Publications by authors named "James Feghali"

49 Publications

Comparison of management approaches in deep-seated intracranial arteriovenous malformations: Does treatment improve outcome?

J Clin Neurosci 2021 Oct 24;92:191-196. Epub 2021 Aug 24.

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

Deep-seated intracranial arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) represent a subset of AVMs characterized by variably reported outcomes regarding the risk of hemorrhage, microsurgical complications, and response to stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). We aimed to compare outcomes of microsurgery, SRS, endovascular therapy, and conservative follow-up in deep-seated AVMs. A prospectively maintained database of AVM patients (1990-2017) was queried to identify patients with ruptured and unruptured deep-seated AVMs (extension into thalamus, basal ganglia, or brainstem). Comparisons of hemorrhage-free survival and poor functional outcome (modified Rankin scale [mRS] > 2) were performed between conservative management, microsurgery (±pre-procedural embolization), SRS (±pre-procedural embolization), and embolization utilizing multivariable Cox and logistic regression analyses controlling for univariable factors with p < 0.05. Of 789 AVM patients, 102 had deep-seated AVMs (conservative: 34; microsurgery: 6; SRS: 54; embolization: 8). Mean follow-up time was 6.1 years and did not differ significantly between management groups (p = 0.393). Complete obliteration was achieved in 49% of SRS patients. Upon multivariable analysis controlling for baseline rupture with conservative management as a reference group, embolization was associated with an increased hazard of hemorrhage (HR = 6.2, 95%CI [1.1-40.0], p = 0.037), while microsurgery (p = 0.118) and SRS (p = 0.167) provided no significant protection from hemorrhage. Controlling for baseline mRS, microsurgery was associated with an increased risk of poor outcome (OR = 9.2[1.2-68.3], p = 0.030), while SRS (p = 0.557) and embolization (p = 0.541) did not differ significantly from conservative management. Deep AVMs harbor a high risk of hemorrhage, but the benefit from intervention Remains uncertain. SRS may be a relatively more effective approach if interventional therapy is indicated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jocn.2021.08.010DOI Listing
October 2021

A Web-Based Calculator for Predicting the Occurrence of Wound Complications, Wound Infection, and Unplanned Reoperation for Wound Complications in Patients Undergoing Surgery for Spinal Metastases.

World Neurosurg 2021 Aug 14. Epub 2021 Aug 14.

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

Background: In the present study, we identified the risk factors for wound complications, wound infection, and reoperation for wound complications after spine metastasis surgery and deployed the resultant model as a web-based calculator.

Methods: Patients treated at a single comprehensive cancer center during a 7-year period were included. The demographics, pathology, comorbidities, laboratory values, and operative details were collected. Factors with P < 0.15 on univariable regression were entered into multivariable logistic regression to generate predictive models internally validated using 1000 bootstrapped samples.

Results: Of the 330 patients included, 29 (7.6%) had experienced a surgical site infection. The independent predictive factors for wound-related complications were a higher Charlson comorbidity index (CCI; odds ratio [OR], 1.41 per point; P < 0.01), Karnofsky performance scale score ≤70 (OR, 2.14; P = 0.04), lower platelet count (OR, 0.49 per 10/μL; P < 0.01), revision versus index surgery (OR, 3.10; P = 0.02), and increased incision length (OR, 1.21 per level; P = 0.02). Wound infection was associated with a higher CCI (OR, 1.60 per point; P < 0.01), a lower platelet count (OR, 0.35 per 10/μL; P < 0.01), revision surgery (OR, 4.63; P = 0.01), and a longer incision length (OR, 1.25 per level; P = 0.03). Unplanned reoperation for wound complications was predicted by a higher CCI (OR, 1.39 per point; P = 0.003), prior irradiation (OR, 2.52; P = 0.04), a lower platelet count (OR, 0.57 per 10/μL; P = 0.02), and revision surgery (OR, 3.34; P = 0.03), The optimism-corrected areas under the curve were 0.75, 0.81, and 0.72 for the wound complication, infection, and reoperation models, respectively.

Conclusions: Low platelet counts, poorer health status, more invasive surgery, and revision surgery all independently predicted the risk of wound complications, including infection and unplanned reoperation for infection. Validation of the calculators in a prospective study is merited.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2021.08.041DOI Listing
August 2021

Adapting the 5-factor modified frailty index for prediction of postprocedural outcome in patients with unruptured aneurysms.

J Neurosurg 2021 Aug 13:1-8. Epub 2021 Aug 13.

Objective: The 5-factor modified frailty index (mFI-5) is a practical tool that can be used to estimate frailty by measuring five accessible factors: functional status, history of diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, and hypertension. The authors aimed to validate the utility of mFI-5 for predicting endovascular and microsurgical treatment outcomes in patients with unruptured aneurysms.

Methods: A prospectively maintained database of consecutive patients with unruptured aneurysm who were treated with clip placement or endovascular therapy was used. Because patient age is an important predictor of treatment outcomes in patients with unruptured aneurysm, mFI-5 was supplemented with age to create the age-supplemented mFI-5 (AmFI-5). Associations of scores on these indices with major complications (symptomatic ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke, pulmonary embolism, pneumonia, or surgical site infection requiring reoperation) were evaluated. Validation was carried out with the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database (2006-2017).

Results: The institutional database included 275 patients (88 underwent clip placement, and 187 underwent endovascular treatment). Multivariable analysis of the surgical cohort showed that major complication was significantly associated with mFI-5 (OR 2.0, p = 0.046) and AmFI-5 (OR 1.9, p = 0.028) scores. Significant predictive accuracy for major complications was provided by mFI-5 (c-statistic = 0.709, p = 0.011) and AmFI-5 (c-statistic = 0.720, p = 0.008). The American Society of Anesthesiologists Physical Status Classification System (ASA) provided poor discrimination (area under the curve = 0.541, p = 0.618) that was significantly less than that of mFI-5 (p = 0.023) and AmFI-5 (p = 0.014). Optimal relative fit was achieved with AmFI-5, which had the lowest Akaike information criterion value. Similar results were obtained after equivalent analysis of the endovascular cohort, with additional significant associations between index scores and length of stay (β = 0.6 and p = 0.009 for mFI-5; β = 0.5 and p = 0.003 for AmFI-5). In 1047 patients who underwent clip placement and were included in the NSQIP database, mFI-5 (p = 0.001) and AmFI-5 (p < 0.001) scores were significantly associated with severe postoperative adverse events and provided greater discrimination (c-statistic = 0.600 and p < 0.001 for mFI-5; c-statistic = 0.610 and p < 0.001 for AmFI-5) than ASA score (c-statistic = 0.580 and p = 0.003).

