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Robert Young, Ethan Cottrill, Zach Pennington, Jeff Ehresman, A. Karim Ahmed, Timothy Kim, Bowen Jiang, Daniel Lubelski, Alex M. Zhu, Katherine S. Wright, Donna Gavin, Alyson Russo, Marie N. Hanna, Ali Bydon, Timothy F. Witham, Corinna Zygourakis, and Nicholas Theodore

OBJECTIVE

Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) protocols have rapidly gained popularity in multiple surgical specialties and are recognized for their potential to improve patient outcomes and decrease hospitalization costs. However, they have only recently been applied to spinal surgery. The goal in the present work was to describe the development, implementation, and impact of an Enhanced Recovery After Spine Surgery (ERASS) protocol for patients undergoing elective spine procedures at an academic community hospital.

METHODS

A multidisciplinary team, drawing on prior publications and spine surgery best practices, collaborated to develop an ERASS protocol. Patients undergoing elective cervical or lumbar procedures were prospectively enrolled at a single tertiary care center; interventions were standardized across the cohort for pre-, intra-, and postoperative care using standardized order sets in the electronic medical record. Protocol efficacy was evaluated by comparing enrolled patients to a historic cohort of age- and procedure-matched controls. The primary study outcomes were quantity of opiate use in morphine milligram equivalents (MMEs) on postoperative day (POD) 1 and length of stay. Secondary outcomes included frequency and duration of indwelling urinary catheter use, discharge disposition, 30-day readmission and reoperation rates, and complication rates. Multivariable linear regression was used to determine whether ERASS protocol use was independently predictive of opiate use on POD 1.

RESULTS

In total, 97 patients were included in the study cohort and were compared with a historic cohort of 146 patients. The patients in the ERASS group had lower POD 1 opiate use than the control group (26 ± 33 vs 42 ± 40 MMEs, p < 0.001), driven largely by differences in opiate-naive patients (16 ± 21 vs 38 ± 36 MMEs, p < 0.001). Additionally, patients in the ERASS group had shorter hospitalizations than patients in the control group (51 ± 30 vs 62 ± 49 hours, p = 0.047). On multivariable regression, implementation of the ERASS protocol was independently predictive of lower POD 1 opiate consumption (β = −7.32, p < 0.001). There were no significant differences in any of the secondary outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors found that the development and implementation of a comprehensive ERASS protocol led to a modest reduction in postoperative opiate consumption and hospital length of stay in patients undergoing elective cervical or lumbar procedures. As suggested by these results and those of other groups, the implementation of ERASS protocols may reduce care costs and improve patient outcomes after spine surgery.

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Diem Kieu Tran, Andrew V. Poliakov, Seth D. Friedman, Hannah E. Goldstein, Hillary A. Shurtleff, Katherine Bowen, Kristina E. Patrick, Molly Warner, Edward J. Novotny Jr., Jeffrey G. Ojemann, and Jason S. Hauptman

OBJECTIVE

Assessing memory is often critical in surgical evaluation, although difficult to assess in young children and in patients with variable task abilities. While obtaining interpretable data from task-based functional MRI (fMRI) measures is common in compliant and awake patients, it is not known whether functional connectivity MRI (fcMRI) data show equivalent results. If this were the case, it would have substantial clinical and research generalizability. To evaluate this possibility, the authors evaluated the concordance between fMRI and fcMRI data collected in a presurgical epilepsy cohort.

METHODS

Task-based fMRI data for autobiographical memory tasks and resting-state fcMRI data were collected in patients with epilepsy evaluated at Seattle Children’s Hospital between 2010 and 2017. To assess memory-related activation and laterality, signal change in task-based measures was computed as a percentage of the average blood oxygen level–dependent signal over the defined regions of interest. An fcMRI data analysis was performed using 1000 Functional Connectomes Project scripts based on Analysis of Functional NeuroImages and FSL (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain Software Library) software packages. Lateralization indices (LIs) were estimated for activation and connectivity measures. The concordance between these two measures was evaluated using correlation and regression analysis.

RESULTS

In this epilepsy cohort studied, the authors observed concordance between fMRI activation and fcMRI connectivity, with an LI regression coefficient of 0.470 (R2 = 0.221, p = 0.00076).

CONCLUSIONS

Previously published studies have demonstrated fMRI and fcMRI overlap between measures of vision, attention, and language. In the authors’ clinical sample, task-based measures of memory and analogous resting-state mapping were similarly linked in pattern and strength. These results support the use of fcMRI methods as a proxy for task-based memory performance in presurgical patients, perhaps including those who are more limited in their behavioral compliance. Future investigations to extend these results will be helpful to explore how the magnitudes of effect are associated with neuropsychological performance and postsurgical behavioral changes.