Publications by authors named "Amber Stout"

5 Publications

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Non-Invasive Imaging in the Evaluation of Cardiac Allograft Vasculopathy in Heart Transplantation: A Systematic Review.

Curr Probl Cardiol 2022 Jan 8:101103. Epub 2022 Jan 8.

Department of Medicine, University Hospitals, Cleveland, Ohio; Harrington Heart and Vascular Institute, University Hospitals and School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. Electronic address:

Cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV) is the leading cause of long-term graft dysfunction in patients with heart transplantation and is linked with significant morbidity and mortality. Currently, the gold standard for diagnosing CAV is coronary imaging with intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) during traditional invasive coronary angiography (ICA). Invasive imaging, however, carries increased procedural risk and expense to patients in addition to requiring an experienced interventionalist. With the improvements in non-invasive cardiac imaging modalities such as transthoracic echocardiography (TTE), computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET), an alternative non-invasive imaging approach for the early detection of CAV may be feasible. In this systematic review, we explored the literature to investigate the utility of non-invasive imaging in diagnosis of CAV in >3000 patients across 49 studies. We also discuss the strengths and weaknesses for each imaging modality. Overall, all four imaging modalities show good to excellent accuracy for identifying CAV with significant variations across studies. Majority of the studies compared non-invasive imaging with ICA without intravascular imaging. In summary, non-invasive imaging modalities offer an alternative approach to invasive coronary imaging for CAV. Future studies should investigate longitudinal non-invasive protocols in low-risk patients after heart transplantation.
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January 2022

Clinical decision-making for spinal manipulation for persistent spinal pain following lumbar surgery: a protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data.

BMJ Open 2021 Dec 23;11(12):e054070. Epub 2021 Dec 23.

Connor Whole Health, University Hospitals of Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

Introduction: There are limited available research and guidance regarding the use of spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) in patients with low back-related symptoms following lumbar spine surgery, a condition called persistent spinal pain syndrome type 2 (PSPS-2). This publication outlines a review protocol to identify and synthesise individual participant data (IPD) to examine associations between patient, clinical and surgical variables and SMT application in adults with PSPS-2.

Methods And Analysis: PubMed, OVID, Web of Science, Scopus, PEDro, Index to Chiropractic Literature and KoreaMed will be searched from inception to 1 January 2022 without language restrictions. Case reports, series, observational studies and cases from grey literature of adults receiving SMT for PSPS-2 will be included. Two investigators will independently screen citations, abstracts and full-text articles. A risk-of-bias assessment will be performed in duplicate to rate cases according to exposure and outcome ascertainment and data completeness. Data extraction will be performed in duplicate and missing IPD will be requested from corresponding authors. Multiple binary logistic regression will be used to identify independent predictors of the use of lumbar-SMT, lumbar-manual-thrust SMT and SMT within 1-year postsurgery. Patient, clinical and surgical variables will be summarised using descriptive statistics, while SMT-related outcomes (lumbar-SMT, lumbar-manual-thrust SMT and 1-year surgery-to-SMT interval) will be described using adjusted ORs with 95% CIs.

Ethics And Dissemination: This study was deemed not human subjects research by the University Hospitals' institutional review board. The results of this review will be disseminated at conferences and/or published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Prospero Registration Number: CRD42021250039.
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December 2021

A systematic literature review of health disparities among rural people with epilepsy (RPWE) in the United States and Canada.

Epilepsy Behav 2021 09 9;122:108181. Epub 2021 Jul 9.

Department of Neurology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, 10900 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.

Background: Epilepsy is a leading cause of global disease burden, with people with epilepsy (PWE) experiencing adverse health outcomes related to the psychiatric comorbidities and socioeconomic consequences of the disorder. Rural populations are more likely to be impoverished or uninsured, which could impact health outcomes for rural-dwelling PWE (RPWE).

Aims: This systematic literature review identified original research studying health disparities and outcomes among RPWE in the United States and Canada to (1) characterize the disparities faced by RPWE and (2) elucidate the effects of these disparities upon clinical outcomes.

Methods: We performed a systematic search of six electronic databases: Pubmed, Cochrane, PsychInfo, Web of Science, Scopus, and Ovid. Articles considered were original research reports conducted in Canada or the United States before August 2020. A modified Newcastle Ottawa Scale was used to assess the quality of the included studies.

