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Ryan Brewster, Wenya Linda Bi, Timothy R. Smith, William B. Gormley, Ian F. Dunn, and Edward R. Laws Jr.

Baseball maintains one of the highest impact injury rates in all athletics. A principal causative factor is the “beanball,” referring to a pitch thrown directly at a batter’s head. Frequent morbidities elicited demand for the development of protective gear development in the 20th century. In this setting, Dr. Walter Dandy was commissioned to design a “protective cap” in 1941. His invention became widely adopted by professional baseball and inspired subsequent generations of batting helmets. As a baseball aficionado since his youth, Walter Dandy identified a natural partnership between baseball and medical practice for the reduction of beaning-related brain injuries. This history further supports the unique position of neurosurgeons to leverage clinical insights, inform innovation, and expand service to society.

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Per K. Eide, Benjamin I. Rapoport, William B. Gormley, and Joseph R. Madsen

Object

In the search for optimal monitoring and predictive tools in neurocritical care, the relationship of the pulsatile component of intracranial pressure (ICP) and the pressure itself has long been of great interest. Higher pressure often correlates with a higher pulsatile response to the heartbeat, interpreted as a type of compliance curve. Various mathematical approaches have been used, but regardless of the formula used, it is implicitly assumed that a reproducible curve exists. The authors investigated the stability of the correlation between static and pulsatile ICPs in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) who were observed for several hours by using data sets large enough to allow such calculations to be made.

Methods

The ICP recordings were obtained in 39 patients with SAH and were parsed into 6-second time windows (1,998,944 windows in 197 recordings). The ICP parameters were computed for each window as follows: static ICP was defined as the mean ICP, and pulsatile ICP was characterized by mean ICP wave amplitude, rise time, and rise time coefficient.

Results

The mean ICP and ICP wave amplitudes were simultaneously high or low (the expected correlation) in only ~ 60% of observations. Furthermore, static and pulsatile ICP correlated well only over short intervals; the degree of correlation weakened over periods of hours and was inconsistent across patients and within individual patients over time. Decorrelation originated with abrupt shifting and gradual drifting of mean ICP and ICP wave amplitude over several hours.

Conclusions

The relationship between the static and pulsatile components of ICPs changes over time. It evolves, even in individual patients, over a number of hours. This can be one reason the observation of high pulsatile ICP (indicative of reduced intracranial compliance) despite normal mean ICP that is seen in some patients with SAH. The meaning and potential clinical usefulness of such changes in the curves is uncertain, but it implies that clinical events result not only from moving further out on a compliance curve; in practice, the curve, and the biological system that underlies the curve, may itself change.

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Panagiotis G. Simos, Andrew C. Papanicolaou, Joshua I. Breier, James W. Wheless, Jules E. C. Constantinou, William B. Gormley, and William W. Maggio

Object. In this paper the authors demonstrate the concordance between magnetic source (MS) imaging and direct cortical stimulation for mapping receptive language cortex.

Methods. In 13 consecutive surgical patients, cortex specialized for receptive language functions was identified noninvasively by obtaining activation maps aided by MS imaging in the context of visual and auditory word-recognition tasks. Surgery was then performed for treatment of medically intractable seizure disorder (eight patients), and for resection of tumor (four), or angioma (one). Mapping of language areas with cortical stimulation was performed intraoperatively in 10 patients and extraoperatively in three. Cortical stimulation mapping verified the accuracy of the MS imaging—based localization in all cases.

Conclusions. Information provided by MS imaging can be especially helpful in cases of atypical language representation, including bihemispheric representation, and location of language in areas other than those expected within the dominant hemisphere, such as the anterior portion of the superior temporal gyrus, the posteroinferior portion of the middle temporal gyrus, the basal temporal cortex, and the lateral temporooccipital cortex.

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Matthew L. Vestal, Emily B. Wong, Dan A. Milner Jr., William B. Gormley, and Ian F. Dunn

This report is the first published case of cerebral melioidosis in the western hemisphere. In this paper the authors review the literature on neurological melioidosis and its presentation and treatment in endemic areas, describe the clinical course of this unique case of a presentation of the disease with cranial abscess in the US, review the pathological and radiological findings associated with this seminal case, and put forth recommendations for recognizing and treating possible future instances of the disease within the western hemisphere.

