Publications by authors named "Aladine A Elsamadicy"

128 Publications

Fenestrated pedicle screws for thoracolumbar instrumentation in patients with poor bone quality: Case series and systematic review of the literature.

Clin Neurol Neurosurg 2021 Jul 11;206:106675. Epub 2021 May 11.

Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA; Department of Neurosurgery, Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra, Long Island Jewish Medical Center and North Shore University Hospital, Northwell Health, Manhasset, NY 11030, USA. Electronic address:

Objective: To describe the results of a single-surgeon series and systematically review the literature on cement-augmented instrumented fusion with fenestrated pedicle screws.

Methods: All patients treated by the senior surgeon using fenestrated screws between 2017 and 2019 with a minimum of 6-months of clinical and radiographic follow-up were included. For the systematic review, we used PRISMA guidelines to identify all prior descriptions of cement-augmented instrumented fusion with fenestrated pedicle screws in the English literature. Endpoints of interest included hardware loosening, cement leakage, and pulmonary cement embolism (PCE).

Results: Our series included 38 patients (mean follow-up 14.8 months) who underwent cement-augmented instrumentation for tumor (47.3%), deformity/degenerative disease (39.5%), or osteoporotic fracture (13.2%). Asymptomatic screw lucency was seen in 2.6%, cement leakage in 445, and pulmonary cement embolism (PCE) in 5.2%. Our literature review identified 23 studies (n = 1526 patients), with low reported rates of hardware loosening (0.2%) and symptomatic PCE (1.0%). Cement leakage, while common (55.6%), produced symptoms in fewer than 1% of patients. Indications for cement-augmentation in this cohort included: spine metastasis with or without pathologic fracture (n = 18; 47.3%), degenerative spine disease or fixed deformity with poor underlying bone quality (n = 15; 39.5%), and osteoporotic fracture (n = 5; 13.2%).

Conclusion: Cement-augmented fusion with fenestrated screws appears to be a safe, effective means of treating patients with poor underlying bone quality secondary to tumor or osteoporosis. High-quality evidence with direct comparisons to non-augmented patients is needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clineuro.2021.106675DOI Listing
July 2021

Independent Association of Obesity and Nonroutine Discharge Disposition After Elective Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion for Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy.

World Neurosurg 2021 May 18. Epub 2021 May 18.

Department of Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.

Objective: The prevalence of obesity continues to rise in the United States at a disparaging rate. Although previous studies have attempted to identify the influence obesity has on short-term outcomes following elective spine surgery, few studies have assessed the impact on discharge disposition following anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) for cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM). The aim of this study was to determine whether obesity impacts the hospital management, cost, and discharge disposition after elective ACDF for adult CSM.

Methods: The National Inpatient Sample database was queried using the International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision, Clinical Modification, coding system to identify all (≥18 years) patients with a primary diagnosis of CSM undergoing an elective ACDF for the years 2016 and 2017. Discharge weights were used to estimate national demographics, Elixhauser comorbidities, complications, length of stay, total cost of admission, and discharge disposition.

Results: There were 17,385 patients included in the study, of whom 3035 (17.4%) had obesity (no obesity: 14,350; obesity: 3035). The cohort with obesity had a significantly greater proportion of patients with 3 or more comorbidities compared with the cohort with no obesity (no obesity: 28.1% vs. obesity: 43.5%, P < 0.001). The overall complication rates were greater in the cohort with obesity (no obesity: 10.3% vs. obesity: 14.3%, P = 0.003). On average, the cohort with obesity incurred a total cost of admission $1154 greater than the cost of the cohort with no obesity (no obesity: $19,732 ± 11,605 vs. obesity: $20,886 ± 10,883, P = 0.034) and a significantly greater proportion of nonroutine discharges (no obesity: 16.6% vs. obesity: 24.2%, P < 0.001). In multivariate regression analysis, obesity, age, race, health care coverage, hospital bed size, region, comorbidity, and complication rates all were independently associated with nonroutine discharge disposition.

Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that obesity is an independent predictor for nonroutine discharge disposition following elective anterior cervical discectomy and fusion for cervical spondylotic myelopathy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2021.05.022DOI Listing
May 2021

Modified-Frailty Index Does Not Independently Predict Complications, Hospital Length of Stay or 30-Day Readmission Rates Following Posterior Lumbar Decompression and Fusion for Spondylolisthesis.

Spine J 2021 May 16. Epub 2021 May 16.

Department of Neurosurgery, John Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.

Background Context: Frailty has been associated with inferior surgical outcomes in various fields of spinal surgery. With increasing healthcare costs, hospital length of stay (LOS) and unplanned readmissions have emerged as clinical proxies reflecting overall value of care. However, there is a paucity of data assessing the impact that baseline frailty has on quality of care in patients with spondylolisthesis.

Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate the impact that frailty has on LOS, complication rate, and unplanned readmission after posterior lumbar spinal fusion for spondylolisthesis.

Study Design: A retrospective cohort study was performed using the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database from 2010 through 2016.

Patient Sample: All adult (≥28 years old) patients who underwent lumbar spinal decompression and fusion for spondylolisthesis were identified using ICD-9-CM diagnosis and procedural coding systems. We calculated the modified frailty index (mFI) for each patient using 5 dichotomous comorbidities - diabetes mellitus, congestive heart failure, hypertension requiring medication, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and dependent functional status. Each comorbidity is assigned 1 point and the points are summed to give a score between 0 and 5. As in previous literature, we defined a score of 0 as "not frail", 1 as "mild" frailty, and 2 or greater as "moderate to severe" frailty.

Outcome Measures: Patient demographics, comorbidities, complications, LOS, readmission, and reoperation were assessed.

Methods: A multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to identify independent predictors of adverse events (AEs), extended LOS, complications, and unplanned readmission.

Results: There were a total of 5,296 patients identified, of which 2,030 (38.3%) were mFI=0, 2,319 (43.8%) patients mFI=1, and 947 (17.9%) were mFI ≥2. The mFI≥2 cohort was older (p≤0.001) and had a greater average BMI (p≤0.001). The mFI≥2 cohort had a slightly longer hospital stay (3.7 ± 2.3 days vs. mFI=1: 3.5 ± 2.8 days and mFI=0: 3.2 ± 2.1 days, p≤0.001). Both surgical AEs and medical AEs were significantly greater in the mFI≥2 cohort than the other cohorts, (2.6% vs. mFI=1: 1.8% and mFI=0: 1.2%, p=0.022) and (6.3% vs. mFI=1: 4.8% and mFI=0: 2.6%, p≤0.001), respectively. While there was no significant difference in reoperation rates, the mFI≥2 cohort had greater unplanned 30-day readmission rates (8;4% vs. mFI=5.6: 4.8% and mFI=0: 3.4%, p≤0.001). However, on multivariate regression analysis, mFI≥2 was not a significant independent predictor of LOS (p=0.285), complications (p=0.667), or 30-day unplanned readmission (p=0.378).

