Article Abstract

Preoperative steroids do not improve outcomes for intramedullary spinal tumors: a NSQIP analysis of 30-day reoperation and readmission rates

Authors: Abhiraj D. Bhimani, Morteza Sadeh, Darian R. Esfahani, Gregory D. Arnone, Steven Denyer, Jack Zakrzewski, Pouyan Kheirkhah, Tania M. Aguilar, Kate Louise D. Milan, Ankit I. Mehta


Background: Intramedullary spinal cord tumors (IMSCTs) account for 8–10% of all spinal cord tumors and affect patients of all ages. Although uncommon, IMSCTs carry risk of neurological morbidity and mortality, with 5-year survival rates ranging from 50% to 80%. In this study, we utilize the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS-NSQIP) database to determine the effect of steroid administration on 30-day outcomes following surgery for IMSCTs.
Methods: ACS-NSQIP data for patients undergoing surgery for intramedullary tumors from 2005 to 2015 was reviewed. Patients were selected based on current procedural terminology (CPT) codes 63285 (Laminectomy, intradural, intramedullary, cervical), 63286 (Laminectomy, intradural, intramedullary, thoracic), and 63287 (Laminectomy, intradural, intramedullary, thoracolumbar). ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes were chosen based on the diagnosis of a tumor. The 30-day clinical outcome data, including reoperations and readmission rates, were collected and compared.
Results: A total of 259 patients were reviewed. 181 patients had benign intramedullary tumors and 78 had malignant intramedullary tumors. The majority of IMSCTs were at the thoracic level (n=100), followed by the cervical (n=99), and thoracolumbar (n=39) levels. Thirty-one patients were on corticosteroid therapy prior to surgery. Patients with preoperative steroid administration had no significant difference in reoperation and readmission rates. No significant differences were noted between steroid vs. non-steroid therapy for discharge destination, length of hospital stay, or other postoperative complications.
Conclusions: Contrary to previous reports, corticosteroid use prior to surgery for IMSCTs does not have a significant impact on 30-day risk of readmission, reoperation, and risk of postoperative complications.