Publications by authors named "Robert A Hart"

183 Publications

Lateral Thoracolumbar Listhesis as an Independent Predictor of Disability in Adult Scoliosis Patients: Multivariable Assessment Before and After Surgical Realignment.

Neurosurgery 2021 Sep 11. Epub 2021 Sep 11.

Swedish Neuroscience Institute, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Background: Lateral (ie, coronal) vertebral listhesis may contribute to disability in adult scoliosis patients.

Objective: To assess for a correlation between lateral listhesis and disability among patients with adult scoliosis.

Methods: This was a retrospective multi-center analysis of prospectively collected data. Patients eligible for a minimum of 2-yr follow-up and with coronal plane deformity (defined as maximum Cobb angle ≥20º) were included (n = 724). Outcome measures were Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and leg pain numeric scale rating. Lateral thoracolumbar listhesis was measured as the maximum vertebral listhesis as a percent of the superior endplate across T1-L5 levels. Linear and logistic regression was utilized, as appropriate. Multivariable analyses adjusted for demographics, comorbidities, surgical invasiveness, maximum Cobb angle, and T1-PA. Minimally clinically important difference (MCID) in ODI was defined as 12.8.

Results: In total, 724 adult patients were assessed. The mean baseline maximum lateral thoracolumbar listhesis was 18.3% (standard deviation 9.7%). The optimal statistical grouping for lateral listhesis was empirically determined to be none/mild (<6.7%), moderate (6.7-15.4%), and severe (≥15.4%). In multivariable analysis, listhesis of moderate and severe vs none/mild was associated with worse baseline ODI (none/mild = 33.7; moderate = 41.6; severe = 43.9; P < .001 for both comparisons) and leg pain NSR (none/mild = 2.9, moderate = 4.0, severe = 5.1, P < .05). Resolution of severe lateral listhesis to none/mild was independently associated with increased likelihood of reaching MCID in ODI at 2 yr postoperatively (odds ratio 2.1 95% confidence interval 1.2-3.7, P = .0097).

Conclusion: Lateral thoracolumbar listhesis is associated with worse baseline disability among adult scoliosis patients. Resolution of severe lateral listhesis following deformity correction was independently associated with increased likelihood of reaching MCID in ODI at 2-yr follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyab356DOI Listing
September 2021

Global coronal decompensation and adult spinal deformity surgery: comparison of upper-thoracic versus lower-thoracic proximal fixation for long fusions.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Aug 27:1-13. Epub 2021 Aug 27.

18Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia.

Objective: Deterioration of global coronal alignment (GCA) may be associated with worse outcomes after adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery. The impact of fusion length and upper instrumented vertebra (UIV) selection on patients with this complication is unclear. The authors' objective was to compare outcomes between long sacropelvic fusion with upper-thoracic (UT) UIV and those with lower-thoracic (LT) UIV in patients with worsening GCA ≥ 1 cm.

Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of a prospective multicenter database of consecutive ASD patients. Index operations involved instrumented fusion from sacropelvis to thoracic spine. Global coronal deterioration was defined as worsening GCA ≥ 1 cm from preoperation to 2-year follow-up.

Results: Of 875 potentially eligible patients, 560 (64%) had complete 2-year follow-up data, of which 144 (25.7%) demonstrated worse GCA at 2-year postoperative follow-up (35.4% of UT patients vs 64.6% of LT patients). At baseline, UT patients were younger (61.6 ± 9.9 vs 64.5 ± 8.6 years, p = 0.008), a greater percentage of UT patients had osteoporosis (35.3% vs 16.1%, p = 0.009), and UT patients had worse scoliosis (51.9° ± 22.5° vs 32.5° ± 16.3°, p < 0.001). Index operations were comparable, except UT patients had longer fusions (16.4 ± 0.9 vs 9.7 ± 1.2 levels, p < 0.001) and operative duration (8.6 ± 3.2 vs 7.6 ± 3.0 hours, p = 0.023). At 2-year follow-up, global coronal deterioration averaged 2.7 ± 1.4 cm (1.9 to 4.6 cm, p < 0.001), scoliosis improved (39.3° ± 20.8° to 18.0° ± 14.8°, p < 0.001), and sagittal spinopelvic alignment improved significantly in all patients. UT patients maintained smaller positive C7 sagittal vertical axis (2.7 ± 5.7 vs 4.7 ± 5.7 cm, p = 0.014). Postoperative 2-year health-related quality of life (HRQL) significantly improved from baseline for all patients. HRQL comparisons demonstrated that UT patients had worse Scoliosis Research Society-22r (SRS-22r) Activity (3.2 ± 1.0 vs 3.6 ± 0.8, p = 0.040) and SRS-22r Satisfaction (3.9 ± 1.1 vs 4.3 ± 0.8, p = 0.021) scores. Also, fewer UT patients improved by ≥ 1 minimal clinically important difference in numerical rating scale scores for leg pain (41.3% vs 62.7%, p = 0.020). Comparable percentages of UT and LT patients had complications (208 total, including 53 reoperations, 77 major complications, and 78 minor complications), but the percentage of reoperated patients was higher among UT patients (35.3% vs 18.3%, p = 0.023). UT patients had higher reoperation rates of rod fracture (13.7% vs 2.2%, p = 0.006) and pseudarthrosis (7.8% vs 1.1%, p = 0.006) but not proximal junctional kyphosis (9.8% vs 8.6%, p = 0.810).

Conclusions: In ASD patients with worse 2-year GCA after long sacropelvic fusion, UT UIV was associated with worse 2-year HRQL compared with LT UIV. This may suggest that residual global coronal malalignment is clinically less tolerated in ASD patients with longer fusion to the proximal thoracic spine. These results may inform operative planning and improve patient counseling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2021.2.SPINE201938DOI Listing
August 2021

Multicenter assessment of outcomes and complications associated with transforaminal versus anterior lumbar interbody fusion for fractional curve correction.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Aug 20:1-14. Epub 2021 Aug 20.

18Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia.

Objective: Few studies have compared fractional curve correction after long fusion between transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) and anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) for adult symptomatic thoracolumbar/lumbar scoliosis (ASLS). The objective of this study was to compare fractional correction, health-related quality of life (HRQL), and complications associated with L4-S1 TLIF versus those of ALIF as an operative treatment of ASLS.

Methods: The authors retrospectively analyzed a prospective multicenter adult spinal deformity database. Inclusion required a fractional curve ≥ 10°, a thoracolumbar/lumbar curve ≥ 30°, index TLIF or ALIF performed at L4-5 and/or L5-S1, and a minimum 2-year follow-up. TLIF and ALIF patients were propensity matched according to the number and type of interbody fusion at L4-S1.

Results: Of 135 potentially eligible consecutive patients, 106 (78.5%) achieved the minimum 2-year follow-up (mean ± SD age 60.6 ± 9.3 years, 85% women, 44.3% underwent TLIF, and 55.7% underwent ALIF). Index operations had mean ± SD 12.2 ± 3.6 posterior levels, 86.6% of patients underwent iliac fixation, 67.0% underwent TLIF/ALIF at L4-5, and 84.0% underwent TLIF/ALIF at L5-S1. Compared with TLIF patients, ALIF patients had greater cage height (10.9 ± 2.1 mm for TLIF patients vs 14.5 ± 3.0 mm for ALIF patients, p = 0.001) and lordosis (6.3° ± 1.6° for TLIF patients vs 17.0° ± 9.9° for ALIF patients, p = 0.001) and longer operative duration (6.7 ± 1.5 hours for TLIF patients vs 8.9 ± 2.5 hours for ALIF patients, p < 0.001). In all patients, final alignment improved significantly in terms of the fractional curve (20.2° ± 7.0° to 6.9° ± 5.2°), maximum coronal Cobb angle (55.0° ± 14.8° to 23.9° ± 14.3°), C7 sagittal vertical axis (5.1 ± 6.2 cm to 2.3 ± 5.4 cm), pelvic tilt (24.6° ± 8.1° to 22.7° ± 9.5°), and lumbar lordosis (32.3° ± 18.8° to 51.4° ± 14.1°) (all p < 0.05). Matched analysis demonstrated comparable fractional correction (-13.6° ± 6.7° for TLIF patients vs -13.6° ± 8.1° for ALIF patients, p = 0.982). In all patients, final HRQL improved significantly in terms of Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) score (42.4 ± 16.3 to 24.2 ± 19.9), physical component summary (PCS) score of the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (32.6 ± 9.3 to 41.3 ± 11.7), and Scoliosis Research Society-22r score (2.9 ± 0.6 to 3.7 ± 0.7) (all p < 0.05). Matched analysis demonstrated worse ODI (30.9 ± 21.1 for TLIF patients vs 17.9 ± 17.1 for ALIF patients, p = 0.017) and PCS (38.3 ± 12.0 for TLIF patients vs 45.3 ± 10.1 for ALIF patients, p = 0.020) scores for TLIF patients at the last follow-up (despite no differences in these parameters at baseline). The rates of total complications were similar (76.6% for TLIF patients vs 71.2% for ALIF patients, p = 0.530), but significantly more TLIF patients had rod fracture (28.6% of TLIF patients vs 7.1% of ALIF patients, p = 0.036). Multiple regression analysis demonstrated that a 1-mm increase in L4-5 TLIF cage height led to a 2.2° reduction in L4 coronal tilt (p = 0.011), and a 1° increase in L5-S1 ALIF cage lordosis led to a 0.4° increase in L5-S1 segmental lordosis (p = 0.045).

