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The timing of venous thromboembolic events after spine surgery: a single-center experience with 6869 consecutive patients

Presented at the 2017 AANS/CNS Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves

Michael B. Cloney, Benjamin Hopkins, Ekamjeet S. Dhillon and Nader S. Dahdaleh

OBJECTIVE

Venous thromboembolic events (VTEs), including both deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism, are a major cause of morbidity and mortality after spine surgery. Prophylactic anticoagulation, or chemoprophylaxis, can prevent VTE. However, the timing of VTEs after spine surgery and the effect of chemoprophylaxis on VTE timing remain underinvestigated.

METHODS

The records of 6869 consecutive spine surgeries were retrospectively examined. Data on patient demographics, surgical variables, hospital course, and timing of VTEs were collected. Patients who received chemoprophylaxis were compared with those who did not. Appropriate regression models were used to examine selection for chemoprophylaxis and the timing of VTEs.

RESULTS

Age (OR 1.037, 95% CI 1.023–1.051; p < 0.001), longer surgery (OR 1.003, 95% CI 1.002–1.004; p < 0.001), history of DVT (OR 1.697, 95% CI 1.038–2.776; p = 0.035), and fusion surgery (OR 1.917, 95% CI 1.356–2.709; p < 0.001) predicted selection for chemoprophylaxis. Chemoprophylaxis patients experienced more VTEs (3.62% vs 2.03% of patients, respectively; p < 0.001), and also required longer hospital stays (5.0 days vs 1.0 days; HR 0.5107; p < 0.0001) and had a greater time to the occurrence of VTE (median 6.8 days vs 3.6 days; HR 0.6847; p = 0.0003). The cumulative incidence of VTEs correlated with the postoperative day in both groups (Spearman r = 0.9746, 95% CI 0.9457–0.9883, and p < 0.0001 for the chemoprophylaxis group; Spearman r = 0.9061, 95% CI 0.8065–0.9557, and p < 0.0001 for the nonchemoprophylaxis group), and the cumulative incidence of VTEs was higher in the nonchemoprophylaxis group throughout the 30-day postoperative period. Cumulative VTE incidence and postoperative day were linearly correlated in the first 2 postoperative weeks (R = 0.9396 and p < 0.0001 for the chemoprophylaxis group; R = 0.8190 and p = 0.0003 for the nonchemoprophylaxis group) and the remainder of the 30-day postoperative period (R = 0.9535 and p < 0.0001 for the chemoprophylaxis group; R = 0.6562 and p = 0.0058 for the nonchemoprophylaxis group), but the linear relationships differ between these 2 postoperative periods (p < 0.0001 for both groups).

CONCLUSIONS

Anticoagulation reduces the cumulative incidence of VTE after spine surgery. The cumulative incidence of VTEs rises linearly in the first 2 postoperative weeks and then plateaus. Surgeons should consider early initiation of chemoprophylaxis for patients undergoing spine surgery.

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Dennis T. Lockney, Angela Y. Jia, Eric Lis, Natalie A. Lockney, Chengbao Liu, Benjamin Hopkins, Daniel S. Higginson, Yoshiya Yamada, Ilya Laufer, Mark Bilsky and Adam M. Schmitt

OBJECTIVE

Spinal stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) has emerged as an attractive method to deliver high doses of radiation to oligometastatic spinal tumors with radioresistant histology. Because SBRT is a palliative therapy, attention to potential radiation toxicities is paramount when counseling patients. The objective of this study was to report radiation-induced myositis after SBRT, a previously undescribed complication.

METHODS

A total of 667 patients received 891 spine SBRT treatments (either 24 Gy in 1 fraction or 27 Gy in 3 fractions) from 2011 to 2016 and underwent retrospective review. Eleven patients were identified as having radiographic evidence of myositis following SBRT. Clinical and pathologic results were collected, including receipt of anti–vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) therapy, radiation dose, equivalent dose in 2-Gy fractions (EQD2), biologically effective dose (BED), and volume of muscle treated. Treatment toxicities were classified according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE; version 4.03). Univariate statistical analyses were performed to evaluate the relationships between radiation fractionation schedule and myositis and between anti-VEGF therapy and myositis.

RESULTS

The cumulative incidence of myositis was 1.9% at 1 year. The median of the mean dose administered to muscle with myositis was 17.5 Gy. The median EQD2 was 55.1 Gy, and the median BED was 82.7 Gy. The median time to the development of clinical symptoms was 1.4 months, while the median time to imaging evidence was 4.7 months. Two patients (18.2%) had CTCAE grade 3 complications. Single-fraction spine SBRT (HR 4.5, 95% CI 1.2–16.9; p = 0.027) was associated with increased risk of developing myositis whereas receipt of anti-VEGF therapy was not (HR 2.2, 95% CI 0.6–7.1; p = 0.2).

CONCLUSIONS

Radiation myositis following spinal radiosurgery is a rare but important complication. Single-fraction treatment schedules may be associated with increased risk of myositis but should be validated in a larger series.

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Dennis T. Lockney, Timothy Shub, Benjamin Hopkins, Natalie A. Lockney, Nelson Moussazadeh, Eric Lis, Yoshiya Yamada, Adam M. Schmitt, Daniel S. Higginson, Ilya Laufer and Mark Bilsky

OBJECTIVE

Chordoma is a rare malignant tumor for which en bloc resection with wide margins is advocated as primary treatment. Unfortunately, due to anatomical constraints, en bloc resection to achieve wide or marginal margins is not feasible for many patients as the resulting morbidity would be prohibitive. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of intralesional curettage and separation surgery followed by spinal stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) in patients with chordomas in the mobile spine.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective chart review of all patients with chordoma in the mobile spine treated from 2004 to 2016. Patients were identified from a prospectively collected database. Initially 22 patients were identified with mobile spine chordomas. With inclusion criteria of cytoreductive separation surgery followed closely by SBRT and a minimum of 6 months of follow-up imaging, 12 patients were included. Clinical and pathological characteristics of each patient were collected and data were analyzed. Patients were divided into two cohorts—those undergoing intralesional resection followed by SBRT as initial chordoma treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) (Cohort 1) and those undergoing salvage treatment following recurrence (Cohort 2). Treatment toxicities were classified according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 4.03. Overall survival was analyzed using Kaplan-Meier analysis.

RESULTS

The 12 patients had a median post-SBRT follow-up time of 26 months. Cohort 1 had 5 patients with median post-SBRT follow-up time of 65.9 months and local control rate of 80% at last follow-up. Only one patient had disease progression, at 48.2 months following surgery and SBRT. Cohort 2 had 7 patients who had been treated at other institutions prior to undergoing both surgery and SBRT (salvage therapy) at MSKCC. The local control rate was 57.1% and the median follow-up duration was 10.7 months. One patient required repeat irradiation. Major surgery- and radiation-related complications occurred in 18% and 27% of patients, respectively. Epidural spinal cord compression scores were collected for each patient pre- and postoperatively.

CONCLUSIONS

The combination of surgery and SBRT provides excellent local control following intralesional curettage and separation surgery for chordomas in the mobile spine. Patients who underwent intralesional curettage and spinal SBRT as initial treatment had better disease control than those undergoing salvage therapy. High-dose radiotherapy may offer several biological benefits for tumor control.