Conclusions: mFI-5 and AmFI-5 represent potential predictors of procedure-related complications in unruptured aneurysm patients. After further validation, integration of these tools into clinical workflows may optimize patients for intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2021.2.JNS204420DOI Listing
August 2021

Influence of tranexamic acid use on venous thromboembolism risk in patients undergoing surgery for spine tumors.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Aug 13:1-11. Epub 2021 Aug 13.

1Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; and.

Objective: Patients with spine tumors are at increased risk for both hemorrhage and venous thromboembolism (VTE). Tranexamic acid (TXA) has been advanced as a potential intervention to reduce intraoperative blood loss in this surgical population, but many fear it is associated with increased VTE risk due to the hypercoagulability noted in malignancy. In this study, the authors aimed to 1) develop a clinical calculator for postoperative VTE risk in the population with spine tumors, and 2) investigate the association of intraoperative TXA use and postoperative VTE.

Methods: A retrospective data set from a comprehensive cancer center was reviewed for adult patients treated for vertebral column tumors. Data were collected on surgery performed, patient demographics and medical comorbidities, VTE prophylaxis measures, and TXA use. TXA use was classified as high-dose (≥ 20 mg/kg) or low-dose (< 20 mg/kg). The primary study outcome was VTE occurrence prior to discharge. Secondary outcomes were deep venous thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE). Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify independent risk factors for VTE and the resultant model was deployed as a web-based calculator.

Results: Three hundred fifty patients were included. The mean patient age was 57 years, 53% of patients were male, and 67% of surgeries were performed for spinal metastases. TXA use was not associated with increased VTE (14.3% vs 10.1%, p = 0.37). After multivariable analysis, VTE was independently predicted by lower serum albumin (odds ratio [OR] 0.42 per g/dl, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.23-0.79, p = 0.007), larger mean corpuscular volume (OR 0.91 per fl, 95% CI 0.84-0.99, p = 0.035), and history of prior VTE (OR 2.60, 95% CI 1.53-4.40, p < 0.001). Longer surgery duration approached significance and was included in the final model. Although TXA was not independently associated with the primary outcome of VTE, high-dose TXA use was associated with increased odds of both DVT and PE. The VTE model showed a fair fit of the data with an area under the curve of 0.77.

Conclusions: In the present cohort of patients treated for vertebral column tumors, TXA was not associated with increased VTE risk, although high-dose TXA (≥ 20 mg/kg) was associated with increased odds of DVT or PE. Additionally, the web-based clinical calculator of VTE risk presented here may prove useful in counseling patients preoperatively about their individualized VTE risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2021.1.SPINE201935DOI Listing
August 2021

Impact of international research fellows in neurosurgery: results from a single academic center.

J Neurosurg 2021 Jul 23:1-11. Epub 2021 Jul 23.

Objective: International research fellows have been historically involved in academic neurosurgery in the United States (US). To date, the contribution of international research fellows has been underreported. Herein, the authors aimed to quantify the academic output of international research fellows in the Department of Neurosurgery at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Methods: Research fellows with Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), or MD/PhD degrees from a non-US institution who worked in the Hopkins Department of Neurosurgery for at least 6 months over the past decade (2010-2020) were included in this study. Publications produced during fellowship, number of citations, and journal impact factors (IFs) were analyzed using ANOVA. A survey was sent to collect information on personal background, demographics, and academic activities.

Results: Sixty-four international research fellows were included, with 42 (65.6%) having MD degrees, 17 (26.6%) having PhD degrees, and 5 (7.8%) having MD/PhD degrees. During an average 27.9 months of fellowship, 460 publications were produced in 136 unique journals, with 8628 citations and a cumulative journal IF of 1665.73. There was no significant difference in total number of publications, first-author publications, and total citations per person among the different degree holders. Persons holding MD/PhDs had a higher number of citations per publication per person (p = 0.027), whereas those with MDs had higher total IFs per person (p = 0.048). Among the 43 (67.2%) survey responders, 34 (79.1%) had nonimmigrant visas at the start of the fellowship, 16 (37.2%) were self-paid or funded by their country of origin, and 35 (81.4%) had mentored at least one US medical student, nonmedical graduate student, or undergraduate student.

Conclusions: International research fellows at the authors' institution have contributed significantly to academic neurosurgery. Although they have faced major challenges like maintaining nonimmigrant visas, negotiating cultural/language differences, and managing self-sustainability, their scientific productivity has been substantial. Additionally, the majority of fellows have provided reciprocal mentorship to US students.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2021.1.JNS203824DOI Listing
July 2021

Plastic surgery wound closure following resection of spinal metastases.

Clin Neurol Neurosurg 2021 08 9;207:106800. Epub 2021 Jul 9.

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: Surgical site infection and dehiscence are devastating complications of surgery for spinal metastases. Wound closure involving plastic surgeons has been proposed as a strategy to lower post-operative complications. Here we investigated whether plastic surgery closure is associated with lower rates of wound complications, wound infection, and wound reoperation compared to simple closure by spine surgeons.

Methods: Patients surgically treated for metastatic tumors at a single comprehensive cancer center between April 2013-2020 were retrospectively identified. Primary pathology, demographic information, clinical characteristics, pre-operative laboratory values, tumor location, operative characteristics, and post-operative outcomes were collected. Univariable analyses used student t-tests for continuous variables and χ tests for categorical variables. Multivariable regressions were performed to control for confounders.

