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R. Loch Macdonald

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Kyle M. Fargen, Dan Neal, Maryam Rahman and Brian L. Hoh

Object

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) patient safety indicators (PSIs) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) are publicly reported metrics used to gauge the quality of health care provided by health care institutions. To better understand the prevalence of these events in hospitalized patients treated for ruptured cerebral aneurysms, the authors determined the incidence rates of PSIs and HACs among patients with a diagnosis of subarachnoid hemorrhage and procedure codes for either coiling or clipping in the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database.

Methods

The authors queried the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database, part of the AHRQ's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, for all hospitalizations between 2002 and 2010 involving coiling or clipping of ruptured cerebral aneurysms. The incidence rate of each PSI and HAC was determined by searching the hospital records for ICD-9 codes. The authors used the SAS statistical software package to calculate incidence rates and perform multivariate analyses to determine the effects of patient variables on the probability of developing each indicator.

Results

There were 62,972 patient admissions with a diagnosis code of subarachnoid hemorrhage between the years 2002 and 2010; 10,274 (16.3%) underwent clipping and 8248 (13.1%) underwent endovascular coiling. A total of 6547 PSI and HAC events occurred within the 10,274 patients treated with clipping; at least 1 PSI or HAC occurred in 47.9% of these patients. There were 5623 total PSI and HAC events among the 8248 patients treated with coils; at least 1 PSI or HAC occurred in 51.0% of coil-treated patients. Age, sex, comorbidities, hospital size, and hospital type had statistically significant associations with indicator occurrence. Compared with patients without events, those treated by either clipping or coiling and had at least 1 PSI during their hospitalization had significantly longer lengths of stay (p < 0.001), higher hospital costs (p < 0.001), and higher in-hospital mortality rates (p < 0.001).

Conclusions

These results estimate baseline national rates of PSIs and HACs in patients treated for ruptured cerebral aneurysms. These data may be used to gauge individual institutional quality of care and patient safety metrics in comparison with national data.

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Kyle M. Fargen, Maryam Rahman, Dan Neal and Brian L. Hoh

Object

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) patient safety indicators (PSIs) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) are metrics used to gauge the quality of health care provided by health care institutions. The PSIs and HACs are publicly reported metrics and are directly linked to reimbursement for services. To better understand the prevalence of these adverse events in hospitalized patients treated for unruptured cerebral aneurysms, the authors determined the incidence rates of PSIs and HACs among patients with a diagnosis of unruptured aneurysm in the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) database.

Methods

The NIS, part of the AHRQ's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, was queried for all hospitalizations between 2002 and 2010 involving coiling or clipping of unruptured cerebral aneurysms. The incidence rate for each PSI and HAC was determined by searching the hospital records for ICD-9 codes. The SAS statistical software package was used to calculate incidences and perform multivariate analyses to determine the effects of patient variables on the probability of each indicator developing.

Results

There were 54,589 hospitalizations involving unruptured cerebral aneurysms in the NIS database for the years 2002–2010; 8314 patients (15.2%) underwent surgical clipping and 9916 (18.2%) were treated with endovascular coiling. One thousand four hundred ninety-two PSI and HAC events occurred among the 8314 patients treated with clipping; at least 1 PSI or HAC occurred in 14.6% of these patients. There were 1353 PSI and HAC events among the 9916 patients treated with coiling; at least 1 PSI or HAC occurred in 10.9% of these patients. Age, sex, and comorbidities had statistically significant associations with an adverse event. Compared with the patients having no adverse event, those having at least 1 PSI during their hospitalizations had significantly longer hospital stays (p < 0.0001), higher hospital costs (p < 0.0001), and higher mortality rates (p < 0.0001).

Conclusions

These results estimate baseline national rates of PSIs and HACs in patients with unruptured cerebral aneurysms. These data may be used to gauge individual institutional quality of care and patient safety metrics in comparison with national data.

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Kyle M. Fargen and Brian L. Hoh

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William C. Newman, Paul S. Kubilis and Brian L. Hoh

OBJECTIVE

Comorbidities have a significant effect on patient outcomes. Accounting for this effect is especially important in retrospective reviews of large databases; overpowered studies are at risk for finding significant results because of inaccurate patient risk stratification. The authors previously created a neurovascular comorbidities index (NCI) for patients with an unruptured intracranial aneurysm and found that the model’s ability to predict patient outcomes was statistically significantly improved over that of the routinely used Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) and Elixhauser Comorbidity Index (ECI). In this study, the authors aimed to validate use of the NCI over that of the CCI and ECI for risk stratification of patients with other neurovascular diseases.

METHODS

The authors queried the National (Nationwide) Inpatient Sample database for the years 2002–2012 to compare the accuracy of the previously validated NCI with that of the CCI and ECI with respect to predicting outcomes for patients who had an arteriovenous malformation, a ruptured intracranial aneurysm, carotid artery stenosis, or dural arteriovenous fistula and who underwent surgical intervention.

RESULTS

For patients with an arteriovenous malformation, the NCI outperformed the CCI and ECI in predicting poor outcome, hospital length of stay (LOS), and total cost but was equivalent to the CCI in predicting death. For patients with a ruptured intracranial aneurysm, the NCI outperformed the ECI and CCI in predicting death, poor outcome, LOS, and total cost. For patients with carotid artery stenosis, the NCI outperformed the ECI and CCI in predicting LOS, but it was equivalent to the ECI in predicting death and total cost and inferior to the CCI in predicting poor outcome (p < 0.002 for all). An insufficient number of patients with dural arteriovenous fistula who underwent surgical intervention were available for analysis (n < 10), and they therefore were excluded from study. For 11 of 12 metrics, the NCI was the significantly more efficient model.

