Prevalence of Schizophrenia in Idiopathic Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus

Neurosurgery 84:883–889, 2019

Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) is a progressive and potentially treatable neurodegenerative disease affecting elderly people, characterized by gait impairment and ventricular enlargement in brain imaging. Similar findings are seen in some patients with schizophrenia (SCZ).

OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of SCZ among patients suffering from probable or possible iNPH and the specific effects of comorbid SCZ on the outcome of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunting.

METHODS: All medical records of the 521 iNPH patients in the NPH registry were retrospectively analyzed from 1991 until 2017. The prevalence of comorbidity of SCZ was determined and compared to that of general aged (≥65 yr) population in Finland.

RESULTS: We identified a total of 16 (3.1%) iNPH patients suffering from comorbid SCZ. The prevalence of SCZ among the iNPH patients was significantly higher compared to the general population (3.1% vs 0.9%, P < .001). All iNPH patients with comorbid SCZ were CSF shunted and 12 (75%) had a clinically verified shunt response 3 to 12mo after the procedure. The CSF shunt response rate did not differ between patients with and without comorbid SCZ.

CONCLUSION: SCZ seems to occur 3 times more frequently among iNPH patients compared to the general aged population in Finland. The outcome of the treatment was not affected by comorbid SCZ and therefore iNPH patients suffering from comorbid SCZ should not be left untreated. These results merit validation in other populations. In addition, further research towards the potential connection between these chronic conditions is warranted.

Developing an Algorithm for Optimizing Care of Elderly Patients With Glioblastoma

Neurosurgery 82:64–75, 2018

Elderly patients with glioblastoma have an especially poor prognosis; optimizing their medical and surgical care remains of paramount importance.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate patient and treatment characteristics of elderly vs nonelderly patients and develop an algorithm to predict elderly patients’ survival.

METHODS: Retrospective analysis of 554 patients (mean age=60.8; 42.0% female) undergoing first glioblastoma resection or biopsy at our institution (2005-2011).

RESULTS: Of the 554 patients, 218 (39%) were elderly (≥65 yr). Compared with nonelderly, elderly patients were more likely to receive biopsy only (26% vs 16%), have ≥1 medical comorbidity (40% vs 20%), and develop postresection morbidity (eg, seizure, delirium; 25% vs 14%), and were less likely to receive temozolomide (TMZ) (78% vs 90%) and gross total resection (31% vs 45%). To predict benefit of resection in elderly patients (n = 161), we identified 5 factors known in the preoperative period that predicted survival in a multivariate analysis. We then assigned points to each (1 point: Charlson comorbidity score >0, subtotal resection, tumor >3 cm; 2 points: preoperative weakness, Charlson comorbidity score >1, tumor >5 cm, age >75 yr; 4 points: age >85 yr). Having 3 to 5 points (n = 78, 56%) was associated with decreased survival compared to 0 to 2 points (n = 41, 29%, 8.5 vs 16.9 mo; P = .001) and increased survival compared to 6 to 9 points (n = 20, 14%, 8.5 vs 4.5 mo; P < .001). Patients with 6 to 9 points did not survive significantly longer than elderly patients receiving biopsy only (n = 57, 4.5 vs 2.7 mo; P = .58).

CONCLUSION: Further optimization of the medical and surgical care of elderly glioblastoma patients may be achieved by providing more beneficial therapies while avoiding unnecessary resection in those not likely to receive benefit from this intervention.


Perioperative mortality after lumbar spinal fusion surgery: an analysis of epidemiology and risk factors

Eur Spine J (2012) 21:1633–1639 DOI 10.1007/s00586-012-2298-8

Study design Analysis of the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) from 1998 to 2008.

Objective To analyze the most recent available and nationally representative data for risk factors contributing to in-hospital mortality after primary lumbar spine fusion.

Summary of background data The total number of lumbar spine fusion surgeries has increased dramatically over the past decades. While the field of spine fusion surgery remains highly dynamic with changes in perioperative care constantly affecting patient care, recent data affecting rates and risk for perioperative mortality remain very limited.

Methods We obtained the NIS from the Hospital cost and utilization project. The impact of patient and health care system related demographics, including various comorbidities as well as postoperative complications on the outcome of in-hospital mortality after spine fusion were studied. Furthermore, we analyzed the timing of in-hospital mortality.

Results An estimated total of 1,288,496 primary posterior lumbar spine fusion procedures were performed in the US between 1998 and 2008. The average mortality rate for lumbar spine fusion surgery was 0.2 %. Independent risk factors for in-hospital mortality included advanced age, male gender, large hospital size, and emergency admission. Comorbidities associated with the highest in-hospital mortality after lumbar spine fusion surgery were coagulopathy, metastatic cancer, congestive heart failure and renal disease. Most lethal complications were cerebrovascular events, sepsis and pulmonary embolism. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the timing of death occurred relatively early in the in-hospital period with over half of fatalities occurring by postoperative day 9.

Conclusion This study provides nationally representative information on risk factors for and timing of perioperative mortality after primary lumbar spine fusion surgery. These data can be used to assess risk for this event and to develop targeted intervention to decrease such risk.

Patient comorbidity score predicting the incidence of perioperative complications: assessing the impact of comorbidities on complications in spine surgery

J Neurosurg Spine 16:37–43, 2012. DOI: 10.3171/2011.9.SPINE11283

Present attempts to control health care costs focus on reducing the incidence of complications and hospital-acquired conditions (HACs). One approach uses restriction or elimination of hospital payments for HACs. Present approaches assume that all HACs are created equal and that payment restrictions should be applied uniformly. Patient factors, and especially patient comorbidities, likely impact complication incidence. The relationship of patient comorbidities and complication incidence in spine surgery has not been prospectively reported.

METHODS: The authors conducted a prospective assessment of complications in spine surgery during a 6-month period; an independent auditor and a validated definition of perioperative complications were used. Initial demographics captured relevant patient comorbidities. The authors constructed a model of relative risk assessment based on the presence of a variety of comorbidities. They examined the impact of specific comorbidities and the cumulative effect of multiple comorbidities on complication incidence.

RESULTS: Two hundred forty-nine patients undergoing 259 procedures at a tertiary care facility were evaluated during the 6-month duration of the study. Eighty percent of the patients underwent fusion procedures. One hundred thirty patients (52.2%) experienced at least 1 complication, with major complications occurring in 21.4% and minor complications in 46.4% of the cohort. Major complications doubled the median duration of hospital stay, from 6 to 12 days in cervical spine patients and from 7 to 14 days in thoracolumbar spine patients. At least 1 comorbid condition was present in 86% of the patients. An increasing number of comorbidities strongly correlated with increased risk of major, minor, and any complications (p = 0.017, p < 0.0001, and p < 0.0001, respectively). Patient factors correlating with increased risk of specific complications included systemic malignancy and cardiac conditions other than hypertension.

CONCLUSIONS: Comorbidities significantly increase the risk of perioperative complications. An increasing number of comorbidities in an individual patient significantly increases the risk of a perioperative adverse event. Patient factors significantly impact the relative risk of HACs and perioperative complications.

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