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Hormuzdiyar H. Dasenbrock, Robert F. Rudy, Pui Man Rosalind Lai, Timothy R. Smith, Kai U. Frerichs, William B. Gormley, M. Ali Aziz-Sultan, and Rose Du

OBJECTIVE

Although cigarette smoking is one of the strongest risk factors for cerebral aneurysm development and rupture, there are limited data evaluating the impact of smoking on outcomes after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Additionally, two recent studies suggested that nicotine replacement therapy was associated with improved neurological outcomes among smokers who had sustained an SAH compared with smokers who did not receive nicotine.

METHODS

Patients who underwent endovascular or microsurgical repair of a ruptured cerebral aneurysm were extracted from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS, 2009–2011) and stratified by cigarette smoking. Multivariable logistic regression analyzed in-hospital mortality, complications, tracheostomy or gastrostomy placement, and discharge to institutional care (a nursing or an extended care facility). Additionally, the composite NIS-SAH outcome measure (based on mortality, tracheostomy or gastrostomy, and discharge disposition) was evaluated, which has been shown to have excellent agreement with a modified Rankin Scale score greater than 3. Covariates included in regression constructs were patient age, sex, race/ethnicity, insurance status, socioeconomic status, comorbidities (including hypertension, drug and alcohol abuse), the NIS-SAH severity scale (previously validated against the Hunt and Hess grade), treatment modality used for aneurysm repair, and hospital characteristics. A sensitivity analysis was performed matching smokers to nonsmokers on age, sex, number of comorbidities, and NIS-SAH severity scale score.

RESULTS

Among the 5784 admissions evaluated, 37.1% (n = 2148) had a diagnosis of tobacco use, of which 31.1% (n = 1800) were current and 6.0% (n = 348) prior tobacco users. Smokers were significantly younger (mean age 51.4 vs 56.2 years) and had more comorbidities compared with nonsmokers (p < 0.001). There were no significant differences in mortality, total complications, or neurological complications by smoking status. However, compared with nonsmokers, smokers had significantly decreased adjusted odds of tracheostomy or gastrostomy placement (11.9% vs 22.7%, odds ratio [OR] 0.63, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.51–0.78, p < 0.001), discharge to institutional care (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.57–0.89, p = 0.002), and a poor outcome (OR 0.65, 95% CI 0.55–0.77, p < 0.001). Similar statistical associations were noted in the matched-pairs sensitivity analysis and in a subgroup of poor-grade patients (the upper quartile of the NIS-SAH severity scale).

CONCLUSIONS

In this nationwide study, smokers experienced SAH at a younger age and had a greater number of comorbidities compared with nonsmokers, highlighting the negative ramifications of cigarette smoking among patients with cerebral aneurysms. However, smoking was also associated with paradoxical superior outcomes on some measures, and future research to confirm and further understand the basis of this relationship is needed.

Free access

Hormuzdiyar H. Dasenbrock, Kevin X. Liu, Christopher A. Devine, Vamsidhar Chavakula, Timothy R. Smith, William B. Gormley, and Ian F. Dunn

OBJECT

Although the length of hospital stay is often used as a measure of quality of care, data evaluating the predictors of extended hospital stay after craniotomy for tumor are limited. The goals of this study were to use multivariate regression to examine which preoperative characteristics and postoperative complications predict a prolonged hospital stay and to assess the impact of length of stay on unplanned hospital readmission.

METHODS

Data were extracted from the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database from 2007 to 2013. Patients who underwent craniotomy for resection of a brain tumor were included. Stratification was based on length of hospital stay, which was dichotomized by the upper quartile of the interquartile range (IQR) for the entire population. Covariates included patient age, sex, race, tumor histology, comorbidities, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) class, functional status, preoperative laboratory values, preoperative neurological deficits, operative time, and postoperative complications. Multivariate logistic regression with forward prediction was used to evaluate independent predictors of extended hospitalization. Thereafter, hierarchical multivariate logistic regression assessed the impact of length of stay on unplanned readmission.

