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Karen Monuszko, Michael Malinzak, Lexie Zidanyue Yang, Donna Niedzwiecki, Herbert Fuchs, Carrie R. Muh, Krista Gingrich, Robert Lark, and Eric M. Thompson

OBJECTIVE

Patients with shunted hydrocephalus often accumulate high levels of radiation over their lifetimes during evaluation of hardware integrity. Current practice involves the use of a series of conventional radiographs for this purpose. Newer low-dose EOS radiography is currently used to evaluate scoliosis but has not been explored to evaluate shunt integrity on a large scale. The goal of this study was to compare the quality of imaging using EOS low-dose radiography to conventional radiography to evaluate shunt tubing.

METHODS

A retrospective chart review was performed on 57 patients who previously had both conventional radiographs and low-dose EOS images of their cerebral shunt tubing from 2000 to 2018. Patient demographics (age, sex, type of shunt tubing, primary diagnosis) were collected. Conventional radiographic images and low-dose EOS images were independently analyzed by a neurosurgeon and neuroradiologist in three categories: image quality, delineation of shunt, and distinction of shunt compared to adjacent anatomy.

RESULTS

All patients had shunted hydrocephalus due to spina bifida and Chiari type II malformation. Ratings of EOS and conventional radiographic images by both raters did not differ significantly in terms of image quality (rater 1, p = 0.499; rater 2, p = 0.578) or delineation of shunt (p = 0.107 and p = 0.256). Conventional radiographic images received significantly higher ratings than EOS on the ability to distinguish the shunt versus adjacent anatomy by rater 1 (p = 0.039), but not by rater 2 (p = 0.149). The overall score of the three categories combined was not significantly different between EOS and conventional radiography (rater 1, p = 0.818; rater 2, p = 0.186). In terms of cost, an EOS image was less costly than a conventional radiography shunt series ($236–$366 and $1300–$1547, respectively). The radiation dose was also lower for EOS images, with an effective dose of 0.086–0.140 mSv compared to approximately 1.6 mSv for a similar field of view with conventional radiography.

CONCLUSIONS

The image quality of low-dose EOS radiography does not significantly differ from conventional radiography for the evaluation of cerebral shunts. In addition, EOS affords a much lower radiation dose and a lower cost.

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Christine Park, Lefko T. Charalambous, Zidanyue Yang, Syed M. Adil, Sarah E. Hodges, Hui-Jie Lee, Laura Zitella Verbick, Aaron R. McCabe, and Shivanand P. Lad

OBJECTIVE

Nontraumatic, primary intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) accounts for 2 million strokes worldwide annually and has a 1-year survival rate of 50%. Recent studies examining functional outcomes from ICH evacuation have been performed, but limited work has been done quantifying the incidence of subsequent complications and their healthcare economic impact. The purpose of this study was to quantify the incidence and healthcare resource utilization (HCRU) for major complications that can arise from ICH.

METHODS

The IBM MarketScan Research databases were used to retrospectively identify patients with ICH from 2010 to 2015. Complications examined included cerebral edema, hydrocephalus, venous thromboembolic events (VTEs), pneumonia, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and seizures. For each complication, inpatient mortality and HCRU were assessed.

RESULTS

Of 25,322 adult patients included, 10,619 (42%) developed complications during the initial admission of ICH: 22% had cerebral edema, 11% hydrocephalus, 10% pneumonia, 6% UTIs, 5% seizures, and 5% VTEs. The inpatient mortality rates at 7 and 30 days for each complication of ICH ranked from highest to lowest were hydrocephalus (24% and 32%), cerebral edema (15% and 20%), pneumonia (8% and 18%), seizure (7% and 13%), VTE (4% and 11%), and UTI (4% and 8%). Hydrocephalus had the highest total cost (median $92,776, IQR $39,308–$180,716) at 7 days post–ICH diagnosis and the highest cumulative total cost (median $170,839, IQR $91,462–$330,673) at 1 year post–ICH diagnosis.

CONCLUSIONS

This study characterizes one of the largest cohorts of patients with nontraumatic ICH in the US. More than 42% of the patients with ICH developed complications during initial admission, which resulted in high inpatient mortality and considerable HCRU.