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Dennis T. Lockney, Timothy Shub, Benjamin Hopkins, Natalie A. Lockney, Nelson Moussazadeh, Eric Lis, Yoshiya Yamada, Adam M. Schmitt, Daniel S. Higginson, Ilya Laufer and Mark Bilsky

OBJECTIVE

Chordoma is a rare malignant tumor for which en bloc resection with wide margins is advocated as primary treatment. Unfortunately, due to anatomical constraints, en bloc resection to achieve wide or marginal margins is not feasible for many patients as the resulting morbidity would be prohibitive. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of intralesional curettage and separation surgery followed by spinal stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) in patients with chordomas in the mobile spine.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective chart review of all patients with chordoma in the mobile spine treated from 2004 to 2016. Patients were identified from a prospectively collected database. Initially 22 patients were identified with mobile spine chordomas. With inclusion criteria of cytoreductive separation surgery followed closely by SBRT and a minimum of 6 months of follow-up imaging, 12 patients were included. Clinical and pathological characteristics of each patient were collected and data were analyzed. Patients were divided into two cohorts—those undergoing intralesional resection followed by SBRT as initial chordoma treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) (Cohort 1) and those undergoing salvage treatment following recurrence (Cohort 2). Treatment toxicities were classified according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 4.03. Overall survival was analyzed using Kaplan-Meier analysis.

RESULTS

The 12 patients had a median post-SBRT follow-up time of 26 months. Cohort 1 had 5 patients with median post-SBRT follow-up time of 65.9 months and local control rate of 80% at last follow-up. Only one patient had disease progression, at 48.2 months following surgery and SBRT. Cohort 2 had 7 patients who had been treated at other institutions prior to undergoing both surgery and SBRT (salvage therapy) at MSKCC. The local control rate was 57.1% and the median follow-up duration was 10.7 months. One patient required repeat irradiation. Major surgery- and radiation-related complications occurred in 18% and 27% of patients, respectively. Epidural spinal cord compression scores were collected for each patient pre- and postoperatively.

CONCLUSIONS

The combination of surgery and SBRT provides excellent local control following intralesional curettage and separation surgery for chordomas in the mobile spine. Patients who underwent intralesional curettage and spinal SBRT as initial treatment had better disease control than those undergoing salvage therapy. High-dose radiotherapy may offer several biological benefits for tumor control.

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The timing of venous thromboembolic events after spine surgery: a single-center experience with 6869 consecutive patients

Presented at the 2017 AANS/CNS Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves

Michael B. Cloney, Benjamin Hopkins, Ekamjeet S. Dhillon and Nader S. Dahdaleh

OBJECTIVE

Venous thromboembolic events (VTEs), including both deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism, are a major cause of morbidity and mortality after spine surgery. Prophylactic anticoagulation, or chemoprophylaxis, can prevent VTE. However, the timing of VTEs after spine surgery and the effect of chemoprophylaxis on VTE timing remain underinvestigated.

METHODS

The records of 6869 consecutive spine surgeries were retrospectively examined. Data on patient demographics, surgical variables, hospital course, and timing of VTEs were collected. Patients who received chemoprophylaxis were compared with those who did not. Appropriate regression models were used to examine selection for chemoprophylaxis and the timing of VTEs.

RESULTS

Age (OR 1.037, 95% CI 1.023–1.051; p < 0.001), longer surgery (OR 1.003, 95% CI 1.002–1.004; p < 0.001), history of DVT (OR 1.697, 95% CI 1.038–2.776; p = 0.035), and fusion surgery (OR 1.917, 95% CI 1.356–2.709; p < 0.001) predicted selection for chemoprophylaxis. Chemoprophylaxis patients experienced more VTEs (3.62% vs 2.03% of patients, respectively; p < 0.001), and also required longer hospital stays (5.0 days vs 1.0 days; HR 0.5107; p < 0.0001) and had a greater time to the occurrence of VTE (median 6.8 days vs 3.6 days; HR 0.6847; p = 0.0003). The cumulative incidence of VTEs correlated with the postoperative day in both groups (Spearman r = 0.9746, 95% CI 0.9457–0.9883, and p < 0.0001 for the chemoprophylaxis group; Spearman r = 0.9061, 95% CI 0.8065–0.9557, and p < 0.0001 for the nonchemoprophylaxis group), and the cumulative incidence of VTEs was higher in the nonchemoprophylaxis group throughout the 30-day postoperative period. Cumulative VTE incidence and postoperative day were linearly correlated in the first 2 postoperative weeks (R = 0.9396 and p < 0.0001 for the chemoprophylaxis group; R = 0.8190 and p = 0.0003 for the nonchemoprophylaxis group) and the remainder of the 30-day postoperative period (R = 0.9535 and p < 0.0001 for the chemoprophylaxis group; R = 0.6562 and p = 0.0058 for the nonchemoprophylaxis group), but the linear relationships differ between these 2 postoperative periods (p < 0.0001 for both groups).

