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Yagiz Ugur Yolcu, Anshit Goyal, Mohammed Ali Alvi, FM Moinuddin, and Mohamad Bydon

OBJECTIVE

Recent studies have reported on the utility of radiosurgery for local control and symptom relief in spinal meningioma. The authors sought to evaluate national utilization trends in radiotherapy (including radiosurgery), investigate possible factors associated with its use in patients with spinal meningioma, and its impact on survival for atypical tumors.

METHODS

Using the ICD-O-3 topographical codes C70.1, C72.0, and C72.1 and histological codes 9530–9535 and 9537–9539, the authors queried the National Cancer Database for patients in whom spinal meningioma had been diagnosed between 2004 and 2015. Patients who had undergone radiation in addition to surgery and those who had received radiation as the only treatment were analyzed for factors associated with each treatment.

RESULTS

From among 10,458 patients with spinal meningioma in the database, the authors found a total of 268 patients who had received any type of radiation. The patients were divided into two main groups for the analysis of radiation alone (137 [51.1%]) and radiation plus surgery (131 [48.9%]). An age > 69 years (p < 0.001), male sex (p = 0.03), and tumor size 5 to < 6 cm (p < 0.001) were found to be associated with significantly higher odds of receiving radiation alone, whereas a Charlson-Deyo Comorbidity Index ≥ 2 (p = 0.01) was associated with significantly lower odds of receiving radiation alone. Moreover, a larger tumor size (2 to < 3 cm, p = 0.01; 3 to < 4 cm, p < 0.001; 4 to < 5 cm, p < 0.001; 5 to < 6 cm, p < 0.001; and ≥ 6 cm, p < 0.001; reference = 1 to < 2 cm), as well as borderline (p < 0.001) and malignant (p < 0.001) tumors were found to be associated with increased odds of undergoing radiation in addition to surgery. Receiving adjuvant radiation conferred a significant reduction in overall mortality among patients with borderline or malignant spinal meningiomas (HR 2.12, 95% CI 1.02–4.1, p = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS

The current analysis of cases from a national cancer database revealed a small increase in the use of radiation for the management of spinal meningioma without a significant increase in overall survival. Larger tumor size and borderline or malignant behavior were found to be associated with increased radiation use. Data in the present analysis failed to show an overall survival benefit in utilizing adjuvant radiation for atypical tumors.

Restricted access

Mohammed Adeeb Sebai, Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Mohammed Ali Alvi, Jang Won Yoon, Robert J. Spinner, and Mohamad Bydon

OBJECTIVE

Spinal peripheral nerve sheath tumors (PNSTs) are a group of rare tumors originating from the nerve and its supporting structures. Standard surgical management typically entails laminectomy with or without facetectomy to gain adequate tumor exposure. Arthrodesis is occasionally performed to maintain spinal stability and mitigate the risk of postoperative deformity, pain, or neurological deficit. However, the factors associated with the need for instrumentation in addition to PNST resection in the same setting remain unclear.

METHODS

An institutional tumor registry at a tertiary care center was queried for patients treated surgically for a primary diagnosis of spinal PNST between 2002 and 2016. An analysis focused on patients in whom a facetectomy was performed during the resection. The addition of arthrodesis at the index procedure comprised the primary outcome. The authors also recorded baseline demographics, tumor characteristics, and surgery-related variables. Logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with increased risk of fusion surgery.

RESULTS

A total of 163 patients were identified, of which 56 (32 had facetectomy with fusion, 24 had facetectomy alone) were analyzed. The median age was 48 years, and 50% of the cohort was female. Age, sex, and race, as well as tumor histology and size, were evenly distributed between patients who received facetectomy alone and those who had facetectomy and fusion. On univariate analysis, total versus subtotal facetectomy (OR 9.0, 95% CI 2.01–64.2; p = 0.009) and cervicothoracic versus other spinal region (OR 9.0, 95% CI 1.51–172.9; p = 0.048) were significantly associated with increased odds of performing immediate fusion. On multivariable analysis, only the effect of total facetectomy remained statistically significant (OR 6.75, 95% CI 1.47–48.8; p = 0.025).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors found that total facetectomy and cervicothoracic involvement may be highly associated with the need for concomitant arthrodesis at the time of index surgery. These findings may help surgeons to determine the best surgical planning for patients with PNST.