Conclusions: Our study indicates that frailty, as measured by the mFI, does not significantly predict LOS, 30-day adverse events, or 30-day unplanned readmission in patients undergoing lumbar spinal decompression and fusion for spondylolisthesis. Further work is needed to better define variable inputs that make up frailty to optimize surgical outcome prediction tools that impact the value of care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.spinee.2021.05.011DOI Listing
May 2021

Impact of race on outcomes and healthcare utilization following spinal fusion for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

Clin Neurol Neurosurg 2021 Jul 4;206:106634. Epub 2021 May 4.

Department of Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA. Electronic address:

Objectives: Racial disparities in spine surgery have been shown to impact surgical management and postoperative complications. However, for adolescent patients with idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) treated by posterior spinal fusion (PSF), the influence of race on postoperative outcomes remains unclear. The aim of the study was to investigate the differences in baseline patient demographics, inpatient management, and postoperative complications for adolescents with AIS undergoing elective, posterior spinal surgery (≥ 4 levels).

Patients And Methods: The Kids' Inpatient Database year 2012 was queried. Adolescent patients (age 10-17 years old) with AIS undergoing elective, PSF (≥ 4 levels) were selected using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification coding system. Patients were divided into 4 cohorts: Black, White, Hispanic, and Other. Patient demographics, comorbidities, complications, length of hospital stay (LOS), discharge disposition and total cost were recorded. The primary outcome was the rate of intraoperative and postoperative complications and resource utilization after elective PSF intervention.

Results: Patient demographics significantly differed between the four cohorts. While age was similar (p = 0.288), the White cohort had a greater proportion of female patients (White: 79.0%; Black: 72.1%; Hispanic: 78.2%; Other: 75.9%, p = 0.006), and the Black cohort had the largest proportion of patients in the 0-25th income quartile (White: 16.1%; Black: 43.3%; Hispanic: 28.0%; Other: 15.3%, p < 0.001). There were significant differences in hospital region (p < 0.001) and bed size (p < 0.001) between the cohorts, with more Hispanic adolescents being treated in the West (White: 21.9%; Black: 8.9%; Hispanic: 40.3%; Other: 29.3%) at small hospitals (White: 14.0%; Black: 13.9%; Hispanic: 16.2%; Other: 7.1%). Baseline comorbidities were similar between the cohorts. The use of blood transfusions was significantly greater in the Black cohort compared to the other racial groups (White: 16.7%; Black: 25.0%; Hispanic: 24.5%; Other: 22.7%, p < 0.001). The number of vertebral levels involved differed significantly between the cohorts (p < 0.001), with the majority of patients having 9-levels or greater involved (White: 80.9%; Black: 81.7%; Hispanic: 84.3%; Other: 67.3%). The rate of complications encountered during admission was greatest in the Other cohort (White: 21.9%; Black: 23.6%; Hispanic: 22.2%; Other: 34.9%, p < 0.001). While LOS was similar between the cohorts (p = 0.702), median total cost of admission was highest for Hispanic patients (White: $49,340 [37,908-65,078]; Black: $47,787 [37,718-64,670]; Hispanic: $54,718 [40,689-69,266]; Other: $54,110 [41,292-71,540], p < 0.001).

Conclusions: Our study suggests that race may not have a significant impact on surgical outcomes after elective posterior spine surgery for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Further studies are necessary to corroborate our findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clineuro.2021.106634DOI Listing
July 2021

Race Is an Independent Predictor for Nonroutine Discharges After Spine Surgery for Spinal Intradural/Cord Tumors.

World Neurosurg 2021 Apr 30. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

Department of Neurosurgery, John Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine if race was an independent predictor of extended length of stay (LOS), nonroutine discharge, and increased health care costs after surgery for spinal intradural/cord tumors.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study was performed using the National Inpatient Sample database from 2016 to 2017. All adult (>18 years old) inpatients who underwent surgical intervention for a benign or malignant spinal intradural/cord tumor were identified using International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification diagnosis and procedural coding systems. Patients were then categorized based on race: White, African American (AA), Hispanic, and other. Postoperative complications, LOS, discharge disposition, and total cost of hospitalization were assessed. A backward stepwise multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to identify independent predictors of extended LOS and nonroutine discharge disposition.

Results: Of 3595 patients identified, there were 2620 (72.9%) whites (W), 310 (8.6%) AAs/blacks, 275 (7.6%) Hispanic (H), and 390 (10.8%) other (O). Postoperative complication rates were similar among the cohorts (P = 0.887). AAs had longer mean (W, 5.4 ± 4.2 days vs. AA, 8.9 ± 9.5 days vs. H, 5.9 ± 3.9 days vs. O, 6.1 ± 3.9 days; P = 0.014) length of hospitalizations than the other cohorts. The overall incidence of nonroutine discharge was 55% (n = 1979), with AA race having the highest rate of nonroutine discharges (W, 53.8% vs. AA, 74.2% vs. H, 45.5% vs. O, 43.6%; P = 0.016). On multivariate regression analysis, AA race was the only significant racial independent predictor of nonroutine discharge disposition (odds ratio, 3.32; confidence interval, 1.67-6.60; P < 0.001), but not extended LOS (P = 0.209).

Conclusions: Our study indicates that AA race is an independent predictor of nonroutine discharge disposition in patients undergoing surgical intervention for a spinal intradural/cord tumor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2021.04.085DOI Listing
April 2021

Systematic review of charged-particle therapy for chordomas and sarcomas of the mobile spine and sacrum.

Neurosurg Focus 2021 May;50(5):E17

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

Objective: Long-term local control in patients with primary chordoma and sarcoma of the spine and sacrum is increasingly reliant upon en bloc resection with negative margins. At many institutions, adjuvant radiation is recommended; definitive radiation is also recommended for the treatment of unresectable tumors. Because of the high off-target radiation toxicities associated with conventional radiotherapy, there has been growing interest in the use of proton and heavy-ion therapies. The aim of this study was to systematically review the literature regarding these therapies.

Methods: The PubMed, OVID, Embase, and Web of Science databases were queried for articles describing the use of proton, combined proton/photon, or heavy-ion therapies for adjuvant or definitive radiotherapy in patients with primary sarcoma or chordoma of the mobile spine and sacrum. A qualitative synthesis of the results was performed, focusing on overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), disease-free survival (DFS), and disease-specific survival (DSS); local control; and postradiation toxicities.

Results: Of 595 unique articles, 64 underwent full-text screening and 38 were included in the final synthesis. All studies were level III or IV evidence with a high risk of bias; there was also significant overlap in the reported populations, with six centers accounting for roughly three-fourths of all reports. Five-year therapy outcomes were as follows: proton-only therapies, OS 67%-82%, PFS 31%-57%, and DFS 52%-62%; metastases occurred in 17%-18% and acute toxicities in 3%-100% of cases; combined proton/photon therapy, local control 62%-85%, OS 78%-87%, PFS 90%, and DFS 61%-72%; metastases occurred in 12%-14% and acute toxicities in 84%-100% of cases; and carbon ion therapy, local control 53%-100%, OS 52%-86%, PFS (only reported for 3 years) 48%-76%, and DFS 50%-53%; metastases occurred in 2%-39% and acute toxicities in 26%-48%. There were no studies directly comparing outcomes between photon and charged-particle therapies or comparing outcomes between radiation and surgical groups.

