All Publications

  • Radiotherapy for brain metastases from thyroid cancer: an institutional and national retrospective cohort study. Thyroid : official journal of the American Thyroid Association Blomain, E. S., Berta, S., Hug, N. F., Giao, D. M., Meola, A., Binkley, M. S., Hui, C., Churilla, T., Shahsavari, N., Desai, K., Chang, S. D., Soltys, S., Pollom, E. L. 2022


    BACKGROUND: Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is the standard of care for patients with a limited number of brain metastases. Despite the fact that the seminal studies regarding SRS for brain metastases were largely tissue agnostic, several current national guidelines do not uniformly recommend SRS in thyroid cancer. We therefore investigated oncologic outcomes in a cohort of patients with brain metastases from thyroid cancer who received radiotherapy at our institution as well as those in a nationally representative cancer cohort, the national cancer database (NCDB).METHODS: We identified patients with thyroid cancer and brain metastases treated with radiotherapy at our institution from 2002 through 2020. For the NCDB cohort, the national database of patients with thyroid cancer was screened on the basis of brain-directed radiotherapy or brain metastases. For the institutional cohort, the cumulative risk of local failure, distant intracranial failure and radiation necrosis were calculated, adjusted for the competing risk of death. Overall survival (OS) in both cohorts was analyzed using Kaplan-Meier method. Univariate analysis was accomplished via clustered competing risks regression.RESULTS: For the institutional cohort, we identified 33 patients with 212 treated brain metastases. Overall survival was 6.6 months. The 1-year cumulative incidences of local failure and distant intracranial failures were 7.0% and 38%, respectively. The 1-year risk of radiation necrosis was 3.3%. In the NCDB cohort, there were 289 patients and median survival was 10.2 months. NCDB national practice patterns analysis showed an increasing use of SRS over time in both the entire cohort and the subset of anaplastic patients. Univariate analysis was performed for overall survival, risk of local failure, risk of regional intracranial failure and risk of radiation necrosis.CONCLUSIONS: SRS is a safe, effective and increasingly-utilized treatment for thyroid cancer brain metastases of any histology and should be the standard of care treatment.

    View details for DOI 10.1089/thy.2021.0628

    View details for PubMedID 35229625

  • Research reporting in cubital tunnel syndrome studies: an analysis of the literature. Acta neurochirurgica Hug, N. F., Smith, B. W., Sakamuri, S., Jensen, M., Purger, D. A., Spinner, R. J., Wilson, T. J. 1800


    PURPOSE: There is a strong need for a set of consensus outcomes to be utilized for future studies on cubital tunnel syndrome. The goal was to assess the outcome measures utilized in the cubital tunnel syndrome literature as a way of measuring popularity/acceptability and then to perform a literature review for the most commonly used outcomes.METHODS: A literature search was performed using the database and Medical Subject Headings (MeSH). For each article, the following data were abstracted: study type, motor outcome(s), sensory outcome(s), composite outcome(s), patient-reported outcome (PRO) metric(s), pain outcome(s), psychological outcome(s), electrodiagnostic outcome(s), and any other outcomes that were used.RESULTS: A composite outcome was reported in 52/85 (61%) studies, with the modified Bishop score (27/85; 32%) most common. A motor outcome was reported in 44/85 (52%) studies, with dynamometry (38/85; 45%) most common. The majority of studies (55%) did not report a sensory outcome. The majority of studies (52%) did not report a PRO. A specific pain outcome was reported in the minority (23/85; 27%), with the visual analogue scale (VAS) (22/85; 26%) most common. Pre- and postoperative electrodiagnostic results were presented in 22/85 studies (26%).DISCUSSION: Understanding current clinical practice and historical outcomes reporting provides a foundation for discussion regarding the development of a core outcome set for cubital tunnel syndrome. We hope that the data provided in the current study will stoke a discussion that will culminate in a consensus statement for research reporting in cubital tunnel syndrome studies.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s00701-021-05102-9

    View details for PubMedID 34993620

  • Diagnosis of Sports-Related Peripheral Nerve Injury Neurosurgical Care of Athletes Hug, N. F., Jensen, M., Purger, D. A., Wilson, T. J. edited by Oppenlander, M. E. Springer, Cham. 2022; 1: 121-140
  • Machine Learning Approach to Differentiation of Peripheral Schwannomas and Neurofibromas: A Multi-Center Study. Neuro-oncology Zhang, M., Tong, E., Wong, S., Hamrick, F., Mohammadzadeh, M., Rao, V., Pendleton, C., Smith, B. W., Hug, N. F., Biswal, S., Seekins, J., Napel, S., Spinner, R. J., Mahan, M. A., Yeom, K. W., Wilson, T. J. 2021