Results: We included 317 patients, of which 56 underwent closure by plastic surgeons and 291 by neurosurgeons. Patients in the plastic surgery cohort were more likely to have received prior radiation to the surgical site, more often on long-term corticosteroid therapy, and more likely to have sacrococcygeal tumors. Operations involving plastic surgeons were more likely to be revision surgeries, corpectomies, and to involve a staged approach. Additionally, patients in the plastic surgery cohort had longer incision lengths, longer surgeries, greater intraoperative blood loss (IOBL), were more likely to receive transfusions, and had longer hospitalizations. Local paraspinous advancement flaps were the most common complex wound closure technique. Plastic surgery closure was not significantly associated with a difference in rates of post-operative wound complications, wound infection, or wound-related reoperations compared to simple wound closure.

Conclusion: We identified that patients undergoing plastic surgery wound closure had worse baseline risk, longer surgeries, greater IOBL, and longer hospitalizations compared to patients receiving simple closure. Despite their increased risk, complex wound closure did not significantly alter the rates of post-operative wound complications, wound infection, or wound-related reoperations. Consideration may be given to plastic surgery closure in patients at high risk of wound complications or with extensive wound defects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clineuro.2021.106800DOI Listing
August 2021

Interrater and Intrarater Reliability of the Vertebral Bone Quality Score.

World Neurosurg 2021 Jul 9. Epub 2021 Jul 9.

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

Background: Vertebral bone quality had a significant impact on postoperative outcomes in spinal fusion surgery. New magnetic resonance imaging-based measures, such as the Vertebral Bone Quality (VBQ) score, may allow for bone quality assessment without the radiation associated with conventional testing. In the present study, we sought to assess the intrarater and interrater reliability of VBQ scores calculated by medical professionals and trainees.

Methods: Thirteen reviewers of various specialties and levels of training were recruited and asked to calculate VBQ scores for 30 patients at 2 time points separated by 2 months. Scored volumes were acquired from patients treated for both degenerative and oncologic indications. Intrarater and interrater agreement, quantified by intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), was assessed using 2-way random effects modeling. Square-weight Cohen κ and Kendall Tau-b were used to determine whether raters assigned similar scores during both evaluations.

Results: All raters showed moderate to excellent reliability for VBQ score (ICC 0.667-0.957; κ0.648-0.921) and excellent reliability for all constituent components used to calculate VBQ score (ICC all ≥0.97). Interrater reliability was also found to be good for VBQ score on both the first (ICC = 0.818) and second (ICC = 0.800) rounds of assessment; scores for the constituent component all had ICC values ≥0.97 for the constituent components.

Conclusions: The VBQ score appears to have both good intrarater and interrater reliability. In addition, there appeared to be no correlation between score reliability and level of training. External validation and further investigations of its ability to accurately model bone biomechanical properties are necessary.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2021.07.020DOI Listing
July 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sacrectomy for sacral tumors: Perioperative outcomes in a large-volume comprehensive cancer center.

Spine J 2021 May 14. Epub 2021 May 14.

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:

Background Context: Sacral tumors are incredibly rare lesions affecting fewer than one in every 10,000 persons. Reported perioperative morbidity rates range widely, varying from 30% to 70%, due to the relatively low volumes seen by most centers. Factors affecting perioperative outcome following sacrectomy remain ill-defined.

Purpose: To characterize perioperative outcomes of sacral tumor patients undergoing sacrectomy and identify independent risk factors of perioperative morbidity STUDY DESIGN/SETTING: Retrospective cohort study at a single comprehensive cancer center PATIENT SAMPLE: Consecutively treated sacral tumor patients (primary or metastatic) undergoing sacrectomy for oncologic resection between April 2013 and April 2020 OUTCOME MEASURES: Perioperative complications, hospital length of stay, non-home discharge, 30-day readmission, and 30-day reoperation METHODS: Details were gathered about tumor pathology and morphology, surgery performed, baseline medical comorbidities, preoperative lab data, and patient demographics. Stepwise multivariable regressions were conducted to identify independent risk factors of perioperative outcomes while evaluating predictive accuracy.

Results: 57 sacral tumor patients were included (mean age 55.5±13.0 years; 60% female). The complication, non-home discharge, 30-day readmission, and 30-day reoperation rates were 39%, 56%, 16%, and 14%, respectively. Independent predictors of perioperative complications included ASA>2 (OR=10.7; 95%CI [1.3, 86.0]; p=0.026), radicular pain (OR=10.9; p=0.014), platelet count (OR=0.989 per 10³/μL; p=0.049), and instrumentation (OR=10.7; p=0.009). Independent predictors of length of stay included iliac vessel involvement (β=15.8; p=0.005), larger tumor volume (β=0.027 per cm³; p<0.001), a staged procedure (β=10.0; p=0.018), and S1 nerve root sacrifice (OR=15.8; p=.011). The optimal model predictive of non-home discharge included bilateral S3-S5 or higher nerve root sacrifice (OR=3.9; p=0.054), instrumentation (OR=8.6; p=0.005), and vertical rectus abdominis musculocutaneous flap closure (OR=5.3; p=0.067). 30-day readmission was independently predicted by history of chronic kidney disease (OR=26.7; p=0.021), radicular pain (OR=8.1; p=0.039), and preoperative saddle anesthesia (OR=12.6; p=0.026). All multivariable models achieved good discrimination (AUC>0.8 and R>0.7).

Conclusion: Clinical and operative factors were important predictors of complications and 30-day readmission, while tumor-related and operative factors accounted for most of the variability in length of stay and non-home discharge.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.spinee.2021.05.004DOI Listing
May 2021

Commentary: External Validation of the R2eD AVM Score to Predict the Likelihood of Rupture Presentation of Brain Arteriovenous Malformations.

Neurosurgery 2021 07;89(2):E109-E111

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

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyab151DOI Listing
July 2021

Web-Based Calculator Predicts Surgical-Site Infection After Thoracolumbar Spine Surgery.

World Neurosurg 2021 07 30;151:e571-e578. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Surgical-site infection (SSI) after spine surgery leads to increased length of stay, reoperation, and worse patient quality of life. We sought to develop a web-based calculator that computes an individual's risk of a wound infection following thoracolumbar spine surgery.