Conclusions: The current evidence for charged-particle therapies in the management of sarcomas of the spine and sacrum is limited. Preliminary evidence suggests that with these therapies local control and OS at 5 years are comparable among various charged-particle options and may be similar between those treated with definitive charged-particle therapy and historical surgical cohorts. Further research directly comparing charged-particle and photon-based therapies is necessary.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2021.2.FOCUS201059DOI Listing
May 2021

Cost and Health Care Resource Utilization Differences After Spine Surgery for Bony Spine versus Primary Intradural Spine Tumors.

World Neurosurg 2021 Apr 15. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

Department of Neurosurgery, John Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Objective: The aim of this study was to compare complication rates, length of stay (LOS), and hospital costs after spine surgery for bony spine tumors and intradural spinal neoplasms.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study was performed using the National Inpatient Sample database from 2016 to 2017. All adult inpatients who underwent surgical intervention for a primary intradural spinal tumor or primary/metastatic bony spine tumor were identified using International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification diagnosis/procedural coding systems. Patient demographics, comorbidities, intraoperative variables, complications, LOS, discharge disposition, and total cost of hospitalization were assessed. Backward stepwise multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to identify independent predictors of perioperative complication, extended LOS (≥75th percentile), and increased cost (≥75th percentile).

Results: A total of 9855 adult patients were included in the study; 3850 (39.1%) were identified as having a primary intradural spinal tumor and 6005 (60.9%) had a primary or metastatic bony spine tumor. Those treated for bony tumors had more comorbidities (≥3, 67.8% vs. 29.2%) and more commonly experienced ≥1 complications (29.9% vs. 7.9%). Multivariate analyses also showed those in the bony spine cohort had a higher odds of experiencing ≥1 complications (odds ratio [OR], 4.26; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.04-5.97; P < 0.001), extended LOS (OR, 2.44; 95% CI, 1.75-3.38; P < 0.001), and increased cost (OR, 5.32; 95% CI, 3.67-7.71; P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Relative to patients being treated for primary intradural tumors, those undergoing spine surgery for bony spine tumors experience significantly higher risk for perioperative complications, extended LOS, and increased cost of hospital admission. Further identification of patient and treatment characteristics that may optimize management of spine oncology may reduce adverse outcomes, improve patient care, and reduce health care resources.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2021.04.015DOI Listing
April 2021

Somatic NF1 mutations in pituitary adenomas: Report of two cases.

Cancer Genet 2021 Apr 2;256-257:26-30. Epub 2021 Apr 2.

Department of Neurosurgery, Yale School of Medicine, 20 York Street, LCI8, New Haven, CT 06511, United States. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cancergen.2021.03.004DOI Listing
April 2021

Patient Risk Factors Associated with 30- and 90- Day Readmission after Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt Placement for Idiopathic Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus in Elderly Patients: A Nationwide Readmission Study.

World Neurosurg 2021 Apr 13. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Department of Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT; Department of Radiology & Biomedical Imaging, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. Electronic address:

Objective: For idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH), risk stratifying patients and identifying those who are likely to fare well after ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VP) surgery may help improve quality of care and reduce unplanned readmissions. The aim of this study was to investigate the drivers of 30- and 90-day readmissions following VP shunt surgery for iNPH in elderly patients.

Methods: The Nationwide Readmission Database years 2013 - 2015 was queried. Elderly patients (≥ 65 years old) undergoing VP shunt surgery were identified using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification coding system. Unique patient linkage numbers were used to follow patients and identify 30- and 31 to 90-day readmission rates. Patients were grouped by no readmission (Non-R), readmission within 30 days (30-R), and readmission within 31 to 90 days (90-R).

Results: We identified 7,199 elderly patients undergoing VP shunt surgery for iNPH. 1,413 (19.6%) patients were readmitted (30-R: n = 812 [11.3%] vs. 90-R: n = 601 [8.3%] vs. Non-R: n = 5,786). The most prevalent 30- and 90-day complications seen among the readmitted cohort were mechanical complication of nervous system device implant (30-R: 16.1%, 90-R: 12.4%), extracranial postoperative infection (30-R: 10.4%, 90-R: 7.0%), and subdural hemorrhage (30-R: 6.0%, 90-R: 16.4%). On multivariate regression analysis, age, diabetes, and renal failure were independently associated with 30-day readmission; female sex and 26-50 household income percentile were independently associated with reduced likelihood of 90-day readmission. Having any complication during the index admission independently associated with both 30- and 90-day readmission.

Conclusions: In this study, we identify the most common drivers for readmission for elderly patients with iNPH undergoing VP shunt surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2021.04.010DOI Listing
April 2021

Post-traumatic seizures following pediatric traumatic brain injury.

Clin Neurol Neurosurg 2021 Apr 10;203:106556. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Department of Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, 06520, CT, United States. Electronic address:

Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the national impact of demographic, hospital, and inpatient risk factors on post-traumatic seizure (PTS) development in pediatric patients who presented to the ED following a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Patients And Methods: The Nationwide Emergency Department Sample database years 2010-2014 was queried. Patients (<21 years old) with a primary diagnosis of TBI and subsequent secondary diagnosis of PTS were identified using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification coding system. We identified demographic variables, hospital characteristics, pre-existing medical comorbidities, etiology of injuries, and type of injury. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to identify the factors associated with post-traumatic seizures.

Results: We identified 1,244,087 patients who sustained TBI, of which 10,340 (0.83%) developed PTS. Of the patients who had seizures, the youngest cohort aged 0-5 years had the greatest proportion of seizure development (p < 0.001). Compared to those TBI patients with loss of consciousness (LOC), patients encountering no LOC after TBI had the smallest proportion of seizures while Prolonged LOC with baseline return had the greatest proportion. On univariate analysis of the effect of in-hospital complication on rate of seizures, respiratory, renal and urinary, hematoma, septicemia, and other neurological complications were all significantly associated with seizure development. On multivariate regression, age 6-10 years (OR: 0.48, p < 0.001) 11-15 years (OR: 0.41, p < 0.001), and 16-20 years (OR: 0.51, p < 0.001) were independently associated with decreased risk of developing seizures. Extended LOC with baseline return (OR: 6.33, p < 0.001), extended LOC without baseline return (OR: 1.95, p = 0.009), and Other LOC (OR: 3.02, p < 0.001) were independently associated with increased risk of developing seizures. Subarachnoid hemorrhage (OR: 4.14, p < 0.001), subdural hemorrhage [OR: 7.72, p < 0.001), and extradural hemorrhage (OR: 3.13, p < 0.001) were all independently associated with increased risk of developing seizures.

Conclusion: Out study demonstrates that various demographic, hospital, and clinical risk factors are associated with the development of seizures following traumatic brain injury. Enhancing awareness of these drivers may help provide greater awareness of patients likely to develop post-traumatic seizures such that this complication can be decreased in incidence so as to improve quality of care and decrease healthcare costs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clineuro.2021.106556DOI Listing
April 2021

Hypermutated phenotype in gliosarcoma of the spinal cord.

NPJ Precis Oncol 2021 Feb 12;5(1). Epub 2021 Feb 12.

Department of Neurosurgery, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, 06511, USA.

