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Neurosurgery Happenings

The American Association of Neurological Surgeons is awarding Dr. Joseph Cheng with its Distinguished Service Award.

The University of Cincinnati is participating in a new clinical trial designed to test whether doctors should measure patient’s brain oxygen levels following a traumatic brain injury.

TBI ClinicCurrently, UC monitors all patient’s oxygen levels following traumatic brain injury, but not all hospitals do. “A lot of places in the country don’t do neuromonitoring because they don’t see many TBI patients,” explains Dr. Natalie Kreitzer, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and Neurocritical Care and the study’s principal investigator, “For them to build up the infrastructure and invest in neuromonitoring, a study like Boost-3 is really important to show them that this is something we should be doing. It matters.”

UC will continue to monitor all patient’s brain oxygen level, but half of the patient’s information will be blinded to the study team. Dr. Kreitzer says, “The question the trial is asking is: if we know that number, do we manage patients in a way that is better?”

Staff will conduct intercranial monitoring for five days following the injury. Doctors will reevaluate patients six months later to assess which group had better outcomes.

The Boost-3 trial went live in Cincinnati on January 29, 2020, and on it’s first day, UC physicians worked together to not only enroll the patient in the Boost-3 study, but also in another ongoing TBI study, SDII. Dr. Laura Ngwenya, Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, explains that it took a handful of doctors from various departments working together to make this happen. “This was a tremendous effort and showcases are ability to work together as a team,” Dr. Ngwenya says. “I think it’s a real success of our TBI research team,” says the study’s coordinator, Hilary Perez, PhD, “We have four different investigators for four different studies across three different departments, and all of us are in really close communication.” 


Patients must be enrolled within six hours of getting to the hospital and within 12 hours of the brain injury.


In addition to Boost-3 and SDII, UC currently has two additional TBI clinical trials underway. UC is one of 45 centers across the country that will participate in Boost-3.

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University of Cincinnati
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Department of Neurosurgery
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