Bio

Education & Certifications


  • Bachelor of Science, Duke University, Major in Biology with Minors in Religion and Neuroscience (2011)

Clerkships


  • 2013 Summer - MED 300A General Medicine Core Clerkship
  • 2013 Summer - SURG 300A Surgery Core Clerkship

Research & Scholarship

Research Projects


  • Single vs. Multiple Fractionations in the Treatment of Acoustic Neuromas (MedScholars Project)

Publications

Journal Articles


  • Acute Lung Injury in Patients with Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: A Nationwide Inpatient Sample Study. World neurosurgery Veeravagu, A., Chen, Y. R., Ludwig, C., Rincon, F., Maltenfort, M., Jallo, J., Choudhri, O., Steinberg, G. K., Ratliff, J. K. 2014

    Abstract

    Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) causes significant morbidity and mortality. Pulmonary complications may be particularly frequent, but national data is lacking on the outcomes associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in SAH patients. The aim of this study is to determine national trends for SAH patients with ARDS.The Nationwide Inpatient Sample Database (NIS) was utilized to sample 193,209 admissions for SAH with and without ARDS from 1993 to 2008 using ICD-9-CM coding. A multivariate stepwise regression analysis was performed.The incidence of ARDS in SAH has increased from 35.51% in 1993 to 37.60% in 2008. However, the overall mortality in SAH patients and in SAH patients with ARDS has decreased in the same period, from 42.30% to 31.99% and from 75.13% to 60.76% respectively. Multivariate analysis showed that the predictors of developing ARDS in SAH patients include older age, larger hospital size, and comorbidities such as epilepsy, cardiac arrest, sepsis, congestive heart failure, hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and hematologic, renal, or neurological dysfunction. Predictors of mortality in SAH patients include age and hospital complications such as coronary artery disease, ARDS, cancer, and hematologic, or renal dysfunction.SAH patients are at increased risk of developing ARDS and the identification of certain risk factors may alert and aid the practitioner in preventing worsening disease.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.wneu.2014.02.030

    View details for PubMedID 24560705

  • Fungal infection of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt: histoplasmosis diagnosis and treatment. World neurosurgery Veeravagu, A., Ludwig, C., Camara-Quintana, J. Q., Jiang, B., Lad, N., Shuer, L. 2013; 80 (1-2): 222 e5-222 e13

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND: Histoplasmosis is a fungal disease caused by Histoplasma capsulatum, commonly found in the Americas, and Histoplasma duboisii, located in Africa. In the United States, H. capsulatum is prevalent in the Ohio and Mississippi river valleys. In rare circumstances, central nervous system (CNS) histoplasmosis infection can be caused by shunt placement. We present a case report of a 45-year-old woman in whom CNS histoplasmosis developed after having a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt placed for communicating hydrocephalus. A review of the literature on fungal infections after CNS shunt placement as well as treatment options for this subset of patients was undertaken. METHODS: The PubMed database current to 1958 was filtered and limited to English-language articles. Fifty-eight articles were selected for review based on evidence of information regarding the fungal organism responsible for shunt infection, symptoms, treatment, and/or outcomes. Also included in this review is our case study. RESULTS: A thorough analysis of the PubMed database revealed 58 reported cases of CNS shunt-related fungal infections in the English-language medical literature as well as 7 therapeutic agents used to treat patients in whom postshunt fungal infections developed. CONCLUSIONS: We describe the steps in diagnosis of histoplasmosis after shunt placement, provide an effective therapeutic regimen, and review the present understanding of CNS fungal infections. The medical literature was surveyed to compare and analyze various CNS fungal infections that can arise from shunt placement as well as treatments rendered.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.wneu.2012.12.016

    View details for PubMedID 23247021

  • Traumatic epistaxis: Skull base defects, intracranial complications and neurosurgical considerations. International journal of surgery case reports Veeravagu, A., Joseph, R., Jiang, B., Lober, R. M., Ludwig, C., Torres, R., Singh, H. 2013; 4 (8): 656-661

    Abstract

    Endonasal procedures may be necessary during management of craniofacial trauma. When a skull base fracture is present, these procedures carry a high risk of violating the cranial vault and causing brain injury or central nervous system infection.A 52-year-old bicyclist was hit by an automobile at high speed. He sustained extensive maxillofacial fractures, including frontal and sphenoid sinus fractures (Fig. 1). He presented to the emergency room with brisk nasopharyngeal hemorrhage, and was intubated for airway protection. He underwent emergent stabilization of his nasal epistaxis by placement of a Foley catheter in his left nare and tamponade with the Foley balloon. A six-vessel angiogram showed no evidence of arterial dissection or laceration. Imaging revealed inadvertent insertion of the Foley catheter and deployment of the balloon in the frontal lobe (Fig. 2). The balloon was subsequently deflated and the Foley catheter removed. The patient underwent bifrontal craniotomy for dural repair of CSF leak. He also had placement of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt for development of post-traumatic hydrocephalus. Although the hospital course was a prolonged one, he did make a good neurological recovery.The authors review the literature involving violation of the intracranial compartment with medical devices in the settings of craniofacial trauma.Caution should be exercised while performing any endonasal procedure in the settings of trauma where disruption of the anterior cranial base is possible.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijscr.2013.04.033