Gliosarcoma is a variant of glioblastoma with equally poor prognosis and characterized by mixed glial and mesenchymal pathology. Metastasis is not uncommon but the involvement of the spinal cord is rare, and comprehensive genetic characterization of spinal gliosarcoma is lacking. We describe a patient initially diagnosed with a low-grade brain glioma via biopsy, followed by adjuvant radiation and temozolomide treatment. Nearly 2 years after diagnosis, she developed neurological deficits from an intradural, extramedullary tumor anterior to the spinal cord at T4, which was resected and diagnosed as gliosarcoma. Whole-exome sequencing (WES) of this tumor revealed a hypermutated phenotype, characterized by somatic mutations in key DNA mismatch repair (MMR) pathway genes, an abundance of C>T transitions within the identified somatic single nucleotide variations, and microsatellite stability, together consistent with temozolomide-mediated hypermutagenesis. This is the first report of a hypermutator phenotype in gliosarcoma, which may represent a novel genomic mechanism of progression from lower grade glioma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41698-021-00143-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7881101PMC
February 2021

The Effects of Pulmonary Risk Factors on Hospital Resource Use After Posterior Spinal Fusion for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Correction.

World Neurosurg 2021 May 3;149:e737-e747. Epub 2021 Feb 3.

Department of Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA. Electronic address:

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the impact of preoperative pulmonary risk factors (PRFS) on surgical outcomes after posterior spinal fusion (PSF) for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS).

Methods: A retrospective cohort study was performed using the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program-Pediatric database from 2016 to 2018. All pediatric patients with AIS undergoing PSF were identified. Patients were then categorized by whether they had recorded baseline PRF or no-PRF. Patient demographics, comorbidities, intraoperative variables, complications, length of stay, discharge disposition, and readmission rate were assessed.

Results: A total of 4929 patients were identified, of whom 280 (5.7%) had baseline PRF. Compared with the no-PRF cohort, the PRF cohort had higher rates of complications (PRF, 4.3% vs. no-PRF, 2.2%; P = 0.03) and longer hospital stays (PRF, 4.6 ± 4.3 days vs. no-PRF, 3.8 ± 2.3 days; P < 0.001), yet, discharge disposition was similar between cohorts (P = 0.70). Rates of 30-day unplanned readmission were significantly higher in the PRF cohort (PRF, 6.3% vs. no-PRF, 2.7%; P = 0.009), yet, days to readmission (P = 0.76) and rates of 30-day reoperation (P = 0.16) were similar between cohorts. On multivariate analysis, PRF was found to be a significant independent risk factor for longer hospital stays (risk ratio, 0.74; 95% confidence interval, 0.44-1.04; P < 0.001) but not postoperative complication or 30-day unplanned readmission.

Conclusions: Our study showed that PRF may be a risk factor for slightly longer hospital stays without higher rates of complication or unplanned readmission for patients with AIS undergoing PSF and thus should not preclude surgical management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2021.01.109DOI Listing
May 2021

Octogenarians Are Independently Associated With Extended LOS and Non-Routine Discharge After Elective ACDF for CSM.

Global Spine J 2021 Jan 29:2192568221989293. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

Department of Neurosurgery, 1500John Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Study Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the impact age has on LOS and discharge disposition following elective ACDF for cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM).

Methods: A retrospective cohort study was performed using the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) database from 2016 and 2017. All adult patients >50 years old undergoing ACDF for CSM were identified using the ICD-10-CM diagnosis and procedural coding system. Patients were then stratified by age: 50 to 64 years-old, 65 to 79 years-old, and greater than or equal to 80 years-old. Weighted patient demographics, comorbidities, perioperative complications, LOS, discharge disposition, and total cost of admission were assessed.

Results: A total of 14 865 patients were identified. Compared to the 50-64 and 65-79 year-old cohorts, the 80+ years cohort had a significantly higher rate of postoperative complication (50-64 yo:10.2% vs. 65-79 yo:12.6% vs. 80+ yo:18.9%, = 0.048). The 80+ years cohort experienced significantly longer hospital stays (50-64 yo: 2.0 ± 2.4 days vs. 65-79 yo: 2.2 ± 2.8 days vs. 80+ yo: 2.3 ± 2.1 days, = 0.028), higher proportion of patients with extended LOS (50-64 yo:18.3% vs. 65-79 yo:21.9% vs. 80+ yo:28.4%, = 0.009), and increased rates of non-routine discharges (50-64 yo:15.1% vs. 65-79 yo:23.0% vs. 80+ yo:35.8%, < 0.001). On multivariate analysis, age 80+ years was found to be a significant independent predictor of extended LOS [OR:1.97, 95% CI:(1.10,3.55), = 0.023] and non-routine discharge [OR:2.46, 95% CI:(1.44,4.21), = 0.001].

Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that octogenarian age status is a significant independent risk factor for extended LOS and non-routine discharge after elective ACDF for CSM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2192568221989293DOI Listing
January 2021

Andexanet Alfa Versus 4-Factor Prothrombin Complex Concentrate for Reversal of Factor Xa Inhibitors in Intracranial Hemorrhage.

Neurocrit Care 2021 Jan 6. Epub 2021 Jan 6.

Division of Neurocritical Care and Emergency Neurology, Department of Neurology, Yale School of Medicine, 15 York Street, LLCI 1004D, Box 208018, New Haven, CT, 06520, USA.

Background/objective: There are limited data on the risks and benefits of using andexanet alfa (AA) in comparison with four-factor prothrombin complex concentrate (4F-PCC) to reverse factor Xa inhibitors (FXi) associated intracranial hemorrhage (ICH). We sought to describe our experience with AA or 4F-PCC in patients with oral FXi-related traumatic and spontaneous ICH.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of consecutive adult patients with FXi-related ICH who received AA or 4F-PCC. FXi-related ICH cases included traumatic and spontaneous intracranial hemorrhages. Our primary analysis evaluated ICH stability on head computed tomography scan (CT), defined as a similar amount of blood from the initial scan at the onset of ICH to subsequent scans, at 6-h and 24-h post-administration of AA or 4F-PCC. For the subset of spontaneous intraparenchymal hemorrhages, volume was measured at 6-h and 24-h post-reversal. In secondary analyses, we evaluated good functional outcome at discharge, defined as a Modified Rankin Score of less than 3, and the incidence of thrombotic events after AA or 4F-PCC adminstration, during hospitalization.

Results: A total of 44 patients (16 traumatic and 28 spontaneous ICH) with median age of 79 years [72-86], 36% females, with a FXi-related ICH, were included in this study. The majority of spontaneous ICHs were intraparenchymal 19 (68%). Twenty-eight patients (64%) received AA and 16 patients (36%) received 4F-PCC. There was no difference between AA and 4F-PCC in terms of CT stability at 6 h (21 [78%] vs 10 [71%], p = 0.71) and 24 h (15 [88%] vs 6 [60%], p = 0.15). In a subgroup of patients with spontaneous intraparenchymal hemorrhage, there was no difference in the degree of achieved hemostasis based on hematoma volume between AA and 4F-PCC at 6 h (9.3 mL [6.9-26.4] vs 10 mL [9.4-22.1], adjusted p = 0. 997) and 24-h (9.2 mL [6.1-18.8] vs 9.9 [9.4-21.1], adjusted p = 1). The number of patients with good outcome based on mRS on discharge were 10 (36%) and 6 (38%) in the AA and 4F-PCC groups, respectively (adjusted p = 0.81). The incidence of thromboembolic events was similar in the AA and 4F-PCC groups (2 [7%] vs 0, p = 0.53).

