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Hormuzdiyar H. Dasenbrock, Kevin X. Liu, Christopher A. Devine, Vamsidhar Chavakula, Timothy R. Smith, William B. Gormley and Ian F. Dunn


Although the length of hospital stay is often used as a measure of quality of care, data evaluating the predictors of extended hospital stay after craniotomy for tumor are limited. The goals of this study were to use multivariate regression to examine which preoperative characteristics and postoperative complications predict a prolonged hospital stay and to assess the impact of length of stay on unplanned hospital readmission.


Data were extracted from the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database from 2007 to 2013. Patients who underwent craniotomy for resection of a brain tumor were included. Stratification was based on length of hospital stay, which was dichotomized by the upper quartile of the interquartile range (IQR) for the entire population. Covariates included patient age, sex, race, tumor histology, comorbidities, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) class, functional status, preoperative laboratory values, preoperative neurological deficits, operative time, and postoperative complications. Multivariate logistic regression with forward prediction was used to evaluate independent predictors of extended hospitalization. Thereafter, hierarchical multivariate logistic regression assessed the impact of length of stay on unplanned readmission.


The study included 11,510 patients. The median hospital stay was 4 days (IQR 3-8 days), and 27.7% (n = 3185) had a hospital stay of at least 8 days. Independent predictors of extended hospital stay included age greater than 70 years (OR 1.53, 95% CI 1.28%-1.83%, p < 0.001); African American (OR 1.75, 95% CI 1.44%-2.14%, p < 0.001) and Hispanic (OR 1.68, 95% CI 1.36%-2.08%) race or ethnicity; ASA class 3 (OR 1.52, 95% CI 1.34%-1.73%) or 4-5 (OR 2.18, 95% CI 1.82%-2.62%) designation; partially (OR 1.94, 95% CI 1.61%-2.35%) or totally dependent (OR 3.30, 95% CI 1.95%-5.55%) functional status; insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (OR 1.46, 95% CI 1.16%-1.84%); hematological comorbidities (OR 1.68, 95% CI 1.25%-2.24%); and preoperative hypoalbuminemia (OR 1.78, 95% CI 1.51%-2.09%, all p ≤ 0.009). Several postoperative complications were additional independent predictors of prolonged hospitalization including pulmonary emboli (OR 13.75, 95% CI 4.73%-39.99%), pneumonia (OR 5.40, 95% CI 2.89%-10.07%), and urinary tract infections (OR 11.87, 95% CI 7.09%-19.87%, all p < 0.001). The C-statistic of the model based on preoperative characteristics was 0.79, which increased to 0.83 after the addition of postoperative complications. A length of stay after craniotomy for tumor score was created based on preoperative factors significant in regression models, with a moderate correlation with length of stay (p = 0.43, p < 0.001). Extended hospital stay was not associated with differential odds of an unplanned hospital readmission (OR 0.97, 95% CI 0.89%-1.06%, p = 0.55).


In this NSQIP analysis that evaluated patients who underwent craniotomy for tumor, much of the variance in hospital stay was attributable to baseline patient characteristics, suggesting length of stay may be an imperfect proxy for quality. Additionally, longer hospitalizations were not found to be associated with differential rates of unplanned readmission.

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Hormuzdiyar H. Dasenbrock, Kevin X. Liu, Vamsidhar Chavakula, Christopher A. Devine, William B. Gormley, Elizabeth B. Claus, Timothy R. Smith and Ian F. Dunn


Although there is a growing body of research highlighting the negative impact of obesity and malnutrition on surgical outcomes, few studies have evaluated these parameters in patients undergoing intracranial surgery. The goal of this study was to use a national registry to evaluate the association of body mass index (BMI) and hypoalbuminemia with 30-day outcomes after craniotomy for tumor.


Adult patients who underwent craniotomy for tumor were extracted from the prospective National Surgical Quality Improvement Program registry. Patients were stratified by body habitus according to the WHO classification, as well as by preoperative hypoalbuminemia (< 3.5 g/dl). Multivariable logistic regression evaluated the association of body habitus and hypoalbuminemia with 30-day mortality, complications, and discharge disposition. Covariates included patient age, sex, race or ethnicity, tumor histology, American Society of Anesthesiology class, preoperative functional status, comorbidities (including hypertension and diabetes mellitus), and additional preoperative laboratory values.


Among the 11,510 patients included, 28.7% were classified as normal weight (BMI 18.5–24.9 kg/m2), 1.9% as underweight (BMI < 18.5 kg/m2), 33.4% as overweight (BMI 25.0–29.9 kg/m2), 19.1% as Class I obese (BMI 30.0–34.9 kg/m2), 8.3% as Class II obese (BMI 35.0–39.9 kg/m2), 5.5% as Class III obese (BMI ≥ 40.0 kg/m2), and 3.1% had missing BMI data. In multivariable regression models, body habitus was not associated with differential odds of mortality, postoperative stroke or coma, or a nonroutine hospital discharge. However, the adjusted odds of a major complication were significantly higher for Class I obese (OR 1.28, 99% CI 1.01–1.62; p = 0.008), Class II obese (OR 1.53, 99% CI 1.13–2.07; p < 0.001), and Class III obese (OR 1.67, 99% CI 1.19–2.36; p < 0.001) patients compared with those of normal weight; a dose-dependent effect was seen, with increased effect size with greater adiposity. The higher odds of major complications was primarily due to significantly increased odds of a venous thromboembolism in overweight and obese patients, as well as of a surgical site infection in those with Class II or III obesity. Additionally, 41.0% of patients had an albumin level ≥ 3.5 g/dl, 9.6% had hypoalbuminemia, and 49.4% had a missing albumin value. Hypoalbuminemia was associated with significantly higher odds of mortality (OR 1.91, 95% CI 1.41–2.60; p < 0.001) or a nonroutine hospital discharge (OR 1.46, 95% CI 1.21–1.76; p < 0.001).


In this National Surgical Quality Improvement Program analysis evaluating patients who underwent craniotomy for tumor, body habitus was not associated with differential mortality or neurological complications. However, obese patients had increased odds of a major perioperative complication, primarily due to higher rates of venous thromboembolic events and surgical site infections. Preoperative hypoalbuminemia was associated with increased odds of mortality and a nonroutine hospital discharge, suggesting that serum albumin may have utility in stratifying risk preoperatively in patients undergoing craniotomy.