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Matthew L. Carlson, Jeffrey T. Jacob, Elizabeth B. Habermann, Amy E. Glasgow, Aditya Raghunathan, and Michael J. Link

OBJECTIVE

Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs) of the eighth cranial nerve (CN) are exceedingly rare. To date the literature has focused on MPNSTs occurring after radiation therapy for presumed benign vestibular schwannomas (VSs), while MPNSTs arising without prior irradiation have received little attention. The objectives of the current study are to characterize the epidemiology, clinical presentation, disease course, and outcome using a large national cancer registry database and a systematic review of the English literature. Additionally, a previously unreported case is presented.

METHODS

The authors conducted an analysis of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database, a systematic review of the literature, and present a case report. Data from all patients identified in the SEER database with a diagnosis of MPNST involving the eighth CN, without a history of prior radiation, were analyzed. Additionally, all cases reported in the English literature between January 1980 and March 2015 were reviewed. Finally, 1 previously unreported case is presented.

RESULTS

The SEER registries identified 30 cases between 1992 and 2012. The average incidence was 0.017 per 1 million persons per year (range 0.000–0.0687 per year). The median age at diagnosis was 55 years, and 16 (53%) were women. Thirteen cases were diagnosed upon autopsy. Of the 17 cases diagnosed while alive, the median follow-up was 118 days, with 3 deaths (18%) observed. When compared with the incidence of benign VS, 1041 VSs present for every 1 MPNST arising from the eighth CN. Including a previously unreported case from the authors' center, a systematic review of the English literature yielded 24 reports. The median age at diagnosis was 44 years, 50% were women, and the median tumor size at diagnosis was 3 cm. Eleven patients (46%) reported isolated audiovestibular complaints typical for VS while 13 (54%) exhibited facial paresis or other signs of a more aggressive process. Treatment included microsurgery alone, microsurgery with adjuvant radiation, or microsurgery with chemoradiation. Sixty-one percent of patients receiving treatment experienced recurrence, 22% of which were diagnosed with drop metastases to the spine. Ultimately, 13 patients (54%) died of progressive disease at a median of 3 months following diagnosis. The ability to achieve gross-total resection was the only feature that was associated with improved disease-specific survival.

CONCLUSIONS

MPNSTs of the eighth CN are extremely rare and portend a poor prognosis. Nearly half of patients initially present with findings consistent with a benign VS, often making an early diagnosis challenging. In light of these data, early radiological and clinical follow-up should be considered in those who elect nonoperative treatment, particularly in patients with a short duration of symptoms or atypical presentation. These data also provide a baseline rate of malignancy that should be considered when estimating the risk of malignant transformation following stereotactic radiosurgery for VS.

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Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Mohammed Ali Alvi, Daniel S. Ubl, Kristine T. Hanson, William E. Krauss, Fredric B. Meyer, Robert J. Spinner, Elizabeth B. Habermann, and Mohamad Bydon

OBJECTIVE

Patient-reported outcomes have been increasingly mandated by regulators and payers to evaluate hospital and physician performance. The purpose of this study is to delineate the differences in patient-reported experience of hospital care for cranial and spinal operations.

METHODS

The authors selected all patients who underwent inpatient, elective cranial or spinal procedures and completed the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey at a single, high-volume, tertiary care institution between October 2012 and September 2015. The association of the surgical procedure and diagnosis with various HCAHPS composite measures, calculated across 9 domains using standard top-box methodology, was investigated. Multivariable logistic regression models were fitted for outcomes that were significant with procedure type and diagnosis group on univariate analysis, adjusting for age, sex, case complexity, overall health rating, and education level.

RESULTS

A total of 1484 patients met criteria and returned an HCAHPS survey. Overall, patients undergoing a cranial procedure gave top-box (most favorable) scores more often in pain management measure (66.3% vs 59.6%, p = 0.01) compared with those undergoing spine surgery. Furthermore, despite better discharge scores (93.1% vs 87.1%, p < 0.001), spinal patients were less likely to report excellent health (7.4% vs 12.7%). Lastly, patients with a primary diagnosis of brain or spinal tumor compared with those with degenerative spinal disease and those with other neurosurgical diagnoses provided top-box scores more often regarding communication with doctors (82.7% vs 76.4% vs 75.2%, p = 0.04), pain management (71.8% vs 60.9% vs 59.1%, p = 0.002), and global rating (90.4% vs 84.0% vs 87.3%, p = 0.02). On multivariable analysis, spinal patients had significantly lower odds of reporting top-box scores in pain management (OR 0.67, 95% CI 0.52–0.85; p = 0.001), staff responsiveness (OR 0.68, 95% CI 0.53–0.87; p = 0.002), and global rating (OR 0.59, 95% CI 0.42–0.82; p = 0.002), and significantly higher odds of top-box scoring in discharge information (OR 2.15, 95% CI 1.45–3.18; p < 0.001) than cranial patients. Similarly, brain tumor cases were associated with significantly higher odds of top-box scoring in communication with doctors (OR 1.46, 95% CI 1.01–2.12; p = 0.04), pain management (OR 1.81, 95% CI 1.29–2.55; p < 0.001), staff responsiveness (OR 1.88, 95% CI 1.33–2.66; p < 0.001), and global rating (OR 2.00, 95% CI 1.26–3.17; p = 0.003) compared with degenerative spine cases.