Conclusion: In this limited sample of patients, we found no difference in neuroimaging stability, functional outcome and thrombotic events when comparing AA and 4F-PCC in patients with FXi-related ICH. Since our analysis is likely underpowered, a multi-center collaborative network devoted to this question is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12028-020-01161-5DOI Listing
January 2021

Thirty- and 90-day Readmissions After Spinal Surgery for Spine Metastases: A National Trend Analysis of 4423 Patients.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2021 Jun;46(12):828-835

Department of Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.

Study Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate differences in 30- and 90-day readmissions for spine metastases treated with decompression and/or fusion spine surgery in a nationwide readmission database.

Summary Of Background Data: Patients with metastases to the spine represent a particularly vulnerable patient group that may encounter frequent readmissions. However, the 30- and 90-day rates for readmission following surgery for spine metastases have not been well described.

Methods: The Nationwide Readmission Database years 2013 to 2015 was queried. Patients were grouped by no readmission (non-R), readmission within 30 days (30-R), and readmission within 31 to 90 days (90-R). Weighted multivariate analysis assessed impact of treatment approach and clinical factors associated with 30- and 90-day readmissions.

Results: There were a total of 4423 patients with a diagnosis of spine metastases identified who underwent spine surgery, of which 1657 (37.5%) encountered either a 30-or 90-day unplanned readmission (30-R: n = 1068 [24-.1%]; 90-R: n = 589 [13.3%]; non-R: n = 2766). The most prevalent inpatient complications observed were postoperative infection (30-R: 16.3%, 90-R: 14.3%, non-R: 11.5%), acute post-hemorrhagic anemia (30-R: 13.4%, 90-R: 14.2%, non-R: 14.5%), and genitourinary complication (30-R: 5.7%, 90-R: 2.9%, non-R: 6.2%). The most prevalent 30-day and 90-day reasons for admission were sepsis (30-R: 10.2%, 90-R: 10.8%), postoperative infection (30-R: 13.7%, 90-R: 6.5%), and genitourinary complication (30-R: 3.9%, 90-R: 4.1%). On multivariate regression analysis, surgery type, age, hypertension, and renal failure were independently associated with 30-day readmission; rheumatoid arthritis/collagen vascular diseases, and coagulopathy were independently associated with 90-day readmission.

Conclusion: In this study, we demonstrate several patient-level factors independently associated with unplanned hospital readmissions after surgical treatment intervention for spine metastases. Furthermore, we find that the most common reasons for readmission are sepsis, postoperative infection, and genitourinary complications.Level of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000003907DOI Listing
June 2021

Case Report: Suprasellar Pituitary Adenoma Presenting With Temporal Lobe Seizures.

Front Surg 2020 1;7:598138. Epub 2020 Dec 1.

Department of Neurosurgery, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, United States.

Seizures in patients with pituitary pathology are uncommon and typically secondary to electrolyte disturbances. Rarely, seizures have been described from mass effect related to large prolactinomas undergoing medical treatment. We describe a 54 year-old male who presented with a first-time generalized seizure, secondary to a pituitary macroadenoma compressing the left temporal lobe. His seizures abated after endoscopic endonasal debulking of the tumor. This report highlights isolated seizures as a potential sole presenting symptom of pituitary macroadenomas without visual or endocrine dysfunction. Prompt surgical debulking to relieve mass effect on the temporal lobe may effectively prevent further seizure activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fsurg.2020.598138DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7736041PMC
December 2020

Genetic characterization of a case of sellar metastasis from bronchial carcinoid neuroendocrine tumor.

Surg Neurol Int 2020 25;11:303. Epub 2020 Sep 25.

Department of Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, United States.

Background: Metastasis to the pituitary gland from neuroendocrine tumors is a rare occurrence that may originate from primary tumors the lung, gastrointestinal tract, thyroid, and pancreas, among others. Patients may present with signs of endocrine dysfunction secondary to pituitary involvement, as well as mass effect-related symptoms including headaches and visual deficits. Despite a small but accumulating body of literature describing the clinical and histopathological correlates for pituitary metastases from neuroendocrine tumors, the genetic basis underlying this presentation remains poorly characterized.

Case Description: We report the case of a 68-year-old with a history of lung carcinoid tumor who developed a suprasellar lesion, causing mild visual deficits but otherwise without clinical or biochemical endocrine abnormalities. She underwent endoscopic endonasal resection of her tumor with final pathology confirming metastasis from her original neuroendocrine tumor. Whole-exome sequencing was performed on the resected sellar tumor and matching blood, revealing increased genomic instability and key mutations in and that have been previously implicated in both systemic neuroendocrine and primary pituitary tumors with potentially actionable therapeutic targets.

Conclusion: This is the first genomic characterization of a metastatic tumor to the sella and reports potential genetic insight, implicating and mutations, into the pathophysiology of sellar metastasis from primary systemic tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.25259/SNI_265_2020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7568119PMC
September 2020

Impact of Preoperative Anemia on Outcomes After Posterior Spinal Fusion for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis.

World Neurosurg 2021 Feb 19;146:e214-e224. Epub 2020 Oct 19.

Department of Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA. Electronic address:

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship of preoperative anemia and outcomes after posterior spinal fusion (PSF) for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS).

Methods: A retrospective cohort study was performed using the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program-Pediatric database from 2016 to 2018. All pediatric patients (age 10-18 years) with AIS undergoing PSF were identified. Two cohorts were categorized into anemic and nonanemic cohorts based on age-based and sex-based criteria for anemia. Thirty-day outcomes and readmission rates were evaluated.

Results: A total of 4929 patients were identified, of whom 592 (12.0%) were found to have preoperative anemia. The anemic cohort had a greater prevalence of comorbidities and longer operative times. Compared with the nonanemic cohort, the anemic cohort experienced significantly higher rates of perioperative bleed/transfusion (nonanemic, 67.4% vs. anemic, 73.5%; P = 0.004) and required a greater total amount of blood transfused (nonanemic, 283.2 ± 265.5 mL vs. anemic, 386.7 ± 342.6 mL; P < 0.001). The anemic cohort experienced significantly longer hospital stays (nonanemic, 3.8 ± 2.2 days vs. anemic, 4.2 ± 3.9 days; P = 0.001), yet discharge disposition (P = 0.58), 30-day complication rates (P = 0.79) and unplanned reoperation rates (P = 0.90) were similar between cohorts. On multivariate analysis, anemia was found to be an independent predictor of perioperative bleed/transfusion (odds ratio, 1.36; 95% confidence interval, 1.12-1.66; P = 0.002) as well as a longer length of hospital stay (relative risk, 0.46; 95% confidence interval, 0.25-0.67; P < 0.001) but was not an independent predictor for postoperative complications (P = 0.85).

Conclusions: Our study suggests that preoperative anemia may be a risk factor for a greater perioperative bleed/transfusion event and slightly longer length of stay; however, it was not associated with greater 30-day complication and readmission rates in patients with AIS undergoing PSF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.10.074DOI Listing
February 2021

Predictors of Extended Length of Stay Following Treatment of Unruptured Adult Cerebral Aneurysms: A Study of The National Inpatient Sample.