CONCLUSIONS

Anticoagulation reduces the cumulative incidence of VTE after spine surgery. The cumulative incidence of VTEs rises linearly in the first 2 postoperative weeks and then plateaus. Surgeons should consider early initiation of chemoprophylaxis for patients undergoing spine surgery.

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Dennis T. Lockney, Angela Y. Jia, Eric Lis, Natalie A. Lockney, Chengbao Liu, Benjamin Hopkins, Daniel S. Higginson, Yoshiya Yamada, Ilya Laufer, Mark Bilsky and Adam M. Schmitt

OBJECTIVE

Spinal stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) has emerged as an attractive method to deliver high doses of radiation to oligometastatic spinal tumors with radioresistant histology. Because SBRT is a palliative therapy, attention to potential radiation toxicities is paramount when counseling patients. The objective of this study was to report radiation-induced myositis after SBRT, a previously undescribed complication.

METHODS

A total of 667 patients received 891 spine SBRT treatments (either 24 Gy in 1 fraction or 27 Gy in 3 fractions) from 2011 to 2016 and underwent retrospective review. Eleven patients were identified as having radiographic evidence of myositis following SBRT. Clinical and pathologic results were collected, including receipt of anti–vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) therapy, radiation dose, equivalent dose in 2-Gy fractions (EQD2), biologically effective dose (BED), and volume of muscle treated. Treatment toxicities were classified according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE; version 4.03). Univariate statistical analyses were performed to evaluate the relationships between radiation fractionation schedule and myositis and between anti-VEGF therapy and myositis.

RESULTS

The cumulative incidence of myositis was 1.9% at 1 year. The median of the mean dose administered to muscle with myositis was 17.5 Gy. The median EQD2 was 55.1 Gy, and the median BED was 82.7 Gy. The median time to the development of clinical symptoms was 1.4 months, while the median time to imaging evidence was 4.7 months. Two patients (18.2%) had CTCAE grade 3 complications. Single-fraction spine SBRT (HR 4.5, 95% CI 1.2–16.9; p = 0.027) was associated with increased risk of developing myositis whereas receipt of anti-VEGF therapy was not (HR 2.2, 95% CI 0.6–7.1; p = 0.2).

CONCLUSIONS

Radiation myositis following spinal radiosurgery is a rare but important complication. Single-fraction treatment schedules may be associated with increased risk of myositis but should be validated in a larger series.

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Michael Brendan Cloney, Jack Goergen, Benjamin S. Hopkins, Ekamjeet Singh Dhillon and Nader S. Dahdaleh

OBJECTIVE

Venous thromboembolic events (VTEs) are a common cause of morbidity and mortality after spine surgery. Patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) following spine surgery exhibit high-risk clinical characteristics.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed 1269 ICU patients who had undergone spine surgery between January 1, 2009, and May 31, 2015. Relevant demographic, procedural, and outcome variables were collected.

