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1.
J Pain Res ; 14: 2859-2891, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1417012

ABSTRACT

Purpose: The objective of the systematic review and meta-analysis is to evaluate the efficacy of radiofrequency neurotomy as a therapeutic lumbar facet joint intervention. Patients and Methods: Utilizing the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) checklist, a systematic review and meta-analysis was performed. A comprehensive literature search of multiple data sources from 1966 to September 2020 including manual searches of bibliography of known review articles was performed. The inclusion criteria were based on the selection of patients with chronic low back pain with diagnosis confirmed based on controlled diagnostic blocks and with the publication of at least 6 months of results of appropriate outcome parameters. Quality assessment of the trials was performed with Cochrane review criteria and interventional pain management techniques-quality appraisal of reliability and risk of bias assessment (IPM-QRB). The level of evidence of effectiveness is classified at five levels ranging from Level I to Level V. The primary outcome measure was a significant reduction in pain, eg, short term (up to 6 months) and long term (more than 6 months). The secondary outcome measure was an improvement in functional status. Results: A total of 12 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) met the inclusion criteria for evaluating the efficacy of lumbar radiofrequency neurotomy. Radiofrequency neurotomy showed Level II evidence for efficacy for both the short term and long term. Conclusion: This systematic review of the assessment of the efficacy of radiofrequency neurotomy in managing chronic low back pain was based on the inclusion of 12 RCTs with a diagnostic block and at least 6 months of follow-up results that showed Level II evidence for both short-term and long-term improvement.

2.
AJR Am J Roentgenol ; 217(4): 959-974, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1365501

ABSTRACT

Neurologic involvement is well-recognized in COVID-19. This article reviews the neuroimaging manifestations of COVID-19 on CT and MRI, presenting cases from the New York City metropolitan region encountered by the authors during the first surge of the pandemic. The most common neuroimaging manifestations are acute infarcts with large clot burden and intracranial hemorrhage, including microhemorrhages. However, a wide range of additional imaging patterns occur, including leukoencephalopathy, global hypoxic injury, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, cytotoxic lesions of the corpus callosum, olfactory bulb involvement, cranial nerve enhancement, and Guillain-Barré syndrome. The described CNS abnormalities largely represent secondary involvement from immune activation that leads to a prothrombotic state and cytokine storm; evidence for direct neuroinvasion is scant. Comorbidities such as hypertension, complications of prolonged illness and hospitalization, and associated supportive treatments also contribute to the CNS involvement in COVID-19. Routine long-term neurologic follow-up may be warranted, given emerging evidence of long-term microstructural and functional changes on brain imaging after COVID-19 recovery.


Subject(s)
Brain Diseases/complications , Brain Diseases/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/complications , Magnetic Resonance Imaging/methods , Neuroimaging/methods , Tomography, X-Ray Computed/methods , Adult , Brain/diagnostic imaging , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
3.
J Neurointerv Surg ; 13(8): 683-684, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1311174

Subject(s)
Spine , Humans
4.
J Neurointerv Surg ; 13(10): 863-864, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1276987
6.
Pain Ther ; 10(1): 269-286, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1130963

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the entire world and catapulted the United States into one of the deepest recessions in history. While this pandemic rages, the opioid crisis worsens. During this period, the pandemic has resulted in the decimation of most conventional medical services, including those of chronic pain management, with the exception of virtual care and telehealth. Many chronic pain patients have been impacted in numerous ways, with increases in cardiovascular disease, mental health problems, cognitive dysfunction, and early death. The epidemic has also resulted in severe economic and physiological consequences for providers. Drug deaths in America, which fell for the first time in 25 years in 2018, rose to record numbers in 2019 and are continuing to climb, worsened by the coronavirus pandemic. The opioid epidemic was already resurfacing with a 5% increase in overall deaths from 2018; however, the preliminary data show that prescription opioid deaths continued to decline, while at the same time deaths due to fentanyl, methamphetamine, and cocaine climbed, with some reductions in heroin deaths. The health tracker data also showed that along with an almost 88% decline in elective surgeries, pain-related prescriptions declined 15.1%. Despite increases in telehealth, outpatient services declined and only began returning towards normal at an extremely slow pace, accompanied by reduced productivity and increased practice costs. This review, therefore, emphasizes the devastating consequences of concurrent epidemics on chronic pain management and the need to develop best practice efforts to preserve access to treatment for chronic pain.

