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Reliable Prediction of Discharge Disposition Following Cervical Spine Surgery With Ensemble Machine Learning and Validation on a National Cohort

Feng, Rui; Valliani, Aly A; Martini, Michael L; Gal, Jonathan S; Neifert, Sean N; Kim, Nora C; Geng, Eric A; Kim, Jun S; Cho, Samuel K; Oermann, Eric K; Caridi, John M
STUDY DESIGN/METHODS:A retrospective cohort study. OBJECTIVE:The purpose of this study is to develop a machine learning algorithm to predict nonhome discharge after cervical spine surgery that is validated and usable on a national scale to ensure generalizability and elucidate candidate drivers for prediction. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA/BACKGROUND:Excessive length of hospital stay can be attributed to delays in postoperative referrals to intermediate care rehabilitation centers or skilled nursing facilities. Accurate preoperative prediction of patients who may require access to these resources can facilitate a more efficient referral and discharge process, thereby reducing hospital and patient costs in addition to minimizing the risk of hospital-acquired complications. METHODS:Electronic medical records were retrospectively reviewed from a single-center data warehouse (SCDW) to identify patients undergoing cervical spine surgeries between 2008 and 2019 for machine learning algorithm development and internal validation. The National Inpatient Sample (NIS) database was queried to identify cervical spine fusion surgeries between 2009 and 2017 for external validation of algorithm performance. Gradient-boosted trees were constructed to predict nonhome discharge across patient cohorts. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) was used to measure model performance. SHAP values were used to identify nonlinear risk factors for nonhome discharge and to interpret algorithm predictions. RESULTS:A total of 3523 cases of cervical spine fusion surgeries were included from the SCDW data set, and 311,582 cases were isolated from NIS. The model demonstrated robust prediction of nonhome discharge across all cohorts, achieving an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.87 (SD=0.01) on both the SCDW and nationwide NIS test sets. Anterior approach only, age, elective admission status, Medicare insurance status, and total Elixhauser Comorbidity Index score were the most important predictors of discharge destination. CONCLUSIONS:Machine learning algorithms reliably predict nonhome discharge across single-center and national cohorts and identify preoperative features of importance following cervical spine fusion surgery.
PMID: 38285429
ISSN: 2380-0194
CID: 5627372

Use of Carotid Web Angioarchitecture for Stroke Risk Assessment

von Oiste, Grace G; Sangwon, Karl L; Chung, Charlotte; Narayan, Vinayak; Raz, Eytan; Shapiro, Maksim; Rutledge, Caleb; Nelson, Peter Kim; Ishida, Koto; Torres, Jose L; Rostanski, Sara K; Zhang, Cen; Yaghi, Shadi; Riina, Howard; Oermann, Eric K; Nossek, Erez
OBJECTIVE:To examine the usefulness of carotid web (CW), carotid bifurcation and their combined angioarchitectural measurements in assessing stroke risk. METHODS:Anatomic data on the internal carotid artery (ICA), common carotid artery (CCA), and the CW were gathered as part of a retrospective study from symptomatic (stroke) and asymptomatic (nonstroke) patients with CW. We built a model of stroke risk using principal-component analysis, Firth regression trained with 5-fold cross-validation, and heuristic binary cutoffs based on the Minimal Description Length principle. RESULTS:The study included 22 patients, with a mean age of 55.9 ± 12.8 years; 72.9% were female. Eleven patients experienced an ischemic stroke. The first 2 principal components distinguished between patients with stroke and patients without stroke. The model showed that ICA-pouch tip angle (P = 0.036), CCA-pouch tip angle (P = 0.036), ICA web-pouch angle (P = 0.036), and CCA web-pouch angle (P = 0.036) are the most important features associated with stroke risk. Conversely, CCA and ICA anatomy (diameter and angle) were not found to be risk factors. CONCLUSIONS:This pilot study shows that using data from computed tomography angiography, carotid bifurcation, and CW angioarchitecture may be used to assess stroke risk, allowing physicians to tailor care for each patient according to risk stratification.
PMID: 38006939
ISSN: 1878-8769
CID: 5617512

Developing an Automated Registry (Autoregistry) of Spine Surgery Using Natural Language Processing and Health System Scale Databases