    BACKGROUND: Non-invasive differentiation between schwannomas and neurofibromas is important for appropriate management, preoperative counseling, and surgical planning, but has proven difficult using conventional imaging. The objective of this study was to develop and evaluate machine learning approaches for differentiating peripheral schwannomas from neurofibromas.METHODS: We assembled a cohort of schwannomas and neurofibromas from 3 independent institutions and extracted high-dimensional radiomic features from gadolinium-enhanced, T1-weighted MRI using the PyRadiomics package on Quantitative Imaging Feature Pipeline. Age, sex, neurogenetic syndrome, spontaneous pain, and motor deficit were recorded. We evaluated the performance of 6 radiomics-based classifier models with and without clinical features and compared model performance against human expert evaluators.RESULTS: 107 schwannomas and 59 neurofibroma were included. The primary models included both clinical and imaging data. The accuracy of the human evaluators (0.765) did not significantly exceed the no-information rate (NIR), whereas the Support Vector Machine (0.929), Logistic Regression (0.929), and Random Forest (0.905) classifiers exceeded the NIR. Using the method of DeLong, the AUC for the Logistic Regression (AUC=0.923) and K Nearest Neighbor (AUC=0.923) classifiers was significantly greater than the human evaluators (AUC=0.766; p = 0.041).CONCLUSIONS: The radiomics-based classifiers developed here proved to be more accurate and had a higher AUC on the ROC curve than expert human evaluators. This demonstrates that radiomics using routine MRI sequences and clinical features can aid in differentiation of peripheral schwannomas and neurofibromas.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/neuonc/noab211

    View details for PubMedID 34487172

  • Machine-Learning Approach to Differentiation of Benign and Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumors: A Multicenter Study. Neurosurgery Zhang, M., Tong, E., Hamrick, F., Lee, E. H., Tam, L. T., Pendleton, C., Smith, B. W., Hug, N. F., Biswal, S., Seekins, J., Mattonen, S. A., Napel, S., Campen, C. J., Spinner, R. J., Yeom, K. W., Wilson, T. J., Mahan, M. A. 2021


    BACKGROUND: Clinicoradiologic differentiation between benign and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (PNSTs) has important management implications.OBJECTIVE: To develop and evaluate machine-learning approaches to differentiate benign from malignant PNSTs.METHODS: We identified PNSTs treated at 3 institutions and extracted high-dimensional radiomics features from gadolinium-enhanced, T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sequences. Training and test sets were selected randomly in a 70:30 ratio. A total of 900 image features were automatically extracted using the PyRadiomics package from Quantitative Imaging Feature Pipeline. Clinical data including age, sex, neurogenetic syndrome presence, spontaneous pain, and motor deficit were also incorporated. Features were selected using sparse regression analysis and retained features were further refined by gradient boost modeling to optimize the area under the curve (AUC) for diagnosis. We evaluated the performance of radiomics-based classifiers with and without clinical features and compared performance against human readers.RESULTS: A total of 95 malignant and 171 benign PNSTs were included. The final classifier model included 21 imaging and clinical features. Sensitivity, specificity, and AUC of 0.676, 0.882, and 0.845, respectively, were achieved on the test set. Using imaging and clinical features, human experts collectively achieved sensitivity, specificity, and AUC of 0.786, 0.431, and 0.624, respectively. The AUC of the classifier was statistically better than expert humans (P=.002). Expert humans were not statistically better than the no-information rate, whereas the classifier was (P=.001).CONCLUSION: Radiomics-based machine learning using routine MRI sequences and clinical features can aid in evaluation of PNSTs. Further improvement may be achieved by incorporating additional imaging sequences and clinical variables into future models.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/neuros/nyab212

    View details for PubMedID 34131749

  • Imaging of Damaged Nerves. Clinics in plastic surgery Purger, D. A., Sakamuri, S., Hug, N. F., Biswal, S., Wilson, T. J. 2020; 47 (2): 245–59


    Nerve imaging is an important component in the assessment of patients presenting with suspected peripheral nerve pathology. Although magnetic resonance neurography and ultrasound are the most commonly utilized techniques, several promising new modalities are on the horizon. Nerve imaging is useful in localizing the nerve injury, determining the severity, providing prognostic information, helping establish the diagnosis, and helping guide surgical decision making. The focus of this article is imaging of damaged nerves, focusing on nerve injuries and entrapment neuropathies.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cps.2019.12.003

    View details for PubMedID 32115050