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W. Lee Titsworth, Jeannette Hester, Tom Correia, Richard Reed, Miranda Williams, Peggy Guin, A. Joseph Layon, Lennox K. Archibald and J Mocco

Object

To date, there has been a shortage of evidence-based quality improvement initiatives that have shown positive outcomes in the neurosurgical patient population. A single-institution prospective intervention trial with continuous feedback was conducted to investigate the implementation of a urinary tract infection (UTI) prevention bundle to decrease the catheter-associated UTI rate.

Methods

All patients admitted to the adult neurological intensive care unit (neuro ICU) during a 30-month period were included. The study consisted of two 1-month preintervention observation periods (approximately 1200 catheter days) followed by a 30-month intervention phase (20,394 catheter days). A comprehensive evidence-based UTI bundle encompassing avoidance of catheter insertion, maintenance of sterility, product standardization, and early catheter removal was enacted.

Results

The urinary catheter utilization rate dropped from 100% to 73.3% during the intervention phase (p < 0.0001) without any increase in the rate of sacral decubitus ulcers or other skin breakdown. The rate of catheter-associated UTI was also significantly reduced from 13.3 to 4.0 infections per 1000 catheter days (p < 0.001). There was a linear relationship between the decreased quarterly catheter utilization rate and the decreased catheter-associated UTI rate (r2 = 0.79, p < 0.0001).

Conclusions

This single-center prospective study demonstrated that a comprehensive UTI prevention bundle along with a continuous quality improvement program can significantly reduce the duration of urinary catheterization and rate of catheter-associated UTI in a neuro ICU.

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W. Lee Titsworth, Jeannette Hester, Tom Correia, Richard Reed, Peggy Guin, Lennox Archibald, A. Joseph Layon and J Mocco

Object

The detrimental effects of immobility on intensive care unit (ICU) patients are well established. Limited studies involving medical ICUs have demonstrated the safety and benefit of mobility protocols. Currently no study has investigated the role of increased mobility in the neurointensive care unit population. This study was a single-institution prospective intervention trial to investigate the effectiveness of increased mobility among neurointensive care unit patients.

Methods

All patients admitted to the neurointensive care unit of a tertiary care center over a 16-month period (April 2010 through July 2011) were evaluated. The study consisted of a 10-month (8025 patient days) preintervention observation period followed by a 6-month (4455 patient days) postintervention period. The intervention was a comprehensive mobility initiative utilizing the Progressive Upright Mobility Protocol (PUMP) Plus.

Results

Implementation of the PUMP Plus increased mobility among neurointensive care unit patients by 300% (p < 0.0001). Initiation of this protocol also correlated with a reduction in neurointensive care unit length of stay (LOS; p < 0.004), hospital LOS (p < 0.004), hospital-acquired infections (p < 0.05), and ventilator-associated pneumonias (p < 0.001), and decreased the number of patient days in restraints (p < 0.05). Additionally, increased mobility did not lead to increases in adverse events as measured by falls or inadvertent line disconnections.

Conclusions

Among neurointensive care unit patients, increased mobility can be achieved quickly and safely with associated reductions in LOS and hospital-acquired infections using the PUMP Plus program.

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Robert P. Naftel, Chevis N. Shannon, Gavin T. Reed, Richard Martin, Jeffrey P. Blount, R. Shane Tubbs and John C. Wellons III

Object

The use of intraventricular endoscopy to achieve diagnosis or to resect accessible intraventricular or paraventricular tumors has been described in the literature in both adults and children. Traditionally, these techniques have not been used in patients with small ventricles due to the perceived risk of greater morbidity. The authors review their experience with the effectiveness and safety of endoscopic brain tumor management in children with small ventricles.

Methods

Between July 2002 and December 2009, 24 children with endoscopically managed brain tumors were identified. Radiological images were reviewed by a radiologist blinded to study goals and clinical setting. Patients were categorized into small-ventricle and ventriculomegaly groups based on frontal and occipital horn ratio. Surgical success was defined a priori and analyzed between groups. Trends were identified in selected subgroups, including complications related to pathological diagnosis and surgeon experience.

Results

Six children had small ventricles and 18 had ventriculomegaly. The ability to accomplish surgical goals was statistically equivalent in children with small ventricles and those with ventriculomegaly (83% vs 89%, respectively, p = 1.00). There were no complications in the small-ventricle cohort, but in the ventriculomegaly cohort there were 2 cases of postoperative hemorrhages and 1 case of infection. All hemorrhagic complications occurred in patients with high-grade tumor histopathological type and were early in the surgeon's endoscopic career.