Free access

Andre E. Boyke, Edward R. Bader, Ishan Naidu, Sharon Lam, Mohammed Ali Alvi, Abigail Funari, and Vijay Agarwal

OBJECTIVE

Among medical practices, surgical fields, including neurosurgery, are at a high risk for medical malpractice litigation. With meningiomas contributing to 10% of the total neurosurgery litigation cases, the aim of this study was to identify demographic characteristics, reasons for litigation, and surgical complications commonly reported in these cases. This analysis serves to increase neurosurgeons’ awareness of factors associated with medical malpractice litigation.

METHODS

The online legal database Westlaw was utilized to query public litigation cases related to the medical management of meningiomas between December 1985 and May 2020. Variables extracted included the following: plaintiff and defendant demographics, litigation category, plaintiff medical complaints, and trial outcomes. The authors compared these characteristics between cases with decisions in favor of the defendant and those with decisions in favor of the plaintiff.

RESULTS

A total of 47 cases met the inclusion criteria. Failure to diagnose (68.1%) was the most common type of malpractice claim, and surgical complications (19.1%), motor weakness (33%), and financial loss (33%) were cited as the most common postoperative complaints. Individual specialties that most often required defense due to malpractice claims were radiology (21.7%) and neurosurgery (19.6%). The jury verdict was in favor of the defense in 51.1% of cases and in favor of the plaintiff in 27.7% of cases. A settlement was reached in 19.1% of cases. The mean payout for a verdict in favor of the plaintiff was $3,409,650.22, while the mean payout for settlements was $867,555.56. The greatest average payout for specialties was in neurosurgery at $3,414,400, followed by radiology at $3,192,960. Cases with a verdict in favor of the plaintiff were more likely to involve an internal medicine physician as a defendant (p = 0.007).

CONCLUSIONS

Over one-half of the cases resulted in a defendant’s verdict with failure to diagnose cited as the most common reason for litigation. Radiology and neurosurgery were the most common specialties for legal cases and also had some of the largest average payouts based on specialty. Motor weakness and financial loss were the most common plaintiff postoperative complaints. These findings may inform surgeons on active measures to take, such as increasing focus on diagnostic accuracy and reducing specific postoperative complaints, such as motor weakness, through risk management and prophylactic measures, to reduce unfavorable legal outcomes.

Restricted access

Mohammed Ali Alvi, Lorenzo Rinaldo, Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Leonardo Rangel-Castilla, Mohamad Bydon, Harry Cloft, and Giuseppe Lanzino

OBJECTIVE

The impact of FDA approval of flow-diversion technology for the treatment of supraclinoid internal carotid artery aneurysms and the publication of the Carotid Occlusion Surgery Study, both of which occurred in 2011, on the utilization of extracranial-intracranial (EC-IC) bypasses is not known.

METHODS

The National Inpatient Sample (NIS) was queried for hospitalizations for EC-IC bypass performed from 2008 to 2016. Diagnoses of interest included an unruptured intracranial aneurysm (UIA), subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), carotid occlusive disease (COD), and moyamoya disease. The authors assessed trends in EC-IC bypass utilization for these diagnoses and the incidence of adverse discharges, defined as discharge to locations other than home, and the rate of mortality.

RESULTS

A total of 1640 EC-IC bypass procedures were performed at 558 hospitals during the study period, with 1148 procedures at 448 hospitals performed for a diagnosis of interest. The most frequent surgical indication was moyamoya disease (65.7%, n = 754), followed by COD (23.2%, n = 266), SAH (3.2%, n = 37), and a UIA (7.9%, n = 91). EC-IC bypass utilization for COD decreased from 0.21 per 100 admissions of COD in 2010 to 0.09 per 100 admissions in 2016 (p = 0.023). The frequency of adverse discharges increased during the study period from 22.3% of annual admissions in 2008 to 31.2% in 2016 (p = 0.030) when analysis was limited to procedures performed for a diagnosis of interest. Per volume, the top 5th percentile of hospitals, on average, performed 18.4 procedures (SD 13.2) per hospital during the study period, compared to 1.3 procedures (SD 1.3) that were performed in hospitals within the bottom 95th percentile. The rate of adverse discharges was higher at low-volume institutions when compared to that at high-volume institutions (33.8% vs 28.7%; p = 0.029). Over the study period, the authors noted a trend toward a reduced percentage of total surgical volume performed at high-volume hospitals (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors observed a decrease in the utilization of EC-IC bypass for COD during the study period. An increase in the rate of adverse discharges was also noted, coinciding with more procedures being performed at lower-volume centers.