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis 2020 Nov 19;29(11):105230. Epub 2020 Aug 19.

Department of Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT; Department of Radiology & Biomedical Imaging, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. Electronic address:

Background: In an unprecedented era of soaring healthcare costs, payers and providers alike have started to place increased importance on measuring the quality of surgical procedures as a surrogate for operative success. One metric used is the length of hospital stay (LOS) during index admission. For the treatment of unruptured cerebral aneurysms, the determinants of extended length of stay are relatively unknown. The aim of this study was to identify the patient- and hospital-level factors associated with extended LOS following treatment for unruptured cerebral aneurysms.

Methods: The National Inpatient Sample years 2010 - 2014 was queried. Adults (≥18 years) with unruptured aneurysms undergoing either clipping or coiling were selected using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification coding system. Extended LOS was defined as greater than 75 percentile for the entire cohort (>5 days). Weighted patient demographics, comorbidities, complications, LOS, disposition and total cost were recorded. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine the odds ratio for risk-adjusted extended LOS. The primary outcome was the degree which patient comorbidities or postoperative complications correlated with extended LOS.

Results: A total of 46,880 patients were identified for which 9,774 (20.8%) patients had extended LOS (Normal LOS: 37,106; Extended LOS: 9,774). Patients in the extended LOS cohort presented with a greater number of comorbidities compared to the normal LOS cohort. A greater proportion of the normal LOS cohort was coiled (Normal LOS: 63.0% vs. Extended LOS: 33.5%, P<0.001), while more patients in the extended LOS cohort were clipped (Normal LOS: 37.0% vs. Extended LOS: 66.5%, P<0.001). The overall complication rate was higher in the extended LOS cohort (Normal LOS: 7.3% vs. Extended LOS: 43.8%, P<0.001). On average, the extended LOS cohort incurred a total cost nearly twice as large (Normal LOS: $26,050 ± 13,430 vs. Extended LOS: $52,195 ± 37,252, P<0.001) and had more patients encounter non-routine discharges (Normal LOS: 8.5% vs. Extended LOS: 52.5%, P<0.001) compared to the normal LOS cohort. On weighted multivariate logistic regression, multiple patient-specific factors were associated with extended LOS. These included demographics, preadmission comorbidities, choice of procedure, and inpatient complications. The odds ratio for extended LOS was 5.14 (95% CI, 4.30 - 6.14) for patients with 1 complication and 19.58 (95% CI, 15.75 - 24.34) for patients with > 1 complication.

Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that extended LOS after treatment of unruptured aneurysms is influenced by a number of patient-level factors including demographics, preadmission comorbidities, type of aneurysm treatment (open surgical versus endovascular), and, importantly, inpatient complications. A better understanding of these independent predictors of prolonged length of hospital stay may help to improve patient outcomes and decrease overall healthcare costs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2020.105230DOI Listing
November 2020

Characteristics of Reported Industry Payments to Neurosurgeons: A 5-Year Open Payments Database Study.

World Neurosurg 2021 01 1;145:e90-e99. Epub 2020 Oct 1.

Department of Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.

Objective: The aim of this study was to characterize the payments made by medical industry to neurosurgeons from 2014 to 2018.

Methods: A retrospective study was performed from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2018 of the Open Payments Database. Collected data included the total number of industry payments, the aggregate value of industry payments, and the mean value of each industry payment made to neurosurgeons per year over the 5-year period.

Results: A total of 105,150 unique surgeons, with 13,668 (12.99%) unique neurosurgeons, were identified to have received an industry payment during 2014-2018. Neurosurgeons were the second highest industry-paid surgical specialty, with a total 421,151 industry payments made to neurosurgeons, totaling $477,451,070. The mean average paid amount per surgeon was $34,932 (±$936,942). The largest proportion of payments were related to food and beverage (75.5%), followed by travel and lodging (14.9%), consulting fees (3.5%), nonconsulting service fees (2.1%), and royalties or licensing (1.9%), totaling 90.4% of all industry payments to neurologic surgeons. Summed across the 5-year period, the largest paid source types were royalties and licensing (64.0%; $305,517,489), consulting fees (11.8%; $56,445,950), nonconsulting service fees (7.3%; $34,629,109), current or prospective investments (6.8%, $32,307,959), and travel and lodging (4.8%, $22,982,165).

Conclusions: Our study shows that over the most recent 5-year period (2014-2018) of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Open Payments Database, there was a decreasing trend of the total number of payments, but an increasing trend of the total amount paid to neurosurgeons.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.09.137DOI Listing
January 2021

Laser interstitial thermal therapy in neuro-oncology applications.

Surg Neurol Int 2020 8;11:231. Epub 2020 Aug 8.

Department of Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, United States.

Background: Laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) is a minimally invasive surgical treatment for multiple intracranial pathologies that are of growing interest to neurosurgeons and their patients and is emerging as an effective alternative to standard of care open surgery in the neurosurgical armamentarium. This option was initially considered for those patients with medical comorbidities and lesion-specific characteristics that confer excessively high risk for resection through a standard craniotomy approach but indications are changing.

Methods: The PubMed database was searched for studies in the English literature on LITT for the treatment of primary and metastatic brain tumors, meningiomas, as well as for radiation necrosis (RN) in previously irradiated brain tumors.

Results: This review provides an update of the relevant literature regarding application of LITT in neurosurgical oncology for the treatment of and recurrent primary gliomas and brain metastases radiographically regrowing after previous irradiation as recurrent tumor or RN. In addition, this review details the limited experience of LITT with meningiomas and symptomatic peritumoral edema after radiosurgery. The advantages and disadvantages, indications, and comparisons to standard of care treatments such as craniotomy for open surgical resection are discussed for each pathology. Finally, the literature on cost-benefit analyses for LITT are reviewed.

Conclusion: The studies discussed in this review have helped define the role of LITT in neurosurgical oncology and delineate optimal patient selection and tumor characteristics most suitable to this intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.25259/SNI_496_2019DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7451173PMC
August 2020

Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome Caused by Induced Hypertension to Treat Cerebral Vasospasm Secondary to Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage.

World Neurosurg 2020 11 25;143:e309-e323. Epub 2020 Jul 25.

Department of Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA. Electronic address:

Objective: The aim of the present study was to describe the case of a patient who had presented to a university hospital with induced-hypertension (IH) posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES). We also reviewed all other reports of such patients.

Methods: We have described the clinical course of a patient who had presented to the university hospital neurosurgical department. We also performed a systematic review of studies related to the incidence of PRES caused by the use of IH in the treatment of cerebral vasospasm after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Results: The patient had presented with an acute-onset headache and found to have a subarachnoid hemorrhage due to anterior communicating artery aneurysm rupture. She underwent coiling the next day. During the subsequent days, she demonstrated fluctuating clinical examination findings, aphasia, and decreased levels of arousal. Digital subtraction angiography was performed, and the findings were concerning for mild vasospasm of the anterior and middle cerebral arteries. The systolic blood pressure goal was increased to 180-220 mm Hg for an IH trial, which had initially resulted in some transient clinical improvements in her level of arousal. However, the improvement was not sustained. During the next 36 hours, the patient worsened, and she developed left middle cerebral artery syndrome. Given the concern for a possible ischemic event, magnetic resonance imaging was performed, which demonstrated interval development of multiple areas of cortical-based fluid-attenuated inversion recovery hyperintensity consistent with PRES. The systolic blood pressure goal was relaxed to normotension, and ~48 hours later, the patient's clinical status had significantly improved.