Conclusions: Operative treatment of ASLS with L4-S1 TLIF versus ALIF demonstrated comparable mean fractional curve correction (66.7% vs 64.8%), despite use of significantly larger, more lordotic ALIF cages. TLIF cage height had a significant impact on leveling L4 coronal tilt, whereas ALIF cage lordosis had a significant impact on restoration of lumbosacral lordosis. The advantages of TLIF may include reduced operative duration and hospitalization; however, associated HRQL was inferior and more rod fractures were detected in the TLIF patients included in this study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.11.SPINE201915DOI Listing
August 2021

Examination of Adult Spinal Deformity Patients Undergoing Surgery with Implanted Spinal Cord Stimulators and Intrathecal Pumps.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2021 Jul 23. Epub 2021 Jul 23.

Department of Orthopaedics, Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University, Providence, RI Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University, Providence, RI Brown University, Providence, RI Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA Department of Orthopedics, NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital, New York, NY University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA Duke University, Durham, NC Washington University, St. Louis, MO University of California-Davis, Sacramento, CA Norton Leatherman Spine Center, Louisville, KY Scripp's Clinic, La Jolla, CA Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD University of Calgary Spine Program, University of Calgary, Alberta Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Baylor Scoliosis Center, Dallas, TX University of Kansas Hospital, Kansas City, KS Denver International Spine Center, Denver, CO University of California-San Francisco, CA Swedish Neuroscience Institute, Seattle, WA.

Study Design: Retrospective cohort study of a prospectively collected multi-center database of adult spinal deformity (ASD) patients.

Objective: We hypothesized that patients undergoing ASD surgery with and without previous SCS/ITP would exhibit increased complication rates but comparable improvement in HRQOL.

Summary Of Background Data: ASD patients sometimes seek pain management with spinal cord stimulators (SCS) or intrathecal medication pumps (ITP) prior to spinal deformity correction. Few studies have examined outcomes in this patient population.

Methods: Patients undergoing ASD surgery and eligible for 2-year follow-up were included. Pre-operative radiographs were reviewed for the presence of SCS/ITP. Outcomes included complications, ODI, SF-36 MCS, and SRS-22r. Propensity score matching was utilized.

Results: In total, out of 1,034 eligible ASD patients, a propensity score-matched cohort of 60 patients (30 with SCS/ITP, 30 controls) was developed. SCS/ITP were removed intra-operatively in most patients (56.7%, n = 17). The overall complication rate was 80.0% versus 76.7% for SCS/ITP versus control (p > 0.2), with similarly non-significant differences for intraoperative and infection complications (all p > 0.2). ODI was significantly higher among patients with SCS/ITP at baseline (59.2 versus 47.6, p = 0.0057) and at 2-year follow-up (44.4 versus 27.7, p = 0.0295). The magnitude of improvement, however, did not significantly differ (p = 0.45). Similar results were observed for SRS-22r pain domain. Satisfaction did not differ between groups at either baseline or follow-up (p > 0.2). No significant difference was observed in the proportion of patients with SCS/ITP versus control reaching MCID in ODI (47.6% versus 60.9%, p = 0.38). Narcotic usage was more common among patients with SCS/ITP at both baseline and follow-up (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: ASD patients undergoing surgery with SCS/ITP exhibited worse preoperative and post-operative ODI and SRS-22r pain domain; however, the mean improvement in outcome scores was not significantly different from patients without stimulators or pumps. No significant differences in complications were observed between patients with versus without SCS/ITP.Level of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000004176DOI Listing
July 2021

Defining a Surgical Invasiveness Threshold for Increased Risk of a Major Complication Following Adult Spinal Deformity Surgery.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2021 Jul;46(14):931-938

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.

Study Design: Retrospective review.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to define a surgical invasiveness threshold that predicts major complications after adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery; use this threshold to categorize patients into quartiles by invasiveness; and determine the odds of major complications by quartile.

Summary Of Background Data: Understanding the relationship between surgical invasiveness and major complications is important for estimating the likelihood of major complications after ASD surgery.

Methods: Using a multicenter database, we identified 574 ASD patients (more than 5 levels fused; mean age, 60 ± 15 years) with minimum 2-year follow-up. Invasiveness was calculated as the ASD Surgical and Radiographic (ASD-SR) score. Youden index was used to identify the invasiveness score cut-off associated with optimal sensitivity and specificity for predicting major complications. Resulting high- and low-invasiveness groups were divided in half to create quartiles. Odds of developing a major complication were analyzed for each quartile using logistic regression (alpha = 0.05).

Results: The ASD-SR cutoff score that maximally predicted major complications was 90 points. ASD-SR quartiles were 0 to 65 (Q1), 66 to 89 (Q2), 90 to 119 (Q3), and ≥120 (Q4). Risk of a major complication was 17% in Q1, 21% in Q2, 35% in Q3, and 33% in Q4 (P < 0.001). Comparisons of adjacent quartiles showed an increase in the odds of a major complication from Q2 to Q3 (odds ratio [OR] 1.8; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.0-3.0), but not from Q1 to Q2 or from Q3 to Q4. Patients with ASD-SR scores ≥90 were 1.9 times as likely to have a major complication than patients with scores <90 (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.3-2.9). Mean ASD-SR scores above and below 90 points were 121 ± 25 and 63 ± 17, respectively.

Conclusion: The odds of major complications after ASD surgery are significantly greater when the procedure has an ASD-SR score ≥90. ASD-SR score can be used to counsel patients regarding these increased odds.Level of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000003949DOI Listing
July 2021

Artificial intelligence clustering of adult spinal deformity sagittal plane morphology predicts surgical characteristics, alignment, and outcomes.

Eur Spine J 2021 Aug 15;30(8):2157-2166. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Alpert Medical School, Providence, Rhode Island, 1 Kettle Point Avenue, East Providence, RI, 02914, USA.

Purpose: AI algorithms have shown promise in medical image analysis. Previous studies of ASD clusters have analyzed alignment metrics-this study sought to complement these efforts by analyzing images of sagittal anatomical spinopelvic landmarks. We hypothesized that an AI algorithm would cluster preoperative lateral radiographs into groups with distinct morphology.

Methods: This was a retrospective review of a multicenter, prospectively collected database of adult spinal deformity. A total of 915 patients with adult spinal deformity and preoperative lateral radiographs were included. A 2 × 3, self-organizing map-a form of artificial neural network frequently employed in unsupervised classification tasks-was developed. The mean spine shape was plotted for each of the six clusters. Alignment, surgical characteristics, and outcomes were compared.

Results: Qualitatively, clusters C and D exhibited only mild sagittal plane deformity. Clusters B, E, and F, however, exhibited marked positive sagittal balance and loss of lumbar lordosis. Cluster A had mixed characteristics, likely representing compensated deformity. Patients in clusters B, E, and F disproportionately underwent 3-CO. PJK and PJF were particularly prevalent among clusters A and E. Among clusters B and F, patients who experienced PJK had significantly greater positive sagittal balance than those who did not.

Conclusions: This study clustered preoperative lateral radiographs of ASD patients into groups with highly distinct overall spinal morphology and association with sagittal alignment parameters, baseline HRQOL, and surgical characteristics. The relationship between SVA and PJK differed by cluster. This study represents significant progress toward incorporation of computer vision into clinically relevant classification systems in adult spinal deformity.

Level Of Evidence Iv: Diagnostic: individual cross-sectional studies with the consistently applied reference standard and blinding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00586-021-06799-zDOI Listing
August 2021

Effect of age-adjusted alignment goals and distal inclination angle on the fate of distal junctional kyphosis in cervical deformity surgery.

J Craniovertebr Junction Spine 2021 Jan-Mar;12(1):65-71. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Background: Age-adjusted alignment targets in the context of distal junctional kyphosis (DJK) development have yet to be investigated. Our aim was to assess age-adjusted alignment targets, reciprocal changes, and role of lowest instrumented level orientation in DJK development in cervical deformity (CD) patients.

