Godard C. W. de Ruiter, Claudine O. Nogarede, Jasper F. C. Wolfs and Mark P. Arts
The performance of surgery for spinal metastases is rapidly increasing. Different surgical procedures, ranging from stabilization alone to stabilization combined with corpectomy, are thereby performed for various indications. Little is known about the impact of these different procedures on patient quality of life (QOL), but this factor is crucial when discussing the various therapeutic options with patients and their families. Thus, the authors of this study investigated the effect of various surgical procedures for spinal metastases on patient QOL.
The authors prospectively followed a cohort of 113 patients with spinal metastases who were referred to their clinic for surgical evaluation between July 2012 and July 2014. Quality of life was assessed using the EQ-5D at intake and at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after treatment.
Nineteen patients were treated conservatively, 41 underwent decompressive surgery with or without stabilization, 47 underwent a piecemeal corpectomy procedure with stabilization and expandable cage reconstruction, and 6 had a stabilization procedure without decompression. Among all surgical patients, the mean EQ-5D score was significantly increased from 0.44 pretreatment to 0.59 at 3 months after treatment (p < 0.001). Mean EQ-5D scores at 1 year after surgery further increased to 0.84 following decompression with stabilization, 0.74 after corpectomy with stabilization, and 0.94 after stabilization without decompression. Frankel scores also improved after surgery. There were no significant differences in improvements in EQ-5D scores and Frankel grades among the different surgical procedures. In addition, mortality and complication rates were similar.
Quality of life can improve significantly after various extensive and less extensive surgical procedures in patients with spinal metastases. The relatively invasive corpectomy procedure, as compared with alternative less invasive techniques, does not negatively affect outcome.
Victor E. Staartjes, Morgan Broggi, Costanza Maria Zattra, Flavio Vasella, Julia Velz, Silvia Schiavolin, Carlo Serra, Jiri Bartek Jr., Alexander Fletcher-Sandersjöö, Petter Förander, Darius Kalasauskas, Mirjam Renovanz, Florian Ringel, Konstantin R. Brawanski, Johannes Kerschbaumer, Christian F. Freyschlag, Asgeir S. Jakola, Kristin Sjåvik, Ole Solheim, Bawarjan Schatlo, Alexandra Sachkova, Hans Christoph Bock, Abdelhalim Hussein, Veit Rohde, Marike L. D. Broekman, Claudine O. Nogarede, Cynthia M. C. Lemmens, Julius M. Kernbach, Georg Neuloh, Oliver Bozinov, Niklaus Krayenbühl, Johannes Sarnthein, Paolo Ferroli, Luca Regli, Martin N. Stienen and FEBNS
Decision-making for intracranial tumor surgery requires balancing the oncological benefit against the risk for resection-related impairment. Risk estimates are commonly based on subjective experience and generalized numbers from the literature, but even experienced surgeons overestimate functional outcome after surgery. Today, there is no reliable and objective way to preoperatively predict an individual patient’s risk of experiencing any functional impairment.
The authors developed a prediction model for functional impairment at 3 to 6 months after microsurgical resection, defined as a decrease in Karnofsky Performance Status of ≥ 10 points. Two prospective registries in Switzerland and Italy were used for development. External validation was performed in 7 cohorts from Sweden, Norway, Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands. Age, sex, prior surgery, tumor histology and maximum diameter, expected major brain vessel or cranial nerve manipulation, resection in eloquent areas and the posterior fossa, and surgical approach were recorded. Discrimination and calibration metrics were evaluated.
In the development (2437 patients, 48.2% male; mean age ± SD: 55 ± 15 years) and external validation (2427 patients, 42.4% male; mean age ± SD: 58 ± 13 years) cohorts, functional impairment rates were 21.5% and 28.5%, respectively. In the development cohort, area under the curve (AUC) values of 0.72 (95% CI 0.69–0.74) were observed. In the pooled external validation cohort, the AUC was 0.72 (95% CI 0.69–0.74), confirming generalizability. Calibration plots indicated fair calibration in both cohorts. The tool has been incorporated into a web-based application available at https://neurosurgery.shinyapps.io/impairment/.
Functional impairment after intracranial tumor surgery remains extraordinarily difficult to predict, although machine learning can help quantify risk. This externally validated prediction tool can serve as the basis for case-by-case discussions and risk-to-benefit estimation of surgical treatment in the individual patient.