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Kevin Hines, Fadi Al Saiegh, Aria Mahtabfar, Kavantissa M. Keppetipola, Caio M. Matias, Chengyuan Wu, and Ashwini Sharan

This is a case of a 54-year-old man presenting with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) type 1 of the right lower extremity, which was most debilitating in the plantar aspect of the right foot. The patient had prior treatment with thoracic spinal cord stimulation; however, the foot pain remained intractable. Given that his pain was predominantly in his foot and remained debilitating despite thoracic spinal cord stimulation, it was recommended that the patient undergo a trial of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation. The surgical technique for placement of dorsal root ganglion stimulators is demonstrated in this operative video.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/_1xMxFZa6tU

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Omaditya Khanna, Christopher J. Farrell, Ellina Hattar, Fadi Al Saiegh, Ritam Ghosh, Thana N. Theofanis, Michelle Hoffman, and Ashwini D. Sharan

Free access

Omaditya Khanna, Lohit Velagapudi, Somnath Das, Ahmad Sweid, Nikolaos Mouchtouris, Fadi Al Saiegh, Michael B. Avery, Nohra Chalouhi, Richard F. Schmidt, Kalyan Sajja, M. Reid Gooch, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, Robert H. Rosenwasser, and Pascal M. Jabbour

OBJECTIVE

In this study, the authors aimed to investigate procedural and clinical outcomes between radial and femoral artery access in patients undergoing thrombectomy for acute stroke.

METHODS

The authors conducted a single-institution retrospective analysis of 104 patients who underwent mechanical thrombectomy, 52 via transradial access and 52 via traditional transfemoral access. They analyzed various procedural and clinical metrics between the two patient cohorts.

RESULTS

There was no difference between patient demographics or presenting symptoms of stroke severity between patients treated via transradial or transfemoral access. The mean procedural time was similar between the two treatment cohorts: 60.35 ± 36.81 minutes for the transradial group versus 65.50 ± 29.92 minutes for the transfemoral group (p = 0.451). The mean total fluoroscopy time for the procedure was similar between the two patient cohorts (20.31 ± 11.68 for radial vs 18.49 ± 11.78 minutes for femoral, p = 0.898). The majority of patients underwent thrombolysis in cerebral infarction score 2b/3 revascularization, regardless of access site (92.3% for radial vs 94.2% for femoral, p = 0.696). There was no significant difference in the incidence of access site or periprocedural complications between the transradial and transfemoral cohorts.

CONCLUSIONS

Acute stroke intervention performed via transradial access is feasible and effective, with no significant difference in procedural and clinical outcomes compared with traditional transfemoral access. Larger studies are required to further validate the efficacy and limitations of transradial access for neurointerventional procedures.

Free access

Nikolaos Mouchtouris, Fadi Al Saiegh, Breanna Valcarcel, Carrie E. Andrews, Evan Fitchett, David Nauheim, David Moskal, Nabeel Herial, Pascal Jabbour, Stavropoula I. Tjoumakaris, Ashwini D. Sharan, Robert H. Rosenwasser, and M. Reid Gooch

OBJECTIVE

The 30-day readmission rate is of increasing interest to hospital administrators and physicians, as it is used to evaluate hospital performance and is associated with increased healthcare expenditures. The estimated yearly cost to Medicare of readmissions is $17.4 billion. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services therefore track unplanned 30-day readmissions and institute penalties against hospitals whose readmission rates exceed disease-specific national standards. One of the most important conditions with potential for improvement in cost-effective care is ischemic stroke, which affects 795,000 people in the United States and is a leading cause of death and disability. Recent widespread adoption of mechanical thrombectomy has revolutionized stroke care, requiring reassessment of readmission causes and costs in this population.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed a prospectively maintained database of stroke patients and identified 561 patients who underwent mechanical thrombectomy between 2010 and 2019 at the authors’ institution. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to identify clinical variables and comorbidities related to 30-day readmissions in this patient population.