CONCLUSIONS

Significant differences in patient-reported experience with hospital care exist across different cranial and spine surgery patient populations. Overall, spinal patients, particularly those with degenerative spine disease, rated their health and their hospital experience lower relative to cranial patients. Identifying weaker areas of hospital performance in target populations can stimulate quality initiatives that aim to increase the overall hospital score.

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Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Brandon McCutcheon, Meghan E. Murphy, Kenan R. Rajjoub, Daniel Ubl, Elizabeth B. Habermann, Gregory Worrell, Mohamad Bydon, and Jamie J. Van Gompel

OBJECTIVE

Temporal lobectomy is a well-established treatment modality for the management of medically refractory epilepsy in appropriately selected patients. The aim of this study was to assess 30-day morbidity and mortality after temporal lobectomy in cases registered in a national database.

METHODS

A retrospective cohort analysis was conducted using a multiinstitutional surgical registry compiled between 2006 and 2014. The authors identified patients who underwent anterior temporal lobectomy and/or amygdalohippocampectomy for a primary diagnosis of intractable epilepsy. Univariate and multivariable analyses with regard to patient demographics, comorbidities, operative characteristics, and 30-day outcomes were applied.

RESULTS

A total of 216 patients were included in the study. The median age was 38 years and 46% of patients were male. The median length of stay was 3 days and the 30-day mortality rate was 1.4%. Fourteen patients (6.5%) developed at least one major complication. Return to the operating room was observed in 7 patients (3.2%). Readmission within 30 days and discharge to a location other than home were available for 2011–2014 (n = 155) and occurred in 11% and 10.3% of patients, respectively. Multivariable regression analysis revealed that increasing age was an independent predictor of discharge disposition other than home and that male sex was a significant risk factor for the development of a major complication. Interestingly, the presence of the attending neurosurgeon and a resident during the procedure was significantly associated with decreased odds of prolonged length of stay (i.e., > 75th percentile [5 days]) and discharge to a location other than home.

CONCLUSIONS

Using a multiinstitutional surgical registry, 30-day outcome data after temporal lobectomy for medically intractable epilepsy demonstrates a mortality rate of 1.4%, a major complication rate of 6.5%, and a readmission rate of 11%. Temporal lobectomy is an extremely effective therapy for seizures originating there—however, surgical intervention must be weighed against its morbidity and mortality outcomes.

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Sung Huang Laurent Tsai, Anshit Goyal, Mohammed Ali Alvi, Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Yagiz Ugur Yolcu, Waseem Wahood, Elizabeth B. Habermann, Terry C. Burns, and Mohamad Bydon

OBJECTIVE

The nature of the volume-outcome relationship in cases with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) remains unclear, with considerable interhospital variation in patient outcomes. The objective of this study was to understand the state of the volume-outcome relationship at different levels of trauma centers in the United States.

METHODS

The authors queried the National Trauma Data Bank for the years 2007–2014 for patients with severe TBI. Case volumes for each level of trauma center organized into quintiles (Q1–Q5) served as the primary predictor. Analyzed outcomes included in-hospital mortality, total hospital length of stay (LOS), and intensive care unit (ICU) stay. Multivariable regression models were performed for in-hospital mortality, overall complications, and total hospital and ICU LOSs to adjust for possible confounders. The analysis was stratified by level designation of the trauma center. Statistical significance was established at p < 0.001 to avoid a type I error due to a large sample size.

