Preoperative Hemoglobin Level is Associated with Increased Health Care Use After Elective Spinal Fusion (≥3 Levels) in Elderly Male Patients with Spine Deformity.
BACKGROUND: Measures of health care use such as length of hospital stay (LOS) are used as proxies for quality of care after spine surgery. Accordingly, hospitals and health systems are investing considerable resources into the preoperative identification of patients at risk for prolonged LOS. This study aims to investigate the impact of preoperative level on outcomes and LOS after spinal fusion. METHODS: The medical records of 204 elderly (≥60 years) male patients undergoing elective spinal fusion (≥3 levels) at a major academic institution from 2005 to 2015 were reviewed. The lower hemoglobin (Hgb) level was designated as <13.5 g/dL. We identified 83 (40.7%) patients with preoperative lower Hgb levels and 121 (59.3%) with normal levels (low Hgb, n = 83; normal Hgb, n = 121). The primary outcomes investigated were complications and LOS. RESULTS: Demographics and comorbidities were similar between both groups, with mean Hgb levels being 12.3 ± 0.9 g/dL and 14.9 ± 1.0 g/dL for the low and normal cohorts, respectively. The lower Hgb cohort experienced higher rates of postoperative delirium (21.7% vs. 5.8%; P = 0.0007), non-wound infections (6.0% vs. 0.0%; P = 0.006), and hematoma formation (3.6% vs. 0.0%; P = 0.035). There was a significant difference in LOS between the cohorts, with the low Hgb cohort experiencing approximately a 2-fold increase (low Hgb, 8.1 ± 5.9 days vs. normal Hgb, 4.8 ± 2.5 days; P < 0.0001). Preoperative Hgb and hematocrit levels negatively correlated with LOS (Hgb, R = -0.388, P < 0.001 and Hct, R = -0.2883, P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows that elderly male patients with lower preoperative Hgb levels have increased LOS and postoperative delirium after spinal fusion. Moreover, preoperative Hgb levels negatively correlate with LOS.
Elsamadicy, AA; Adogwa, O; Ongele, M; Sergesketter, AR; Tarnasky, A; Lubkin, DET; Drysdale, N; Cheng, J; Bagley, CA; Karikari, IO
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