Publications by authors named "Adrian E Jimenez"

29 Publications

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In Reply: Predictors of Academic Neurosurgical Career Trajectory Among International Medical Graduates Training Within the United States.

Neurosurgery 2021 Aug 25. Epub 2021 Aug 25.

Department of Neurosurgery Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyab332DOI Listing
August 2021

Perceptions of the Virtual Neurosurgery Application Cycle During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic: A Program Director Survey.

World Neurosurg 2021 Aug 4. Epub 2021 Aug 4.

Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Electronic address:

Objective: The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to a shift to virtual residency interviews for the 2020-2021 neurosurgery match, with unknown implications for stakeholders. This study seeks to analyze the perceptions of residency program directors (PDs) and associate program directors (APDs) regarding the current virtual format used for residency selection and interviews.

Methods: An anonymous, 30-question survey was constructed and sent to 115 neurosurgery PDs and 26 APDs to assess respondent demographics, factors used to review applicants, perceptions of applicants and applicant engagement, perceptions of standardized letters and interview questions, the effect of the virtual interview format on various stakeholders, and the future outlook for the virtual residency interview format.

Results: A total of 38 PDs and APDs completed this survey, constituting a response rate of 27.0%. Survey respondents received significantly more Electronic Residency Application Service applications in the 2020-2021 cycle compared with the 2019-2020 cycle (P = 0.0029). Subinternship performance by home-rotators, (26.3%), letters of recommendation (23.7%), and Step 1 score (18.4%) were ranked as the most important factors for evaluating candidates during the current virtual application cycle.

Conclusions: Our study highlights that applicants applied to a greater number of residency programs compared with years prior, that the criteria used by PDs/APDs to evaluate applicants remained largely consistent compared to previous years, and that the virtual residency interview format may disproportionately disadvantage Doctor of Osteopathic medicine and international medical graduate applicants. Further exploring attitudes toward signaling mechanisms and standardized letters may serve to inform changes to future neurosurgery match cycles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2021.07.078DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8461646PMC
August 2021

Patient-Specific Factors Drive Intensive Care Unit and Total Hospital Length of Stay in Operative Patients with Brain Tumor.

World Neurosurg 2021 Sep 2;153:e338-e348. Epub 2021 Jul 2.

Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Hospital length of stay (LOS) is an important cost driver in neurosurgery. Broader surgical literature has shown that patient-related factors, including comorbidities, and procedure-related factors, such surgeon experience, may be associated with LOS. Because value optimization strategies may be targeted toward either domain, this study investigated the contributions of patient-related and procedure-related factors in predicting prolonged intensive care unit LOS (iLOS) and total hospital LOS (tLOS).

Methods: Data for adult patients undergoing brain tumor surgery (2017-2019) were collected. Bivariate analyses for iLOS and tLOS were performed using the Mann-Whitney U test and Fisher exact test. Variables associated with either outcome with P < 0.10 were included in patient-only, procedure-only, and patient+procedure factor multivariate linear regression models. Model discrimination was quantified using C-statistics.

Results: Our 654 patients had a mean age of 57.54 years (standard deviation, ± 14.34 years). For iLOS, the patient-only model significantly outperformed the procedure-only model (P < 0.0001) and performed similarly to the patient+procedure model (P = 0.50). Other than tumor diagnosis, 5-Factor Modified Frailty Index score was the only factor associated with iLOS (P < 0.001) and tLOS (P < 0.001) on multivariate analysis. When predicting prolonged tLOS, the patient-only model significantly outperformed the procedure-only model (P < 0.0001), and performed similarly to patient+procedure models (P = 0.49).

Conclusions: Patient-specific factors are the main drivers of prolonged iLOS and tLOS among patients with brain tumor. Frailty was significantly associated with both iLOS and tLOS on multivariate analysis. Efforts to improve care value should focus on strategies to optimize patient status, such as prehabilitation and enhanced recovery after surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2021.06.114DOI Listing
September 2021

Tranexamic acid for subarachnoid haemorrhage.

Lancet 2021 07;398(10294):25

Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(21)00573-0DOI Listing
July 2021

A novel radiographic marker of sarcopenia with prognostic value in glioblastoma.

Clin Neurol Neurosurg 2021 08 24;207:106782. Epub 2021 Jun 24.

Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1800 Orleans St, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA. Electronic address:

Objective: Sarcopenia is an important prognostic consideration in surgical oncology that has received relatively little attention in brain tumor patients. Temporal muscle thickness (TMT) has recently been proposed as a novel radiographic marker of sarcopenia that can be efficiently obtained within existing workflows. We investigated the prognostic value of TMT in primary and progressive glioblastoma.

Methods: TMT measurements were performed on magnetic resonance images of 384 patients undergoing 541 surgeries for glioblastoma. Relationships between TMT and clinical characteristics were examined on bivariate analysis. Optimal TMT cutpoints were established using maximally selected rank statistics. Predictive value of TMT upon postoperative survival (PS) was assessed using Cox proportional hazards regression adjusted for age, sex, Karnofsky performance status (KPS), Stupp protocol completion, extent of resection, and tumor molecular markers.

Results: Average TMT for the primary and progressive glioblastoma cohorts was 9.55 mm and 9.40 mm, respectively. TMT was associated with age (r = -0.14, p = 0.0008), BMI (r = 0.29, p < 0.0001), albumin (r = 0.11, p = 0.0239), and KPS (r = 0.11, p = 0.0101). Optimal TMT cutpoints for the primary and progressive cohorts were ≤ 7.15 mm and ≤ 7.10 mm, respectively. High TMT was associated with increased Stupp protocol completion (p = 0.001). On Cox proportional hazards regression, high TMT predicted increased PS in progressive [HR 0.47 (95% confidence interval (CI)) 0.25-0.90), p = 0.023] but not primary [HR 0.99 (95% CI 0.64-1.51), p = 0.949] glioblastoma.