RESULTS

Patients admitted to the ICU postoperatively had a postoperative VTE rate of 10.2%, compared to 2.5% among all spine surgery patients during the study period. ICU patients had a higher comorbid disease burden (odds ratio [OR] 1.45, p < 0.001), and were more likely to have a history of a bleeding disorder (2.60% vs 0.46%, OR 2.85, p = 0.028), receive a transfusion (OR 4.81, p < 0.001), have a fracture repaired (OR 4.30, p < 0.001), have an estimated blood loss > 500 ml (OR 1.95, p = 0.009), have an osteotomy (OR 20.47, p = 0.006), or have a corpectomy (OR 3.48, p = 0.007) than patients not admitted to the ICU. There was a significant difference in time to VTE between patients undergoing osteotomy and patients undergoing scoliosis corrections without osteotomy (p = 0.0431), patients with fractures (p = 0.0113), and patients undergoing fusions for indications other than scoliosis or fracture (p = 0.0056). Patients who developed a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) during their ICU stay were more likely to have received a prophylactic inferior vena cava filter placement (OR 8.98, p < 0.001), have undergone an interbody fusion procedure (OR 2.38, p = 0.037), have a history of DVT (OR 3.25, p < 0.001), and have shorter surgery times (OR 0.30, p = 0.002). Patients who developed a pulmonary embolism (PE) during the ICU stay were more likely to have a history of PE (OR 12.68 p = 0.015), history of DVT (OR 5.11, p = 0.042), fracture diagnosis (OR 7.02, p = 0.040), and diagnosis of scoliosis (OR 7.78, p = 0.024). Patients with higher BMIs (OR 0.85, p = 0.036) and those who received anticoagulation treatment (OR 0.16, p = 0.031) were less likely to develop a PE during their ICU stay.

CONCLUSIONS

Patients admitted to the ICU following spine surgery have a higher rate of VTE than non-ICU patients. Time to VTE varied by pathology. Factors independently associated with VTE in the ICU are distinct from factors otherwise associated with VTE. Some factors are independently associated with VTE throughout the 30-day postoperative period, while others are associated with VTE specifically during the initial ICU stay or after leaving the ICU.

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Benjamin S. Hopkins, Mit R. Patel, Jonathan Tad Yamaguchi, Michael Brendan Cloney and Nader S. Dahdaleh

OBJECTIVE

Press Ganey surveys are common modalities used to assess patient satisfaction scores in an outpatient setting. Despite the existence of data, neurosurgical and orthopedic literature on patient satisfaction following spinal surgery is scarce.

METHODS

A total of 17,853 patients who underwent spinal procedures at the authors’ institution were analyzed retrospectively for Press Ganey survey participation. Appropriate demographic, surgical, comorbidity, and complication data were collected; 1936 patients had patient satisfaction survey data, and further survey metrics were collected for this subset of patients.

RESULTS

Male patients, patients with urgent/emergency procedures, and patients with longer length of stay (LOS) were less likely to fill out Press Ganey surveys (OR 0.822, p < 0.001; OR 0.781, p = 0.010; and OR 0.983, p < 0.001, respectively). Posterior approach was negatively associated with Press Ganey participation (OR 0.907, p = 0.055). Patients undergoing fusion procedures were more likely to participate in Press Ganey surveys (OR 1.419, p < 0.001). Of the patients who filled out surveys, there were no positive predictors associated with receiving perfect scores on Press Ganey surveys. High Charlson Comorbidity Index (OR 0.959, p = 0.02), increasing elapsed time since surgery or discharge (OR 0.996, p = 0.03), and increasing LOS (OR 0.965, p = 0.009) were all negatively associated with receiving a perfect score. Patients who underwent a posterior-approach procedure compared with other approaches were less likely to report a low Press Ganey score (OR 0.297, p = 0.046). Patient sex and race did not influence the likelihood of receiving perfect or low Press Ganey scores. Finally, the perceived skill of the surgeon was not a significant predictor for perfect (p > 0.99) or low (p = 0.828) Press Ganey scores.

CONCLUSIONS

Patient participation in Press Ganey surveys strongly correlated with preoperative factors such as procedure approach and type, as well as postoperative factors such as LOS and complications. No factors were associated with an increased likelihood of receiving a perfect Press Ganey score. Similarly, LOS and time elapsed since surgery to survey completion were significant negative predictors of perfect Press Ganey scores. Skill of surgeon, sex, and race did not correlate with a predictive value for Press Ganey outcomes. In addition, overall comorbid disease burden was found to be a significant negative predictor for high patient satisfaction scores. Further study on predictors of patient satisfaction within spine surgery is needed to better assist physicians in improving the surgical experience for patients.