Results: Our search returned 2093 articles that examined the health disparities of RPWE, of which six met criteria for this review. Outcome measures of health disparity included in these papers were mortality (2; 33%), use of health resources (2; 33%), and epilepsy prevalence (2; 33%). Only one paper (16%) concluded that RPWE experienced worse health outcomes relative to urban-dwelling PWE, while 5 (84%) found no difference.

Conclusion: Our study did not find sufficient evidence that RPWE in the US and Canada experience significant health disparities compared to similar urban populations of PWE. More research using prospective studies and datasets allowing better characterization of rurality is required.
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September 2021

Evaluation of Risk of Gastrostomy and Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt Placement in Pediatric Patients: A Systematic Review of the Literature.

World Neurosurg 2021 08 24;152:180-188.e1. Epub 2021 May 24.

Case Western Reserve University, School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Neurological Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Electronic address:

A subset of patients with neurologic deficits require ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS) placement in addition to gastrostomy tubes (GTs). At present, the literature is inconsistent with respect to the sequence and time period between procedures that yields the lowest risk profile for GT and VPS placement. The purpose of this systematic literature review was to determine if time elapsed between VPS and GT placement was associated with infection (peritoneal and/or CSF). A systematic literature review was performed in accordance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses 2009 guidelines. PubMEd/MEDLINE, Scopus, Ovid, Cochrane, and EMBASE databases were queried. Precise search terminology is available in the body of the manuscript. The initial database query yielded 88 unique articles. After abstract screening, 28 articles were identified and 6 met criteria for inclusion in the final analysis. The included studies were all retrospective analyses and reported data for 217 patients between the years of 1988 and 2016. Across all included studies, the infection rate after VPS and GT placement during the studies' surveillance period was 15.2% (n = 33/217). The cumulative rate of all reported complications in patients with both VPS and GT was 24.0% (n = 52/217). These studies suggest that placement of GT in patients with preexisting VPS does not significantly contribute to increased shunt or intraperitoneal infection. Future studies should determine the optimal time interval between VPS and GT placement and to identify the most appropriate prophylactic antibiotic regimen.
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August 2021

Assessment of burnout prevention and wellness programs for US-based neurosurgical faculty and residents: a systematic review of the literature.

J Neurosurg 2020 Oct 30:1-9. Epub 2020 Oct 30.

6Department of Neurosurgery, Rochester Regional Health and University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York.

Objective: Neurosurgeon burnout is a serious and prevalent issue that has been shown to impact professionalism, physician health, and patient outcomes. Interventions targeting physician burnout primarily focus on improving physician wellness. Many academic neurosurgery programs have established wellness curricula to combat burnout and improve wellness. No official recommendations exist for establishing a wellness program that effectively targets sources of burnout. The aim of this review was to examine measures of burnout and report objective results of wellness interventions for neurosurgical faculty and residents.

Methods: Two systematic literature reviews were performed in parallel, in accordance with PRISMA 2009 guidelines. Following removal of duplicates, a query of PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Ovid, Cochrane, and EMBASE databases yielded 134 resident-related articles and 208 faculty-related articles for abstract screening. After abstract screening, 17 articles with a primary focus of resident wellness and 10 with a focus on faculty wellness met criteria for full-text screening. Of the total 27 screened articles, 9 (6 resident, 2 faculty, 1 both resident and faculty) met criteria and were included in the final analysis. Article quality was assessed using the Joanna Briggs Institute critical appraisal tools for cohort studies.

Results: Included studies reported burnout rates for neurosurgery residents of 30%-67%. Work-life imbalance, imbalance of duties, inadequate operative exposure, and hostile faculty were contributors to burnout. The 2 included studies reported burnout rates for neurosurgery faculty members of 27% and 56.7%. Psychosocial stressors, relational stressors, and financial uncertainty were generally associated with increased feelings of burnout. Of the 4 studies reporting on outcomes of wellness initiatives included in this review, 3 reported a positive impact of the wellness interventions and 1 study reported no significant improvement after implementing a wellness initiative.

Conclusions: Burnout among neurosurgical faculty and residents is prevalent and permeates the daily lives of neurosurgeons, negatively affecting patient outcomes, career satisfaction, and quality of life. Many neurosurgery programs have instituted wellness programs to combat burnout, but few have published evidence of improvement after implementation. While studies have shown that residents and faculty recognize the importance of wellness and look favorably on such initiatives, very few studies have reported objective outcomes.
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October 2020