RESULTS

Of the 561 patients, 85.6% (n = 480) survived their admission and were discharged from the hospital to home or rehabilitation, and 8.8% (n = 42/480) were readmitted within 30 days. The median time to readmission was 10.5 days (IQR 6.0–14.3). The most common reasons for readmission were infection (33.3%) and acute cardiac or cerebrovascular events (19% and 20%, respectively). Multivariate analysis showed that hypertension (p = 0.030; OR 2.72) and length of initial hospital stay (p = 0.040; OR 1.032) were significantly correlated with readmission within 30 days, while hemorrhagic conversion (grades 3 and 4) approached significance (p = 0.053; OR 2.23). Other factors, such as unfavorable outcome at discharge, history of coronary artery disease, and discharge destination, did not predict readmission.

CONCLUSIONS

The study data demonstrate that hypertension, length of hospital stay, and hemorrhagic conversion were predictors of 30-day hospital readmission in stroke patients after mechanical thrombectomy. Infection was the most common cause of 30-day readmission, followed by cardiac and cerebrovascular diagnoses. These results therefore may serve to identify patients within the stroke population who require increased surveillance following discharge to reduce complications and unplanned readmissions.

Free access

Christian Hoelscher, Ahmad Sweid, Ritam Ghosh, Fadi Al Saiegh, Kavantissa M. Keppetipola, Christopher J. Farrell, Jack Jallo, Pascal Jabbour, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, M. Reid Gooch, Robert H. Rosenwasser, and Syed O. Shah

Herein, the authors present the case of a 54-year-old male diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) during a screening test. The patient was asked to self-isolate at home and report with any exacerbations of symptoms. He presented later with pneumonia complicated by encephalopathy at days 14 and 15 from initial diagnosis, respectively. MRI of the brain showed bithalamic and gangliocapsular FLAIR signal abnormality with mild right-sided thalamic and periventricular diffusion restriction. A CT venogram was obtained given the distribution of edema and demonstrated deep venous thrombosis involving the bilateral internal cerebral veins and the vein of Galen. CSF workup was negative for encephalitis, as the COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and bacterial cultures were negative. A complete hypercoagulable workup was negative, and the venous thrombosis was attributed to a hypercoagulable state induced by COVID-19. The mental decline was attributed to bithalamic and gangliocapsular venous infarction secondary to deep venous thrombosis. Unfortunately, the patient’s condition continued to decline, and care was withdrawn.

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Carrie E. Andrews, Nikolaos Mouchtouris, Evan M. Fitchett, Fadi Al Saiegh, Michael J. Lang, Victor M. Romo, Nabeel Herial, Pascal Jabbour, Stavropoula I. Tjoumakaris, Robert H. Rosenwasser, and M. Reid Gooch

OBJECTIVE

Mechanical thrombectomy (MT) is now the standard of care for acute ischemic stroke (AIS) secondary to large-vessel occlusion, but there remains a question of whether elderly patients benefit from this procedure to the same degree as the younger populations enrolled in the seminal trials on MT. The authors compared outcomes after MT of patients 80–89 and ≥ 90 years old with AIS to those of younger patients.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed records of patients undergoing MT at their institution to examine stroke severity, comorbid conditions, medical management, recanalization results, and clinical outcomes. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis were used to compare patients < 80 years, 80–89 years, and ≥ 90 years old.

RESULTS

All groups had similar rates of comorbid disease and tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) administration, and stroke severity did not differ significantly between groups. Elderly patients had equivalent recanalization outcomes, with similar rates of readmission, 30-day mortality, and hospital-associated complications. These patients were more likely to have poor clinical outcome on discharge, as defined by a modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score of 3–6, but this difference was not significant when controlled for stroke severity, tPA administration, and recanalization results.

CONCLUSIONS

Octogenarians, nonagenarians, and centenarians with AIS have similar rates of mortality, hospital readmission, and hospital-associated complications as younger patients after MT. Elderly patients also have the capacity to achieve good functional outcome after MT, but this potential is moderated by stroke severity and success of treatment.

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Nohra Chalouhi, Nikolaos Mouchtouris, Fadi Al Saiegh, Somnath Das, Ahmad Sweid, Adam E. Flanders, Robert M. Starke, Michael P. Baldassari, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, Michael Reid Gooch, Syed Omar Shah, David Hasan, Nabeel Herial, Robin D’Ambrosio, Robert Rosenwasser, and Pascal Jabbour

OBJECTIVE

MRI and MRA studies are routinely obtained to identify the etiology of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). The diagnostic yield of MRI/MRA in the setting of an acute ICH, however, remains unclear. The authors’ goal was to determine the utility of early MRI/MRA in detecting underlying structural lesions in ICH and to identify patients in whom additional imaging during hospitalization could safely be foregone.

