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Jacob K. Greenberg, Eric Milner, Chester K. Yarbrough, Kim Lipsey, Jay F. Piccirillo, Matthew D. Smyth, Tae Sung Park, and David D. Limbrick Jr.

OBJECT

Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I) is a common and often debilitating neurological disease. Efforts to improve treatment of CM-I are impeded by inconsistent and limited methods of evaluating clinical outcomes. To understand current approaches and lay a foundation for future research, the authors conducted a systematic review of the methods used in original published research articles to evaluate clinical outcomes in patients treated for CM-I.

METHODS

The authors searched PubMed, Embase, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, ClinicalTrials.gov, and Cochrane databases to identify publications between January 2003 and August 2013 that met the following criteria: 1) reported clinical outcomes in patients treated for CM-I; 2) were original research articles; 3) included at least 10 patients or, if a comparative study, at least 5 patients per group; and 4) were restricted to patients with CM-I.

RESULTS

Among the 74 papers meeting inclusion criteria, there was wide variation in the outcome methods used. However, all approaches were broadly grouped into 3 categories: 1) “gestalt” impression of overall symptomatic improvement (n = 45 papers); 2) postoperative change in specific signs or symptoms (n = 20); or 3) results of various standardized assessment scales (n = 22). Among standardized scales, 11 general function measures were used, compared with 6 disease-specific tools. Only 3 papers used scales validated in patients with CM-I. To facilitate a uniform comparison of these heterogeneous approaches, the authors appraised articles in multiple domains defined a priori as integral to reporting clinical outcomes in CM-I. Notably, only 7 articles incorporated patient-response instruments when reporting outcome, and only 22 articles explicitly assessed quality of life.

CONCLUSIONS

The methods used to evaluate clinical outcomes in CM-I are inconsistent and frequently not comparable, complicating efforts to analyze results across studies. Development, validation, and incorporation of a small number of disease-specific patient-based instruments will improve the quality of research and care of CM-I patients.

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Jacob K. Greenberg, Saad Javeed, Justin K. Zhang, Braeden Benedict, Madelyn R. Frumkin, Ziqi Xu, Jingwen Zhang, Thomas L. Rodebaugh, Chenyang Lu, Jay F. Piccirillo, Michael Steinmetz, Zoher Ghogawala, Mohamad Bydon, and Wilson Z. Ray

Mobile health (mHealth) technology has assumed a pervasive role in healthcare and society. By capturing real-time features related to spine health, mHealth assessments have the potential to transform multiple aspects of spine care. Yet mHealth applications may not be familiar to many spine surgeons and other spine clinicians. Consequently, the objective of this narrative review is to provide an overview of the technology, analytical considerations, and applications of mHealth tools for evaluating spine surgery patients. Reflecting their near-ubiquitous role in society, smartphones are the most commonly available form of mHealth technology and can provide measures related to activity, sleep, and even social interaction. By comparison, wearable devices can provide more detailed mobility and physiological measures, although capabilities vary substantially by device. To date, mHealth evaluations in spine surgery patients have focused on the use of activity measures, particularly step counts, in an attempt to objectively quantify spine health. However, the correlation between step counts and patient-reported disease severity is inconsistent, and further work is needed to define the mobility metrics most relevant to spine surgery patients. mHealth assessments may also support a variety of other applications that have been studied less frequently, including those that prevent postoperative complications, predict surgical outcomes, and serve as motivational aids to patients. These areas represent key opportunities for future investigations. To maximize the potential of mHealth evaluations, several barriers must be overcome, including technical challenges, privacy and regulatory concerns, and questions related to reimbursement. Despite those obstacles, mHealth technology has the potential to transform many aspects of spine surgery research and practice, and its applications will only continue to grow in the years ahead.

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Jacob K. Greenberg, Margaret A. Olsen, Chester K. Yarbrough, Travis R. Ladner, Chevis N. Shannon, Jay F. Piccirillo, Richard C. E. Anderson, John C. Wellons III, Matthew D. Smyth, Tae Sung Park, and David D. Limbrick Jr.

