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Ramesh Grandhi, Gregory M. Weiner, Nitin Agarwal, David M. Panczykowski, William J. Ares, Jesse S. Rodriguez, Jonathan A. Gelfond, John G. Myers, Louis H. Alarcon, David O. Okonkwo and Brian T. Jankowitz

OBJECTIVE

Blunt cerebrovascular injuries (BCVIs) following trauma carry risk for morbidity and mortality. Since patients with BCVI are often asymptomatic at presentation and neurological sequelae often occur within 72 hours, timely diagnosis is essential. Multidetector CT angiography (CTA) has been shown to be a noninvasive, cost-effective, reliable means of screening; however, the false-positive rate of CTA in diagnosing patients with BCVI represents a key drawback. Therefore, the authors assessed the role of DSA in the screening of BCVI when utilizing CTA as the initial screening modality.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective analysis of patients who experienced BCVI between 2013 and 2015 at 2 Level I trauma centers. All patients underwent CTA screening for BCVI according to the updated Denver Screening Criteria. Patients who were diagnosed with BCVI on CTA underwent confirmatory digital subtraction angiography (DSA). Patient demographics, screening indication, BCVI grade on CTA and DSA, and laboratory values were collected. Comparison of false-positive rates stratified by BCVI grade on CTA was performed using the chi-square test.

RESULTS

A total of 140 patients (64% males, mean age 50 years) with 156 cerebrovascular blunt injuries to the carotid and/or vertebral arteries were identified. After comparison with DSA findings, CTA findings were incorrect in 61.5% of vessels studied, and the overall CTA false-positive rates were 47.4% of vessels studied and 47.9% of patients screened. The positive predictive value (PPV) for CTA was higher among worse BCVI subtypes on initial imaging (PPV 76% and 97%, for BCVI Grades II and IV, respectively) compared with Grade I injuries (PPV 30%, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

In the current series, multidetector CTA as a screening test for blunt cerebrovascular injury had a high-false positive rate, especially in patients with Grade I BCVI. Given a false-positive rate of 47.9% with an estimated average of 132 patients per year screening positive for BCVI with CTA, approximately 63 patients per year would potentially be treated unnecessarily with antithrombotic therapy at a busy United States Level I trauma center. The authors’ data support the use of DSA after positive findings on CTA in patients with suspected BCVI. DSA as an adjunctive test in patients with positive CTA findings allows for increased diagnostic accuracy in correctly diagnosing BCVI while minimizing risk from unnecessary antithrombotic therapy in polytrauma patients.

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James M. Parrish, Nathaniel W. Jenkins, Michael T. Nolte, Dustin H. Massel, Nadia M. Hrynewycz, Thomas S. Brundage, Jonathan A. Myers, Kern Singh and the Minimally Invasive Spine Study Group (MISSG)

OBJECTIVE

While the anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) procedure may be amenable to ambulatory surgery, it has been hypothesized that limitations such as the risk of postoperative ileus and vascular complications have hindered transition of this procedure to the outpatient setting. Identification of independent risk factors predisposing patients to inpatient stays of ≥ 24 hours after ALIF may facilitate better postsurgical outcomes, target modifiable risk factors, and assist in the development of screening tools to transition appropriate patients to the ambulatory surgery center (ASC) setting for this procedure. The purpose of this study was to identify the most relevant risk factors that predispose patients to ≥ 24-hour admission following ALIF.

METHODS

A prospectively maintained surgical registry was reviewed for patients undergoing single ALIF between May 2006 and December 2019. Demographics, preoperative diagnosis, perioperative variables, and postoperative complications were evaluated according to their relative risk (RR) elevation for an inpatient stay of ≥ 24 hours. A Poisson regression model was used to evaluate predictors of inpatient stays of ≥ 24 hours. Risk factors for inpatient admission of ≥ 24 hours were identified with a stepwise backward regression model.

RESULTS

A total of 111 patients underwent single-level ALIF (50.9% female and 52.6% male, ≤ 50 years old). Eleven (9.5%) patients were discharged in < 24 hours and 116 remained admitted for ≥ 24 hours. The average inpatient stay was > 2 days (53.7 hours). The most common postoperative complications were fever (body temperature ≥ 100.4°F; n = 4, 3.5%) and blood transfusions (n = 4, 3.5%). Bivariate analysis revealed a preoperative diagnosis of retrolisthesis or lateral listhesis to elevate the RR for an inpatient stay of ≥ 24 hours (RR 1.11, p = 0.001, both diagnoses). Stepwise multivariate analysis demonstrated significant predictors for inpatient stays of ≥ 24 hours to be an operation on L4–5, coexisting degenerative disc disease (DDD) with foraminal stenosis, and herniated nucleus pulposus (RR 1.11, 95% CI 1.03–1.20, p = 0.009, all covariates).

CONCLUSIONS

This study provides data regarding the incidence of demographic and perioperative characteristics and postoperative complications as they pertain to patients undergoing single-level ALIF. This preliminary investigation identified the most relevant risk factors to be considered before appropriately transitioning ALIF procedures to the ASC. Further studies of preoperative characteristics are needed to elucidate ideal ASC ALIF patients.