Publications by authors named "Charles Reitman"

85 Publications

ACR Appropriateness Criteria® Suspected Spine Infection.

J Am Coll Radiol 2021 Nov;18(11S):S488-S501

Specialty Chair, Atlanta VA Health Care System and Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.

Spine infection is both a clinical and diagnostic imaging challenge due to its relatively indolent and nonspecific clinical presentation. The diagnosis of spine infection is based upon a combination of clinical suspicion, imaging evaluation and, when possible, microbiologic confirmation performed from blood cultures or image-guided percutaneous or open spine biopsy. With respect to the imaging evaluation of suspected spine infection, MRI without and with contrast of the affected spine segment is the initial diagnostic test of choice. As noncontrast MRI of the spine is often used in the evaluation of back or neck pain not responding to conservative medical management, it may show findings that are suggestive of infection, hence this procedure may also be considered in the evaluation of suspected spine infection. Nuclear medicine studies, including skeletal scintigraphy, gallium scan, and FDG-PET/CT, may be helpful in equivocal or select cases. Similarly, radiography and CT may be appropriate for assessing overall spinal stability, spine alignment, osseous integrity and, when present, the status of spine instrumentation or spine implants. The American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria are evidence-based guidelines for specific clinical conditions that are reviewed annually by a multidisciplinary expert panel. The guideline development and revision include an extensive analysis of current medical literature from peer reviewed journals and the application of well-established methodologies (RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method and Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation or GRADE) to rate the appropriateness of imaging and treatment procedures for specific clinical scenarios. In those instances where evidence is lacking or equivocal, expert opinion may supplement the available evidence to recommend imaging or treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacr.2021.09.001DOI Listing
November 2021

ACR Appropriateness Criteria® Low Back Pain: 2021 Update.

J Am Coll Radiol 2021 Nov;18(11S):S361-S379

Specialty Chair, Atlanta VA Health Care System and Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.

In the United States, acute low back pain, with or without radiculopathy, is the leading cause of years lived with disability and the third ranking cause of disability-adjusted life-years. Uncomplicated acute low back pain and/or radiculopathy is a benign, self-limited condition that does not warrant any imaging studies. Imaging is considered in those patients who have had up to 6 weeks of medical management and physical therapy that resulted in little or no improvement in their back pain. It is also considered for those patients presenting with red flags, raising suspicion for a serious underlying condition, such as cauda equina syndrome, malignancy, fracture, or infection. The American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria are evidence-based guidelines for specific clinical conditions that are reviewed annually by a multidisciplinary expert panel. The guideline development and revision include an extensive analysis of current medical literature from peer reviewed journals and the application of well-established methodologies (RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method and Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation or GRADE) to rate the appropriateness of imaging and treatment procedures for specific clinical scenarios. In those instances where evidence is lacking or equivocal, expert opinion may supplement the available evidence to recommend imaging or treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacr.2021.08.002DOI Listing
November 2021

ACR Appropriateness Criteria® Inflammatory Back Pain: Known or Suspected Axial Spondyloarthritis: 2021 Update.

J Am Coll Radiol 2021 Nov;18(11S):S340-S360

Specialty Chair, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky.

Inflammatory back pain is a hallmark feature of axial spondyloarthritis, a heterogeneous group of inflammatory disorders which affects the sacroiliac joints and spine. Imaging plays a key role in diagnosis of this disease and in facilitating appropriate treatment. This document provides evidence-based recommendations on the appropriate use of imaging studies during multiple stages of the clinical evaluation of patients with suspected or known axial spondyloarthritis. The American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria are evidence-based guidelines for specific clinical conditions that are reviewed annually by a multidisciplinary expert panel. The guideline development and revision include an extensive analysis of current medical literature from peer reviewed journals and the application of well-established methodologies (RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method and Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation or GRADE) to rate the appropriateness of imaging and treatment procedures for specific clinical scenarios. In those instances where evidence is lacking or equivocal, expert opinion may supplement the available evidence to recommend imaging or treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacr.2021.08.003DOI Listing
November 2021

Response to letter to the editor from Mannion et al 2021.

Spine J 2021 Nov;21(11):1954

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina, 96 Jonathan Lucas St, CSB 708, Charleston, SC 29425, USA. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.spinee.2021.06.020DOI Listing
November 2021

Age-associated changes in microRNAs affect the differentiation potential of human mesenchymal stem cells: Novel role of miR-29b-1-5p expression.