Cheung, Alexander T M; Kurland, David B; Neifert, Sean; Mandelberg, Nataniel; Nasir-Moin, Mustafa; Laufer, Ilya; Pacione, Donato; Lau, Darryl; Frempong-Boadu, Anthony K; Kondziolka, Douglas; Golfinos, John G; Oermann, Eric Karl
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:Clinical registries are critical for modern surgery and underpin outcomes research, device monitoring, and trial development. However, existing approaches to registry construction are labor-intensive, costly, and prone to manual error. Natural language processing techniques combined with electronic health record (EHR) data sets can theoretically automate the construction and maintenance of registries. Our aim was to automate the generation of a spine surgery registry at an academic medical center using regular expression (regex) classifiers developed by neurosurgeons to combine domain expertise with interpretable algorithms. METHODS:We used a Hadoop data lake consisting of all the information generated by an academic medical center. Using this database and structured query language queries, we retrieved every operative note written in the department of neurosurgery since our transition to EHR. Notes were parsed using regex classifiers and compared with a random subset of 100 manually reviewed notes. RESULTS:A total of 31 502 operative cases were downloaded and processed using regex classifiers. The codebase required 5 days of development, 3 weeks of validation, and less than 1 hour for the software to generate the autoregistry. Regex classifiers had an average accuracy of 98.86% at identifying both spinal procedures and the relevant vertebral levels, and it correctly identified the entire list of defined surgical procedures in 89% of patients. We were able to identify patients who required additional operations within 30 days to monitor outcomes and quality metrics. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:This study demonstrates the feasibility of automatically generating a spine registry using the EHR and an interpretable, customizable natural language processing algorithm which may reduce pitfalls associated with manual registry development and facilitate rapid clinical research.
PMID: 37345933
ISSN: 1524-4040
CID: 5542832

Causes of Death in Patients With Brain Metastases

Schnurman, Zane; Mashiach, Elad; Link, Katherine E; Donahue, Bernadine; Sulman, Erik; Silverman, Joshua; Golfinos, John G; Oermann, Eric Karl; Kondziolka, Douglas
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:Advances in targeted therapies and wider application of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) have redefined outcomes of patients with brain metastases. Under modern treatment paradigms, there remains limited characterization of which aspects of disease drive demise and in what frequencies. This study aims to characterize the primary causes of terminal decline and evaluate differences in underlying intracranial tumor dynamics in patients with metastatic brain cancer. These fundamental details may help guide management, patient counseling, and research priorities. METHODS:Using NYUMets-Brain-the largest, longitudinal, real-world, open data set of patients with brain metastases-patients treated at New York University Langone Health between 2012 and 2021 with SRS were evaluated. A review of electronic health records allowed for the determination of a primary cause of death in patients who died during the study period. Causes were classified in mutually exclusive, but collectively exhaustive, categories. Multilevel models evaluated for differences in dynamics of intracranial tumors, including changes in volume and number. RESULTS:Of 439 patients with end-of-life data, 73.1% died secondary to systemic disease, 10.3% died secondary to central nervous system (CNS) disease, and 16.6% died because of other causes. CNS deaths were driven by acute increases in intracranial pressure (11%), development of focal neurological deficits (18%), treatment-resistant seizures (11%), and global decline driven by increased intracranial tumor burden (60%). Rate of influx of new intracranial tumors was almost twice as high in patients who died compared with those who survived (P < .001), but there was no difference in rates of volume change per intracranial tumor (P = .95). CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Most patients with brain metastases die secondary to systemic disease progression. For patients who die because of neurological disease, tumor dynamics and cause of death mechanisms indicate that the primary driver of decline for many may be unchecked systemic disease with unrelenting spread of new tumors to the CNS rather than failure of local growth control.
PMID: 37255296
ISSN: 1524-4040
CID: 5543262

