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Jason K. Chu, Brandon A. Miller, Michael P. Bazylewicz, John F. Holbrook, and Joshua J. Chern

Subarachnoid-pleural fistulas (SPFs) are rare clinical entities that occur after severe thoracic trauma or iatrogenic injury during anterolateral approaches to the spine. Treatment of these fistulas often entails open repair of the dural defect. The authors present the case of an SPF in a 2-year-old female after a penetrating injury to the chest. The diagnosis of an SPF was suspected given the high chest tube output and was confirmed with a positive β2-transferrin test of the chest tube fluid, as well as visualization of dural defects on MRI. The dural defects were successfully repaired with CT-guided percutaneous epidural injection of fibrin glue alone. This case represents the youngest pediatric patient with a traumatic SPF to be treated percutaneously. This technique can be safely used in pediatric patients, offers several advantages over open surgical repair, and could be considered as an alternative first-line therapy for the obliteration of SPFs.

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Anil K. Roy, Jason Chu, Caroline Bozeman, Samir Sarda, Michael Sawvel, and Joshua J. Chern

OBJECTIVE

Various indicators are used to evaluate the quality of care delivered by surgical services, one of which is early reoperation rate. The indications and rate of reoperations within a 48-hour time period have not been previously reported for pediatric neurosurgery.

METHODS

Between May 1, 2009, and December 30, 2014, 7942 surgeries were performed by the pediatric neurosurgery service in the operating rooms at a single institution. Demographic, socioeconomic, and clinical characteristics associated with each of the operations were prospectively collected. The procedures were grouped into 31 categories based on the nature of the procedure and underlying diseases. Reoperations within 48 hours at the conclusion of the index surgery were reviewed to determine whether the reoperation was planned or unplanned. Multivariate logistic regression was employed to analyze risk factors associated with unplanned reoperations.

RESULTS

Cerebrospinal fluid shunt–and hydrocephalus-related surgeries accounted for 3245 (40.8%) of the 7942 procedures. Spinal procedures, craniotomy for tumor resections, craniotomy for traumatic injury, and craniofacial reconstructions accounted for an additional 8.7%, 6.8%, 4.5%, and 4.5% of surgical volume. There were 221 reoperations within 48 hours of the index surgery, yielding an overall incidence of 2.78%; 159 of the reoperation were unplanned. Of these 159 unplanned reoperations, 121 followed index operations involving shunt manipulations. Using unplanned reoperations as the dependent variable (n = 159), index operations with a starting time after 3 pm and admission through the emergency department (ED) were associated with a two- to threefold increase in the likelihood of reoperations (after-hour surgery, odds ratio [OR] 2.01 [95% CI 1.43–2.83, p < 0.001]; ED admission, OR 1.97 (95% CI 1.32–2.96, p < 0.05]).

CONCLUSIONS

Approximately 25% of the reoperations within 48 hours of a pediatric neurosurgical procedure were planned. When reoperations were unplanned, contributing factors could be both surgeon related and system related. Further study is required to determine the extent to which these reoperations are preventable. The utility of unplanned reoperation as a quality indicator is dependent on proper definition, analysis, and calculation.

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Jason K. Chu, Abdullah H. Feroze, Kelly Collins, Lynn B. McGrath Jr., Christopher C. Young, John R. Williams, and Samuel R. Browd

OBJECTIVE

Placement of an external ventricular drain (EVD) is a common and potentially life-saving neurosurgical procedure, but the economic aspect of EVD management and the relationship to medical expenditure remain poorly studied. Similarly, interinstitutional practice patterns vary significantly. Whereas some institutions require that patients with EVDs be monitored strictly within the intensive care unit (ICU), other institutions opt primarily for management of EVDs on the surgical floor. Therefore, an ICU burden for patients with EVDs may increase a patient’s costs of hospitalization. The objective of the current study was to examine the expense differences between the ICU and the general neurosurgical floor for EVD care.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective analysis of data from 2 hospitals within a single, large academic institution—the University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC) and Seattle Children’s Hospital (SCH). Hospital charges were evaluated according to patients’ location at the time of EVD management: SCH ICU, SCH floor, or UWMC ICU. Daily hospital charges from day of EVD insertion to day of removal were included and screened for days that would best represent baseline expenses for EVD care. Independent-samples Kruskal-Wallis analysis was performed to compare daily charges for the 3 settings.

