The LACE+ Index as a Predictor of 90-Day Supratentorial Tumor Surgery Outcomes

Neurosurgery 2020 DOI:10.1093/neuros/nyaa225

The LACE+ (Length of stay, Acuity of admission, Charlson Comorbidity Index [CCI] score, and Emergency department [ED] visits in the past 6 mo) index risk prediction tool has never been successfully tested in a neurosurgery population.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the ability of LACE+ to predict adverse outcomes after supratentorial brain tumor surgery.

METHODS: LACE+ scores were retrospectively calculated for all patients (n = 624) who underwent surgery for supratentorial tumors at the University of Pennsylvania Health System(2017-2019). Confounding variables were controlled with coarsened exact matching. The frequency of unplanned hospital readmission, ED visits, and death was compared for patients with different LACE+ score quartiles (Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4).

RESULTS: A total of 134 patients were matched between Q1 and Q4; 152 patients were matched between Q2 andQ4; and 192 patients were matched between Q3 and Q4. Patients with higher LACE+scores were significantly more likely to be readmitted within 90 d (90D) of discharge for Q1 vs Q4 (21.88% vs 46.88%, P = .005) and Q2 vs Q4 (27.03% vs 55.41%, P = .001). Patients with larger LACE+ scores also had significantly increased risk of 90D ED visits for Q1 vs Q4 (13.33% vs 30.00%, P = .027) and Q2 vs Q4 (22.54% vs 39.44%, P = .039). LACE+score also correlated with death within 90D of surgery forQ2 vsQ4 (2.63% vs 15.79%, P=.003) and with death at any point after surgery/during follow-up for Q1 vs Q4 (7.46% vs 28.36%, P = .002), Q2 vs Q4 (15.79% vs 31.58%, P = .011), and Q3 vs Q4 (18.75% vs 31.25%, P = .047).

CONCLUSION: LACE+ may be suitable for characterizing risk of certain perioperative events in a patient population undergoing supratentorial brain tumor resection.

Towards Evidence-Based Guidelines in Neurological Surgery


Neurological surgery practice is based on the science of balancing probabilities. A variety of clinical guidance documents have influenced how we collectively practice our art since the early 20th century. The quality of the science within these guidelines varies widely, as does their utility in positively shaping our practice.

The guidelines development process in neurological surgery has evolved significantly over the last 30 yr. Historically based in expert opinion, as a specialty we have increasingly relied on objective medical evidence to guide our clinical practice. We assessed the changing practice guidelines development process and the impact of scientifically robust guidelines on patient care.

The evolution of the guidelines development process in neurological surgery was chronicled. Several subspecialty guidelines were extracted and reviewed in detail. Their impact on practice patterns was evaluated. The importance of evidence-based research and practice guidelines development was discussed.

Evidence-based practice guidelines serve to chronicle multiple acceptable treatment options and help us move towards more standardized care for specific disease processes. Theyhelprefutefalse“standardsofcare.” Guidelines-basedcaresupportedbysolidmedical evidence has the potential to streamline patient care and improve patient outcomes. The guidelines development process identifies areas, issues, and strategies for which little medical evidence exists, as well as topics that need focused scientific investigation and future study.

The production of evidence-based practice recommendations is a vital part of furthering our specialty. Guidelines development advances our science, augments the resident education process, and protects our practice from undue external influence.

Interactive iBook-Based Patient Education in a NeuroTrauma Clinic

Neurosurgery 81:787–794, 2017

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability in the United States. Educational interventions may alleviate the burden of TBI for patients and their families. Interactive modalities that involve engagement with the educational material may enhance patient knowledge acquisition when compared to static text-based educational material.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the effects of educational interventions in the outpatient setting on self-reported patient knowledge, with a focus on iPad-based (Apple, Cupertino, California) interactive modules.

METHODS: Patients and family members presenting to a NeuroTrauma clinic at a tertiary care academic medical center completed a presurvey assessing baseline knowledge of TBI or concussion, depending on the diagnosis. Subjects then received either an interactive iBook (Apple) on TBI or concussion, or an informative pamphlet with identical information in text format. Subjects then completed a postsurvey prior to seeing the neurosurgeon.

RESULTS: All subjects (n = 152) significantly improved on self-reported knowledge measures following administration of either an iBook (Apple) or pamphlet (P < .01, 95% confidence interval [CI]). Subjects receiving the iBook (n = 122) performed significantly better on the postsurvey (P < .01, 95% CI), despite equivalent presurvey scores, when compared to those receiving pamphlets (n = 30). Lastly, patients preferred the iBook to pamphlets (P < .01, 95% CI).

CONCLUSION: Educational interventions in the outpatient NeuroTrauma setting led to significant improvement in self-reported measures of patient and family knowledge. This improved understanding may increase compliance with the neurosurgeon’s recommendations and may help reduce the potential anxiety and complications that arise following a TBI.