Publications by authors named "Robert J Weil"

211 Publications

Operative duration and early outcomes in patients having a supratentorial craniotomy for brain tumor: A propensity matched analysis.

J Clin Neurosci 2021 Oct 28;92:207-214. Epub 2021 Aug 28.

Department of Neurosurgery, Southcoast Brain & Spine, North Dartmouth, MA, United States.

It is unclear how variations in operative duration affect outcomes after craniotomy for supratentorial brain tumor. We characterized three populations of patients with typical, shorter, and longer durations of craniotomy for supratentorial brain tumor using prospectively collected clinical data from 16,335 patients in the 2012-2018 ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database. We compared baseline characteristics including demographics, comorbidities, tumor type, and operative features. We used propensity score matching to attain covariate balance and logistic regression to assess odds of unfavorable outcomes. Patients with the shortest operation durations tended to be older, with fewer males, higher ASA class, more metastatic brain tumors, more medical comorbidities, and less use of intraoperative microscope or ultrasound. Patients with the longest operative durations tended to be younger, with more males, fewer non-white minorities, more obesity, lower ASA classes, more intrinsic brain tumors, fewer medical comorbidities, fewer emergency operations, and increased use of intraoperative microscope. For patients with the shortest operations, after matching, we observed significantly decreased odds of prolonged length-of-stay (LOS), major complication, any complication, reoperation, and discharge to a facility; however, there was a significantly increased risk of 30-day mortality. For patients with the longest operations, after matching, we observed significantly increased odds of prolonged LOS; minor, major, and any complication; discharge to facility; and 30-day reoperation. After matching to balance baseline characteristics, operative duration has implications for outcomes following craniotomy for supratentorial brain tumor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jocn.2021.08.005DOI Listing
October 2021

Early Outcomes After Carotid Endarterectomy and Carotid Artery Stenting: A Propensity-Matched Cohort Analysis.

Neurosurgery 2021 09;89(4):653-663

Department of Neurosurgery, Rhode Island Hospital, Lifespan Health System, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.

Background: Carotid endarterectomy (CEA) and carotid artery stenting (CAS) represent options to treat many patients with carotid stenosis. Although randomized trial data are plentiful, estimated rates of morbidity and mortality for both CEA and CAS have varied substantially.

Objective: To evaluate rates of adverse outcomes after CAS and CEA in a large national database.

Methods: We analyzed 84 191 adult patients undergoing elective, nonemergent CAS (n = 81 361) or CEA (n = 2830), from 2011 to 2018, in the American College of Surgeons' National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database. Odds of adverse outcomes (30-d rates of stroke, myocardial infarction (MI), cardiac arrest, prolonged length of stay (LOS), readmission, reoperation, and mortality) were evaluated in propensity-matched (n = 2821) cohorts through logistic regression.

Results: In the propensity-matched cohorts, CAS had increased odds of periprocedural stroke (odds ratio [OR] 1.97, 95% CI 1.32-2.95) and decreased odds of cardiac arrest (OR 0.33, 95% CI 0.13-0.84) and 30-d reoperation (OR 0.59, 95% CI 0.44-0.80) compared to CEA. Relative odds of MI, prolonged LOS, discharge to destination other than home, 30-d readmission, or 30-d mortality were statistically similar. In the unmatched patient population, rates of adverse outcomes with CEA were constant over time; however, for CAS, rates of stroke increased over time. In both the matched and unmatched patient cohorts, patients 70 yr and older had lower rates of post-procedural stroke with CEA, but not with CAS, compared to younger patients.

Conclusion: In a propensity-matched analysis of a large, prospectively collected, national, surgical database, CAS was associated with increased odds of periprocedural stroke, which increased over time. Rates of MI and death were not significantly different between the 2 procedures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyab250DOI Listing
September 2021

Outcomes after clipping and endovascular coiling for aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage among dual-eligible beneficiaries.

J Clin Neurosci 2021 Aug 24;90:48-55. Epub 2021 May 24.

Department of Neurosurgery, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI, USA.

Dual-eligible beneficiaries, individuals with both Medicare and Medicaid coverage, represent a high-cost and vulnerable population; however, literature regarding outcomes is sparse. We characterized outcomes in dual-eligible beneficiaries treated for aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) compared to Medicare only, Medicaid only, private insurance, and self-pay. A 10-year cross-sectional study of the National Inpatient Sample was conducted. Adult aSAH emergency admissions treated by neurosurgical clipping or endovascular coiling were included. Multivariable regression was used to adjust for confounders. A total of 57,666 patients met inclusion criteria. Dual-eligibles comprised 2.8% of admissions and were on average younger (62.4 years) than Medicare (70.0 years), older than all other groups, and had higher mean National Inpatient Sample-Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Severity Scores than all other groups (p ≤ 0.001). Among patients treated by clipping, dual-eligibles were less often discharged to home compared to Medicare (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 0.51, 95% CI = 0.30-0.87, p < 0.05) and all other insurance groups, p < 0.01. Likewise, those who received coiling were less often discharged to home compared to Medicaid (aOR = 0.41, 95% CI = 0.23-0.73), private (aOR = 0.42, 95% CI = 0.23-0.76) and self-pay patients (aOR = 0.24, 95% CI = 0.12-0.46). They also had increased odds of poor National Inpatient Sample-Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Outcome Measures compared to Medicaid, private, and self-pay patients, all p < 0.05. There were no differences in inpatient mortality or total complications. In conclusion, dual-eligible patients had higher aSAH severity scores, less often discharged home, and among patients who received coiling, dual-eligibles had increased odds of poor outcome. Dual-eligible patients with aSAH represent a vulnerable population that may benefit from targeted clinical and public policy initiatives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jocn.2021.05.008DOI Listing
August 2021

Short term outcomes associated with patients requiring blood transfusion following elective laminectomy and fusion for lumbar stenosis: A propensity-matched analysis.

J Clin Neurosci 2021 Aug 10;90:184-190. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Department of Neurosurgery, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI, United States.

Perioperative blood transfusion has been associated with poor outcomes but the impacts of transfusion after fusion for lumbar stenosis have not been well-described. We assessed this effect in a large cohort of patients from 2012 to 2018 in the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP). We evaluated baseline characteristics including demographics, comorbidities, hematocrit, and operative characteristics. We generated propensity scores using baseline characteristics and patients were matched to approximate randomization. We assessed odds of 30-day outcomes including prolonged length-of-stay (LOS), complications, discharge to facility, readmission, reoperation, and death using logistic regression. We identified 16,329 eligible patients who underwent lumbar fusion for stenosis; 1,926 (11.8%) received a transfusion. Before matching, there were multiple differences in baseline covariates including age, gender, BMI, ASA class, medical comorbidities, hematocrit, coagulation indices, platelets, operative time, fusion technique, number of levels fused, and osteotomy. However, after matching, no significant differences remained. In the matched cohorts, transfusion was associated with increased prolonged LOS (OR 1.66, 95% CI 1.45-1.91, p < 0.001), minor complication (OR 1.60, 95% CI 1.20-2.12, p = 0.001), major complication (OR 1.51, 95% CI 1.16-1.98, p = 0.003), any complication (OR 1.54, 95% CI 1.24-1.92, p < 0.001), discharge to facility (OR 1.70, 95% CI 1.48-1.95, p < 0.001), 30-day readmission (OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.23-1.99, p < 0.001), and 30-day reoperation (OR 1.85, 95% CI 1.35-2.53, p < 0.001). Although transfusion is performed based on perceived clinical need, this study contributes to growing evidence that it is important to balance the risks of perioperative blood transfusion with its benefits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jocn.2021.05.061DOI Listing
August 2021

Outcomes of infratentorial cranial surgery for tumor resection in older patients: An analysis of the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program.