Conclusions: TMT correlates with important prognostic variables in glioblastoma and predicts PS in patients with progressive, but not primary, disease. TMT may represent a pragmatic neurosurgical biomarker in glioblastoma that could inform treatment planning and perioperative optimization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clineuro.2021.106782DOI Listing
August 2021

Predictors of an academic career among fellowship-trained spinal neurosurgeons.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Jun 11:1-8. Epub 2021 Jun 11.

1Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

Objective: Although fellowship training is becoming increasingly common in neurosurgery, it is unclear which factors predict an academic career trajectory among spinal neurosurgeons. In this study, the authors sought to identify predictors associated with academic career placement among fellowship-trained neurological spinal surgeons.

Methods: Demographic data and bibliometric information on neurosurgeons who completed a residency program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education between 1983 and 2019 were gathered, and those who completed a spine fellowship were identified. Employment was denoted as academic if the hospital where a neurosurgeon worked was affiliated with a neurosurgical residency program; all other positions were denoted as nonacademic. A logistic regression model was used for multivariate statistical analysis.

Results: A total of 376 fellowship-trained spinal neurosurgeons were identified, of whom 140 (37.2%) held academic positions. The top 5 programs that graduated the most fellows in the cohort were Cleveland Clinic, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, University of Miami, Barrow Neurological Institute, and Northwestern University. On multivariate analysis, increased protected research time during residency (OR 1.03, p = 0.044), a higher h-index during residency (OR 1.12, p < 0.001), completing more than one clinical fellowship (OR 2.16, p = 0.024), and attending any of the top 5 programs that graduated the most fellows (OR 2.01, p = 0.0069) were independently associated with an academic career trajectory.

Conclusions: Increased protected research time during residency, a higher h-index during residency, completing more than one clinical fellowship, and attending one of the 5 programs graduating the most fellowship-trained neurosurgical spinal surgeons independently predicted an academic career. These results may be useful in identifying and advising trainees interested in academic spine neurosurgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.12.SPINE201771DOI Listing
June 2021

Predictors of Academic Neurosurgical Career Trajectory among International Medical Graduates Training Within the United States.

Neurosurgery 2021 Aug;89(3):478-485

Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Background: Within the literature, there has been limited research tracking the career trajectories of international medical graduates (IMGs) following residency training.

Objective: To compare the characteristics of IMG and US medical school graduate (USMG) neurosurgeons holding academic positions in the United States and also analyze factors that influence IMG career trajectories following US-based residency training.

Methods: We collected data on 243 IMGs and 2506 USMGs who graduated from Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited neurosurgery residency programs. We assessed for significant differences between cohorts, and a logistic regression model was used for the outcome of academic career trajectory.

Results: Among the 2749 neurosurgeons in our study, IMGs were more likely to pursue academic neurosurgery careers relative to USMGs (59.7% vs 51.1%; P = .011) and were also more likely to complete a research fellowship before beginning residency (odds ratio [OR] = 9.19; P < .0001). Among current US academic neurosurgeons, USMGs had significantly higher pre-residency h-indices relative to IMGs (1.23 vs 1.01; P < .0001) with no significant differences between cohorts when comparing h-indices during (USMG = 5.02, IMG = 4.80; P = .67) or after (USMG = 14.05, IMG = 13.90; P = .72) residency. Completion of a post-residency clinical fellowship was the only factor independently associated with an academic career trajectory among IMGs (OR = 1.73, P = .046).

Conclusion: Our study suggests that while IMGs begin their US residency training with different research backgrounds and achievements relative to USMG counterparts, they attain similar levels of academic productivity following residency. Furthermore, IMGs are more likely to pursue academic careers relative to USMGs. Our work may be useful for better understanding IMG career trajectories following US-based neurosurgery residency training.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyab194DOI Listing
August 2021

Single-suture craniosynostosis and the epigenome: current evidence and a review of epigenetic principles.

Neurosurg Focus 2021 04;50(4):E10

2Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland.

Craniosynostosis (CS) is a congenital disease that arises due to premature ossification of single or multiple sutures, which results in skull deformities. The surgical management of single-suture CS continues to evolve and is driven by a robust body of clinical research; however, the molecular underpinnings of CS remain poorly understood. Despite long-standing hypotheses regarding the interaction of genetic predisposition and environmental factors, formal investigation of the epigenetic underpinnings of CS has been limited. In an effort to catalyze further investigation into the epigenetic basis of CS, the authors review the fundamentals of epigenetics, discuss recent studies that shed light on this emerging field, and offer hypotheses regarding the role of epigenetic mechanisms in the development of single-suture CS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2021.1.FOCUS201008DOI Listing
April 2021

In Reply to the Letter to the Editor Regarding "Predictors of Nonroutine Discharge Disposition Among Parasagittal/Parafalcine Meningioma Patients".

World Neurosurg 2021 02;146:429

Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.08.132DOI Listing
February 2021

Predicting High-Value Care Outcomes After Surgery for Skull Base Meningiomas.

World Neurosurg 2021 05 7;149:e427-e436. Epub 2021 Feb 7.

Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Although various predictors of adverse postoperative outcomes among patients with meningioma have been established, research has yet to develop a method for consolidating these findings to allow for predictions of adverse health care outcomes for patients diagnosed with skull base meningiomas. The objective of the present study was to develop 3 predictive algorithms that can be used to estimate an individual patient's probability of extended length of stay (LOS) in hospital, experiencing a nonroutine discharge disposition, or incurring high hospital charges after surgical resection of a skull base meningioma.

Methods: The present study used data from patients who underwent surgical resection for skull base meningiomas at a single academic institution between 2017 and 2019. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to predict extended LOS, nonroutine discharge, and high hospital charges, and 2000 bootstrapped samples were used to calculate an optimism-corrected C-statistic. The Hosmer-Lemeshow test was used to assess model calibration, and P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: A total of 245 patients were included in our analysis. Our cohort was mostly female (77.6%) and white (62.4%). Our models predicting extended LOS, nonroutine discharge, and high hospital charges had optimism-corrected C-statistics of 0.768, 0.784, and 0.783, respectively. All models showed adequate calibration (P>0.05), and were deployed via an open-access, online calculator: https://neurooncsurgery3.shinyapps.io/high_value_skull_base_calc/.

Conclusions: After external validation, our predictive models have the potential to aid clinicians in providing patients with individualized risk estimation for health care outcomes after meningioma surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2021.02.007DOI Listing
May 2021

Effect of radiation therapy on overall survival following subtotal resection of adult pilocytic astrocytoma.

J Clin Neurosci 2020 Nov 21;81:340-345. Epub 2020 Oct 21.

Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21231, United States. Electronic address:

Objective: Pilocytic astrocytoma (PCA) is a low-grade glioma that primarily presents in children, but can also present in adulthood. Ideal primary treatment for PCA is gross total resection. However, for patients who are only able to undergo subtotal resection, the optimal course of post-operative therapy remains unclear. We investigated the association of patient characteristics and radiation therapy (RT) with overall survival specifically for adult PCA patients who underwent subtotal tumor resection.

Methods: Information on adult patients (age ≥18 years old) who underwent subtotal PCA resection between 2004 and 2016 was collected from the National Cancer Database (NCDB). A multivariate Cox proportional hazards model was utilized to determine factors associated with overall survival.

Results: A total of 451 patients were identified. The mean age of our patient cohort was 36.8 years old, and the majority of patients (83.4%) did not receive RT following subtotal PCA resection. Overall median survival was >93.8 months. On multivariate analysis, patients who were older at diagnosis (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.04, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.02-1.06, p < 0.01), black (HR = 2.35, CI = 1.05-5.23, p = 0.037), had a Charlson/Deyo comorbidity score ≥ 1 (HR = 2.27, CI = 1.00-5.14, p = 0.049), or received RT during their initial treatment (HR = 3.77, CI = 1.77-8.03, p < 0.01) had a significantly higher risk of death following subtotal PCA resection.

Conclusion: Post-operative RT was associated with a significantly higher risk of death among adults who underwent subtotal PCA resection. Our findings provide support for further inquiry into the efficacy of RT within this patient population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jocn.2020.10.020DOI Listing
November 2020

The Prognostic Impact of Nutritional Status on Postoperative Outcomes in Glioblastoma.

World Neurosurg 2021 02 13;146:e865-e875. Epub 2020 Nov 13.

Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Electronic address:

Objective: The clinical impact and optimal method of assessing nutritional status (NS) have not been rigorously examined in glioblastoma. We investigated the relationship between NS and postoperative survival (PS) in glioblastoma using 4 nutritional indices and identified which index best modeled PS.

Methods: NS was retrospectively assessed for patients with glioblastoma undergoing surgery at our institution from 2007 to 2019 using the albumin level, albumin/globulin ratio (AGR), nutritional risk index (NRI), and prognostic nutritional index (PNI). Optimal cut points for each index were identified using maximally selected rank statistics and previously established criteria. The predictive value of each index on PS was determined using Cox proportional hazards models adjusted for prognostic variables. The best-performing model was identified using the Akaike Information Criterion.

Results: Our analysis included 242 patients (64% male) with a mean age of 57.6 years, Karnofsky Performance Status of 77.6, 5-factor modified frailty index of 0.59, albumin level of 4.2 g/dL, AGR of 1.9, NRI of 105.6, and PNI of 47.4. Median PS after index and repeat surgery was 12.7 and 7.8 months, respectively. On multivariable analysis, low albumin level (hazard ratio [HR], 2.09; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.52-2.89; P < 0.001), mild NRI (HR, 1.61; 95% CI, 1.04-2.49; P = 0.032), moderate/severe NRI (HR, 2.51; 95% CI, 1.64-3.85; P < 0.001), and low PNI (HR, 2.51; 95% CI, 1.78-3.53; P < 0.001), but not low AGR (HR, 1.17; 95% CI, 0.89-1.54; P = 0.270), predicted decreased PS. PNI had the lowest Akaike Information Criterion.

Conclusions: NS predicts PS in glioblastoma. PNI may provide the best model for assessing NS. NS is an important modifiable aspect of brain tumor management that warrants increased attention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.11.033DOI Listing
February 2021

Predictive Model and Online Calculator for Discharge Disposition in Brain Tumor Patients.

World Neurosurg 2021 02 10;146:e786-e798. Epub 2020 Nov 10.

Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Electronic address:

Background: In the era of value-based payment models, it is imperative for neurosurgeons to eliminate inefficiencies and provide high-quality care. Discharge disposition is a relevant consideration with clinical and economic ramifications in brain tumor patients. We developed a predictive model and online calculator for postoperative non-home discharge disposition in brain tumor patients that can be incorporated into preoperative workflows.