OBJECTIVE

Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I) is a common and often debilitating pediatric neurological disease. However, efforts to guide preoperative counseling and improve outcomes research are impeded by reliance on small, single-center studies. Consequently, the objective of this study was to investigate CM-I surgical outcomes using population-level administrative billing data.

METHODS

The authors used Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project State Inpatient Databases (SID) to study pediatric patients undergoing surgical decompression for CM-I from 2004 to 2010 in California, Florida, and New York. They assessed the prevalence and influence of preoperative complex chronic conditions (CCC) among included patients. Outcomes included medical and surgical complications within 90 days of treatment. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify risk factors for surgical complications.

RESULTS

A total of 936 pediatric CM-I surgeries were identified for the study period. Overall, 29.2% of patients were diagnosed with syringomyelia and 13.7% were diagnosed with scoliosis. Aside from syringomyelia and scoliosis, 30.3% of patients had at least 1 CCC, most commonly neuromuscular (15.2%) or congenital or genetic (8.4%) disease. Medical complications were uncommon, occurring in 2.6% of patients. By comparison, surgical complications were diagnosed in 12.7% of patients and typically included shunt-related complications (4.0%), meningitis (3.7%), and other neurosurgery-specific complications (7.4%). Major complications (e.g., stroke or myocardial infarction) occurred in 1.4% of patients. Among children with CCCs, only comorbid hydrocephalus was associated with a significantly increased risk of surgical complications (OR 4.5, 95% CI 2.5–8.1).

CONCLUSIONS

Approximately 1 in 8 pediatric CM-I patients experienced a surgical complication, whereas medical complications were rare. Although CCCs were common in pediatric CM-I patients, only hydrocephalus was independently associated with increased risk of surgical events. These results may inform patient counseling and guide future research efforts.

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Travis R. Ladner, Jacob K. Greenberg, Nicole Guerrero, Margaret A. Olsen, Chevis N. Shannon, Chester K. Yarbrough, Jay F. Piccirillo, Richard C. E. Anderson, Neil A. Feldstein, John C. Wellons III, Matthew D. Smyth, Tae Sung Park, and David D. Limbrick Jr.

OBJECTIVE

Administrative billing data may facilitate large-scale assessments of treatment outcomes for pediatric Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I). Validated International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) code algorithms for identifying CM-I surgery are critical prerequisites for such studies but are currently only available for adults. The objective of this study was to validate two ICD-9-CM code algorithms using hospital billing data to identify pediatric patients undergoing CM-I decompression surgery.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed the validity of two ICD-9-CM code algorithms for identifying pediatric CM-I decompression surgery performed at 3 academic medical centers between 2001 and 2013. Algorithm 1 included any discharge diagnosis code of 348.4 (CM-I), as well as a procedure code of 01.24 (cranial decompression) or 03.09 (spinal decompression or laminectomy). Algorithm 2 restricted this group to the subset of patients with a primary discharge diagnosis of 348.4. The positive predictive value (PPV) and sensitivity of each algorithm were calculated.

RESULTS

Among 625 first-time admissions identified by Algorithm 1, the overall PPV for CM-I decompression was 92%. Among the 581 admissions identified by Algorithm 2, the PPV was 97%. The PPV for Algorithm 1 was lower in one center (84%) compared with the other centers (93%–94%), whereas the PPV of Algorithm 2 remained high (96%–98%) across all subgroups. The sensitivity of Algorithms 1 (91%) and 2 (89%) was very good and remained so across subgroups (82%–97%).

CONCLUSIONS

An ICD-9-CM algorithm requiring a primary diagnosis of CM-I has excellent PPV and very good sensitivity for identifying CM-I decompression surgery in pediatric patients. These results establish a basis for utilizing administrative billing data to assess pediatric CM-I treatment outcomes.