RESULTS

Data from a total of 261 hospital days for 23 patients were included in the analysis. Ten patients were cared for in the UWMC ICU and 13 in the SCH ICU and/or on the SCH neurosurgical floor. The median values for total daily hospital charges were $19,824.68 (interquartile range [IQR] $12,889.73–$38,494.81) for SCH ICU care, $8,620.88 (IQR $6,416.76–$11,851.36) for SCH floor care, and $10,002.13 (IQR $8,465.16–$12,123.03) for UWMC ICU care. At SCH, it was significantly more expensive to provide EVD care in the ICU than on the floor (p < 0.001), and the daily hospital charges for the UWMC ICU were significantly greater than for the SCH floor (p = 0.023). No adverse clinical event related to the presence of an EVD was identified in any of the settings.

CONCLUSIONS

ICU admission solely for EVD care is costly. If safe EVD care can be provided outside of the ICU, it would represent a potential area for significant cost savings. Identifying appropriate patients for EVD care on the floor is multifactorial and requires vigilance in balancing the expenses associated with ICU utilization and optimal patient care.

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Brice A. Kessler, Scott Elton, and Carolyn Quinsey

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Erik B. Vanstrum, Matthew T. Borzage, Jason K. Chu, Shuo Wang, Nolan Rea, J. Gordon McComb, Mark D. Krieger, and Peter A. Chiarelli

Preterm infants commonly present with a hemodynamically significant patent ductus arteriosus (hsPDA). The authors describe the case of a preterm infant with posthemorrhagic ventricular dilation, which resolved in a temporally coincident fashion to repair of hsPDA. The presence of a PDA with left-to-right shunting was confirmed at birth on echocardiogram and was unresponsive to repeated medical intervention. Initial cranial ultrasound revealed periventricular-intraventricular hemorrhage. Follow-up serial ultrasound showed resolving intraventricular hemorrhage and progressive bilateral hydrocephalus. At 5 weeks, the ductus was ligated with the goal of improving hemodynamic stability prior to CSF diversion. However, neurosurgical intervention was not required due to improvement of ventriculomegaly occurring immediately after PDA ligation. No further ventricular dilation was observed at the 6-month follow-up.

Systemic venous flow disruption and abnormal patterns of cerebral blood circulation have been previously associated with hsPDA. Systemic hemodynamic change has been reported to follow hsPDA ligation, although association with ventricular normalization has not. This case suggests that the unstable hemodynamic environment due to left-to-right shunting may also impede CSF outflow and contribute to ventriculomegaly. The authors review the literature surrounding pressure transmission between a PDA and the cerebral vessels and present a mechanism by which PDA may contribute to posthemorrhagic ventricular dilation.

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Samir Sarda, Markus Bookland, Jason Chu, Mohammadali M. Shoja, Matthew P. Miller, Stephen B. Reisner, Philip H. Yun, and Joshua J. Chern

Object

Hospital readmission after discharge is a commonly used quality measure. In a previous study, the authors had documented the rate of readmission and reoperation after pediatric CSF shunt surgery. This study documents the rate of readmission and reoperation after pediatric neurosurgical procedures excluding those related to CSF shunts.

Methods

Between May 1, 2009, and April 30, 2013, 3098 non-shunt surgeries during 2924 index admissions were performed at a single institution. Demographic, socioeconomic, and clinical characteristics were prospectively collected in the administrative, business, and clinical databases. Clinical events within the 30 days following discharge were reviewed and analyzed. The following events of interest were analyzed for risk factor associations using multivariate logistic regression: return to the emergency department (ED), all-cause readmission, readmission to the neurosurgical service, and reoperation.

Results

The number of all-cause readmissions within 30 days of discharge was 304 (10.4%, 304/2924). Admission sources consisted of the ED (n = 173), hospital transfers (n = 47), and others (n = 84). One hundred eighty of the 304 readmissions were associated with an operation, but only 153 were performed by the neurosurgical service (reoperation rate = 5.2%). These procedures included wound revisions (n = 30) and first-time shunt insertions (n = 35). The remaining 124 readmissions were nonsurgical, and only 54 were admitted to the neurosurgical service for issues related to the index non-shunt surgery. Thus, the rate of related readmission was 7.1% ([153 + 54]/2924). A longer length of stay and admission to the neonatal intensive care unit during the index admission were associated with an increased likelihood of return to the ED and readmission. Certain procedures, such as baclofen pump insertion and intracranial pressure monitor placement, were also found to be associated with adverse clinical events in the 30-day period. Lastly, patients were more likely to a undergo reoperation if the index procedure had started after 3 p.m.

Conclusions

The all-cause readmission rate within 30 days of discharge after a pediatric neurosurgical procedure was 10.4%, and the rate of related readmission was 7.1%. Whether these readmissions are preventable and to what extent they are preventable requires further study.