RESULTS

The study included 11,510 patients. The median hospital stay was 4 days (IQR 3-8 days), and 27.7% (n = 3185) had a hospital stay of at least 8 days. Independent predictors of extended hospital stay included age greater than 70 years (OR 1.53, 95% CI 1.28%-1.83%, p < 0.001); African American (OR 1.75, 95% CI 1.44%-2.14%, p < 0.001) and Hispanic (OR 1.68, 95% CI 1.36%-2.08%) race or ethnicity; ASA class 3 (OR 1.52, 95% CI 1.34%-1.73%) or 4-5 (OR 2.18, 95% CI 1.82%-2.62%) designation; partially (OR 1.94, 95% CI 1.61%-2.35%) or totally dependent (OR 3.30, 95% CI 1.95%-5.55%) functional status; insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (OR 1.46, 95% CI 1.16%-1.84%); hematological comorbidities (OR 1.68, 95% CI 1.25%-2.24%); and preoperative hypoalbuminemia (OR 1.78, 95% CI 1.51%-2.09%, all p ≤ 0.009). Several postoperative complications were additional independent predictors of prolonged hospitalization including pulmonary emboli (OR 13.75, 95% CI 4.73%-39.99%), pneumonia (OR 5.40, 95% CI 2.89%-10.07%), and urinary tract infections (OR 11.87, 95% CI 7.09%-19.87%, all p < 0.001). The C-statistic of the model based on preoperative characteristics was 0.79, which increased to 0.83 after the addition of postoperative complications. A length of stay after craniotomy for tumor score was created based on preoperative factors significant in regression models, with a moderate correlation with length of stay (p = 0.43, p < 0.001). Extended hospital stay was not associated with differential odds of an unplanned hospital readmission (OR 0.97, 95% CI 0.89%-1.06%, p = 0.55).

CONCLUSIONS

In this NSQIP analysis that evaluated patients who underwent craniotomy for tumor, much of the variance in hospital stay was attributable to baseline patient characteristics, suggesting length of stay may be an imperfect proxy for quality. Additionally, longer hospitalizations were not found to be associated with differential rates of unplanned readmission.

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Hormuzdiyar H. Dasenbrock, Michael O. Nguyen, Kai U. Frerichs, Donovan Guttieres, William B. Gormley, M. Ali Aziz-Sultan, and Rose Du

OBJECTIVE

Although the prevalence of obesity is increasing rapidly both nationally and internationally, few studies have analyzed outcomes among obese patients undergoing cranial neurosurgery. The goal of this study, which used a nationwide data set, was to evaluate the association of both obesity and morbid obesity with treatment outcomes among patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH); in addition, the authors sought to analyze how postoperative complications for obese patients with SAH differ by the treatment modality used for aneurysm repair.

METHODS

Clinical data for adult patients with SAH who underwent microsurgical or endovascular aneurysm repair were extracted from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS). The body habitus of patients was classified as nonobese (body mass index [BMI] < 30 kg/m2), obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 and ≤ 40 kg/m2), or morbidly obese (BMI > 40 kg/m2). Multivariable logistic regression analyzed the association of body habitus with in-hospital mortality rate, complications, discharge disposition, and poor outcome as defined by the composite NIS-SAH outcome measure. Covariates included patient demographics, comorbidities (including hypertension and diabetes), health insurance status, the NIS-SAH severity scale, treatment modality used for aneurysm repair, and hospital characteristics.

RESULTS

In total, data from 18,281 patients were included in this study; the prevalence of morbid obesity increased from 0.8% in 2002 to 3.5% in 2011. Obese and morbidly obese patients were significantly younger and had a greater number of comorbidities than nonobese patients (p < 0.001). Mortality rates for obese (11.5%) and morbidly obese patients (10.5%) did not significantly differ from those for nonobese patients (13.5%); likewise, no differences in neurological complications or poor outcome were observed among these 3 groups. Morbid obesity was associated with significantly increased odds of several medical complications, including venous thromboembolic (OR 1.52, 95% CI 1.01–2.30, p = 0.046) and renal (OR 1.64, 95% CI: 1.11–2.43, p = 0.01) complications and infections (OR 1.34, 95% CI 1.08–1.67, p = 0.009, attributable to greater odds of urinary tract and surgical site infections). Moreover, morbidly obese patients had higher odds of a nonroutine hospital discharge (OR 1.33, 95% CI 1.03–1.71, p = 0.03). Patients with milder obesity had decreased odds of some medical complications, including cardiac, pulmonary, and infectious complications, primarily among patients who had undergone coil embolization.

