Prospective multicenter assessment of all-cause mortality following surgery for adult cervical deformity

Justin S. Smith, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Han Jo Kim, Peter Passias, Themistocles Protopsaltis, Renaud Lafage, Gregory M. Mundis, Eric Klineberg, Virginie Lafage, Frank J. Schwab, Justin K. Scheer, Emily Miller, Michael Kelly, D. Kojo Hamilton, Munish Gupta, Vedat Deviren, Richard Hostin, Todd Albert, K. Daniel Riew, Robert HartDoug Burton, Shay Bess, Christopher P. Ames

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13 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND Surgical treatments for adult cervical spinal deformity (ACSD) are often complex and have high complication rates. OBJECTIVE To assess all-cause mortality following ACSD surgery. METHODS ACSD patients presenting for surgical treatment were identified from a prospectively collected multicenter database. Clinical and surgical parameters and all-cause mortality were assessed. RESULTS Of 123 ACSD patients, 120 (98%) had complete baseline data (mean age, 60.6 yr). The mean number of comorbidities per patient was 1.80, and 80% had at least 1 comorbidity. Surgical approaches included anterior only (15.8%), posterior only (50.0%), and combined anterior/posterior (34.2%). The mean number of vertebral levels fused was 8.0 (standard deviation [SD] = 4.5), and 23.3% had a 3-column osteotomy. Death was reported for 11 (9.2%) patients at a mean of 1.1 yr (SD = 0.76 yr; range = 7 d to 2 yr). Mean follow-up for living patients was 1.2 yr (SD = 0.64 yr). Causes of death included myocardial infarction (n = 2), pneumonia/cardiopulmonary failure (n = 2), sepsis (n = 1), obstructive sleep apnea/narcotics (n = 1), subsequently diagnosed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (n = 1), burn injury related to home supplemental oxygen (n = 1), and unknown (n = 3). Deceased patients did not significantly differ from alive patients based on demographic, clinical, or surgical parameters assessed, except for a higher major complication rate (excluding mortality; 63.6% vs 22.0%, P =.006). CONCLUSION All-cause mortality at a mean of 1.2 yr following surgery for ACSD was 9.2% in this prospective multicenter series. Causes of death were reflective of the overall high level of comorbidities. These findings may prove useful for treatment decision making and patient counseling in the context of the substantial impact of ACSD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1277-1285
Number of pages9
JournalClinical neurosurgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


  • Adult
  • Cervical deformity
  • Mortality
  • Surgery


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