Bone 2021 12 14;153:116154. Epub 2021 Aug 14.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29403, United States of America; Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Charleston, SC 29403, United States of America; Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University, Augusta, GA 30912, United States of America; Center for Healthy Aging, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University, Augusta, GA 30912, United States of America. Electronic address:

Age-associated osteoporosis is widely accepted as involving the disruption of osteogenic stem cell populations and their functioning. Maintenance of the local bone marrow (BM) microenvironment is critical for regulating proliferation and differentiation of the multipotent BM mesenchymal stromal/stem cell (BMSC) population with age. The potential role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in modulating BMSCs and the BM microenvironment has recently gained attention. However, miRNAs expressed in rapidly isolated BMSCs that are naïve to the non-physiologic standard tissue culture conditions and reflect a more accurate in vivo profile have not yet been reported. Here we directly isolated CD271 positive (+) BMSCs within hours from human surgical BM aspirates without culturing and performed microarray analysis to identify the age-associated changes in BMSC miRNA expression. One hundred and two miRNAs showed differential expression with aging. Target prediction and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analyses revealed that the up-regulated miRNAs targeting genes in bone development pathways were considerably enriched. Among the differentially up-regulated miRNAs the novel passenger strand miR-29b-1-5p was abundantly expressed as a mature functional miRNA with aging. This suggests a critical arm-switching mechanism regulates the expression of the miR-29b-1-5p/3p pair shifting the normally degraded arm, miR-29b-1-5p, to be the dominantly expressed miRNA of the pair in aging. The normal guide strand miR-29b-1-3p is known to act as a pro-osteogenic miRNA. On the other hand, overexpression of the passenger strand miR-29b-1-5p in culture-expanded CD271+ BMSCs significantly down-regulated the expression of stromal cell-derived factor 1 (CXCL12)/ C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (SDF-1(CXCL12)/CXCR4) axis and other osteogenic genes including bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) and runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2). In contrast, blocking of miR-29b-1-5p function using an antagomir inhibitor up-regulated expression of BMP-2 and RUNX2 genes. Functional assays confirmed that miR-29b-1-5p negatively regulates BMSC osteogenesis in vitro. These novel findings provide evidence of a pathogenic anti-osteogenic role for miR-29b-1-5p and other miRNAs in age-related defects in osteogenesis and bone regeneration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bone.2021.116154DOI Listing
December 2021

Cervical fusion for treatment of degenerative conditions: development of appropriate use criteria.

Spine J 2021 09 1;21(9):1460-1472. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

Department of Neurosurgery, Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, 41 Mall Road Charles A, Tufts University School of Medicine, Burlington, MA 01805-0105, USA.

Background Context: High quality evidence is difficult to generate, leaving substantial knowledge gaps in the treatment of spinal conditions. Appropriate use criteria (AUC) are a means of determining appropriate recommendations when high quality evidence is lacking.

Purpose: Define appropriate use criteria (AUC) of cervical fusion for treatment of degenerative conditions of the cervical spine.

Study Design/setting: Appropriate use criteria for cervical fusion were developed using the RAND/UCLA appropriateness methodology. Following development of clinical guidelines and scenario writing, a one-day workshop was held with a multidisciplinary group of 14 raters, all considered thought leaders in their respective fields, to determine final ratings for cervical fusion appropriateness for various clinical situations.

Outcome Measures: Final rating for cervical fusion recommendation as either "Appropriate," "Uncertain" or "Rarely Appropriate" based on the median final rating among the raters.

Methods: Inclusion criteria for scenarios included patients aged 18 to 80 with degenerative conditions of the cervical spine. Key modifiers were defined and combined to develop a matrix of clinical scenarios. The median score among the raters was used to determine the final rating for each scenario. The final rating was compared between modifier levels. Spearman's rank correlation between each modifier and the final rating was determined. A multivariable ordinal regression model was fit to determine the adjusted odds of an "Appropriate" final rating while adjusting for radiographic diagnosis, number of levels and symptom type. Three decision trees were developed using decision tree classification models and variable importance for each tree was computed.

Results: Of the 263 scenarios, 47 (17.9 %) were rated as rarely appropriate, 66 (25%) as uncertain and 150 (57%) were rated as appropriate. Symptom type was the modifier most strongly correlated with the final rating (adjusted ρ2 = 0.58, p<.01). A multivariable ordinal regression adjusting for symptom type, diagnosis, and number of levels and showed high discriminative ability (C statistic = 0.90) and the adjusted odds ratio (aOR) of receiving a final rating of "Appropriate" was highest for myelopathy (aOR, 7.1) and radiculopathy (aOR, 4.8). Three decision tree models showed that symptom type and radiographic diagnosis had the highest variable importance.

Conclusions: Appropriate use criteria for cervical fusion in the setting of cervical degenerative disorders were developed. Symptom type was most strongly correlated with final rating. Myelopathy or radiculopathy were most strongly associated with an "Appropriate" rating, while axial pain without stenosis was most associated with "Rarely Appropriate."
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.spinee.2021.05.023DOI Listing
September 2021

ACR Appropriateness Criteria® Myelopathy: 2021 Update.

J Am Coll Radiol 2021 May;18(5S):S73-S82

Specialty Chair, Atlanta VA Health Care System and Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.

Myelopathy is a clinical diagnosis with localization of the neurological findings to the spinal cord, rather than the brain or the peripheral nervous system, and then to a particular segment of the spinal cord. Myelopathy can be the result of primary intrinsic disorders of the spinal cord or from secondary conditions, which result in extrinsic compression of the spinal cord. While the causes of myelopathy may be multiple, the acuity of presentation and symptom onset frame a practical approach to the differential diagnosis. Imaging plays a crucial role in the evaluation of myelopathy with MRI the preferred modality. The American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria are evidence-based guidelines for specific clinical conditions that are reviewed annually by a multidisciplinary expert panel. The guideline development and revision include an extensive analysis of current medical literature from peer reviewed journals and the application of well-established methodologies (RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method and Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation or GRADE) to rate the appropriateness of imaging and treatment procedures for specific clinical scenarios. In those instances where evidence is lacking or equivocal, expert opinion may supplement the available evidence to recommend imaging or treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacr.2021.01.020DOI Listing
May 2021

Management of degenerative spondylolisthesis: development of appropriate use criteria.