Surg Neurol Int 2021 8;12:144. Epub 2021 Apr 8.

Department of Neurosurgery, Rhode Island Hospital, Rhode Island, United States.

Background: Poorer outcomes for infratentorial tumor resection have been reported. There is a lack of large multicenter analyses describing infratentorial surgery outcomes in older patients. We characterized outcomes in patients aged ≥65 years undergoing infratentorial cranial surgery.

Methods: The National Surgical Quality Improvement Project database was queried from 2012 to 2018 for patients ≥18 years undergoing elective infratentorial cranial surgery for tumor resection. Patients were grouped into 65-74 years, ≥75 years, and 18-64 years cohorts. Multivariable regressions compared outcome measures.

Results: Of 2212 patients, 28.3% were ≥65 years, of whom 24.8% were ≥75 years. Both older subpopulations had worse American Society of Anesthesiologists classification compared to controls ( < 0.01) and more comorbidities. Patients 65-74 and ≥75 years had higher rates of major complication (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 1.77, 95% CI = 1.13-2.79 and aOR = 3.44, 95% CI = 1.96-6.02, respectively), prolonged length of stay (LOS) (aOR = 1.89, 95% CI = 1.15-3.12 and aOR = 3.00, 95% CI = 1.65-5.44, respectively), and were more likely to be discharged to a location other than home (aOR = 2.43, 95% CI =1.73-3.4 and aOR = 3.41, 95% CI = 2.18-5.33, respectively) relative to controls. Patients ≥75 had higher rates of readmission (aOR = 1.86, 95% CI = 1.13-3.08) and mortality (aOR = 3.28, 95% CI = 1.21-8.89) at 30 days.

Conclusion: Patients ≥65 years experienced more complications, prolonged LOS, and were less often discharged home than adults <65 years. Patients ≥75 years had higher rates of 30-day readmission and mortality. There is a need for careful preoperative optimization in older patients undergoing infratentorial tumor cranial surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.25259/SNI_25_2021DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8088538PMC
April 2021

Urinary Tract Infection after Elective Spine Surgery: Timing, Predictive Factors, and Outcomes.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2021 Mar;46(5):337-346

Department of Neurosurgery, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI.

Study Design: Retrospective review of prospectively collected data.

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate risk factors associated with the timing of urinary tract infection (UTI) after elective spine surgery, and to determine whether postoperative UTI timing affects short-term outcomes.

Summary Of Background Data: Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common post-surgical complication; however, the predominant timing, location, and potential differential effects have not been carefully studied.

Methods: We analyzed elective spine surgery patients from 2012 to 2018 in the ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP). We grouped patients with postoperative UTI by day of onset relative to discharge, to create cohorts of patients who developed inpatient UTI and post-discharge UTI. We compared both UTI cohorts with a control (no UTI) population and with each other to identify differences in baseline characteristics including demographic, comorbidity and operative factors. We performed multivariate logistic regression to identify predictors of UTI in each cohort and to assess adjusted risks of poor outcomes associated with UTI timing.

Results: A total of 289,121 patients met inclusion criteria and 0.88% developed UTI (n = 2553). Only 31.6% of UTIs occurred before discharge (n = 806), with 68.4% occurring after discharge (n = 1747). The inpatient UTI cohort had significantly longer operative time, more fusion procedures, more posterior procedures, and more procedures involving the lumbar levels than the post-discharge cohort. Predictors of inpatient UTI included procedure type, spine region, and approach. Predictors of post-discharge UTI included length-of-stay and discharge destination. Both UTI cohorts were significantly associated with sepsis; however, post-discharge UTI carried a higher odds (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 24.90, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 21.05-29.45, P < 0.001 vs. aOR = 14.31, 95% CI = 11.09-18.45, P < 0.001). Inpatient UTI was not associated with 30-day readmission, although post-discharge UTI was (aOR = 8.23, 95% CI = 7.36-9.20, P < 0.001). Conversely, inpatient UTI was associated with increased odds of 30-day mortality (aOR = 3.23, 95% CI = 1.62-6.41, P = 0.001), but post-discharge UTI was not.

Conclusion: Predictive factors and outcomes differ based on timing of UTI after elective spine surgery. Before discharge, procedure -specific details predict UTI, but after discharge they do not. These findings suggest that traditional thinking about UTI prevention may need modification.Level of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000003794DOI Listing
March 2021

The impact of hospital safety-net status on inpatient outcomes for brain tumor craniotomy: a 10-year nationwide analysis.

Neurooncol Adv 2021 Jan-Dec;3(1):vdaa167. Epub 2020 Dec 1.

Department of Neurosurgery, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.

Background: Outcome disparities have been documented at safety-net hospitals (SNHs), which disproportionately serve vulnerable patient populations. Using a nationwide retrospective cohort, we assessed inpatient outcomes following brain tumor craniotomy at SNHs in the United States.

Methods: We identified all craniotomy procedures in the National Inpatient Sample from 2002-2011 for brain tumors: glioma, metastasis, meningioma, and vestibular schwannoma. Safety-net burden was calculated as the number of Medicaid plus uninsured admissions divided by total admissions. Hospitals in the top quartile of burden were defined as SNHs. The association between SNH status and in-hospital mortality, discharge disposition, complications, hospital-acquired conditions (HACs), length of stay (LOS), and costs were assessed. Multivariate regression adjusted for patient, hospital, and severity characteristics.

Results: 304,719 admissions were analyzed. The most common subtype was glioma (43.8%). Of 1,206 unique hospitals, 242 were SNHs. SNH admissions were more likely to be non-white ( < .001), low income ( < .001), and have higher severity scores ( = .034). Mortality rates were higher at SNHs for metastasis admissions (odds ratio [OR] = 1.48, = .025), and SNHs had higher complication rates for meningioma (OR = 1.34, = .003) and all tumor types combined (OR = 1.17, = .034). However, there were no differences at SNHs for discharge disposition or HACs. LOS and hospital costs were elevated at SNHs for all subtypes, culminating in a 10% and 9% increase in LOS and costs for the overall population, respectively (all < .001).