Methods: CD patients were evaluated based on lowest fused level: cervical (C7 or above), upper thoracic (UT: T1-T6), and lower thoracic (LT: T7-T12). Age-adjusted alignment targets were calculated using published formulas for sagittal vertical axis (SVA), pelvic incidence-lumbar lordosis (PI-LL), pelvic tilt (PT), T1 pelvic angle (TPA), and LL-thoracic kyphosis (TK). Outcome measures were cervical and global alignment parameters: Cervical SVA (cSVA), cervical lordosis, C2 slope, C2-T3 angle, C2-T3 SVA, TS-CL, PI-LL, PT, and SVA. Subanalysis matched baseline PI to assess age-adjusted alignment between DJK and non-DJK.

Results: Seventy-six CD patients included. By 1Y, 20 patients developed DJK. Non-DJK patients had 27% cervical lowest instrumented vertebra (LIV), 68% UT, and 5% LT. DJK patients had 25% cervical, 50% UT, and 25% LT. There were no baseline or 1Y differences for PI, PI-LL, SVA, TPA, or PT for actual and age-adjusted targets. DJK patients had worse baseline cSVA and more severe 1Y cSVA, C2-T3 SVA, and C2 slope ( < 0.05). The distribution of over/under corrected patients and the offset between actual and ideal alignment for SVA, PT, TPA, PI-LL, and LL-TK were similar between DJK and non-DJK patients. DJK patients requiring reoperation had worse postoperative changes in all cervical parameters and trended toward larger offsets for global parameters.

Conclusion: CD patients with severe baseline malalignment went on to develop postoperative DJK. Age-adjusted alignment targets did not capture differences in these populations, suggesting the need for cervical-specific goals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_170_20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8035585PMC
March 2021

Surgical outcomes in rigid versus flexible cervical deformities.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Feb 12:1-9. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

13Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, California.

Objective: Cervical deformity (CD) patients have severe disability and poor health status. However, little is known about how patients with rigid CD compare with those with flexible CD. The main objectives of this study were to 1) assess whether patients with rigid CD have worse baseline alignment and therefore require more aggressive surgical corrections and 2) determine whether patients with rigid CD have similar postoperative outcomes as those with flexible CD.

Methods: This is a retrospective review of a prospective, multicenter CD database. Rigid CD was defined as cervical lordosis (CL) change < 10° between flexion and extension radiographs, and flexible CD was defined as a CL change ≥ 10°. Patients with rigid CD were compared with those with flexible CD in terms of cervical alignment and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) at baseline and at multiple postoperative time points. The patients were also compared in terms of surgical and intraoperative factors such as operative time, blood loss, and number of levels fused.

Results: A total of 127 patients met inclusion criteria (32 with rigid and 95 with flexible CD, 63.4% of whom were females; mean age 60.8 years; mean BMI 27.4); 47.2% of cases were revisions. Rigid CD was associated with worse preoperative alignment in terms of T1 slope minus CL, T1 slope, C2-7 sagittal vertical axis (cSVA), and C2 slope (C2S; all p < 0.05). Postoperatively, patients with rigid CD had an increased mean C2S (29.1° vs 22.2°) at 3 months and increased cSVA (47.1 mm vs 37.5 mm) at 1 year (p < 0.05) compared with those with flexible CD. Patients with rigid CD had more posterior levels fused (9.5 vs 6.3), fewer anterior levels fused (1 vs 2.0), greater blood loss (1036.7 mL vs 698.5 mL), more 3-column osteotomies (40.6% vs 12.6%), greater total osteotomy grade (6.5 vs 4.5), and mean osteotomy grade per level (3.3 vs 2.1) (p < 0.05 for all). There were no significant differences in baseline HRQOL scores, the rate of distal junctional kyphosis, or major/minor complications between patients with rigid and flexible CD. Both rigid and flexible CD patients reported significant improvements from baseline to 1 year according to the numeric rating scale for the neck (-2.4 and -2.7, respectively), Neck Disability Index (-8.4 and -13.3, respectively), modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association score (0.1 and 0.6), and EQ-5D (0.01 and 0.05) (p < 0.05). However, HRQOL changes from baseline to 1 year did not differ between rigid and flexible CD patients.

Conclusions: Patients with rigid CD have worse baseline cervical malalignment compared with those with flexible CD but do not significantly differ in terms of baseline disability. Rigid CD was associated with more invasive surgery and more aggressive corrections, resulting in increased operative time and blood loss. Despite more extensive surgeries, rigid CD patients had equivalent improvements in HRQOL compared with flexible CD patients. This study quantifies the importance of analyzing flexion-extension images, creating a prognostic tool for surgeons planning CD correction, and counseling patients who are considering CD surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.8.SPINE191185DOI Listing
February 2021

Multicenter assessment of surgical outcomes in adult spinal deformity patients with severe global coronal malalignment: determination of target coronal realignment threshold.

J Neurosurg Spine 2020 Dec 4:1-14. Epub 2020 Dec 4.

18Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, California.

Objective: The impact of global coronal malalignment (GCM; C7 plumb line-midsacral offset) on adult spinal deformity (ASD) treatment outcomes is unclear. Here, the authors' primary objective was to assess surgical outcomes and complications in patients with severe GCM, with a secondary aim of investigating potential surgical target coronal thresholds for optimal outcomes.

Methods: This is a retrospective analysis of a prospective multicenter database. Operative patients with severe GCM (≥ 1 SD above the mean) and a minimum 2-year follow-up were identified. Demographic, surgical, radiographic, health-related quality of life (HRQOL), and complications data were analyzed.

Results: Of 691 potentially eligible operative patients (mean GCM 4 ± 3 cm), 80 met the criteria for severe GCM ≥ 7 cm. Of these, 62 (78%; mean age 63.7 ± 10.7 years, 81% women) had a minimum 2-year follow-up (mean follow-up 3.3 ± 1.1 years). The mean ASD-Frailty Index was 3.9 ± 1.5 (frail), 50% had undergone prior fusion, and 81% had concurrent severe sagittal spinopelvic deformity with GCM and C7-S1 sagittal vertical axis (SVA) positively correlated (r = 0.313, p = 0.015). Surgical characteristics included posterior-only (58%) versus anterior-posterior (42%) approach, mean fusion of 13.2 ± 3.8 levels, iliac fixation (90%), 3-column osteotomy (36%), operative duration of 8.3 ± 3.0 hours, and estimated blood loss of 2.3 ± 1.7 L. Final alignment and HRQOL significantly improved (p < 0.01): GCM, 11 to 4 cm; maximum coronal Cobb angle, 43° to 20°; SVA, 13 to 4 cm; pelvic tilt, 29° to 23°; pelvic incidence-lumbar lordosis mismatch, 31° to 5°; Oswestry Disability Index, 51 to 37; physical component summary of SF-36 (PCS), 29 to 37; 22-Item Scoliosis Research Society Patient Questionnaire (SRS-22r) Total, 2.6 to 3.5; and numeric rating scale score for back and leg pain, 7 to 4 and 5 to 3, respectively. Residual GCM ≥ 3 cm was associated with worse SRS-22r Appearance (p = 0.04) and SRS-22r Satisfaction (p = 0.02). The minimal clinically important difference and/or substantial clinical benefit (MCID/SCB) was met in 43%-83% (highest for SRS-22r Appearance [MCID 83%] and PCS [SCB 53%]). The severity of baseline GCM (≥ 2 SD above the mean) significantly impacted postoperative SRS-22r Satisfaction and MCID/SCB improvement for PCS. No significant partial correlations were demonstrated between GCM or SVA correction and HRQOL improvement. There were 89 total complications (34 minor and 55 major), 45 (73%) patients with ≥ 1 complication (most commonly rod fracture [19%] and proximal junctional kyphosis [PJK; 18%]), and 34 reoperations in 22 (35%) patients (most commonly for rod fracture and PJK).

Conclusions: Study results demonstrated that ASD surgery in patients with substantial GCM was associated with significant radiographic and HRQOL improvement despite high complication rates. MCID improvement was highest for SRS-22r Appearance/Self-Image. A residual GCM ≥ 3 cm was associated with a worse outcome, suggesting a potential coronal realignment target threshold to assist surgical planning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.7.SPINE20606DOI Listing
December 2020

Construct Validity and Reliability of the Japanese Version of the Lumbar Stiffness Disability Index.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2021 Mar;46(5):E333-E337

Department of Orthopaedics, Swedish Neuroscience Institute, Washington, USA.

Study Design: Outcome study to determine the construct validity and reliability of the Japanese version of the Lumbar Stiffness Disability Index.

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the psychometric measurement properties of the Japanese version of the Lumbar Stiffness Disability Index (J-LSDI) following lumbar spinal surgery in order to assess its construct validity and reliability.

Summary Of Background Data: The LSDI was designed and validated as a tool to assess functional impacts of lumbar spine stiffness and diminished spinal flexibility. A Japanese version has been developed, but its construct validity and reliability have not been evaluated.

