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1.
World Neurosurg ; 163: e83-e88, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1900271

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Telemedicine use skyrocketed in March 2020 on implementation of shelter-in-place measures owing to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Within the past year, shelter-in-place measures were lifted and the COVID-19 vaccine was released, resulting in many neurosurgeons returning to in-person outpatient clinics. This study aimed to determine the extent of usage of telemedicine in neurosurgery 1 year into the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: A retrospective cohort study of patients who received neurosurgical care at a single institution from February 1 to April 18 of the years 2020 and 2021 was performed. The inclusion criteria were met by 11,592 patients. During the 2 study periods, 1465 patients underwent surgery, 7083 were seen in clinic via an in-person meeting, and 3044 were assessed via telemedicine. RESULTS: At 1 year after the COVID-19 outbreak, telemedicine usage was at 81.3% of the initial volume on implementation of shelter-in-place measures. In-person outpatient visits increased 40.2% from the early pandemic volume. Among the 4 neurosurgery divisions, telemedicine usage remained high in tumor and functional neurosurgery, significantly increased in vascular neurosurgery, and decreased in spine neurosurgery. CONCLUSIONS: Telemedicine use in neurosurgery clinics continues 1 year after the COVID-19 outbreak. Even after the lifting of shelter-in-place measures, many neurosurgeons still use telemedicine, while the operative volume remains stable. Owing to the limited physical examination that can be performed via current telemedicine platforms, telemedicine use in spine neurosurgery is lower than peak use during the early pandemic, while use has remained high among tumor, vascular, and functional neurosurgery.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neurosurgery , Telemedicine , COVID-19 Vaccines , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Neurosurgery/methods , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Telemedicine/methods
3.
Oper Neurosurg (Hagerstown) ; 20(2): 174-182, 2021 01 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455340

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Carotid-cavernous fistulas (CCFs) are acquired pathological shunting lesions between the carotid artery and the cavernous sinus leading to elevated intraocular pressure (IOP). CCFs are commonly treated via endovascular embolization, which theoretically restores physiological pressure differentials. OBJECTIVE: To present our institutional data with CCF treated with embolization and discuss endovascular routes, recurrence rates, and dynamic IOP changes. METHODS: Retrospective analysis of 42 CCF patients who underwent Onyx (Covidien, Irvine, California) embolization and pre- and postoperative IOP measurement at a single institution. RESULTS: CCFs were 19.0% direct (type A) and 81.0% indirect (types B, C, or D). Onyx-18 liquid embolisate was used during all embolizations. Overall rate of total occlusion was 83.3% and was statistically similar between direct and indirect fistulas. Preoperative IOP was elevated in 37.5%, 100.0%, 75.0%, and 50% in type A, B, C, and D fistulas, respectively. Average ΔIOP was -7.3 ± 8.5 mmHg (range: -33 to +8). Follow-up time was 4.64 ± 7.62 mo. Full angiographic occlusion was a predictor of symptom resolution at 1 mo (P = .026) and 6 mo (P = .021). Partial occlusion was associated with persistent symptoms postoperatively at 1 mo (P = .038) and 6 mo follow-up (P = .012). Beyond 6 mo, negative ΔIOP was associated with continued symptom improvement. Recurrence occurred in 9.5% of patients, all of which were indirect CCFs. CONCLUSION: Onyx embolization of CCF is an effective treatment for CCF and often results in the reversal of IOP elevation. Full occlusion predicts favorable clinical outcomes up to 6 mo. Postoperative IOP reduction may indicate favorable long-term clinical outcomes.


Subject(s)
Carotid-Cavernous Sinus Fistula , Cavernous Sinus , Embolization, Therapeutic , Carotid-Cavernous Sinus Fistula/diagnostic imaging , Carotid-Cavernous Sinus Fistula/therapy , Humans , Intraocular Pressure , Retrospective Studies
4.
Clin Neurol Neurosurg ; 206: 106677, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1230410

ABSTRACT

Owing to systemic inflammation and widespread vessel endotheliopathy, SARS-CoV-2 has been shown to confer an increased risk of cryptogenic stroke, particularly in patients without any traditional risk factors. In this report, we present a case of a 67-year-old female who presented with acute stroke from bilateral anterior circulation large vessel occlusions, and was incidentally found to be COVID-positive on routine hospital admission screening. The patient had a large area of penumbra bilaterally, and the decision was made to pursue bilateral simultaneous thrombectomy, with two endovascular neurosurgeons working on each side to achieve a faster time to recanalization. Our study highlights the utility and efficacy of simultaneous bilateral thrombectomy, and this treatment paradigm should be considered for use in patients who present with multifocal large vessel occlusions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Carotid Artery Thrombosis/surgery , Endovascular Procedures , Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery/surgery , Stroke/etiology , Thrombectomy , Aged , Carotid Artery Thrombosis/diagnosis , Carotid Artery Thrombosis/etiology , Female , Humans , Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery/diagnosis , Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery/etiology
5.
World Neurosurg ; 146: 20-25, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-894259

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 outbreak has led to fundamental disruptions of health care and its delivery with sweeping implications for patients and physicians of all specialties, including neurosurgery. In an effort to conserve hospital resources, neurosurgical procedures were classified into tiers to determine which procedures have to be performed in a timely fashion and which ones can be temporarily suspended to aid in the hospital's reallocation of resources when equipment is scarce. These guidelines were created quickly based on little existing evidence, and thus were initially variable and required refinement. As the early wave can now be assessed in retrospect, the authors describe the lessons learned and the protocols established based on published global evidence to continue to practice neurosurgery sensibly and minimize disruptions. These operational protocols can be applied in a surge of COVID-19 or another airborne pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Neurosurgical Procedures/standards , Practice Guidelines as Topic/standards , Humans , Neurosurgery/standards , Neurosurgery/trends , Neurosurgical Procedures/trends , Pandemics/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Personal Protective Equipment/trends
6.
World Neurosurg ; 140: e387-e394, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-548030

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Before the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine utilization was mostly used for postoperative visits only in neurosurgery. Shelter-in-place measures led the rapid expansion of telemedicine to address the needs of the neurosurgical patient population. Our goal is to determine the extent of adoption of telemedicine across tumor, vascular, spine, and function neurosurgery and utilization for new patient visits. METHODS: A single-center retrospective cohort study of patients who received neurosurgical care at a tertiary academic center from February to April 2020 was conducted. Patients evaluated from March to April 2019 were included for comparison. A total of 10,746 patients were included: 1247 patients underwent surgery, 8742 were seen in clinic via an in-person outpatient visit, and 757 were assessed via telemedicine during the study period. RESULTS: A 40-fold increase in the use of telemedicine was noted after the shelter-in-place measures were initiated with a significant increase in the mean number of patients evaluated via telemedicine per week across all divisions of neurosurgery (4.5 ± 0.9 to 180.4 ± 13.9, P < 0.001). The majority of telemedicine appointments were established patient visits (61.2%), but the proportion of new patient visits also significantly increased to an average of 8.2 ± 5.3 per week across all divisions. CONCLUSIONS: Use of telemedicine drastically increased across all 4 divisions within neurosurgery with a significant increase in online-first encounters in order to meet the needs of our patients once the shelter-in-place measures were implemented. We provide a detailed account of the lessons learned and discuss the anticipated role of telemedicine in surgical practices once the shelter-in-place measures are lifted.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections , Neurosurgical Procedures , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Telemedicine , Appointments and Schedules , COVID-19 , Humans , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
7.
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry ; 91(8): 846-848, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-154812

ABSTRACT

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.


Subject(s)
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
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