All Publications

  • Clinical outcomes and cost differences between patients undergoing primary anterior cervical discectomy and fusion procedures with private or Medicare insurance: a propensity score matched study. World neurosurgery Shah, V., Rodrigues, A. J., Malhotra, S., Johnstone, T., Varshneya, K., Haider, G., Stienen, M. N., Veeravagu, A. 2023


    To assess whether insurance type reflects a patient's quality of care following an ACDF procedure, by comparing differences in post-operative complications, readmission rates, reoperation rates, length of hospital stay, and cost of treatment between patients with Medicare versus private insurance.Propensity score matching (PSM) was employed to match patient cohorts insured by Medicare and private insurance in the MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters Database (2007-2016). Age, sex, year of operation, geographic region, comorbidities, and operative factors were used to match cohorts of patients undergoing an ACDF procedure.A total of 110,911 patients met the inclusion criteria, of which 97,543 patients (87.9%) were privately insured and 13,368 patients (12.1%) were insured by Medicare. The PSM algorithm matched 7,026 privately insured patients to 7,026 Medicare patients. After matching, there was no significant difference in 90-day post-operative complication rates, length of stay, or reoperation rates between the Medicare and privately insured cohorts. The Medicare group had lower post-operative readmission rates for all time points: 30 days (1.8% vs. 4.6%; p < 0.001), 60 days (2.5% vs. 6.3%; p < 0.001), and 90 days (4.2% vs. 7.7%; p < 0.001). The median payments to physicians were significantly lower for the Medicare group ($3,885 vs. $5,601; p < 0.001).In this study, propensity score matched patients covered by Medicare and private insurance that underwent an ACDF procedure were found to have similar treatment outcomes.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.wneu.2023.02.129

    View details for PubMedID 36871653

  • Postoperative Antibiotics Confer No Protective Association After Fat Grafting for Breast Reconstruction. Annals of plastic surgery Thawanyarat, K., Johnstone, T., Rowley, M., Kim, T., Francis, S., Barrera, J., Cheeseborough, J., Sheckter, C., Nazerali, R. 2023


    INTRODUCTION: Autologous fat grafting after breast reconstruction is a commonly used technique to address asymmetry and irregularities in breast contour. While many studies have attempted to optimize patient outcomes after fat grafting, a key postoperative protocol that lacks consensus is the optimal use of perioperative and postoperative antibiotics. Reports suggest that complication rates for fat grafting are low relative to rates after reconstruction and have been shown to not be correlated to antibiotic protocol. Studies have additionally demonstrated that the use of prolonged prophylactic antibiotics do not lower the complication rates, stressing the need for a more conservative, standardized antibiotic protocol. This study aims to identify the optimal use of perioperative and postoperative antibiotics that optimizes patient outcomes.METHODS: Patients in the Optum Clinformatics Data Mart who underwent all billable forms of breast reconstruction followed by fat grafting were identified via Current Procedural Terminology codes. Patients meeting inclusion criteria had an index reconstructive procedure at least 90 days before fat grafting. Data concerning these patient's demographics, comorbidities, breast reconstructions, perioperative and postoperative antibiotics, and outcomes were collected via querying relevant reports of Current Procedural Terminology; International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision; International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision; National Drug Code Directory, and Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System codes. Antibiotics were classified by type and temporal delivery: perioperatively or postoperatively. If a patient received postoperative antibiotics, the duration of antibiotic exposure was recorded. Outcomes analysis was limited to the 90-day postoperative period. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to ascertain the effects of age, coexisting conditions, reconstruction type (autologous or implant-based), perioperative antibiotic class, postoperative antibiotic class, and postoperative antibiotic duration on the likelihood of any common postoperative complication occurring. All statistical assumptions made by logistic regression were met successfully. Odds ratios and corresponding 95% confidence intervals were calculated.RESULTS: From more than 86 million longitudinal patient records between March 2004 and June 2019, our study population included 7456 unique records of reconstruction-fat grafting pairs, with 4661 of those pairs receiving some form of prophylactic antibiotics. Age, prior radiation, and perioperative antibiotic administration were consistent independent predictors of increased all-cause complication likelihood. However, administration of perioperative antibiotics approached a statistically significant protective association against infection likelihood. No postoperative antibiotics of any duration or class conferred a protective association against infections or all-cause complications.CONCLUSIONS: This study provides national, claims-level support for antibiotic stewardship during and after fat grafting procedures. Postoperative antibiotics did not confer a protective benefit association against infection or all-cause complication likelihood, while administering perioperative antibiotics conferred a statistically significant increase in the likelihood that a patient experienced postoperative complication. However, perioperative antibiotics approach a significant protective association against postoperative infection likelihood, in line with current guidelines for infection prevention. These findings may encourage the adoption of more conservative postoperative prescription practices for clinicians who perform breast reconstruction, followed by fat grafting, reducing the nonindicated use of antibiotics.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/SAP.0000000000003420

    View details for PubMedID 36880783

  • Optimizing postoperative outcomes following neoadjuvant chemotherapy and mastectomy with immediate reconstruction: A national analysis. Journal of surgical oncology Thawanyarat, K., Johnstone, T., Rowley, M., Navarro, Y., Hinson, C., Nazerali, R. S. 2023


