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Robert J. Owen, Adam Z. Khan, Steven J. McAnany, Colleen Peters and Lukas P. Zebala

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to compare the patient-reported outcome measures Neck Disability Index (NDI) and visual analog scale (VAS) with the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) physical function (PF) and pain interference (PI) measures, respectively, and to determine their correlations in a surgical population longitudinally.

Legacy outcome measures such as NDI and VAS are essential for analyzing treatments in spine surgery for cervical disc herniations with radiculopathy. Despite their usefulness, administrative burdens impose limits on completion of these measures. PROMIS was developed as a patient outcome measure in order to improve reporting of patient symptoms and function and to reduce administrative burden. Despite early positive results of PROMIS in orthopedics, NDI and VAS scores have not been compared with PROMIS scores in patients with cervical disc herniations with radiculopathy.

METHODS

Eighty patients undergoing surgery for cervical disc herniations with radiculopathy were included. All patients were treated at the same tertiary spine center. Patients were seen and PROMIS PF and PI, NDI, and VAS arm and neck pain scores were collected preoperatively and at 1 year postoperatively. Correlations between NDI, VAS, and PROMIS PF and PI were quantified using Pearson correlation coefficients. Two-tailed Student t-tests were used to demonstrate correlation significance, with alpha = 0.05.

RESULTS

All 80 (100%) patients completed all preoperative questionnaires. Fifty-seven (72%) and 75 (94%) patients completed all questionnaires at baseline and at the 6-month and 1-year follow-ups, respectively. PROMIS PF and NDI scores demonstrated a strong negative correlation, with Pearson r values of −0.81, −0.77, and −0.75 at baseline, 6 months, and 1 year. PROMIS PI and VAS neck pain scores demonstrated a moderately positive correlation, with Pearson r values of 0.51, 0.61, and 0.6. PROMIS PI and VAS arm pain scores demonstrated a moderately positive correlation, with Pearson r values of 0.46, 0.47, and 0.45.

CONCLUSIONS

PROMIS PF scores have a strong negative correlation with NDI scores at baseline and in the postoperative course in patients undergoing surgery for cervical disc herniations with radiculopathy. PROMIS PI scores have a moderately positive correlation with VAS neck and arm pain scores at baseline and in the postoperative course. Surgeons may factor these correlation results into the interpretation of patient-reported outcome measures in patients with cervical radiculopathy. Use of PROMIS PF and PI for this patient population may reduce administrative burden while providing reliable outcomes data.

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Atsushi Teramura, Robert Macfarlane, Christopher J. Owen, Ralph de la Torre, Kenton W. Gregory, Reginald Birngruber, John A. Parrish, John W. Peterson and Nicholas T. Zervas

✓ Laser energy of 480 nm was applied in 1-µsec pulses varying between 2.2 and 10 mJ to in vitro and in vivo models of cerebral vasospasm. First, the pulsed-dye laser was applied intravascularly via a 320-µm fiber to basilar artery segments from six dogs. The segments were mounted in a vessel-perfusion apparatus and constricted to, on average, 70% of resting diameter by superfusion with dog hemolysate. Immediate increase in basilar artery diameter occurred to a mean of 83% of control. In a second model, the basilar artery was exposed transclivally in the rabbit. In three normal animals, superfusion of the artery with rabbit hemolysate resulted in a reduction of mean vessel diameter to 81% of control. Following extravascular application of the laser, vessels returned to an average of 106% of the resting state. In six rabbits, the basilar artery was constricted by two intracisternal injections of autologous blood, 3 days apart. Two to 4 days after the second injection, the basilar artery was exposed. Extravascular laser treatment from a quartz fiber placed perpendicular to the vessel adventitia resulted in an immediate 53% average increase in caliber to an estimated 107% of control. No reconstriction was observed over a period of up to 5 hours. Morphologically, damage to the arterial wall was slight. This preliminary investigation suggests that the 1-µsec pulsed-dye laser may be of benefit in the treatment of cerebral vasospasm.