Conclusions

Based on our experience, endoscopy should not be withheld in children with intraventricular tumors and small ventricles. Complications appear to be more dependent on tumor histopathological type and surgeon experience than ventricular size.

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Andrew Romeo, Robert P. Naftel, Christoph J. Griessenauer, Gavin T. Reed, Richard Martin, Chevis N. Shannon, Paul A. Grabb, R. Shane Tubbs and John C. Wellons III

Object

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) is an alternative to shunt placement in children with hydrocephalus due to tectal plate gliomas (TPGs). However, controversy remains regarding the amount of ventricular size reduction that should be expected after ETV. This study investigates ventricular size change after ETV for TPGs.

Methods

Twenty-two children were identified from a 15-year retrospective database of neuroendoscopic procedures performed at the authors' institution, Children's Hospital of Alabama, in patients with a minimum of 1 year of follow-up. Clinical outcomes, including the need for further CSF diversion and symptom resolution, were recorded. The frontal and occipital horn ratio (FOR) was measured on pre- and postoperative, 1-year, and last follow-up imaging studies.

Results

In 17 (77%) of 22 children no additional procedure for CSF diversion was required. Of those in whom CSF diversion failed, 4 underwent successful repeat ETV and 1 required shunt replacement. Therefore, in 21 (96%) of 22 patients, CSF diversion was accomplished with ETV. Preoperative and postoperative imaging was available for 18 (82%) of 22 patients. The FOR decreased in 89% of children who underwent ETV. The FOR progressively decreased 1.7%, 11.2%, and 12.7% on the initial postoperative, 1-year, and last follow-up images, respectively. The mean radiological follow-up duration for 18 patients was 5.4 years. When ETV failed, the FOR increased at the time of failure in all patients. Failure occurred 1.6 years after initial ETV on average. The mean clinical follow-up period for all 22 patients was 5.3 years. In all cases clinical improvement was demonstrated at the last follow-up.

Conclusions

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy successfully treated hydrocephalus in the extended follow-up period of patients with TPGs. The most significant reduction in ventricular size was observed at the the 1-year followup, with only modest reduction thereafter.

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Robert E. Harbaugh, Teddi M. Reeder, Howard J. Senter, David S. Knopman, David S. Baskin, Francis Pirozzolo, Helena Chang Chui, Andrew G. Shetter, Roy A. E. Bakay, Richard Leblanc, Robert T. Watson, Steven T. DeKosky, Frederick A. Schmitt, Stephen L. Read and Jimmie T. Johnston

✓ The use of intracerebroventricular bethanechol chloride infusion in patients with Alzheimer's disease was first reported in 1984. An initial trial in four patients demonstrated the feasibility of this approach for cholinergic drug delivery to the brain, but objective improvement in cognitive function was not documented. A collaborative placebo-controlled double-blind crossover study has now been carried out in 49 patients with biopsy-documented Alzheimer's disease. The results demonstrate a statistical improvement in Mini-Mental State scores and significantly slower performance on Trails A testing during drug infusion. Other neuropsychological test scores were not similarly affected. The degree of improvement was not sufficient to justify further treatment of Alzheimer's disease patients by intracerebroventricular infusion of bethanechol chloride. The drug delivery system used in the study was well tolerated, with two irreversible complications in more than 50,000 patient days.

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Abhaya V. Kulkarni, Jay Riva-Cambrin, Curtis J. Rozzelle, Robert P. Naftel, Jessica S. Alvey, Ron W. Reeder, Richard Holubkov, Samuel R. Browd, D. Douglas Cochrane, David D. Limbrick Jr., Tamara D. Simon, Mandeep Tamber, John C. Wellons III, William E. Whitehead and John R. W. Kestle

OBJECTIVE

High-quality data comparing endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) with choroid plexus cauterization (CPC) to shunt and ETV alone in North America are greatly lacking. To address this, the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network (HCRN) conducted a prospective study of ETV+CPC in infants. Here, these prospective data are presented and compared to prospectively collected data from a historical cohort of infants treated with shunt or ETV alone.

METHODS

From June 2014 to September 2015, infants (corrected age ≤ 24 months) requiring treatment for hydrocephalus with anatomy suitable for ETV+CPC were entered into a prospective study at 9 HCRN centers. The rate of procedural failure (i.e., the need for repeat hydrocephalus surgery, hydrocephalus-related death, or major postoperative neurological deficit) was determined. These data were compared with a cohort of similar infants who were treated with either a shunt (n = 969) or ETV alone (n = 74) by creating matched pairs on the basis of age and etiology. These data were obtained from the existing prospective HCRN Core Data Project. All patients were observed for at least 6 months.