Spine J 2021 08 6;21(8):1256-1267. Epub 2021 Mar 6.

Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA.

Background Context: Outcomes of treatment in care of patients with spinal disorders are directly related to patient selection and treatment indications. However, for many disorders, there is absence of consensus for precise indications. With the increasing emphasis on quality and value in spine care, it is essential that treatment recommendations and decisions are optimized.

Purpose: The purpose of the North American Spine Society Appropriate Use Criteria was to determine the appropriate (ie reasonable) multidisciplinary treatment recommendations for patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis across a spectrum of more common clinical scenarios.

Study Design: A Modified Delphi process was used.

Methods: The methodology was based on the Appropriate Use Criteria development process established by the Research AND Development Corporation. The topic of degenerative spondylolisthesis was selected by the committee, key modifiers determined, and consensus reached on standard definitions. A literature search and evidence analysis were completed by one work group simultaneously as scenarios were written, reviewed, and finalized by another work group. A separate multidisciplinary rating group was assembled. Based on the literature, provider experience, and group discussion, each scenario was scored on a nine-point scale on two separate occasions, once without discussion and then a second time following discussion based on the initial responses. The median rating for each scenario was then used to determine if indications were rarely appropriate (1 - 3), uncertain (4-6), or appropriate (7-9). Consensus was not mandatory.

Results: There were 131 discrete scenarios. These addressed questions on bone grafting, imaging, mechanical instability, radiculopathy with or without neurological deficits, obesity, and yellow flags consisting of psychosocial and medical comorbidities. For most of these, appropriateness was established for physical therapy, injections, and various forms of surgical intervention. The diagnosis of spondylolisthesis should be determined by an upright x-ray. Scenarios pertaining to bone grafting suggested that patients should quit smoking prior to surgery, and that use of BMP should be reserved for patients who had risk factors for non-union. Across all clinical scenarios, physical therapy (PT) had an adjusted mean of 7.66, epidural steroid injections 5.76, and surgery 4.52. Physical therapy was appropriate in most scenarios, and most appropriate in patients with back pain and no neurological deficits. Epidural steroid injections were most appropriate in patients with radiculopathy. Surgery was generally more appropriate for patients with neurological deficits, higher disability scores, and dynamic spondylolisthesis. Mechanical back pain and presence of yellow flags tended to be less appropriate, and obesity in general had relatively little influence on decision making. Decompression alone was more strongly considered in the presence of static versus dynamic spondylolisthesis. On average, posterior fusion with or without interbody fusion was similarly appropriate, and generally more appropriate than stand-alone interbody fusion which was in turn more appropriate than interspinous spacers.

Conclusions: Multidisciplinary appropriate treatment criteria were generated based on the Research AND Development methodology. While there were consistent and significant differences between surgeons and non-surgeons, these differences were generally very small. This document provides comprehensive evidence-based recommendations for evaluation and treatment of degenerative spondylolisthesis. The document in its entirety will be found on the North American Spine Society website (https://www.spine.org/Research-Clinical-Care/Quality-Improvement/Appropriate-Use-Criteria).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.spinee.2021.03.005DOI Listing
August 2021

CORR Insights®: What Are the Patient-reported Outcomes, Complications, and Radiographic Results of Lumbar Fusion for Degenerative Spondylolisthesis in Patients Younger Than 50 Years?

Clin Orthop Relat Res 2020 08;478(8):1889-1891

C. Reitman, Professor, Department of Orthopaedics and Physical Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CORR.0000000000001309DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7371083PMC
August 2020

Age-related increase of kynurenine enhances miR29b-1-5p to decrease both CXCL12 signaling and the epigenetic enzyme Hdac3 in bone marrow stromal cells.

Bone Rep 2020 Jun 23;12:100270. Epub 2020 Apr 23.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29403, United States of America.

