total hip and/or spine performed within 1 year and a lumbar spine CT scan within 6 months of the physician visit.

RESULTS

Two hundred forty-four patients were included. The mean age was 68.3 years, with 70.5% female, 96.7% Caucasian, and the mean BMI was 28.8. Fracture history was reported in 53.8% of patients. The proportion of patients identified with osteoporosis on DXA, HUs, NBHA guidelines, and the authors’ proposed “expanded spine” criteria was 25.4%, 36.5%, 75%, and 81.9%, respectively. Of the patients not identified with osteoporosis on DXA, 31.3% had osteoporosis based on HU, 55.1% had osteoporosis with NBHA, and 70.4% had osteoporosis with expanded spine criteria (p < 0.05), with poor correlations among the different assessment tools.

CONCLUSIONS

Limitations in the use of DXA T-scores alone to diagnose osteoporosis in patients with lumbar spondylosis has prompted interest in additional methods of evaluating bone health in the spine, such as CT HU, TBS, and FRAX, to inform guidelines that aim to reduce fracture risk. However, no current osteoporosis assessment was developed with a focus on improving outcomes in spinal surgery. Therefore, the authors propose an expanded spine definition for osteoporosis to identify a more comprehensive cohort of patients with potential poor bone health who could be considered for preoperative optimization, although further study is needed to validate these results in terms of clinical outcomes.