Incidence and Predictive Factors of Sepsis Following Adult Spinal Deformity Surgery.


BACKGROUND:Surgery for adult spinal deformity (ASD) improves quality of life, yet morbidity is high. Sepsis is a challenging postoperative complication that can result in death and drive inpatient resources. OBJECTIVE:To identify the incidence and risk factors for development of sepsis within 30 days following ASD surgery. METHODS:Adult patients who underwent thoracolumbar spinal deformity correction between 2008 and 2014 were identified in the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database. Demographic and operative variables were extracted. The primary outcome was development of postoperative sepsis. Multivariable logistic regression modeling was used to identify independent risk factors for sepsis. RESULTS:A total of 6158 patients underwent ASD surgery. Of these, 156 (2.5%) developed sepsis postoperatively. Independent risk factors included operative time (odds ratio [OR]: 1.004, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.003-1.005, P < .001), male sex (OR: 1.47, 95% CI: 1.05-2.05, P = .023), diabetes (OR: 1.59, 95% CI: 1.05-2.40, P = .027), functional dependency (OR: 1.82, 95% CI: 1.12-2.95, P = .015), weight loss (OR: 2.45, 95% CI: 1.04-5.78, P = .040), bleeding disorder (OR: 2.58, 95% CI: 1.34-4.93, P = .004), and ascites (OR: 56.11, 95% CI: 5.01-628.50, P = .001). This model demonstrated strong predictive capacity, with an area under the curve of 0.80. Patients who developed sepsis were significantly more likely to have a prolonged hospital stay (P < .001), be readmitted (P < .001), and die (P < .001). The median (range) time to sepsis was 9 d (0-30). CONCLUSION:In patients undergoing ASD surgery, male sex, diabetes, ascites, bleeding disorder, functional dependency, excessive weight loss and increased operative time independently predicted sepsis. This perioperative patient profile can be used for preoperative risk assessment, patient counseling, and postoperative management for patients undergoing ASD surgery.






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Publication Info

Zuckerman, Scott L, Nikita Lakomkin, Blaine P Stannard, Constantinos G Hadjipanayis, Christopher I Shaffrey, Justin S Smith and Joseph S Cheng (2018). Incidence and Predictive Factors of Sepsis Following Adult Spinal Deformity Surgery. Neurosurgery, 83(5). pp. 965–972. 10.1093/neuros/nyx578 Retrieved from

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Christopher Ignatius Shaffrey

Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

I have more than 25 years of experience treating patients of all ages with spinal disorders. I have had an interest in the management of spinal disorders since starting my medical education. I performed residencies in both orthopaedic surgery and neurosurgery to gain a comprehensive understanding of the entire range of spinal disorders. My goal has been to find innovative ways to manage the range of spinal conditions, straightforward to complex. I have a focus on managing patients with complex spinal disorders. My patient evaluation and management philosophy is to provide engaged, compassionate care that focuses on providing the simplest and least aggressive treatment option for a particular condition. In many cases, non-operative treatment options exist to improve a patient’s symptoms. I have been actively engaged in clinical research to find the best ways to manage spinal disorders in order to achieve better results with fewer complications.

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