Restricted access

Mohammed Ali Alvi, Lorenzo Rinaldo, Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Leonardo Rangel-Castilla, Mohamad Bydon, Harry Cloft, and Giuseppe Lanzino

OBJECTIVE

The impact of FDA approval of flow-diversion technology for the treatment of supraclinoid internal carotid artery aneurysms and the publication of the Carotid Occlusion Surgery Study, both of which occurred in 2011, on the utilization of extracranial-intracranial (EC-IC) bypasses is not known.

METHODS

The National Inpatient Sample (NIS) was queried for hospitalizations for EC-IC bypass performed from 2008 to 2016. Diagnoses of interest included an unruptured intracranial aneurysm (UIA), subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), carotid occlusive disease (COD), and moyamoya disease. The authors assessed trends in EC-IC bypass utilization for these diagnoses and the incidence of adverse discharges, defined as discharge to locations other than home, and the rate of mortality.

RESULTS

A total of 1640 EC-IC bypass procedures were performed at 558 hospitals during the study period, with 1148 procedures at 448 hospitals performed for a diagnosis of interest. The most frequent surgical indication was moyamoya disease (65.7%, n = 754), followed by COD (23.2%, n = 266), SAH (3.2%, n = 37), and a UIA (7.9%, n = 91). EC-IC bypass utilization for COD decreased from 0.21 per 100 admissions of COD in 2010 to 0.09 per 100 admissions in 2016 (p = 0.023). The frequency of adverse discharges increased during the study period from 22.3% of annual admissions in 2008 to 31.2% in 2016 (p = 0.030) when analysis was limited to procedures performed for a diagnosis of interest. Per volume, the top 5th percentile of hospitals, on average, performed 18.4 procedures (SD 13.2) per hospital during the study period, compared to 1.3 procedures (SD 1.3) that were performed in hospitals within the bottom 95th percentile. The rate of adverse discharges was higher at low-volume institutions when compared to that at high-volume institutions (33.8% vs 28.7%; p = 0.029). Over the study period, the authors noted a trend toward a reduced percentage of total surgical volume performed at high-volume hospitals (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors observed a decrease in the utilization of EC-IC bypass for COD during the study period. An increase in the rate of adverse discharges was also noted, coinciding with more procedures being performed at lower-volume centers.

Full access

Mohammed Ali Alvi, Redab Alkhataybeh, Waseem Wahood, Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Sandy Goncalves, M. Hassan Murad, and Mohamad Bydon

OBJECTIVE

Transpsoas lateral interbody fusion is one of the lateral minimally invasive approaches for lumbar spine surgery. Most surgeons insert the interbody cage laterally and then insert pedicle or cortical screw and rod instrumentation posteriorly. However, standalone cages have also been used to avoid posterior instrumentation. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, the literature on comparison of the two approaches is sparse.

METHODS

The authors performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of the available literature on transpsoas lateral interbody fusion by an electronic search of the PubMed, EMBASE, and Scopus databases using PRISMA guidelines. They compared patients undergoing transpsoas standalone fusion (TP) with those undergoing transpsoas fusion with posterior instrumentation (TPP).

RESULTS

A total of 28 studies with 1462 patients were included. Three hundred and seventy-four patients underwent TPP, and 956 patients underwent TP. The mean patient age ranged from 45.7 to 68 years in the TP group, and 50 to 67.7 years in the TPP group. The incidence of reoperation was found to be higher for TP (0.08, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.04–0.11) compared to TPP (0.03, 95% CI 0.01–0.06; p = 0.057). Similarly, the incidence of cage movement was found to be greater in TP (0.18, 95% CI 0.10–0.26) compared to TPP (0.03, 95% CI 0.00–0.05; p < 0.001). Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and visual analog scale (VAS) scores and postoperative transient deficits were found to be comparable between the two groups.

CONCLUSIONS

These results appear to suggest that addition of posterior instrumentation to transpsoas fusion is associated with decreased reoperations and cage movements. The results of previous systematic reviews and meta-analyses should be reevaluated in light of these results, which seem to suggest that higher reoperation and subsidence rates may be due to the use of the standalone technique.

