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Cervical spondylotic myelopathy and driving abilities: defining the prevalence and long-term postoperative outcomes using the Quality Outcomes Database

Nitin Agarwal, Sarah E. Johnson, Mohamad Bydon, Erica F. Bisson, Andrew K. Chan, Saman Shabani, Vijay Letchuman, Giorgos D. Michalopoulos, Daniel C. Lu, Michael Y. Wang, Raj Swaroop Lavadi, Regis W. Haid, John J. Knightly, Brandon A. Sherrod, Oren N. Gottfried, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Jacob L. Goldberg, Michael S. Virk, Ibrahim Hussain, Steven D. Glassman, Mark E. Shaffrey, Paul Park, Kevin T. Foley, Brenton Pennicooke, Domagoj Coric, Jonathan R. Slotkin, Cheerag Upadhyaya, Eric A. Potts, Luis M. Tumialán, Dean Chou, Kai-Ming G. Fu, Anthony L. Asher, and Praveen V. Mummaneni

OBJECTIVE

Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) can cause significant difficulty with driving and a subsequent reduction in an individual’s quality of life due to neurological deterioration. The positive impact of surgery on postoperative patient-reported driving capabilities has been seldom explored.

METHODS

The CSM module of the Quality Outcomes Database was utilized. Patient-reported driving ability was assessed via the driving section of the Neck Disability Index (NDI) questionnaire. This is an ordinal scale in which 0 represents the absence of symptoms while driving and 5 represents a complete inability to drive due to symptoms. Patients were considered to have an impairment in their driving ability if they reported an NDI driving score of 3 or higher (signifying impairment in driving duration due to symptoms). Multivariable logistic regression models were fitted to evaluate mediators of baseline impairment and improvement at 24 months after surgery, which was defined as an NDI driving score < 3.

RESULTS

A total of 1128 patients who underwent surgical intervention for CSM were included, of whom 354 (31.4%) had baseline driving impairment due to CSM. Moderate (OR 2.3) and severe (OR 6.3) neck pain, severe arm pain (OR 1.6), mild-moderate (OR 2.1) and severe (OR 2.5) impairment in hand/arm dexterity, severe impairment in leg use/walking (OR 1.9), and severe impairment of urinary function (OR 1.8) were associated with impaired driving ability at baseline. Of the 291 patients with baseline impairment and available 24-month follow-up data, 209 (71.8%) reported postoperative improvement in their driving ability. This improvement seemed to be mediated particularly through the achievement of the minimal clinically important difference (MCID) in neck pain and improvement in leg function/walking. Patients with improved driving at 24 months noted higher postoperative satisfaction (88.5% vs 62.2%, p < 0.01) and were more likely to achieve a clinically significant improvement in their quality of life (50.7% vs 37.8%, p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

Nearly one-third of patients with CSM report impaired driving ability at presentation. Seventy-two percent of these patients reported improvements in their driving ability within 24 months of surgery. Surgical management of CSM can significantly improve patients’ driving abilities at 24 months and hence patients’ quality of life.

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What is the effect of preoperative depression on outcomes after minimally invasive surgery for adult spinal deformity? A prospective cohort analysis

Nitin Agarwal, Vijay Letchuman, Raj Swaroop Lavadi, Vivian P. Le, Alexander A. Aabedi, Saman Shabani, Andrew K. Chan, Paul Park, Juan S. Uribe, Jay D. Turner, Robert K. Eastlack, Richard G. Fessler, Kai-Ming Fu, Michael Y. Wang, Adam S. Kanter, David O. Okonkwo, Pierce D. Nunley, Neel Anand, Gregory M. Mundis Jr., Peter G. Passias, Shay Bess, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Dean Chou, and Praveen V. Mummaneni

OBJECTIVE

Depression has been implicated with worse immediate postoperative outcomes in adult spinal deformity (ASD) correction, yet the specific impact of depression on those patients undergoing minimally invasive surgery (MIS) requires further clarity. This study aimed to evaluate the role of depression in the recovery of patients with ASD after undergoing MIS.

METHODS

Patients who underwent MIS for ASD with a minimum postoperative follow-up of 1 year were included from a prospectively collected, multicenter registry. Two cohorts of patients were identified that consisted of either those affirming or denying depression on preoperative assessment. The patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) compared included scores on the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), numeric rating scale (NRS) for back and leg pain, Scoliosis Research Society Outcomes Questionnaire (SRS-22), SF-36 physical component summary, SF-36 mental component summary (MCS), EQ-5D, and EQ-5D visual analog scale.

