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Free access

Nicole A. Silva, Belinda Shao, Michael J. Sylvester, Jean Anderson Eloy, and Chirag D. Gandhi

OBJECTIVE

Observation and neurosurgical intervention for unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs) in the elderly population is rapidly increasing. Cerebral aneurysm coiling (CACo) is favored over cerebral aneurysm clipping (CAC) in elderly patients, yet some elderly individuals still undergo CAC. The cost-effectiveness of treating UIAs requires further exploration. Understanding the effect of intervention on hospital charges and length of stay (LOS) as well as perioperative mortality and complications can further shed light on its economic impact. The purpose of this study was to analyze the cost and perioperative outcomes of UIAs in elderly patients (≥ 65 years of age) after CACo or CAC intervention.

METHODS

Retrospective cohorts of CACo and CAC admissions were extracted from National (Nationwide) Inpatient Sample data obtained between 2002 and 2013, forming parallel intervention groups to compare the following outcomes between elderly and nonelderly patients: average LOS and mean hospital admission costs, in-hospital mortality, and complications. Covariates included sex, race or ethnicity, and comorbidities.

RESULTS

Elderly patients undergoing CAC experienced an average LOS of 8.0 days, whereas elderly patients undergoing CACo stayed an average of 3.2 days. The mean hospital charges incurred during admission totaled $95,960 in the elderly patients who underwent CAC versus $87,960 in the ones who underwent CACo. Elderly patients in whom CAC was performed had a 2.2% rate of in-hospital mortality, with a 2.6 greater adjusted odds of in-hospital mortality than nonelderly patients treated with CAC. In contrast, elderly patients who underwent CACo had a 1.36 greater adjusted odds of in-hospital mortality than their nonelderly counterparts. Compared to nonelderly patients receiving both interventions, elderly individuals had a significantly higher prevalence of various comorbidities and incidence of complications. Elderly patients who received CAC experienced a 10.3% incidence rate of perioperative stroke, whereas their CACo counterparts experienced this complication at a rate of 3.5%. Elderly patients treated with CAC had greater odds of perioperative acute renal failure, whereas their CACo counterparts had greater odds of perioperative deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

CONCLUSIONS

Intervention with CAC and CACo in the elderly is resource intensive and is associated with higher risk than in the nonelderly. Those deciding between intervention and conservative management should consider these risks and costs, especially the 2.2% postoperative mortality rate associated with CAC in the elderly population. Further comparative cost-effectiveness research is needed to weigh these costs and outcomes against those of conservative management.

Open access

Oliver Y. Tang, Patricia Zadnik Sullivan, Teddi Tubre, Joshua Feler, Belinda Shao, Jesse Hart, and Ziya L. Gokaslan

BACKGROUND

Tumoral calcinosis is an uncommon disease resulting from dystrophic calcium phosphate crystal deposition, with only 7% of cases involving the spine, and it may diagnostically mimic neoplasms.

OBSERVATIONS

In this case, a 54-year-old woman with history of systemic scleroderma presented with 10 months of progressive left lumbosacral pain. Imaging revealed an expansile, 4 × 7-cm, well-circumscribed mass in the lumbosacral spine with L5–S1 neuroforaminal compression. Because intractable pain and computed tomography (CT)-guided needle biopsy did not entirely rule out malignancy, operative management was pursued. The patient underwent L4–S2 laminectomies, left L5–S1 facetectomy, L5 and S1 pediculectomies, and en bloc resection, performed under stereotactic CT-guided intraoperative navigation. Subsequently, instrumented fusion was performed with L4 and L5 pedicle screws and S2 alar-iliac screws. Pathological examination was consistent with tumoral calcinosis, with multiple nodules of amorphous basophilic granular calcified material lined by histiocytes. There was no evidence of recurrence or neurological deficits at 5-month follow-up.

LESSONS

Because spinal tumoral calcinosis may mimic neoplasms on imaging or gross intraoperative appearance, awareness of this clinical entity is essential for any spine surgeon. A review of all case reports of lumbosacral tumoral calcinosis (n = 14 from 1952 to 2016) was additionally performed. The case featured in this report presents the first known case of navigation-assisted resection of lumbosacral tumoral calcinosis.

Free access

Rohaid Ali, Sohail Syed, Rahul A. Sastry, Hael Abdulrazeq, Belinda Shao, G. Dean Roye, Curtis E. Doberstein, Adetokunbo Oyelese, Tianyi Niu, Ziya L. Gokaslan, and Albert Telfeian

OBJECTIVE

Accurate clinical documentation is foundational to any quality improvement endeavor as it is ultimately the medical record that is measured in assessing change. Literature on high-yield interventions to improve the accuracy and completeness of clinical documentation by neurosurgical providers is limited. Therefore, the authors sought to share a single-institution experience of a two-part intervention to enhance clinical documentation by a neurosurgery inpatient service.