Methods: We reviewed all brain tumor patients at our institution from 2017 to 2019. A predictive model of discharge disposition containing preoperatively available variables was developed using stepwise multivariable logistic regression. Model performance was assessed using receiver operating characteristic curves and calibration curves. Internal validation was performed using bootstrapping with 2000 samples.

Results: Our cohort included 2335 patients who underwent 2586 surgeries with a 16% non-home discharge rate. Significant predictors of non-home discharge were age >60 years (odds ratio [OR], 2.02), African American (OR, 1.73) or Asian (OR, 2.05) race, unmarried status (OR, 1.48), Medicaid insurance (OR, 1.90), admission from another health care facility (OR, 2.30), higher 5-factor modified frailty index (OR, 1.61 for 5-factor modified frailty index ≥2), and lower Karnofsky Performance Status (increasing OR with each 10-point decrease in Karnofsky Performance Status). The model was well calibrated and had excellent discrimination (optimism-corrected C-statistic, 0.82). An open-access calculator was deployed (https://neurooncsurgery.shinyapps.io/discharge_calc/).

Conclusions: A strongly performing predictive model and online calculator for non-home discharge disposition in brain tumor patients was developed. With further validation, this tool may facilitate more efficient discharge planning, with consequent improvements in quality and value of care for brain tumor patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.11.018DOI Listing
February 2021

An Online Calculator for Predicting Academic Career Trajectory in Neurosurgery in the United States.

World Neurosurg 2021 01 5;145:e155-e162. Epub 2020 Oct 5.

Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Electronic address:

Objective: Determining factors that predict a career in academic neurosurgery can help to improve neurosurgical training and faculty mentoring efforts. Although many academic career predictors have been established in the literature, no method has yet been developed to allow for individualized predictions of an academic career trajectory. The objective of the present study was to develop a Web-based calculator for predicting the probability of a career in academic neurosurgery.

Methods: The present study used data from neurosurgeons listed in the American Association of Neurological Surgeons database. A logistic regression model was used to predict probability of an academic career, and bootstrapping with 2000 samples was used to calculate an optimism-corrected C-statistic. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: A total of 1818 neurosurgeons were included in our analysis. Most surgeons were male (89.7%) and employed in nonacademic positions (60.2%). Factors independently associated with an academic career were female sex, attending a residency program affiliated with a top 10 U.S. News medical school, attaining a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree, attaining a Master of Science (MS) degree, higher h-index during residency, more months of protected research time during residency, and completing a clinical fellowship. Our final model had an optimism-corrected C-statistic of 0.74. This model was incorporated into a Web-based calculator (https://neurooncsurgery.shinyapps.io/academic_calculator/).

Conclusions: The present study consolidates previous research investigating neurosurgery career predictors into a simple, open-access tool. Our work may serve to better clarify the many factors influencing trainees' likelihood of pursuing a career in academic neurosurgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.09.161DOI Listing
January 2021

A novel online calculator predicting short-term postoperative outcomes in patients with metastatic brain tumors.

J Neurooncol 2020 Sep 22;149(3):429-436. Epub 2020 Sep 22.

Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1800 Orleans St, Baltimore, MD, 21287, USA.

Purpose: Establishing predictors of hospital length of stay (LOS), discharge deposition, and total hospital charges is essential to providing high-quality, value-based care. Though previous research has investigated these outcomes for patients with metastatic brain tumors, there are currently no tools that synthesize such research findings and allow for prediction of these outcomes on a patient-by-patient basis. The present study sought to develop a prediction calculator that uses patient demographic and clinical information to predict extended hospital length of stay, non-routine discharge disposition, and high total hospital charges for patients with metastatic brain tumors.

Methods: Patients undergoing surgery for metastatic brain tumors at a single academic institution were analyzed (2017-2019). Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify independent predictors of extended LOS (> 7 days), non-routine discharge, and high total hospital charges (> $ 46,082.63). p < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. C-statistics and the Hosmer-Lemeshow test were used to assess model discrimination and calibration, respectively.

Results: A total of 235 patients were included in our analysis, with a mean age of 62.74 years. The majority of patients were female (52.3%) and Caucasian (76.6%). Our models predicting extended LOS, non-routine discharge, and high hospital charges had optimism-corrected c-statistics > 0.7, and all three models demonstrated adequate calibration (p > 0.05). The final models are available as an online calculator ( https://neurooncsurgery.shinyapps.io/brain_mets_calculator/ ).

Conclusions: Our models predicting postoperative outcomes allow for individualized risk-estimation for patients following surgery for metastatic brain tumors. Our results may be useful in helping clinicians to provide resource-conscious, high-value care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11060-020-03626-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7508241PMC
September 2020

Quantifying the utility of a multidisciplinary neuro-oncology tumor board.

J Neurosurg 2020 Sep 18:1-6. Epub 2020 Sep 18.

1Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore.

Objective: There has been limited research on the efficacy of multidisciplinary tumor boards (MDTBs) in improving the treatment of patients with tumors affecting the nervous system. The objective of the present study was to quantify the utility of MDTBs in providing alternative diagnostic interpretations and treatment plans for this patient population.

Methods: The authors performed a prospective study of patients in 4 hospitals whose cases were discussed at MDTBs between July and November 2019. Patient demographic data, diagnoses, treatment plans, and eligibility for clinical trials were recorded, among other variables.

