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Langston T. Holly, Paul G. Matz, Paul A. Anderson, Michael W. Groff, Robert F. Heary, Michael G. Kaiser, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Timothy C. Ryken, Tanvir F. Choudhri, Edward J. Vresilovic, and Daniel K. Resnick

Object

The objective of this systematic review was to use evidence-based medicine to identify valid, reliable, and responsive measures of functional outcome after treatment for cervical degenerative disease.

Methods

The National Library of Medicine and Cochrane Database were queried using MeSH headings and key words relevant to functional outcomes. Abstracts were reviewed after which studies meeting inclusion criteria were selected. The guidelines group assembled an evidentiary table summarizing the quality of evidence (Classes I–III). Disagreements regarding the level of evidence were resolved through an expert consensus conference. The group formulated recommendations that contained the degree of strength based on the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines network. Validation was done through peer review by the Joint Guidelines Committee of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Results

Myelopathy Disability Index, Japanese Orthopaedic Association scale, 36-Item Short Form Health Survey, and gait analysis were found to be valid and reliable measures (Class II) for assessing cervical spondylotic myelopathy. The Patient-Specific Functional Scale, the North American Spine Society scale, and the Neck Disability Index were found to be reliable, valid, and responsive (Class II) for assessing radiculopathy for nonoperative therapy. The Cervical Spine Outcomes Questionnaire was a reliable and valid method (Class II) to assess operative therapy for cervical radiculopathy.

Conclusions

Several functional outcome measures are available to assess cervical spondylotic myelopathy and cervical radiculopathy.

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Philipp Dammann, Annika Herten, Alejandro N. Santos, Laurèl Rauschenbach, Bixia Chen, Marvin Darkwah Oppong, Börge Schmidt, Michael Forsting, Christoph Kleinschnitz, and Ulrich Sure

OBJECTIVE

The object of this study was to assess outcome after surgery for brainstem cavernous malformations (BSCMs) using functional, health-related quality of life (HRQOL), and psychological surveys to analyze the interrelation of these measurements, and to compare HRQOL and anxiety and depression scores with those in a healthy population.

METHODS

The authors performed a cross-sectional outcome study of all patients surgically treated for BSCM in their department between January 1, 2003, and December 31, 2019. They assessed functional outcome via the modified Rankin Scale (mRS), health-related quality of life (HRQOL) via the SF-36 and 9-item Life Satisfaction Questionnaire (LISAT-9), cranial nerve and brainstem function using a questionnaire, symptom-based psychological outcome via the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and timepoint of a return to previous employment. They analyzed the correlation between absolute (mRS score ≤ 2) and relative (postoperative deterioration in initial mRS score) outcome endpoints and the interrelation of the outcome measures and performed a comparison of HRQOL and HADS scores with findings in a healthy population.

RESULTS

Seventy-four patients were eligible for inclusion in the study. HRQOL was impaired after surgery for BSCM compared to that in a healthy population. This impairment was substantial in patients with an unfavorable functional outcome (mRS > 2) but was also present in those with a favorable outcome (mRS ≤ 2) in selected domains. Psychological impairment was negligible in patients with a favorable outcome and grave in those with an unfavorable outcome. LISAT-9 results revealed that brainstem and cranial nerve symptoms reduce satisfaction mainly in self-care abilities for both unfavorable and favorable outcome patients. Among the brainstem and cranial nerve symptoms, balance impairment showed the most significant impact on HRQOL. Absolute outcome endpoints were superior to relative outcome endpoints in reflecting impairment in HRQOL after surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

The study data can improve patient counseling and decision-making in BSCM treatment and may function as a benchmark. The authors report outcomes after BSCM surgery in high detail, emphasizing the specific impact of cranial nerve and brainstem symptoms on HRQOL. When reporting BSCM surgery outcome, absolute outcome endpoints should be applied.

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Chester K. Yarbrough, Jacob K. Greenberg, Matthew D. Smyth, Jeffrey R. Leonard, Tae Sung Park, and David D. Limbrick Jr.

reviewers was 1.4 (range 1–3). The kappa statistic for gestalt outcome assessment was 0.56, showing moderate agreement. However, after identifying the functionality score as having lower interrater reliability than the overall CCOS and the other subscores, the data were reanalyzed excluding the functionality subscore. A new ROC was plotted with an area under the curve of 0.945, similar when compared with the original ROC curve. Additionally, the ICC was calculated at 0.74 when the functionality subscore was removed. Subscore ICCs were unchanged. TABLE 5

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Tamara Prushansky, Evgeny Pevzner, Carlos Gordon, and Zeevi Dvir