Conclusions: SNHs demonstrated poorer inpatient outcomes for brain tumor craniotomy. Further analyses of the differences observed and potential interventions to ameliorate interhospital disparities are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/noajnl/vdaa167DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7813162PMC
December 2020

Pitfalls in Performing and Interpreting Inferior Petrosal Sinus Sampling: Personal Experience and Literature Review.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2021 04;106(5):e1953-e1967

Johns Hopkins University, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Context: Inferior petrosal sinus sampling (IPSS) helps differentiate the source of ACTH-dependent hypercortisolism in patients with inconclusive biochemical testing and imaging, and is considered the gold standard for distinguishing Cushing disease (CD) from ectopic ACTH syndrome. We present a comprehensive approach to interpreting IPSS results by examining several real cases.

Evidence Acquisition: We performed a comprehensive review of the IPSS literature using PubMed since IPSS was first described in 1977.

Evidence Synthesis: IPSS cannot be used to confirm the diagnosis of ACTH-dependent Cushing syndrome (CS). It is essential to establish ACTH-dependent hypercortisolism before the procedure. IPSS must be performed by an experienced interventional or neuroradiologist because successful sinus cannulation relies on operator experience. In patients with suspected cyclical CS, it is important to demonstrate the presence of hypercortisolism before IPSS. Concurrent measurement of IPS prolactin levels is useful to confirm adequate IPS venous efflux. This is essential in patients who lack an IPS-to-peripheral (IPS:P) ACTH gradient, suggesting an ectopic source. The prolactin-adjusted IPS:P ACTH ratio can improve differentiation between CD and ectopic ACTH syndrome when there is a lack of proper IPS venous efflux. In patients who have unilateral successful IPS cannulation, a contralateral source cannot be excluded. The value of the intersinus ACTH ratio to predict tumor lateralization may be improved using a prolactin-adjusted ACTH ratio, but this requires further evaluation.

Conclusion: A stepwise approach in performing and interpreting IPSS will provide clinicians with the best information from this important but delicate procedure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgab012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8599872PMC
April 2021

Early outcomes of supratentorial cranial surgery for tumor resection in older patients.

J Clin Neurosci 2021 Jan 17;83:88-95. Epub 2020 Dec 17.

Department of Neurosurgery, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.

With longevity increasing in the United States, more older individuals are presenting with supratentorial brain tumors. Despite improved perioperative management, there is persistent disparity in surgical resection rates among patients aged 65 years or older. We aim to assess the effects of advanced age (≥65 years) on 30-day outcomes in patients with supratentorial tumors who underwent craniotomy for supratentorial tumor resection. Data obtained in adults who underwent supratentorial tumor resections was extracted from the prospectively-collected American College of Surgeons: National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP; 2012-2018) database. Using multivariate regression, we compared odds of major and minor complications; prolonged length-of-stay (LOS); discharge anywhere other than home; and 30-day readmission, reoperation, and mortality rates between patients aged 18-64 years (the control cohort) and those 65-74 years or ≥75 years of age. Of the 14,234 patients who underwent craniotomy for supratentorial tumors and met inclusion criteria, 30.7% were ≥65 years of age; 71.4% of these were 65-74 years and 28.6% were ≥75 years old. Compared to the control group, both older subpopulations had more medical comorbidities. Both older subgroups had increased odds of major complications and prolonged LOS relative to the control group. Older patients had greater odds of mortality at 30 days. Advanced age, defined as ≥65 years, was significantly associated with higher odds of complications, prolonged LOS, and mortality within the 30-day post- operative period after adjusting for potential confounders. Age is one important consideration when prospectively risk-stratifying patients to minimize and mitigate suboptimal perioperative outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jocn.2020.11.022DOI Listing
January 2021

Frailty and outcomes after craniotomy for brain tumor.

J Clin Neurosci 2020 Nov 2;81:95-100. Epub 2020 Oct 2.

Department of Neurosurgery, Rhode Island Hospital, Lifespan Health System, Providence, RI 02903, USA.

Frailty has been associated with increased morbidity and mortality in a variety of surgical disciplines. Few data exist regarding the relationship of frailty with adverse outcomes in craniotomy for brain tumor resection. We assessed the relationship between frailty and the incidence of major post-operative complication, discharge destination other than home, 30-day readmission, and 30-day mortality after elective craniotomy for brain tumor resection. A retrospective cohort study was conducted on 20,333 adult patients undergoing elective craniotomy for tumor resection in the 2012-2018 ACS-NSQIP Participant Use File. Multivariate logistic regression was performed using all covariates deemed eligible through clinical and statistical significance. 6,249 patients (30.7%) were low-frailty and 2,148 patients (10.6%) were medium-to-high frailty. In multivariate logistic regression adjusting for age, gender, BMI, ASA classification, smoking status, dyspnea, significant pre-operative weight loss, chronic steroid use, bleeding disorder, tumor type, and operative time, low frailty was associated with increased adjusted odds ratio of major complication (1.41, 95% CI: 1.23-1.60, p < 0.001), discharge destination other than home (1.32, 95% CI: 1.20-1.46, p < 0.001), 30-day readmission (1.29, 95% CI: 1.15-1.44, p < 0.001), and 30-day mortality (1.87, 95% CI: 1.41-2.47, p < 0.001). Moderate-to-high frailty was also associated with increased adjusted odds of major complication (1.61, 95% CI: 1.35-1.92, p < 0.001), discharge destination other than home (1.80, 95% CI: 1.58-2.05), 30-day readmission (1.39, 95% CI: 1.19-1.62, p < 0.001), and 30-day mortality (2.42, 95% CI: 1.74-3.38, p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Frailty is associated with increased odds of major post-operative complication, discharge to destination other than home, 30-day readmission, and 30-day mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jocn.2020.09.002DOI Listing
November 2020

Frailty and Outcomes after Craniotomy or Craniectomy for Atraumatic Chronic Subdural Hematoma.

World Neurosurg 2021 01 13;145:e242-e251. Epub 2020 Oct 13.

Department of Neurosurgery, Rhode Island Hospital, Lifespan Health System, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.

Objective: Frailty is a measure of decreased physiologic reserve and has been associated with increased morbidity and mortality in a variety of surgical disciplines. No data exist regarding the relationship of frailty with adverse outcomes in craniotomy for chronic subdural evacuation. We assessed the relationship between frailty and the incidence of major postoperative complication, discharge destination other than home, 30-day readmission, and 30-day mortality after craniotomy for atraumatic subdural evacuation.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted on a population of 1647 adult patients undergoing craniotomy for evacuation of atraumatic subdural hematoma in the 2005-2018 American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database. Frailty was assessed using the modified frailty index (mFI-5). Multivariable logistic regression was performed using all covariates deemed eligible through clinical relevance and statistical significance.

