Lukas Leitner, Gerhard Bratschitsch, Anna Kostwein, Patrick Sadoghi, Maria Smolle, Andreas Leithner, Florian Posch

May 2023, pp 1 - 11 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-023-07755-9

First Online: 13 May 2023


Indication for surgical decompression in metastatic spinal cord compression (MSCC) is often based on prognostic scores such as the modified Bauer score (mBs), with favorable prognosis suggestive of surgery and poor prognosis of non-surgical management. This study aimed to clarify if (1) surgery may directly affect overall survival (OS) aside from short-term neurologic outcome, (2) explore whether selected patient subgroups with poor mBs might still benefit from surgery, and (3) gauge putative adverse effects of surgery on short-term oncologic outcomes.


Single-center propensity score analyses with inverse-probability-of-treatment-weights (IPTW) of OS and short-term neurologic outcomes in MSCC patients treated with or without surgery between 2007 and 2020.


Among 398 patients with MSCC, 194 (49%) underwent surgery. During a median follow-up of 5.8 years, 355 patients (89%) died. MBs was the most important predictor for spine surgery (p 


This propensity score analysis corroborates the concept that spine surgery for MSCC associates with more favorable neurological and OS outcomes. Selected patients with poor prognosis might also benefit from surgery, suggesting that even those with low mBs may be considered for this intervention.

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