Results: A total of 176 cases met eligibility criteria for study inclusion. The majority (53%) of patients were male, and the mean patient age was 52 years. The most frequent diagnosis was glioblastoma (32.4%). Among the evaluable cases, MDTBs led to 38 (21.6%) changes in image interpretation and 103 (58.2%) changes in patient management. Additionally, patients whose cases were discussed at MDTBs had significantly shorter referral times than patients whose cases were not discussed (p = 0.024).

Conclusions: MDTB discussions led to significant numbers of diagnostic and treatment plan changes as well as shortened referral times, highlighting the potential clinical impact of multidisciplinary care for patients with nervous system tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.5.JNS201299DOI Listing
September 2020

Predicting Postoperative Outcomes in Brain Tumor Patients With a 5-Factor Modified Frailty Index.

Neurosurgery 2020 12;88(1):147-154

Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

Background: Frailty indices may represent useful decision support tools to optimize modifiable drivers of quality and cost in neurosurgical care. However, classic indices are cumbersome to calculate and frequently require unavailable data. Recently, a more lean 5-factor modified frailty index (mFI-5) was introduced, but it has not yet been rigorously applied to brain tumor patients.

Objective: To investigate the predictive value of the mFI-5 on length of stay (LOS), complications, and charges in surgical brain tumor patients.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed data for brain tumor patients who underwent primary surgery from 2017 to 2018. Bivariate (ANOVA) and multivariate (logistic and linear regression) analyses assessed the predictive power of the mFI-5 on postoperative outcomes.

Results: Our cohort included 1692 patients with a mean age of 55.5 yr and mFI-5 of 0.80. Mean intensive care unit (ICU) and total LOS were 1.69 and 5.24 d, respectively. Mean pulmonary embolism (PE)/deep vein thrombosis (DVT), physiological/metabolic derangement, respiratory failure, and sepsis rates were 7.2%, 1.1%, 1.6%, and 1.7%, respectively. Mean total charges were $42 331. On multivariate analysis, each additional point on the mFI-5 was associated with a 0.32- and 1.38-d increase in ICU and total LOS, respectively; increased odds of PE/DVT (odds ratio (OR): 1.50), physiological/metabolic derangement (OR: 3.66), respiratory failure (OR: 1.55), and sepsis (OR: 2.12); and an increase in total charges of $5846.

Conclusion: The mFI-5 is a pragmatic and actionable tool which predicts LOS, complications, and charges in brain tumor patients. It may guide future efforts to risk-stratify patients with subsequent impact on postoperative outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyaa335DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7849935PMC
December 2020

The 5-factor modified frailty index: an effective predictor of mortality in brain tumor patients.

J Neurosurg 2020 Aug 14:1-9. Epub 2020 Aug 14.

Objective: Health measures such as the Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) and the 11-factor modified frailty index (mFI-11) have been employed to predict general medical and surgical mortality, but their clinical utility is limited by the requirement for a large number of data points, some of which overlap or require data that may be unavailable in large datasets. A more streamlined 5-factor modified frailty index (mFI-5) was recently developed to overcome these barriers, but it has not been widely tested in neuro-oncology patient populations. The authors compared the utility of the mFI-5 to that of the CCI and the mFI-11 in predicting postoperative mortality in brain tumor patients.

Methods: The authors retrospectively reviewed a cohort of adult patients from a single institution who underwent brain tumor surgery during the period from January 2017 to December 2018. Logistic regression models were used to quantify the associations between health measure scores and postoperative mortality after adjusting for patient age, race, ethnicity, sex, marital status, and diagnosis. Results were considered statistically significant at p values ≤ 0.05. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were used to examine the relationships between CCI, mFI-11, and mFI-5 and mortality, and DeLong's test was used to test for significant differences between c-statistics. Spearman's rho was used to quantify correlations between indices.

Results: The study cohort included 1692 patients (mean age 55.5 years; mean CCI, mFI-11, and mFI-5 scores 2.49, 1.05, and 0.80, respectively). Each 1-point increase in mFI-11 (OR 4.19, p = 0.0043) and mFI-5 (OR 2.56, p = 0.018) scores independently predicted greater odds of 90-day postoperative mortality. Adjusted CCI, mFI-11, and mFI-5 ROC curves demonstrated c-statistics of 0.86 (CI 0.82-0.90), 0.87 (CI 0.83-0.91), and 0.87 (CI 0.83-0.91), respectively, and there was no significant difference between the c-statistics of the adjusted CCI and the adjusted mFI-5 models (p = 0.089) or between the adjusted mFI-11 and the adjusted mFI-5 models (p = 0.82). The 3 indices were well correlated (p < 0.01).

Conclusions: The adjusted mFI-5 model predicts 90-day postoperative mortality among brain tumor patients as well as our adjusted CCI and adjusted mFI-11 models. The simplified mFI-5 may be easily integrated into clinical workflows to predict brain tumor surgery outcomes in real time.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.5.JNS20766DOI Listing
August 2020

In Reply to the Letter to the Editor Regarding "Impact of COVID-19 on an Academic Neurosurgery Department: The Johns Hopkins Experience".

World Neurosurg 2020 11 8;143:601-602. Epub 2020 Aug 8.

Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.08.033DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7414726PMC
November 2020

The 5-factor modified frailty index predicts health burden following surgery for pituitary adenomas.

Pituitary 2020 Dec;23(6):630-640

Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, 21231, USA.

Purpose: Frailty is known to influence cost-related surgical outcomes in neurosurgery, but quantifying frailty is often challenging. Therefore, we investigated the predictive value of the 5-factor modified frailty index (mFI-5) on total hospital charges, LOS, and 90-day readmission for patients undergoing pituitary surgery.

