All Publications

  • Effect of Electronic Clinical Decision Support on Imaging for the Evaluation of Acute Low Back Pain in the Ambulatory Care Setting. World neurosurgery Chen, D., Bhambhvani, H. P., Hom, J., Mahoney, M., Wintermark, M., Sharp, C., Ratliff, J., Chen, Y. R. 2019


    To assess the effectiveness of a clinical decision support tool consisting of an electronic medical record Best Practice Alert (BPA) on the frequency of lumbar imaging in patients with acute low back pain (LBP) in the ambulatory care setting. To understand why providers order imaging outside of clinical guidelines.We implemented a BPA pop-up alert on 3/23/16 that informed the ordering physician of the Choosing Wisely recommendation to not order imaging within the first 6 weeks of low back pain in the absence of red flags. We measured imaging rates 1 year before and after implementation of the BPA. To override the BPA, providers could ignore the alert or explain their rationale for ordering imaging using either pre-set options or free-text submission. We tracked pre-set options and manually reviewed 125 free-text submissions.Significant decreases in both total imaging rate (9.6% decrease, p = 0.02) and MRI rate (14.9% decrease, p < 0.01) were observed after implementation of the BPA. No change was found in the rates of x-ray or CT ordering. 64% of providers used pre-set options in overriding the BPA, while 36% of providers entered a free-text submission. Among those providers using a free-text submission, 56% entered a non-guideline supported rationale.The present study demonstrates the effectiveness of a simple, low-cost clinical decision support tool in reducing imaging rates for patients with acute low back pain. We additionally identify reasons providers order imaging outside of clinical guidelines.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.wneu.2019.11.031

    View details for PubMedID 31733384

  • Intracranial Hemorrhage in Deep Vein Thrombosis/Pulmonary Embolus Patients Without Atrial Fibrillation: Direct Oral Anticoagulants Versus Warfarin. Stroke Lamsam, L., Sussman, E. S., Iyer, A. K., Bhambhvani, H. P., Han, S. S., Skirboll, S., Ratliff, J. K. 2018


    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Deep vein thrombosis (DVTs) is a common disease with high morbidity if it progresses to pulmonary embolus (PE). Anticoagulation is the treatment of choice; warfarin has long been the standard of care. Early experience with direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) suggests that these agents may be may be a safer and equally effective alternative in the treatment of DVT/PE. Nontraumatic intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) is one of the most devastating potential complications of anticoagulation therapy. We sought to compare the rates of ICH in patients treated with DOACs versus those treated with warfarin for DVT/PE.METHODS: The MarketScan Commercial Claims and Medicare Supplemental databases were used. Adult DVT/PE patients without known atrial fibrillation and with prescriptions for either a DOAC or warfarin were followed for the occurrence of inpatient admission for ICH. Coarsened exact matching was used to balance the treatment cohorts. Cox proportional-hazards regressions and Kaplan-Meier survival curves were used to estimate the association between DOACs and the risk of ICH compared with warfarin.RESULTS: The combined cohort of 218 620 patients had a median follow-up of 3.0 months, mean age of 55.4 years, and was 52.1% women. The DOAC cohort had 26 980 patients and 8 ICH events (1.0 cases per 1000 person-years), and the warfarin cohort had 191 640 patients and 324 ICH events (3.3 cases per 1000 person-years; P<0.0001). The DOAC cohort had a lower hazard ratio for ICH compared with warfarin in both the unmatched (hazard ratio=0.26; P=0.0002) and matched (hazard ratio=0.20; P=0.0001) Cox proportional-hazards regressions.CONCLUSIONS: DOACs show superior safety to warfarin in terms of risk of ICH in patients with DVT/PE.

    View details for PubMedID 29991654

  • Actin polymerization is reduced in the anterior cingulate cortex of elderly patients with schizophrenia. Translational psychiatry Bhambhvani, H. P., Mueller, T. M., Simmons, M. S., Meador-Woodruff, J. H. 2017; 7 (12): 1278


    Recent reports suggest abnormalities in the regulation of actin cytoskeletal dynamics in schizophrenia, despite consistent evidence for normal actin expression. We hypothesized that this may be explained by changes in the polymerization state of actin, rather than in total actin expression. To test this, we prepared filamentous actin (F-actin, polymeric) and globular actin (G-actin, monomeric) fractions from postmortem anterior cingulate cortex from 16 patients with schizophrenia and 14 comparison subjects. Additionally, binding of fluorescently-labeled phalloidin, a selectively F-actin-binding peptide, was measured in unfractionated samples from the same subjects. Western blot analysis of fractions revealed decreased F-actin, increased G-actin, and decreased ratios of F-actin/total actin and F-actin/G-actin in schizophrenia. Decreased phalloidin binding to F-actin in parallel experiments in the same subjects independently supports these findings. These results suggest a novel aspect of schizophrenia pathophysiology and are consistent with previous evidence of reduced dendritic spine density and altered synaptic plasticity in schizophrenia, both of which have been linked to cytoskeletal abnormalities.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41398-017-0045-y

    View details for PubMedID 29225346

  • Decreased expression of cortactin in the schizophrenia brain NEUROREPORT Bhambhvani, H. P., Simmons, M., Haroutunian, V., Meador-Woodruff, J. H. 2016; 27 (3): 145-150


    Schizophrenia is a severe psychiatric disorder that is characterized by a wide array of symptoms and a complex neuropathology. A well-characterized neurobiological feature of schizophrenia is abnormal synaptic plasticity, although the mechanisms underlying this are not fully understood. Numerous studies have demonstrated a link between proper functioning of the cytoskeleton and synaptic plasticity. The actin-related protein-2/3 (Arp2/3) complex is responsible for the nucleation of new actin filaments and elongation of existing actin filaments and is thus crucial to cytoskeletal dynamics, especially actin polymerization and organization. To determine whether the Arp2/3 complex is abnormally expressed in schizophrenia, we measured the protein expression of Arp2 and Arp3, as well as Arp2/3 complex binding partners and associated proteins including cortactin, neuronal-Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP), WASP-family verprolin homologous protein 1 (WAVE1), and Abelson interactor 1 (Abi1) in the superior temporal gyrus of paired schizophrenia and comparison participants. No changes were found in Arp2, Arp3, neuronal-WASP, WAVE1, or Abi1. However, all three isoforms of cortactin were decreased in schizophrenia. Specifically, the 62 kDa isoform was decreased by 43%; the 71 kDa isoform was decreased by 32%; and the 58 kDa isoform was decreased by 35%. Cortactin regulates branching of filamentous actin through its binding and activation of the Arp2/3 complex, and it is thus critical to the formation of stable actin networks. These findings contribute to a growing body of evidence implicating altered cytoskeletal dynamics in schizophrenia.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/WNR.0000000000000514

    View details for Web of Science ID 000373515100003

    View details for PubMedID 26691754

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4733612