Conclusion: IH-PRES is a rare complication that should be remembered in the differential diagnosis for at-risk patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.07.135DOI Listing
November 2020

Laser interstitial thermal therapy for treatment of cerebral radiation necrosis.

Int J Hyperthermia 2020 07;37(2):68-76

Department of Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.

Radiation necrosis is a well described complication after radiosurgical treatment of intracranial pathologies - best recognized after the treatment of patients with arteriovenous malformations and brain metastases but possibly also affecting patients treated with radiosurgery for meningioma. The pathophysiology of radiation necrosis is still not well understood but is most likely a secondary local tissue inflammatory response to brain tissue injured by radiation. Radiation necrosis in brain metastases patients may present radiographically and behave clinically like recurrent tumor. Differentiation between radiation necrosis and recurrent tumor has been difficult based on radiographic changes alone. Biopsy or craniotomy therefore remains the gold standard method of diagnosis. For symptomatic patients, corticosteroids are first-line therapy, but patients may fail medical management due to intolerance of chronic steroids or persistence of symptoms. In these cases, open surgical resection has been shown to be successful in management of surgically amenable lesions but may be suboptimal in patients with deep-seated lesions or extensive prior cranial surgical history, both carrying high risk for peri-operative morbidity. Laser interstitial thermal therapy has emerged as a viable, alternative surgical option. In addition to allowing access to tissue for diagnosis, thermal treatment of the lesion can also be delivered precisely and accurately under real-time imaging guidance. This review highlights the pertinent studies that have shaped the impetus for use of laser interstitial thermal therapy in the treatment of radiation necrosis, reviewing indications, outcomes, and nuances toward successful application of this technology in patients with suspected radiation necrosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02656736.2020.1760362DOI Listing
July 2020

Comparison of epidemiology, treatments, and outcomes in pediatric versus adult ependymoma.

Neurooncol Adv 2020 Jan-Dec;2(1):vdaa019. Epub 2020 Feb 21.

Department of Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.

Background: Mounting evidence supports the presence of heterogeneity in the presentation of ependymoma patients with respect to location, histopathology, and behavior between pediatric and adult patients. However, the influence of age on treatment outcomes in ependymoma remains obscure.

Methods: The SEER database years 1975-2016 were queried. Patients with a diagnosis of ependymoma were identified using the International Classification of Diseases for Oncology, Third Edition, coding system. Patients were classified into one of 4 age groups: children (age 0-12 years), adolescents (age 13-21 years), young adults (age 22-45 years), and older adults (age >45 years). The weighed multivariate analysis assessed the impact of age on survival outcomes following surgical treatment.

Results: There were a total of 6076 patients identified with ependymoma, of which 1111 (18%) were children, 529 (9%) were adolescents, 2039 (34%) were young adults, and 2397 (40%) were older adults. There were statistically significant differences between cohorts with respect to race ( < .001), anatomical location ( < .001), extent of resection ( < .001), radiation use ( < .001), tumor grade ( < .001), histological classification ( < .001), and all-cause mortality ( < .001). There was no significant difference between cohorts with respect to gender ( = .103). On multivariate logistic regression, factors associated with all-cause mortality rates included males (vs females), supratentorial location (vs spinal cord tumors), and radiation treatment (vs no radiation).

Conclusions: Our study using the SEER database demonstrates the various demographic and treatment risk factors that are associated with increased rates of all-cause mortality between the pediatric and adult populations following a diagnosis of ependymoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/noajnl/vdaa019DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7212900PMC
February 2020

Laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) vs. bevacizumab for radiation necrosis in previously irradiated brain metastases.

J Neurooncol 2020 Jul 29;148(3):641-649. Epub 2020 Jun 29.

Department of Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar St, New Haven, CT, 06520, USA.

Purpose: Both laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) and bevacizumab have been used successfully to treat radiation necrosis (RN) after radiation for brain metastases. Our purpose is to compare pre-treatment patient characteristics and outcomes between the two treatment options.

Methods: Single-institution retrospective chart review identified brain metastasis patients who developed RN between 2011 and 2018. Pre-treatment factors and treatment responses were compared between those treated with LITT versus bevacizumab.

Results: Twenty-five patients underwent LITT and 13 patients were treated with bevacizumab. The LITT cohort had a longer overall survival (median 24.8 vs. 15.2 months for bevacizumab, p = 0.003) and trended to have a longer time to local recurrence (median 12.1 months vs. 2.0 for bevacizumab), although the latter failed to achieve statistical significance (p = 0.091). LITT resulted in an initial increase in lesional volume compared to bevacizumab (p < 0.001). However, this trend reversed in the long term follow-up, with LITT resulting in a median volume decrease at 1 year post-treatment of - 64.7% (range - 96.0% to +  > 100%), while bevacizumab patients saw a median volume increase of +  > 100% (range - 63.0% to +  > 100%), p = 0.010.

Conclusions: Our study suggests that patients undergoing LITT for RN have longer overall survival and better long-term lesional volume reduction than those treated with bevacizumab. However, it remains unclear whether our findings are due only to a difference in efficacy of the treatments or the implications of selection bias.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11060-020-03570-0DOI Listing
July 2020

Portending Influence of Racial Disparities on Extended Length of Stay after Elective Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Interbody Fusion for Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy.

World Neurosurg 2020 10 27;142:e173-e182. Epub 2020 Jun 27.

Department of Neurosurgery, John Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate whether race is an independent predictor of extended length of stay (LOS) after elective anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) for cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM).

Methods: A retrospective cohort study was performed using the National Inpatient Sample database from 2016 to 2017. All adult patients undergoing ACDF for CSM were identified using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification coding system.

Results: A total of 15,400 patients were identified, of whom 13,250 (86.0%) were Caucasian (C) and 2150 (14.0%) were African American (AA). The C cohort tended to be older, whereas the AA cohort had 2 times as many patients in the 0-25th income quartile. The prevalence of comorbidities was greater in the AA cohort. Intraoperative fusion levels were similar between the cohorts, whereas the AA cohort had a higher rate of cerebrospinal fluid leak/dural tear. In relation to the number of complications, the C cohort had a lower rate compared with the AA cohort (P = 0.006), including no complication (89.4% vs. 85.3%), 1 complication (9.9% vs. 12.8%), and >1 complication (0.7% vs. 1.9%). The AA cohort experienced significantly longer hospital stays (C, 1.9 ± 2.3 days vs. AA, 2.7 ± 3.5; P < 0.001), greater proportion of extended LOS (C, 17.5% vs. AA, 29.1%; P < 0.001) and nonroutine discharges (C, 16.1% vs. AA, 28.6%; P < 0.001). AA race was a significant independent risk factor for extended LOS (odds ratio, 1.98; 95% confidence interval, 1.50-2.61; P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Our study suggests that AA patients have a significantly higher risk of prolonged LOS after elective ACDF for CSM compared with C patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.06.155DOI Listing
October 2020

Patient Risk Factors Associated With 30- and 90-Day Readmission After Cervical Discectomy: A Nationwide Readmission Database Study.