Methods: The medical records of all patients undergoing endoscopic endonasal resection of pituitary adenomas at an academic medical center between January 2017 and December 2018 were retrospectively reviewed. Bivariate statistical analyses were conducted using Fisher's exact test, chi-square test, and independent samples t-test. Linear and logistic regression models were used for multivariate analysis.

Results: Our cohort (n = 234) had a mean age of 53.8 years (standard deviation 14.6 years). Sex distributions were equal, and most patients were Caucasian (59%). On multivariate linear regression, with each one-point increase in mFI-5, total LOS increased by 0.64 days in the overall cohort (p < 0.001), 1.08 days in the Cushing disease cohort (p = 0.045), and 0.59 days in non-functioning tumors cohort (p = 0.004). Total charges increased by $3954 in the whole cohort (p < 0.001), $10,652 in the Cushing disease cohort (p = 0.033), and $2902 in the non-functioning tumors cohort (p = 0.007) with each one-point increase in mFI-5. Greater mFI-5 scores were associated with greater odds of 90-day readmission in both overall and Cushing disease cohorts, but these associations did not reach statistical significance.

Conclusion: A patient's mFI-5 score is significantly associated with increased length of stay and hospital charges for patients undergoing pituitary surgery. The mFI-5 may hold peri-operative value in patient counseling for pituitary adenoma surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11102-020-01069-5DOI Listing
December 2020

Predictors of Academic Career Trajectory Among Fellowship-Trained Neurosurgical Oncologists.

J Cancer Educ 2020 Jul 19. Epub 2020 Jul 19.

Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1800 Orleans Street, Baltimore, MD, 21287, USA.

Much research has been conducted to investigate predictors of an academic career trajectory among neurosurgeons in general. This study seeks to examine a cohort of fellowship-trained neurosurgical oncologists to determine which factors are associated with a career in academia. Publicly available data on fellowship-trained neurosurgical oncologists was aggregated from ACGME-accredited residency websites, from program websites listed on the AANS Neurosurgical Fellowship Training Program Directory, and from professional websites including Doximity. Bivariate analyses were conducted to determine covariates for a logistic regression model, and a multivariate analysis was conducted to determine which variables were independently associated with an academic career trajectory. A total of 87 neurosurgical oncologists were identified (1991-2018). A total of 73 (83.9%) had > 1 year of protected research time in residency, 33 (37.9%) had an h-index of ≥2 prior to residency, and 63 (72.4%) had an h-index of ≥2 during residency. In multivariate analysis, the only factor independently associated with academic career trajectory among neurosurgical oncologists was achieving an h-index of ≥2 during residency (odds ratio [OR] = 2.93, p = .041). Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center graduated the most neurosurgical oncologists in our cohort (n = 23). Our study establishes a novel factor that is predictive of academic career trajectory among fellowship-trained neurosurgical oncologists, specifically having an h-index of ≥2 during residency. Our results may be useful for those mentoring students and trainees with an interest in pursuing academia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13187-020-01833-yDOI Listing
July 2020

"Zooming in" on Glioblastoma: Understanding Tumor Heterogeneity and its Clinical Implications in the Era of Single-Cell Ribonucleic Acid Sequencing.

Neurosurgery 2021 02;88(3):477-486

Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common primary brain malignancy in adults and one of the most aggressive of all human cancers. It is highly recurrent and treatment-resistant, in large part due to its infiltrative nature and inter- and intratumoral heterogeneity. This heterogeneity entails varying genomic landscapes and cell types within and between tumors and the tumor microenvironment (TME). In GBM, heterogeneity is a driver of treatment resistance, recurrence, and poor prognosis, representing a substantial impediment to personalized medicine. Over the last decade, sequencing technologies have facilitated deeper understanding of GBM heterogeneity by "zooming in" progressively further on tumor genomics and transcriptomics. Initial efforts employed bulk ribonucleic acid (RNA) sequencing, which examines composite gene expression of whole tumor specimens. While groundbreaking at the time, this bulk RNAseq masks the crucial contributions of distinct tumor subpopulations to overall gene expression. This work progressed to the use of bulk RNA sequencing in anatomically and spatially distinct tumor subsections, which demonstrated previously underappreciated genomic complexity of GBM. A revolutionary next step forward has been the advent of single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNAseq), which examines gene expression at the single-cell level. scRNAseq has enabled us to understand GBM heterogeneity in unprecedented detail. We review seminal studies in our progression of understanding GBM heterogeneity, with a focus on scRNAseq and the insights that it has provided into understanding the GBM tumor mass, peritumoral space, and TME. We highlight preclinical and clinical implications of this work and consider its potential to impact neuro-oncology and to improve patient outcomes via personalized medicine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyaa305DOI Listing
February 2021

Predictors of Nonroutine Discharge Disposition Among Patients with Parasagittal/Parafalcine Meningioma.

World Neurosurg 2020 10 9;142:e344-e349. Epub 2020 Jul 9.

Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Electronic address:

Objective: Discharge disposition is an important outcome for neurosurgeons to consider in the context of high-quality, value-based care. There has been limited research into how the unique anatomic considerations associated with parasagittal/parafalcine meningioma resection may influence discharge disposition. We investigated the effects of various predictors on discharge disposition within a cohort of patients with parasagittal/parafalcine meningioma.

Methods: A total of 154 patients treated at a single institution were analyzed (2016-2019). Bivariate analysis was conducted using the Mann-Whitney U and Fisher exact tests. Multivariate analysis was conducted using logistic regression. An optimism-corrected C-statistic was calculated using 2000 bootstrap samples to assess logistic regression model performance.