7.
Pain Physician ; 23(4S): S183-204, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-979309

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the pain and suffering of chronic pain patients due to stoppage of "elective" interventional pain management and office visits across the United States. The reopening of America and restarting of interventional techniques and elective surgical procedures has started. Unfortunately, with resurgence in some states, restrictions are once again being imposed. In addition, even during the Phase II and III of reopening, chronic pain patients and interventional pain physicians have faced difficulties because of the priority selection of elective surgical procedures.Chronic pain patients require high intensity care, specifically during a pandemic such as COVID-19. Consequently, it has become necessary to provide guidance for triaging interventional pain procedures, or related elective surgery restrictions during a pandemic. OBJECTIVES: The aim of these guidelines is to provide education and guidance for physicians, healthcare administrators, the public and patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our goal is to restore the opportunity to receive appropriate care for our patients who may benefit from interventional techniques. METHODS: The American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP) has created the COVID-19 Task Force in order to provide guidance for triaging interventional pain procedures or related elective surgery restrictions to provide appropriate access to interventional pain management (IPM) procedures in par with other elective surgical procedures. In developing the guidance, trustworthy standards and appropriate disclosures of conflicts of interest were applied with a section of a panel of experts from various regions, specialties, types of practices (private practice, community hospital and academic institutes) and groups. The literature pertaining to all aspects of COVID-19, specifically related to epidemiology, risk factors, complications, morbidity and mortality, and literature related to risk mitigation and stratification was reviewed. The evidence -- informed with the incorporation of the best available research and practice knowledge was utilized, instead of a simplified evidence-based approach. Consequently, these guidelines are considered evidence-informed with the incorporation of the best available research and practice knowledge. RESULTS: The Task Force defined the medical urgency of a case and developed an IPM acuity scale for elective IPM procedures with 3 tiers. These included urgent, emergency, and elective procedures. Examples of urgent and emergency procedures included new onset or exacerbation of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), acute trauma or acute exacerbation of degenerative or neurological disease resulting in impaired mobility and inability to perform activities of daily living. Examples include painful rib fractures affecting oxygenation and post-dural puncture headaches limiting the ability to sit upright, stand and walk. In addition, emergency procedures include procedures to treat any severe or debilitating disease that prevents the patient from carrying out activities of daily living. Elective procedures were considered as any condition that is stable and can be safely managed with alternatives. LIMITATIONS: COVID-19 continues to be an ongoing pandemic. When these recommendations were developed, different stages of reopening based on geographical regulations were in process. The pandemic continues to be dynamic creating every changing evidence-based guidance. Consequently, we provided evidence-informed guidance. CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges in IPM creating needless suffering for pain patients. Many IPM procedures cannot be indefinitely postponed without adverse consequences. Chronic pain exacerbations are associated with marked functional declines and risks with alternative treatment modalities. They must be treated with the concern that they deserve. Clinicians must assess patients, local healthcare resources, and weigh the risks and benefits of a procedure against the risks of suffering from disabling pain and exposure to the COVID-19 virus.


Subject(s)
Chronic Pain/surgery , Coronavirus Infections , Pain Management/methods , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Triage/methods , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Chronic Pain/classification , Elective Surgical Procedures/classification , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
8.
J Neurointerv Surg ; 12(11): 1049-1052, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-809207