Methods: A Pearson correlation coefficient was calculated using flexion and extension range of motion, Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia (TSK) as external standards to evaluate construct validity. An intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and a Bland-Altman analysis were used to evaluate test-retest reliability.

Results: A total of 244 patients following lumbar spinal surgery participated in the study. Fifty one of the 244 patients participated in the reliability study. The ICC of the J-LSDI for test-retest reliability was 0.89 (95% confidence interval, 0.79-0.93). There was no systematic error found in the results of the Bland-Altman analysis. One hundred ninety-three of the 244 patients participated in the validity study. There were significant correlations between the J-LSDI and trunk flexion range of motion (r = -0.66), extension (r = -0.51), ODI (r = 0.62), and TSK (r = 0.38).

Conclusion: The construct validity and reliability of the Japanese version of the LSDI were confirmed. The J-LSDI can be used to evaluate lumbar stiffness and associated disability in Japanese patients following lumbar spinal surgery.Level of Evidence: 2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000003772DOI Listing
March 2021

GDF15, an update of the physiological and pathological roles it plays: a review.

Pflugers Arch 2020 11 16;472(11):1535-1546. Epub 2020 Sep 16.

School of Science and Technology, University of New England, McClymont Building, Armidale, NSW, 2351, Australia.

Growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15) is a peptide hormone, and a divergent member of the transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) superfamily. In normal physiology, GDF15 is expressed in multiple tissues at a low concentration. GDF15 is overexpressed during and following many pathological conditions such as tissue injury and inflammation in order to play a protective role. However, GDF15 appears to promote tumour growth in the later stages of malignant cancer. The recently identified endogenous receptor for GDF15, GDNF family receptor a-like (GFRAL), has allowed elucidation of a physiological pathway in which GDF15 regulates energy homeostasis and body weight, primarily via appetite suppression. The anorectic effect of GDF15 provides some therapeutic potential in management of cancer-related anorexia/cachexia and obesity. Despite the identification of GFRAL as a GDF15 receptor, there appears to be other signalling mechanisms utilized by GDF15 that further increase the possibility of development of therapeutic treatments, should these pathways be fully characterized. In this review, GDF15 function in both physiological and pathological conditions in various tissues will be discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00424-020-02459-1DOI Listing
November 2020

De novo methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus vs. methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus infections of the spine, similar clinical outcome, despite more severe presentation in surgical patients.

Neurosurg Rev 2021 Aug 27;44(4):2111-2118. Epub 2020 Aug 27.

Swedish Neuroscience Institute, Seattle, WA, USA.

Vertebral osteomyelitis (VO) is a severe infection of the vertebral body and the adjacent disc space, where Staphylococcus aureus is most commonly isolated. The objective of this retrospective study was to determine risk factors for and compare outcome differences between de novo methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) VO and methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) VO. A retrospective cohort study was performed by review of the electronic medical records of 4541 consecutive spine surgery patients. Among these 37 underwent surgical treatment of de novo MRSA and MSSA spinal infections. Patient demographics, pre- and postoperative neurological status (ASIA impairment score), surgical treatment, inflammatory laboratory values, nutritional status, comorbidities, antibiotics, hospital stay, ICU stay, reoperation, readmission, and complications were collected. A minimum follow-up (FU) of 12 months was required. Among the 37 patients with de novo VO, 19 were MRSA and 18 were MSSA. Mean age was 52.4 and 52.9 years in the MRSA and MSSA groups, respectively. Neurological deficits were found in 53% of patients with MRSA infection and in 17% of the patients with MSSA infection, which was statistically significant (p < 0.05). Chronic renal insufficiency and malnutrition were found to be significant risk factors for MRSA VO. Preoperative albumin was significantly lower in the MRSA group (p < 0.05). Patients suffering from spinal infection with chronic renal insufficiency and malnutrition should be watched more carefully for MRSA. The MRSA group did not show a significant difference with regard to final clinical outcome despite more severe presentation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10143-020-01376-2DOI Listing
August 2021

Classifying Complications: Assessing Adult Spinal Deformity 2-Year Surgical Outcomes.

Global Spine J 2020 Oct 30;10(7):896-907. Epub 2020 Jul 30.

25062Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY, USA.

Study Design: Retrospective review of prospective database.

Objective: Complication rates for adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery vary widely because there is no accepted system for categorization. Our objective was to identify the impact of complication occurrence, minor-major complication, and Clavien-Dindo complication classification (Cc) on clinical variables and patient-reported outcomes.

Methods: Complications in surgical ASD patients with complete baseline and 2-year data were considered intraoperatively, perioperatively (<6 weeks), and postoperatively (>6 weeks). Primary outcome measures were complication timing and severity according to 3 scales: complication presence (yes/no), minor-major, and Cc score. Secondary outcomes were surgical outcomes (estimated blood loss [EBL], length of stay [LOS], reoperation) and health-related quality of life (HRQL) scores. Univariate analyses determined complication presence, type, and Cc grade impact on operative variables and on HRQL scores.

Results: Of 167 patients, 30.5% (n = 51) had intraoperative, 48.5% (n = 81) had perioperative, and 58.7% (n = 98) had postoperative complications. Major intraoperative complications were associated with increased EBL ( < .001) and LOS ( = .0092). Postoperative complication presence and major postoperative complication were associated with reoperation ( < .001). At 2 years, major perioperative complications were associated with worse ODI, SF-36, and SRS activity and appearance scores ( < .02). Increasing perioperative Cc score and postoperative complication presence were the best predictors of worse HRQL outcomes ( < .05).

Conclusion: The Cc Scale was most useful in predicting changes in patient outcomes; at 2 years, patients with raised perioperative Cc scores and postoperative complications saw reduced HRQL improvement. Intraoperative and perioperative complications were associated with worse short-term surgical and inpatient outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2192568220937473DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7485066PMC
October 2020

Foraminal Ligaments Tether Upper Cervical Nerve Roots: A Potential Cause of Postoperative C5 Palsy.

J Brachial Plex Peripher Nerve Inj 2020 Jan 24;15(1):e9-e15. Epub 2020 Jul 24.

Department of Neurosurgery, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States.

 Nerve root tethering upon dorsal spinal cord (SC) migration has been proposed as a potential mechanism for postoperative C5 palsy (C5P). To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate this relationship by anatomically comparing C5-C6 nerve root translation before and after root untethering by cutting the cervical foraminal ligaments (FL).  The aim of this study is to determine if C5 root untethering through FL cutting results in increased root translation.  Six cadaveric dissections were performed. Nerve roots were exposed via C4-C6 corpectomies and supraclavicular brachial plexus exposure. Pins were inserted into the C5-C6 roots and adjacent foraminal tubercle. Translation was measured as the distance between pins after the SC was dorsally displaced 5 mm before and after FL cutting. Clinical feasibility of FL release was examined by comparing root translation between standard and extended (complete foraminal decompression) foraminotomies. Translation of root levels before and after FL cutting was compared by two-way repeated measures analysis of variance. Statistical significance was set at 0.05.  Significantly more nerve root translation was observed if the FL was cut versus not-cut,  = 0.001; no difference was seen between levels,  = 0.33. Performing an extended cervical foraminotomy was technically feasible allowing complete FL release and root untethering, whereas a standard foraminotomy did not.  FL tether upper cervical nerve roots in their foramina; cutting these ligaments untethers the root and increases translation suggesting they could be harmful in the context of C5P. Further investigation is required examining the value of root untethering in the context of C5P.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0040-1712982DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7383057PMC
January 2020

A low protein maternal diet during gestation has negative effects on male fertility markers in rats - A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl) 2021 Jan 12;105(1):157-166. Epub 2020 Jul 12.

School of Science and Technology, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia.

Research indicates that some adult diseases including reproductive pathologies are programmed in utero during foetal development. In particular, maternal low dietary protein, during the most critical developmental periods of male foetal development, may have a detrimental impact on male fertility through direct and epigenetic mechanisms. The aim of our study was to evaluate the impact of a gestational low protein diet on fertility markers in male offspring in rats through a systematic review and meta-analysis. A systematic search using PubMed, and EMBASE databases was performed and two investigators independently screened the 1,703 prospective articles. Eleven articles met the eligibility criteria. Outcome measures were pooled using random-effects models and expressed as mean differences (MDs) at 95% CIs for each study. The results reveal significant reduction in testis weight (MD (mean difference) -0.08 g; -0.12, -0.42; p = .0001), epididymal sperm count (MD -35.34 × 10 cells; -52.15, -18.53; p = .0001), number of Sertoli cells (MD -7.27 × 10 (-13.92, -0.62; p = .03), testosterone (T) concentration (MD -0.29 ng/ml; -0.48, -0.09; p = .004) and luteinising hormone (LH) concentration (MD of -0.24 ng/ml; -0.45, 0.04; p = .02) in comparison with controls. In contrast, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) concentration (MD of 0.07 ng/ml; -0.16, 0.29; p = .56) was not significantly different from controls. We conclude that low gestational dietary protein maternal intake potentially negatively impacts fertility in male progeny later in life. The mechanisms of action responsible for these phenomena remain unclear.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jpn.13411DOI Listing
January 2021

Probability of severe frailty development among operative and nonoperative adult spinal deformity patients: an actuarial survivorship analysis over a 3-year period.

