Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) is one of the most common causes of spinal cord dysfunction. Surgery for CSM is generally effective, but postoperative delirium is a potential complication. Although there have been some studies that investigated postoperative delirium after spine surgery, no useful tool for identifying high-risk patients has been established, and it is unknown if 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) scores can predict postoperative delirium. The objective of this study was to evaluate the correlation between preoperative SF-36 scores and postoperative delirium after surgery for CSM.
Sixty-seven patients who underwent surgery for CSM at the authors’ institution were enrolled in this study. Medical records of these patients were retrospectively reviewed. Patient background, preoperative laboratory data, preoperative SF-36 scores, the preoperative Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) score for the evaluation of cervical myelopathy, and perioperative factors were selected as potential risk factors for postoperative delirium. These factors were evaluated using univariable and multivariable logistic regression analysis.
Ten patients were diagnosed with postoperative delirium. Univariable analysis revealed that the physical functioning score (p = 0.01), general health perception score (p < 0.01), and vitality score (p < 0.01) of the SF-36 were significantly lower in patients with postoperative delirium than in those without. The total number of medications was significantly higher in the delirium group compared with the no-delirium group (p = 0.02). In contrast, there were no significant differences between the delirium group and the no-delirium group in cervical JOA scores (p = 0.20). Multivariable analysis revealed that a low general health perception score was an independent risk factor for postoperative delirium (p = 0.02; odds ratio 0.810, 95% confidence interval 0.684–0.960).
Some of the SF-36 scores were significantly lower in patients with postoperative delirium than in those without. In particular, the general health perception score was independently correlated with postoperative delirium. SF-36 scores could help identify patients at high risk for postoperative delirium and aid in the development of prevention strategies.