RESULTS

A total of 118 infants underwent ETV+CPC (median corrected age 1.3 months; common etiologies including myelomeningocele [30.5%], intraventricular hemorrhage of prematurity [22.9%], and aqueductal stenosis [21.2%]). The 6-month success rate was 36%. The most common complications included seizures (5.1%) and CSF leak (3.4%). Important predictors of treatment success in the survival regression model included older age (p = 0.002), smaller preoperative ventricle size (p = 0.009), and greater degree of CPC (p = 0.02). The matching algorithm resulted in 112 matched pairs for ETV+CPC versus shunt alone and 34 matched pairs for ETV+CPC versus ETV alone. ETV+CPC was found to have significantly higher failure rate than shunt placement (p < 0.001). Although ETV+CPC had a similar failure rate compared with ETV alone (p = 0.73), the matched pairs included mostly infants with aqueductal stenosis and miscellaneous other etiologies but very few patients with intraventricular hemorrhage of prematurity.

CONCLUSIONS

Within a large and broad cohort of North American infants, our data show that overall ETV+CPC appears to have a higher failure rate than shunt alone. Although the ETV+CPC results were similar to ETV alone, this comparison was limited by the small sample size and skewed etiological distribution. Within the ETV+CPC group, greater extent of CPC was associated with treatment success, thereby suggesting that there are subgroups who might benefit from the addition of CPC. Further work will focus on identifying these subgroups.

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Jay Riva-Cambrin, John R. W. Kestle, Curtis J. Rozzelle, Robert P. Naftel, Jessica S. Alvey, Ron W. Reeder, Richard Holubkov, Samuel R. Browd, D. Douglas Cochrane, David D. Limbrick Jr., Chevis N. Shannon, Tamara D. Simon, Mandeep S. Tamber, John C. Wellons III, William E. Whitehead, Abhaya V. Kulkarni and for the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network

OBJECTIVE

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy combined with choroid plexus cauterization (ETV+CPC) has been adopted by many pediatric neurosurgeons as an alternative to placing shunts in infants with hydrocephalus. However, reported success rates have been highly variable, which may be secondary to patient selection, operative technique, and/or surgeon training. The objective of this prospective multicenter cohort study was to identify independent patient selection, operative technique, or surgical training predictors of ETV+CPC success in infants.

METHODS

This was a prospective cohort study nested within the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network’s (HCRN) Core Data Project (registry). All infants under the age of 2 years who underwent a first ETV+CPC between June 2006 and March 2015 from 8 HCRN centers were included. Each patient had a minimum of 6 months of follow-up unless censored by an ETV+CPC failure. Patient and operative risk factors of failure were examined, as well as formal ETV+CPC training, which was defined as traveling to and working with the experienced surgeons at CURE Children’s Hospital of Uganda. ETV+CPC failure was defined as the need for repeat ETV, shunting, or death.

RESULTS

The study contained 191 patients with a primary ETV+CPC conducted by 17 pediatric neurosurgeons within the HCRN. Infants under 6 months corrected age at the time of ETV+CPC represented 79% of the cohort. Myelomeningocele (26%), intraventricular hemorrhage associated with prematurity (24%), and aqueductal stenosis (17%) were the most common etiologies. A total of 115 (60%) of the ETV+CPCs were conducted by surgeons after formal training. Overall, ETV+CPC was successful in 48%, 46%, and 45% of infants at 6 months, 1 year, and 18 months, respectively. Young age (< 1 month) (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 1.9, 95% CI 1.0–3.6) and an etiology of post–intraventricular hemorrhage secondary to prematurity (aHR 2.0, 95% CI 1.1–3.6) were the only two independent predictors of ETV+CPC failure. Specific subgroups of ages within etiology categories were identified as having higher ETV+CPC success rates. Although training led to more frequent use of the flexible scope (p < 0.001) and higher rates of complete (> 90%) CPC (p < 0.001), training itself was not independently associated (aHR 1.1, 95% CI 0.7–1.8; p = 0.63) with ETV+CPC success.

CONCLUSIONS

This is the largest prospective multicenter North American study to date examining ETV+CPC. Formal ETV+CPC training was not found to be associated with improved procedure outcomes. Specific subgroups of ages within specific hydrocephalus etiologies were identified that may preferentially benefit from ETV+CPC.