    View details for PubMedID 23792475

  • Ultrastructure and Innervation of Thumb Carpometacarpal Ligaments in Surgical Patients With Osteoarthritis. Clinical orthopaedics and related research Mobargha, N., Ludwig, C., Ladd, A. L., Hagert, E. 2013

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND: The complex configuration of the thumb carpometacarpal (CMC-1) joint relies on musculotendinous and ligamentous support for precise circumduction. Ligament innervation contributes to joint stability and proprioception. Evidence suggests abnormal ligament innervation is associated with osteoarthritis (OA) in large joints; however, little is known about CMC-1 ligament innervation characteristics in patients with OA. We studied the dorsal radial ligament (DRL) and the anterior oblique ligament (AOL), ligaments with a reported divergent presence of mechanoreceptors in nonosteoarthritic joints. QUESTIONS/PURPOSES: This study's purposes were (1) to examine the ultrastructural architecture of CMC-1 ligaments in surgical patients with OA; (2) to describe innervation, specifically looking at mechanoreceptors, of these ligaments using immunohistochemical techniques and compare the AOL and DRL in terms of innervation; and (3) to determine whether there is a correlation between age and mechanoreceptor density. METHODS: The AOL and DRL were harvested from 11 patients with OA during trapeziectomy (10 women, one man; mean age, 67 years). The 22 ligaments were sectioned in paraffin and analyzed using immunoflourescent triple staining microscopy. RESULTS: In contrast to the organized collagen bundles of the DRL, the AOL appeared to be composed of disorganized connective tissue with few collagen fibers and little innervation. Mechanoreceptors were identified in CMC-1 ligaments of all patients with OA. The DRL was significantly more innervated than the AOL. There was no significant correlation between innervation of the DRL and AOL and patient age. CONCLUSIONS: The dense collagen structure and rich innervation of the DRL in patients with OA suggest that the DRL has an important proprioceptive and stabilizing role. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Ligament innervation may correlate with proprioceptive and neuromuscular changes in OA pathophysiology and consequently support further investigation of innervation in disease prevention and treatment strategies.

    View details for PubMedID 23761171

  • Biopsy versus resection for the management of low-grade gliomas. Cochrane database of systematic reviews Veeravagu, A., Jiang, B., Ludwig, C., Chang, S. D., Black, K. L., Patil, C. G. 2013; 4: CD009319-?

    Abstract

    Low-grade gliomas (LGG) constitute a class of slow-growing primary brain neoplasms. Patients with clinically and radiographically suspected LGG have two initial surgical options, biopsy or resection. Biopsy can provide a histological diagnosis with minimal risk but does not offer a direct treatment. Resection may have additional benefits such as increasing survival and delaying recurrence, but is associated with a higher risk for surgical morbidity. There remains controversy about the role of biopsy versus resection and the relative clinical outcomes for the management of LGG.To assess the clinical effectiveness of biopsy compared to surgical resection in patients with a new lesion suspected to be a LGG.The following electronic databases were searched: Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (2012, Issue 11), MEDLINE (1950 to week 3 November 2012), EMBASE (1980 to Week 46 2012). Unpublished and grey literature including Metaregister, Physicians Data Query, www.controlled-trials.com/rct, www.clinicaltrials.gov, and www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials were also queried for ongoing trials.Patients of any age with a suspected intracranial LGG receiving biopsy or resection within a randomized clinical trial (RCT) or controlled clinical trial (CCT) were included. Patients with prior resections, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy for LGG were excluded. Outcome measures included overall survival (OS), progression free survival (PFS), functionally independent survival (FIS), adverse events, symptom control, and quality of life (QoL).A total of 2764 citations were searched and critically analyzed for relevance. This effort was undertaken by three independent review authors.No RCTs of biopsy or resection for LGG were identified. Twenty other studies were retrieved for analysis based on pre-specified selection criteria. Ten studies were retrospective or literature reviews. Three studies were prospective but were limited to tumor recurrence or the extent of resection. One study was a population-based parallel cohort and not an RCT. Four studies were RCTs, however patients were randomized with respect to varying radiotherapy regimens to assess timing and dose of radiation. One RCT was focused on high-grade gliomas and not LGG. One last RCT evaluated diffusion tensor imaging (DTI)-based neuro-navigation for surgical resection.Currently there are no randomized clinical trials or controlled clinical trials available on which to base clinical decisions. Therefore, physicians must approach each case individually and weigh the risks and benefits of each intervention until further evidence is available. Future research could focus on randomized clinical trials to determine outcomes benefits for biopsy versus resection.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/14651858.CD009319.pub2

    View details for PubMedID 23633369

  • From the Patient’s Point of View: Patient Centered Outcomes in Spine Surgery Cureus Cassie A. Ludwig, Anand Veeravagu, Michael Zhang, Mitchel G. Maltenfort, Phillip Dowzicky, John K. Ratliff 2013; 5 (4)

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