Results: Our cohort was mostly female (67.5%) and white (72.7%), with a mean age of 57.29 years. Most patients had tumors associated with the middle third of the superior sagittal sinus (SSS) (60.4%) and had tumors that were not fully occluding the SSS (74.0%). In multivariate analysis, independent predictors of nonroutine discharge disposition included 5-factor Modified Frailty Index score (odds ratio [OR], 2.06; P = 0.0088), Simpson grade IV resection (OR, 4.22; P = 0.0062), and occurrence of any postoperative complication (OR, 2.89; P = 0.031). The optimism-corrected C-statistic of our model was 0.757.

Conclusions: In our single-institution experience, neither extent of SSS invasion nor location along the SSS predicted nonroutine discharge, suggesting that tumor invasion and posterior location along the SSS are not necessarily contraindications to surgery. Our results also highlight the importance of frailty and tumor size in stratifying patients at risk of nonroutine discharge disposition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.06.239DOI Listing
October 2020

Impact of COVID-19 on an Academic Neurosurgery Department: The Johns Hopkins Experience.

World Neurosurg 2020 07 24;139:e877-e884. Epub 2020 May 24.

Department of Neurosurgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Bethesda, Maryland, USA; Department of Health Policy and Management, The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. Electronic address:

Objective: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a disruptive pandemic that has continued to test the limits of health care system capacities. It is important to highlight the specific challenges facing US neurosurgery during these difficult circumstances. In the present study, we have described our neurosurgery department's unique experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: We analyzed the following data points both before and during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic: the number of patients infected with COVID-19 at our institution, changes in neurosurgical operative workflow, changes in neurosurgical outpatient and inpatient clinic workflows, resident redeployment statistics and changes in call schedules, and changes in neurosurgical education.

Results: At our institution, the adult surgery numbers decreased from 120 during the week of March 4-11, 2020 (before the World Health Organization had classified the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic) to 17 during the week of April 13-17, 2020. The number of pediatric surgeries decreased from 15 to 3 during the same period. Significantly more surgeries were cancelled than were delayed (P < 0.0001). A drastic decline occurred in the number of in-person neurosurgery clinic visits (97.12%) between March and April 2020 (P = 0.0020). The inpatient census declined from mid-March to mid-April 2020 by 44.68% compared with a 4.26% decline during the same period in 2019 (P < 0.0001). Finally, neurosurgery education has largely shifted toward video-conferencing sessions rather than in-person sessions.

Conclusion: By detailing our experience during the COVID-19 pandemic, we hope to have provided a detailed picture of the challenges facing neurosurgery within an academic medical center.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.05.167DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7245648PMC
July 2020

Trends in endoscopic and microscopic transsphenoidal surgery: a survey of the international society of pituitary surgeons between 2010 and 2020.

Pituitary 2020 Oct;23(5):526-533

Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1800 Orleans Street, Baltimore, MD, 21287, USA.

Purpose: This comparative survey of surgical practice patterns between 2010 and 2020 aims to elicit trends in practice patterns for transsphenoidal surgery and to identify areas for improvement.

Methods: Web-based surveys were sent to the International Society of Pituitary Surgeons via a membership listserv in 2010 and 2020. These 33-item surveys collected information on demographics, surgical approach, perceived advantages and disadvantages, and recommendations for improvements. Statistical analyses were conducted using the Mann-Whitney U test for continuous variables and Fisher's exact test for categorical variables.

Results: There were 51 respondents in 2010 and 82 respondents in 2020. The majority were full-time academic surgeons from the United States or Europe. Preference for a purely endoscopic technique increased from 43% in 2010 to 87% in 2020. Preference for routinely working with an otolaryngologist or second neurosurgeon increased from 35 to 51%. Most surgeons (74%) reported that they were more likely to achieve a greater extent of resection with the endoscope, though 51% noted increased operating time. The most commonly rated advantage (34%) of endoscopic TSS was fewer postoperative nasoseptal perforations; the most commonly (34%) rated disadvantage was more postoperative complications, including cerebrospinal fluid leak. Respondents were divided on whether microscopic TSS should continue to be taught in residency. Many (32%) advocated for improved endoscopic instrumentation and team training.

Conclusion: Endoscopic TSS is now the clearly preferred method for surgery amongst a cohort of higher-volume academic neurosurgeons. This trend is likely to continue, and this provides guidelines for future training.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11102-020-01054-yDOI Listing
October 2020

Predictors of an academic career among fellowship-trained open vascular and endovascular neurosurgeons.

J Neurosurg 2020 Apr 17;134(3):1173-1181. Epub 2020 Apr 17.

Objective: Although previous studies have explored factors that predict an academic career among neurosurgery residents in general, such predictors have yet to be determined within specific neurosurgical subspecialties. The authors report on predictors they identified as correlating with academic placement among fellowship-trained vascular neurosurgeons.

Methods: A database was created that included all physicians who graduated from ACGME (Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education)-accredited neurosurgery residency programs between 1960 and 2018 using publicly available online data. Neurosurgeons who completed either open vascular or endovascular fellowships were identified. Subsequent employment of vascular or endovascular neurosurgeons in academic centers was determined. A position was considered academic if the hospital of employment was affiliated with a neurosurgery residency program; all other positions were considered non-academic. Bivariate analyses were conducted using Fisher's exact test or the Mann-Whitney U-test, and multivariate analysis was performed using a logistic regression model.