Spine J 2020 08 20;20(8):1276-1285. Epub 2020 Apr 20.

Rocky Mountain Scoliosis and Spine, Denver, CO, USA.

Background: Little is known of how frailty, a dynamic measure of physiological age, progresses relative to age or disability status. Operative treatment of adult spinal deformity (ASD) may play a role in frailty remediation and maintenance.

Purpose: Compare frailty status, severe frailty development, and factors influencing severe frailty development among ASD patients undergoing operative or nonoperative treatment.

Design: Retrospective review with maximum follow-up of 3 years.

Setting: Prospective, multicenter, ASD database.

Participants: Patients were consecutively enrolled from 13 participating centers.

Inclusion Criteria: ≥18 years undergoing either operative or nonoperative treatment for ASD, exclusion criteria: spinal deformity of neuromuscular etiology, presence of active infection, or malignancy. The mean age of the participants analyzed were 54.9 for the operative cohort and 55.0 for the nonoperative cohort.

Outcomes Measures: Frailty status, severe frailty development, and factors influencing severe frailty development.

Methods: ASD patients (coronal scoliosis ≥20°, sagittal vertical axis (SVA) ≥5 cm, Pelvic Tilt (PT) ≥25°, or thoracic kyphosis ≥60°) >18 y/o, with Base Line (BL) frailty scores were included. Frailty was scored from 0 to 1 (not frail: <0.3, frail 0.3-0.5, severe frailty >0.5) through the use of ASD-frailty index (FI) which has been validated using the International Spine Study Group (ISSG) ASD database, European Spine Study Group ASD database, and the Scoli-RISK-1 Patient Database. The ISSG is funded through research grants from DePuy Synthes and individual donations and supported the current work. Operative (Op) and Nonoperative (Non-Op) patients were propensity matched. T-tests compared frailty among treatment groups and BL, 1, 2, and ≥3 years. An actuarial Kaplan-Meier survivorship analysis with log-rank (Mantel-Cox) test, adjusting for patients lost to follow-up, determined probability of severe frailty development. Multivariate Cox Regressions gauged the effect of sagittal malalignment, patient and surgical details on severe frailty development.

Results: The analysis includes 472 patients (236 Op, 236 Non-Op) selected by propensity score matching from a cohort of 1,172. Demographics and comorbidities were similar between groups (p>.05). Op exhibited decreased frailty at all follow-up intervals compared with BL (BL: 0.22 vs Y1: 0.18; Y2: 0.16; Y3: 0.15, all p<.001). Non-Op displayed similar frailty from BL to 2Y follow up, and increased frailty at 3Y follow up (0.23 vs 0.25, p=.014). Compared with Non-Op, Op had lower frailty at 1Y (0.18 vs 0.24), 2Y (0.16 vs 0.23), and 3Y (0.15 vs 0.25; all p<.001). Cumulative probability of maintaining nonsevere frailty was (Op: 97.7%, Non-Op: 94.5%) at 1Y, (Op: 95.1%, Non-Op: 90.4%) at 2Y, and (Op: 95.1%, Non-Op: 89.1%) at ≥3Y, (p=.018). Among all patients, baseline depression (hazard ratio: 2.688[1.172-6.167], p=.020), Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) back pain scores (HR: 1.247[1.012-1.537], p=.039), and nonoperative treatment (HR: 2.785[1.167-6.659], p=.021) predicted severe frailty development with having a HR>1.0 and p value<.05. Among operative patients, 6-week postoperative residual SVA malalignment (SRS-Schwab SVA+modifier) (HR: 15.034[1.922-116.940], p=.010) predicted severe frailty development indicated by having a HR>1.0 and p value <.05.

Conclusions: Non-Op patients were more likely to develop severe frailty, and at a quicker rate. Baseline depression, increased NRS back pain scores, nonoperative treatment, and postoperative sagittal malalignment at 6-week follow-up significantly predicted severe frailty development. Operative intervention and postoperative sagittal balance appear to play significant roles in frailty remediation and maintenance in ASD patients. Frailty is one factor, in a multifactorial conservation, that may be considered when determining operative or nonoperative values for ASD patients. Operating before the onset of severe frailty, may result in a lower complication risk and better long-term clinical outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.spinee.2020.04.010DOI Listing
August 2020

Assessment of Patient Outcomes and Proximal Junctional Failure Rate of Patients with Adult Spinal Deformity Undergoing Caudal Extension of Previous Spinal Fusion.

World Neurosurg 2020 07 17;139:e449-e454. Epub 2020 Apr 17.

Department of Orthopedics, Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Objective: This case series examined patients undergoing caudal extension of prior fusion without alteration of the prior upper instrumented vertebra (UIV) to assess patient outcomes and rates of proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK)/proximal junctional failure (PJF).

Methods: Patients eligible for 2-year minimum follow-up undergoing caudal extension of prior fusion with unchanged UIVs were identified. These patients were evaluated for PJK/PJF, and patient reported outcomes were recorded.

Results: In total, 40 patients were included. Mean follow-up duration was 2.2 ± 0.3 years. Patients in this cohort had poor preoperative sagittal alignment (pelvic incidence minus lumbar lordosis [PI-LL] 26.7°, T1 pelvic angle [TPA] 29.0°, sagittal vertical axis [SVA] 93.4 mm) and achieved substantial sagittal correction (ΔSVA -62.2 mm, ΔPI-LL -19.8°, ΔTPA -11.1°) after caudal extension surgery. At final follow-up, there was a 0% rate of PJF among patients undergoing caudal extension of previous fusion without creation of a new UIV, but 27.5% of patients experienced PJK. Patients experienced significant improvement in both the Oswestry Disability Index and Scoliosis Research Society-22r total score at 2 years postoperatively (P < 0.05). In total, 7.5% (n = 3) of patients underwent further revision, at an average of 1.1 ± 0.54 years after the surgery with unaltered UIV. All 3 of these patients underwent revision for rod fracture with no revisions for PJK/PJF.

Conclusions: Patients undergoing caudal extension of previous fusions for sagittal alignment correction have high rates of clinical success, low revision surgery rates, and very low rates of PJF. Minimizing repetitive tissue trauma at the UIV may result in decreased PJF risk because the PJF rate in this cohort of patients with unaltered UIV is below historical PJF rates of patients undergoing sagittal balance correction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.04.024DOI Listing
July 2020

The effect of dietary protein intake on factors associated with male infertility: A systematic literature review and meta-analysis of animal clinical trials in rats.

Nutr Health 2020 Mar 28;26(1):53-64. Epub 2020 Jan 28.

School of Science and Technology, University of New England, Australia.

Background: Studies have shown that the amount of protein in the diet affects the hypothalamic-pituitary-testis axis and sub-optimal quantity reduces male fertility potential in both animals and humans. However, individual research reports on the factors associated with male infertility are collectively uncharacterized.

Aim: We systematically reviewed, and meta-analysed animal (rats) studies on the effect of low protein diet on factors associated with male infertility.

Methods: PubMed Central, EMBASE and Scopus databases were searched from inception to 30 March 2019 for the study concepts and related keywords in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) protocol. Data on the outcome measures were extracted and pooled across trials using random-effects model and expressed as mean differences (MD) at a 95% confidence interval (CI).

Results: Twelve trials identified from 3327 studies, met our inclusion criteria in the comparison of a low protein diet (2-10% protein) vs control protein diet (17-23% protein). The results showed that a low protein diet caused a significant reduction in the body weight ( = 0.0001) testis weight ( = 0.0001), seminal vesicle weight ( = 0.0003), epididymis weight = 0.02), serum testosterone ( = 0.001) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) concentrations ( = 0.04) compared with the control treatments. No effect on luteinizing hormone (LH) plasma concentration ( = 0.13) was observed.

Conclusion: This study revealed that low protein diet caused significant reductions in body weight, testis, epididymis and seminal vesicle weights, serum testosterone and FSH concentration in rats. We infer that sub-optimal protein consumption reduces the gonadal and endocrine function, and consequently male infertility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0260106019900731DOI Listing
March 2020

Fatty infiltration of the cervical extensor musculature, cervical sagittal balance, and clinical outcomes: An analysis of operative adult cervical deformity patients.

J Clin Neurosci 2020 Feb 8;72:134-141. Epub 2020 Jan 8.

Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Purpose: To assess preliminary associations between fatty-infiltration (FI) of cervical spine extensor musculature, cervical sagittal balance, and clinical outcomes in cervical deformity (CD) patients.

Methods: Operative CD patients (C2-C7 Cobb > 10°, CL > 10°, cSVA > 4 cm, or CBVA > 25°) with pre-operative (BL) MRIs and 1-year (1Y) post-operative MRIs or CTs were assessed for fatty-infiltration of cervical extensor musculature, using dedicated imaging software at each C2-C7 intervertebral level and the apex of deformity (apex). FI was gauged as a ratio of fat-free-muscle-cross-sectional-area (FCSA) over total-muscle-CSA (TCSA), with lower ratio values indicating greater FI. BL-1Y associations between FI, sagittal alignment, and clinical outcomes were assessed using appropriate parametric and non-parametric tests.

Results: 22 patients were included (Age 59.22, 71.4%F, BMI 29.2, CCI:0.75, Frailty: 0.43). BL deformity presentation: TS-CL: 29.0°, C2-C7 Sagittal Cobb:-1.6°, cSVA:30.4 mm. No correlations were observed between BL fatty-infiltration, sagittal alignment, frailty, or clinical outcomes (p > 0.05). Following surgical correction, C2-C7 (BL: 0.59 vs 1Y:0.67, p = 0.005) and apex (BL: 0.59 vs. 1Y: 0.66, p = 0.33) fatty-infiltration decreased. Achievement of lordotic curvature correlated with C2-C7 fatty infiltration reduction (R: 0.495, p < 0.05), and patients with residual postoperative TS-CL and cSVA malalignment were associated with greater apex fatty-infiltration (R: -0.565, -0.561; p < 0.05). C2-C7 FI improvement was associated with NRS back pain reduction (R: -0.630, p < 0.05), and greater apex fatty-infiltration at BL was associated with minor perioperative complication occurrence (R: 0.551, p = 0.014).

Conclusions: Deformity correction and sagittal balance appear to influence the reestablishment of cervical muscle tone from C2-C7 and reduction of back pain for severely frail CD patients. This analysis helps to understand cervical extensor musculature's role amongst CD patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jocn.2019.12.044DOI Listing
February 2020

Upper-thoracic versus lower-thoracic upper instrumented vertebra in adult spinal deformity patients undergoing fusion to the pelvis: surgical decision-making and patient outcomes.

J Neurosurg Spine 2019 Dec 20:1-7. Epub 2019 Dec 20.

12Swedish Neuroscience Institute, Seattle, Washington.

Objective: Optimal patient selection for upper-thoracic (UT) versus lower-thoracic (LT) fusion during adult spinal deformity (ASD) correction is challenging. Radiographic and clinical outcomes following UT versus LT fusion remain incompletely understood. The purposes of this study were: 1) to evaluate demographic, radiographic, and surgical characteristics associated with choice of UT versus LT fusion endpoint; and 2) to evaluate differences in radiographic, clinical, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) outcomes following UT versus LT fusion for ASD.

Methods: Retrospective review of a prospectively collected multicenter ASD database was performed. Patients with ASD who underwent fusion from the sacrum/ilium to the LT (T9-L1) or UT (T1-6) spine were compared for demographic, radiographic, and surgical characteristics. Outcomes including proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK), reoperation, rod fracture, pseudarthrosis, overall complications, 2-year change in alignment parameters, and 2-year HRQOL metrics (Lumbar Stiffness Disability Index, Scoliosis Research Society-22r questionnaire, Oswestry Disability Index) were compared after controlling for confounding factors via multivariate analysis.

Results: Three hundred three patients (169 LT, 134 UT) were evaluated. Independent predictors of UT fusion included greater thoracic kyphosis (odds ratio [OR] 0.97 per degree, p = 0.0098), greater coronal Cobb angle (OR 1.06 per degree, p < 0.0001), and performance of a 3-column osteotomy (3-CO; OR 2.39, p = 0.0351). While associated with longer operative times (ratio 1.13, p < 0.0001) and greater estimated blood loss (ratio 1.31, p = 0.0018), UT fusions resulted in greater sagittal vertical axis improvement (-59.5 vs -41.0 mm, p = 0.0035) and lower PJK rates (OR 0.49, p = 0.0457). No significant differences in postoperative HRQOL measures, reoperation, or overall complication rates were detected between groups (all p > 0.1).

Conclusions: Greater deformity and need for 3-CO increased the likelihood of UT fusion. Despite longer operative times and greater blood loss, UT fusions resulted in better sagittal correction and lower 2-year PJK rates following surgery for ASD. While continued surveillance is necessary, this information may inform patient counseling and surgical decision-making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2019.9.SPINE19557DOI Listing
December 2019

Effect of low- and high-protein maternal diets during gestation on reproductive outcomes in the rat: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

J Anim Sci 2020 Jan;98(1)

School of Science and Technology, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia.

Studies with animal models have consistently demonstrated adverse health outcomes in offspring born following nutritional manipulation during gestation. However, the effects of gestational dietary protein modification on reproductive outcomes at birth are less clear. We, therefore, conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled trials to determine whether high- or low-protein diets are associated with altered reproductive outcomes in a commonly studied species, the rat. Included studies were identified through a systematic search using electronic databases and manual literature review to identify randomized studies published between June 1972 and March 2019. Thirty-two studies were identified and used to analyze the effects of low- and high-protein gestational diets on litter size, litter weight, gestational weight gain, and gestational feed intake. The results indicate that low-protein diets significantly reduced litter weight (P < 0.00001) and gestational weight gain (P < 0.0006), but did not influence litter size (P = 0.62) or gestational feed intake (P = 0.25). In contrast, high-protein diets were found to reduce gestational feed intake (P = 0.004) but did not influence litter size (P = 0.56), litter weight (P = 0.22), or gestational weight gain (P = 0.35). The results suggest that low but not high-protein gestational diets alter reproductive outcomes at birth in rats.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jas/skz380DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6989889PMC
January 2020

Hospital and Surgeon Variation in Patient-reported Functional Outcomes After Lumbar Spine Fusion: A Statewide Evaluation.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2020 Apr;45(7):465-472

Department of Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

Study Design: Statewide retrospective cohort study using prospectively collected data from the Spine Care and Outcomes Assessment Program, capturing ∼75% of the state's spine fusion procedures.

Objective: The aim of this study was to estimate the variation in patient-reported outcomes (PROs) 1 year after elective lumbar fusion surgery across surgeons and hospitals; and to discuss the potential impact of guiding patient selection using a PRO prediction tool.

Summary Of Background Data: Despite an increasing interest in incorporating PROs as part of the move toward value-based payment and to improve quality, limited evidence exists on how PROs vary across hospitals and surgeons, a key aspect of using these metrics for quality profiling.

Methods: We examined patient-reported functional improvement (≥15-point reduction in the Oswestry Disability Index [ODI]) and minimal disability (reaching ≤22 on the ODI) 1 year after surgery in 17 hospitals and 58 surgeons between 2012 and 2017. Outcomes were risk-adjusted for patient characteristics with multiple logistic regressions and reliability-adjusted using hierarchical models.

Results: Of the 737 patients who underwent lumbar fusion (mean [SD] age, 63 [12] years; 60% female; 84% had stenosis; 70% had spondylolisthesis), 58.7% achieved functional improvement and 42.5% reached minimal disability status at 1 year. After adjusting for patient factors, there was little variation between hospitals and surgeons (maximum interclass correlation was 3.5%), and this variation became statistically insignificant after further reliability adjustment. Avoiding operation on patients with <50% chance of functional improvement may reduce current surgical volume by 63%.

Conclusion: Variations in PROs across hospitals and surgeons were mainly driven by differences in patient populations undergoing lumbar fusion, suggesting that PROs may not be useful indicators of hospital or surgeon quality. Careful patient selection using validated prediction tools may decrease differences in outcomes across hospitals and providers and improve overall quality, but would significantly reduce surgical volumes.

Level Of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000003299DOI Listing
April 2020

Predicting the Occurrence of Postoperative Distal Junctional Kyphosis in Cervical Deformity Patients.

Neurosurgery 2020 01;86(1):E38-E46

Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California.

Background: Distal junctional kyphosis (DJK) development after cervical deformity (CD)-corrective surgery is a growing concern for surgeons and patients. Few studies have investigated risk factors that predict the occurrence of DJK.

Objective: To predict DJK development after CD surgery using predictive modeling.

Methods: CD criteria was at least one of the following: C2-C7 Coronal/Cobb > 10°, C2-7 sagittal vertical axis (cSVA) > 4 cm, chin-brow vertical angle > 25°. DJK was defined as the development of an angle <-10° from the end of fusion construct to the second distal vertebra, and change in this angle by <-10° from baseline to postoperative. Baseline demographic, clinical, and surgical information were used to predict the occurrence of DJK using generalized linear modeling both as one overall model and as submodels using baseline demographic and clinical predictors or surgical predictors.

