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Varun Puvanesarajah, Sandesh S. Rao, Hamid Hassanzadeh and Khaled M. Kebaish

OBJECTIVE

To determine predictors of perioperative allogeneic packed red blood cell (pRBC) transfusion requirement (total units transfused) in patients with adult spinal deformity (ASD).

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed records of patients aged 18 years or older who underwent surgical correction of ASD that involved 4 or more spinal levels by the same spine surgeon between 2010 and 2016. Data regarding patient characteristics, comorbidities, surgical factors, and perioperative transfusions (up to 10 days after surgery) were analyzed using a linear regression model. Significance was set at p < 0.05.

RESULTS

The authors analyzed 165 patients (118 women) with a mean (± SD) age of 61 ± 12 years. Three-column osteotomies were associated with a mean intraoperative transfusion volume of 1.74 additional units of pRBCs. Each unit of intraoperatively salvaged blood used was associated with a mean 0.39-U increase in postoperative transfusion volume (p = 0.031). Every unit of allogeneic blood transfused intraoperatively was associated with a mean 0.23-U decrease in postoperative transfusion volume (p = 0.001). A preoperative hemoglobin concentration of 11.5 g/dl or more was associated with significantly fewer units transfused intraoperatively; a preoperative hemoglobin concentration of 14.0 g/dl or more was associated with fewer units transfused postoperatively. A history of smoking and intraoperative antifibrinolytic use were associated with increased and decreased numbers of units transfused postoperatively, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

Effective blood management is key to perioperative care of patients with ASD. Three-column osteotomies were associated with a greater number of units of blood transfused. When considering postoperative transfusion requirements, surgeons should note that intraoperative blood salvage might be inferior to intraoperative allogeneic blood transfusion. Using antifibrinolytics and increasing the preoperative hemoglobin concentration to 11.5 g/dl or more are strategies for decreasing the need for perioperative transfusion. A history of smoking is a risk factor for postoperative transfusion requirement (total units transfused).

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Morsi Khashan, Micheal Raad, Mostafa H. El Dafrawy, Varun Puvanesarajah and Khaled M. Kebaish

OBJECTIVE

The authors evaluated the neurological outcomes of adult spinal deformity patients after 3-column osteotomy (3CO), including severity and long-term improvement of neurological complications, as well as risk factors for neurological deficit at 1 year postoperatively. Although 3CO is effective for correcting rigid spinal deformity, it is associated with a high complication rate. Neurological deficits, in particular, cause disability and dissatisfaction.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively queried a prospective database of adult spinal deformity patients who underwent vertebral column resection or pedicle subtraction osteotomy between 2004 and 2014 by one surgeon at a tertiary care center. The authors included 199 adults with at least 1-year follow-up. The primary outcome measure was change in lower-extremity motor scores (LEMSs), which were obtained preoperatively, within 2 weeks postoperatively, and at 6 and 12 months postoperatively. To identify risk factors for persistent neurological deficit, the authors compared patient and surgical characteristics with a declined LEMS at 12-month follow-up (n = 10) versus those with an improved/maintained LEMS at 12-month follow-up (n = 189).

RESULTS

At the first postoperative assessment, the LEMS had improved in 15% and declined in 10% of patients compared with preoperative scores. At the 6-month follow-up, 6% of patients continued to have a decline in LEMS, and 16% had improvement. At 12 months, LEMS had improved in 17% and declined in 5% of patients compared with preoperative scores. The only factor significantly associated with a decline in 12-month LEMS was high-grade spondylolisthesis as an indication for surgery (OR 13, 95% CI 3.2–56).

CONCLUSIONS

Although the LEMS declined in 10% of patients immediately after 3CO, at 12 months postoperatively, only 5% of patients had neurological motor deficits. A surgical indication of high-grade spondylolisthesis was the only factor associated with neurological deficit at 12 months postoperatively.

