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Eric C. Peterson and Roberto C. Heros

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Oliver G. S. Ayling, George M. Ibrahim, Brian Drake, James C. Torner and R. Loch Macdonald

OBJECT

Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) is associated with substantial morbidity and mortality, with better outcomes reported following endovascular coiling compared with neurosurgical clipping of the aneurysm. The authors evaluated the contribution of perioperative complications and neurological decline to patient outcomes after both aneurysm-securing procedures.

METHODS

A post hoc analysis of perioperative complications from the Clazosentan to Overcome Neurological iSChemia and Infarction Occurring after Subarachnoid hemorrhage (CONSCIOUS-1) study was performed. Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) scores for patients who underwent neurosurgical clipping and endovascular coiling were analyzed preoperatively and each day following the procedure. Complications associated with a decline in postoperative GCS scores were identified for both cohorts. Because patients were not randomized to the aneurysm-securing procedures, propensity-score matching was performed to balance selected covariates between the 2 cohorts. Using a multivariate logistic regression, the authors evaluated whether a perioperative decline in GCS scores was associated with long-term outcomes on the extended Glasgow Outcome Scale (eGOS).

RESULTS

Among all enrolled subjects, as well as the propensity-matched cohort, patients who underwent clipping had a significantly greater decline in their GCS scores postoperatively than patients who underwent coiling (p = 0.0024). Multivariate analysis revealed that intraoperative hypertension (p = 0.011) and intraoperative induction of hypotension (p = 0.0044) were associated with a decline in GCS scores for patients undergoing clipping. Perioperative thromboembolism was associated with postoperative GCS decline for patients undergoing coiling (p = 0.03). On multivariate logistic regression, postoperative neurological deterioration was strongly associated with a poor eGOS score at 3 months (OR 0.86, 95% CI 0.78-0.95, p = 0.0032).

CONCLUSIONS

Neurosurgical clipping following aSAH is associated with a greater perioperative decline in GCS scores than endovascular coiling, which is in turn associated with poorer long-term outcomes. These findings provide novel insight into putative mechanisms of improved outcomes following coiling, highlighting the potential importance of perioperative factors when comparing outcomes between clipping and coiling and the need to mitigate the morbidity of surgical strategies following aSAH.

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Mirriam Mikhail, Oliver G. S. Ayling, Matthew E. Eagles, George M. Ibrahim and R. Loch Macdonald

OBJECTIVE

Higher mortality has been reported with weekend or after-hours patient admission across a wide range of surgical and medical specialties, a phenomenon termed the “weekend effect.” The authors evaluated whether weekend admission contributed to death and long-term neurological outcome in patients following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage.

METHODS

A post hoc analysis of the Clazosentan to Overcome Neurological Ischemia and Infarction Occurring After Subarachnoid Hemorrhage (CONSCIOUS-1) study was conducted. Univariable and stepwise multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to assess the associations between weekend admission and mortality and long-term neurological outcome.

RESULTS

Of 413 subjects included in the CONSCIOUS-1 study, 140 patients had been admitted during the weekend. A significant interaction was identified between weekend admission and neurological grade on presentation, suggesting that the outcomes of patients who had initially presented with a poor grade were disproportionately influenced by the weekend admission. On stepwise multivariable logistic regression in the subgroup of patients who had presented with a poor neurological grade (29 of 100 patients), admission on the weekend was found to be independently associated with death (OR 6.59, 95% CI 1.62–26.88, p = 0.009). Weekend admission was not associated with long-term neurological outcome.

CONCLUSIONS

Weekend admission was an independent risk factor for death within 12 weeks following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage in patients presenting with a poor neurological grade. Further work is required to identify and mitigate any mediating factors.

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Matthew E. Eagles, Maria F. Powell, Oliver G. S. Ayling, Michael K. Tso and R. Loch Macdonald

OBJECTIVE

Acute kidney injury (AKI) is associated with death in critically ill patients, but this complication has not been well characterized after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH). The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence of AKI after aSAH and to identify risk factors for renal dysfunction. Secondary objectives were to examine what effect AKI has on patient mortality and functional outcome at 12 weeks post-aSAH.

METHODS

The authors performed a post hoc analysis of the Clazosentan to Overcome Neurological Ischemia and Infarction Occurring After Subarachnoid Hemorrhage (CONSCIOUS-1) trial data set (clinical trial registration no.: NCT00111085, https://clinicaltrials.gov). The primary outcome of interest was the development of AKI, which was defined according to the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) guidelines. Secondary outcomes of interest were death and a modified Rankin Scale score greater than 2 at 12 weeks post-aSAH. Propensity score matching was used to assess for a significant treatment effect related to clazosentan administration and AKI. Univariate analysis, locally weighted scatterplot smoothing (LOWESS) curves, and stepwise logistic regression models were used to evaluate for associations between baseline or disease-related characteristics and study outcomes.

RESULTS

One hundred fifty-six (38%) of the 413 patients enrolled in the CONSCIOUS-1 trial developed AKI during their ICU stay. A history of hypertension (p < 0.001) and the number of nephrotoxic medications administered (p = 0.029) were independent predictors of AKI on multivariate analysis. AKI was an independent predictor of death (p = 0.028) but not a poor functional outcome (p = 0.21) on multivariate testing. Unresolved renal dysfunction was the strongest independent predictor of death in this cohort (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

AKI is a common complication following aSAH. Patients with premorbid hypertension and those treated with nephrotoxic medications may be at greater risk for renal dysfunction. AKI appears to confer an increased probability of death after aSAH.