RESULTS

Twenty-seven of 147 (18.4%) patients screened positive for preoperative depression. The nondepressed cohort had an average of 4.83 levels fused, and the depressed cohort had 5.56 levels fused per patient (p = 0.267). At 1-year follow-up, 10 patients still reported depression, representing a 63% decrease. Postoperatively, both cohorts demonstrated improvement in their PROMs; however, at 1-year follow-up, those without depression had statistically better outcomes based on the EQ-5D, MCS, and SRS-22 scores (p < 0.05). Patients with depression continued to experience higher NRS leg scores at 1-year follow-up (3.63 vs 2.22, p = 0.018). After controlling for covariates, the authors found that depression significantly impacted only 1-year follow-up MCS scores (β = 8.490, p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

Depressed and nondepressed patients reported similar improvements after MIS surgery, except MCS scores were more likely to improve in nondepressed patients.

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Does the number of social factors affect long-term patient-reported outcomes and satisfaction in those with cervical myelopathy? A QOD study

Christine Park, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Khoi D. Than, Erica F. Bisson, Brandon A. Sherrod, Anthony L. Asher, Domagoj Coric, Eric A. Potts, Kevin T. Foley, Michael Y. Wang, Kai-Ming Fu, Michael S. Virk, John J. Knightly, Scott Meyer, Paul Park, Cheerag Upadhyaya, Mark E. Shaffrey, Avery L. Buchholz, Luis M. Tumialán, Jay D. Turner, Nitin Agarwal, Andrew K. Chan, Dean Chou, Nauman S. Chaudhry, Regis W. Haid Jr., Praveen V. Mummaneni, Georgios D. Michalopoulos, Mohamad Bydon, and Oren N. Gottfried

OBJECTIVE

It is not clear whether there is an additive effect of social factors in keeping patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) from achieving both a minimum clinically important difference (MCID) in outcomes and satisfaction after surgery. The aim of this study was to explore the effect of multiple social factors on postoperative outcomes and satisfaction.

METHODS

This was a multiinstitutional, retrospective study of the prospective Quality Outcomes Database (QOD) CSM cohort, which included patients aged 18 years or older who were diagnosed with primary CSM and underwent operative management. Social factors included race (White vs non-White), education (high school or below vs above), employment (employed vs not), and insurance (private vs nonprivate). Patients were considered to have improved from surgery if the following criteria were met: 1) they reported a score of 1 or 2 on the North American Spine Society index, and 2) they met the MCID in patient-reported outcomes (i.e., visual analog scale [VAS] neck and arm pain, Neck Disability Index [NDI], and EuroQol-5D [EQ-5D]).

RESULTS

Of the 1141 patients included in the study, 205 (18.0%) had 0, 347 (30.4%) had 1, 334 (29.3%) had 2, and 255 (22.3%) had 3 social factors. The 24-month follow-up rate was > 80% for all patient-reported outcomes. After adjusting for all relevant covariates (p < 0.02), patients with 1 or more social factors were less likely to improve from surgery in all measured outcomes including VAS neck pain (OR 0.90, 95% CI 0.83–0.99) and arm pain (OR 0.88, 95% CI 0.80–0.96); NDI (OR 0.90, 95% CI 0.83–0.98); and EQ-5D (OR 0.90, 95% CI 0.83–0.97) (all p < 0.05) compared to those without any social factors. Patients with 2 social factors (outcomes: neck pain OR 0.86, arm pain OR 0.81, NDI OR 0.84, EQ-5D OR 0.81; all p < 0.05) or 3 social factors (outcomes: neck pain OR 0.84, arm pain OR 0.84, NDI OR 0.84, EQ-5D OR 0.84; all p < 0.05) were more likely to fare worse in all outcomes compared to those with only 1 social factor.

CONCLUSIONS

Compared to those without any social factors, patients who had at least 1 social factor were less likely to achieve MCID and feel satisfied after surgery. The effect of social factors is additive in that patients with a higher number of factors are less likely to improve compared to those with only 1 social factor.