Health system-scale language models are all-purpose prediction engines

Jiang, Lavender Yao; Liu, Xujin Chris; Nejatian, Nima Pour; Nasir-Moin, Mustafa; Wang, Duo; Abidin, Anas; Eaton, Kevin; Riina, Howard Antony; Laufer, Ilya; Punjabi, Paawan; Miceli, Madeline; Kim, Nora C; Orillac, Cordelia; Schnurman, Zane; Livia, Christopher; Weiss, Hannah; Kurland, David; Neifert, Sean; Dastagirzada, Yosef; Kondziolka, Douglas; Cheung, Alexander T M; Yang, Grace; Cao, Ming; Flores, Mona; Costa, Anthony B; Aphinyanaphongs, Yindalon; Cho, Kyunghyun; Oermann, Eric Karl
Physicians make critical time-constrained decisions every day. Clinical predictive models can help physicians and administrators make decisions by forecasting clinical and operational events. Existing structured data-based clinical predictive models have limited use in everyday practice owing to complexity in data processing, as well as model development and deployment1-3. Here we show that unstructured clinical notes from the electronic health record can enable the training of clinical language models, which can be used as all-purpose clinical predictive engines with low-resistance development and deployment. Our approach leverages recent advances in natural language processing4,5 to train a large language model for medical language (NYUTron) and subsequently fine-tune it across a wide range of clinical and operational predictive tasks. We evaluated our approach within our health system for five such tasks: 30-day all-cause readmission prediction, in-hospital mortality prediction, comorbidity index prediction, length of stay prediction, and insurance denial prediction. We show that NYUTron has an area under the curve (AUC) of 78.7-94.9%, with an improvement of 5.36-14.7% in the AUC compared with traditional models. We additionally demonstrate the benefits of pretraining with clinical text, the potential for increasing generalizability to different sites through fine-tuning and the full deployment of our system in a prospective, single-arm trial. These results show the potential for using clinical language models in medicine to read alongside physicians and provide guidance at the point of care.
PMID: 37286606
ISSN: 1476-4687
CID: 5536672

Federated AI, Current State, and Future Potential

Clark, Phoebe; Oermann, Eric K; Chen, Dinah; Al-Aswad, Lama A
Artificial intelligence and machine learning applications are becoming increasingly popular in health care and medical devices. The development of accurate machine learning algorithms requires large quantities of good and diverse data. This poses a challenge in health care because of the sensitive nature of sharing patient data. Decentralized algorithms through federated learning avoid data aggregation. In this paper we give an overview of federated learning, current examples in healthcare and ophthalmology, challenges, and next steps.
PMID: 37249902
ISSN: 2162-0989
CID: 5541882

On Chatbots and Generative Artificial Intelligence

Oermann, Eric Karl; Kondziolka, Douglas
PMID: 36779766
ISSN: 1524-4040
CID: 5448032

A Nationwide Study Characterizing the Risk and Outcome Profiles of Multilevel Fusion Procedures in Neuromuscular Scoliosis Patients with Neurofibromatosis Type 1

Price, Gabrielle; Martini, Michael L; Caridi, John M; Lau, Darryl; Oermann, Eric K; Neifert, Sean N
BACKGROUND:Spine abnormalities are a common manifestation of Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1); however, the outcomes of surgical treatment for NF1-associated spinal deformity are not well explored. The purpose of this study was to investigate the outcome and risk profiles of multilevel fusion surgery for NF1 patients. METHODS:The National Inpatient Sample was queried for NF1 and non-NF1 patient populations with neuromuscular scoliosis who underwent multilevel fusion surgery involving eight or more vertebral levels between 2004 and 2017. Multivariate regression modeling was used to explore the relationship between perioperative variables and pertinent outcomes. RESULTS:Of the 55,485 patients with scoliosis, 533 patients (0.96%) had NF1. Patients with NF1 were more likely to have comorbid solid tumors (P < 0.0001), clinical depression (P < 0.0001), peripheral vascular disease (P < 0.0001), and hypertension (P < 0.001). Following surgery, NF1 patients had a higher incidence of hydrocephalus (0.6% vs. 1.9% P = 0.002), seizures (4.9% vs. 5.7% P = 0.006), and accidental vessel laceration (0.3% vs.1.9% P = 0.011). Although there were no differences in overall complication rates or in-hospital mortality, multivariate regression revealed NF1 patients had an increased probability of pulmonary (OR 0.5, 95%CI 0.3-0.8, P = 0.004) complications. There were no significant differences in utilization, including nonhome discharge or extended hospitalization; however, patients with NF1 had higher total hospital charges (mean -$18739, SE 3384, P < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS:These findings indicate that NF1 is associated with certain complications following multilevel fusion surgery but does not appear to be associated with differences in quality or cost outcomes. These results provide some guidance to surgeons and other healthcare professionals in their perioperative decision making by raising awareness about risk factors for NF1 patients undergoing multilevel fusion surgery. We intend for this study to set the national baseline for complications after multilevel fusion in the NF1 population.
PMID: 36586581
ISSN: 1878-8769
CID: 5418972

