Preoperative hypoalbuminemia and dialysis increase morbidity/mortality after spine surgery for primary pyogenic spinal infections (ACS-NSQIP Study)
- Department of Orthopedics, Institute of Orthopedics “Carlos E. Ottolenghi,” Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina,
- School of Medicine, University of California Irvine,
- Department of Orthopaedics, University of California Irvine, Orange, California, United States,
- Department of Neurosurgery, University of California Irvine, Orange, California, United States,
- Department of Neurological Surgery, Children’s Hospital La Plata, La Plata, Argentina.
Gaston Camino-Willhuber , Institute of Orthopedics “Carlos E. Ottolenghi,” Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
DOI:10.25259/SNI_330_2022Copyright: © 2022 Surgical Neurology International This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike 4.0 License, which allows others to remix, transform, and build upon the work non-commercially, as long as the author is credited and the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.
How to cite this article: Gaston Camino-Willhuber1, Austin Franklin2, Katherine Rosecrance2, Sarah Oyadomari2, Justin Chan3, Fernando Holc1, Sohaib Hashmi3, Michael Oh4, Nitin Bhatia3, Juan Emmerich5, Yu-Po Lee3. Preoperative hypoalbuminemia and dialysis increase morbidity/mortality after spine surgery for primary pyogenic spinal infections (ACS-NSQIP Study). 06-May-2022;13:193
How to cite this URL: Gaston Camino-Willhuber1, Austin Franklin2, Katherine Rosecrance2, Sarah Oyadomari2, Justin Chan3, Fernando Holc1, Sohaib Hashmi3, Michael Oh4, Nitin Bhatia3, Juan Emmerich5, Yu-Po Lee3. Preoperative hypoalbuminemia and dialysis increase morbidity/mortality after spine surgery for primary pyogenic spinal infections (ACS-NSQIP Study). 06-May-2022;13:193. Available from: https://surgicalneurologyint.com/surgicalint-articles/11579/
Background: We analyzed the role of hypoalbuminemia, dialysis, and other risk factors that increase morbidity/ mortality following surgery for primary pyogenic spinal infections (PSIs). The American College of Surgeons’ National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS-NSQIP) that included 627 patients was utilized as our database.
Methods: Primary spinal surgery for spondylodiscitis was evaluated in a ACS-NSQIP database involving 627 patients between 2010 and 2019. Outcome assessment included evaluation of 30-day postoperative morbidity, and mortality rates.
Results: Within 30 postoperative days, complications occurred in 14.6% (92/627) of patients; 59 (9.4%) required readmission, and 39 (6.2%) required additional surgery. The most common complications were: wound infections, pneumonia, septic shock, and death (1.8%). Hypoalbuminemia (i.e., significantly associated with unplanned readmission and reoperation), and dialysis were the two major risk factors contributing to increased perioperative morbidity and mortality.
Conclusion: Among 627 ACS-NSQIP patients undergoing primary surgery for PSIs, hypoalbuminemia and dialysis were associated with higher risks of major perioperative morbidity (i.e., within 30 postoperative days – mostly readmissions and reoperations) and mortality.
Keywords: Dialysis, Hypoalbuminemia, Readmission, Reoperation, Spondylodiscitis
Pyogenic spinal infections (PSI) occur in between 0.5 and 2.4/100,000 patient/year.[
Study design and criteria
Institutional Review Board exemption was obtained from our institution. We utilized the American College of Surgeons’ National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS-NSQIP) database looking at 627 patients undergoing primary spine surgery for spondylodiscitis between 2010 and 2019. We looked at a variety of demographics including comorbidities (i.e., diabetes, hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure, smoking, chronic steroid use, and dialysis), and 30-day outcomes (i.e., postoperative morbidity and mortality rates using major vs. minor Glassman classification) based on Classification of Diseases 9th and 10th codes and Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes [
Spine operations were defined as cervical if performed between C0 and C7-T1, thoracic if from T1 to T12-L1, and lumbar if from L1 to the sacrum. Primary outcomes were assessed at 30 postoperative days and included; the evaluation of; 1) major complication rates, 2) wound-complications, 3) mortality rates, 4) unplanned readmissions, 5) reoperations, 6) operative times, and 7) fusion rates.
Preoperative laboratory studies
Preoperative laboratory data included albumin levels, with hypoalbuminemia being defined as <3.5 g/dl.
Outcomes were analyzed utilizing univariate analysis based on the demographics, preoperative comorbidities, and other surgical variables. Comparisons were performed using Chi-square tests, Fisher’s exact test, or Student’s t-tests.
The most common comorbidities for 627 patients from the NSQIP database undergoing predominant lumbar followed by cervical spinal surgery included diabetes (27.6%) and COPD (6.5%: smokers 28.4%); [
Minor and major postoperative complications
A total of 71 (11.3%) patients sustained 92 complications within 30 postoperative days; 28 (30.4%) were minor, and 64 (69.5%) were major. The most common complications in descending order were wound infections (n = 23 [3.7%] largely attributed to hypoalbuminemia), pneumonia (n = 20), septic shock (n = 13), cardiac arrest (n = 11), mortality (n-11 (1.7%): highly correlated with dialysis), deep vein thrombosis (n = 10), and urinary tract infection (n = 5) [
Various factors were associated with readmissions observed in 59 patients (9.4%) within 30 postoperative days. These included hypoalbuminemia, dialysis, smoking, and an ASA of III-IV [
There were 39 (6.2%) patients who required spinal reoperations within 30 postoperative days. Patients who were smokers or had hypoalbuminemia were the most likely to require secondary surgery [
In this study, we analyzed morbidity and mortality rates for 627 patients from the ACS-NSQIP database undergoing surgery for PSI.[
Postoperative complication leading to higher reoperation rates
Postoperative complications and adverse events in spine surgery are associated with higher morbidity, reoperation rates, and greater health-care costs.[
Hypoalbuminemia was associated with a higher risk of major and wound-related complications whereas dialysis was associated with a higher mortality rate for patients undergoing primary spine surgery for spondylodiscitis.
Institutional Review Board (IRB) permission obtained for the study.
There are no conflicts of interest.
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