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Ridhima Guniganti, Enrico Giordan, Ching-Jen Chen, Isaac Josh Abecassis, Michael R. Levitt, Andrew Durnford, Jessica Smith, Edgar A. Samaniego, Colin P. Derdeyn, Amanda Kwasnicki, Ali Alaraj, Adriaan R. E. Potgieser, Samir Sur, Stephanie H. Chen, Yoshiteru Tada, Ethan Winkler, Ryan R. L. Phelps, Pui Man Rosalind Lai, Rose Du, Adib Abla, Junichiro Satomi, Robert M. Starke, J. Marc C. van Dijk, Sepideh Amin-Hanjani, Minako Hayakawa, Bradley A. Gross, W. Christopher Fox, Diederik Bulters, Louis J. Kim, Jason Sheehan, Giuseppe Lanzino, Jay F. Piccirillo, Akash P. Kansagra, Gregory J. Zipfel, and

OBJECTIVE

Cranial dural arteriovenous fistulas (dAVFs) are rare lesions, hampering efforts to understand them and improve their care. To address this challenge, investigators with an established record of dAVF investigation formed an international, multicenter consortium aimed at better elucidating dAVF pathophysiology, imaging characteristics, natural history, and patient outcomes. This report describes the design of the Consortium for Dural Arteriovenous Fistula Outcomes Research (CONDOR) and includes characterization of the 1077-patient cohort.

METHODS

Potential collaborators with established interest in the field were identified via systematic review of the literature. To ensure uniformity of data collection, a quality control process was instituted. Data were retrospectively obtained.

RESULTS

CONDOR comprises 14 centers in the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Japan that have pooled their data from 1077 dAVF patients seen between 1990 and 2017. The cohort includes 359 patients (33%) with Borden type I dAVFs, 175 (16%) with Borden type II fistulas, and 529 (49%) with Borden type III fistulas. Overall, 852 patients (79%) presented with fistula-related symptoms: 427 (40%) presented with nonaggressive symptoms such as tinnitus or orbital phenomena, 258 (24%) presented with intracranial hemorrhage, and 167 (16%) presented with nonhemorrhagic neurological deficits. A smaller proportion (224 patients, 21%), whose dAVFs were discovered incidentally, were asymptomatic. Many patients (85%, 911/1077) underwent treatment via endovascular embolization (55%, 587/1077), surgery (10%, 103/1077), radiosurgery (3%, 36/1077), or multimodal therapy (17%, 184/1077). The overall angiographic cure rate was 83% (758/911 treated), and treatment-related permanent neurological morbidity was 2% (27/1467 total procedures). The median time from diagnosis to follow-up was 380 days (IQR 120–1038.5 days).

CONCLUSIONS

With more than 1000 patients, the CONDOR registry represents the largest registry of cranial dAVF patient data in the world. These unique, well-annotated data will enable multiple future analyses to be performed to better understand dAVFs and their management.

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Ching-Jen Chen, Thomas J. Buell, Dale Ding, Ridhima Guniganti, Akash P. Kansagra, Giuseppe Lanzino, Enrico Giordan, Louis J. Kim, Michael R. Levitt, Isaac Josh Abecassis, Diederik Bulters, Andrew Durnford, W. Christopher Fox, Adam J. Polifka, Bradley A. Gross, Minako Hayakawa, Colin P. Derdeyn, Edgar A. Samaniego, Sepideh Amin-Hanjani, Ali Alaraj, Amanda Kwasnicki, J. Marc C. van Dijk, Adriaan R. E. Potgieser, Robert M. Starke, Samir Sur, Junichiro Satomi, Yoshiteru Tada, Adib A. Abla, Ethan A. Winkler, Rose Du, Pui Man Rosalind Lai, Gregory J. Zipfel, Jason P. Sheehan, and

