Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 6 of 6 items for

  • Author or Editor: Faith C. Robertson x
Clear All Modify Search
Restricted access

Faith C. Robertson, Muhammad M. Abd-El-Barr, Srinivasan Mukundan Jr. and William B. Gormley

OBJECTIVE

Ventriculostomy entry sites are commonly selected by freehand estimation of Kocher's point or approximations from skull landmarks and a trajectory toward the ipsilateral frontal horn of the lateral ventricles. A recognized ventriculostomy complication is intracranial hemorrhage from cortical vessel damage; reported rates range from 1% to 41%. In this report, the authors assess hemorrhagic risk by simulating traditional ventriculostomy trajectories and using CT angiography (CTA) with venography (CTV) data to identify potential complications, specifically from cortical draining veins.

METHODS

Radiographic analysis was completed on 50 consecutive dynamic CTA/CTV studies obtained at a tertiary-care academic neurosurgery department. Image sections were 0.5 mm thick, and analysis was performed on a venous phase that demonstrated high-quality opacification of the cortical veins and sagittal sinus. Virtual ventriculostomy trajectories were determined for right and left sides using medical diagnostic imaging software. Entry points were measured along the skull surface, 10 cm posteriorly from the nasion, and 3 cm laterally for both left and right sides. Cannulation was simulated perpendicular to the skull surface. Distances between the software-traced cortical vessels and the virtual catheter were measured. To approximate vessel injury by twist drill and ventricular catheter placement, veins within a 3-mm radius were considered a hemorrhage risk.

RESULTS

In 100 virtual lines through Kocher's point toward the ipsilateral ventricle, 19% were predicted to cause cortical vein injury and suspected hemorrhage (radius ≤ 3 mm). Little difference existed between cerebral hemispheres (right 18%, left 20%). The average (± SD) distance from the trajectory line and a cortical vein was 7.23 ± 4.52 mm. In all 19 images that predicted vessel injury, a site of entry for an avascular zone near Kocher's point could be achieved by moving the trajectory less than 1.0 cm laterally and less than 1.0 cm along the anterior/posterior axis, suggesting that empirical measures are suboptimal, and that patient-specific coordinates based on preprocedural CTA/CVA imaging may optimize ventriculostomy in the future.

CONCLUSIONS

In this institutional radiographic imaging analysis, traditional methods of ventriculostomy site selection predicted significant rates of cortical vein injury, matching described rates in the literature. CTA/CTV imaging potentiates identification of patient-specific cannulation sites and custom trajectories that avoid cortical vessels, which may lessen the risk of intracranial hemorrhage during ventriculostomy placement. Further development of this software is underway to facilitate stereotactic ventriculostomy and improve outcomes.

Full access

Shenandoah Robinson, Faith C. Robertson, Hormuzdiyar H. Dasenbrock, Cormac P. O'Brien, Charles Berde and Horacio Padua

OBJECTIVE

Medically refractory spasticity and dystonia are often alleviated with intrathecal baclofen (ITB) administration through an indwelling catheter inserted in the lumbar spine. In patients with cerebral palsy, however, there is a high incidence of concomitant neuromuscular scoliosis. ITB placement may be technically challenging in those who have severe spinal deformity or who have undergone prior instrumented thoracolumbar fusion. Although prior reports have described drilling through the lumbar fusion mass with a high-speed bur, as well as IT catheter implantation at the foramen magnum or cervical spine, these approaches have notable limitations. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of ITB placement using cone beam CT (CBCT) image guidance to facilitate percutaneous IT catheterization.

METHODS

Data were prospectively collected on patients treated between November 2012 and June 2014. In the interventional radiology suite, general anesthesia was induced and the patient was positioned prone. Imaging was performed to identify the optimal trajectory. Percutaneous puncture was performed at an entry site with image-guided placement of a sheathed needle. CBCT provided real-time 2D projections and 3D reconstructions for detailed volumetric imaging. A biopsy drill was passed through the sheath, and subsequently a Tuohy needle was advanced intrathecally. The catheter was threaded cephalad under fluoroscopic visualization. After tip localization and CSF flow were confirmed, the stylet was replaced, the external catheter tubing was wrapped sterilely in a dressing, and the patient was transported to the operating room. After lateral decubitus positioning of the patient, the IT catheter was exposed and connected to the distal abdominal tubing with typical pump placement.