Methods: We performed a retrospective review of consecutive patients undergoing elective degenerative thoracolumbar spine surgery at a tertiary-care institution between January 2016 and December 2018. Patients who developed SSI requiring reoperation were identified. Regression analysis was performed and model performance was assessed using receiver operating curve analysis to derive an area under the curve. Bootstrapping was performed to check for overfitting, and a Hosmer-Lemeshow test was employed to evaluate goodness-of-fit and model calibration.

Results: In total, 1259 patients were identified; 73% were index operations. The overall infection rate was 2.7%, and significant predictors of SSI included female sex (odds ratio [OR] 3.0), greater body mass index (OR 1.1), active smoking (OR 2.8), worse American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status (OR 2.1), and greater surgical invasiveness (OR 1.1). The prediction model had an optimism-corrected area under the curve of 0.81. A web-based calculator was created: https://jhuspine2.shinyapps.io/Wound_Infection_Calculator/.

Conclusions: In this pilot study, we developed a model and simple web-based calculator to predict a patient's individualized risk of SSI after thoracolumbar spine surgery. This tool has a predictive accuracy of 83%. Through further multi-institutional validation studies, this tool has the potential to alert both patients and providers of an individual's SSI risk to improve informed consent, mitigate risk factors, and ultimately drive down rates of SSIs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2021.04.086DOI Listing
July 2021

Monocyte-based inflammatory indices predict outcomes following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Neurosurg Rev 2021 Apr 10. Epub 2021 Apr 10.

Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 600 North Wolfe Street, Phipps Building, Suite 102, Baltimore, MD, 21287, USA.

The contribution of specific immune cell populations to the post-hemorrhagic inflammatory response in aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) and correlations with clinical outcomes, such as vasospasm and functional status, remains unclear. We aimed to compare the predictive value of leukocyte ratios that include monocytes as compared to the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) in aSAH. A prospectively accrued database of consecutive patients presenting to our institution with aSAH between January 2013 and December 2018 was used. Patients with signs and symptoms of infection (day 1-3) were excluded. Admission values of the NLR, monocyte-neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (M-NLR), and lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratio (LMR) were calculated. Associations with functional status, the primary outcome, and vasospasm were evaluated using univariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses. In the cohort of 234 patients with aSAH, the M-NLR and LMR, but not the NLR, were significantly associated with poor functional status (modified Rankin scale > 2) at 12-18 months following discharge (p = 0.001, p = 0.023, p = 0.161, respectively). The area under the curve for predicting poor functional status was significantly lower for the NLR (0.543) compared with the M-NLR (0.603, p = 0.024) and LMR (0.608, p = 0.040). The M-NLR (OR = 1.01 [1.01-1.02]) and LMR (OR = 0.88 [0.78-0.99]) were independently associated with poor functional status while controlling for age, hypertension, Fisher grade, and baseline clinical status. The LMR was significantly associated with vasospasm (OR = 0.84 [0.70-0.99]) while adjusting for age, hypertension, Fisher grade, aneurysm size, and current smoking. Inflammatory indices that incorporate monocytes (e.g., M-NLR and LMR), but not those that include only neutrophils, predict outcomes after aSAH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10143-021-01525-1DOI Listing
April 2021

Hemorrhage Following Complete Arteriovenous Malformation Resection With No Detectable Recurrence: Insights From a 27-Year Registry.

Neurosurgery 2021 07;89(2):212-219

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

Background: Although recurrence and de novo formation of arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) have been reported following complete resection, the occurrence of hemorrhage in the same location of an AVM with no detectable lesion (lesion-negative hemorrhage) has not been described after microsurgery.

Objective: To characterize the incidence and properties of lesion-negative hemorrhage following complete microsurgical resection.

Methods: A prospectively maintained registry of AVM patients seen at our institution between 1990 and 2017 was used. Microsurgically treated patients were selected, and the incidence of a lesion-negative hemorrhage was calculated and described with a Kaplan-Meier curve. Baseline characteristics as well as functional outcome at last follow-up were compared between patients with and without a lesion-negative hemorrhage.

Results: From a total of 789 AVM patients, 619 (79%) were treated, and 210 out of 619 patients (34%) underwent microsurgery with or without preoperative embolization or radiosurgery. The microsurgically treated cohort was followed up for a mean of 6.1 ± 3.0 yr after surgery with 5 (2.4%) patients experiencing postresection lesion-negative hemorrhage (3.9 per 1000 person-years) at an average of 8.6 ± 9.0 yr following surgery. Follow-up angiograms after hemorrhage (up to 2 mo posthemorrhage) confirmed the absence of a recurrent or de novo AVM in all cases. All patients with a lesion-negative hemorrhage initially presented with rupture before resection (Fisher P = .066; log-rank P = .057). The occurrence of a lesion-negative hemorrhage was significantly associated with worse modified Rankin scale scores at last follow-up (P = .031).

Conclusion: A lesion-negative hemorrhage can occur following complete microsurgical resection in up to 2.4% of patients. Exploration of possible underlying causes is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyab104DOI Listing
July 2021

Application of unruptured aneurysm scoring systems to a cohort of ruptured aneurysms: are we underestimating rupture risk?

Neurosurg Rev 2021 Apr 2. Epub 2021 Apr 2.

Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1800 Orleans Street, Sheikh Zayed Tower 6115C, Baltimore, MD, 21287, USA.