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Lauren E. Matteini, Khaled M. Kebaish, W. Robert Volk, Patrick F. Bergin, Warren D. Yu and Joseph R. O'Brien

Multiple techniques of pelvic fixation exist. Distal fixation to the pelvis is crucial for spinal deformity surgery. Fixation techniques such as transiliac bars, iliac bolts, and iliosacral screws are commonly used, but these techniques may require separate incisions for placement, leading to potential wound complications and increased dissection. Additionally, the use of transverse connector bars is almost always necessary with these techniques, as their placement is not in line with the S-1 pedicle screw and cephalad instrumentation. The S-2 alar iliac pelvic fixation is a newer technique that has been developed to address some of these issues. It is an in-line technique that can be placed during an open procedure or percutaneously.

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Addisu Mesfin, Mostafa H. El Dafrawy, Amit Jain, Hamid Hassanzadeh, John P. Kostuik, Mesfin A. Lemma and Khaled M. Kebaish

OBJECT

In this study, the authors compared outcomes and complications in patients with and without rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who underwent surgery for spinal deformity.

METHODS

The authors searched the Johns Hopkins University database for patients with RA (Group RA) and without RA (Group NoRA) who underwent long spinal fusion for scoliosis by 3 surgeons at 1 institution from 2000 through 2012. Groups RA and NoRA each had 14 patients who were well matched with regard to sex (13 women/1 man and 12 women/2 men, respectively), age (mean 66.3 years [range 40.5–81.9 years] and 67.6 years [range 51–81 years]), follow-up duration (mean 35.4 months [range 1–87 months] and 44 months [range 24–51 months]), and number of primary (8 and 8) and revision (6 and 6) surgeries. Surgical outcomes, invasiveness scores, and complications were compared between the groups using the nonpaired Student t-test (p < 0.05).

RESULTS

For Groups RA and NoRA, there were no significant differences in the average number of levels fused (10.6 [range 9–17] vs 10.3 [range 7–17], respectively; p = 0.4), the average estimated blood loss (2892 ml [range 1300–5000 ml] vs 3100 ml [range 1700–5200 ml]; p = 0.73), or the average invasiveness score (35.5 [range 21–51] vs 34.5 [range 23–58]; p = 0.8). However, in Group RA, the number of major complications was significantly higher (23 vs 11; p < 0.001), the number of secondary procedures was significantly higher (14 vs 6; p < 0.001), and the number of minor complications was significantly lower (4 vs 12; p < 0.001) than those in Group NoRA.

CONCLUSIONS

Long spinal fusion in patients with RA is associated with higher rates of major complications and secondary procedures than in patients without RA.

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Rafael De la Garza-Ramos, Amit Jain, Khaled M. Kebaish, Ali Bydon, Peter G. Passias and Daniel M. Sciubba

OBJECTIVE

The goal of this study was to compare inpatient morbidity and mortality after adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery in teaching versus nonteaching hospitals in the US.

METHODS

The Nationwide Inpatient Sample was used to identify surgical patients with ASD between 2002 and 2011. Only patients > 21 years old and elective cases were included. Patient characteristics, inpatient morbidity, and inpatient mortality were compared between teaching and nonteaching hospitals. A multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to examine the effect of hospital teaching status on surgical outcomes.

RESULTS

A total of 7603 patients were identified, with 61.2% (n = 4650) in the teaching hospital group and 38.8% (n = 2953) in the nonteaching hospital group. The proportion of patients undergoing revision procedures was significantly different between groups (5.2% in teaching hospitals vs 3.9% in nonteaching hospitals, p = 0.008). Likewise, complex procedures (defined as fusion of 8 or more segments and/or osteotomy) were more common in teaching hospitals (27.3% vs 21.7%, p < 0.001). Crude overall complication rates were similar in teaching hospitals (47.9%) compared with nonteaching hospitals (49.8%, p = 0.114). After controlling for patient characteristics, case complexity, and revision status, patients treated at teaching hospitals were significantly less likely to develop a complication when compared with patients treated at a nonteaching hospital (OR 0.89; 95% CI 0.82–0.98). The mortality rate was 0.4% in teaching hospitals and < 0.4% in nonteaching hospitals (p = 0.210).