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Academic physicians aim to provide clinical and surgical care to their patients while actively contributing to a growing body of scientific literature. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in procedural-based specialties across the United States witnessing a sharp decline in their clinical volume and surgical cases. OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of COVID-19 on neurosurgical, stroke neurology, and neurointerventional academic productivity. METHODS: The study compared the neurosurgical, stroke neurology, and neurointerventional academic output during the pandemic lockdown with the same time period in previous years. Editors from a sample of neurosurgical, stroke neurology, and neurointerventional journals provided the total number of original manuscript submissions, broken down by months, from the year 2016 to 2020. Manuscript submission was used as a surrogate metric for academic productivity. RESULTS: 8 journals were represented. The aggregated data from all eight journals as a whole showed that a combined average increase of 42.3% was observed on original submissions for 2020. As the average yearly percent increase using the 2016-2019 data for each journal exhibited a combined average increase of 11.2%, the rise in the yearly increase for 2020 in comparison was nearly fourfold. For the same journals in the same time period, the average percent of COVID-19 related publications from January to June of 2020 was 6.87%. CONCLUSION: There was a momentous increase in the number of original submissions for the year 2020, and its effects were uniformly experienced across all of our represented journals.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Efficiency , Neurology/statistics & numerical data , Neurosurgery/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Research/statistics & numerical data , Stroke/physiopathology , Stroke/surgery , Universities/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 , Humans , Neurosurgery/trends , Periodicals as Topic , Publishing , Quarantine/statistics & numerical data , Research/trends , Universities/trends
9.
Pain Physician ; 23(4S): S161-S182, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-777168

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Chronic pain patients require continuity of care even during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has drastically changed healthcare and other societal practices. The American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP) has created the COVID-ASIPP Risk Mitigation & Stratification (COVID-ARMS) Return to Practice Task Force in order to provide guidance for safe and strategic reopening. OBJECTIVES: The aims are to provide education and guidance for interventional pain specialists and their patients during the COVID-19 pandemic that minimizes COVID-related morbidity while allowing a return to interventional pain care. METHODS: The methodology utilized included the development of objectives and key questions with utilization of trustworthy standards, appropriate disclosures of conflicts of interest, as well as a panel of experts from various regions, specialities, and groups. The literature pertaining to all aspects of COVID-19, specifically related to epidemiology, risk factors, complications, morbidity and mortality, and literature related to risk mitigation and stratification were reviewed. The principles of best evidence synthesis of available literature and grading for recommendations as described by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) typically utilized in ASIPP guideline preparation was not utilized in these guidelines due to limitations because of their lack of available literature on COVID-19, risk mitigation and stratification. These guidelines are considered evidence -- informed with incorporation of best available research and practice knowledge. Consequently, these guidelines are considered evidence-informed with incorporation of best available research and practice knowledge. RESULTS: Numerous risk factors have emerged that predispose patients to contracting COVID-19 and/or having a more severe course of the infection. COVID-19 may have mild symptoms, even be asymptomatic, or may be severe and life threatening. Older age and certain comorbidities, such as underlying pulmonary or cardiovascular disease, have been associated with worse outcomes. In pain care, COVID-19 patients are a heterogeneous group with some individuals relatively healthy and having only a short course of manageable symptoms while others become critically ill. It is necessary to assess patients on a case-by-case basis and craft individualized care recommendations. A COVID-ARMS risk stratification tool was created to quickly and objectively assess patients. Interventional pain specialists and their patients may derive important benefits from evidence-informed risk stratification, protective strategies to prevent infection, and the gradual resumption of treatments and procedures to manage pain. LIMITATIONS: COVID-19 was an ongoing pandemic at the time during which these recommendations were developed. The pandemic has created a fluid situation in terms of evidence-informed guidance. As more and better evidence is gathered, these recommendations may be modified. CONCLUSIONS: Chronic pain patients require continuity of care but during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, steps must be taken to stratify risks and protect patients from possible infection to safeguard them from COVID-19-related illness and transmitting the disease to others. Pain specialists should optimize telemedicine encounters with their pain patients, be cognizant of risks of COVID-19 morbidity, and take steps to evaluate risk-benefit on a case-by-case basis. Pain specialists may return to practice with lower-risk patients and appropriate safeguards.


