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George Williams, Vahed Maroufy, Laila Rasmy, Derek Brown, Duo Yu, Hai Zhu, Yashar Talebi, Xueying Wang, Emy Thomas, Gen Zhu, Ashraf Yaseen, Hongyu Miao, Luis Leon Novelo, Degui Zhi, Stacia M. DeSantis, Hongjian Zhu, Jose-Miguel Yamal, David Aguilar and Hulin Wu

OBJECTIVE

Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is a devastating cerebrovascular condition, not only due to the effect of initial hemorrhage, but also due to the complication of delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI). While hypertension facilitated by vasopressors is often initiated to prevent DCI, which vasopressor is most effective in improving outcomes is not known. The objective of this study was to determine associations between initial vasopressor choice and mortality in patients with nontraumatic SAH.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective cohort study using a large, national electronic medical record data set from 2000–2014 to identify patients with a new diagnosis of nontraumatic SAH (based on ICD-9 codes) who were treated with the vasopressors dopamine, phenylephrine, or norepinephrine. The relationship between the initial choice of vasopressor therapy and the primary outcome, which was defined as in-hospital death or discharge to hospice care, was examined.

RESULTS

In total, 2634 patients were identified with nontraumatic SAH who were treated with a vasopressor. In this cohort, the average age was 56.5 years, 63.9% were female, and 36.5% of patients developed the primary outcome. The incidence of the primary outcome was higher in those initially treated with either norepinephrine (47.6%) or dopamine (50.6%) than with phenylephrine (24.5%). After adjusting for possible confounders using propensity score methods, the adjusted OR of the primary outcome was higher with dopamine (OR 2.19, 95% CI 1.70–2.81) and norepinephrine (OR 2.24, 95% CI 1.80–2.80) compared with phenylephrine. Sensitivity analyses using different variable selection procedures, causal inference models, and machine-learning methods confirmed the main findings.

CONCLUSIONS

In patients with nontraumatic SAH, phenylephrine was significantly associated with reduced mortality in SAH patients compared to dopamine or norepinephrine. Prospective randomized clinical studies are warranted to confirm this finding.

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David E. Kurlander, Mona Ascha, Danielle C. Marshall, Derek Wang, Mustafa S. Ascha, Paul A. Tripi, Hollie M. Reeves, Katharine A. Downes, Sanjay Ahuja, Alexandre T. Rotta, Gregory E. Lakin and Krystal L. Tomei

OBJECTIVE

Patients undergoing open cranial vault remodeling for craniosynostosis frequently experience substantial blood loss requiring blood transfusion. Multiple reports in the literature have evaluated the impact of individual blood conservation techniques on blood transfusion rates during craniosynostosis surgery. The authors engaged a multidisciplinary team and assessed the impact of input from multiple stakeholders on the evolution of a comprehensive quality improvement protocol aimed at reducing or eliminating blood transfusion in patients undergoing open surgery for craniosynostosis.

METHODS

Over a 4-year period from 2012 to 2016, 39 nonsyndromic patients were operated on by a single craniofacial plastic surgeon. Initially, no clear blood conservation protocol existed, and specific interventions were individually driven. In 2014, a new pediatric neurosurgeon joined the craniofacial team, and additional stakeholders in anesthesiology, transfusion medicine, critical care, and hematology were brought together to evaluate opportunities for developing a comprehensive blood conservation protocol. The initial version of the protocol involved the standardized administration of intraoperative aminocaproic acid (ACA) and the use of a cell saver. In the second version of the protocol, the team implemented the preoperative use of erythropoietin (EPO). In addition, intraoperative and postoperative resuscitation and transfusion guidelines were more clearly defined. The primary outcomes of estimated blood loss (EBL), transfusion rate, and intraoperative transfusion volume were analyzed. The secondary impact of multidisciplinary stakeholder input was inferred by trends in the data obtained with the implementation of the partial and full protocols.

RESULTS

Implementing the full quality improvement protocol resulted in a 66% transfusion-free rate at the time of discharge compared to 0% without any conservation protocol and 27% with the intermediate protocol. The administration of EPO significantly increased starting hemoglobin/hematocrit (11.1 g/dl/31.8% to 14.7 g/dl/45.6%, p < 0.05). The group of patients receiving ACA had lower intraoperative EBL than those not receiving ACA, and trends in the final-protocol cohort, which had received both preoperative EPO and intraoperative ACA, demonstrated decreasing transfusion volumes, though the decrease did not reach statistical significance.

CONCLUSIONS

Patients undergoing open calvarial vault remodeling procedures benefit from the input of a multidisciplinary stakeholder group in blood conservation protocols. Further research into comprehensive protocols for blood conservation may benefit from input from the full surgical team (plastic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology) as well as additional pediatric subspecialty stakeholders including transfusion medicine, critical care, and hematology.

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Oral Presentations

2010 AANS Annual Meeting Philadelphia, Pennsylvania May 1–5, 2010