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Predictors of pelvic tilt normalization: a multicenter study on the impact of regional and lower-extremity compensation on pelvic alignment after complex adult spinal deformity surgery

Pooja Dave, Renaud Lafage, Justin S. Smith, Breton G. Line, Peter S. Tretiakov, Jamshaid Mir, Bassel Diebo, Alan H. Daniels, Jeffrey L. Gum, D. Kojo Hamilton, Thomas Buell, Khoi D. Than, Kai-Ming Fu, Justin K. Scheer, Robert Eastlack, Jeffrey P. Mullin, Gregory Mundis Jr., Naobumi Hosogane, Mitsuru Yagi, Pierce Nunley, Dean Chou, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Eric O. Klineberg, Khaled M. Kebaish, Stephen Lewis, Richard A. Hostin Jr., Munish C. Gupta, Han Jo Kim, Christopher P. Ames, Robert A. Hart, Lawrence G. Lenke, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Shay Bess, Frank J. Schwab, Virginie Lafage, Douglas C. Burton, and Peter G. Passias

OBJECTIVE

The objective was to determine the degree of regional decompensation to pelvic tilt (PT) normalization after complex adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery.

METHODS

Operative ASD patients with 1 year of PT measurements were included. Patients with normalized PT at baseline were excluded. Predicted PT was compared to actual PT, tested for change from baseline, and then compared against age-adjusted, Scoliosis Research Society–Schwab, and global alignment and proportion (GAP) scores. Lower-extremity (LE) parameters included the cranial-hip-sacrum angle, cranial-knee-sacrum angle, and cranial-ankle-sacrum angle. LE compensation was set as the 1-year upper tertile compared with intraoperative baseline. Univariate analyses were used to compare normalized and nonnormalized data against alignment outcomes. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to develop a model consisting of significant predictors for normalization related to regional compensation.

RESULTS

In total, 156 patients met the inclusion criteria (mean ± SD age 64.6 ± 9.1 years, BMI 27.9 ± 5.6 kg/m2, Charlson Comorbidity Index 1.9 ± 1.6). Patients with normalized PT were more likely to have overcorrected pelvic incidence minus lumbar lordosis and sagittal vertical axis at 6 weeks (p < 0.05). GAP score at 6 weeks was greater for patients with nonnormalized PT (0.6 vs 1.3, p = 0.08). At baseline, 58.5% of patients had compensation in the thoracic and cervical regions. Postoperatively, compensation was maintained by 42% with no change after matching in age-adjusted or GAP score. The patients with nonnormalized PT had increased rates of thoracic and cervical compensation (p < 0.05). Compensation in thoracic kyphosis differed between patients with normalized PT at 6 weeks and those with normalized PT at 1 year (69% vs 35%, p < 0.05). Those who compensated had increased rates of implant complications by 1 year (OR [95% CI] 2.08 [1.32–6.56], p < 0.05). Cervical compensation was maintained at 6 weeks and 1 year (56% vs 43%, p = 0.12), with no difference in implant complications (OR 1.31 [95% CI −2.34 to 1.03], p = 0.09). For the lower extremities at baseline, 61% were compensating. Matching age-adjusted alignment did not eliminate compensation at any joint (all p > 0.05). Patients with nonnormalized PT had higher rates of LE compensation across joints (all p < 0.01). Overall, patients with normalized PT at 1 year had the greatest odds of resolving LE compensation (OR 9.6, p < 0.001). Patients with normalized PT at 1 year had lower rates of implant failure (8.9% vs 19.5%, p < 0.05), rod breakage (1.3% vs 13.8%, p < 0.05), and pseudarthrosis (0% vs 4.6%, p < 0.05) compared with patients with nonnormalized PT. The complication rate was significantly lower for patients with normalized PT at 1 year (56.7% vs 66.1%, p = 0.02), despite comparable health-related quality of life scores.

CONCLUSIONS

Patients with PT normalization had greater rates of resolution in thoracic and LE compensation, leading to lower rates of complications by 1 year. Thus, consideration of both the lower extremities and thoracic regions in surgical planning is vital to preventing adverse outcomes and maintaining pelvic alignment.