OBJECTIVE

The risk-to-benefit profile of treating an unruptured high-grade dural arteriovenous fistula (dAVF) is not clearly defined. The aim of this multicenter retrospective cohort study was to compare the outcomes of different interventions with observation for unruptured high-grade dAVFs.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed dAVF patients from 12 institutions participating in the Consortium for Dural Arteriovenous Fistula Outcomes Research (CONDOR). Patients with unruptured high-grade (Borden type II or III) dAVFs were included and categorized into four groups (observation, embolization, surgery, and stereotactic radiosurgery [SRS]) based on the initial management. The primary outcome was defined as the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score at final follow-up. Secondary outcomes were good outcome (mRS scores 0–2) at final follow-up, symptomatic improvement, all-cause mortality, and dAVF obliteration. The outcomes of each intervention group were compared against those of the observation group as a reference, with adjustment for differences in baseline characteristics.

RESULTS

The study included 415 dAVF patients, accounting for 29, 324, 43, and 19 in the observation, embolization, surgery, and SRS groups, respectively. The mean radiological and clinical follow-up durations were 21 and 25 months, respectively. Functional outcomes were similar for embolization, surgery, and SRS compared with observation. With observation as a reference, obliteration rates were higher after embolization (adjusted OR [aOR] 7.147, p = 0.010) and surgery (aOR 33.803, p < 0.001) and all-cause mortality was lower after embolization (imputed, aOR 0.171, p = 0.040). Hemorrhage rates per 1000 patient-years were 101 for observation versus 9, 22, and 0 for embolization (p = 0.022), surgery (p = 0.245), and SRS (p = 0.077), respectively. Nonhemorrhagic neurological deficit rates were similar between each intervention group versus observation.

CONCLUSIONS

Embolization and surgery for unruptured high-grade dAVFs afforded a greater likelihood of obliteration than did observation. Embolization also reduced the risk of death and dAVF-associated hemorrhage compared with conservative management over a modest follow-up period. These findings support embolization as the first-line treatment of choice for appropriately selected unruptured Borden type II and III dAVFs.

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Isaac Josh Abecassis, R. Michael Meyer, Michael R. Levitt, Jason P. Sheehan, Ching-Jen Chen, Bradley A. Gross, Jessica Smith, W. Christopher Fox, Enrico Giordan, Giuseppe Lanzino, Robert M. Starke, Samir Sur, Adriaan R. E. Potgieser, J. Marc C. van Dijk, Andrew Durnford, Diederik Bulters, Junichiro Satomi, Yoshiteru Tada, Amanda Kwasnicki, Sepideh Amin-Hanjani, Ali Alaraj, Edgar A. Samaniego, Minako Hayakawa, Colin P. Derdeyn, Ethan Winkler, Adib Abla, Pui Man Rosalind Lai, Rose Du, Ridhima Guniganti, Akash P. Kansagra, Gregory J. Zipfel, Louis J. Kim, and

OBJECTIVE

Cranial dural arteriovenous fistulas (dAVFs) are often treated with endovascular therapy, but occasionally a multimodality approach including surgery and/or radiosurgery is utilized. Recurrence after an initial angiographic cure has been reported, with estimated rates ranging from 2% to 14.3%, but few risk factors have been identified. The objective of this study was to identify risk factors associated with recurrence of dAVF after putative cure.

METHODS

The Consortium for Dural Arteriovenous Fistula Outcomes Research (CONDOR) data were retrospectively reviewed. All patients with angiographic cure after treatment and subsequent angiographic follow-up were included. The primary outcome was recurrence, with risk factor analysis. Secondary outcomes included clinical outcomes, morbidity, and mortality associated with recurrence. Risk factor analysis was performed comparing the group of patients who experienced recurrence with those with durable cure (regardless of multiple recurrences). Time-to-event analysis was performed using all collective recurrence events (multiple per patients in some cases).