METHODS

At an urban, level I trauma, academic teaching hospital, a two-part intervention was implemented to enhance the accuracy of clinical documentation of neurosurgery inpatients by residents and advanced practice providers (APPs). Residents and APPs were instructed on the most common neurosurgical complications or comorbidities (CCs) and major complications or comorbidities (MCCs), as defined by Medicare. Additionally, a “system-based” progress note template was changed to a “problem-based” progress note template. Prepost analysis was performed to compare the CC/MCC capture rates for the 12 months prior to the intervention with those for the 3 months after the intervention.

RESULTS

The CC/MCC capture rate for the neurosurgery service line rose from 62% in the 12 months preintervention to 74% in the 3 months after intervention, representing a significant change (p = 0.00002).

CONCLUSIONS

Existing clinical documentation habits by neurosurgical residents and APPs may fail to capture the extent of neurosurgical inpatients with CC/MCCs. An intervention that focuses on the most common CC/MCCs and utilizes a problem-based progress note template may lead to more accurate appraisals of neurosurgical patient acuity.

Restricted access

Nikita G. Alexiades, Belinda Shao, Edward S. Ahn, Jeffrey P. Blount, Douglas L. Brockmeyer, Todd C. Hankinson, Cody L. Nesvick, David I. Sandberg, Gregory G. Heuer, Lisa Saiman, Neil A. Feldstein, and Richard C. E. Anderson

OBJECTIVE

Complex tethered spinal cord (cTSC) release in children is often complicated by surgical site infection (SSI). Children undergoing this surgery share many similarities with patients undergoing correction for neuromuscular scoliosis, where high rates of gram-negative and polymicrobial infections have been reported. Similar organisms isolated from SSIs after cTSC release were recently demonstrated in a single-center pilot study. The purpose of this investigation was to determine if these findings are reproducible across a larger, multicenter study.

METHODS

A multicenter, retrospective chart review including 7 centers was conducted to identify all cases of SSI following cTSC release during a 10-year study period from 2007 to 2017. Demographic information along with specific microbial culture data and antibiotic sensitivities for each cultured organism were collected.

RESULTS

A total of 44 SSIs were identified from a total of 655 cases, with 78 individual organisms isolated. There was an overall SSI rate of 6.7%, with 43% polymicrobial and 66% containing at least one gram-negative organism. Half of SSIs included an organism that was resistant to cefazolin, whereas only 32% of SSIs were completely susceptible to cefazolin.

CONCLUSIONS

In this study, gram-negative and polymicrobial infections were responsible for the majority of SSIs following cTSC surgery, with approximately half resistant to cefazolin. Broader gram-negative antibiotic prophylaxis should be considered for this patient population.

Full access

Hannah E. Goldstein, Brett E. Youngerman, Belinda Shao, Cigdem I. Akman, Arthur M. Mandel, Danielle K. McBrian, James J. Riviello, Sameer A. Sheth, Guy M. McKhann, and Neil A. Feldstein

OBJECTIVE

Patients with medically refractory localization-related epilepsy (LRE) may be candidates for surgical intervention if the seizure onset zone (SOZ) can be well localized. Stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) offers an attractive alternative to subdural grid and strip electrode implantation for seizure lateralization and localization; yet there are few series reporting the safety and efficacy of SEEG in pediatric patients.

METHODS

The authors review their initial 3-year consecutive experience with SEEG in pediatric patients with LRE. SEEG coverage, SOZ localization, complications, and preliminary seizure outcomes following subsequent surgical treatments are assessed.

RESULTS

Twenty-five pediatric patients underwent 30 SEEG implantations, with a total of 342 electrodes placed. Ten had prior resections or ablations. Seven had no MRI abnormalities, and 8 had multiple lesions on MRI. Based on preimplantation hypotheses, 7 investigations were extratemporal (ET), 1 was only temporal-limbic (TL), and 22 were combined ET/TL investigations. Fourteen patients underwent bilateral investigations. On average, patients were monitored for 8 days postimplant (range 3–19 days). Nearly all patients were discharged home on the day following electrode explantation.

There were no major complications. Minor complications included 1 electrode deflection into the subdural space, resulting in a minor asymptomatic extraaxial hemorrhage; and 1 in-house and 1 delayed electrode superficial scalp infection, both treated with local wound care and oral antibiotics.

SEEG localized the hypothetical SOZ in 23 of 25 patients (92%). To date, 18 patients have undergone definitive surgical intervention. In 2 patients, SEEG localized the SOZ near eloquent cortex and subdural grids were used to further delineate the seizure focus relative to mapped motor function just prior to resection. At last follow-up (average 21 months), 8 of 15 patients with at least 6 months of follow-up (53%) were Engel class I, and an additional 6 patients (40%) were Engel class II or III. Only 1 patient was Engel class IV.

CONCLUSIONS

SEEG is a safe and effective technique for invasive SOZ localization in medically refractory LRE in the pediatric population. SEEG permits bilateral and multilobar investigations while avoiding large craniotomies. It is conducive to deep, 3D, and perilesional investigations, particularly in cases of prior resections. Patients who are not found to have focally localizable seizures are spared craniotomies.