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What predicts the best 24-month outcomes following surgery for cervical spondylotic myelopathy? A QOD prospective registry study

Andrew K. Chan, Christine Park, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Oren N. Gottfried, Khoi D. Than, Erica F. Bisson, Mohamad Bydon, Anthony L. Asher, Domagoj Coric, Eric A. Potts, Kevin T. Foley, Michael Y. Wang, Kai-Ming Fu, Michael S. Virk, John J. Knightly, Scott Meyer, Paul Park, Cheerag D. Upadhyaya, Mark E. Shaffrey, Avery L. Buchholz, Luis M. Tumialán, Jay D. Turner, Giorgos Michalopoulos, Brandon A. Sherrod, Nitin Agarwal, Dean Chou, Regis W. Haid Jr., and Praveen V. Mummaneni

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to identify predictors of the best 24-month improvements in patients undergoing surgery for cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM). For this purpose, the authors leveraged a large prospective cohort of surgically treated patients with CSM to identify factors predicting the best outcomes for disability, quality of life, and functional status following surgery.

METHODS

This was a retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data. The Quality Outcomes Database (QOD) CSM dataset (1141 patients) at 14 top enrolling sites was used. Baseline and surgical characteristics were compared for those reporting the top and bottom 20th percentile 24-month Neck Disability Index (NDI), EuroQol-5D (EQ-5D), and modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association (mJOA) change scores. A multivariable logistic model was constructed and included candidate variables reaching p ≤ 0.20 on univariate analyses. Least important variables were removed in a stepwise manner to determine the significant predictors of the best outcomes (top 20th percentile) for 24-month NDI, EQ-5D, and mJOA change.

RESULTS

A total of 948 (83.1%) patients with 24-month follow-up were included in this study. For NDI, 204 (17.9%) had the best NDI outcome and 200 (17.5%) had the worst NDI outcome. Factors predicting the best NDI outcomes included symptom duration less than 12 months (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.1–1.9; p = 0.01); procedure other than posterior fusion (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.03–2.1; p = 0.03); higher preoperative visual analog scale neck pain score (OR 1.2, 95% CI 1.1–1.3; p < 0.001); and higher baseline NDI (OR 1.06, 95% CI 1.05–1.07; p < 0.001). For EQ-5D, 163 (14.3%) had the best EQ-5D outcome and 169 (14.8%) had the worst EQ-5D outcome. Factors predicting the best EQ-5D outcomes included arm pain–only complaints (compared to neck pain) (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.3–2.9; p = 0.002) and lower baseline EQ-5D (OR 167.7 per unit lower, 95% CI 85.0–339.4; p < 0.001). For mJOA, 222 (19.5%) had the best mJOA outcome and 238 (20.9%) had the worst mJOA outcome. Factors predicting the best mJOA outcomes included lower BMI (OR 1.03 per unit lower, 95% CI 1.004–1.05; p = 0.02; cutoff value of ≤ 29.5 kg/m2); arm pain–only complaints (compared to neck pain) (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.1–2.5; p = 0.02); and lower baseline mJOA (OR 1.6 per unit lower, 95% CI 1.5–1.7; p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

Compared to the worst outcomes for EQ-5D, the best outcomes were associated with patients with arm pain–only complaints. For mJOA, lower BMI and arm pain–only complaints portended the best outcomes. For NDI, those with the best outcomes had shorter symptom durations, higher preoperative neck pain scores, and less often underwent posterior spinal fusions. Given the positive impact of shorter symptom duration on outcomes, these data suggest that early surgery may be beneficial for patients with CSM.

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Does diabetes affect outcome or reoperation rate after lumbar decompression or arthrodesis? A matched analysis of the Quality Outcomes Database data set

Presented at the 2023 AANS/CNS Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves

James Mooney, Karim Rizwan Nathani, Daniel Zeitouni, Giorgos D. Michalopoulos, Michael Y. Wang, Domagoj Coric, Andrew K. Chan, Daniel C. Lu, Brandon A. Sherrod, Oren N. Gottfried, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Khoi D. Than, Jacob L. Goldberg, Ibrahim Hussain, Michael S. Virk, Nitin Agarwal, Steven D. Glassman, Mark E. Shaffrey, Paul Park, Kevin T. Foley, Dean Chou, Jonathan R. Slotkin, Luis M. Tumialán, Cheerag D. Upadhyaya, Eric A. Potts, Kai-Ming G. Fu, Regis W. Haid, John J. Knightly, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Erica F. Bisson, Anthony L. Asher, and Mohamad Bydon

OBJECTIVE

Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a known risk factor for postsurgical and systemic complications after lumbar spinal surgery. Smaller studies have also demonstrated diminished improvements in patient-reported outcomes (PROs), with increased reoperation and readmission rates after lumbar surgery in patients with DM. The authors aimed to examine longer-term PROs in patients with DM undergoing lumbar decompression and/or arthrodesis for degenerative pathology.