RESULTS

A total of 122,445 patients were included. Adjusted analysis did not demonstrate a significant relationship between increasing hospital volume of severe TBI cases and in-hospital mortality, complications, and nonhome hospital discharge disposition among level I–IV trauma centers. However, among level II trauma centers, hospital LOS was longer for the highest volume quintile (adjusted mean difference [MD] for Q5: 2.83 days, 95% CI 1.40–4.26 days, p < 0.001, reference = Q1). For level III and IV trauma centers, both hospital LOS and ICU LOS were longer for the highest volume quintile (adjusted MD for Q5: LOS 4.6 days, 95% CI 2.3–7.0 days, p < 0.001; ICU LOS 3.2 days, 95% CI 1.6–4.8 days, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

Higher volumes of severe TBI cases at a lower level of trauma center may be associated with a longer LOS. These results may assist policymakers with target interventions for resource allocation and point to the need for careful prehospital decision-making in patients with severe TBI.

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Anshit Goyal, Stephanie Payne, Lindsey R. Sangaralingham, Molly Moore Jeffery, James M. Naessens, Halena M. Gazelka, Elizabeth B. Habermann, William Krauss, Robert J. Spinner, and Mohamad Bydon

OBJECTIVE

Sustained postoperative opioid use after elective surgery is a matter of growing concern. Herein, the authors investigated incidence and predictors of long-term opioid use among patients undergoing elective lumbar spine surgery, especially as a function of opioid prescribing practices at postoperative discharge (dose in morphine milligram equivalents [MMEs] and type of opioid).

METHODS

The OptumLabs Data Warehouse (OLDW) was queried for postdischarge opioid prescriptions for patients undergoing elective lumbar decompression and discectomy (LDD) or posterior lumbar fusion (PLF) for degenerative spine disease. Only patients who received an opioid prescription at postoperative discharge and those who had a minimum of 180 days of insurance coverage prior to surgery and 180 days after surgery were included. Opioid-naive patients were defined as those who had no opioid fills in 180 days prior to surgery. The following patterns of long-term postoperative use were investigated: additional fills (at least one opioid fill 90–180 days after surgery), persistent fills (any span of opioid use starting in the 180 days after surgery and lasting at least 90 days), and Consortium to Study Opioid Risks and Trends (CONSORT) criteria for persistent use (episodes of opioid prescribing lasting longer than 90 days and 120 or more total days’ supply or 10 or more prescriptions in 180 days after the index fill). Multivariable logistic regression was performed to identify predictors of long-term use.

RESULTS

A total of 25,587 patients were included, of whom 52.7% underwent PLF (n = 13,486) and 32.5% (n = 8312) were opioid-naive prior to surgery. The rates of additional fills, persistent fills, and CONSORT use were 47%, 30%, and 23%, respectively, after PLF and 35.4%, 19%, and 14.2%, respectively, after LDD. The rates among opioid-naive patients were 18.9%, 5.6%, and 2.5% respectively, after PLF and 13.3%, 2.0%, and 0.8%, respectively, after LDD. Using multivariable logistic regression, the following were identified to be significantly associated with higher risk of long-term opioid use following PLF: discharge opioid prescription ≥ 500 MMEs, prescription of a long-acting opioid, female sex, multilevel surgery, and comorbidities such as depression and drug abuse (all p < 0.05). Elderly (age ≥ 65 years) and opioid-naive patients were found to be at lower risk (all p < 0.05). Similar results were obtained on analysis for LDD with the following significant additional risk factors identified: discharge opioid prescription ≥ 400 MMEs, prescription of tramadol alone at discharge, and inpatient surgery (all p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

In an analysis of pharmacy claims from a national insurance database, the authors identified incidence and predictors of long-term opioid use after elective lumbar spine surgery.

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Anshit Goyal, Jad Zreik, Desmond A. Brown, Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Elizabeth B. Habermann, Kaisorn L. Chaichana, Clark C. Chen, Mohamad Bydon, and Ian F. Parney

OBJECTIVE

Although it has been shown that surgery for glioblastoma (GBM) at high-volume facilities (HVFs) may be associated with better postoperative outcomes, the use of such hospitals may not be equally distributed. The authors aimed to evaluate racial and socioeconomic differences in access to surgery for GBM at high-volume Commission on Cancer (CoC)–accredited hospitals.

METHODS

The National Cancer Database was queried for patients with GBM that was newly diagnosed between 2004 and 2015. Patients who received no surgical intervention or those who received surgical intervention at a site other than the reporting facility were excluded. Annual surgical case volume was calculated for each hospital, with volume ≥ 90th percentile defined as an HVF. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to identify patient-level predictors for undergoing surgery at an HVF. Furthermore, multiple subgroup analyses were performed to determine the adjusted odds ratio of the likelihood of undergoing surgery at an HVF in 2016 as compared to 2004 for each patient subpopulation (by age, race, sex, educational group, etc.).