RESULTS

Of 15 patients with Gross Motor Function Classification System Levels IV and V cerebral palsy and instrumented thoracolumbar fusion, 8 had predominantly spasticity, and 7 had mixed spasticity and dystonia. The mean age of patients was 20.1 years (range 13–27 years). Nine patients underwent initial catheter and pump placement, and 6 underwent catheter replacement. The procedure was technically successful, with accurate spinal catheter placement in all patients. The median hospital stay was 4 days (IQR 3–5 days). One patient had an early postoperative urinary tract infection. With a mean follow-up of 25.8 months (median 26, range 18–38 months), no CSF leakage or catheter failure occurred. One late infection due to Pseudomonas aeruginosa (requiring pump explantation) occurred at 4 months, probably secondary to recurrent urinary tract infections.

CONCLUSIONS

Image-guided CBCT navigation resulted in accurate percutaneous placement of the IT catheter for ITB pumps in patients with prior instrumented thoracolumbar fusion. The multimodality approach is an alternate technique that may be used for IT catheter insertion in patients with complex lumbar spine anatomy, extending the potential to provide safe, durable ITB therapy in this population.

Restricted access

Faith C. Robertson, Jessica L. Logsdon, Hormuzdiyar H. Dasenbrock, Sandra C. Yan, Siobhan M. Raftery, Timothy R. Smith and William B. Gormley

OBJECTIVE

Readmissions increasingly serve as a metric of hospital performance, inviting quality improvement initiatives in both medicine and surgery. However, few readmission reduction programs have targeted surgical patient populations. The objective of this study was to establish a transitional care program (TCP) with the goal of decreasing length of stay (LOS), improving discharge efficiency, and reducing readmissions of neurosurgical patients by optimizing patient education and postdischarge surveillance.

METHODS

Patients undergoing elective cranial or spinal neurosurgery performed by one of 5 participating surgeons at a quaternary care hospital were enrolled into a multifaceted intervention. A preadmission overview and establishment of an anticipated discharge date were both intended to set patient expectations for a shorter hospitalization. At discharge, in-hospital prescription filling was provided to facilitate medication compliance. Extended discharge appointments with a neurosurgery TCP-trained nurse emphasized postoperative activity, medications, incisional care, nutrition, signs that merit return to medical attention, and follow-up appointments. Finally, patients received a surveillance phone call 48 hours after discharge. Eligible patients omitted due to staff limitations were selected as controls. Patients were matched by sex, age, and operation type—key confounding variables—with control patients, who were eligible patients treated at the same time period but not enrolled in the TCP due to staff limitation. Multivariable logistic regression evaluated the association of TCP enrollment with discharge time and readmission, and linear regression with LOS. Covariates included matching criteria and Charlson Comorbidity Index scores.

RESULTS

Between 2013 and 2015, 416 patients were enrolled in the program and matched to a control. The median patient age was 55 years (interquartile range 44.5–65 years); 58.4% were male. The majority of enrolled patients underwent spine surgery (59.4%, compared with 40.6% undergoing cranial surgery). Hospitalizations averaged 62.1 hours for TCP patients versus 79.6 hours for controls (a 16.40% reduction, 95% CI 9.30%–23.49%; p < 0.001). The intervention was associated with a higher proportion of morning discharges, which was intended to free beds for afternoon admissions and improve patient flow (OR 3.13, 95% CI 2.27–4.30; p < 0.001), and decreased 30-day readmissions (2.5% vs 5.8%; OR 2.43, 95% CI 1.14–5.27; p = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS

This neurosurgical TCP was associated with a significantly shorter LOS, earlier discharge, and reduced 30-day readmission after elective neurosurgery. These results underscore the importance of patient education and surveillance after hospital discharge.

Restricted access

Predicting nonroutine discharge after elective spine surgery: external validation of machine learning algorithms

Presented at the 2019 AANS/CNS Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves

Brittany M. Stopa, Faith C. Robertson, Aditya V. Karhade, Melissa Chua, Marike L. D. Broekman, Joseph H. Schwab, Timothy R. Smith and William B. Gormley

OBJECTIVE

Nonroutine discharge after elective spine surgery increases healthcare costs, negatively impacts patient satisfaction, and exposes patients to additional hospital-acquired complications. Therefore, prediction of nonroutine discharge in this population may improve clinical management. The authors previously developed a machine learning algorithm from national data that predicts risk of nonhome discharge for patients undergoing surgery for lumbar disc disorders. In this paper the authors externally validate their algorithm in an independent institutional population of neurosurgical spine patients.

