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David Dornbos III, Constantine L. Karras, Nicole Wenger, Blake Priddy, Patrick Youssef, Shahid M. Nimjee, and Ciarán J. Powers

OBJECTIVE

The utilization of the Pipeline embolization device (PED) has increased significantly since its inception and original approval for use in large, broad-necked aneurysms of the internal carotid artery. While microsurgical clipping and advances in endovascular techniques have improved overall efficacy in achieving complete occlusion, recurrences still occur, and the best modality for retreatment remains controversial. Despite its efficacy in this setting, the role of PED utilization in the setting of recurrent aneurysms has not yet been well defined. This study was designed to assess the safety and efficacy of PED in the recurrence of previously treated aneurysms.

METHODS

The authors reviewed a total of 13 cases in which patients underwent secondary placement of a PED for aneurysm recurrence following prior treatment with another modality. The PEDs were used to treat aneurysm recurrence or residual following endovascular coiling in 7 cases, flow diversion in 2, and microsurgical clipping in 4. The mean time between initial treatment and retreatment with a PED was 28.1 months, 12 months, and 88.7 months, respectively. Clinical outcomes, including complications and modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores, and angiographic evidence of complete occlusion were tabulated for each treatment group.

RESULTS

All PEDs were successfully placed without periprocedural complications. The rate of complete occlusion was 80% at 6 months after PED placement and 100% at 12 months in these patients who underwent PED placement following failed endovascular coiling; there were no adverse clinical sequelae at a mean follow-up of 26.1 months. In the 2 cases in which PEDs were placed for treatment of residual aneurysms following prior flow diversion, 1 patient demonstrated asymptomatic vessel occlusion at 6 months, and the other exhibited complete aneurysm occlusion at 12 months. In patients with aneurysm recurrence following prior microsurgical clipping, the rate of complete occlusion was 100% at 6 and 12 months, with no adverse sequelae noted at a mean clinical follow-up of 27.7 months.

CONCLUSIONS

The treatment of recurrent aneurysms with the PED following previous endovascular coiling, flow diversion, or microsurgical clipping is associated with a high rate of complete occlusion and minimal morbidity.

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Jessica Berns, Blake Priddy, Ahmed Belal, R. Dianne Seibold, Kristin Zieles, and Andrew Jea

OBJECTIVE

CSF shunts are the most common procedures performed in the pediatric neurosurgical population. Despite attempts in multiple studies, a superior shunt valve has never been shown. Because of this, the authors aim was to examine the impact of shunt valve standardization at their institution to determine if there is a difference in surgical cost, operative time, or short-term postoperative shunt failure.

METHODS

A retrospective analysis at the authors’ institution was performed for all new CSF diversion shunts, as well as shunt revisions requiring a new valve, or a new valve and at least a new proximal or distal catheter over a 1-year period (January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2016). After a period of transition, neurosurgeons were encouraged to use only one type of fixed-differential-pressure valve and one type of programmable valve when performing shunt surgeries. These patients who underwent “standardized” shunt surgery over a 1-year period (January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2018) were then compared to patients in the prestandardization epoch. All patients were followed for a 12-month period after surgery. Demographic information, surgical cost, operative time, and postoperative shunt failure data were collected in all patients in the study.

RESULTS

The authors analyzed 87 shunt surgeries in patients prior to standardization and 94 shunt surgeries in patients after standardization. The rate of violation of the standardized shunt valve policy after implementation was 5.3% (5 of 94 procedures). When comparing the prestandardization group to those who received the standardized valve, operative costs were less ($1821.04 vs $1333.75, p = 0.0034). There was no difference in operative times between groups (78 minutes vs 81 minutes, p = 0.5501). There was no difference in total number of shunt failures between the two groups at 12 months after surgery (p = 0.0859). The rate of postoperative infection was consistent with the literature at 8%.

CONCLUSIONS

In accordance with quality improvement principles, the reduction of unexplained clinical variance invariably leads to a decrease in cost and, more importantly, increased value. In this study, the implementation of a standardized shunt valve decreased operative cost. There were no differences in postoperative shunt failures at 12 months after surgery and no differences in length of surgery. Standardizing shunt valves in the treatment of pediatric hydrocephalus seems to be cost-effective and safe.

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Christopher Wilson, Mariana Hoyos, Andrew Huh, Blake Priddy, Stephen Avila, Stephen Mendenhall, Miracle C. Anokwute, George J. Eckert, and David W. Stockwell

OBJECTIVE

Type II odontoid fractures may be managed operatively or nonoperatively. If managed with bracing, bony union may never occur despite stability. This phenomenon is termed fibrous union. The authors aimed to determine associations with stable fibrous union and compare the morbidity of patients managed operatively and nonoperatively.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of their spine trauma database for adults with type II odontoid fractures between 2015 and 2019. Two-sample t-tests and Fisher’s exact tests identified associations with follow-up stability and were used to compare operative and nonoperative outcomes. Sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values were calculated to validate initial stable upright cervical radiographs related to follow-up stability.

RESULTS

Among 88 patients, 10% received upfront surgical fixation, and 90% were managed nonoperatively, of whom 22% had fracture instability on follow-up. Associations with instability after nonoperative management include myelopathy (OR 0.04, 95% CI 0.0–0.92), cerebrovascular disease (OR 0.23, 95% CI 0.06–1.0), and dens displacement ≥ 2 mm (OR 0.29, 95% CI 0.07–1.0). Advanced age was not associated with follow-up instability. Initial stability on upright radiographs was associated with stability on follow-up (OR 4.29, 95% CI 1.0–18) with excellent sensitivity and positive predictive value (sensitivity 89%, specificity 35%, positive predictive value 83%, and negative predictive value 46%). The overall complication rate and respiratory failure requiring ventilation on individual complication analysis were more common in operatively managed patients (33% vs 3%, respectively; p = 0.007), even though they were generally younger and healthier than those managed nonoperatively. Operative or nonoperative management conferred no difference in length of hospital or ICU stay, discharge disposition, or mortality.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors delineate the validity of upright cervical radiographs on presentation in association with follow-up stability in type II odontoid fractures. In their experience, factors associated with instability included cervical myelopathy, cerebrovascular disease, and fracture displacement but not increased age. Operatively managed patients had higher complication rates than those managed without surgery. Fibrous union, which can occur with nonoperative management, provided adequate stability.