RESULTS

Of the 1077 patients included in the primary CONDOR data set, 457 met inclusion criteria. A total of 32 patients (7%) experienced 34 events of recurrence at a mean of 368.7 days (median 192 days). The recurrence rate was 4.5% overall. Kaplan-Meier analysis predicted long-term recurrence rates approaching 11% at 3 years. Grade III dAVFs treated with endovascular therapy were statistically significantly more likely to experience recurrence than those treated surgically (13.3% vs 0%, p = 0.0001). Tentorial location, cortical venous drainage, and deep cerebral venous drainage were all risk factors for recurrence. Endovascular intervention and radiosurgery were associated with recurrence. Six recurrences were symptomatic, including 2 with hemorrhage, 3 with nonhemorrhagic neurological deficit, and 1 with progressive flow-related symptoms (decreased vision).

CONCLUSIONS

Recurrence of dAVFs after putative cure can occur after endovascular treatment. Risk factors include tentorial location, cortical venous drainage, and deep cerebral drainage. Multimodality therapy can be used to achieve cure after recurrence. A delayed long-term angiographic evaluation (at least 1 year from cure) may be warranted, especially in cases with risk factors for recurrence.

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Edgar A. Samaniego, Jorge A. Roa, Minako Hayakawa, Ching-Jen Chen, Jason P. Sheehan, Louis J. Kim, Isaac Josh Abecassis, Michael R. Levitt, Ridhima Guniganti, Akash P. Kansagra, Giuseppe Lanzino, Enrico Giordan, Waleed Brinjikji, Diederik Bulters, Andrew Durnford, W. Christopher Fox, Adam J. Polifka, Bradley A. Gross, Sepideh Amin-Hanjani, Ali Alaraj, Amanda Kwasnicki, Robert M. Starke, Samir Sur, J. Marc C. van Dijk, Adriaan R. E. Potgieser, Junichiro Satomi, Yoshiteru Tada, Adib Abla, Ethan Winkler, Rose Du, Pui Man Rosalind Lai, Gregory J. Zipfel, Colin P. Derdeyn, and

OBJECTIVE

Current evidence suggests that intracranial dural arteriovenous fistulas (dAVFs) without cortical venous drainage (CVD) have a benign clinical course. However, no large study has evaluated the safety and efficacy of current treatments and their impact over the natural history of dAVFs without CVD.

METHODS

The authors conducted an analysis of the retrospectively collected multicenter Consortium for Dural Arteriovenous Fistula Outcomes Research (CONDOR) database. Patient demographics and presenting symptoms, angiographic features of the dAVFs, and treatment outcomes of patients with Borden type I dAVFs were reviewed. Clinical and radiological follow-up information was assessed to determine rates of new intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) or nonhemorrhagic neurological deficit (NHND), worsening of venous hyperdynamic symptoms (VHSs), angiographic recurrence, and progression or spontaneous regression of dAVFs over time.

RESULTS

A total of 342 patients/Borden type I dAVFs were identified. The mean patient age was 58.1 ± 15.6 years, and 62% were women. The mean follow-up time was 37.7 ± 54.3 months. Of 230 (67.3%) treated dAVFs, 178 (77%) underwent mainly endovascular embolization, 11 (4.7%) radiosurgery alone, and 4 (1.7%) open surgery as the primary modality. After the first embolization, most dAVFs (47.2%) achieved only partial reduction in early venous filling. Multiple complementary interventions increased complete obliteration rates from 37.9% after first embolization to 46.7% after two or more embolizations, and 55.2% after combined radiosurgery and open surgery. Immediate postprocedural complications occurred in 35 dAVFs (15.2%) and 6 (2.6%) with permanent sequelae. Of 127 completely obliterated dAVFs by any therapeutic modality, 2 (1.6%) showed angiographic recurrence/recanalization at a mean of 34.2 months after treatment. Progression to Borden-Shucart type II or III was documented in 2.2% of patients and subsequent development of a new dAVF in 1.6%. Partial spontaneous regression was found in 22 (21.4%) of 103 nontreated dAVFs. Multivariate Cox regression analysis demonstrated that older age, NHND, or severe venous-hyperdynamic symptoms at presentation and infratentorial location were associated with worse prognosis. Kaplan-Meier curves showed no significant difference for stable/improved symptoms survival probability in treated versus nontreated dAVFs. However, estimated survival times showed better trends for treated dAVFs compared with nontreated dAVFs (288.1 months vs 151.1 months, log-rank p = 0.28). This difference was statistically significant for treated dAVFs with 100% occlusion (394 months, log-rank p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

Current therapeutic modalities for management of dAVFs without CVD may provide better symptom control when complete angiographic occlusion is achieved.