Clin Spine Surg 2020 11;33(9):E434-E441

Department of Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.

Study Design: This is a retrospective cohort study.

Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the patient-level risk factors associated with 30- and 90-day unplanned readmissions following elective anterior cervical decompression and fusion (ACDF) or cervical disk arthroplasty (CDA).

Summary Of Background Data: For cervical disk pathology, both ACDF and CDA are increasingly performed nationwide. However, relatively little is known about the adverse complications and rates of readmission for ACDF and CDA.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study was performed using the Nationwide Readmission Database from the years 2013 to 2015. All patients undergoing either CDA or ACDF were identified using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification coding system. Unique patient linkage numbers were used to follow patients and to identify 30- and 31-90-day readmission rates. Patients were grouped by no readmission (Non-R), readmission within 30 days (30-R), and readmission within 31-90 days (90-R).

Results: There were a total of 13,093 index admissions with 856 (6.5%) readmissions [30-R: n=532 (4.0%); 90-R: n=324 (2.5%)]. Both overall length of stay and total cost were greater in the 30-R cohort compared with 90-R and Non-R cohorts. The most prevalent 30- and 90-day complications seen among the readmitted cohorts were infection, genitourinary complication, and device complication. On multivariate regression analysis, age, Medicaid status, medium and large hospital bed size, deficiency anemia, and any complication during index admission were independently associated with increased 30-day readmission. Whereas age, large hospital bed size, coagulopathy, and any complication during the initial hospitalization were independently associated with increased 90-day readmission.

Conclusion: Our nationwide study identifies the 30- and 90-day readmission rates and several patient-related risk factors associated with unplanned readmission after common anterior cervical spine procedures.

Level Of Evidence: Level III.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BSD.0000000000001030DOI Listing
November 2020

Persistent mutation despite multimodal therapy in recurrent pediatric glioblastoma.

NPJ Genom Med 2020 1;5:23. Epub 2020 Jun 1.

Department of Neurosurgery, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06511 USA.

Similar to their adult counterparts, the prognosis for pediatric patients with high-grade gliomas remains poor. At time of recurrence, treatment options are limited and remain without consensus. This report describes the genetic findings, obtained from whole-exome sequencing of a pediatric patient with glioblastoma who underwent multiple surgical resections and treatment with standard chemoradiation, as well as a novel recombinant poliovirus vaccine therapy. Strikingly, despite the variety of treatments, there was persistence of a tumor clone, characterized by a deleterious mutation, whose deficiency in preclinical studies can cause aneuploidy and aberrant mitotic progression, but remains understudied in the clinical setting. There was near elimination of an mutated and amplified tumor clone after gross total resection, standard chemoradiation, and poliovirus therapy, followed by the emergence of a persistently mutated clone, with rare mutations in and , the latter composed of a novel deleterious mutation previously not reported in pediatric glioblastoma (p.D594G). This was accompanied by a mutation signature shift towards one characterized by increased DNA damage repair defects, consistent with the known underlying deficiency. As such, this case represents a novel report following the clinical and genetic progression of a mutated glioblastoma, including treatment with a novel and emerging immunotherapy. Although deficiency comprises only a small subset of gliomas, this case adds clinical evidence to existing preclinical data supporting a role for mutations in gliomagenesis and resistance to standard therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41525-020-0130-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7264170PMC
June 2020

Pre-operative headaches and obstructive hydrocephalus predict an extended length of stay following suboccipital decompression for pediatric Chiari I malformation.

Childs Nerv Syst 2021 Jan 9;37(1):91-99. Epub 2020 Jun 9.

Department of Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street, New Haven, CT, 06520, USA.

Purpose: For young children and adolescents with Chiari malformation type I (CM-I), the determinants of extended length of hospital stay (LOS) after neurosurgical suboccipital decompression are obscure. Here, we investigate the impact of patient- and hospital-level risk factors on extended LOS following surgical decompression for CM-I in young children to adolescents.

Methods: The Kids' Inpatient Database year 2012 was queried. Pediatric CM-I patients (6-18 years) undergoing surgical decompression were identified. Weighted patient demographics, comorbidities, complications, LOS, disposition, and total cost were recorded. A multivariate logistic regression was used to determine the odds ratio for risk-adjusted LOS. The primary outcome was the degree patient comorbidities or post-operative complications correlated with extended LOS.

Results: A total of 1592 pediatric CM-I patients were identified for which 328 (20.6%) patients had extended LOS (normal LOS, 1264; extended LOS, 328). Age, gender, race, median household income quartile, and healthcare coverage distributions were similar between the two cohorts. Patients with extended LOS had significantly greater admission comorbidities including headache symptoms, nausea and vomiting, obstructive hydrocephalus, lack of coordination, deficiency anemias, and fluid and electrolyte disorders. On multivariate logistic regression, several risk factors were associated with extended LOS, including headache symptoms, obstructive hydrocephalus, and fluid and electrolyte disorders.

Conclusions: Our study using the Kids' Inpatient Database demonstrates that presenting symptoms and signs, including headaches and obstructive hydrocephalus, respectively, are significantly associated with extended LOS following decompression for pediatric CM-I.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00381-020-04688-2DOI Listing
January 2021

Scoring System to Triage Patients for Spine Surgery in the Setting of Limited Resources: Application to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic and Beyond.

World Neurosurg 2020 08 29;140:e373-e380. Epub 2020 May 29.

Department of Neurological Surgery, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Clinic Center for Spine Health, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

Background: As of May 4, 2020, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected >3.5 million people and touched every inhabited continent. Accordingly, it has stressed health systems worldwide, leading to the cancellation of elective surgical cases and discussions regarding health care resource rationing. It is expected that rationing of surgical resources will continue even after the pandemic peak and may recur with future pandemics, creating a need for a means of triaging patients for emergent and elective spine surgery.

Methods: Using a modified Delphi technique, a cohort of 16 fellowship-trained spine surgeons from 10 academic medical centers constructed a scoring system for the triage and prioritization of emergent and elective spine surgeries. Three separate rounds of videoconferencing and written correspondence were used to reach a final scoring system. Sixteen test cases were used to optimize the scoring system so that it could categorize cases as requiring emergent, urgent, high-priority elective, or low-priority elective scheduling.

Results: The devised scoring system included 8 independent components: neurologic status, underlying spine stability, presentation of a high-risk postoperative complication, patient medical comorbidities, expected hospital course, expected discharge disposition, facility resource limitations, and local disease burden. The resultant calculator was deployed as a freely available Web-based calculator (https://jhuspine3.shinyapps.io/SpineUrgencyCalculator/).

Conclusions: We present the first quantitative urgency scoring system for the triage and prioritizing of spine surgery cases in resource-limited settings. We believe that our scoring system, although not all encompassing, has potential value as a guide for triaging spine surgical cases during the COVID pandemic and post-COVID period.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.05.233DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7256646PMC
August 2020