Results: A total of 83 open vascular neurosurgeons and 115 endovascular neurosurgeons were identified. In both cohorts, the majority of neurosurgeons were employed in academic positions after training. In bivariate analysis, only 2 factors were significantly associated with a career in academic neurosurgery for open vascular neurosurgeons: 1) an h-index of ≥ 2 during residency (OR 3.71, p = 0.016), and 2) attending a top 10 residency program based on U.S. News and World Report rankings (OR 4.35, p = 0.030). In bivariate analysis, among endovascular neurosurgeons, having an h-index of ≥ 2 during residency (OR 4.35, p = 0.0085) and attending a residency program affiliated with a top 10 U.S. News and World Report medical school (OR 2.97, p = 0.029) were significantly associated with an academic career. In multivariate analysis, for both open vascular and endovascular neurosurgeons, an h-index of ≥ 2 during residency was independently predictive of an academic career. Attending a residency program affiliated with a top 10 U.S. News and World Report medical school independently predicted an academic career among endovascular neurosurgeons only.

Conclusions: The authors report that an h-index of ≥ 2 during residency predicts pursuit of an academic career among vascular and endovascular neurosurgeons. Additionally, attendance of a residency program affiliated with a top research medical school independently predicts an academic career trajectory among endovascular neurosurgeons. This result may be useful to identify and mentor residents interested in academic vascular neurosurgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.2.JNS2033DOI Listing
April 2020

Educational Program Rankings Are Independently Associated With Residents' Academic Career Trajectory in Neurological Surgery.

J Surg Educ 2020 Sep - Oct;77(5):1312-1320. Epub 2020 Apr 1.

Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland. Electronic address:

Objective: Many studies have sought to determine predictors of academic career placement in surgical subspecialities. However, previous research has yet to establish whether the ranking of a surgeon's undergraduate institution or medical school is significantly associated with pursuit of an academic career. The purpose of this study was to investigate these novel factors' predictive impact on an academic career in the surgical subspeciality of neurosurgery. Factors investigated included undergraduate university rankings, medical school rankings, and residency program rankings.

Design: Data were retrospectively collected for 884 alumni of Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education neurological surgery residency programs. Bivariate analyses were conducted to determine covariates for a logistic regression model, and multivariate analysis was performed with 13 covariates to determine which factors were independently associated with academic career trajectory.

Results: In multivariate analysis, factors that were independently associated with an academic career in neurological surgery included having 1 year or more of protected research time during residency (odds ratio [OR] =1.96, p = 0.020), attending a "top" undergraduate university (OR =1.88, p = 0.00033), attending a "top" research medical school (OR = 1.53, p = 0.031) attending a residency program affiliated with a "top" research medical school (OR = 1.78, p = 0.012), possessing a Master of Science (OR = 3.46, p = 0.00097), or Doctor of Philosophy (OR = 2.05, p = 0.0019) degree, and completing a clinical fellowship (OR = 2.56, p = 1.90 × 10).

Conclusions: Our study establishes 3 novel factors for predicting residents' choice of pursuing an academic career in neurological surgery, namely undergraduate university rank, medical school rank, and completing residency at a program affiliated with a "top" research medical school. Such findings reinforce the notion that educational and training environments are key in shaping the career trajectory of future academic surgical subspecialists.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsurg.2020.03.004DOI Listing
June 2021

Impact of master's degree attainment upon academic career placement in neurosurgery.

J Neurosurg 2019 Dec 6:1-9. Epub 2019 Dec 6.

Objective: Previous authors have investigated many factors that predict an academic neurosurgical career over private practice, including attainment of a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and number of publications. Research has yet to demonstrate whether a master's degree predicts an academic neurosurgical career. This study quantifies the association between obtaining a Master of Science (MS), Master of Public Health (MPH), or Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree and pursuing a career in academic neurosurgery.

Methods: Public data on neurosurgeons who had graduated from Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited residency programs in the period from 1949 to 2019 were collected from residency and professional websites. Residency graduates with a PhD were excluded to isolate the effect of only having a master's degree. A position was considered "academic" if it was affiliated with a hospital that had a neurosurgery residency program; other positions were considered nonacademic. Bivariate analyses were performed with Fisher's exact test. Multivariate analysis was performed using a logistic regression model.

Results: Within our database of neurosurgery residency alumni, there were 47 (4.1%) who held an MS degree, 31 (2.7%) who held an MPH, and 10 (0.9%) who held an MBA. In bivariate analyses, neurosurgeons with MS degrees were significantly more likely to pursue academic careers (OR 2.65, p = 0.0014, 95% CI 1.40-5.20), whereas neurosurgeons with an MPH (OR 1.41, p = 0.36, 95% CI 0.64-3.08) or an MBA (OR 1.00, p = 1.00, 95% CI 0.21-4.26) were not. In the multivariate analysis, an MS degree was independently associated with an academic career (OR 2.48, p = 0.0079, 95% CI 1.28-4.93). Moreover, postresidency h indices of 1 (OR 1.44, p = 0.048, 95% CI 1.00-2.07), 2-3 (OR 2.76, p = 2.01 × 10-8, 95% CI 1.94-3.94), and ≥ 4 (OR 4.88, p < 2.00 × 10-16, 95% CI 3.43-6.99) were all significantly associated with increased odds of pursuing an academic career. Notably, having between 1 and 11 months of protected research time was significantly associated with decreased odds of pursuing academic neurosurgery (OR 0.46, p = 0.049, 95% CI 0.21-0.98).

Conclusions: Neurosurgery residency graduates with MS degrees are more likely to pursue academic neurosurgical careers relative to their non-MS counterparts. Such findings may be used to help predict residency graduates' future potential in academic neurosurgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2019.9.JNS192346DOI Listing
December 2019
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