Free access

Nikita G. Alexiades, Belinda Shao, Bruno P. Braga, Christopher M. Bonfield, Douglas L. Brockmeyer, Samuel R. Browd, Michael DiLuna, Mari L. Groves, Todd C. Hankinson, Andrew Jea, Jeffrey R. Leonard, Sean M. Lew, David D. Limbrick Jr., Francesco T. Mangano, Jonathan Martin, Joshua Pahys, Alexander Powers, Mark R. Proctor, Luis Rodriguez, Curtis Rozzelle, Phillip B. Storm, and Richard C. E. Anderson

OBJECTIVE

Cervical traction in pediatric patients is an uncommon but invaluable technique in the management of cervical trauma and deformity. Despite its utility, little empirical evidence exists to guide its implementation, with most practitioners employing custom or modified adult protocols. Expert-based best practices may improve the care of children undergoing cervical traction. In this study, the authors aimed to build consensus and establish best practices for the use of pediatric cervical traction in order to enhance its utilization, safety, and efficacy.

METHODS

A modified Delphi method was employed to try to identify areas of consensus regarding the utilization and implementation of pediatric cervical spine traction. A literature review of pediatric cervical traction was distributed electronically along with a survey of current practices to a group of 20 board-certified pediatric neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons with expertise in the pediatric cervical spine. Sixty statements were then formulated and distributed to the group. The results of the second survey were discussed during an in-person meeting leading to further consensus. Consensus was defined as ≥ 80% agreement on a 4-point Likert scale (strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree).

RESULTS

After the initial round, consensus was achieved with 40 statements regarding the following topics: goals, indications, and contraindications of traction (12), pretraction imaging (6), practical application and initiation of various traction techniques (8), protocols in trauma and deformity patients (8), and management of traction-related complications (6). Following the second round, an additional 9 statements reached consensus related to goals/indications/contraindications of traction (4), related to initiation of traction (4), and related to complication management (1). All participants were willing to incorporate the consensus statements into their practice.

CONCLUSIONS

In an attempt to improve and standardize the use of cervical traction in pediatric patients, the authors have identified 49 best-practice recommendations, which were generated by reaching consensus among a multidisciplinary group of pediatric spine experts using a modified Delphi technique. Further study is required to determine if implementation of these practices can lead to reduced complications and improved outcomes for children.

Free access

Nikita G. Alexiades, Edward S. Ahn, Jeffrey P. Blount, Douglas L. Brockmeyer, Samuel R. Browd, Gerald A. Grant, Gregory G. Heuer, Todd C. Hankinson, Bermans J. Iskandar, Andrew Jea, Mark D. Krieger, Jeffrey R. Leonard, David D. Limbrick Jr., Cormac O. Maher, Mark R. Proctor, David I. Sandberg, John C. Wellons III, Belinda Shao, Neil A. Feldstein, and Richard C. E. Anderson

OBJECTIVE

Complications after complex tethered spinal cord (cTSC) surgery include infections and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks. With little empirical evidence to guide management, there is variability in the interventions undertaken to limit complications. Expert-based best practices may improve the care of patients undergoing cTSC surgery. Here, authors conducted a study to identify consensus-driven best practices.

METHODS

The Delphi method was employed to identify consensual best practices. A literature review regarding cTSC surgery together with a survey of current practices was distributed to 17 board-certified pediatric neurosurgeons. Thirty statements were then formulated and distributed to the group. Results of the second survey were discussed during an in-person meeting leading to further consensus, which was defined as ≥ 80% agreement on a 4-point Likert scale (strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree).

RESULTS

Seventeen consensus-driven best practices were identified, with all participants willing to incorporate them into their practice. There were four preoperative interventions: (1, 2) asymptomatic AND symptomatic patients should be referred to urology preoperatively, (3, 4) routine preoperative urine cultures are not necessary for asymptomatic AND symptomatic patients. There were nine intraoperative interventions: (5) patients should receive perioperative cefazolin or an equivalent alternative in the event of allergy, (6) chlorhexidine-based skin preparation is the preferred regimen, (7) saline irrigation should be used intermittently throughout the case, (8) antibiotic-containing irrigation should be used following dural closure, (9) a nonlocking running suture technique should be used for dural closure, (10) dural graft overlay should be used when unable to obtain primary dural closure, (11) an expansile dural graft should be incorporated in cases of lipomyelomeningocele in which primary dural closure does not permit free flow of CSF, (12) paraxial muscles should be closed as a layer separate from the fascia, (13) routine placement of postoperative drains is not necessary. There were three postoperative interventions: (14) postoperative antibiotics are an option and, if given, should be discontinued within 24 hours; (15) patients should remain flat for at least 24 hours postoperatively; (16) routine use of abdominal binders or other compressive devices postoperatively is not necessary. One intervention was prioritized for additional study: (17) further study of additional gram-negative perioperative coverage is needed.

CONCLUSIONS

A modified Delphi technique was used to develop consensus-driven best practices for decreasing wound complications after cTSC surgery. Further study is required to determine if implementation of these practices will lead to reduced complications. Discussion through the course of this study resulted in the initiation of a multicenter study of gram-negative surgical site infections in cTSC surgery.