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Benjamin S. Hopkins, Mit R. Patel, Jonathan Tad Yamaguchi, Michael Brendan Cloney and Nader S. Dahdaleh

OBJECTIVE

Patient satisfaction is a new and important metric in the American healthcare system. The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) is a common modality used to assess patient satisfaction in inpatient settings. Despite the existence of data, neurosurgical literature on patient satisfaction following spinal surgery is scarce.

METHODS

A total of 17,853 patients who underwent spinal procedures at the authors’ institution were analyzed retrospectively for HCAHPS survey participation. Appropriate demographic, surgical, comorbidity, and complication data were collected; 1118 patients had patient satisfaction survey data, and further survey metrics were collected for this subset of patients.

RESULTS

Male patients, patients with urgent/emergency procedures, and patients with a longer length of stay were less likely to complete an HCAHPS survey (OR 0.820, p < 0.001; OR 0.818, p = 0.042; and OR 0.983, p < 0.001, respectively). Posterior approach was negatively associated with HCAHPS survey participation (OR 0.868, p = 0.007). Patients undergoing fusion procedures were more likely to participate in HCAHPS surveys (OR 1.440, p < 0.001). Of the completed HCAHPS surveys, there were no positive predictors associated with perfect scores. High Charlson Comorbidity Index (OR 0.931, p = 0.007), increasing elapsed time since surgery or discharge (OR 0.992, p = 0.004), and increasing length of stay (OR 0.928, p < 0.001) were all negatively associated with a perfect score. Finally, patient sex and race did not influence the likelihood of a perfect or low survey score.

CONCLUSIONS

Participation in HCAHPS surveys was correlated with preoperative and postoperative factors. Among these, procedure approach and type, length of stay, and complications seemed to influence participation the most. No factors were associated with an increased likelihood of receiving a perfect score. Similarly, length of stay and time elapsed since surgery to survey completion were significant negative predictors of receiving perfect HCAHPS survey scores. Increasing comorbid burden was also found to be a negative predictor for high scores. Further study on predictors of inpatient satisfaction within spine surgery is needed.

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Benjamin S. Hopkins, Jonathan T. Yamaguchi, Roxanna Garcia, Kartik Kesavabhotla, Hannah Weiss, Wellington K. Hsu, Zachary A. Smith and Nader S. Dahdaleh

OBJECTIVE

Unplanned preventable hospital readmissions within 30 days are a great burden to patients and the healthcare system. With an estimated $41.3 billion spent yearly, reducing such readmission rates is of the utmost importance. With the widespread adoption of big data and machine learning, clinicians can use these analytical tools to understand these complex relationships and find predictive factors that can be generalized to future patients. The object of this study was to assess the efficacy of a machine learning algorithm in the prediction of 30-day hospital readmission after posterior spinal fusion surgery.

METHODS

The authors analyzed the distribution of National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) posterior lumbar fusions from 2011 to 2016 by using machine learning techniques to create a model predictive of hospital readmissions. A deep neural network was trained using 177 unique input variables. The model was trained and tested using cross-validation, in which the data were randomly partitioned into training (n = 17,448 [75%]) and testing (n = 5816 [25%]) data sets. In training, the 17,448 training cases were fed through a series of 7 layers, each with varying degrees of forward and backward communicating nodes (neurons).

RESULTS

Mean and median positive predictive values were 78.5% and 78.0%, respectively. Mean and median negative predictive values were both 97%, respectively. Mean and median areas under the curve for the model were 0.812 and 0.810, respectively. The five most heavily weighted inputs were (in order of importance) return to the operating room, septic shock, superficial surgical site infection, sepsis, and being on a ventilator for > 48 hours.

CONCLUSIONS

Machine learning and artificial intelligence are powerful tools with the ability to improve understanding of predictive metrics in clinical spine surgery. The authors’ model was able to predict those patients who would not require readmission. Similarly, the majority of predicted readmissions (up to 60%) were predicted by the model while retaining a 0% false-positive rate. Such findings suggest a possible need for reevaluation of the current Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program penalties in spine surgery.