Free access

Yagiz Ugur Yolcu, Waseem Wahood, Abdullah T. Eissa, Mohammed Ali Alvi, Brett A. Freedman, Benjamin D. Elder, and Mohamad Bydon

OBJECTIVE

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a biological agent obtained by centrifuging a sample of blood and retrieving a high concentration of platelets and plasma components. The concentrate is then stimulated for platelet secretion of various growth factors and cytokines. Although it is not widely used in clinical practice, its role in augmenting bony union among patients undergoing spinal fusion has been assessed in several clinical studies. The objective of this study was to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of the existing literature to determine the efficacy of PRP use in spinal fusion procedures.

METHODS

A comprehensive literature search was conducted using PubMed, Scopus, and EMBASE for studies from all available dates. From eligible studies, data regarding the fusion rate and method of assessing fusion, estimated blood loss (EBL), and baseline and final visual analog scale (VAS) scores were collected as the primary outcomes of interest. Patients were grouped by those undergoing spinal fusion with PRP and bone graft (PRP group) and those only with bone graft (graft-only group).

RESULTS

The literature search resulted in 207 articles. Forty-five full-text articles were screened, of which 11 studies were included, resulting in a meta-analysis including 741 patients. Patients without PRP were more likely to have a successful fusion at the last follow-up compared with those with PRP in their bone grafts (OR 0.53, 95% CI 0.34–0.84; p = 0.006). There was no statistically significant difference with regard to change in VAS scores (OR 0.00, 95% CI −2.84 to 2.84; p > 0.99) or change in EBL (OR 3.67, 95% CI −67.13–74.48; p = 0.92) between the groups.

CONCLUSIONS

This study found that the additional use of PRP was not associated with any significant improvement in patient-reported outcomes and was actually found to be associated with lower fusion rates compared with standard grafting techniques. Thus, PRP may have a limited role in augmenting spinal fusion.

Free access

Shyam J. Kurian, Yagiz Ugur Yolcu, Jad Zreik, Mohammed Ali Alvi, Brett A. Freedman, and Mohamad Bydon

OBJECTIVE

The National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) and National Readmissions Database (NRD) are two widely used databases for research studies. However, they may not provide generalizable information in regard to individual institutions. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to evaluate 30-day readmissions following anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) and posterior lumbar fusion (PLF) procedures by using these two national databases and an institutional cohort.

METHODS

The NSQIP and NRD were queried for patients undergoing elective ACDF and PLF, with the addition of an institutional cohort. The outcome of interest was 30-day readmissions following ACDF and PLF, which were unplanned and related to the index procedure. Subsequently, univariable and multivariable analyses were conducted to determine the predictors of 30-day readmissions by using both databases and the institutional cohort.

RESULTS

Among all identified risk factors, only hypertension was found to be a common risk factor between NRD and the institutional cohort following ACDF. NSQIP and the institutional cohort both showed length of hospital stay to be a significant predictor for 30-day related readmission following PLF. There were no overlapping variables among all 3 cohorts for either ACDF or PLF. Additionally, the national databases identified a greater number of risk factors for 30-day related readmissions than did the institutional cohort for both procedures.

CONCLUSIONS

Overall, significant differences were seen among all 3 cohorts with regard to top predictors of 30-day unplanned readmissions following ACDF and PLF. The higher quantity of significant predictors found in the national databases may suggest that looking at single-institution series for such analyses may result in underestimation of important variables affecting patient outcomes, and that big data may be helpful in addressing this concern.

Restricted access

Mohammed Ali Alvi, Archis R. Bhandarkar, David J. Daniels, Kai J. Miller, and Edward S. Ahn

OBJECTIVE

CSF shunt insertion is the most commonly performed neurosurgical procedure for pediatric patients with hydrocephalus, and complications including infections and catheter obstruction are common. The rate of readmission in the first 30 days after surgery has been used across surgical disciplines to determine healthcare quality. In the current study, the authors sought to assess factors associated with early shunt revision within 30 days using real-world data.

METHODS

Targeted shunt data set participant user files of the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) from 2016 to 2019 were queried for patients undergoing a shunt procedure. A multivariable logistic regression model was performed to assess the impact of demographics, etiologies, comorbidities, congenital malformations, and shunt adjuncts on shunt revision within 30 days, as well as shunt revision due to infection within 30 days.