METHODS

Medical records from elective inpatient surgery for lumbar disc herniation or degeneration in the Transitional Care Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (2013–2015) were retrospectively reviewed. Variables included age, sex, BMI, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) class, preoperative functional status, number of fusion levels, comorbidities, preoperative laboratory values, and discharge disposition. Nonroutine discharge was defined as postoperative discharge to any setting other than home. The discrimination (c-statistic), calibration, and positive and negative predictive values (PPVs and NPVs) of the algorithm were assessed in the institutional sample.

RESULTS

Overall, 144 patients underwent elective inpatient surgery for lumbar disc disorders with a nonroutine discharge rate of 6.9% (n = 10). The median patient age was 50 years and 45.1% of patients were female. Most patients were ASA class II (66.0%), had 1 or 2 levels fused (80.6%), and had no diabetes (91.7%). The median hematocrit level was 41.2%. The neural network algorithm generalized well to the institutional data, with a c-statistic (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve) of 0.89, calibration slope of 1.09, and calibration intercept of −0.08. At a threshold of 0.25, the PPV was 0.50 and the NPV was 0.97.

CONCLUSIONS

This institutional external validation of a previously developed machine learning algorithm suggests a reliable method for identifying patients with lumbar disc disorder at risk for nonroutine discharge. Performance in the institutional cohort was comparable to performance in the derivation cohort and represents an improved predictive value over clinician intuition. This finding substantiates initial use of this algorithm in clinical practice. This tool may be used by multidisciplinary teams of case managers and spine surgeons to strategically invest additional time and resources into postoperative plans for this population.

Restricted access

Faith C. Robertson, Jacob R. Lepard, Rania A. Mekary, Matthew C. Davis, Ismaeel Yunusa, William B. Gormley, Ronnie E. Baticulon, Muhammad Raji Mahmud, Basant K. Misra, Abbas Rattani, Michael C. Dewan and Kee B. Park

OBJECTIVE

Central nervous system (CNS) infections cause significant morbidity and mortality and often require neurosurgical intervention for proper diagnosis and treatment. However, neither the international burden of CNS infection, nor the current capacity of the neurosurgical workforce to treat these diseases is well characterized. The objective of this study was to elucidate the global incidence of surgically relevant CNS infection, highlighting geographic areas for targeted improvement in neurosurgical capacity.

METHODS

A systematic literature review and meta-analysis were performed to capture studies published between 1990 and 2016. PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane databases were searched using variations of terms relating to CNS infection and epidemiology (incidence, prevalence, burden, case fatality, etc.). To deliver a geographic breakdown of disease, results were pooled using the random-effects model and stratified by WHO region and national income status for the different CNS infection types.

RESULTS

The search yielded 10,906 studies, 154 of which were used in the final qualitative analysis. A meta-analysis was performed to compute disease incidence by using data extracted from 71 of the 154 studies. The remaining 83 studies were excluded from the quantitative analysis because they did not report incidence. A total of 508,078 cases of CNS infections across all studies were included, with a total sample size of 130,681,681 individuals. Mean patient age was 35.8 years (range: newborn to 95 years), and the male/female ratio was 1:1.74. Among the 71 studies with incidence data, 39 were based in high-income countries, 25 in middle-income countries, and 7 in low-income countries. The pooled incidence of studied CNS infections was consistently highest in low-income countries, followed by middle- and then high-income countries. Regarding WHO regions, Africa had the highest pooled incidence of bacterial meningitis (65 cases/100,000 people), neurocysticercosis (650/100,000), and tuberculous spondylodiscitis (55/100,000), whereas Southeast Asia had the highest pooled incidence of intracranial abscess (49/100,000), and Europe had the highest pooled incidence of nontuberculous vertebral spondylodiscitis (5/100,000). Overall, few articles reported data on deaths associated with infection. The limited case fatality data revealed the highest case fatality for tuberculous meningitis/spondylodiscitis (21.1%) and the lowest for neurocysticercosis (5.5%). In all five disease categories, funnel plots assessing for publication bias were asymmetrical and suggested that the results may underestimate the incidence of disease.

CONCLUSIONS

This systematic review and meta-analysis approximates the global incidence of neurosurgically relevant infectious diseases. These results underscore the disproportionate burden of CNS infections in the developing world, where there is a tremendous demand to provide training and resources for high-quality neurosurgical care.