CONCLUSIONS

The NCI outperforms the CCI and ECI by providing more appropriate and efficient risk stratification of patients regarding death, outcome, LOS, and cost. Given this finding, the NCI should be used for retrospective reviews of patient outcomes instead of the CCI or ECI.

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Maryam Rahman, Gregory J. Velat, Brian L. Hoh and J Mocco

Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) is an increasingly diagnosed disease with a wide range of symptoms, ranging from a mild headache to cerebral herniation. A potentially devastating syndrome, CVST has been associated with a mortality rate of 6–10%. In prospective studies, the overall rate of death and dependency from CVST ranges from 8.8 to 44.4%. Systemic anticoagulation remains the first-line treatment. However, a percentage of patients deteriorate despite medical therapy. These cases have resulted in the development of thrombolysis or endovascular treatment for CVST. Initial reports of the use of endovascular treatment of CVST have been promising. However, enthusiasm for the use of endovascular thrombolysis and thrombectomy should be tempered by an understanding of possible risks such as intracerebral hemorrhage and/or vessel dissection. The authors review the literature regarding endovascular treatment of CVST with a description of the chemical and mechanical thrombolytic techniques.

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Kyle M. Fargen, Dan Neal, Spiros L. Blackburn, Brian L. Hoh and Maryam Rahman

OBJECT

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality patient safety indicators (PSIs) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) are publicly reported quality metrics linked directly to reimbursement. The occurrence of PSIs and HACs is associated with increased mortality and hospital costs after stroke. The relationship between insurance status and PSI and HAC rates in hospitalized patients treated for acute ischemic stroke was determined using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) database.

METHODS

The NIS was queried for all hospitalizations involving acute ischemic stroke between 2002 and 2011. The rate of each PSI and HAC was determined by searching the hospital records for ICD-9 codes. The SAS statistical software package was used to calculate rates and perform multivariable analyses to determine the effects of patient variables on the probability of developing each indicator.

RESULTS

The NIS query revealed 1,507,336 separate patient admissions that had information on both primary payer and hospital teaching status. There were 227,676 PSIs (15.1% of admissions) and 42,841 HACs reported (2.8%). Patient safety indicators occurred more frequently in Medicaid/self-pay/no-charge patients (19.1%) and Medicare patients (15.0%) than in those with private insurance (13.6%; p < 0.0001). In a multivariable analysis, Medicaid, self-pay, or nocharge patients had significantly longer hospital stays, higher mortality, and worse outcomes than those with private insurance (p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS

Insurance status is an independent predictor of patient safety events after stroke. Private insurance is associated with lower mortality, shorter lengths of stay, and improved clinical outcomes.

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Brian L. Hoh, Christopher M. Putman, Ronald F. Budzik, Bob S. Carter and Christopher S. Ogilvy

Object. Certain intracranial aneurysms, because of their fusiform or complex wide-necked structure, giant size, or involvement with critical perforating or branch vessels, are unamenable to direct surgical clipping or endovascular coil treatment. Management of such lesions requires alternative or novel treatment strategies. Proximal and distal occlusion (trapping) is the most effective strategy. In lesions that cannot be trapped, alteration in blood flow to the “inflow zone,” the site most vulnerable to aneurysm growth and rupture, is used.

Methods. From 1991 to 1999 the combined neurosurgical—neuroendovascular team at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) managed 48 intracranial aneurysms that could not be clipped or occluded. Intracavernous internal carotid artery aneurysms were excluded from this analysis. By applying a previously described aneurysm rupture risk classification system (MGH Grades 0–5) based on the age of the patient, aneurysm size, Hunt and Hess grade, Fisher grade, and whether the aneurysm was a giant lesion located in the posterior circulation, the authors found that a significant number of patients were at moderate risk (MGH Grade 2; 31.3% of patients) and at high risk (MGH Grades 3 or 4; 22.9%) for treatment-related morbidity. The lesions were treated using a variety of strategies—surgical, endovascular, or a combination of modalities. Aneurysms that could not be trapped or occluded were treated using a paradigm of flow alteration, with flow redirected from either native collateral networks or from a surgically performed vascular bypass. Overall clinical outcomes were determined using the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS). A GOS score of 5 or 4 was achieved in 77.1%, a GOS score of 3 or 2 in 8.3%, and death (GOS 1) occurred in 14.6% of the patients. Procedure-related complications occurred in 27.1% of cases; the major morbidity rate was 6.3% and the mortality rate was 10.4%. Three patients experienced aneurysmal hemorrhage posttreatment; in two patients this event proved to be fatal. Aneurysms with MGH Grades 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 were associated with favorable outcomes (GOS scores of 5 or 4) in 100%, 92.8%, 71.4%, 50%, and 0% of instances, respectively.

Conclusions. Despite a high incidence of transient complications, intracranial aneurysms that cannot be clipped or occluded require alternative surgical and endovascular treatment strategies. In those aneurysms that cannot safely be trapped or occluded, one approach is the treatment strategy of flow alteration.