Results: The overall rates of major complication (25.4%), discharge to destination other than home (49.8%), 30-day readmission (11.7%), and 30-day mortality (12.8%) in this analysis were high and rose with increasing frailty. In multivariable regression analyses, medium frailty (mFI-5 = 2) was associated with increased odds of major complication (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.64, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.03-2.63), discharge to destination other than home (aOR 2.04, 95% CI 1.38-3.02), and 30-day mortality (aOR 2.27, 95% CI 1.08-4.78). High frailty (mFI-5 >2) was associated with increased odds of 30-day mortality (aOR 2.85, 95% CI 1.13-7.14).

Conclusions: Preoperative frailty, as determined by mFI-5, is associated with increased odds of major postoperative complication, discharge to destination other than home, and 30-day mortality after craniotomy for chronic subdural hematoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.10.022DOI Listing
January 2021

Interhospital competition and hospital charges and costs for patients undergoing cranial neurosurgery.

J Neurosurg 2020 Oct 2:1-12. Epub 2020 Oct 2.

1The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island.

Objective: Research has documented significant growth in neurosurgical expenditures and practice consolidation. The authors evaluated the relationship between interhospital competition and inpatient charges or costs in patients undergoing cranial neurosurgery.

Methods: The authors identified all admissions in 2006 and 2009 from the National Inpatient Sample. Admissions were classified into 5 subspecialties: cerebrovascular, tumor, CSF diversion, neurotrauma, or functional. Hospital-specific interhospital competition levels were quantified using the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI), an economic metric ranging continuously from 0 (significant competition) to 1 (monopoly). Inpatient charges (hospital billing) were multiplied with reported cost-to-charge ratios to calculate costs (actual resource use). Multivariate regressions were used to assess the association between HHI and inpatient charges or costs separately, controlling for 17 patient, hospital, severity, and economic factors. The reported β-coefficients reflect percentage changes in charges or costs (e.g., β-coefficient = 1.06 denotes a +6% change). All results correspond to a standardized -0.1 change in HHI (increase in competition).

Results: In total, 472,938 nationwide admissions for cranial neurosurgery treated at 896 unique hospitals met inclusion criteria. Hospital HHIs ranged from 0.099 to 0.724 (mean 0.298 ± 0.105). Hospitals in more competitive markets had greater charge/cost markups (β-coefficient = 1.10, p < 0.001) and area wage indices (β-coefficient = 1.04, p < 0.001). Between 2006 and 2009, average neurosurgical charges and costs rose significantly ($62,098 to $77,812, p < 0.001; $21,385 to $22,389, p < 0.001, respectively). Increased interhospital competition was associated with greater charges for all admissions (β-coefficient = 1.07, p < 0.001) as well as cerebrovascular (β-coefficient = 1.08, p < 0.001), tumor (β-coefficient = 1.05, p = 0.039), CSF diversion (β-coefficient = 1.08, p < 0.001), neurotrauma (β-coefficient = 1.07, p < 0.001), and functional neurosurgery (β-coefficient = 1.11, p = 0.037) admissions. However, no significant associations were observed between HHI and costs, except for CSF diversion surgery (β-coefficient = 1.03, p = 0.021). Increased competition was not associated with important clinical outcomes, such as inpatient mortality, favorable discharge disposition, or complication rates, except for lower mortality for brain tumors (OR 0.78, p = 0.026), but was related to greater length of stay for all admissions (β-coefficient = 1.06, p < 0.001). For a sensitivity analysis adjusting for outcomes, all findings for charges and costs remained the same.

Conclusions: Hospitals in more competitive markets exhibited higher charges for admissions of patients undergoing an in-hospital cranial procedure. Despite this, interhospital competition was not associated with increased inpatient costs except for CSF diversion surgery. There was no corresponding improvement in outcomes with increased competition, with the exception of a potential survival benefit for brain tumor surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.6.JNS20732DOI Listing
October 2020

Sepsis after elective neurosurgery: Incidence, outcomes, and predictive factors.

J Clin Neurosci 2020 Aug 3;78:53-59. Epub 2020 Jul 3.

Department of Neurosurgery, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI, United States.

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition resulting from systemic infection, with mortality rates approaching 30%. Most neurological surgeries are now performed electively, which permits medical optimization preoperatively. We performed a retrospective cohort analysis of 122,466 adult elective neurosurgical patients from 2012 to 2018 in the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database. To select for a medically optimized population, patients were included if they arrived from home on the day of surgery, were not pregnant or puerperium, and had no documented evidence of preexisting infection. We analyzed demographic, comorbidity, and operative information; performed multivariate logistic regression to explore factors predictive of postoperative sepsis; and evaluated outcomes for patients who developed sepsis. Overall, 0.87% of patients developed postoperative sepsis (n = 1,067). The rate of sepsis was higher in the cranial subpopulation (1.21%; n = 330) and lower in the spinal subpopulation (0.77%; n = 733). The overall sepsis cohort was older, had more males, was more functionally dependent, had longer operation durations, and had higher rates of medical comorbidities. Minority race and smoking were not associated with sepsis. The sepsis cohort fared worse than the control cohort across all outcome measures, including prolonged length-of-stay (≥90 percentile), discharge anywhere but home, 30-day readmission, 30-day reoperation, and 30-day mortality. Results for the cranial and spine subpopulations follow similar trends. In summary, sepsis in the elective neurosurgical population is an uncommon but devastating cause of excess morbidity and mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jocn.2020.06.015DOI Listing
August 2020

Perioperative glucocorticoids - replacing old ideas.

Authors:
Robert J Weil

Nat Rev Endocrinol 2020 05;16(5):261-262

Lifespan Physician Group, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41574-020-0342-zDOI Listing
May 2020

Surgeon specialty and patient outcomes in carotid endarterectomy.

J Neurosurg 2018 08;131(2):387-396

5National Clinical Enterprise, Catholic Health Initiatives, Englewood, Colorado.

Objective: The goal of this study was to compare outcomes of carotid endarterectomy performed by neurological, general, and vascular surgeons.

Methods: The authors identified 80,475 patients who underwent carotid endarterectomy between 2006 and 2015 in the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program, a prospectively collected, national clinical database with established reproducibility and validity. Nine hundred forty-three patients were operated on by a neurosurgeon; 75,649 by a vascular surgeon; and 3734 by a general surgeon. Preoperative and intraoperative characteristics and 30-day outcomes were stratified by the surgeon's primary specialty. Using propensity scores, comprising pre- and intraoperative characteristics as well as procedure and diagnostic codes, the authors matched 203 neurosurgery (NS) patients to 203 vascular surgery (VS) patients and 203 NS patients to 203 general surgery (GS) patients. No pre- or intraoperative factors were significantly different between specialties in the matched sample. Regular logistic regression and conditional logistic regression were used to predict postoperative complications in the full sample and in the matched sample.