METHODS

The authors reviewed data obtained in 400 patients with spontaneous ICH diagnosed on noncontrast head CT scans who underwent MRI/MRA between 2015 and 2017 at their institution. MRI/MRA studies were reviewed to identify underlying lesions, such as arteriovenous malformations, aneurysms, cavernous malformations, arteriovenous fistulas, tumors, sinus thrombosis, moyamoya disease, and abscesses.

RESULTS

The median patient age was 65 ± 15.8 years. Hypertension was the most common (72%) comorbidity. Structural abnormalities were detected on MRI/MRA in 12.5% of patients. Structural lesions were seen in 5.7% of patients with basal ganglia/thalamic ICH, 14.1% of those with lobar ICH, 20.4% of those with cerebellar ICH, and 27.8% of those with brainstem ICH. Notably, the diagnostic yield of MRI/MRA was 0% in patients > 65 years with a basal ganglia/thalamic hemorrhage and 0% in those > 85 years with any ICH location, whereas it was 37% in patients < 50 years and 23% in those < 65 years. Multivariate analysis showed that decreasing age, absence of hypertension, and non–basal ganglia/thalamic location were predictors of finding an underlying lesion.

CONCLUSIONS

The yield of MRI/MRA in ICH is highly variable, depending on patient age and hemorrhage location. The findings of this study do not support obtaining early MRI/MRA studies in patients ≥ 65 years with basal ganglia/thalamic ICH or in any ICH patients ≥ 85 years. In all other situations, early MRI/MRA remains valuable in ruling out underlying lesions.

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Thiago S. Montenegro, Glenn A. Gonzalez, Fadi Al Saiegh, Lucas Philipp, Kevin Hines, Ellina Hattar, Daniel Franco, Aria Mahtabfar, Kavantissa M. Keppetipola, Adam Leibold, Elias Atallah, Umma Fatema, Sara Thalheimer, Chengyuan Wu, Srinivas K. Prasad, Jack Jallo, Joshua Heller, Ashwini Sharan, and James Harrop

OBJECTIVE

The authors compared primary lumbar spine fusions with revision fusions by using patient Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) scores to evaluate the impact of the North American Spine Society (NASS) evidence-based medicine (EBM) lumbar fusion indications on patient-reported outcome measures of revision surgeries.

METHODS

This study was a retrospective analysis of a prospective observational cohort of patients who underwent elective lumbar fusion between January 2018 and December 2019 at a single quaternary spine surgery service and had a minimum of 6 months of follow-up. A prospective quality improvement database was constructed that included the data from all elective lumbar spine surgeries, which were categorized prospectively as primary or revision surgeries and EBM-concordant or EBM-discordant revision surgeries based on the NASS coverage EBM policy. In total, 309 patients who met the inclusion criteria were included in the study. The ODIs of all groups (primary, revision, revision EBM concordant, and revision EBM discordant) were statistically compared. Differences in frequencies between cohorts were evaluated using chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests. The unpaired 2-tailed Student t-test and the Mann-Whitney U-test for nonparametric data were used to compare continuous variables. Logistic regression was performed to determine the associations between independent variables (surgery status and NASS criteria indications) and functional outcomes.

RESULTS

Primary lumbar fusions were significantly associated with improved functional outcomes compared with revisions, as evidenced by ODI scores (OR 1.85, 95% CI 1.16–2.95 to achieve a minimal clinically important difference, p = 0.01). The percentage of patients whose functional status had declined at the 6-month postoperative evaluation was significantly higher in patients who had undergone a revision surgery than in those who underwent a primary surgery (23% vs 12.3%, respectively). An increase in ODI score, indicating worse clinical outcome after surgery, was greater in patients who underwent revision procedures (OR 2.14, 95% CI 1.17–3.91, p = 0.0014). Patients who underwent EBM-concordant revision surgery had significantly improved mean ODI scores compared with those who underwent EBM-discordant revision surgery (7.02 ± 5.57 vs −4.6 ± 6.54, p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

The results of this prospective quality improvement program investigation illustrate that outcomes of primary lumbar fusions were superior to outcomes of revisions. However, revision procedures that met EBM guidelines were associated with greater improvements in ODI scores, which indicates that the use of defined EBM guideline criteria for reoperation can improve clinical outcomes of revision lumbar fusions.