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Isaac Josh Abecassis, R. Michael Meyer, Michael R. Levitt, Jason P. Sheehan, Ching-Jen Chen, Bradley A. Gross, Ashley Lockerman, W. Christopher Fox, Waleed Brinjikji, Giuseppe Lanzino, Robert M. Starke, Stephanie H. Chen, Adriaan R. E. Potgieser, J. Marc C. van Dijk, Andrew Durnford, Diederik Bulters, Junichiro Satomi, Yoshiteru Tada, Amanda Kwasnicki, Sepideh Amin-Hanjani, Ali Alaraj, Edgar A. Samaniego, Minako Hayakawa, Colin P. Derdeyn, Ethan Winkler, Adib Abla, Pui Man Rosalind Lai, Rose Du, Ridhima Guniganti, Akash P. Kansagra, Gregory J. Zipfel, Louis J. Kim, and

OBJECTIVE

There is a reported elevated risk of cerebral aneurysms in patients with intracranial dural arteriovenous fistulas (dAVFs). However, the natural history, rate of spontaneous regression, and ideal treatment regimen are not well characterized. In this study, the authors aimed to describe the characteristics of patients with dAVFs and intracranial aneurysms and propose a classification system.

METHODS

The Consortium for Dural Arteriovenous Fistula Outcomes Research (CONDOR) database from 12 centers was retrospectively reviewed. Analysis was performed to compare dAVF patients with (dAVF+ cohort) and without (dAVF-only cohort) concomitant aneurysm. Aneurysms were categorized based on location as a dAVF flow-related aneurysm (FRA) or a dAVF non–flow-related aneurysm (NFRA), with further classification as extra- or intradural. Patients with traumatic pseudoaneurysms or aneurysms with associated arteriovenous malformations were excluded from the analysis. Patient demographics, dAVF anatomical information, aneurysm information, and follow-up data were collected.

RESULTS

Of the 1077 patients, 1043 were eligible for inclusion, comprising 978 (93.8%) and 65 (6.2%) in the dAVF-only and dAVF+ cohorts, respectively. There were 96 aneurysms in the dAVF+ cohort; 10 patients (1%) harbored 12 FRAs, and 55 patients (5.3%) harbored 84 NFRAs. Dural AVF+ patients had higher rates of smoking (59.3% vs 35.2%, p < 0.001) and illicit drug use (5.8% vs 1.5%, p = 0.02). Sixteen dAVF+ patients (24.6%) presented with aneurysm rupture, which represented 16.7% of the total aneurysms. One patient (1.5%) had aneurysm rupture during follow-up. Patients with dAVF+ were more likely to have a dAVF located in nonconventional locations, less likely to have arterial supply to the dAVF from external carotid artery branches, and more likely to have supply from pial branches. Rates of cortical venous drainage and Borden type distributions were comparable between cohorts. A minority (12.5%) of aneurysms were FRAs. The majority of the aneurysms underwent treatment via either endovascular (36.5%) or microsurgical (15.6%) technique. A small proportion of aneurysms managed conservatively either with or without dAVF treatment spontaneously regressed (6.2%).

CONCLUSIONS

Patients with dAVF have a similar risk of harboring a concomitant intracranial aneurysm unrelated to the dAVF (5.3%) compared with the general population (approximately 2%–5%) and a rare risk (0.9%) of harboring an FRA. Only 50% of FRAs are intradural. Dural AVF+ patients have differences in dAVF angioarchitecture. A subset of dAVF+ patients harbor FRAs that may regress after dAVF treatment.