RESULTS

A total of 51,859 patients were included, with 10.7% (n = 5562) undergoing surgery at an HVF. On multivariable analysis, Hispanic White patients (OR 0.58, 95% CI 0.49–0.69, p < 0.001) were found to have significantly lower odds of undergoing surgery at an HVF (reference = non-Hispanic White). In addition, patients from a rural residential location (OR 0.55, 95% CI 0.41–0.72, p < 0.001; reference = metropolitan); patients with nonprivate insurance status (Medicare [OR 0.78, 95% CI 0.71–0.86, p < 0.001], Medicaid [OR 0.68, 95% CI 0.60–0.78, p < 0001], other government insurance [OR 0.68, 95% CI 0.52–0.86, p = 0.002], or who were uninsured [OR 0.61, 95% CI 0.51–0.72, p < 0.001]); and lower-income patients ($50,354–$63,332 [OR 0.68, 95% CI 0.63–0.74, p < 0.001], $40,227–$50,353 [OR 0.84, 95% CI 0.76–0.92, p < 0.001]; reference = ≥ $63,333) were also found to be significantly associated with a lower likelihood of surgery at an HVF. Subgroup analyses revealed that elderly patients (age ≥ 65 years), both male and female patients and non-Hispanic White patients, and those with private insurance, Medicare, metropolitan residential location, median zip code–level household income in the first and second quartiles, and educational attainment in the first and third quartiles had increased odds of undergoing surgery at an HVF in 2016 compared to 2004 (all p ≤ 0.05). On the other hand, patients with other governmental insurance, patients with a rural residence, and those from a non-White racial category did not show a significant difference in odds of surgery at an HVF over time (all p > 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

The present analysis from the National Cancer Database revealed significant disparities in access to surgery at an HVF for GBM within the United States. Furthermore, there was evidence that these racial and socioeconomic disparities may have widened between 2004 and 2016. The findings should assist health policy makers in the development of strategies for improving access to HVFs for racially and socioeconomically disadvantaged populations.

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Meghan E. Murphy, Hannah Gilder, Patrick R. Maloney, Brandon A. McCutcheon, Lorenzo Rinaldo, Daniel Shepherd, Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Daniel S. Ubl, Cynthia S. Crowson, William E. Krauss, Elizabeth B. Habermann, and Mohamad Bydon

OBJECTIVE

With improving medical therapies for chronic conditions, elderly patients increasingly present as candidates for operative intervention for degenerative diseases of the spine. To date, there is a paucity of studies examining complications in lumbar decompression, without fusion, that include patients older than 80 years. Using a multicenter national database, the authors of this study evaluated lumbar decompression in the elderly, including octogenarians, to evaluate for associations between age and patient outcomes.

METHODS

The 2011–2013 American College of Surgeons' National Surgical Quality Improvement Program data set was queried for patients 65 years and older with diagnosis and procedure codes inclusive of degenerative spine disease and lumbar decompression without fusion. Morbidity and mortality within the 30-day postoperative period were the primary outcomes. Secondary outcomes of interest included unplanned readmission within 30 days or discharge to a nonhome facility. Outcomes and operative characteristics were compared using chi-square tests, Kruskal-Wallis tests, and multivariable logistic regression models.

RESULTS

A total of 8744 patients were identified; of these patients 4573 (52.30%) were 65 years and older. Elderly patients were stratified into 3 age categories: 85 years or older (n = 314), 75–84 years (n = 1663), and 65–74 years (n = 2596). Univariate analysis showed that, compared with age younger than 65 years, increased age was associated with the number of levels (≥ 3), readmissions within 30 days, nonhome discharge, any complication, length of stay, and blood transfusion (all p < 0.001). On multivariable analysis and with younger than 65 years as the reference, increased age was associated with any minor complication (p < 0.001; ≥ 85 years: OR 3.47, 95% CI 1.69–7.13; 75–84 years: OR 2.34, 95% CI 1.45–3.78; and 65–74 years: OR 1.44, 95% CI 0.94–2.20), as well as discharge location other than home (p < 0.001; ≥ 85 years: OR 13.59, 95% CI 9.47–19.49; 75–84 years: OR 5.64, 95% CI 4.33–7.34; and 65–74 years: OR 2.61, 95% CI 2.05–3.32).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors' high-powered, multicenter analysis of lumbar decompression without fusion in the elderly, specifically including patients older than 80 years, demonstrates that increased age is associated with more extensive operations, resulting in longer hospital stays, increased rates of nonhome discharge, and minor complications.