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  • Author or Editor: Sumedh S. Shah x
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Sumedh S. Shah, Zachary C. Gersey, Mohamed Nuh, Hesham T. Ghonim, Mohamed Samy Elhammady and Eric C. Peterson

OBJECTIVE

Blood-blister aneurysms (BBAs) of the internal carotid artery (ICA) have a poor natural history associated with high morbidity and mortality. Currently, both surgical and endovascular techniques are employed to treat BBAs; thus, the authors sought to perform a meta-analysis to compare the efficacy and safety of these approaches.

METHODS

A literature search of PubMed, MEDLINE, and Google Scholar online databases was performed to include pertinent English-language studies from 2005 to 2015 that discussed the efficacy and safety of either surgical or endovascular therapies to treat BBAs.

RESULTS

Thirty-six papers describing 256 patients with BBAs treated endovascularly (122 procedures) or surgically (139 procedures) were examined for data related to therapeutic efficacy and safety. Pooled analysis of 9 papers demonstrated immediate and late (mean 20.9 months) aneurysm occlusion rates of 88.9% (95% CI 77.6%–94.8%) and 88.4% (95% CI 76.7%–94.6%), respectively, in surgically treated patients. Pooled analysis of 12 papers revealed immediate and late aneurysm obliteration rates of 63.9% (95% CI 52.3%–74.1%) and 75.9% (95% CI 65.9%–83.7%), respectively, in endovascularly treated aneurysms. Procedure-related complications and overall poor neurological outcomes were slightly greater in the surgically treated cases than in the endovascularly treated cases (27.8% [95% CI 19.6%–37.8%] vs 26.2% [95% CI 18.4%–35.8%]), indicating that endovascular therapy may provide better outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS

Blood-blister aneurysms are rare, challenging lesions with a poor prognosis. Although surgical management potentially offers superior aneurysm obliteration rates immediately after treatment and at the long-term follow-up, endovascular therapy may have a better safety profile and provide better functional outcomes than surgery. A registry of patients treated for BBAs may be warranted to better document the natural course of the disease as well as treatment outcomes.

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Harsh Wadhwa, Sumedh S. Shah, Judy Shan, Justin Cheng, Angad S. Beniwal, Jia-Shu Chen, Sabraj A. Gill, Nikhil Mummaneni, Michael W. McDermott, Mitchel S. Berger and Manish K. Aghi

OBJECTIVE

Neurosurgery is consistently one of the most competitive specialties for resident applicants. The emphasis on research in neurosurgery has led to an increasing number of publications by applicants seeking a successful residency match. The authors sought to produce a comprehensive analysis of research produced by neurosurgical applicants and to establish baseline data of neurosurgery applicant research productivity given the increased emphasis on research output for successful residency match.

METHODS

A retrospective review of publication volume for all neurosurgery interns in 2009, 2011, 2014, 2016, and 2018 was performed using PubMed and Google Scholar. Missing data rates were 11% (2009), 9% (2011), and < 5% (all others). The National Resident Matching Program report “Charting Outcomes in the Match” (ChOM) was interrogated for total research products (i.e., abstracts, presentations, and publications). The publication rates of interns at top 40 programs, students from top 20 medical schools, MD/PhD applicants, and applicants based on location of residency program and medical school were compared statistically against all others.

RESULTS

Total publications per neurosurgery intern (mean ± SD) based on PubMed and Google Scholar were 5.5 ± 0.6 in 2018 (1.7 ± 0.3, 2009; 2.1 ± 0.3, 2011; 2.6 ± 0.4, 2014; 3.8 ± 0.4, 2016), compared to 18.3 research products based on ChOM. In 2018, the mean numbers of publications were as follows: neurosurgery-specific publications per intern, 4.3 ± 0.6; first/last author publications, 2.1 ± 0.3; neurosurgical first/last author publications, 1.6 ± 0.2; basic science publications, 1.5 ± 0.2; and clinical research publications, 4.0 ± 0.5. Mean publication numbers among interns at top 40 programs were significantly higher than those of all other programs in every category (p < 0.001). Except for mean number of basic science publications (p = 0.1), the mean number of publications was higher for interns who attended a top 20 medical school than for those who did not (p < 0.05). Applicants with PhD degrees produced statistically more research in all categories (p < 0.05) except neurosurgery-specific (p = 0.07) and clinical research (p = 0.3). While there was no statistical difference in publication volume based on the geographical location of the residency program, students from medical schools in the Western US produced more research than all other regions (p < 0.01). Finally, research productivity did not correlate with likelihood of medical students staying at their home institution for residency.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors found that the temporal trend toward increased total research products over time in neurosurgery applicants was driven mostly by increased nonindexed research (abstracts, presentations, chapters) rather than by increased peer-reviewed publications. While we also identified applicant-specific factors (MD/PhDs and applicants from the Western US) and an outcome (matching at research-focused institutions) associated with increased applicant publications, further work will be needed to determine the emphasis that programs and applicants will need to place on these publications.