Results: In the complete population sample, NS patients, when compared to patients of general and vascular surgeons, were less likely to be admitted from home and more likely to have carotid artery occlusion or stenosis with cerebral infarction, to be a current smoker, to have had recent chemo- or radiotherapy, to have surgery under general anesthesia, to undergo multiple procedures, and to have longer surgery times. In unadjusted analyses, NS patients were more likely to experience major complications (NS vs VS: odds ratio 1.3, 95% CI 1.1-1.6; NS vs GS: odds ratio 1.3, 95% CI 1.0-1.7); minor complications (NS vs VS: odds ratio 2.9, 95% CI 2.0-4.1; NS vs GS: odds ratio 2.7, 95% CI 1.7-4.2); intra- or postoperative transfusions (NS vs VS: odds ratio 1.6, 95% CI 1.4-1.9; NS vs GS: odds ratio 1.9, 95% CI 1.6-2.3); prolonged hospitalization (NS vs VS: odds ratio 3.0, 95% CI 2.6-3.5; NS vs GS: odds ratio 2.6, 95% CI 2.2-3.0); and discharge to skilled care facilities (NS vs VS: odds ratio 2.8, 95% CI 2.3-3.4; NS vs GS: odds ratio 3.1, 95% CI 2.4-4.1). In adjusted, propensity-matched analyses, however, patients' outcome with carotid endarterectomy performed by NS was comparable with those completed by GS and VS.

Conclusions: Patients who undergo carotid endarterectomy performed by a neurosurgeon tend to have a greater preoperative disease burden than do those treated by a general or vascular surgeon, which contributes significantly to more morbid postoperative courses. In patients matched carefully on the basis of health status at the time of surgery and intraoperative variables that affect results, patients' outcomes after carotid endarterectomy do not appear to depend on the attending surgeon's primary specialty.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2018.2.JNS173014DOI Listing
August 2018

Expression of LC3B and FIP200/Atg17 in brain metastases of breast cancer.

J Neurooncol 2018 Nov 9;140(2):237-248. Epub 2018 Aug 9.

Department of Cancer Biology, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Avenue, NB40, Cleveland, OH, 44195, USA.

Background: Macroautophagy/autophagy is considered to play key roles in tumor cell evasion of therapy and establishment of metastases in breast cancer. High expression of LC3, a residual autophagy marker, in primary breast tumors has been associated with metastatic disease and poor outcome. FIP200/Atg17, a multi-functional pro-survival molecule required for autophagy, has been implicated in brain metastases in experimental models. However, expression of these proteins has not been examined in brain metastases from patients with breast cancer.

Methods: In this retrospective study, specimens from 44 patients with brain metastases of infiltrating ductal carcinoma of the breast (IDC), unpaired samples from 52 patients with primary IDC (primary-BC) and 16 matched-paired samples were analyzed for LC3 puncta, expression of FIP200/Atg17, and p62 staining.

Results: LC3-puncta tumor cells and FIP200/Atg17 expression were detected in greater than 90% of brain metastases but there were considerable intra- and inter-tumor differences in expression levels. High numbers of LC3-puncta tumor cells in brain metastases correlated with a significantly shorter survival time in triple-negative breast cancer. FIP200/Atg17 protein levels were significantly higher in metastases that subsequently recurred following therapy. The percentages of LC3 puncta tumor cells and FIP200/Atg17 protein expression levels, but not mRNA levels, were significantly higher in metastases than primary-BC. Meta-analysis of gene expression datasets revealed a significant correlation between higher FIP200(RB1CC1)/Atg17 mRNA levels in primary-BC tumors and shorter disease-free survival.

Conclusions: These results support assessments of precision medicine-guided targeting of autophagy in treatment of brain metastases in breast cancer patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11060-018-2959-5DOI Listing
November 2018

Total and free cortisol levels during 1 μg, 25 μg, and 250 μg cosyntropin stimulation tests compared to insulin tolerance test: results of a randomized, prospective, pilot study.

Endocrine 2017 Sep 20;57(3):388-393. Epub 2017 Jul 20.

Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH, 44195, USA.

Purpose: The appropriate cosyntropin dose during cosyntropin stimulation tests remains uncertain. We conducted a prospective, randomized pilot study to compare 1 μg IV low dose cosyntropin test, 25 μg IM medium dose cosyntropin test, and 250 μg IM standard dose cosyntropin test to evaluate secondary adrenal insufficiency. Insulin tolerance test was used as the gold standard.

Method: The study included patients with hypothalamic/pituitary disease (n  = 10) with at least one pituitary axis deficiency other than ACTH deficiency and controls (n  = 12). All tests were done in random order. Sensitivity and specificity were calculated for total cortisol and serum free cortisol cut-off levels during cosyntropin stimulation tests.

Results: The median (range) age and F/M sex ratios for patients and controls were 54 years (23-62), 2/8, and 33 years (21-51), 6/6, respectively. The best total cortisol cut-off during low dose cosyntropin test, medium dose cosyntropin test, 30 min and 60 min standard dose cosyntropin test were 14.6 μg/dL (100% sensitivity & specificity), 18.7 μg/dL (100% sensitivity, 88% specificity), 16.1 (100% sensitivity & specificity), and 19.5 μg/dL (100% sensitivity & specificity), respectively. There was no difference in the ROC curve for cortisol values between the cosyntropin stimulation tests (p  > 0.41). Using a cortisol cut-off of 18 μg/dL during cosyntropin stimulation tests, only cortisol level at 30 min during standard dose cosyntropin test provided discrimination similar to insulin tolerance test. The best peak free cortisol cut-off levels were 1 μg/dL for insulin tolerance test, 0.9 μg/dL for low dose cosyntropin test, 0.9 μg/dL for medium dose cosyntropin test, and 0.9 μg/dL and 1.3 μg/dL for 30 min and 60 min standard dose cosyntropin test, respectively.

Conclusion: All cosyntropin stimulation tests had excellent correlations with insulin tolerance test, when appropriate cut-offs were used. This pilot study does not suggest an advantage in using 25 μg cosyntropin dose during the cosyntropin stimulation test. A serum free cortisol cut-off of 0.9 μg/dL may be used as pass criterion during low dose cosyntropin test, standard dose cosyntropin test cosyntropin test, and 30 min standard dose cosyntropin test.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12020-017-1371-9DOI Listing
September 2017

Trends in Inpatient Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty Volume in the United States, 2005-2011: Assessing the Impact of Randomized Controlled Trials.

Clin Spine Surg 2017 04;30(3):E276-E282

*Department of Neurosurgery, Neurological Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH †Department of Medical Informatics & Clinical Epidemiology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR ‡Center for Spine Health §Department of Orthopaedic Surgery ∥Rose Ella Burkhardt Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH.

Study Design: Retrospective analysis of the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, 2005-2011.

Objective: To identify trends in procedural volume and rates in the time period surrounding publication of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that examined the utility of vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty.

Summary Of Background Data: Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are frequently performed for vertebral compression fractures. Several RCTs have been published with conflicting outcomes regarding pain and quality of life compared with nonsurgical management and sham procedures. Four RCTs with discordant results were published in 2009.

