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Christopher M. Bonfield, Sandi Lam, Yimo Lin and Stephanie Greene

Object

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) are significant independent public health concerns in the pediatric population. This study explores the impact of a premorbid diagnosis of ADHD on outcome following mild TBI.

Methods

The charts of all patients with a diagnosis of mild closed head injury (CHI) and ADHD who were admitted to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh between January 2003 and December 2010 were retrospectively reviewed after institutional review board approval was granted. Patient demographics, initial Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score, hospital course, and King's Outcome Scale for Childhood Head Injury (KOSCHI) score were recorded. The results were compared with a sample of age-matched controls admitted with a diagnosis of CHI without ADHD.

Results

Forty-eight patients with mild CHI and ADHD, and 45 patients with mild CHI without ADHD were included in the statistical analysis. Mild TBI due to CHI was defined as an initial GCS score of 13–15. The ADHD group had a mean age of 12.2 years (range 6–17 years), and the control group had a mean age of 11.14 years (range 5–16 years). For patients with mild TBI who had ADHD, 25% were moderately disabled (KOSCHI Score 4b), and 56% had completely recovered (KOSCHI Score 5b) at follow-up. For patients with mild TBI without ADHD, 2% were moderately disabled and 84% had completely recovered at follow-up (p < 0.01). Patients with ADHD were statistically significantly more disabled after mild TBI than were control patients without ADHD, even when controlling for age, sex, initial GCS score, hospital length of stay, length of follow-up, mechanism of injury, and presence of other (extracranial) injury.

Conclusions

Patients who sustain mild TBIs in the setting of a premorbid diagnosis of ADHD are more likely to be moderately disabled by the injury than are patients without ADHD.

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Yimo Lin, Andrew Jea, Stephanie C. Melkonian and Sandi Lam

OBJECT

Grade II spinal cord ependymomas occurring in pediatric patients are exceptionally rare neoplasms. In this paper the authors use a national cancer database to determine patient demographics, treatment patterns, and associated outcomes of this cohort.

METHODS

The Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database was used to analyze subjects younger than 18 years with histologically confirmed diagnoses of Grade II spinal cord ependymoma from the years 1973 to 2008. Descriptive data on the demographic characteristics of this cohort and the associated treatment patterns are shown. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to estimate overall survival at 1, 2, 5, and 10 years.

RESULTS

This cohort comprised 64 pediatric subjects with Grade II spinal ependymoma. The median age was 13 years, nearly half of the patients were male, and most were white (84%). The median follow-up was 9.2 years. Overall survival at 5 and 10 years was 86% and 83%, respectively. Gross-total resection was achieved in 57% of subjects, and radiation therapy was administered to 36%. Radiation therapy was administered to 78% of subjects after subtotal resection but only to 19% of patients after gross-total resection; this difference was significant (p < 0.001). In a multivariate regression model analyzing sex, age at diagnosis, year of diagnosis, radiotherapy, and extent of resection, female sex was found to be an independent predictor of decreased mortality (HR 0.15 [95% CI 0.02–0.94], p = 0.04).

CONCLUSIONS

These data show long-term outcomes for pediatric patients with Grade II spinal ependymoma. Radiotherapy was more likely to be administered in cases of subtotal resection than in cases of gross-total resection. Female sex is associated with decreased mortality, while other demographic or treatment modalities are not.

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Yimo Lin, I-Wen Pan, Rory R. Mayer and Sandi Lam

OBJECT

Research conducted using large administrative data sets has increased in recent decades, but reports on the fidelity and reliability of such data have been mixed. The goal of this project was to compare data from a large, administrative claims data set with a quality improvement registry in order to ascertain similarities and differences in content.

METHODS

Data on children younger than 12 months with nonsyndromic craniosynostosis who underwent surgery in 2012 were queried in both the Kids’ Inpatient Database (KID) and the American College of Surgeons Pediatric National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (Peds NSQIP). Data from published clinical craniosynostosis surgery series are reported for comparison.

RESULTS

Among patients younger than 12 months of age, a total of 1765 admissions were identified in KID and 391 in Peds NSQIP in 2012. Only nonsyndromic patients were included. The mean length of stay was 3.2 days in KID and 4 days in Peds NSQIP. The rates of cardiac events (0.5% in KID, 0.3% in Peds NSQIP, and 0.4%-2.2% in the literature), stroke/intracranial bleeds (0.4% in KID, 0.5% in Peds NSQIP, and 0.3%-1.2% in the literature), infection (0.2% in KID, 0.8% in Peds NSQIP, and 0%-8% in the literature), wound disruption (0.2% in KID, 0.5% in Peds NSQIP, 0%-4% in the literature), and seizures (0.7% in KID, 0.8% in Peds NSQIP, 0%-0.8% in the literature) were low and similar between the 2 data sets. The reported rates of blood transfusion (36% in KID, 64% in Peds NSQIP, and 1.7%-100% in the literature) varied between the 2 data sets.

CONCLUSIONS

Both the KID and Peds NSQIP databases provide large samples of surgical patients, with more cases reported in KID. The rates of complications studied were similar between the 2 data sets, with the exception of blood transfusion events where the retrospective chart review process of Peds NSQIP captured almost double the rate reported in KID.

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Kimberly A. Foster, Sandi Lam, Yimo Lin and Stephanie Greene

Object

Tethered cord (TC) is a neurological disorder caused by tissue attachments that limit the normal movement of the spinal cord. A TC can be unmasked by a cutaneous abnormality or manifest clinically in myriad neurological, urological, and orthopedic symptoms. The relationship between TC and height is previously unknown. This study investigates the association between TC release and changes in height profiles in the pediatric population.

Methods

Fifty-two children undergoing first-time TC release at a single institution were examined retrospectively. Clinical symptoms, radiographic findings, pre- and postoperative height, and height-for-age percentiles were recorded and analyzed.

Results

Children with TC experienced a statistically significant increase in age-adjusted height percentiles after TC release (p = 0.0028), with a mean increase of 7 percentile points (from 48.1st to 54.9th percentile). When stratified by age, children 5 years or older (5–18 years) demonstrated a mean percentile increase of 10 percentile points (from 46.7th to 56.4th percentile) (p = 0.0001). Among the same age group, this effect scaled significantly with age (p = 0.02, beta coefficient −1.3). There was no significant difference in height-for-age after detethering surgery in children younger than 5 years. There was no significant association between the presence of clinical symptoms or specific radiographic findings and height outcomes after surgery. Overall, 56% of TC-related clinical symptoms improved after detethering (mean follow-up 4.6 months). Among children younger than 5 years, 82% of TC-related clinical symptoms improved after detethering (average follow-up 4.5 months); in children 5–18 years, 47% of symptoms improved after detethering (average follow-up 4.8 months).

Conclusions

The authors observed a statistically significant gain in height-for-age percentiles in children undergoing surgical release of TC. The authors' data suggest that such gains may be more significant in older children (≥ 5 years) and the increase appears to scale positively with youth in the older cohort. In this study, postoperative height gains did not appear to correlate with the presence of TC-related clinical symptoms or radiographic findings. Further investigation is necessary to elucidate any potential correlation between release of TC and height changes in children postoperatively.