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Robert Macfarlane, Atsushi Teramura, Christopher J. Owen, Scott Chase, Ralph de la Torre, Kenton W. Gregory, John W. Peterson, Reginald Birngruber, John A. Parrish and Nicholas T. Zervas

✓ Laser energy at a wavelength of 480 nm was applied in 1-µsec pulses of 3 to 10 mJ to two models of vasospasm. Rabbit common carotid arteries (CCA's) were constricted chronically by the application of human blood within a silicone sheath. Peak vasospasm developed 24 to 48 hours later, and persisted for up to 6 days. Endovascular laser treatment was delivered to 40 CCA's via a 200-µm diameter silica quartz fiber introduced through the femoral artery. The CCA caliber increased from 60% of the pre-vasospasm control diameter to a minimum post-laser diameter of 83% of control. No instances of laser-induced perforation or of arterial thrombosis were observed for up to 60 days after treatment. Prophylactic laser application to nine normal vessels was able to attenuate the development of vasospasm if blood was applied immediately thereafter (88% vs. 59% of control diameter, p < 0.02), but not if blood was applied 7 days later. Studies in 16 normal CCA's established that there was a considerable margin between the laser energy required to induce dilatation and that which caused perforation, providing that the fiber remained relatively central within the artery. Morphological examination demonstrated focal loss of endothelial cells immediately after laser application, followed approximately 7 days later by the development of areas of intimal hyperplasia. Only minimal changes were observed in the medial or adventitial layers.

In a second study, the basilar artery of seven dogs was constricted chronically by two intracisternal injections of autologous blood 3 days apart. Five dogs received endovascular laser treatment 7 or 10 days after the first injection, when basilar artery diameter was reduced to a mean of 61% and 77% of control, respectively. Immediately following treatment, basilar artery diameter increased to 104% and 102% of resting diameter, respectively. Both untreated and laser-treated arteries were smaller than the control diameter at 30 days (80% and 82%, respectively), but in each group the vasodilatory response to hypercapnia was preserved.

These findings indicate that 1-µsec laser pulses are well tolerated by systemic and cerebral arteries in two different animal models, and suggest that the 480-nm pulsed-dye laser may have an application for the treatment or prophylaxis of cerebral vasospasm.

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Christopher M. Duma, Brian S. Kim, Peter V. Chen, Marianne E. Plunkett, Ralph Mackintosh, Marlon S. Mathews, Ryan M. Casserly, Gustavo A. Mendez, Daniel J. Furman, Garrett Smith, Nathan Oh, Chad A. Caraway, Ami R. Sanathara, Robert O. Dillman, Azzurra-Sky Riley, David Weiland, Lian Stemler, Ruslana Cannell, Daniela Alexandru Abrams, Alexa Smith, Christopher M. Owen, Burton Eisenberg and Michael Brant-Zawadzki

OBJECTIVE

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is composed of cells that migrate through the brain along predictable white matter pathways. Targeting white matter pathways adjacent to, and leading away from, the original contrast-enhancing tumor site (termed leading-edge radiosurgery [LERS]) with single-fraction stereotactic radiosurgery as a boost to standard therapy could limit the spread of glioma cells and improve clinical outcomes.

METHODS

Between December 2000 and May 2016, after an initial diagnosis of GBM and prior to or during standard radiation therapy and carmustine or temozolomide chemotherapy, 174 patients treated with radiosurgery to the leading edge (LE) of tumor cell migration were reviewed. The LE was defined as a region outside the contrast-enhancing tumor nidus, defined by FLAIR MRI. The median age of patients was 59 years (range 22–87 years). Patients underwent LERS a median of 18 days from original diagnosis. The median target volume of 48.5 cm3 (range 2.5–220.0 cm3) of LE tissue was targeted using a median dose of 8 Gy (range 6–14 Gy) at the 50% isodose line.

RESULTS

The median overall survival was 23 months (mean 43 months) from diagnosis. The 2-, 3-, 5-, 7-, and 10-year actual overall survival rates after LERS were 39%, 26%, 16%, 10%, and 4%, respectively. Nine percent of patients developed treatment-related imaging-documented changes due to LERS. Nineteen percent of patients were hospitalized for management of edema, 22% for resection of a tumor cyst or new tumor bulk, and 2% for shunting to treat hydrocephalus throughout the course of their disease. Of the patients still alive, Karnofsky Performance Scale scores remained stable in 90% of patients and decreased by 1–3 grades in 10% due to symptomatic treatment-related imaging changes.

CONCLUSIONS

LERS is a safe and effective upfront adjunctive therapy for patients with newly diagnosed GBM. Limitations of this study include a single-center experience and single-institution determination of the LE tumor target. Use of a leading-edge calculation algorithm will be described to achieve a consistent approach to defining the LE target for general use. A multicenter trial will further elucidate its value in the treatment of GBM.