Does surgical site infection influence neurological outcome and survival in patients undergoing surgery for metastatic spinal cord compression?

Does surgical site infection influence neurological outcome and survival in patients undergoing surgery for metastatic spinal cord compression?

N. A. Quraishi, M. S. Ahmed, G. Arealis, B. M. Boszczyk, K. L. Edwards

October 2018, pp 1 - 6
DOI
10.1007/s00586-018-5797-4
First Online: 27 October 2018
Abstract

Purpose

Most of the literature on infection after surgery for spinal metastases focuses on incidence and risk factors for surgical site infection (SSI). To the best of our knowledge, there is no report on the influence of infection on neurological outcome and survival in patients undergoing emergent surgery for metastatic spinal cord compression (MSCC).

Methods

Our aim was to establish if SSIs adversely affected the neurological outcome and survival in patients with MSCC. We reviewed 318 consecutive patients admitted for surgical intervention for MSCC from October 2005 to October 2012. Morbidity (neurological outcome, length of hospital stay and additional procedures) and survival rates were analysed.

Results

During this study period, the incidence of infection was 29/318 (9.1%). The median length of stay in hospital in the infected group was 25 days compared to 13 days in the non-infected group (p = 0.001). Twenty out of the 29 (69%) infected patients underwent an additional procedure (29 procedures in total) compared to 9/289 (3%) non-infected patients (p = 0.001). There was no statistical difference between the two groups with regard to neurological outcome (p = 0.37) but the survival rate was statistically different between the two groups [infected group: median survival 131 days (19–1558) vs. non-infected group: 258 days (5–2696; p = 0.03)].

Conclusion

Surgical site infection increased the morbidity with considerably longer hospital stay and requirement for additional procedures. Although there was no difference in neurological outcome, the infected group of patients had a significantly shorter survival.

Graphical abstract

These slides can be retrieved under Electronic Supplementary Material.[Figure not available: see fulltext.]