Craniotomy for the resection of metastatic brain tumors in the U.S., 1988-2000: decreasing mortality and the effect of provider caseload

Fred G Barker
Cancer 2004 March 1, 100 (5): 999-1007

BACKGROUND: To assist in selecting treatment for patients with brain metastases, the current study assessed the risk of adverse outcomes after contemporary resection of metastatic brain tumors in relation to patient, surgeon, and hospital characteristics, with particular attention to the volume of care and trends in outcomes.

METHODS: A retrospective cohort study of 13,685 admissions from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample between 1988-2000 was performed. Multivariate logistic, ordinal, and loglinear regression were used with endpoints of mortality, discharge disposition, length of stay, and total hospital charges.

RESULTS: The overall in-hospital mortality rate was 3.1% and an additional 16.7% of patients were not discharged directly home. In multivariate analyses, larger-volume centers were found to have lower mortality rates for intracranial metastasis resection (odds ratio [OR], 0.79; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.59-1.03 [P = 0.09]). An adverse discharge disposition also was less likely at higher-volume hospitals (OR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.65-0.86 [P < 0.001]). For surgeon caseload, mortality was lower with higher-caseload providers (OR, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.30-0.80 [P = 0.004]) and an adverse discharge disposition occurred significantly less frequently (OR, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.40-0.64 [P < 0.001]). The annual number of resections increased by 79% during the study period, from 3900 (1988) to 7000 (2000). In-hospital mortality rates decreased from 4.6% (1988-1990) to 2.3% (1997-2000), a 49% relative decrease. Length of stay was reported to be significantly shorter with higher-volume providers. Hospital charges were not found to be associated significantly with hospital caseload and were found to be significantly lower after surgery that was performed by higher-caseload surgeons.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of the current study found that higher-volume hospitals and surgeons provided superior short-term outcomes after resection of intracranial metastasis was performed, with shorter lengths of stay and a trend toward lower charges.

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