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Naif M. Alotaibi, Ghassan Awad Elkarim, Nardin Samuel, Oliver G. S. Ayling, Daipayan Guha, Aria Fallah, Abdulrahman Aldakkan, Blessing N. R. Jaja, Airton Leonardo de Oliveira Manoel, George M. Ibrahim and R. Loch Macdonald

OBJECTIVE

Patients with poor-grade aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) (World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies Grade IV or V) are often considered for decompressive craniectomy (DC) as a rescue therapy for refractory intracranial hypertension. The authors performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the impact of DC on functional outcome and death in patients after poor-grade aSAH.

METHODS

A systematic review and meta-analysis were performed in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Articles were identified through the Ovid Medline, Embase, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library databases from inception to October 2015. Only studies dedicated to patients with poor-grade aSAH were included. Primary outcomes were death and functional outcome assessed at any time period. Patients were grouped as having a favorable outcome (modified Rankin Scale [mRS] Scores 1–3, Glasgow Outcome Scale [GOS] Scores 4 and 5, extended Glasgow Outcome Scale [GOSE] Scores 5–8) or unfavorable outcome (mRS Scores 4–6, GOS Scores 1–3, GOSE Scores 1–4). Pooled estimates of event rates and odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals were calculated using the random-effects model.

RESULTS

Fifteen studies encompassing 407 patients were included in the meta-analysis (all observational cohorts). The pooled event rate for poor outcome across all studies was 61.2% (95% CI 52%–69%) and for death was 27.8% (95% CI 21%–35%) at a median of 12 months after aSAH. Primary (or early) DC resulted in a lower overall event rate for unfavorable outcome than secondary (or delayed) DC (47.5% [95% CI 31%–64%] vs 74.4% [95% CI 43%–91%], respectively). Among studies with comparison groups, there was a trend toward a reduced mortality rate 1–3 months after discharge among patients who did not undergo DC (OR 0.58 [95% CI 0.27–1.25]; p = 0.168). However, this trend was not sustained at the 1-year follow-up (OR 1.09 [95% CI 0.55–2.13]; p = 0.79).

CONCLUSIONS

Results of this study summarize the best evidence available in the literature for DC in patients with poor-grade aSAH. DC is associated with high rates of unfavorable outcome and death. Because of the lack of robust control groups in a majority of the studies, the effect of DC on functional outcomes versus that of other interventions for refractory intracranial hypertension is still unknown. A randomized trial is needed.

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Clinical outcomes research in spine surgery: what are appropriate follow-up times?

Presented at the 2018 AANS/CNS Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves

Oliver G. S. Ayling, Tamir Ailon, Greg McIntosh, Alex Soroceanu, Hamilton Hall, Andrew Nataraj, Christopher S. Bailey, Sean Christie, Alexandra Stratton, Henry Ahn, Michael Johnson, Jerome Paquet, Kenneth Thomas, Neil Manson, Y. Raja Rampersaud and Charles G. Fisher

OBJECTIVE

There has been a generic dictum in spine and musculoskeletal clinical research that a minimum 2-year follow-up is necessary for patient-reported outcomes (PROs) to adequately assess the therapeutic effect of surgery; however, the rationale for this duration is not evidence based. The purpose of this study was to determine the follow-up time necessary to ensure that the effectiveness of a lumbar surgical intervention is adequately captured for three lumbar pathologies and three common PROs.

METHODS

Using the different PROs of pain, physical function, and mental quality of life from the Canadian Spine Outcomes and Research Network (CSORN) prospective database, the authors assessed the time course to the recovery plateau following lumbar spine surgery for lumbar disc herniation, degenerative spondylolisthesis, and spinal stenosis. One-way ANOVA with post hoc testing was used to compare scores on the following standardized PRO measures at baseline and 3, 12, and 24 months postoperatively: Disability Scale (DS), visual analog scale (VAS) for leg and back pain, and SF-12 Mental Component Summary (MCS) and Physical Component Summary (PCS).

RESULTS

Significant differences for all spine pathologies and specific PROs were found with one-way ANOVA (p < 0.0001). The time to plateaued recovery after surgery for lumbar disc herniation (661 patients), lumbar stenosis (913 patients), and lumbar spondylolisthesis (563 patients) followed the same course for the following PRO measures: VAS for back and leg pain, 3 months; DS, 12 months; PCS, 12 months; and MCS, 3 months. Beyond these time points, no further significant improvements in PROs were seen. Patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis or spinal stenosis who had undergone fusion surgery plateaued at 12 months on the DS and PCS, compared to 3 months in those who had not undergone fusion.

CONCLUSIONS

Specific health dimensions follow distinctly different recovery plateaus, indicating that a 2-year postoperative follow-up is not required for all PROs to accurately assess the treatment effect of lumbar spinal surgery. Ultimately, the clinical research question should dictate the follow-up time and the outcome measure utilized; however, there is now evidence to guide the specific duration of follow-up for pain, physical function, and mental quality of life dimensions.