Mechanisms leading to age-related reductions in bone formation and subsequent osteoporosis are still incompletely understood. We recently demonstrated that kynurenine (KYN), a tryptophan metabolite, accumulates in serum of aged mice and induces bone loss. Here, we report on novel mechanisms underlying KYN's detrimental effect on bone aging. We show that KYN is increased with aging in murine bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs). KYN reduces bone formation via modulating levels of CXCL12 and its receptors as well as histone deacetylase 3 (Hdac3). BMSCs responded to KYN by significantly decreasing mRNA expression levels of CXCL12 and its cognate receptors, CXCR4 and ACKR3, as well as downregulating osteogenic gene RUNX2 expression, resulting in a significant inhibition in BMSCs osteogenic differentiation. KYN's effects on these targets occur by increasing regulatory miRNAs that target osteogenesis, specifically miR29b-1-5p. Thus, KYN significantly upregulated the anti-osteogenic miRNA miR29b-1-5p in BMSCs, mimicking the up-regulation of miR-29b-1-5p in human and murine BMSCs with age. Direct inhibition of miR29b-1-5p by antagomirs rescued CXCL12 protein levels downregulated by KYN, while a miR29b-1-5p mimic further decreased CXCL12 levels. KYN also significantly downregulated mRNA levels of Hdac3, a target of miR-29b-1-5p, as well as its cofactor NCoR1. KYN is a ligand for the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). We hypothesized that AhR mediates KYN's effects in BMSCs. Indeed, AhR inhibitors (CH-223191 and 3',4'-dimethoxyflavone [DMF]) partially rescued secreted CXCL12 protein levels in BMSCs treated with KYN. Importantly, we found that treatment with CXCL12, or transfection with an miR29b-1-5p antagomir, downregulated the AhR mRNA level, while transfection with miR29b-1-5p mimic significantly upregulated its level. Further, CXCL12 treatment downregulated IDO, an enzyme responsible for generating KYN. Our findings reveal novel molecular pathways involved in KYN's age-associated effects in the bone microenvironment that may be useful translational targets for treating osteoporosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bonr.2020.100270DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7210406PMC
June 2020

Guideline summary review: an evidence-based clinical guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of low back pain.

Spine J 2020 07 22;20(7):998-1024. Epub 2020 Apr 22.

VACT Healthcare System, West Haven, CT, USA.

Background Context: The North American Spine Society's (NASS) Evidence Based Clinical Guideline for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Low Back Pain features evidence-based recommendations for diagnosing and treating adult patients with nonspecific low back pain. The guideline is intended to reflect contemporary treatment concepts for nonspecific low back pain as reflected in the highest quality clinical literature available on this subject as of February 2016.

Purpose: The purpose of the guideline is to provide an evidence-based educational tool to assist spine specialists when making clinical decisions for adult patients with nonspecific low back pain. This article provides a brief summary of the evidence-based guideline recommendations for diagnosing and treating patients with this condition.

Study Design: This is a guideline summary review.

Methods: This guideline is the product of the Low Back Pain Work Group of NASS' Evidence-Based Clinical Guideline Development Committee. The methods used to develop this guideline are detailed in the complete guideline and technical report available on the NASS website. In brief, a multidisciplinary work group of spine care specialists convened to identify clinical questions to address in the guideline. The literature search strategy was developed in consultation with medical librarians. Upon completion of the systematic literature search, evidence relevant to the clinical questions posed in the guideline was reviewed. Work group members utilized NASS evidentiary table templates to summarize study conclusions, identify study strengths and weaknesses, and assign levels of evidence. Work group members participated in webcasts and in-person recommendation meetings to update and formulate evidence-based recommendations and incorporate expert opinion when necessary. The draft guideline was submitted to an internal and external peer review process and ultimately approved by the NASS Board of Directors.

Results: Eighty-two clinical questions were addressed, and the answers are summarized in this article. The respective recommendations were graded according to the levels of evidence of the supporting literature.

Conclusions: The evidence-based clinical guideline has been created using techniques of evidence-based medicine and best available evidence to aid practitioners in the diagnosis and treatment of adult patients with nonspecific low back pain. The entire guideline document, including the evidentiary tables, literature search parameters, literature attrition flowchart, suggestions for future research, and all of the references, is available electronically on the NASS website at https://www.spine.org/ResearchClinicalCare/QualityImprovement/ClinicalGuidelines.aspx.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.spinee.2020.04.006DOI Listing
July 2020

CORR Insights®: Are There Differences Between Patients with Extreme Stenosis and Non-extreme Stenosis in Terms of Pain, Function or Complications After Spinal Decompression Using a Tubular Retractor System?

Clin Orthop Relat Res 2020 02;478(2):357-358

C. A. Reitman, Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Orthopaedics and Physical Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CORR.0000000000001052DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7438134PMC
February 2020

ACR Appropriateness Criteria Cervical Neck Pain or Cervical Radiculopathy.

J Am Coll Radiol 2019 May;16(5S):S57-S76

Specialty Chair, UC San Diego Health Center, San Diego, California.

Nontraumatic neck pain is a leading cause of disability, with nearly 50% of individuals experiencing ongoing or recurrent symptoms. Radiographs are appropriate as initial imaging for cervical or neck pain in the absence of "red flag" symptoms or if there are unchanging chronic symptoms; however, spondylotic changes are commonly identified and may result in both false-positive and false-negative findings. Noncontrast CT can be complementary to radiographs for evaluation of new or changing symptoms in the setting of prior cervical spine surgery or in the assessment of extent of ossification in the posterior longitudinal ligament. Noncontrast MRI is usually appropriate for assessment of new or increasing radiculopathy due to improved nerve root definition. MRI without and with contrast is usually appropriate in patients with new or increasing cervical or neck pain or radiculopathy in the setting of suspected infection or known malignancy. Imaging may be appropriate; however, it is not always indicated for evaluation of cervicogenic headache without neurologic deficit. The American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria are evidence-based guidelines for specific clinical conditions that are reviewed annually by a multidisciplinary expert panel. The guideline development and revision include an extensive analysis of current medical literature from peer reviewed journals and the application of well-established methodologies (RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method and Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation or GRADE) to rate the appropriateness of imaging and treatment procedures for specific clinical scenarios. In those instances where evidence is lacking or equivocal, expert opinion may supplement the available evidence to recommend imaging or treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacr.2019.02.023DOI Listing
May 2019

ACR Appropriateness Criteria Suspected Spine Trauma-Child.