CONCLUSIONS

In this study involving a nationwide administrative database, milder obesity was not significantly associated with increased mortality rates, neurological complications, or poor outcomes after SAH. Morbid obesity, however, was associated with increased odds of venous thromboembolic, renal, and infectious complications, as well as of a nonroutine hospital discharge. Notably, milder obesity was associated with decreased odds of some medical complications, primarily in patients treated with coiling.

Free access

Brittany M. Stopa, Maya Harary, Ray Jhun, Arun Job, Saef Izzy, Timothy R. Smith, and William B. Gormley

OBJECTIVE

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the US, but the true incidence of TBI is unknown.

METHODS

The National Trauma Data Bank National Sample Program (NTDB NSP) was queried for 2007 and 2013, and population-based weighted estimates of TBI-related emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, and deaths were calculated. These data were compared to the 2017 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report on TBI, which used the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project’s National (“Nationwide” before 2012) Inpatient Sample and National Emergency Department Sample.

RESULTS

In the NTDB NSP the incidence of TBI-related ED visits was 59/100,000 in 2007 and 62/100,000 in 2013. However, in the CDC report there were 534/100,000 in 2007 and 787/100,000 in 2013. The CDC estimate for ED visits was 805% higher in 2007 and 1169% higher in 2013. In the NTDB NSP, the incidence of TBI-related deaths was 5/100,000 in 2007 and 4/100,000 in 2013. In the CDC report, the incidence was 18/100,000 in both years. The CDC estimate for deaths was 260% higher in 2007 and 325% higher in 2013.

CONCLUSIONS

The databases disagreed widely in their weighted estimates of TBI incidence: CDC estimates were consistently higher than NTDB NSP estimates, by an average of 448%. Although such a discrepancy may be intuitive, this is the first study to quantify the magnitude of disagreement between these databases. Given that research, funding, and policy decisions are made based on these estimates, there is a need for a more accurate estimate of the true national incidence of TBI.

Full access

Hormuzdiyar Dasenbrock, William B. Gormley, Yoojin Lee, Vincent Mor, Susan L. Mitchell, and Corey R. Fehnel

OBJECTIVE

Data evaluating the long-term outcomes, particularly with regard to treatment modality, of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) in octogenarians are limited. The primary objectives were to evaluate the disposition (living at home vs institutional settings) and analyze the predictors of long-term survival and return to home for octogenarians after SAH.

METHODS

Data pertaining to patients age 80 and older who underwent microsurgical clipping or endovascular coiling for SAH were extracted from 100% nationwide Medicare inpatient claims and linked with the Minimum Data Set (2008–2011). Patient disposition was tracked for 2 years after index SAH admission. Multivariable logistic regression stratified by aneurysm treatment modality, and adjusted for patient factors including SAH severity, evaluated predictors of return to home at 60 and 365 days after SAH. Survival 365 days after SAH was analyzed with a multivariable Cox proportional hazards model.

RESULTS

A total of 1298 cases were included in the analysis. One year following SAH, 56% of the patients had died or were in hospice care, 8% were in an institutional post–acute care setting, and 36% had returned home. Open microsurgical clipping (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 0.67, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.54–0.81), male sex (aHR 0.70, 95% CI 0.57–0.87), tracheostomy (aHR 0.63, 95% CI 0.47–0.85), gastrostomy (aHR 0.60, 95% CI 0.48–0.76), and worse SAH severity (aHR 0.94, 95% CI 0.92–0.97) were associated with reduced likelihood of patients ever returning home. Older age (aHR 1.09, 95% CI 1.05–1.13), tracheostomy (aHR 2.06, 95% CI 1.46–2.91), gastrostomy (aHR 1.55, 95% CI 1.14–2.10), male sex (aHR 1.66, 95% CI 1.20–2.23), and worse SAH severity 1.51 (95% CI 1.04–2.18) were associated with reduced survival.

CONCLUSIONS

In this national analysis, 56% of octogenarians with SAH died, and 36% returned home within 1 year of SAH. Coil embolization predicted returning to home, which may suggest a benefit to endovascular treatment in this patient population.