Materials And Methods: The Nationwide Inpatient Sample provided longitudinal, retrospective data on United States' inpatients between 2005 and 2011. Inclusion was determined by a principal or secondary International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification code of 81.65 (percutaneous vertebroplasty) or 81.66 (percutaneous vertebral augmentation; "kyphoplasty"). No diagnoses were excluded. Years were stratified as "pre" (2005-2008) and "post" (2010-2011) in relation to the 4 RCTs published in 2009. Patient, hospital, and admission characteristics were compared using Pearson χ test.

Results: The estimated annual inpatient procedures performed decreased from 54,833 to 39,832 in the pre and post periods, respectively. The procedural rate for fractures decreased from 20.1% to 14.7% (P<0.0001). Patient and hospital demographics did not change considerably between the time periods. In the post period, weekend admissions increased (34.2% vs. 12.4%, P<0.0001), elective admissions decreased (21.4% vs. 40.0%, P<0.0001), routine discharge decreased (33.0% vs. 52.1%, P<0.0001), and encounters with ≥3 Elixhauser comorbidities increased (54.5% vs. 39.1%, P<0.0001).

Conclusions: The absolute rate of inpatient vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty procedures for fractures decreased 5% in the period (2010-2011) following the publication of 4 RCTs in 2009. The proportion of elective admissions and routine discharges decreased, possibly indicating a population with greater disease severity. Although our analysis cannot demonstrate a cause-and-effect relationship, the decreased inpatient volume and procedural rates surrounding the publication of sentinel negative RCTs is clearly observed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BSD.0000000000000207DOI Listing
April 2017

Surgical outcomes in patients with Cushing's disease: the Cleveland clinic experience.

Pituitary 2017 Aug;20(4):430-440

Department of Neurosurgery, the Neurological Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA.

Context: Transsphenoidal surgery (TSS) to resect a pituitary adenoma is considered first-line treatment for patients with Cushing's disease (CD). Early, post-operative remission rates >80% are expected for patients with a microadenoma (≤ 10 mm) visible on magnetic resonance (MR) imaging.

Objective: To report surgical outcomes and predictors of remission in a specialist center for patients with CD.

Patients And Methods: Clinical data was obtained from a prospective CD database in addition to review of all electronic medical, laboratory and surgical patient records. Patients who underwent their first TSS by one neurosurgeon between 2004 and 2013, and had a minimum 1 year follow up, were evaluated.

Results: One hundred and one consecutive patients with CD (73F, 28M) underwent TSS. Median (range) age and follow-up were 47 (15-87) and 4.33 (1-9.8) years, respectively. At surgery, 74 (73.2%) patients had a microadenoma, 27 a macroadenoma; six of the latter patients had a planned, subtotal resection to control neurological signs due to mass effect. Initial remission rates were: microadenoma, 89% (66/74); macroadenoma, 63% (17/27); and 81% (17/21) in those macroadenomas where complete surgical removal was anticipated. Initial non-remission occurred in 18 patients, ten macro- and eight microadenoma; six of 18 had residual disease on most recent follow up. Six (2 macro, 4 micro) of the 83 patients with initial remission have had late (>12 months) recurrence of hypercortisolism that required either repeat TSS or adjunctive therapy, three of whom have persistent hypercortisolism. Macroadenoma (p = 0.003) and tumor invasion beyond the pituitary and sella (p < 0.001) were associated with failure to obtain remission with the initial TSS and greater likelihood of late recurrence. Patients in whom no lesion was seen on neuroimaging had rates of initial remission (21/25 or 84%) and a similar late recurrence rate of 4% (1/25) in comparison with those with MR-visible microadenomas (3/49, or 6%).

Conclusions: A team-based approach, in a specialized pituitary center, can lead to initial and durable, long-term remission in patients with CD. The presence of a macroadenoma and tumor extension beyond the pituitary and sella were predictive of initial non-remission as well as risk of late recurrence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11102-017-0802-1DOI Listing
August 2017

Risk associated with perioperative red blood cell transfusion in cranial surgery.

Neurosurg Rev 2017 Oct 3;40(4):633-642. Epub 2017 Feb 3.

The Rose Ella Burkhardt Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center, and Department of Neurosurgery, The Neurological Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA.

We assessed the impact of intra- and postoperative RBC transfusion on postoperative morbidity and mortality in cranial surgery. A total of 8924 adult patients who underwent cranial surgery were identified in the 2006-2011 American College of Surgeons (ACS) National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database. Patients undergoing a biopsy, radiosurgery, or outpatient surgery were excluded. Propensity scores were calculated according to demographic variables, comorbidities, and preoperative laboratory values. Patients who had received RBC transfusion were matched to those who did not, by propensity score, preoperative hematocrit level, and by length of surgery, as an indirect measure of potential intraoperative blood loss. Logistic regression was used to predict adverse postoperative outcomes. A total of 625 (7%) patients were transfused with one or more units of packed RBCs. Upon matching, preoperative hematocrit, length of surgery, and emergency status were no longer different between transfused and non-transfused patients. RBC transfusion was associated with prolonged length of hospitalization (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.2-2.2), postoperative complications (OR 2.8, 95% CI 2.0-3.8), 30-day return to operation room (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.3-3.2), and 30-day mortality (OR 4.3, 95% CI 2.4-7.6). RBC transfusion is associated with substantive postoperative morbidity and mortality in patients undergoing both elective and emergency cranial surgery. These results suggest judicious use of transfusion in cranial surgery, consideration of alternative means of blood conservation, or pre-operative restorative strategies in patients undergoing elective surgery, when possible.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10143-017-0819-yDOI Listing
October 2017

Correlation of higher levels of soluble TNF-R1 with a shorter survival, independent of age, in recurrent glioblastoma.

J Neurooncol 2017 02 17;131(3):449-458. Epub 2016 Nov 17.

The Rose Ella Burkhardt Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center, Taussig Cancer Center, The Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA.

The circulating levels of soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor-1 (sTNF-R1) and sTNF-R2 are altered in numerous diseases, including several types of cancer. Correlations with the risk of progression in some cancers, as well as systemic manifestations of the disease and therapeutic side-effects, have been described. However, there is very little information on the levels of these soluble receptors in glioblastoma (GBM). Here, we report on an exploratory retrospective study of the levels of sTNF-Rs in the vascular circulation of patients with GBM. Banked samples were obtained from 112 GBM patients (66 untreated, newly-diagnosed patients and 46 with recurrent disease) from two institutions. The levels of sTNF-R1 in the plasma were significantly lower in patients with newly-diagnosed or recurrent GBM than apparently healthy individuals and correlated with the intensity of expression of TNF-R1 on the tumor-associated endothelial cells (ECs) in the corresponding biopsies. Elevated levels of sTNF-R1 in patients with recurrent, but not newly-diagnosed GBM, were significantly associated with a shorter survival, independent of age (p = 0.02) or steroid medication. In contrast, the levels of circulating sTNF-R2 were significantly higher in recurrent GBM than healthy individuals and there was no significant correlation with expression of TNF-R2 on the tumor-associated ECs or survival time. The results indicate that larger, prospective studies are warranted to determine the predictive value of the levels of sTNF-R1 in patients with recurrent GBM and the factors that regulate the levels of sTNF-Rs in the circulation in GBM patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11060-016-2319-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5352462PMC
February 2017

The Influence of Race on Short-term Outcomes After Laminectomy and/or Fusion Spine Surgery.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2017 Jan;42(1):34-41

Department of Neurosurgery, Geisinger Health System, Danville, PA.

