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Publications (2)4.51 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Organ transplantation for renal, liver, cardiac, and pulmonary failure has become more common in recent years, and patients are living longer as a result of improved organ preservation methods, immunosuppressive regimens, and general posttransplant care. Some of these patients undergo spine fusion surgery following organ transplantation, and there is little available information concerning outcomes. The authors report on their experience with and the outcomes of spine fusion in this rare and unique immunosuppressed patient group. Using the Current Procedural Terminology and ICD-9 codes for solid organ transplants, bone marrow transplantations (BMTs), and spine fusion surgeries, the authors searched their patient database between 1997 and 2008. Data points of interest included primary diagnosis, type of organ transplant, immunosuppressant drug therapy, complications from spine surgery, and radiographic analysis of spine fusion. Spine fusion was assessed with CT or radiography at the latest follow-up. The database search results revealed 5999 patients who underwent heart, lung, liver, kidney, pancreas, intestine, or bone marrow transplant between 1997 and 2008. Eighteen of the 5999 patients underwent a spine fusion surgery while receiving immunosuppressive therapy. Organ transplants included kidney, liver, heart, pancreas, and allogenic BMT. There were 3 deaths unrelated to spine fusion within 1 year of the surgery and 1 death immediately after spine surgery. Graft-versus-host disease developed in 1 patient when prednisone was stopped prior to the spine surgery. Thirteen patients underwent follow-up radiographic imaging at an average of 25 months after spine surgery; 12 demonstrated radiographic fusion. The results suggest that spine fusion rates are adequate despite immunosuppressive therapy in patients undergoing spinal fusion after transplant procedures. The data also illustrate the high morbidity and mortality rates found in the organ transplant patient population.
    Journal of neurosurgery. Spine 03/2011; 14(6):779-84. · 1.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to determine the accuracy of IV contrast-enhanced MDCT and MRI for evaluation of the severity and cause of neural foraminal stenosis in patients with cervical radiculopathy. Eighteen patients with cervical radiculopathy prospectively underwent contrast-enhanced MDCT and MRI. Contrast-enhanced MDCT scans were acquired at 1-mm thickness and reconstructed in oblique axial (parallel to disk) and sagittal (perpendicular to neural foramen) 2-mm sections without a gap. The MRI sequences used were sagittal T1-weighted, fast spin-echo T2-weighted, 3D fast spin-echo T2-weighted, axial T2-weighted, and 3D gradient-recalled echo. Three neuroradiologists independently and blindly rated the severity and cause of neural foraminal stenosis on a 4-point scale. Using the same scale at surgery, one of three surgeons rated the severity and cause of neural foraminal stenosis, and the results were used as the reference standard. Interobserver and intraobserver agreement (kappa) was calculated. For severity of neural foraminal stenosis, the sensitivities of contrast-enhanced MDCT (50/55, 91%) and MRI (55/57, 96%) were similar, as were their specificities (contrast-enhanced MDCT, 13/24, 54%; MRI, 11/24, 46%). For cause of neural foraminal stenosis, the accuracies of contrast-enhanced MDCT (46/54, 85%) and MRI (45/57, 79%) were similar. Interobserver agreement on severity of neural foraminal stenosis was moderate to almost perfect for contrast-enhanced MDCT (kappa=0.50-1.00) and MRI (kappa=0.43-1.00). For cause of neural foraminal stenosis, interobserver agreement was moderate to substantial for contrast-enhanced MDCT (kappa=0.52-0.76) but only fair for MRI (kappa=0.23-0.39). Intra observer agreement was very high for severity of neural foraminal stenosis (contrast-enhanced MDCT, kappa=0.85; MRI, kappa=0.80) and cause of neural foraminal stenosis (contrast-enhanced MDCT, kappa=0.86; MRI, kappa=1.00). Contrast-enhanced MDCT is as accurate as MRI in evaluation of the severity and cause of neural foraminal stenosis and may have better interobserver agreement.
    American Journal of Roentgenology 01/2010; 194(1):55-61. · 2.90 Impact Factor