Results: One hundred seventeen CD patients were included. At any postoperative visit up to 1 yr, 23.1% of CD patients developed DJK. DJK was predicted with high accuracy using a combination of baseline demographic, clinical, and surgical factors by the following factors: preoperative neurological deficit, use of transition rod, C2-C7 lordosis (CL)<-12°, T1 slope minus CL > 31°, and cSVA > 54 mm. In the model using only baseline demographic/clinical predictors of DJK, presence of comorbidities, presence of baseline neurological deficit, and high preoperative C2-T3 angle were included in the final model (area under the curve = 87%). The final model using only surgical predictors for DJK included combined approach, posterior upper instrumented vertebrae below C4, use of transition rod, lack of anterior corpectomy, more than 3 posterior osteotomies, and performance of a 3-column osteotomy.

Conclusion: Preoperative assessment and consideration should be given to these factors that are predictive of DJK to mitigate poor outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyz347DOI Listing
January 2020

Factors Associated With C5 Palsy Following Cervical Spine Surgery: A Systematic Review.

Global Spine J 2019 Dec 22;9(8):881-894. Epub 2019 Nov 22.

Columbia University Medical Center, The Spine Hospital at New York Presbyterian, New York, NY, USA.

Study Design: Systematic review.

Objectives: C5 palsy (C5P) is a not uncommon and disabling postoperative complication with a reported incidence varying between 0% and 30%. Among others, one explanation for its occurrence includes foraminal nerve root tethering. Although different risk factors have been reported, controversy about its causation and prevention persists. Inconsistent study findings contribute to the persistent ambiguity leading to an assumption of a multifactorial nature of the underlying C5P pathophysiology. Here, we report the results of a systematic review on C5P with narrow inclusion criteria in the hope of elucidating risk factors for C5P due to a common pathophysiological mechanism.

Methods: Electronic databases from inception to March 9, 2019 and references of articles were searched. Narrow inclusion criteria were applied to identify studies investigating demographic, clinical, surgical, and radiographic factors associated with postoperative C5P.

Results: Sixteen studies were included after initial screening of 122 studies. Eighty-four risk factors were analyzed; 27 in ≥2 studies and 57 in single studies. The pooled prevalence of C5P was 6.0% (range: 4.2%-24.1%) with no consistent evidence that C5P was associated with demographic, clinical, or specific surgical factors. Of the radiographic factors assessed, specifically decreased foraminal diameter and preoperative cord rotation were identified as risk factors for C5P.

Conclusion: Although risk factors for C5P have been reported, ambiguity remains due to potentially multifactorial pathophysiology and study heterogeneity. We found foraminal diameter and cord rotation to be associated with postoperative C5P occurrence in our meta-analysis. These findings support the notion that factors contributing to, and acting synergistically with foraminal stenosis increase the risk of postoperative C5P.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2192568219874771DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6882094PMC
December 2019

Validation of the recently developed Total Disability Index: a single measure of disability in neck and back pain patients.

J Neurosurg Spine 2019 Dec 6:1-9. Epub 2019 Dec 6.

1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, NYU Langone Orthopaedic Hospital, New York, New York.

Objective: Neck and back pain are highly prevalent conditions that account for major disability. The Neck Disability Index (NDI) and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) are the two most common functional status measures for neck and back pain. However, no single instrument exists to evaluate patients with concurrent neck and back pain. The recently developed Total Disability Index (TDI) combines overlapping elements from the ODI and NDI with the unique items from each. This study aimed to prospectively validate the TDI in patients with spinal deformity, back pain, and/or neck pain.

Methods: This study is a retrospective review of prospectively collected data from a single center. The 14-item TDI, derived from ODI and NDI domains, was administered to consecutive patients presenting to a spine practice. Patients were assessed using the ODI, NDI, and EQ-5D. Validation of internal consistency, test-retest reproducibility, and validity of reconstructed NDI and ODI scores derived from TDI were assessed.

Results: A total of 252 patients (mean age 55 years, 56% female) completed initial assessments (back pain, n = 115; neck pain, n = 52; back and neck pain, n = 55; spinal deformity, n = 55; and no pain/deformity, n = 29). Of these patients, 155 completed retests within 14 days. Patients represented a wide range of disability (mean ODI score: 36.3 ± 21.6; NDI score: 30.8 ± 21.8; and TDI score: 34.1 ± 20.0). TDI demonstrated excellent internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha = 0.922) and test-retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.96). Differences between actual and reconstructed scores were not clinically significant. Subanalyses demonstrated TDI's ability to quantify the degree of disability due to back or neck pain in patients complaining of pain in both regions.

Conclusions: The TDI is a valid and reliable disability measure in patients with back and/or neck pain and can capture each spine region's contribution to total disability. The TDI could be a valuable method for total spine assessment in a clinical setting, and its completion is less time consuming than that for both the ODI and NDI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2019.9.SPINE19331DOI Listing
December 2019

The impact of osteotomy grade and location on regional and global alignment following cervical deformity surgery.

J Craniovertebr Junction Spine 2019 Jul-Sep;10(3):160-166

Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Introduction: Correction of cervical deformity (CD) often involves different types of osteotomies to address sagittal malalignment. This study assessed the relationship between osteotomy grade and vertebral level on alignment and clinical outcomes.

Methods: Retrospective review of a multi-center prospectively collected CD database. CD was defined as at least one of the following: C2-C7 Cobb >10°, cervical lordosis (CL) >10°, C2-C7 sagittal vertical axis (cSVA) >4 cm, and chin-brow vertical angle > 25°. Patients were evaluated for level and type of cervical osteotomy.

Results: 86 CD patients were included (61.4 ± 10.6 years, 66.3% female, body mass index 29.1 kg/m). 141 osteotomies were in the cervical spine and 79 were in the thoracic spine. There were 19 major osteotomies performed, with 47% at T1. Patients with an osteotomy in the cervical spine improved in T1 slope minus CL (TS - CL), CL, and C2 slope (all < 0.05). Patients with upper thoracic osteotomies improved in TS - CL, cSVA, C2-T3, C2-T3 sagittal vertical axis (SVA), and C2 slope (all < 0.05). Minor osteotomies in the upper thoracic spine showed improvement in cSVA (63 mm to 49 mm, = 0.022), C2-T3 ( = 0.007), and SVA (-16 mm to 27 mm, < 0.001). The greatest amount of C2-T3 angular change occurred for patients with a major osteotomy at T2 (39.1° change), then T3 (15.7°), C7 (16.9°°), and T1 (13.5°°). Patients with a major osteotomy in the upper thoracic spine showed similar radiographic changes from pre- to post-operative as patients with three or more minor osteotomies, although C2-T3 SVA trended toward greater improvement with a major osteotomy (-22.5 mm vs. +5.9 mm, = 0.058) due to lever arm effect.

Conclusions: CD patients undergoing osteotomies in the cervical and upper thoracic spine experienced improvement in TS--CL and C2 slope. In the upper thoracic spine, multiple minor osteotomies achieved similar alignment changes to major osteotomies at a single level, while a major osteotomy focused at T2 had the greatest overall impact in cervicothoracic and global alignment in CD patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_53_19DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6868539PMC
November 2019

Global spinal deformity from the upper cervical perspective. What is "Abnormal" in the upper cervical spine?

J Craniovertebr Junction Spine 2019 Jul-Sep;10(3):152-159

Department of Orthopedics, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY, USA.

Hypothesis: Reciprocal changes in the upper cervical spine correlate with adult TL deformity modifiers.

Design: This was a retrospective review.

Introduction: The upper cervical spine has remarkable adaptability to wide ranges of thoracolumbar (TL) deformity.

Methods: Patients >18 years with adult spinal deformity (ASD) and complete radiographic data at baseline (BL) and 1 year were identified. Patients were grouped into component types of the Roussouly classification system (Type 1: Pelvic incidence [PI] <45° and lumbar lordosis [LL] apex below L4; Type 2: PI <45° and LL apex above L4; Type 3:45°65°). Patients were categorized by increasing severity of Schwab modifiers at BL (0, +, and ++) and further grouped by regional malalignment moving cranially (P: pelvic only; LP: lumbopelvic; TL: thoracic and LP; C: subaxial and TL). Analysis of variance and Pearson's assessed changes in BL upper cervical parameters (C0-2, C0 slope, McGregor's Slope [MGS], and CBVA) across groups.