The predictive values of current risk stratification scales such as the Unruptured Intracranial Aneurysm Treatment Score (UIATS) and the PHASES score are debatable. We evaluated these scores using a cohort of ruptured intracranial aneurysms to simulate their management recommendations had the exact same patients presented prior to rupture. A prospectively maintained database of ruptured saccular aneurysm patients presenting to our institution was used. The PHASES score was calculated for 992 consecutive patients presenting between January 2002 and December 2018, and the UIATS was calculated for 266 consecutive patients presenting between January 2013 and December 2018. A shorter period was selected for the UIATS cohort given the larger number of variables required for calculation. Clinical outcomes were compared between UIATS-recommended "observation" aneurysms and all other aneurysms. Out of 992 ruptured aneurysms, 54% had a low PHASES score (≤5). Out of the 266 ruptured aneurysms, UIATS recommendations were as follows: 68 (26%) "observation," 97 (36%) "treatment," and 101 (38%) "non-definitive." The UIATS conservative group of patients developed more SAH-related complications (78% vs. 65%, p=0.043), had a higher rate of non-home discharge (74% vs. 46%, p<0.001), and had a greater incidence of poor functional status (modified Rankin scale >2) after 12-18 months (68% vs. 51%, p=0.014). Current predictive scoring systems for unruptured aneurysms may underestimate future rupture risk and lead to more conservative management strategies in some patients. Patients that would have been recommended for conservative therapy were more likely to have a worse outcome after rupture.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10143-021-01523-3DOI Listing
April 2021

Utility of prediction model score: a proposed tool to standardize the performance and generalizability of clinical predictive models based on systematic review.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Feb 26:1-9. Epub 2021 Feb 26.

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

Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the characteristics and performance of current prediction models in the fields of spine metastasis and degenerative spine disease to create a scoring system that allows direct comparison of the prediction models.

Methods: A systematic search of PubMed and Embase was performed to identify relevant studies that included either the proposal of a prediction model or an external validation of a previously proposed prediction model with 1-year outcomes. Characteristics of the original study and discriminative performance of external validations were then assigned points based on thresholds from the overall cohort.

Results: Nine prediction models were included in the spine metastasis category, while 6 prediction models were included in the degenerative spine category. After assigning the proposed utility of prediction model score to the spine metastasis prediction models, only 1 reached the grade of excellent, while 2 were graded as good, 3 as fair, and 3 as poor. Of the 6 included degenerative spine models, 1 reached the excellent grade, while 3 studies were graded as good, 1 as fair, and 1 as poor.

Conclusions: As interest in utilizing predictive analytics in spine surgery increases, there is a concomitant increase in the number of published prediction models that differ in methodology and performance. Prior to applying these models to patient care, these models must be evaluated. To begin addressing this issue, the authors proposed a grading system that compares these models based on various metrics related to their original design as well as internal and external validation. Ultimately, this may hopefully aid clinicians in determining the relative validity and usability of a given model.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.8.SPINE20963DOI Listing
February 2021

Patient-specific prediction model for clinical and quality-of-life outcomes after lumbar spine surgery.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Jan 29:1-9. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

2Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Cleveland.

Objective: Patient demographics, comorbidities, and baseline quality of life (QOL) are major contributors to postoperative outcomes. The frequency and cost of lumbar spine surgery has been increasing, with controversy revolving around optimal management strategies and outcome predictors. The goal of this study was to generate predictive nomograms and a clinical calculator for postoperative clinical and QOL outcomes following lumbar spine surgery for degenerative disease.

Methods: Patients undergoing lumbar spine surgery for degenerative disease at a single tertiary care institution between June 2009 and December 2012 were retrospectively reviewed. Nomograms and an online calculator were modeled based on patient demographics, comorbidities, presenting symptoms and duration of symptoms, indication for surgery, type and levels of surgery, and baseline preoperative QOL scores. Outcomes included postoperative emergency department (ED) visit or readmission within 30 days, reoperation within 90 days, and 1-year changes in the EuroQOL-5D (EQ-5D) score. Bootstrapping was used for internal validation.

Results: A total of 2996 lumbar surgeries were identified. Thirty-day ED visits were seen in 7%, 30-day readmission in 12%, 90-day reoperation in 3%, and improvement in EQ-5D at 1 year that exceeded the minimum clinically important difference in 56%. Concordance indices for the models predicting ED visits, readmission, reoperation, and dichotomous 1-year improvement in EQ-5D were 0.63, 0.66, 0.73, and 0.84, respectively. Important predictors of clinical outcomes included age, body mass index, Charlson Comorbidity Index, indication for surgery, preoperative duration of symptoms, and the type (and number of levels) of surgery. A web-based calculator was created, which can be accessed here: https://riskcalc.org/PatientsEligibleForLumbarSpineSurgery/.

Conclusions: The prediction tools derived from this study constitute important adjuncts to clinical decision-making that can offer patients undergoing lumbar spine surgery realistic and personalized expectations of postoperative outcome. They may also aid physicians in surgical planning, referrals, and counseling to ultimately lead to improved patient experience and outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.8.SPINE20577DOI Listing
January 2021

Aging Patient Population With Ruptured Aneurysms: Trend Over 28 Years.

Neurosurgery 2021 02;88(3):658-665

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

Background: Given increasing life expectancy in the United States and worldwide, the proportion of elderly patients affected by aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) would be expected to increase.

Objective: To determine whether an aging trend exists in the population of aSAH patients presenting to our institution over a 28-yr period.

Methods: A prospectively maintained database of consecutive patients presenting to our institution with subarachnoid hemorrhage between January 1991 and December 2018 was utilized. The 28-yr period was categorized into 4 successive 7-yr quarter intervals. The age of patients was compared among these intervals, and yearly trends were derived using linear regression.

Results: The cohort consisted of 1671 ruptured aneurysm patients with a mean age of 52.8 yr (standard deviation = 15.0 yr). Over the progressive 7-yr time intervals during the 28-yr period, there was an approximately 4-fold increase in the proportion of patients aged 80 yr or above (P < .001) and an increase in mean patient age from 51.2 to 54.6 yr (P = .002). Independent of this trend but along the same lines, there was a 29% decrease in the proportion of younger patients (<50 yr) from 49% to 35%. On linear regression, there was 1-yr increase in mean patient age per 5 calendar years (P < .001).

Conclusion: Analyses of aSAH patients demonstrate an increase in patient age over time with a considerable rise in the proportion of octogenarian patients and a decrease in patients younger than 50 yr. This aging phenomenon presents a challenge to the continued improvement in outcomes of aSAH patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyaa494DOI Listing
February 2021

Predicting postoperative quality-of-life outcomes in patients with metastatic spine disease: who benefits?