CONCLUSIONS

Patients who undergo surgery for ASD at a teaching hospital may have significantly lower odds of complication development compared with patients treated at a nonteaching hospital.

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Rafael De la Garza Ramos, C. Rory Goodwin, Nancy Abu-Bonsrah, Amit Jain, Emily K. Miller, Nicole Huang, Khaled M. Kebaish, Paul D. Sponseller and Daniel M. Sciubba

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence of and factors associated with complications following idiopathic scoliosis surgery in adolescents.

METHODS

The Nationwide Inpatient Sample database was used to identify patients 10–18 years of age who had undergone spinal fusion for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) from 2002 to 2011. Twenty-three unique in-hospital postoperative complications, including death, were examined. A series of logistic regressions was used to determine if any demographic, comorbid, or surgical parameter was associated with complication development. Results of multiple logistic regression analyses were reported as odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals. All analyses were performed after the application of discharge weights to produce national estimates.

RESULTS

A total of 36,335 patients met the study inclusion criteria, 7.6% of whom (95% CI 6.3%–8.9%) developed at least one in-hospital complication. The 3 most common complications were respiratory failure (3.47%), reintubation (1.27%), and implant related (1.14%). Major complications such as death, pancreatitis, disseminated intravascular coagulation, visual loss, spinal cord injury, cardiac arrest, sepsis, nerve root injury, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, shock, malignant hyperthermia, myocardial infarction, and iatrogenic stroke each had an incidence ≤ 0.2%. On multiple logistic regression analysis, an increasing age (OR 0.80) was associated with significantly lower odds of complication development; patients who were male (OR 1.80) or who had anemia (OR 2.10), hypertension (OR 2.51), or hypothyroidism (OR 2.27) or underwent revision procedures (OR 5.55) were at a significantly increased risk for complication development. The rates of postoperative complications for posterior, anterior, and combined approaches were 6.7%, 10.0%, and 19.8%, respectively (p < 0.001). Length of fusion (< 8 vs ≥ 8 levels) was not associated with complication development (p = 0.311).

CONCLUSIONS

Analysis of 36,335 patients who had undergone surgery for AIS revealed that younger patients, male patients, patients with a history of anemia, hypertension, or hypothyroidism, as well as those undergoing revision or anterior or combined approaches may have higher rates of postoperative complications. However, the overall complication rate was low (7.6%), and major complications had a rate ≤ 0.2% for each event. These findings suggest that surgery for AIS remains relatively safe, and future prospective investigations may further help to decrease the postoperative morbidity rate.

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Micheal Raad, Callum J. Donaldson, Mostafa H. El Dafrawy, Daniel M. Sciubba, Lee H. Riley III, Brian J. Neuman, Khaled M. Kebaish and Richard L. Skolasky

OBJECTIVE

Recommendations for the surgical treatment of isolated lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) (i.e., in the absence of concomitant scoliosis or spondylolisthesis) are unclear. The aims of this study were to investigate trends in the surgical treatment of isolated LSS in US adults and determine implications for outcomes.

METHODS

The authors analyzed inpatient and outpatient claims from the Truven Health Analytics MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters Database for 20,279 patients aged 40–64 years who underwent surgery for LSS between 2010 and 2014. Only patients with continuous 12-month insurance coverage after surgery were included. The rates of decompression with arthrodesis versus decompression only and of simple (1- or 2-level, single-approach) versus complex (> 2-level or combined-approach) arthrodesis were analyzed by year and geographic region. These trends were further analyzed with respect to complications, length of hospital stay, payments made to the hospital, and patient discharge status. Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05.

