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  • Author or Editor: Remi A. Kessler x
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Karan M. Kohli, Joshua Loewenstern, Remi A. Kessler, Margaret Pain, Christina A. Palmese, Joshua Bederson and Raj K. Shrivastava

OBJECTIVE

With increasing general use of antidepressants (ADs), multiple studies have noted a small protective effect of ADs for patients with glioma, but their impact on meningioma has not been established. This study aims to evaluate the role of ADs in the context of additional clinical factors in relation to long-term risk of meningioma recurrence.

METHODS

One hundred five patients with an intracranial meningioma presenting from 2011–2014 with at least 3 years of follow-up (median 4.2 years) after resection were reviewed. AD use along with demographics, tumor characteristics, and outcomes were recorded. Multivariate logistic regression was used to analyze the association of AD use with tumor recurrence, including other clinical measures significantly associated with recurrence as covariates.

RESULTS

Twenty-nine patients (27.4%) were taking ADs (27 selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, 2 norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors) prior to tumor recurrence. Their tumors largely affected the frontal (31.0%) or parietal lobe (17.2%) and were located in convexity, parasagittal, or falcine (CPF) areas more frequently than skull base areas relative to the tumors of non-AD users (p = 0.035). AD use was found to be an independent predictor of recurrence, in addition to subtotal resection and WHO grade II/III classification (p values < 0.05). The median time from AD prescription to tumor recurrence was 36.6 months (interquartile range [IQR] = 20.9–62.9 months) and median length of AD use was 41.4 months (IQR = 24.7–62.8 months).

CONCLUSIONS

AD use was an independent predictor of meningioma recurrence. This association may be due to mood or affective changes caused by tumor location in CPF regions that may be a sign of early recurrence. The finding calls attention to AD use in the management of patients with meningioma, and warrants further exploration of an underlying relationship.

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Spinal cord injury in the United States Army Special Forces

Presented at the 2020 AANS/CNS Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves

Remi A. Kessler, Ansh Bhammar, Nikita Lakomkin, Raj K. Shrivastava, Jonathan J. Rasouli, Jeremy Steinberger, Joshua Bederson, Constantinos G. Hadjipanayis and Deborah L. Benzil

OBJECTIVE

Spinal cord injury (SCI) is an area of key interest in military medicine but has not been studied among the US Army Special Forces (SF), the most elite group of US soldiers. SF soldiers make up a disproportionate 60% of all Special Operations casualties. The objective of this study was to better understand SCI incidence in the SF, its mechanisms of acquisition, and potential areas for intervention by addressing key issues pertaining to protective equipment and body armor use.

METHODS

An electronic survey questionnaire was formulated with the close collaboration of US board-certified neurosurgeons from the Mount Sinai Hospital and Cleveland Clinic Departments of Neurosurgery, retired military personnel of the SF, and operational staff of the Green Beret Foundation. The survey was sent to approximately 6000 SF soldiers to understand SCI diagnosis and its associations with various health and military variables.

RESULTS

The response rate was 8.2%. Among the 492 respondents, 94 (19.1%) self-reported an SCI diagnosis. An airborne operation was the most commonly attributed cause (54.8%). Moreover, 87.1% of SF soldiers reported wearing headgear at the time of injury, but only 36.6% reported wearing body armor, even though body armor use has significantly increased in post-9/11 SF soldiers compared with that in their pre-9/11 counterparts. SCI was significantly associated with traumatic brain injury, arthritis, low sperm count, low testosterone, erectile dysfunction, tinnitus, hyperacusis, sleep apnea, posttraumatic stress disorder, major depressive disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. Only 16.5% of SF soldiers diagnosed with SCI had been rescued via medical evacuation (medevac) for treatment.

CONCLUSIONS

A high number of SF soldiers self-reported an SCI diagnosis. Airborne operations landings were the leading cause of SCI, which coincided with warfare tactics employed during the Persian Gulf War, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and other conflicts. A majority of SCIs occurred while wearing headgear and no body armor, suggesting the need for improvements in protective equipment use and design. The low rate of medevac rescue for these injuries may suggest that medical rescue was not attainable at the time or that certain SCIs were deemed minor at the time of injury.