Results: A total of 343 ASD patients were analyzed. When grouped by BL Schwab and Roussouly, Group had the lowest BL disability compared to other Groups, while Roussouley Type 1 correlated with higher BL disability compared to Type 2. Moving cranially up the spine, Group P, Group LP, and Group TL did not differ in C0-2 angle, C0 slope, MGS, or CBVA. Group C had a significantly smaller C0-C2, and more negative MGS, C0 slope, and CBVA than noncervical groups. Type 1 trended slightly higher CBVA and MGS than types 2-4, but no differences in cervical lordosis, C0-C2, or C0S were found. MGS ( = -0.131, = 0.015), CBVA ( = -0.473, < 0.001), and C0S ( = -0.099, = 0.042) correlated most strongly with sagittal vertical axis (SVA) compared to other Schwab modifiers. We found SVA > 34 mm predicted a 1 unit (°°) decrease in MGS (odds ratio [OR]: 0.970 [0.948-0.993], = 0.010), while cervical SVA >51 mm predicted a 1 unit increase in MGS (OR: 1.25 [1.12-1.38], < 0.001).

Conclusions: Our study suggests that upper cervical alignment remains relatively stable through most broad variations of adult TL deformity. Changes in SVA correlated most with upper cervical changes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_71_19DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6868544PMC
November 2019

Update on Mentorship in Orthopaedic Resident Education: A Report from the American Orthopaedic Association.

J Bone Joint Surg Am 2020 Mar;102(5):e20

Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island.

Background: Mentorship has been identified as an important element of educational and professional development for surgeons. An assessment that was conducted and reported through the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) in 2008 showed variability among U.S. residencies regarding the structure and requirements for mentorship during orthopaedic training; the assessment also demonstrated variability in residents' satisfaction with mentorship opportunities during their surgical training.

Methods: An updated survey was developed and distributed via e-mail to residents attending the Resident Leadership Forum at the 2015 American Orthopaedic Association Annual Meeting to determine their views regarding the importance of mentorship, as well as their assessments of formal mentorship programs within their residencies. The updated data were compared with the prior survey results from 2008.

Results: A total of 149 (87.6%) of 170 residents responded to the survey. Of these, 34.9% (51 of 146) reported the existence of a formal mentorship program within their residency, as compared with 26.0% of residencies as stated in the 2008 report. One hundred percent of residents indicated that having a mentor during orthopaedic residency was either critical (63.7%, 93 of 146) or advantageous (36.3%, 53 of 146) to professional development as a surgeon; 74.7% (109 of 146) of residents reported currently having mentors, which appears to represent an increase from the prior report (51%, 258 of 506). However, the percentage of residents who reported being "very" satisfied (17.9%, 25 of 140) or "somewhat" satisfied (43.6%, 61 of 140) with their mentorship opportunities was almost identical to the prior report (61.9% [86 of 139] versus 61.0%, respectively). Overall, residents from programs with formal mentorship programs in place reported significantly higher satisfaction with their mentoring program/environment compared with those from programs without formal mentorship programs in place (3.98 versus 3.54, p = 0.026).

Conclusions: Orthopaedic residents continue to overwhelmingly indicate that mentorship is an important component of residency education: 34.9% of residencies have a formal mentorship program, compared with 26.0% in the prior survey. Additionally, 74.7% of current residents reported having a mentor compared with 51% of residents in the prior study. Despite this difference, a very similar percentage of residents indicated that they were either "very" or "somewhat" satisfied with their mentorship experience. Residents from programs with formal mentorship programs reported significantly higher satisfaction with their mentorship programs compared with those without formal programs. These results support continued efforts toward improving mentorship opportunities within U.S. orthopaedic residency programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2106/JBJS.18.00697DOI Listing
March 2020

The Influence of Surgical Intervention and Sagittal Alignment on Frailty in Adult Cervical Deformity.

Oper Neurosurg (Hagerstown) 2020 06;18(6):583-589

Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California.

Background: Frailty is a relatively new area of study for patients with cervical deformity (CD). As of yet, little is known of how operative intervention influences frailty status for patients with CD.

Objective: To investigate drivers of postoperative frailty score and variables within the cervical deformity frailty index (CD-FI) algorithm that have the greatest capacity for change following surgery.

Methods: Descriptive analysis of the cohort were performed, paired t-tests determined significant baseline to 1 yr improvements of factors comprising the CD-FI. Pearson bivariate correlations identified significant associations between postoperative changes in overall CD-FI score and CD-FI score components. Linear regression models determined the effect of successful surgical intervention on change in frailty score.

Results: A total of 138 patients were included with baseline frailty scores of 0.44. Following surgery, mean 1-yr frailty score was 0.27. Of the CD-FI variables, 13/40 (32.5%) were able to improve with surgery. Frailty improvement was found to significantly correlate with baseline to 1-yr change in CBV, PI-LL, PT, and SVA C7-S1. HRQL CD-FI components reading, feeling tired, feeling exhausted, and driving were the greatest drivers of change in frailty. Linear regression analysis determined successful surgical intervention and feeling exhausted to be the greatest significant predictors of postoperative change in overall frailty score.

Conclusion: Complications, correction of sagittal alignment, and improving a patient's ability to read, drive, and chronic exhaustion can significantly influence postoperative frailty. This analysis is a step towards a greater understanding of the relationship between disability, frailty, and surgery in CD.
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June 2020

Predicting the combined occurrence of poor clinical and radiographic outcomes following cervical deformity corrective surgery.

J Neurosurg Spine 2019 Nov;32(2):182-190

15Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, California.

Objective: Cervical deformity (CD) correction is clinically challenging. There is a high risk of developing complications with these highly complex procedures. The aim of this study was to use baseline demographic, clinical, and surgical factors to predict a poor outcome following CD surgery.

Methods: The authors performed a retrospective review of a multicenter prospective CD database. CD was defined as at least one of the following: cervical kyphosis (C2-7 Cobb angle > 10°), cervical scoliosis (coronal Cobb angle > 10°), C2-7 sagittal vertical axis (cSVA) > 4 cm, or chin-brow vertical angle (CBVA) > 25°. Patients were categorized based on having an overall poor outcome or not. Health-related quality of life measures consisted of Neck Disability Index (NDI), EQ-5D, and modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association (mJOA) scale scores. A poor outcome was defined as having all 3 of the following categories met: 1) radiographic poor outcome: deterioration or severe radiographic malalignment 1 year postoperatively for cSVA or T1 slope-cervical lordosis mismatch (TS-CL); 2) clinical poor outcome: failing to meet the minimum clinically important difference (MCID) for NDI or having a severe mJOA Ames modifier; and 3) complications/reoperation poor outcome: major complication, death, or reoperation for a complication other than infection. Univariate logistic regression followed by multivariate regression models was performed, and internal validation was performed by calculating the area under the curve (AUC).

Results: In total, 89 patients with CD were included (mean age 61.9 years, female sex 65.2%, BMI 29.2 kg/m2). By 1 year postoperatively, 18 (20.2%) patients were characterized as having an overall poor outcome. For radiographic poor outcomes, patients' conditions either deteriorated or remained severe for TS-CL (73% of patients), cSVA (8%), horizontal gaze (34%), and global SVA (28%). For clinical poor outcomes, 80% and 60% of patients did not reach MCID for EQ-5D and NDI, respectively, and 24% of patients had severe symptoms (mJOA score 0-11). For the complications/reoperation poor outcome, 28 patients experienced a major complication, 11 underwent a reoperation, and 1 had a complication-related death. Of patients with a poor clinical outcome, 75% had a poor radiographic outcome; 35% of poor radiographic and 37% of poor clinical outcome patients had a major complication. A poor outcome was predicted by the following combination of factors: osteoporosis, baseline neurological status, use of a transition rod, number of posterior decompressions, baseline pelvic tilt, T2-12 kyphosis, TS-CL, C2-T3 SVA, C2-T1 pelvic angle (C2 slope), global SVA, and number of levels in maximum thoracic kyphosis. The final model predicting a poor outcome (AUC 86%) included the following: osteoporosis (OR 5.9, 95% CI 0.9-39), worse baseline neurological status (OR 11.4, 95% CI 1.8-70.8), baseline pelvic tilt > 20° (OR 0.92, 95% CI 0.85-0.98), > 9 levels in maximum thoracic kyphosis (OR 2.01, 95% CI 1.1-4.1), preoperative C2-T3 SVA > 5.4 cm (OR 1.01, 95% CI 0.9-1.1), and global SVA > 4 cm (OR 3.2, 95% CI 0.09-10.3).

Conclusions: Of all CD patients in this study, 20.2% had a poor overall outcome, defined by deterioration in radiographic and clinical outcomes, and a major complication. Additionally, 75% of patients with a poor clinical outcome also had a poor radiographic outcome. A poor overall outcome was most strongly predicted by severe baseline neurological deficit, global SVA > 4 cm, and including more of the thoracic maximal kyphosis in the construct.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2019.7.SPINE18651DOI Listing
November 2019
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