J Neurosurg Spine 2020 Dec 18:1-7. Epub 2020 Dec 18.

Symptomatic spinal metastasis occurs in around 10% of all cancer patients, 5%-10% of whom will require operative management. While postoperative survival has been extensively evaluated, postoperative health-related quality-of-life (HRQOL) outcomes have remained relatively understudied. Available tools that measure HRQOL are heterogeneous and may emphasize different aspects of HRQOL. The authors of this paper recommend the use of the EQ-5D and Spine Oncology Study Group Outcomes Questionnaire (SOSGOQ), given their extensive validation, to capture the QOL effects of systemic disease and spine metastases. Recent studies have identified preoperative QOL, baseline functional status, and neurological function as potential predictors of postoperative QOL outcomes, but heterogeneity across studies limits the ability to derive meaningful conclusions from the data. Future development of a valid and reliable prognostic model will likely require the application of a standardized protocol in the context of a multicenter study design.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.7.SPINE201136DOI Listing
December 2020

Predicting nonroutine discharge in patients undergoing surgery for vertebral column tumors.

J Neurosurg Spine 2020 Nov 20:1-10. Epub 2020 Nov 20.

Objective: More than 8000 patients are treated annually for vertebral column tumors, of whom roughly two-thirds will be discharged to an inpatient facility (nonroutine discharge). Nonroutine discharge is associated with increased care costs as well as delays in discharge and poorer patient outcomes. In this study, the authors sought to develop a prediction model of nonroutine discharge in the population of vertebral column tumor patients.

Methods: Patients treated for primary or metastatic vertebral column tumors at a single comprehensive cancer center were identified for inclusion. Data were gathered regarding surgical procedure, patient demographics, insurance status, and medical comorbidities. Frailty was assessed using the modified 5-item Frailty Index (mFI-5) and medical complexity was assessed using the modified Charlson Comorbidity Index (mCCI). Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify independent predictors of nonroutine discharge, and multivariable linear regression was used to identify predictors of prolonged length of stay (LOS). The discharge model was internally validated using 1000 bootstrapped samples.

Results: The authors identified 350 patients (mean age 57.0 ± 13.6 years, 53.1% male, and 67.1% treated for metastatic vs primary disease). Significant predictors of prolonged LOS included higher mCCI score (β = 0.74; p = 0.026), higher serum absolute neutrophil count (β = 0.35; p = 0.001), lower hematocrit (β = -0.34; p = 0.001), use of a staged operation (β = 4.99; p < 0.001), occurrence of postoperative pulmonary embolism (β = 3.93; p = 0.004), and surgical site infection (β = 9.93; p < 0.001). Significant predictors of nonroutine discharge included emergency admission (OR 3.09; p = 0.001), higher mFI-5 score (OR 1.90; p = 0.001), lower serum albumin level (OR 0.43 per g/dL; p < 0.001), and operations with multiple stages (OR 4.10; p < 0.001). The resulting statistical model was deployed as a web-based calculator (https://jhuspine4.shinyapps.io/Nonroutine_Discharge_Tumor/).

Conclusions: The authors found that nonroutine discharge of patients with surgically treated vertebral column tumors was predicted by emergency admission, increased frailty, lower serum albumin level, and staged surgical procedures. The resulting web-based calculator tool may be useful clinically to aid in discharge planning for spinal oncology patients by preoperatively identifying patients likely to require placement in an inpatient facility postoperatively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.6.SPINE201024DOI Listing
November 2020

A clinical calculator for predicting intraoperative blood loss and transfusion risk in spine tumor patients.

Spine J 2021 02 30;21(2):302-311. Epub 2020 Sep 30.

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

Background Context: Surgery for vertebral column tumors is commonly associated with intraoperative blood loss (IOBL) exceeding 2 liters and the need for transfusion of allogeneic blood products. Transfusion of allogeneic blood, while necessary, is not benign, and has been associated with increased rates of wound complication, venous thromboembolism, delirium, and death.

Purpose: To develop a prediction tool capable of predicting IOBL and risk of requiring allogeneic transfusion in patients undergoing surgery for vertebral column tumors.

Study Design/setting: Retrospective, single-center study.

Patient Sample: Consecutive series of 274 patients undergoing 350 unique operations for primary or metastatic spinal column tumors over a 46-month period at a comprehensive cancer center OUTCOME MEASURES: IOBL (in mL), use of intraoperative blood products, and intraoperative blood products transfused.

Methods: We identified IOBL and transfusions, along with demographic data, preoperative laboratory data, and surgical procedures performed. Independent predictors of IOBL and transfusion risk were identified using multivariable regression.

Results: Mean age at surgery was 57.0±13.6 years, 53.1% were male, and 67.1% were treated for metastatic lesions. Independent predictors of IOBL included en bloc resection (p<.001), surgical invasiveness (β=25.43 per point; p<0.001), and preoperative albumin (β=-244.86 per g/dL; p=0.011). Predictors of transfusion risk included preoperative hematocrit (odds ratio [OR]=0.88 per %; 95% confidence interval [CI, 0.84, 0.93]; p<0.001), preoperative MCHgb (OR=0.88 per pg; 95% CI [0.78, 1.00]; p=0.048), preoperative red cell distribution width (OR=1.32 per %; 95% CI [1.13, 1.55]; p<0.001), en bloc resection (OR=3.17; 95%CI [1.33, 7.54]; p=0.009), and surgical invasiveness (OR=1.08 per point; [1.06; 1.11]; p<0.001). The transfusion model showed a good fit of the data with an optimism-corrected area under the curve of 0.819. A freely available, web-based calculator was developed for the transfusion risk model (https://jhuspine3.shinyapps.io/TRUST/).

Conclusions: Here we present the first clinical calculator for intraoperative blood loss and transfusion risk in patients being treated for primary or metastatic vertebral column tumors. Surgical invasiveness and preoperative microcytic anemia most strongly predict transfusion risk. The resultant calculators may prove clinically useful for surgeons counseling patients about their individual risk of requiring allogeneic transfusion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.spinee.2020.09.011DOI Listing
February 2021

Emergency Department Visits Following Suboccipital Decompression for Adult Chiari Malformation Type I.