RESULTS

The proportion of patients who underwent decompression with arthrodesis compared with decompression only increased significantly and linearly from 2010 to 2014 (OR 1.08; 95% CI 1.06–1.10). Arthrodesis was more likely to be complex rather than simple with each subsequent year (OR 1.4; 95% CI 1.33–1.49). This trend was accompanied by an increased likelihood of postoperative complications (OR 1.11; 95% CI 1.02–1.21), higher costs (payments increased by a mean of US$1633 per year; 95% CI 1327–1939), and greater likelihood of being discharged to a skilled nursing facility as opposed to home (OR 1.11; 95% CI 1.03–1.20). The South and Midwest regions of the US had the highest proportions of patients undergoing arthrodesis (48% and 42%, respectively). The mean length of hospital stay did not change significantly (p = 0.324).

CONCLUSIONS

From 2010 to 2014, the proportion of adults undergoing decompression with arthrodesis versus decompression only for the treatment of LSS increased, especially in the South and Midwest regions of the US. A greater proportion of these fusions were complex and were associated with more complications, higher costs, and a greater likelihood of being discharged to a skilled nursing facility.

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Micheal Raad, Jay S. Reidler, Mostafa H. El Dafrawy, Raj M. Amin, Amit Jain, Brian J. Neuman, Lee H. Riley III, Daniel M. Sciubba, Khaled M. Kebaish and Richard L. Skolasky

OBJECTIVE

It is important to identify differences in the treatment of common diseases over time and across geographic regions. Several studies have reported increased use of arthrodesis to treat lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS). The purpose of this study was to investigate geographic variations in the treatment of LSS by US region.

METHODS

The authors reviewed inpatient and outpatient medical claims from 2010 to 2014 using the MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters database (Truven Health Analytics), which includes data on commercially insured members younger than 65 years. ICD-9 code 724.02 was used to identify patients aged ≥ 40 and < 65 years who underwent surgery for “spinal stenosis of the lumbar region” and for whom LSS was the only principal diagnosis. The primary outcome was the performance of spinal arthrodesis as part of the procedure. Geographic regions were based on patient residence and defined according to the US Census Bureau as the Northeast, Midwest, South, and West.

RESULTS

Rates of arthrodesis, as opposed to decompression alone, varied significantly by region, from 48% in the South, to 42% in the Midwest, 36% in the Northeast, and 31% in the West. After controlling for patient age, sex, and Charlson Comorbidity Index values, the differences remained significant. Compared with patients in the Northeast, those in the South (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.50–1.75) and Midwest (OR 1.3, 95% CI 1.18–1.41) were significantly more likely to undergo spinal arthrodesis. On multivariate analysis, patients in the West were significantly less likely to have a prolonged hospital stay (> 3 days) than those in the Northeast (OR 0.84, 95% CI 0.75–0.94). Compared with the rate in the Northeast, the rates of discharge to a skilled nursing facility were lower in the South (OR 0.41, 95% CI 0.31–0.55) and West (OR 0.72, 95% CI 0.53–0.98). The 30-day readmission rate was significantly lower in the West (OR 0.81, 95% CI 0.65–0.98) than in the Northeast and similar between the other regions. Mean payments were significantly higher in the Midwest (mean difference $5503, 95% CI $4279–$6762), South (mean difference $6187, 95% CI $5041–$7332), and West (mean difference $7732, 95% CI $6384–$9080) than in the Northeast.

CONCLUSIONS

The use of spinal arthrodesis, as well as surgical outcomes and payments for the treatment of LSS, varies significantly by US region. This highlights the importance of developing national recommendations for the treatment of LSS.

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Paraspinal muscle size as an independent risk factor for proximal junctional kyphosis in patients undergoing thoracolumbar fusion

Presented at the 2019 AANS/CNS Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves

Zach Pennington, Ethan Cottrill, A. Karim Ahmed, Peter Passias, Themistocles Protopsaltis, Brian Neuman, Khaled M. Kebaish, Jeff Ehresman, Erick M. Westbroek, Matthew L. Goodwin and Daniel M. Sciubba

OBJECTIVE

Proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK) is a structural complication of spinal fusion in 5%–61% of patients treated for adult spinal deformity. In nearly one-third of these cases, PJK is progressive and requires costly surgical revision. Previous studies have suggested that patient body habitus may predict risk for PJK. Here, the authors sought to investigate abdominal girth and paraspinal muscle size as risk factors for PJK.