Study Design: A retrospective cohort analysis of prospectively collected clinical data.

Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the effect of race on outcomes in patients undergoing elective laminectomy and/or fusion spine surgery.

Summary Of Background Data: Studies that have looked at the effect of race on spine surgery outcomes have failed to take into account baseline risk factors that may influence peri-operative outcomes.

Methods: We identified 48,493 adult patients who underwent elective spine surgery consisting of elective laminectomy and/or fusion, from 2006 to 2012, at hospitals participating in the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP), a prospectively collected, national clinical database with established reproducibility and validity. Pre- and intraoperative characteristics and 30-day outcomes were stratified by race. We used propensity scores to match African-American and Caucasian patients on all pre- and intraoperative factors, including by principal diagnosis leading to surgery as well as surgery performed. We used regular and conditional logistic regression to predict the effect of race on adverse postoperative outcomes in the full sample and matched sample.

Results: Caucasians comprised 82% of our sample. We found no differences in the incidence of pre- and intraoperative factors when comparing Caucasian patients with all minority patients, and only minimal increased odds for prolonged length of length of hospitalization (LOS) and discharge with continued care. However, African-American patients, who comprised 39% of our minority sample, had more preoperative comorbidities than Caucasian patients. Even after eliminating all differences between pre- and intraoperative factors between Caucasian and African-American patients, African-American patients continued to have LOS that was, on average, one day longer than Caucasian patients. African-American patients also had higher odds for major complications [odds ratio (OR) = 1.3; 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.1-1.6], and to be discharged requiring continued care (OR = 2.3; 95% CI 1.8-2.8).

Conclusion: African-American race is independently associated with prolonged LOS, major complications, and a need to be discharged with continued care in patients undergoing elective spine surgery.

Level Of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000001657DOI Listing
January 2017

Phase II trial of sunitinib as adjuvant therapy after stereotactic radiosurgery in patients with 1-3 newly diagnosed brain metastases.

J Neurooncol 2015 Sep 6;124(3):485-91. Epub 2015 Aug 6.

Neurological Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA.

Patients with 1-3 brain metastases (BM) often receive sterotactic radiosurgery (SRS) without whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT). SRS without WBRT carries a high rate of relapse in the central nervous system (CNS). This trial used sunitinib as an alternative to WBRT for post-SRS adjuvant therapy. Eligible patients with 1-3 newly diagnosed BM, RTOG RPA class 1-2, received sunitinib after SRS. Patients with controlled systemic disease were allowed to continue chemotherapy for their primary disease according to a list of published regimens (therapy + sunitinib) included in the protocol. Patients received sunitinib 37.5 or 50 mg/days 1-28 every 42 days until CNS progression. Neuropsychological testing and MRIs were obtained every two cycles. The primary endpoint was the rate of CNS progression at 6 months (PFS6) after SRS. Fourteen patients with a median age of 59 years were enrolled. Primary cancers included lung 43 %, breast 21 %, melanoma 14 %. Toxicity included grade 3 or higher fatigue in five patients and neutropenia in two patients. The CNS PFS6 and PFS12 were 43 ± 14 and 34 ± 14 %, respectively. Of the ten patients who completed >1 neurocognitive assessment, none showed cognitive decline. Sunitinib after SRS for 1-3 BM was well tolerated with a PFS6 of 43 %. The prevention of progressive brain metastasis after SRS requires the incorporation of chemotherapy regimens to control the patient's primary disease. Future trials should continue to explore the paradigm of secondary chemoprevention of BM after definitive local therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11060-015-1862-6DOI Listing
September 2015

PITUITARY MRI FINDINGS IN PATIENTS WITH PITUITARY AND ECTOPIC ACTH-DEPENDENT CUSHING SYNDROME: DOES A 6-MM PITUITARY TUMOR SIZE CUT-OFF VALUE EXCLUDE ECTOPIC ACTH SYNDROME?

Endocr Pract 2015 Oct 29;21(10):1098-103. Epub 2015 Jun 29.

Objective: Expert opinion and a consensus statement on Cushing syndrome (CS) indicate that in a patient with a clinical presentation and biochemical studies consistent with a pituitary etiology, the presence of a pituitary tumor ≥6 mm is highly suggestive of Cushing disease (CD). The purpose of the present study was to determine the optimal pituitary tumor size that can differentiate between patients with CD and ectopic adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) secretion (EAS) and obviate the need for inferior petrosal sinus sampling (IPSS).

Methods: We performed a retrospective study of 130 patients seen between 2000 and 2012 including 104 patients with CD and 26 patients with EAS.

Results: A pituitary lesion was reported in 6/26 (23%) patients with EAS and 71/104 (68.3%) patients with CD, with median (range) sizes of 5 mm (3-14) and 8 mm (2-31), respectively. All tumors in the EAS group measured ≤6 mm except for 1 that measured 14 mm. The presence of a pituitary tumor >6 mm in size had 40% sensitivity and 96% specificity for the diagnosis of CD. ACTH levels >209 pg/mL and serum potassium <2.7 mmol/L were found in patients with EAS. All patients with EAS had a 24-hour urine free cortisol (UFC) >3.4 times the upper limit of normal (×ULN) Conclusion: Pituitary incidentalomas as large as 14 mm in size can be seen in patients with EAS. However, the 6-mm tumor size cut-off value provided 96% specificity and may be a reasonable threshold to proceed with surgery without the need for IPSS when the biochemical data support a pituitary etiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4158/EP15662.ORDOI Listing
October 2015

Comparative Effectiveness Analysis of Treatment Options for Single Brain Metastasis.

World Neurosurg 2015 Nov 20;84(5):1316-32. Epub 2015 Jun 20.

Department of Neurosurgery, Geisinger Health System, Danville, Pennsylvania, USA.

Background: Brain metastases (BMs) occur in up to 30% of patients with cancer. Treatments include surgery, whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT), and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), alone or in combination. Although guidelines exist, data to inform individualized approaches to therapy remain sparse. We sought to compare semiquantitatively the effectiveness of various modalities in the treatment of single brain metastasis.

Methods: We performed a comparative effectiveness analysis (CEA) that integrated efficacy, cost, and quality of life (QoL) data for alternate BM treatments. Efficacy data were obtained from a comprehensive review of current literature. Cost estimates were based on publicly available data. QoL data included the Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) and other questionnaires. Six treatment strategies using combinations of surgery, WBRT, and SRS were compared with decision tree software.