World Neurosurg 2020 12 18;144:e789-e796. Epub 2020 Sep 18.

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

Background: Postoperative emergency department (ED) visits following suboccipital decompression in Chiari malformation type I (CM-1) patients are not well described. We sought to evaluate the magnitude, etiology, and significance of postoperative ED service utilization in adult CM-1 patients at a tertiary referral center.

Methods: A prospectively maintained database of CM-1 patients seen at our institution between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2019 was used. ED visits occurring within 30 days after surgery were tracked for postoperative patients, while comparing clinical, imaging, and operative characteristics between patients with and without an ED visit. Clinical improvement at last follow-up was also compared between both groups of patients in a univariable and multivariable analysis using the Chicago Chiari Outcome Scale (CCOS).

Results: In 175 surgically treated patients, 44 (25%) visited an ED in the 1-month period after surgery. The most common reason for seeking care was isolated headache (41%), and concentration disturbance at presentation was the only factor significantly associated with a postoperative ED visit (P = 0.023). The occurrence of a postoperative ED visit was independently associated with a lower chance of clinical improvement at last follow-up (adjusted odds ratio of CCOS ≥13 = 0.35, P = 0.021; adjusted odds ratio of CCOS ≥14 = 0.38, P = 0.016).

Conclusions: Adult CM-1 patients undergoing surgery at a tertiary referral center have an elevated rate of postoperative ED visits, which are mostly due to pain-related complaints. Such visits are hard to predict but are associated with worse long-term clinical outcome. Interventions that decrease the magnitude of postoperative ED service utilization are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.09.068DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7500401PMC
December 2020

To operate, or not to operate? Narrative review of the role of survival predictors in patient selection for operative management of patients with metastatic spine disease.

J Neurosurg Spine 2020 Sep 11:1-15. Epub 2020 Sep 11.

Accurate prediction of patient survival is an essential component of the preoperative evaluation of patients with spinal metastases. Over the past quarter of a century, a number of predictors have been developed, although none have been accurate enough to be instituted as a staple of clinical practice. However, recently more comprehensive survival calculators have been published that make use of larger data sets and machine learning to predict postoperative survival among patients with spine metastases. Given the glut of calculators that have been published, the authors sought to perform a narrative review of the current literature, highlighting existing calculators along with the strengths and weaknesses of each. In doing so, they identify two "generations" of scoring systems-a first generation based on a priori factor weighting and a second generation comprising predictive tools that are developed using advanced statistical modeling and are focused on clinical deployment. In spite of recent advances, the authors found that most predictors have only a moderate ability to explain variation in patient survival. Second-generation models have a greater prognostic accuracy relative to first-generation scoring systems, but most still require external validation. Given this, it seems that there are two outstanding goals for these survival predictors, foremost being external validation of current calculators in multicenter prospective cohorts, as the majority have been developed from, and internally validated within, the same single-institution data sets. Lastly, current predictors should be modified to incorporate advances in targeted systemic therapy and radiotherapy, which have been heretofore largely ignored.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.6.SPINE20707DOI Listing
September 2020

Assessing underlying bone quality in spine surgery patients: a narrative review of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and alternatives.

Spine J 2021 02 2;21(2):321-331. Epub 2020 Sep 2.

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

Poor bone quality and low bone mineral density (BMD) have been previously tied to higher rates of postoperative mechanical complications in patients undergoing spinal fusion. These include higher rates of proximal junctional kyphosis, screw pullout, pseudoarthrosis, and interbody subsidence. For these reasons, accurate preoperative assessment of a patient's underlying bone quality is paramount for all elective procedures. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is currently considered to be the gold standard for assessing BMD. However, a growing body of research has suggested that in vivo assessments of BMD using DXA are inaccurate and have, at best, moderate correlations to postoperative mechanical complications. Consequently, there have been investigations into using alternative methods for assessing in vivo bone quality, including using computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) volumes that are commonly obtained as part of surgical evaluation. Here we review the data regarding the accuracy of DXA for the evaluation of spine bone quality and describe the alternative imaging modalities currently under investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.spinee.2020.08.020DOI Listing
February 2021

The F2RaD Score: A Novel Prediction Score and Calculator Tool to Identify Patients at Risk of Postoperative C5 Palsy.

Oper Neurosurg (Hagerstown) 2020 10;19(5):582-588

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

Background: Postoperative C5 palsy is a debilitating complication following posterior cervical decompression.

Objective: To create a simple clinical risk score predicting the occurrence of C5 palsy.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all patients who underwent posterior cervical decompressions between 2007 and 2017. Data was randomly split into training and validation datasets. Multivariable analysis was performed to construct the model from the training dataset. A scoring system was developed based on the model coefficients and a web-based calculator was deployed.

Results: The cohort consisted of 415 patients, of which 65 (16%) developed C5 palsy. The optimal model consisted of: mean C4/5 foraminal diameter (odds ratio [OR] = 9.1 for lowest quartile compared to highest quartile), preoperative C5 radiculopathy (OR = 3.5), and dexterity loss (OR = 2.9). The receiver operating characteristic yielded an area under the curve of 0.757 and 0.706 in the training and validation datasets, respectively. Every characteristic was worth 1 point except the lowest quartile of mean C4/5 foraminal diameter, which was worth 2 points, and the factors were summarized by the acronym F2RaD. The median predicted probability of C5 palsy increased from 2% in patients with a score of 0 to 70% in patients with a score of 4. The calculator can be accessed on https://jhuspine2.shinyapps.io/FRADscore/.

Conclusion: This study yielded a simplified scoring system and clinical calculator that predicts the occurrence of C5 palsy. Individualized risk prediction for patients may facilitate better understanding of the risks and benefits for an operation, and better prepare them for this possible adverse outcome. Furthermore, modifying the surgical plan in high-risk patients may possibly improve outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ons/opaa243DOI Listing
October 2020

Intracerebral and subarachnoid hemorrhage in pregnancy.