J Am Coll Radiol 2019 May;16(5S):S286-S299

Specialty Chair, Riley Hospital for Children Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Choosing the appropriate imaging in children with accidental traumatic spine injuries can be challenging because the recommendations based on scientific evidence at this time differ from those applied in adults. This differentiation is due in part to differences in anatomy and physiology of the developing spine. This publication uses scientific evidence and a panel of pediatric experts to summarize best current imaging practices for children with accidental spine trauma. The American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria are evidence-based guidelines for specific clinical conditions that are reviewed annually by a multidisciplinary expert panel. The guideline development and revision include an extensive analysis of current medical literature from peer reviewed journals and the application of well-established methodologies (RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method and Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation or GRADE) to rate the appropriateness of imaging and treatment procedures for specific clinical scenarios. In those instances where evidence is lacking or equivocal, expert opinion may supplement the available evidence to recommend imaging or treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacr.2019.02.003DOI Listing
May 2019

ACR Appropriateness Criteria Suspected Spine Trauma.

J Am Coll Radiol 2019 May;16(5S):S264-S285

Specialty Chair (Neurological), UC San Diego Health Center, San Diego, California.

Injuries to the cervical and thoracolumbar spine are commonly encountered in trauma patients presenting for treatment. Cervical spine injuries occur in 3% to 4% and thoracolumbar fractures in 4% to 7% of blunt trauma patients presenting to the emergency department. Clear, validated criteria exist for screening the cervical spine in blunt trauma. Screening criteria for cervical vascular injury and thoracolumbar spine injury have less validation and widespread acceptance compared with cervical spine screening. No validated criteria exist for screening of neurologic injuries in the setting of spine trauma. CT is preferred to radiographs for initial assessment of spine trauma. CT angiography and MR angiography are both acceptable in assessment for cervical vascular injury. MRI is preferred to CT myelography for assessing neurologic injury in the setting of spine trauma. MRI is usually appropriate when there is concern for ligament injury or in screening obtunded patients for cervical spine instability. The American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria are evidence-based guidelines for specific clinical conditions that are reviewed annually by a multidisciplinary expert panel. The guideline development and revision include an extensive analysis of current medical literature from peer reviewed journals and the application of well-established methodologies (RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method and Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation or GRADE) to rate the appropriateness of imaging and treatment procedures for specific clinical scenarios. In those instances where evidence is lacking or equivocal, expert opinion may supplement the available evidence to recommend imaging or treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacr.2019.02.002DOI Listing
May 2019

ACR Appropriateness Criteria Scoliosis-Child.

J Am Coll Radiol 2019 May;16(5S):S244-S251

Specialty Chair, Riley Hospital for Children Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Scoliosis is frequently encountered in childhood, with prevalence of 2%. The majority is idiopathic, without vertebral segmentation anomaly, dysraphism, neuromuscular abnormality, skeletal dysplasia, tumor, or infection. As a complement to clinical assessment, radiography is the primary imaging modality used to classify scoliosis and subsequently monitor its progression and response to treatment. MRI is utilized selectively to assess for neural axis abnormalities in those at higher risk, including those with congenital scoliosis, early onset idiopathic scoliosis, and adolescent idiopathic scoliosis with certain risk factors. CT, although not routinely employed in the initial evaluation of scoliosis, may have a select role in characterizing the bone anomalies of congenital scoliosis and in perioperative planning. The American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria are evidence-based guidelines for specific clinical conditions that are reviewed annually by a multidisciplinary expert panel. The guideline development and revision include an extensive analysis of current medical literature from peer reviewed journals and the application of well-established methodologies (RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method and Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation or GRADE) to rate the appropriateness of imaging and treatment procedures for specific clinical scenarios. In those instances where evidence is lacking or equivocal, expert opinion may supplement the available evidence to recommend imaging or treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacr.2019.02.018DOI Listing
May 2019

ACR Appropriateness Criteria Management of Vertebral Compression Fractures.

J Am Coll Radiol 2018 Nov;15(11S):S347-S364

Specialty Chair (Neurological), UC San Diego Health, San Diego, California.

Vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) have various causes, including osteoporosis, neoplasms, and acute trauma. As painful VCFs may contribute to general physical deconditioning, management of painful VCFs has the potential for improving quality of life and preventing superimposed medical complications. Various imaging modalities can be used to evaluate a VCF to help determine the etiology and guide intervention. The first-line treatment of painful VCFs has been nonoperative or conservative management as most VCFs show gradual improvement in pain over 2 to 12 weeks, with variable return of function. There is evidence that vertebral augmentation (VA) is associated with better pain relief and improved functional outcomes compared to conservative therapy for osteoporotic VCFs. A multidisciplinary approach is necessary for the management of painful pathologic VCFs, with management strategies including medications to affect bone turnover, radiation therapy, and interventions such as VA and percutaneous thermal ablation to alleviate symptoms. The American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria are evidence-based guidelines for specific clinical conditions that are reviewed annually by a multidisciplinary expert panel. The guideline development and revision include an extensive analysis of current medical literature from peer reviewed journals and the application of well-established methodologies (RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method and Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation or GRADE) to rate the appropriateness of imaging and treatment procedures for specific clinical scenarios. In those instances where evidence is lacking or equivocal, expert opinion may supplement the available evidence to recommend imaging or treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacr.2018.09.019DOI Listing
November 2018

Enhancing Evaluation of Cervical Spine: Thresholds for Normal CT Relationships in the Subaxial Cervical Spine.

Int J Spine Surg 2018 Aug 31;12(4):510-519. Epub 2018 Aug 31.

MUSC Department of Orthopaedics, Charleston, South Carolina.

Background: Very little normative computed tomography (CT) scan data exist defining expected relationships of vertebral structures in the intact cervical spine. Better understanding of normal relationships should improve sensitivity of injury detection, particularly for facet subluxation. The purpose of this paper was to describe the normal anatomical relationships and most sensitive measurements to detect abnormal alignment in the subaxial cervical spine.

Methods: A group of 30 CT scans with no documented cervical spine injury were utilized from an established database in a trauma population. Twenty-two anatomical measurements were made for each level of the subaxial cervical spine using Microview software. For the purposes of measurement, the upper confidence limit of normal was reported as two standard deviations from the mean.

Results: The novel, CT based measurements of bone articulation were generally smaller and had lower confidence intervals compared to traditional radiographic measurements of midline structures (such as interspinous distance, interlaminar widening, disc space widening). The upper limit of normal of facet joint height was reported (1.54 mm anterior, 1.27 mm posterior, and 2.0 mm midportion), which may help identify distractive-flexion injuries. The upper limit of normal vertebral translation (2.0 mm) was also reported to identify translation/rotation injuries.

Conclusions: Normal CT measurements for the subaxial cervical spine, especially in the facets, were found to have small confidence limits and variation. Based upon these findings, we conclude that facet measurements and translation may be better screening tools than traditional radiographic criteria based upon midline structures. Using these measurements may improve detection of cervical spine injuries warranting further imaging or investigation and reducing missed injuries.

Clinical Relevance: Improved understanding of normal anatomic measures in the subaxial spine will allow for better screening and identification of injuries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14444/5062DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6159701PMC
August 2018

Enhancing evaluation of cervical spine: Thresholds for normal CT relationships in the subaxial cervical spine.

Int J Spine Surg 2017 5;11:36. Epub 2017 Dec 5.

MUSC Department of Orthopaedics, Charleston, SC.

Background: Very little normative CT scan data exist defining expected relationships of vertebral structures in the intact cervical spine. Better understanding of normal relationships should improve sensitivity of injury detection, particularly for facet subluxation. The purpose of this paper was to describe the normal anatomical relationships and most sensitive measurements to detect abnormal alignment in the subaxial cervical spine.

Methods: A group of 30 CT scans with no documented cervical spine injury were utilized from an established data base in a trauma population. Twenty-two anatomical measurements were made for each level of the subaxial cervical spine using Microview software. For the purposes of measurement, the upper confidence limit of normal was reported as two standard deviations from the mean.

Results: The novel, CT based measurements of bone articulation were generally smaller and had lower confidence intervals compared to traditional radiographic measurements of midline structures (such as interspinous distance, interlaminar widening, disc space widening). The upper limit of normal of facet joint height was reported (1.54mm anterior, 1.27mm posterior, and 2.0mm midportion) which may help identify distractive-flexion injuries. The upper limit of normal vertebral translation (2.0mm) was also reported to identify translation/rotation injuries.

Conclusions: Normal CT measurements for the subaxial cervical spine, especially in the facets, were found to have small confidence limits and variation. Based upon these findings, we conclude that facet measurements and translation may be better screening tools than traditional radiographic criteria based upon midline structures. Using these measurements may improve detection of cervical spine injuries warranting further imaging or investigation and reducing missed injuries.

Clinical Relevance: Improved understanding of normal anatomic measures in the subaxial spine will allow for better screening and identification of injuries.

Ethical Statement: This was approved by the Office of Research Institutional Review Board, Baylor College of Medicine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14444/4036DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5779274PMC
December 2017

ACR Appropriateness Criteria Penetrating Neck Injury.

J Am Coll Radiol 2017 Nov;14(11S):S500-S505

Panel Chair (Vascular), UMass Memorial Medical Center, Worcester, Massachusetts.