METHODS

The Quality Outcomes Database was queried for patients undergoing elective lumbar decompression and/or arthrodesis for degenerative pathology. Patients were grouped into DM and non-DM groups and optimally matched in a 1:1 ratio on 31 baseline variables, including the number of operated levels. Outcomes of interest were readmissions and reoperations at 30 and 90 days after surgery in addition to improvements in Oswestry Disability Index, back pain, and leg pain scores and quality-adjusted life-years at 90 days after surgery.

RESULTS

The matched decompression cohort comprised 7836 patients (3236 [41.3] females) with a mean age of 63.5 ± 12.6 years, and the matched arthrodesis cohort comprised 7336 patients (3907 [53.3%] females) with a mean age of 64.8 ± 10.3 years. In patients undergoing lumbar decompression, no significant differences in nonroutine discharge, length of stay (LOS), readmissions, reoperations, and PROs were observed. In patients undergoing lumbar arthrodesis, nonroutine discharge (15.7% vs 13.4%, p < 0.01), LOS (3.2 ± 2.0 vs 3.0 ± 3.5 days, p < 0.01), 30-day (6.5% vs 4.4%, p < 0.01) and 90-day (9.1% vs 7.0%, p < 0.01) readmission rates, and the 90-day reoperation rate (4.3% vs 3.2%, p = 0.01) were all significantly higher in the DM group. For DM patients undergoing lumbar arthrodesis, subgroup analyses demonstrated a significantly higher risk of poor surgical outcomes with the open approach.

CONCLUSIONS

Patients with and without DM undergoing lumbar spinal decompression alone have comparable readmission and reoperation rates, while those undergoing arthrodesis procedures have a higher risk of poor surgical outcomes up to 90 days after surgery. Surgeons should target optimal DM control preoperatively, particularly for patients undergoing elective lumbar arthrodesis.

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What factors influence surgical decision-making in anterior versus posterior surgery for cervical myelopathy? A QOD analysis

Presented at the 2023 AANS/CNS Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves

Christine Park, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Khoi D. Than, Giorgos D. Michalopoulos, Sally El Sammak, Andrew K. Chan, Erica F. Bisson, Brandon A. Sherrod, Anthony L. Asher, Domagoj Coric, Eric A. Potts, Kevin T. Foley, Michael Y. Wang, Kai-Ming Fu, Michael S. Virk, John J. Knightly, Scott Meyer, Paul Park, Cheerag Upadhyaya, Mark E. Shaffrey, Avery L. Buchholz, Luis M. Tumialán, Jay Turner, Nitin Agarwal, Dean Chou, Nauman S. Chaudhry, Regis W. Haid Jr., Praveen V. Mummaneni, Mohamad Bydon, and Oren N. Gottfried

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to explore the preoperative patient characteristics that affect surgical decision-making when selecting an anterior or posterior operative approach in patients diagnosed with cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM).

METHODS

This was a multi-institutional, retrospective study of the prospective Quality Outcomes Database (QOD) Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy module. Patients aged 18 years or older diagnosed with primary CSM who underwent multilevel (≥ 2-level) elective surgery were included. Demographics and baseline clinical characteristics were collected.

RESULTS

Of the 841 patients with CSM in the database, 492 (58.5%) underwent multilevel anterior surgery and 349 (41.5%) underwent multilevel posterior surgery. Surgeons more often performed a posterior surgical approach in older patients (mean 64.8 ± 10.6 vs 58.5 ± 11.1 years, p < 0.001) and those with a higher American Society of Anesthesiologists class (class III or IV: 52.4% vs 46.3%, p = 0.003), a higher rate of motor deficit (67.0% vs 58.7%, p = 0.014), worse myelopathy (mean modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association score 11.4 ± 3.1 vs 12.4 ± 2.6, p < 0.001), and more levels treated (4.3 ± 1.3 vs 2.4 ± 0.6, p < 0.001). On the other hand, surgeons more frequently performed an anterior surgical approach when patients were employed (47.2% vs 23.2%, p < 0.001) and had intervertebral disc herniation as an underlying pathology (30.7% vs 9.2%, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

The selection of approach for patients with CSM depends on patient demographics and symptomology. Posterior surgery was performed in patients who were older and had worse systemic disease, increased myelopathy, and greater levels of stenosis. Anterior surgery was more often performed in patients who were employed and had intervertebral disc herniation.