Handb Clin Neurol 2020 ;172:33-50

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

Maternal stroke occurs in around 34 out of every 100,000 deliveries and is responsible for around 5%-12% of all maternal deaths. It is most commonly hemorrhagic, and women are at highest risk for developing pregnancy-related hemorrhage during the early postpartum period through 6 weeks following the delivery. The most common causes of hemorrhagic stroke in pregnant patients are arteriovenous malformations and cerebral aneurysms. Management is similar to that for acute hemorrhagic stroke in the nonpregnant population with standard use of computed tomography and judicious utilization of intracranial vessel imaging and contrast. The optimal delivery method is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and cesarean delivery is not always required. As most current studies are limited by retrospective design, relatively small sample sizes, and heterogeneous study term definitions, strong and comprehensive evidence-based guidelines on the management of acute hemorrhagic stroke in pregnant patients are still lacking. In the future, multicenter registries and prospective studies with uniform definitions will help improve management strategies in this complex patient population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-444-64240-0.00002-7DOI Listing
June 2021

The Effects of Postoperative Neurological Deficits on Survival in Patients With Single Brain Metastasis.

Oper Neurosurg (Hagerstown) 2020 Nov;19(6):628-634

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

Background: The prognosis for brain metastasis is poor, and surgical resection is part of the standard of care for these patients as it has been shown to improve median overall survival. Development of neurological deficits after surgical resection has been associated with worsened outcomes in patients with glioblastoma. The effect of postoperative neurological deficits on survival in patients with single brain metastasis has not been studied to date.

Objective: To evaluate the association between postoperative neurological deficits and median overall survival.

Methods: A single-institution retrospective cohort study was performed on all patients with single brain metastasis undergoing surgical resection by a single neurosurgeon.

Results: A total of 121 patients met the inclusion criteria for this study. Among them 61% of patients presented with a preoperative deficit, and 26% of patients had a new postoperative deficit. However, most postoperative deficits resolved and only 3.3% of patients developed a new permanent postoperative deficit. Median overall survival in patients with a new postoperative deficit was 2.4 mo, whereas mOS in patients without a postoperative deficit was 12.6 mo (P < .0001).

Conclusion: This study suggests that a new neurological deficit is associated with worsened outcomes after surgical resection of a single brain metastasis. This finding has potential implications for patient selection and counseling as the patients most likely to benefit from surgical resection are the patients who are most likely to have resolution of a preoperative deficit.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ons/opaa224DOI Listing
November 2020

Commentary: Clinical Course of Unilateral Moyamoya Disease.

Neurosurgery 2020 Jul 25. Epub 2020 Jul 25.

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

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyaa293DOI Listing
July 2020

Management of unruptured intracranial aneurysms: correlation of UIATS, ELAPSS, and PHASES with referral center practice.

Neurosurg Rev 2021 Jun 22;44(3):1625-1633. Epub 2020 Jul 22.

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

Concordance between the Unruptured Intracranial Aneurysm Treatment Score (UIATS), Earlier Subarachnoid Hemorrhage, Location, Age, Population, Size, Shape (ELAPSS) score, and Population, Hypertension, Age, Size, Earlier Subarachnoid Hemorrhage, Site (PHASES) score with real-world management decisions in unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs) remains unclear, especially in current practice. This study aimed to investigate this concordance, while developing an optimal model predictive of recent decision practices at a quaternary referral center. A prospective database of patients presenting with UIAs to our institution from January 1 to December 31, 2018, was used. Concordance between the scores and real-world management decisions on every UIA was assessed. Complications and length of stay (LOS) were compared between aneurysms in the UIATS-recommended treatment and observation groups. A subgroup analysis of concordance was also conducted among junior and senior surgeons. An optimal logistic regression model predictive of real-world decisions was also derived. The cohort consisted of 198 patients with 271 UIAs, of which 42% were treated. The UIATS demonstrated good concordance with an AUC of 0.765. Of the aneurysms in the UIATS-recommended "observation" group, 22% were discordantly treated. The ELAPSS score demonstrated good discrimination (AUC = 0.793), unlike the PHASES score (AUC = 0.579). Endovascular treatment rates, complications, and LOS were similar between aneurysms in the UIATS-recommended treatment and observation groups. Similar concordance was obtained among junior and senior surgeons. The optimal predictive model consisted of several significantly associated variables and had an AUC of 0.942. Cerebrovascular specialists may be treating aneurysms slightly more than these scores would recommend, independently of years in practice. Wide variation still exists in management practices of UIAs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10143-020-01356-6DOI Listing
June 2021

Family History in Chiari Malformation Type I: Presentation and Outcome.

World Neurosurg 2020 10 9;142:e350-e356. Epub 2020 Jul 9.

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

Background: Some patients with Chiari malformation type I (CM-1) present with a positive family history of CM-1, the significance of which remains unknown. We aimed to study whether family history affects the clinical presentation characteristics and surgical outcome of adult patients with CM-1.

Methods: A database of adult patients with CM-1 presenting between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2018 was used. Presenting characteristics were compared between patients with and without a family history (first, second, or third degree) of CM-1. Among surgically treated patients, perioperative and long-term outcomes, with favorable outcome defined as a Chiari Outcome Scale score ≥14, were compared between patients with and without CM-1 family history. All patients completed at least 6 months of postoperative follow-up.

Results: The database consisted of 233 adult patients with CM-1, 14 of whom (6%) had a positive family history. Presenting characteristics were comparable between patients with and without a positive family history. A total of 150 patients underwent suboccipital decompression, 12 of whom (8%) had a positive family history. After a mean follow-up of 1.9 years, patients with a family history of CM-1 were significantly less likely to achieve a favorable outcome (odds ratio, 0.22; 95% confidence interval, 0.06-0.78; P = 0.019) while controlling for several covariates. Post hoc analysis showed that the difference was most significant when looking at pain symptoms.

Conclusions: Presentation characteristics are comparable between patients with and without a family history of CM-1. Patients with a positive family history may be less likely to respond favorably to suboccipital decompression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.06.238DOI Listing
October 2020
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