In patients with penetrating neck injuries with clinical soft injury signs, and patients with hard signs of injury who do not require immediate surgery, CT angiography of the neck is the preferred imaging procedure to evaluate extent of injury. Other modalities, such as radiography and fluoroscopy, catheter-based angiography, ultrasound, and MR angiography have their place in the evaluation of the patient, depending on the specific clinical situation and question at hand. The ACR Appropriateness Criteria are evidence-based guidelines for specific clinical conditions that are reviewed annually by a multidisciplinary expert panel. The guideline development and revision include an extensive analysis of current medical literature from peer-reviewed journals and the application of well-established methodologies (RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method and Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation or GRADE) to rate the appropriateness of imaging and treatment procedures for specific clinical scenarios. In those instances where evidence is lacking or equivocal, expert opinion may supplement the available evidence to recommend imaging or treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacr.2017.08.038DOI Listing
November 2017

CORR Insights: What is the Rate of Revision Discectomies After Primary Discectomy on a National Scale?

Clin Orthop Relat Res 2017 11 7;475(11):2763-2764. Epub 2017 Sep 7.

Department of Orthopaedics, Medical University of South Carolina, 96 Jonathan Lucas, 708 CSB, Charleston, SC, 29425, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11999-017-5492-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5638761PMC
November 2017

ACR Appropriateness Criteria Osteoporosis and Bone Mineral Density.

J Am Coll Radiol 2017 May;14(5S):S189-S202

Specialty Chair, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.

Osteoporosis is a considerable public health risk, with 50% of women and 20% of men >50 years of age experiencing fracture, with mortality rates of 20% within the first year. Dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is the primary diagnostic modality by which to screen women >65 years of age and men >70 years of age for osteoporosis. In postmenopausal women <65 years of age with additional risk factors for fracture, DXA is recommended. Some patients with bone mineral density above the threshold for treatment may qualify for treatment on the basis of vertebral body fractures detected through a vertebral fracture assessment scan, a lateral spine equivalent generated from a commercial DXA machine. Quantitative CT is useful in patients with advanced degenerative bony changes in their spines. New technologies such as trabecular bone score represent an emerging role for qualitative assessment of bone in clinical practice. It is critical that both radiologists and referring providers consider osteoporosis in their patients, thereby reducing substantial morbidity, mortality, and cost to the health care system. The American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria are evidence-based guidelines for specific clinical conditions that are reviewed annually by a multidisciplinary expert panel. The guideline development and revision include an extensive analysis of current medical literature from peer reviewed journals and the application of well-established methodologies (RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method and Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation or GRADE) to rate the appropriateness of imaging and treatment procedures for specific clinical scenarios. In those instances where evidence is lacking or equivocal, expert opinion may supplement the available evidence to recommend imaging or treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacr.2017.02.018DOI Listing
May 2017

ACR Appropriateness Criteria Back Pain-Child.

J Am Coll Radiol 2017 May;14(5S):S13-S24

Panel Chair, Emory University and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia.

It is now generally accepted that nontraumatic back pain in the pediatric population is common. The presence of isolated back pain in a child has previously been an indication for imaging; however, recently a more conservative approach has been suggested using clinical criteria. The presence of constant pain, night pain, and radicular pain, alone or in combination, lasting for 4 weeks or more, constitute clinical red flags that should prompt further imaging. Without these clinical red flags, imaging is likely not indicated. Exceptions include an abnormal neurologic examination or clinical and laboratory findings suggesting an infectious or neoplastic etiology, and when present should prompt immediate imaging. Initial imaging should consist of spine radiographs limited to area of interest, with spine MRI without contrast to evaluate further if needed. CT of the spine, limited to area of interest, and Tc-99m bone scan whole body with single-photon emission computed tomography may be useful in some patients. The addition of intravenous contrast is also recommended for evaluation of a potential neoplastic or infectious process. The American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria are evidence-based guidelines for specific clinical conditions that are reviewed annually by a multidisciplinary expert panel. The guideline development and revision include an extensive analysis of current medical literature from peer reviewed journals and the application of well-established methodologies (RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method and Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation or GRADE) to rate the appropriateness of imaging and treatment procedures for specific clinical scenarios. In those instances where evidence is lacking or equivocal, expert opinion may supplement the available evidence to recommend imaging or treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacr.2017.01.039DOI Listing
May 2017

Indirect Referral of Orthopaedic Patients to a Safety-Net Hospital.

J Health Care Poor Underserved 2016 ;27(3):1267-77

Objective: Patients seen in emergency departments (EDs) not requiring admission are typically discharged with appropriate follow-up. Sometimes hospitals indirectly refer, or redirect, patients to a different hospital's ED. Anecdotally, indirect referrals are commonly received in safety-net hospitals. This study characterizes the types of patients and hospitals affected and the cost of indirect referral in the orthopaedic trauma population.

Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional chart review was conducted of 1,162 consecutive adult patients receiving orthopaedic care in an urban public hospital ED over a six-month period in 2011. Multivariable logistic regression analysis compared patients who were indirectly referred with those presenting primarily.

Results: One in five (N=236) patients treated for orthopaedic injury was indirectly referred from neighboring hospitals with orthopaedists available; 209 (88.6%) of these patients were uninsured (OR 3.69; CI 1.85-7.34). Nonprofit hospitals initially treated 107 (64.1%) of these patients. Costs for largely uncompensated care at the public hospital were $1.77 million.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/hpu.2016.0105DOI Listing
January 2018

Pearls: Wrong-level Surgery Prevention.