Subject(s)
Chronic Pain/therapy , Continuity of Patient Care , Coronavirus Infections , Pain Management/methods , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Aged , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Humans , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
10.
J Neurointerv Surg ; 12(9): 829-830, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-721215
11.
J Neurointerv Surg ; 12(10): 927-931, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-710047

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Little is currently known about the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on neurointerventional (NI) procedural volumes or its toll on physician wellness. METHODS: A 37-question online survey was designed and distributed to physician members of three NI physician organizations. RESULTS: A total of 151 individual survey responses were obtained. Reduced mechanical thrombectomy procedures compared with pre-pandemic were observed with 32% reporting a greater than 50% reduction in thrombectomy volumes. In concert with most (76%) reporting at least a 25% reduction in non-mechanical thrombectomy urgent NI procedures and a nearly unanimous (96%) cessation of non-urgent elective cases, 68% of physicians reported dramatic reductions (>50%) in overall NI procedural volume compared with pre-pandemic. Increased door-to-puncture times were reported by 79%. COVID-19-positive infections occurred in 1% of physician respondents: an additional 8% quarantined for suspected infection. Sixty-six percent of respondents reported increased career stress, 56% increased personal life/family stress, and 35% increased career burnout. Stress was significantly increased in physicians with COVID-positive family members (P<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study designed to understand the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on NI physician practices, case volumes, compensation, personal/family stresses, and work-related burnout. Future studies examining these factors following the resumption of elective cases and relaxing of social distancing measures will be necessary to better understand these phenomena.


Subject(s)
Attitude of Health Personnel , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Elective Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Neurosurgery/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Physician's Role , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Humans , Male , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States
13.
J Neurointerv Surg ; 12(8): 726-730, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-629793

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: This survey was focused on the provision of neurointerventional services, the current practices of managing patients under COVID-19 conditions, and the expectations for the future. METHODS: Invitations for this survey were sent out as a collaborative effort of the European Society of Minimally Invasive Neurological Therapy (ESMINT), the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS), the Sociedad Iberolatinoamericana de Neuroradiologia Diagnostica y Terapeutica (SILAN), the Society of Vascular and Interventional Neurology (SVIN), and the World Federation of Interventional and Therapeutic Neuroradiology (WFITN). RESULTS: Overall, 475 participants from 61 countries responded (six from Africa (1%), 81 from Asia (17%), 156 from Europe (33%), 53 from Latin America (11%), and 172 from North America (11%)). The majority of participants (96%) reported being able to provide emergency services, though 26% of these reported limited resources. A decrease in emergency procedures was reported by 69% of participants (52% in ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, 11% ischemic, and 6% hemorrhagic stroke alone). Only 4% reported an increase in emergency cases. The emerging need for social distancing and the rapid adoption of remote communication was reflected in the interest in establishing case discussion forums (43%), general online forums (37%), and access to angio video streaming for live mentoring and support (33%). CONCLUSION: Neurointerventional emergency services are available in almost all centers, while the number of emergency patients is markedly decreased. Half of the participants have abandoned neurointerventions in non-emergent situations. There are considerable variations in the management of neurointerventions and in the expectations for the future.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections , Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Neurosurgical Procedures , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
14.
J Neurointerv Surg ; 12(9): 831-835, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-626369