RESULTS

A total of 3919 primary pediatric shunt insertions were identified in the NSQIP database, with a mean (± SD) patient age of 26.3 ± 51.6 months. There were a total of 285 (7.3%) unplanned shunt revisions within 30 days, with a mean duration of 14.9 ± 8.5 days to first intervention. The most common reason for intervention was mechanical shunt failure (32.6% of revision, 2.4% overall, n = 93), followed by infection (31.2% of all interventions, 2.3% overall, n = 89) and wound disruption or CSF leak (22.1% of all interventions, 1.6% overall, n = 63). Patients younger than 6 months of age had the highest overall unplanned 30-day revision rate (8.5%, 203/2402) as well as the highest 30-day shunt infection rate (3%, 72/2402). Patients who required a revision were also more likely to have a cardiac risk factor (34.7%, n = 99, vs 29.2%, n = 1061; p = 0.048). Multivariable logistic regression revealed that compared to patients 9–18 years old, those aged 2–9 years had significantly lower odds of repeat shunt intervention (p = 0.047), while certain etiologies including congenital hydrocephalus (p = 0.0127), intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) of prematurity (p = 0.0173), neoplasm (p = 0.0005), infection (p = 0.0004), and syndromic etiology (p = 0.0136), as well as presence of ostomy (p = 0.0095), were associated with higher odds of repeat intervention. For shunt infection, IVH of prematurity was found to be associated with significantly higher odds (p = 0.0427) of shunt infection within 30 days, while use of intraventricular antibiotics was associated with significantly lower odds (p = 0.0085).

CONCLUSIONS

In this study of outcomes after pediatric shunt placement using a nationally derived cohort, early shunt failure and infection within 30 days were found to remain as considerable risks. The analysis of this national surgical quality registry confirms that, in accordance with other multicenter studies, hydrocephalus etiology, age, and presence of ostomy are important predictors of the need for early shunt revision. IVH of prematurity is associated with early infections while intraventricular antibiotics may be protective. These findings could be used for benchmarking in hospital efforts to improve quality of care for pediatric patients with hydrocephalus.

Restricted access

Sanjeet S. Grewal, Mohammed Ali Alvi, William J. Perkins, Gregory D. Cascino, Jeffrey W. Britton, David B. Burkholder, Elson So, Cheolsu Shin, Richard W. Marsh, Fredric B. Meyer, Gregory A. Worrell, and Jamie J. Van Gompel

OBJECTIVE

Almost 30% of the patients with suspected temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) have normal results on MRI. Success rates for resection of MRI-negative TLE are less favorable, ranging from 36% to 76%. Herein the authors describe the impact of intraoperative electrocorticography (ECoG) augmented by opioid activation and its effect on postoperative seizure outcome.

METHODS

Adult and pediatric patients with medically resistant MRI-negative TLE who underwent standardized ECoG at the time of their elective anterior temporal lobectomy (ATL) with amygdalohippocampectomy between 1990 and 2016 were included in this study. Seizure recurrence comprised the primary outcome of interest and was assessed using Kaplan-Meier and multivariable Cox regression analysis plots based on distribution of interictal epileptiform discharges (IEDs) recorded on scalp electroencephalography, baseline and opioid-induced IEDs on ECoG, and extent of resection.

RESULTS

Of the 1144 ATLs performed at the authors’ institution between 1990 and 2016, 127 (11.1%) patients (81 females) with MRI-negative TLE were eligible for this study. Patients with complete resection of tissue generating IED recorded on intraoperative ECoG were less likely to have seizure recurrence compared to those with incomplete resection on univariate analysis (p < 0.05). No difference was found in seizure recurrence between patients with bilateral independent IEDs and unilateral IEDs (p = 0.15), presence or absence of opioid-induced epileptiform activation (p = 0.61), or completeness of resection of tissue with opioid-induced IEDs on intraoperative ECoG (p = 0.41).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors found that incomplete resection of IED-generating tissue on intraoperative ECoG was associated with an increased chance of seizure recurrence. However, they found that induction of epileptiform activity with intraoperative opioid activation did not provide useful intraoperative data predictive of improving operative results for temporal lobectomy in MRI-negative epilepsy.