    The optimal timing between last neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) session and mastectomy with immediate reconstruction (MIR) procedures has sparse data to support optimization of postoperative outcomes. Current literature suggests that timing is not a predictor of complications in patients undergoing implant-based reconstruction following NAC and other literature suggests guidelines based on tumor staging. To the best of our knowledge, this is the largest and most recent study characterizing the effect of time between NAC and mastectomy with immediate reconstruction on postoperative complications.Patients in the Optum Clinformatics Data Mart that underwent all billable forms of breast reconstruction following NAC were identified via CPT and ICD-10 codes. Data concerning these patient's demographics, comorbidities, oncologic treatment, and outcomes were collected by querying relevant reports of CPT, ICD-9, and ICD-10 codes. To meet inclusion criteria, patients needed to have an encounter for antineoplastic chemotherapy within 1 year of their associated reconstruction. Patients with other invasive procedures unrelated to their mastectomy-reconstruction pairing within 90 days of reconstruction were excluded. Outcomes analysis was limited to the 90-day postoperative period. The time between the last recorded chemotherapy encounter and breast reconstruction was computed. A multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to ascertain the effects of age, race, coexisting conditions, reconstruction type (autologous or implant-based), and time between NAC and reconstruction on the likelihood of any common postoperative complication occurring. Linearity of the continuous variables with respect to the logit of the dependent variable was confirmed. Odds ratios and corresponding 95% confidence intervals were calculated.From over 86 million longitudinal patient records, our study population included 139 897 4371 patient records corresponding to 13 399 3759 patients who had NAC and breast reconstruction between January 2003, October 2015, and June 2019. Increased time between last antineoplastic chemotherapy and MIR reconstruction was a statistically significant, independent predictor of decreased complication likelihood. By contrast, autologous reconstruction, hypertension, and type II diabetes mellitus, and African American, White, and Hispanic race (relative to Asian) had statistically significant associations with increased complication likelihood. Waiting an additional day between a patient's most recent chemotherapy session and MIR reconstruction reduces the odds of a complication occurring by 0.25%. This corresponds to reduction in odds of complication occurrence of approximately 7% for each month between neoadjuvant therapy and breast reconstruction.Increased time between NAC and MIR immediate reconstruction decreases the likelihood of experiencing one or more postoperative complications. Ideal time delay between 4 and 8 weeks has been shown to provide the best benefit for future breast reconstrution outcomes. In consultation with the oncologist, this information can be used to balance postoperative complication risk with increased oncologic risk in delaying mastectomy with immediate reconstruction.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/jso.27196

    View details for PubMedID 36602535

  • Use of Antibiotic-impregnated Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) Plates for Prevention of Periprosthetic Infection in Breast Reconstruction PLASTIC AND RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY-GLOBAL OPEN Johnstone, T., Lipman, K., Makarewicz, N., Shah, J., Turner, E., Posternak, V., Chang, D., Thornton, B., Nazerali, R. 2023; 11 (1)
  • Travel Distance and National Access to Gender-Affirming Care Thawanyarat, K., Johnstone, T., Rowley, M., Eggert, G., Morrison, S., Nazerali, R. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2022: S212
  • Civilian-Military Medical Partnerships for Operational Readiness Johnstone, T. M. U.S. Naval Institute . Annapolis, MD. 2021 ; Proceedings
  • Biallelic variants in two complex I genes cause abnormal splicing defects in probands with mild Leigh syndrome MOLECULAR GENETICS AND METABOLISM Johnstone, T., Wang, J., Ross, D., Balanda, N., Huang, Y., Godfrey, R., Groden, C., Barton, B. R., Gahl, W., Toro, C., Malicdan, M. 2020; 131 (1-2): 98-106


    Leigh syndrome is a genetically heterogeneous disorder resulting from deficient oxidative energy biogenesis. The syndrome is characterized by subacute episodic decompensations, transiently elevated lactate, and necrotizing brain lesions most often in the striatum and brainstem. Acute decompensation is often triggered by viral infections. Sequalae from repeated episodes leads to progressive neurological deterioration and death. The severity of Leigh syndrome varies widely, from a rapid demise in childhood to rare adult presentations. Although the causes of Leigh syndrome include genes affecting a variety of different pathways, more than 75 of them are nuclear or mitochondrial encoded genes involved in the assembly and catalytic activity of mitochondrial respiratory complex I. Here we report the detailed clinical and molecular phenotype of two adults with mild presentations of NDUFS3 and NDUFAF6-related Leigh Syndrome. Mitochondrial assays revealed slightly reduced complex I activity in one proband and normal complex I activity in the other. The proband with NDUFS3-related Leigh syndrome was mildly affected and lived into adulthood with novel biallelic variants causing aberrant mRNA splicing (NM_004551.2:c.419G > A; p.Arg140Gln; NM_004551.2:c.381 + 6 T > C). The proband with NDUFAF6-related Leigh syndrome had biallelic variants that cause defects in mRNA splicing (NM_152416.3:c.371 T > C; p.Ile124Thr; NM_152416.3:c.420 + 2_420 + 3insTA). The mild phenotypes of these two individuals may be attributed to some residual production of normal NDUFS3 and NDUFAF6 proteins by NDUFS3 and NDUFAF6 mRNA isoforms alongside mutant transcripts. Taken together, these cases reported herein suggest that splice-regulatory variants to complex I proteins could result in milder phenotypes.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ymgme.2020.09.008

    View details for Web of Science ID 000600626600009

    View details for PubMedID 33097395

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7749052