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William C. Newman, Dan W. Neal and Brian L. Hoh

OBJECTIVE

Comorbidities have an impact on risk stratification for outcomes in analyses of large patient databases. Although the Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) and the Elixhauser Comorbidity Index (ECI) are the most commonly used comorbidity indexes, these have not been validated for patients with unruptured cerebral aneurysms; therefore, the authors created a comorbidity index specific to these patients.

METHODS

The authors extracted all records involving unruptured cerebral aneurysms treated with clipping, coiling, or both from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (2002–2010). They assessed the effect of 37 variables on poor outcome and used the results to create a risk score for these patients. The authors used a validation data set and bootstrapping to evaluate the new index and compared it to CCI and ECI in prediction of poor outcome, mortality, length of stay, and hospital charges.

RESULTS

The index assigns integer values (−2 to 7) to 20 comorbidities: neurological disorder, renal insufficiency, gastrointestinal bleeding, paralysis, acute myocardial infarction, electrolyte disorder, weight loss, metastatic cancer, drug abuse, arrhythmia, coagulopathy, cerebrovascular accident, psychosis, alcoholism, perivascular disease, valvular disease, tobacco use, hypothyroidism, depression, and hypercholesterolemia. Values are summed to determine a patient's risk score. The new index was better at predicting poor outcome than CCI or ECI (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve [AUC] 0.814 [95% CI 0.798–0.830], vs 0.694 and 0.712, respectively, for the other indices), and it was also better at predicting mortality (AUC 0.775 [95% CI 0.754–0.792], vs 0.635 and 0.657, respectively, for CCI and ECI).

CONCLUSIONS

This new comorbidity index outperforms the CCI and ECI in predicting poor outcome, mortality, length of stay, and total charges for patients with unruptured cerebral aneurysm. Reevaluation of other patient cohorts is warranted to determine the impact of more accurate patient stratification.

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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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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, 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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Kristin J. Weaver, Matthew McCord, Dan Neal, Frank Bova, Didier Rajon, Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa and Maryam Rahman

OBJECTIVE

Many colloid cyst patients present with obstructive hydrocephalus that resolves after resection of the cyst. However, a proportion of patients with these cysts will require cerebrospinal fluid shunting after tumor resection, despite resolution of the obstruction at the foramina of Monro. The goal of this study was to determine if colloid cyst size or preoperative ventricular volume predicted the need for postresection shunting.

METHODS

In a retrospective study design, ICD-9 codes 742.2 (colloid cyst) and 348.0 (brain cyst) were used to identify patients who had undergone resection of a colloid cyst at the University of Florida over the last 20 years. Preoperative imaging (CT or MRI) with a stereotactic software program developed at the University of Florida was used to measure volumes of the colloid cyst and the lateral ventricles. The relationships among ventricular volume, colloid cyst volume, and postoperative shunting were analyzed.

RESULTS

The number of patients included in the study was 67, and their mean age was 37.7 years. Forty percent of the patients were female. Overall, 49.2% of the patients had a transcallosal approach, 35.8% a transcortical approach, and 14.9% an endoscope-assisted surgery. Mean preoperative ventricular volume was 76.5 cc in patients who never received a ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS) and 98.1 cc in those who were eventually treated with a VPS (p = 0.305). Patients with a postoperative VPS had an initial mean colloid cyst volume of 1.8 cc compared with 0.9 cc in patients without a VPS postoperatively (p = 0.019). Patients with colloid cysts larger than 0.6 cc (1-cm diameter) had a 12.8 increased odds of needing a VPS postoperatively (95% CI 1.81–275).

CONCLUSIONS

Larger colloid cysts are associated with an increased need for postresection shunting independent of preoperative ventricular size. Prospective studies of patients with colloid cysts are necessary to further identify risks of permanent hydrocephalus.

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Kyle M. Fargen, Brian L. Hoh, Dan Neal, Timothy O’connor, Marie Rivera-Zengotita and Gregory J. A. Murad

OBJECT

Ventriculostomy occlusion is a known complication after external ventricular drain (EVD) placement. There have been no prospective published series that primarily evaluate the incidence of and risk factors for EVD occlusion. These phenomena are investigated using a prospective database.

METHODS

An ongoing prospective study of all patients undergoing frontal EVD placement in the Neurosurgery Intensive Care Unit at the University of Florida was accessed for the purposes of this analysis. Demographic, procedural, and radiographic data were recorded prospectively and retrospectively. The need for catheter irrigation or replacement was meticulously documented. Univariate and multivariate regression analyses were performed.

RESULTS

Ninety-eight of 101 total enrolled patients had accessible data, amounting to 131 total catheters and 1076 total catheter days. Nineteen percent of patients required at least 1 replacement. Forty-one percent of catheters developed at least 1 temporary occlusion, with an average of 2.4 irrigations per patient. Intracranial hemorrhage occurred in 28% of patients after the first EVD placement (2% resulting in new neurological deficit) and in 62% of patients after 1 replacement. The cost of occlusion is estimated at $615 per enrolled patient. Therapeutic anticoagulation and use of small EVD catheters were statistically significant predictors of permanent occlusion (p = 0.01 and 0.04, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

EVD occlusion is frequent and imparts a significant burden in terms of patient morbidity, physician upkeep, and cost. This study suggests that developing strategies or devices to prevent EVD occlusion, such as the preferential use of larger diameter catheters, may be beneficial in reducing the burden associated with ventriculostomy malfunction.