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Greater improvement in Neck Disability Index scores in women after surgery for cervical myelopathy: an analysis of the Quality Outcomes Database

Arati Patel, Sravani Kondapavulur, Gray Umbach, Andrew K. Chan, Vivian P. Le, Erica F. Bisson, Mohamad Bydon, Dean Chou, Steve D. Glassman, Kevin T. Foley, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Eric A. Potts, Mark E. Shaffrey, Domagoj Coric, John J. Knightly, Paul Park, Michael Y. Wang, Kai-Ming Fu, Jonathan Slotkin, Anthony L. Asher, Michael S. Virk, Regis W. Haid, Oren Gottfried, Scott Meyer, Cheerag D. Upadhyaya, Luis M. Tumialán, Jay D. Turner, and Praveen V. Mummaneni

OBJECTIVE

There is a high prevalence of cervical myelopathy that requires surgery; as such, it is important to identify how different groups benefit from surgery. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons launched the Quality Outcomes Database (QOD), a prospective longitudinal registry, that includes demographic, clinical, and patient-reported outcome data to measure the safety and quality of neurosurgical procedures. In this study, the authors assessed the impact of gender on patient-reported outcomes in patients who underwent surgery for cervical myelopathy.

METHODS

The authors analyzed 1152 patients who underwent surgery for cervical myelopathy and were included in the QOD cervical module. Univariate comparison of baseline patient characteristics between males and females who underwent surgery for cervical spondylotic myelopathy was performed. Baseline characteristics that significantly differed between males and females were included in a multivariate generalized linear model comparing baseline and 1-year postoperative Neck Disability Index (NDI) scores.

RESULTS

This study included 546 females and 604 males. Females demonstrated significantly greater improvement in NDI score 1 year after surgery (p = 0.036). In addition to gender, the presence of axial neck pain and insurance status were also significantly predictive of improvement in NDI score after surgery (p = 0.0013 and p = 0.0058, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

Females were more likely to benefit from surgery for cervical myelopathy compared with males. It is important to identify gender differences in postoperative outcomes after surgery in order to deliver more personalized and patient-centric care.

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Systematic review and meta-analysis of topical tranexamic acid in spine surgery

Chiemela Izima, Shailen G. Sampath, Anthony J. Tang, Vardhaan S. Ambati, Dean Chou, and Andrew K. Chan

OBJECTIVE

Tranexamic acid (TXA) is an antifibrinolytic drug associated with reduced blood loss in a range of surgical specialties, including neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, and cardiac surgery. Concerns about venous thromboembolism and seizures from intravenous (IV) TXA have led to increased use of topical TXA. Given the relative scarcity of the literature on topical TXA compared with that on IV TXA within neurosurgery, the authors aimed to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis on the safety, efficacy, and optimal administration of topical TXA in a wide range of spinal procedures and pathologies.

METHODS

The PRISMA guidelines, Cochrane risk of bias tool, and Newcastle-Ottawa Scale were used to extract randomized controlled trials and high-quality case-control and cross-sectional/cohort studies (adult studies only) from PubMed, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, and Embase published between 2016 and 2023. Studies were analyzed by two independent reviewers for variables including dosage, TXA administration route, type of spine procedure, blood loss, adverse events including thromboembolism and infection, postoperative hemoglobin level, and hospitalization length. Pooled analysis comparing intraoperative and postoperative blood loss, postoperative hemoglobin levels, and hospitalization length of stay on the basis of route of TXA administration was conducted.

RESULTS

Four cohort studies, 1 cross-sectional study, 1 case-control study, and 12 randomized controlled trials, together involving 2045 patients, were included. The most common route of topical TXA administration was via TXA in saline solution. Other routes of topical TXA included retrograde injection and TXA-soaked Gelfoam. In pooled analysis, topical TXA significantly reduced visible blood loss (standardized mean difference [SMD] −0.22, 95% CI −0.45 to −0.00001), postoperative blood loss (SMD −1.63, 95% CI −2.03 to −1.22), and length of hospital stay (SMD −1.02, 95% CI −1.42 to −0.61), as well as higher postoperative hemoglobin (SMD 0.59, 95% CI 0.34–0.83), compared with non-TXA controls. No significant differences in outcomes were found between topical and IV TXA or between combined (topical and IV) and IV TXA. Thromboembolism and infection rates did not significantly differ between any TXA administration group and non-TXA controls.