Methods and Impact for Using Federated Learning to Collaborate on Clinical Research

Cheung, Alexander T M; Nasir-Moin, Mustafa; Fred Kwon, Young Joon; Guan, Jiahui; Liu, Chris; Jiang, Lavender; Raimondo, Christian; Chotai, Silky; Chambless, Lola; Ahmad, Hasan S; Chauhan, Daksh; Yoon, Jang W; Hollon, Todd; Buch, Vivek; Kondziolka, Douglas; Chen, Dinah; Al-Aswad, Lama A; Aphinyanaphongs, Yindalon; Oermann, Eric Karl
BACKGROUND:The development of accurate machine learning algorithms requires sufficient quantities of diverse data. This poses a challenge in health care because of the sensitive and siloed nature of biomedical information. Decentralized algorithms through federated learning (FL) avoid data aggregation by instead distributing algorithms to the data before centrally updating one global model. OBJECTIVE:To establish a multicenter collaboration and assess the feasibility of using FL to train machine learning models for intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) detection without sharing data between sites. METHODS:Five neurosurgery departments across the United States collaborated to establish a federated network and train a convolutional neural network to detect ICH on computed tomography scans. The global FL model was benchmarked against a standard, centrally trained model using a held-out data set and was compared against locally trained models using site data. RESULTS:A federated network of practicing neurosurgeon scientists was successfully initiated to train a model for predicting ICH. The FL model achieved an area under the ROC curve of 0.9487 (95% CI 0.9471-0.9503) when predicting all subtypes of ICH compared with a benchmark (non-FL) area under the ROC curve of 0.9753 (95% CI 0.9742-0.9764), although performance varied by subtype. The FL model consistently achieved top three performance when validated on any site's data, suggesting improved generalizability. A qualitative survey described the experience of participants in the federated network. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:This study demonstrates the feasibility of implementing a federated network for multi-institutional collaboration among clinicians and using FL to conduct machine learning research, thereby opening a new paradigm for neurosurgical collaboration.
PMID: 36399428
ISSN: 1524-4040
CID: 5385002

Generating novel pituitary datasets from open-source imaging data and deep volumetric segmentation

Gologorsky, Rachel; Harake, Edward; von Oiste, Grace; Nasir-Moin, Mustafa; Couldwell, William; Oermann, Eric; Hollon, Todd
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:The estimated incidence of pituitary adenomas in the general population is 10-30%, yet radiographic diagnosis remains a challenge. Diagnosis is complicated by the heterogeneity of radiographic features in both normal (e.g. complex anatomy, pregnancy) and pathologic states (e.g. primary endocrinopathy, hypophysitis). Clinical symptoms and laboratory testing are often equivocal, which can result in misdiagnosis or unnecessary specialist referrals. Computer vision models can aid in pituitary adenoma diagnosis; however, a major challenge to model development is the lack of dedicated pituitary imaging datasets. We hypothesized that deep volumetric segmentation models trained to extract the sellar and parasellar region from existing whole-brain MRI scans could be used to generate a novel dataset of pituitary imaging. METHODS:Six open-source whole-brain MRI datasets, created for research purposes, were included for model development. Deep learning-based volumetric segmentation models were trained using 318 manually annotated MRI scans from a single open-source MRI dataset. Out-of-distribution volumetric segmentation performance was then tested on 418 MRIs from five held-out research datasets. RESULTS:On our annotated images, agreement between manual and model volumetric segmentations was high. Dice scores (a measure of overlap) ranged 0.76-0.82 for both in-distribution and out-of-distribution model testing. In total, 6,755 MRIs from six data sources were included in the final generated pituitary dataset. CONCLUSIONS:We present the first and largest dataset of pituitary imaging constructed using existing MRI data and deep volumetric segmentation models trained to identify sellar and parasellar anatomy. The model generalizes well across patient populations and MRI scanner types. We hope our pituitary dataset will be an integral part of future machine learning research on pituitary pathologies.
PMID: 35943676
ISSN: 1573-7403
CID: 5286832