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Don Comrie and Sean J. Morey

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Steven Rowson, Stefan M. Duma, Richard M. Greenwald, Jonathan G. Beckwith, Jeffrey J. Chu, Kevin M. Guskiewicz, Jason P. Mihalik, Joseph J. Crisco, Bethany J. Wilcox, Thomas W. McAllister, Arthur C. Maerlender, Steven P. Broglio, Brock Schnebel, Scott Anderson, and P. Gunnar Brolinson

Of all sports, football accounts for the highest incidence of concussion in the US due to the large number of athletes participating and the nature of the sport. While there is general agreement that concussion incidence can be reduced through rule changes and teaching proper tackling technique, there remains debate as to whether helmet design may also reduce the incidence of concussion. A retrospective analysis was performed of head impact data collected from 1833 collegiate football players who were instrumented with helmet-mounted accelerometer arrays for games and practices. Data were collected between 2005 and 2010 from 8 collegiate football teams: Virginia Tech, University of North Carolina, University of Oklahoma, Dartmouth College, Brown University, University of Minnesota, Indiana University, and University of Illinois. Concussion rates were compared between players wearing Riddell VSR4 and Riddell Revolution helmets while controlling for the head impact exposure of each player. A total of 1,281,444 head impacts were recorded, from which 64 concussions were diagnosed. The relative risk of sustaining a concussion in a Revolution helmet compared with a VSR4 helmet was 46.1% (95% CI 28.1%–75.8%). When controlling for each player's exposure to head impact, a significant difference was found between concussion rates for players in VSR4 and Revolution helmets (χ2 = 4.68, p = 0.0305). This study illustrates that differences in the ability to reduce concussion risk exist between helmet models in football. Although helmet design may never prevent all concussions from occurring in football, evidence illustrates that it can reduce the incidence of this injury.

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Jason S. Hauptman, John Kestle, Jay Riva-Cambrin, Abhaya V. Kulkarni, Samuel R. Browd, Curtis J. Rozzelle, William E. Whitehead, Robert P. Naftel, Jonathan Pindrik, David D. Limbrick Jr., James Drake, John C. Wellons III, Mandeep S. Tamber, Chevis N. Shannon, Tamara D. Simon, Ian F. Pollack, Patrick J. McDonald, Mark D. Krieger, Jason Chu, Todd C. Hankinson, Eric M. Jackson, Jessica S. Alvey, Ron W. Reeder, Richard Holubkov, and for the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network

OBJECTIVE

The primary objective of this study was to use the prospective Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network (HCRN) registry to determine clinical predictors of fast time to shunt failure (≤ 30 days from last revision) and ultrafast time to failure (≤ 7 days from last revision).

METHODS

Revisions (including those due to infection) to permanent shunt placements that occurred between April 2008 and November 2017 for patients whose entire shunt experience was recorded in the registry were analyzed. All registry data provided at the time of initial shunt placement and subsequent revision were reviewed. Key variables analyzed included etiology of hydrocephalus, age at time of initial shunt placement, presence of slit ventricles on imaging at revision, whether the ventricles were enlarged at the time of revision, and presence of prior fast failure events. Univariable and multivariable analyses were performed to find key predictors of fast and ultrafast failure events.

RESULTS

A cohort of 1030 patients with initial shunt insertions experienced a total of 1995 revisions. Of the 1978 revision events with complete records, 1216 (61.5%) shunts remained functional for more than 1 year, and 762 (38.5%) failed within 1 year of the procedure date. Of those that failed within 1 year, 423 (55.5%) failed slowly (31–365 days) and 339 (44.5%) failed fast (≤ 30 days). Of the fast failures, 131 (38.6%) were ultrafast (≤ 7 days). In the multivariable analysis specified a priori, etiology of hydrocephalus (p = 0.005) and previous failure history (p = 0.011) were independently associated with fast failure. Age at time of procedure (p = 0.042) and etiology of hydrocephalus (p = 0.004) were independently associated with ultrafast failure. These relationships in both a priori models were supported by the data-driven multivariable models as well.

CONCLUSIONS

Neither the presence of slit ventricle syndrome nor ventricular enlargement at the time of shunt failure appears to be a significant predictor of repeated, rapid shunt revisions. Age at the time of procedure, etiology of hydrocephalus, and the history of previous failure events seem to be important predictors of fast and ultrafast shunt failure. Further work is required to understand the mechanisms of these risk factors as well as mitigation strategies.

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Oral Presentations

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