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PLoS One ; 16(7): e0254958, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1331994


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic forced a reconsideration of surgical patient management in the setting of scarce resources and risk of viral transmission. Herein we assess the impact of implementing a protocol of more rigorous patient education, recovery room assessment for non-ICU admission, earlier mobilization and post-discharge communication for patients undergoing brain tumor surgery. METHODS: A case-control retrospective review was undertaken at a community hospital with a dedicated neurosurgery and otolaryngology team using minimally invasive surgical techniques, total intravenous anesthesia (TIVA) and early post-operative imaging protocols. All patients undergoing craniotomy or endoscopic endonasal removal of a brain, skull base or pituitary tumor were included during two non-overlapping periods: March 2019-January 2020 (pre-pandemic epoch) versus March 2020-January 2021 (pandemic epoch with streamlined care protocol implemented). Data collection included demographics, preoperative American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) status, tumor pathology, and tumor resection and remission rates. Primary outcomes were ICU utilization and hospital length of stay (LOS). Secondary outcomes were complications, readmissions and reoperations. FINDINGS: Of 295 patients, 163 patients were treated pre-pandemic (58% women, mean age 53.2±16 years) and 132 were treated during the pandemic (52% women, mean age 52.3±17 years). From pre-pandemic to pandemic, ICU utilization decreased from 92(54%) to 43(29%) of operations (p<0.001) and hospital LOS≤1 day increased from 21(12.2%) to 60(41.4%), p<0.001, respectively. For craniotomy cohort, median LOS was 2 days for both epochs; median ICU LOS decreased from 1 to 0 days (p<0.001), ICU use decreased from 73(80%) to 29(33%),(p<0.001). For endonasal cohort, median LOS decreased from 2 to 1 days; median ICU LOS was 0 days for both epochs; (p<0.001). There were no differences pre-pandemic versus pandemic in ASA scores, resection/remission rates, readmissions or reoperations. CONCLUSION: This experience suggests the COVID-19 pandemic provided an opportunity for implementing a brain tumor care protocol to facilitate safely decreasing ICU utilization and accelerating discharge home without an increase in complications, readmission or reoperations. More rigorous patient education, recovery room assessment for non-ICU admission, earlier mobilization and post-discharge communication, layered upon a foundation of minimally invasive surgery, TIVA anesthesia and early post-operative imaging are possible contributors to these favorable trends.

Brain Neoplasms/surgery , COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Case-Control Studies , Craniotomy/methods , Enhanced Recovery After Surgery , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Length of Stay , Male , Middle Aged , Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures/methods , Patient Discharge , Patient Readmission , Postoperative Complications/prevention & control , Postoperative Period , Reoperation/methods , Retrospective Studies
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry ; 91(8): 846-848, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-154812


BACKGROUND: Emergence of the novel corona virus (severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-CoV-2) in December 2019 has led to the COVID-19 pandemic. The extent of COVID-19 involvement in the central nervous system is not well established, and the presence or the absence of SARS-CoV-2 particles in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a topic of debate. CASE DESCRIPTION: We present two patients with COVID-19 and concurrent neurological symptoms. Our first patient is a 31-year-old man who had flu-like symptoms due to COVID-19 and later developed an acute-onset severe headache and loss of consciousness and was diagnosed with a Hunt and Hess grade 3 subarachnoid haemorrhage from a ruptured aneurysm. Our second patient is a 62-year-old woman who had an ischaemic stroke with massive haemorrhagic conversion requiring a decompressive hemicraniectomy. Both patients' CSF was repeatedly negative on real-time PCR analysis despite concurrent neurological disease. CONCLUSION: Our report shows that patients' CSF may be devoid of viral particles even when they test positive for COVID-19 on a nasal swab. Whether SARS-CoV-2 is present in CSF may depend on the systemic disease severity and the degree of the virus' nervous tissue tropism and should be examined in future studies.

Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/cerebrospinal fluid , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/cerebrospinal fluid , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Stroke/complications , Stroke/virology , Adult , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/cerebrospinal fluid