B , Bogduk N : Faking a profile: can naive subjects simulate whiplash responses? . Pain 66 : 223 – 227 , 1996 38 Wallis BJ , Lord SM , Barnsley L , Bogduk N : Pain and psychologic symptoms of Australian patients with whiplash. Outcome assessment . Spine 21 : 804 – 810 , 1996 39 Wallis BJ , Lord SM , Bogduk N : Pain and psychologic symptoms of Australian patients with whiplash . Spine 22 : 114 – 115 , 1997 40 Wallis BJ , Lord SM , Bogduk N : Resolution of psychological distress of whiplash patients following

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Shirley I. Stiver and Geoffrey T. Manley

setting, the goals of the prehospital care team should be to do everything possible to stabilize the patient and prevent secondary injury. In this time frame, it is too early, even in the most dismal of situations, to prognosticate patient outcome. Assessments of medical futility and possible organ donation are best delayed until sufficient time has allowed the results of resuscitative efforts to be carefully evaluated. Conclusions The goals of prehospital care for TBI are to stabilize patients for transport, to triage those with mass lesions and impending

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Joseph T. King Jr., John J. Moossy, Joel Tsevat, and Mark S. Roberts

approaches (anterior or posterior decompression and fusion). The outcomes assessments should encompass CSM disease—specific instruments (for example, the modified JOA scale), generic health status instruments (SF-36), instruments that measure patient preferences and health values (standard gamble), imaging documentation of cord decompression, and an assessment of a patient's satisfaction. Finally, because surgery may only benefit a subset of patients with CSM, the proposed trial needs to enroll a sufficient number of individuals to permit the analysis of subgroups to

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Philip V. Theodosopoulos, Andrew J. Ringer, Christopher M. McPherson, Ronald E. Warnick, Charles Kuntz IV, Mario Zuccarello, and John M. Tew Jr.

Object

Health care reform debate includes discussions regarding outcomes of surgical interventions. Yet quality of medical care, when judged as a health outcome, is difficult to define because of impediments affecting accuracy in data collection, analysis, and reporting. In this prospective study, the authors report the outcomes for neurosurgical treatment based on point-of-care interactions recorded in the electronic medical record (EMR).

Methods

The authors' neurosurgery practice collected outcome data for 19 physicians and ancillary personnel using the EMR. Data were analyzed for 5361 consecutive surgical cases, either elective or emergency procedures, performed during 2009 at multiple hospitals, offices, and an ambulatory spine surgery center. Main outcomes included complications, length of stay (LOS), and discharge disposition for all patients and for certain frequently performed procedures. Physicians, nurses, and other medical staff used validated scales to record the hospital LOS, complications, disposition at discharge, and return to work.

Results

Of the 5361 surgical procedures performed, two-thirds were spinal procedures and one-third were cranial procedures. Organization-wide compliance with reporting rates of major complications improved throughout the year, from 80.7% in the first quarter to 90.3% in the fourth quarter. Auditing showed that rates of unreported complications decreased from 11% in the first quarter to 4% in the fourth quarter. Complication data were available for 4593 procedures (85.7%); of these, no complications were reported in 4367 (95.1%). Discharge dispositions reported were home in 86.2%, rehabilitation center in 8.9%, and nursing home in 2.5%. Major complications included culture-proven infection in 0.61%, CSF leak in 0.89%, reoperation within the same hospitalization in 0.38%, and new neurological deficits in 0.77%. For the commonly performed procedures, the median hospital LOS was 3 days for craniotomy for aneurysm or intraaxial tumor and less than 1 day for angiogram, anterior cervical discectomy with fusion, or lumbar discectomy.

Conclusions

With prospectively collected outcome data for more than 5000 surgeries, the authors achieved their primary end point of institution-wide compliance and data accuracy. Components of this process included staged implementation with physician pilot studies and oversight, nurse participation, point-of-service data capture, EMR form modification, data auditing, and confidential surgeon reports.

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Aditya Vedantam, Daniel Hansen, Valentina Briceño, Amee Moreno, Sheila L. Ryan, and Andrew Jea

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to describe patterns of transfer, resource utilization, and clinical outcomes associated with the interhospital transfer of pediatric neurosurgical patients.

METHODS

All consecutive, prospectively collected requests for interhospital patient transfer to the pediatric neurosurgical service at Texas Children's Hospital were retrospectively analyzed from October 2013 to September 2014. Demographic patient information, resource utilization, and outcomes were recorded and compared across predefined strata (low [< 5%], moderate [5%–30%], and high [> 30%]) of predicted probability of mortality using the Pediatric Risk of Mortality score.