CONCLUSIONS

In pooled analyses, topical TXA was associated with decreased perioperative blood loss in a wide range of scenarios, including cervical spine surgery and thoracolumbar trauma, as well as in patients with a thromboembolic history.

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Three-level ACDF versus 3-level laminectomy and fusion: are there differences in outcomes? An analysis of the Quality Outcomes Database cervical spondylotic myelopathy cohort

Vardhaan S. Ambati, Mohamed Macki, Andrew K. Chan, Giorgos D. Michalopoulos, Vivian P. Le, Alysha B. Jamieson, Dean Chou, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Oren N. Gottfried, Erica F. Bisson, Anthony L. Asher, Domagoj Coric, Eric A. Potts, Kevin T. Foley, Michael Y. Wang, Kai-Ming Fu, Michael S. Virk, John J. Knightly, Scott Meyer, Paul Park, Cheerag Upadhyaya, Mark E. Shaffrey, Avery L. Buchholz, Luis M. Tumialán, Jay D. Turner, Brandon A. Sherrod, Regis W. Haid Jr., Mohamad Bydon, and Praveen V. Mummaneni

OBJECTIVE

The authors sought to compare 3-level anterior with posterior fusion surgical procedures for the treatment of multilevel cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM).

METHODS

The authors analyzed prospective data from the 14 highest enrolling sites of the Quality Outcomes Database CSM module. They compared 3-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) and posterior cervical laminectomy and fusion (PCF) surgical procedures, excluding surgical procedures crossing the cervicothoracic junction. Rates of reaching the minimal clinically important difference (MCID) in patient-reported outcomes (PROs) were compared at 24 months postoperatively. Multivariable analyses adjusted for potential confounders elucidated in univariable analysis.

RESULTS

Overall, 199 patients met the inclusion criteria: 123 ACDF (61.8%) and 76 PCF (38.2%) patients. The 24-month follow-up rates were similar (ACDF 90.2% vs PCF 92.1%, p = 0.67). Preoperatively, ACDF patients were younger (60.8 ± 10.2 vs 65.0 ± 10.3 years, p < 0.01), and greater proportions were privately insured (56.1% vs 36.8%, p = 0.02), actively employed (39.8% vs 22.8%, p = 0.04), and independently ambulatory (14.6% vs 31.6%, p < 0.01). Otherwise, the cohorts had equivalent baseline modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association (mJOA), Neck Disability Index (NDI), numeric rating scale (NRS)–arm pain, NRS–neck pain, and EQ-5D scores (p > 0.05). ACDF patients had reduced hospitalization length (1.6 vs 3.9 days, p < 0.01) and a greater proportion had nonroutine discharge (7.3% vs 22.8%, p < 0.01), but they had a higher rate of postoperative dysphagia (13.5% vs 3.5%, p = 0.049). Compared with baseline values, both groups demonstrated improvements in all outcomes at 24 months (p < 0.05). In multivariable analyses, after controlling for age, insurance payor, employment status, ambulation status, and other potential clinically relevant confounders, ACDF was associated with a greater proportion of patients with maximum satisfaction on the North American Spine Society Patient Satisfaction Index (NASS) (NASS score of 1) at 24 months (69.4% vs 53.7%, OR 2.44, 95% CI 1.17–5.09, adjusted p = 0.02). Otherwise, the cohorts shared similar 24-month outcomes in terms of reaching the MCID for mJOA, NDI, NRS–arm pain, NRS–neck pain, and EQ-5D score (adjusted p > 0.05). There were no differences in the 3-month readmission (ACDF 4.1% vs PCF 3.9%, p = 0.97) and 24-month reoperation (ACDF 13.5% vs PCF 18.6%, p = 0.36) rates.

CONCLUSIONS

In a cohort limited to 3-level fusion surgical procedures, ACDF was associated with reduced blood loss, shorter hospitalization length, and higher routine home discharge rates; however, PCF resulted in lower rates of postoperative dysphagia. The procedures yielded comparably significant improvements in functional status (mJOA score), neck and arm pain, neck pain–related disability, and quality of life at 3, 12, and 24 months. ACDF patients had significantly higher odds of maximum satisfaction (NASS score 1). Given comparable outcomes, patients should be counseled on each approach’s complication profile to aid in surgical decision-making.