ABSTRACT

To assess the impact of COVID-19 on neurovascular research and deal with the challenges imposed by the pandemic. METHODS: A survey-based study focused on randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and single-arm studies for acute ischemic stroke and cerebral aneurysms was developed by a group of senior neurointerventionalists and sent to sites identified through the clinical trials website (https://clinicaltrials.gov/), study sponsors, and physician investigators. RESULTS: The survey was sent to 101 institutions, with 65 responding (64%). Stroke RCTs were being conducted at 40 (62%) sites, aneurysm RCTs at 22 (34%) sites, stroke single-arm studies at 37 (57%) sites, and aneurysm single-arm studies at 43 (66%) sites. Following COVID-19, enrollment was suspended at 51 (78%) sites-completely at 21 (32%) and partially at 30 (46%) sites. Missed trial-related clinics and imaging follow-ups and protocol deviations were reported by 27 (42%), 24 (37%), and 27 (42%) sites, respectively. Negative reimbursements were reported at 17 (26%) sites. The majority of sites, 49 (75%), had put new trials on hold. Of the coordinators, 41 (63%) worked from home and 20 (31%) reported a personal financial impact. Remote consent was possible for some studies at 34 (52%) sites and for all studies at 5 (8%) sites. At sites with suspended trials (n=51), endovascular treatment without enrollment occurred at 31 (61%) sites for stroke and 23 (45%) sites for aneurysms. A total of 277 patients with acute ischemic stroke and 184 with cerebral aneurysms were treated without consideration for trial enrollment. CONCLUSION: Widespread disruption of neuroendovascular trials occurred because of COVID-19. As sites resume clinical research, steps to mitigate similar challenges in the future should be considered.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Brain Ischemia/therapy , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic/methods , Stroke/therapy , Surveys and Questionnaires , Brain Ischemia/diagnosis , Brain Ischemia/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Endovascular Procedures/methods , Endovascular Procedures/trends , Female , Forecasting , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/diagnosis , Stroke/epidemiology
17.
Pain Physician ; 23(2): E71-E83, 2020 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-18426

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has affected the United States leading to a national emergency with health care and economic impact, propelling the country into a recession with disrupted lifestyles not seen in recent history. COVID-19 is a serious illness leading to multiple deaths in various countries including the United States. Several million Americans satisfy the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria for being high risk. Unfortunately, the available supply of medical beds and equipment for mechanical ventilation are much less than is projected to be needed. The World Health Organization (WHO) and multiple agencies led by the CDC in the United States have attempted to organize intensive outbreak investigation programs utilizing appropriate preventive measures, evaluation, and treatment. The clinical spectrum of COVID-19 varies from asymptomatic forms to conditions encompassing multiorgan and systemic manifestations in terms of septic shock, and multiple organ dysfunction (MOD) syndromes. The presently approved treatments are supportive but not curative for the disease. There are multiple treatments being studied. These include vaccines, medications Remdesivir and hydroxychloroquine and potentially combination therapy. Finally, expanded umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells or (UC-MSCs) may have a role and are being studied. The cure of COVID-19 is essentially dependent on the patients' own immune system. When the immune system is over activated in an attempt to kill the virus, this can lead to the production of a large number of inflammatory factors, resulting in severe cytokine storm. The cytokine storm may induce organ damage followed by the edema, dysfunction of air exchange, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), acute cardiac injury, and secondary infection, which may lead to death. Thus, at this point, the avoidance of the cytokine storm may be the key for the treatment of HCOV-19 infected patients.In China, where there was limited availability of effective modalities to manage COVID-19 several patients were treated with expanded UC-MSCs. Additionally, the Italian College of Anesthesia, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care have reported guidelines to treat coronavirus patients with stem cells in the hope of decreasing the number of patients going to the ICU, and, also relatively quickly getting them out of ICU. In this manuscript, we describe the urgent need for various solutions, pathogenesis of coronavirus and the clinical evidence for treatment of COVID-19 with stem cells. The limited but emerging evidence regarding UC MSC in managing COVID-19 suggests that it might be considered for compassionate use in critically ill patients to reduce morbidity and mortality in the United States. The administration and Coronavirus Task Force might wish to approach the potential of expanded UC-MSCs as an evolutionary therapeutic strategy in managing COVID-19 illness with a 3-pronged approach: If proven safe and effective on a specific and limited basis…1. Minimize regulatory burden by all agencies so that critically ill COVID-19 patients will have access regardless of their financial circumstance.2. Institute appropriate safeguards to avoid negative consequences from unscrupulous actors.3. With proper informed consent from patients or proxy when necessary, and subject to accumulation of data in that cohort, allow the procedure to be initiated in critically ill patients who are not responding to conventional therapies.KEY WORDS: Coronavirus, COVID-19, cytokine storm, multiorgan failure, expanded umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Compassionate Use Trials , Cord Blood Stem Cell Transplantation , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Critical Illness , Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/therapeutic use , Analgesia , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Vaccines , China , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Cytokines/metabolism , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Umbilical Cord/cytology , United States , Viral Vaccines
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