METHODS

All patients undergoing thoracolumbosacral fusion greater than 2 levels at a single institution over a 5-year period with ≥ 6 months of radiographic follow-up were considered for inclusion. PJK was defined as kyphosis ≥ 20° between the upper instrumented vertebra (UIV) and two supra-adjacent vertebrae. Operative and radiographic parameters were recorded, including pre- and postoperative sagittal vertical axis (SVA), sacral slope (SS), lumbar lordosis (LL), pelvic tilt, pelvic incidence (PI), and absolute value of the pelvic incidence–lumbar lordosis mismatch (|PI-LL|), as well as changes in LL, |PI-LL|, and SVA. The authors also considered relative abdominal girth and the size of the paraspinal muscles at the UIV.

RESULTS

One hundred sixty-nine patients met inclusion criteria. On univariate analysis, PJK was associated with a larger preoperative SVA (p < 0.001) and |PI-LL| (p = 0.01), and smaller SS (p = 0.004) and LL (p = 0.001). PJK was also associated with more positive postoperative SVA (p = 0.01), ΔSVA (p = 0.01), Δ|PI-LL| (p < 0.001), and ΔLL (p < 0.001); longer construct length (p = 0.005); larger abdominal girth–to-muscle ratio (p = 0.007); and smaller paraspinal muscles at the UIV (p < 0.001). Higher postoperative SVA (OR 1.1 per cm), smaller paraspinal muscles at the UIV (OR 2.11), and more aggressive reduction in |PI-LL| (OR 1.03) were independent predictors of radiographic PJK on multivariate logistic regression.

CONCLUSIONS

A more positive postoperative global sagittal alignment and smaller paraspinal musculature at the UIV most strongly predicted PJK following thoracolumbosacral fusion.

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Emily K. Miller, Brian J. Neuman, Amit Jain, Alan H. Daniels, Tamir Ailon, Daniel M. Sciubba, Khaled M. Kebaish, Virginie Lafage, Justin K. Scheer, Justin S. Smith, Shay Bess, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Christopher P. Ames and the International Spine Study Group

OBJECTIVE

The goal of this study was to analyze the value of an adult spinal deformity frailty index (ASD-FI) in preoperative risk stratification. Preoperative risk assessment is imperative before procedures known to have high complication rates, such as ASD surgery. Frailty has been associated with risk of complications in trauma surgery, and preoperative frailty assessments could improve the accuracy of risk stratification by providing a comprehensive analysis of patient factors that contribute to an increased risk of complications.

METHODS

Using 40 variables, the authors calculated frailty scores with a validated method for 417 patients (enrolled between 2010 and 2014) with a minimum 2-year follow-up in an ASD database. On the basis of these scores, the authors categorized patients as not frail (NF) (< 0.3 points), frail (0.3–0.5 points), or severely frail (SF) (> 0.5 points). The correlation between frailty category and incidence of complications was analyzed.

RESULTS

The overall mean ASD-FI score was 0.33 (range 0.0–0.8). Compared with NF patients (n = 183), frail patients (n = 158) and SF patients (n = 109) had longer mean hospital stays (1.2 and 1.6 times longer, respectively; p < 0.001). The adjusted odds of experiencing a major intraoperative or postoperative complication were higher for frail patients (OR 2.8) and SF patients ( 4.1) compared with NF patients (p < 0.01). For frail and SF patients, respectively, the adjusted odds of developing proximal junctional kyphosis (OR 2.8 and 3.1) were higher than those for NF patients. The SF patients had higher odds of developing pseudarthrosis (OR 13.0), deep wound infection (OR 8.0), and wound dehiscence (OR 13.4) than NF patients (p < 0.05), and they had 2.1 times greater odds of reoperation (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

Greater patient frailty, as measured by the ASD-FI, was associated with worse outcome in many common quality and value metrics, including greater risk of major complications, proximal junctional kyphosis, pseudarthrosis, deep wound infection, wound dehiscence, reoperation, and longer hospital stay.