Results: The clinical efficacy, cost, and QoL effects of each strategy were scored semiquantitatively. We constructed a model to integrate individual preferences regarding the relative importance of efficacy, QoL, and cost to provide personalized rankings of the effectiveness of each strategy.

Conclusion: The choice of strategy must be individualized for patients with a single BM. Our CEA and decision model combines empirical data with patient priorities to produce a ranking of alternate management strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2015.06.021DOI Listing
November 2015

National Incidence of Medication Error in Surgical Patients Before and After Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Duty-Hour Reform.

J Surg Educ 2015 Nov-Dec;72(6):1209-16. Epub 2015 Jun 15.

Department of Neurology, Epilepsy Center, Neurological Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio.

Objective: The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) established duty-hour regulations for accredited residency programs on July 1, 2003. It is unclear what changes occurred in the national incidence of medication errors in surgical patients before and after ACGME regulations.

Design: Patient and hospital characteristics for pre- and post-duty-hour reform were evaluated, comparing teaching and nonteaching hospitals. A difference-in-differences study design was used to assess the association between duty-hour reform and medication errors in teaching hospitals.

Setting: We used the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database, which consists of approximately annual 20% stratified sample of all the United States nonfederal hospital inpatient admissions.

Participants: A query of the database, including 4 years before (2000-2003) and 8 years after (2003-2011) the ACGME duty-hour reform of July 2003, was performed to extract surgical inpatient hospitalizations (N = 13,933,326). The years 2003 and 2004 were discarded in the analysis to allow for a wash-out period during duty-hour reform (though we still provide medication error rates).

Results: The Nationwide Inpatient Sample estimated the total national surgical inpatients (N = 135,092,013) in nonfederal hospitals during these time periods with 68,736,863 patients in teaching hospitals and 66,355,150 in nonteaching hospitals. Shortly after duty-hour reform (2004 and 2006), teaching hospitals had a statistically significant increase in rate of medication error (p = 0.019 and 0.006, respectively) when compared with nonteaching hospitals even after accounting for trends across all hospitals during this period. After 2007, no further statistically significant difference was noted.

Conclusions: After ACGME duty-hour reform, medication error rates increased in teaching hospitals, which diminished over time. This decrease in errors may be related to changes in training program structure to accommodate duty-hour reform.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsurg.2015.05.013DOI Listing
September 2016

Preoperative steroid use and the incidence of perioperative complications in patients undergoing craniotomy for definitive resection of a malignant brain tumor.

J Clin Neurosci 2015 Sep 12;22(9):1413-9. Epub 2015 Jun 12.

The Rose Ella Burkhardt Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center, Department of Neurosurgery, The Neurological Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA; Department of Neurosurgery, Geisinger Health System, Danville, PA, USA.

We studied the impact of preoperative steroids on 30 day morbidity and mortality of craniotomy for definitive resection of malignant brain tumors. Glucocorticoids are used to treat peritumoral edema in patients with malignant brain tumors, however, prolonged (⩾ 10 days) use of preoperative steroids as a risk factor for perioperative complications following resection of brain tumors has not been studied comprehensively. Therefore, we identified 4407 patients who underwent craniotomy to resect a malignant brain tumor between 2007 and 2012, who were reported in the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program, a prospectively collected clinical database. Metastatic brain tumors constituted 37.5% (n=1611) and primary malignant gliomas 62.5% (n=2796) of the study population. We used logistic regression to assess the association between preoperative steroid use and perioperative complications before and after 1:1 propensity score matching. Patients who received steroids constituted 22.8% of the population (n=1009). In the unmatched cohort, steroid use was associated with decreased length of hospitalization (odds ratio [OR] 0.7; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.6-0.8), however, the risk for readmission (OR 1.5; 95% CI 1.2-1.8) was increased. In the propensity score matched cohort (n=465), steroid use was not statistically associated with any adverse outcomes. Patients who received steroids were less likely to stay hospitalized for a protracted period of time, but were more likely to be readmitted after discharge following craniotomy. As an independent risk factor, preoperative steroid use was not associated with any observed perioperative complications. The findings of this study suggest that preoperative steroids do not independently compromise the short term outcome of craniotomy for resection of malignant brain tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jocn.2015.03.009DOI Listing
September 2015

National Trends and In-hospital Complication Rates in More Than 1600 Hemispherectomies From 1988 to 2010: A Nationwide Inpatient Sample Study.

Neurosurgery 2015 Aug;77(2):185-91; discussion 191

*Department of Neurosurgery, University of California Irvine Medical Center, Orange, California; ‡Department of Biostatistics, Flatiron Health, New York, New York; §Department of Neurosurgery, Neurological Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio; ¶Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio; ‖Geisinger Northeast and Department of Neurosurgery, Geisinger Health System, Danville, Pennsylvania; #Department of Neurology, Epilepsy Center, Neurological Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio.

Background: Anatomic and functional hemispherectomies are relatively infrequent and technically challenging. The literature is limited by small samples and single institution data.

Objective: We used the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) database to report on a large population of hemispherectomy patients and their in-hospital complication rates over a 23-year period.

Methods: Between 1988 and 2010, we identified 304 pediatric hospitalizations in the NIS database where hemispherectomy was performed. Using the NIS weighting scheme, this inferred an estimated 1611 hospitalizations nationwide during this time period. Descriptive statistics were calculated on this inferred sample for patient and hospital characteristics and stratified by the presence of in-hospital complications. The adjusted odds of in-hospital complications and nonroutine discharge were estimated using multivariable models.

Results: The mean age of the patients was 5.9 years; 46% were female, and 54% were white. In the inferred series, 909 hospitalizations (56%) encountered at least 1 in-hospital complication; 42% were surgery related, and 25% were related to the hospitalization itself. For every 1-year increase in age, there was a corresponding 8% increase in the odds of a nonroutine discharge, adjusting for other potential confounders (95% confidence interval: 1.01-1.16). The most common in-hospital complication was the need for a blood transfusion (30%), followed by meningitis (10%), hydrocephalus (8%), postoperative hematoma/stroke (8%), and adverse pulmonary event (8%). Thirty-three mortalities (2%) were inferred from this series.

Conclusion: This is the largest study to date examining hemispherectomy and associated in-hospital complication rates. This study supports early surgery in patients with medically intractable epilepsy and severe hemispheric disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1227/NEU.0000000000000815DOI Listing
August 2015

Pituitary tumor apoplexy.

J Clin Neurosci 2015 Jun 20;22(6):939-44. Epub 2015 Mar 20.

Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH, USA.

We review the etiology, investigations, management and outcomes of pituitary tumor apoplexy. Pituitary tumor apoplexy is a clinical syndrome which typically includes the acute onset of headache and/or visual disturbance, cranial nerve palsy and partial or complete endocrine dysfunction. It is associated with either infarction or hemorrhage of a pre-existing pituitary adenoma and is associated with significant morbidity and potential fatality. Not all patients will present with classic signs and symptoms, therefore it is pertinent to appreciate the clinical spectrum in which this condition can present.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jocn.2014.11.023DOI Listing
June 2015
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