Objective: Prealbumin levels correlate with overall nutritional status, and low values are associated with poor wound healing. We investigated whether low preoperative prealbumin levels predict risk of endoscopic endonasal skull base surgery (EESBS) reconstruction failure, as demonstrated by postoperative cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak and/or infection. Methods: Between October 2018 and February 2020, 98 patients with documented preoperative prealbumin levels were prospectively followed. The incidence of CSF leak and infection in patients with low prealbumin levels (≤20 mg/dL) was compared with those with normal prealbumin levels (>20 mg/dL). Numerous factors previously shown to influence CSF leak rates were assessed. Both univariate and multivariable analyses were performed to identify independent predictive factors. Results: Within this prospectively gathered patient cohort composed of >95% “high-risk” expanded EESBS, 14 of 98 patients (14.3%) experienced a postoperative CSF leak. Factors univariately associated with postoperative complications at the 0.2 level of significance were used in a multivariable model. Low prealbumin levels (≤20 mg/dL) proved to be a strong independent predictive factor associated with a 5-fold increased risk of postoperative CSF leak (odds ratio 5.01, P = 0.01), and postoperative surgical-site infection (P = 0.0009). These associations remained after controlling for multiple other factors, including body mass index, surgical pathology, previous EESBS, risk assessment index, and high- versus low-flow intraoperative CSF leaks. Conclusions: Preoperative prealbumin levels are an independent predictor of EESBS associated CSF leak and infection. Future studies are needed to investigate the utility of screening and correcting prealbumin levels to limit postoperative complications.
- CSF leak
- Cerebral spinal fluid leak
- Endoscopic endonasal surgery prealbumin
- Perioperative medicine
- Skull base