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Nikolaos Mouchtouris, David Hasan, Edgar A. Samaniego, Fadi Al Saiegh, Ahmad Sweid, Rawad Abbas, Kareem El Naamani, Rizwan Tahir, Mario Zanaty, Omaditya Khanna, Nohra Chalouhi, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, M. Reid Gooch, Robert Rosenwasser, and Pascal Jabbour

OBJECTIVE

Wide-neck bifurcation cerebral aneurysms have historically required either clip ligation or stent- or balloon-assisted coil embolization. This predicament led to the development of the Woven EndoBridge (WEB) aneurysm embolization system, a self-expanding mesh device that achieves intrasaccular flow disruption and does not require antithrombotic medications. The authors report their operative experience and 6-month follow-up occlusion outcomes with the first 115 aneurysms they treated via WEB embolization.

METHODS

The authors reviewed the first 115 cerebral aneurysms they treated by WEB embolization after FDA approval of the WEB embolization device (from February 2019 to January 2021). Data were collected on patient demographics and clinical presentation, aneurysm characteristics, procedural details, postembolization angiographic contrast stasis, and functional outcomes.

RESULTS

A total of 110 patients and 115 aneurysms were included in our study (34 ruptured and 81 unruptured aneurysms). WEB embolization was successful in 106 (92.2%) aneurysms, with a complication occurring in 6 (5.5%) patients. Contrast clearance was seen in the arterial phase in 14 (12.2%) aneurysms, in the capillary phase in 16 (13.9%), in the venous phase in 63 (54.8%), and no contrast was seen in 13 (11.3%) of the aneurysms studied. Follow-up angiography was performed on 60 (52.6%) of the aneurysms, with complete occlusion in 38 (63.3%), neck remnant in 14 (23.3%), and aneurysmal remnant in 8 (13.3%). Six (5.5%) patients required re-treatment for persistent aneurysmal residual on follow-up angiography.

CONCLUSIONS

The WEB device has been successfully used for the treatment of both unruptured and ruptured wide-neck bifurcation aneurysms by achieving intrasaccular flow diversion. Here, the authors have shared their experience with its unique technical considerations and device size selection, as well as critically reviewed complications and aneurysm occlusion rates.

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Nikolaos Mouchtouris, Fadi Al Saiegh, Evan Fitchett, Carrie E. Andrews, Michael J. Lang, Ritam Ghosh, Richard F. Schmidt, Nohra Chalouhi, Guilherme Barros, Hekmat Zarzour, Victor Romo, Nabeel Herial, Pascal Jabbour, Stavropoula I. Tjoumakaris, Robert H. Rosenwasser, and M. Reid Gooch

OBJECTIVE

The advent of mechanical thrombectomy (MT) has become an effective option for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke in addition to tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). With recent advances in device technology, MT has significantly altered the hospital course and functional outcomes of stroke patients. The authors’ goal was to establish the most up-to-date reperfusion and functional outcomes with the evolution of MT technology.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective study of 403 patients who underwent MT for ischemic stroke at their institution from 2010 to 2017. They collected data on patient comorbidities, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score on arrival, tPA administration, revascularization outcomes, and functional outcomes on discharge.

RESULTS

In 403 patients, the mean NIHSS score on presentation was 15.8 ± 6.6, with 195 (48.0%) of patients receiving tPA prior to MT. Successful reperfusion (thrombolysis in cerebral infarction score 2B or 3) was achieved in 84.4%. Hemorrhagic conversion with significant mass effect was noted in 9.9% of patients. The median lengths of ICU and hospital stay were 3.0 and 7.0 days, respectively. Functional independence (modified Rankin Scale score 0–2) was noted in 125 (31.0%) patients, while inpatient mortality occurred in 43 (10.7%) patients.

CONCLUSIONS

As MT has established acute ischemic stroke as a neurosurgical disease, there is a pressing need to understand the hospital course, hospital- and procedure-related complications, and outcomes for this new patient population. The authors provide a detailed account of key metrics for MT with the latest device technology and identify the predictors of unfavorable outcomes and inpatient mortality.