Do Patients Require Inpatient Admission to Receive Adrenocorticotropic Hormone (ACTH)? A Survey of US-Based Prescribers

Joshi, C.; Berg, A. T.; Wirrell, E.

J Child Neurol. 2015 May 23; 31(2):164-9

Abstract

We aimed to determine variation in treatment of newly diagnosed infantile spasms, focusing on details of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) administration using a Redcap questionnaire sent to members of the Child Neurology Society. Two hundred fifty-seven members responded. Eighty-four percent prescribers used ACTH to treat infantile spasms. Seventy-six percent always admit patients. There is no difference between prescriber type (epileptologist or other) and prescriber location (state-funded or non-state-funded hospital) for decision to admit. Electroencephalographic (EEG) confirmation of spasms and education for injection were the commonest reasons to admit. Only 45% of prescribers accurately estimated the cost of ACTH. Participants in the hospital vial program were significantly more likely to always admit patients for ACTH than those who did not participate in such a program (P = .02). Although having the hospital sample vial allows time to complete investigation of infantile spasms and eliminates delays in initiating ACTH, it adds significantly to the cost of therapy.

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