Clin Orthop Relat Res 2016 Mar 13;474(3):636-9. Epub 2015 Nov 13.

Department of Orthopaedics, Medical University of South Carolina, 96 Jonathan Lucas Street, 708 CSB, Charleston, SC, 29425, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11999-015-4627-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4746148PMC
March 2016

Letter to the Editor in response to: "A critical appraisal of the North American Spine Society guidelines with the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation II instrument".

Spine J 2015 Oct;15(10):2300-1

NASS Research Council Director, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.spinee.2015.06.022DOI Listing
October 2015

Sagittal plane lumbar intervertebral motion during seated flexion-extension radiographs of 658 asymptomatic nondegenerated levels.

J Neurosurg Spine 2015 Dec 21;23(6):731-8. Epub 2015 Aug 21.

Medical Metrics Inc., Houston, Texas.

Object: Evaluation of lumbar stability is fundamentally dependent on a clear understanding of normal lumbar motion. There are inconsistencies in reported lumbar motion across previously published studies, and it is unclear which provide the most reliable reference data. New technology now allows valid and reliable determination of normal lumbar intervertebral motion (IVM). The object of this study was to provide normative reference data for lumbar IVM and center of rotation (COR) using validated computer-assisted measurement tools.

Methods: Sitting flexion-extension radiographs were obtained in 162 asymptomatic volunteers and then analyzed using a previously validated and widely used computerized image analysis method. Each lumbar level was subsequently classified as "degenerated" or "nondegenerated" using the Kellgren-Lawrence classification. Of the 803 levels analyzed, 658 were nondegenerated (Kellgren-Lawrence grade < 2). At each level of the lumbar spine, the magnitude of intervertebral rotation and translation, the ratio of translation per degree of rotation (TPDR), and the position of the COR were calculated in the nondegenerative cohort. Translations were calculated in millimeters and percentage endplate width.

Results: All parameters were significantly dependent on the intervertebral level. The upper limit of the 95% CIs for anteroposterior intervertebral translation in this asymptomatic cohort ranged from 2.1 mm (6.2% endplate width) to 4.6 mm (13.3% endplate width). Intervertebral rotation upper limits ranged from 16.3° to 23.5°. The upper limits for TPDR ranged from 0.49% to 0.82% endplate width/degree. The COR coordinates were clustered in level-dependent patterns.

Conclusions: New normal values for IVM, COR, and the ratio of TPDR in asymptomatic nondegenerative lumbar levels are proposed, providing a reference for future interpretation of sagittal plane motion in the lumbar spine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2015.3.SPINE14898DOI Listing
December 2015

Degenerative Lumbar Scoliosis.

JBJS Rev 2015 Apr;3(4)

Rothman Institute, 925 Chestnut Street, 5th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.2106/JBJS.RVW.N.00061DOI Listing
April 2015

Injury type and emergency department management of orthopaedic patients influences follow-up rates.

J Bone Joint Surg Am 2014 Oct;96(19):1650-8

Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, 6620 Main Street, Suite 1324, Houston, TX 77030. E-mail address for C.A. Reitman:

Background: Orthopaedic clinic follow-up is required to ensure optimal management and outcome for many patients who present to the emergency department (ED) with an orthopaedic injury. While several studies have shown that demographic variables influence patient follow-up after discharge from the ED, the objective of this study was to examine orthopaedic-related and other factors associated with the failure to return for orthopaedic outpatient management, so-called "no-show," after an ED visit.

Methods: A chart review was conducted at a large academic public hospital. Four hundred and sixty-four consecutive adult patients who received an orthopaedic consult in the ED with subsequent referral to the orthopaedic clinic from January through June, 2011, were included. With use of chi-square and Mann-Whitney univariate tests, data regarding injury type and management were analyzed for association with no-show. Variables with p < 0.25 were included in a multivariate stepwise forward logistic regression analysis.

Results: The overall no-show rate was 26.1%. Logistic regression modeling revealed significant differences in no-show rates based on cause of injury (odds ratio [OR] 7.51; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.27 to 25.1), with assault victims having the highest no-show rate. Anatomic region of injury significantly influenced no-show rates (OR 6.61; 95% CI, 1.45 to 30.5), with patients with a spine or back complaint having the highest no-show rate. Follow-up rates were influenced by the orthopaedic resident provider consulted (OR 10.8; 95% CI, 4.11 to 31.1), and this was not related to level of training (p = 0.25). The type of bracing applied influenced the no-show rate (OR 2.46; 95% CI, 1.58 to 3.96), and the easier it was to remove the brace (splint), the worse the follow-up (p = 0.0001). Several demographic variables were also predictive of clinic nonattendance, including morbid obesity (OR 15.0; 95% CI, 4.83 to 51.6) and current tobacco use (OR 5.56; 95% CI, 2.19 to 15.4).

Conclusions: This study supports previous evidence of high no-show rates with scheduled orthopaedic follow-up among patients treated in the ED. The data highlight distinct orthopaedic-related factors associated with nonattendance. These findings are useful in identifying patients at high risk for no-show to scheduled orthopaedic follow-up appointments and may influence disposition and management decisions for these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2106/JBJS.M.01481DOI Listing
October 2014
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