RESULTS

Requests for pediatric neurosurgical care comprised 400 (3.7%) of a total of 10,833 calls. Of 400 transfer admissions, 96.5%, 2.8%, and 0.8% were in the low, moderate, and high mortality risk groups, respectively. The median age was 54 months, and 45% were female. The median transit time was 125 minutes. The majority of transfers were after-hours (69.8%); nearly a third occurred during the weekend (32.3%). The median intensive care unit stay for 103 patients was 3 days (range 1–269 days). Median length of hospital stay was 2 days (range 1–269 days). Ninety patients (22.5%) were discharged from the emergency room after transfer. Seventy-seven patients (19.3%) required neurosurgical intervention after transfer, with the majority requiring a cranial procedure (66.2%); 87.3% of patients were discharged home.

CONCLUSIONS

This study highlights patient characteristics, resource utilization, and outcomes among pediatric neurosurgical patients. Opportunities for quality improvement were identified in diagnosing and managing isolated skull fractures and neck pain after trauma.

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Nicholas M. Wetjen, John D. Heiss, and Edward H. Oldfield

Object

To better understand syrinx pathophysiology, the authors performed a prospective study in which they used findings from serial clinical and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging examinations performed before and after craniocervical decompression to establish the time course of syrinx narrowing.

Methods

Serial clinical examinations and cervical MR imaging were performed in 29 consecutive patients with Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I) and syringomyelia before surgery, 1 week, and 3–6 months after surgery, and then annually. Time to narrowing of the syrinx (> 50% decrease in maximal anteroposterior diameter) following surgery was calculated using the Kaplan–Meier method.

Results

All syringes decreased in diameter and length (number of segments) on MR images at 3–6 months, 1 year, and 2 years or later. The syrinx diameter decreased from 6.9 ± 2.1 mm (mean ± standard deviation) preoperatively to < 1.5 mm at last evaluation (p < 0.0001). The median time to syrinx narrowing was 3.6 months following CM-I decompression (95% confidence interval 3.0–6.5 months). After surgery 94% of patients had improved symptoms, but symptoms resolved incompletely in 68% of patients; 52 and 59% of patients had residual dysesthesias and sensory loss, respectively. Clinical improvement occurred before partial or complete disappearance of the syrinx on MR images. Patient age, duration of symptoms, sex, preoperative syrinx diameter, and length of syrinx were unrelated to time to syrinx narrowing.

Conclusions

Most patients improve after decompression for CM-I, but many have residual symptoms. Syringes may continue to diminish for months to years after surgical decompression. A collapsed syrinx (absence of distention of the spinal cord) indicates that the pathophysiology has been reversed by treatment regardless of the completeness of elimination of the cavity on MR images.

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Anthony Wan, Blessing N. R. Jaja, Tom A. Schweizer, and R. Loch Macdonald

OBJECTIVE

Intracerebral hematoma (ICH) with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) indicates a unique feature of intracranial aneurysm rupture since the aneurysm is in the subarachnoid space and separated from the brain by pia mater. Broad consensus is lacking regarding the concept that ultra-early treatment improves outcome. The aim of this study is to determine the associative factors for ICH, ascertain the prognostic value of ICH, and investigate how the timing of treatment relates to the outcome of SAH with concurrent ICH.

METHODS

The study data were pooled from the SAH International Trialists repository. Logistic regression was applied to study the associations of clinical and aneurysm characteristics with ICH. Proportional odds models and dominance analysis were applied to study the effect of ICH on 3-month outcome (Glasgow Outcome Scale) and investigate the effect of time from ictus to treatment on outcome.

RESULTS

Of the 5362 SAH patients analyzed, 1120 (21%) had concurrent ICH. In order of importance, neurological status, aneurysm location, aneurysm size, and patient ethnicity were significantly associated with ICH. Patients with ICH experienced poorer outcome than those without ICH (OR 1.58; 95% CI 1.37–1.82). Treatment within 6 hours of SAH was associated with poorer outcome than treatment thereafter (adjusted OR 1.67; 95% CI 1.04–2.69). Subgroup analysis with adjustment for ICH volume, location, and midline shift resulted in no association between time from ictus to treatment and outcome (OR 0.99; 95% CI 0.94–1.07).

CONCLUSIONS

The most important associative factor for ICH is neurological status on admission. The finding regarding the value of ultra-early treatment suggests the need to more robustly reevaluate the concept that hematoma evacuation of an ICH and repair of a ruptured aneurysm within 6 hours of ictus is the most optimal treatment path.