Comparative analysis of perioperative complications between a multicenter prospective cervical deformity database and the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database

Peter G. Passias, Samantha R. Horn, Cyrus M. Jalai, Gregory Poorman, Olivia J. Bono, Subaraman Ramchandran, Justin S. Smith, Justin K. Scheer, Daniel Sciubba, D. Kojo Hamilton, Gregory Mundis, Cheongeun Oh, Eric O. Klineberg, Virginie Lafage, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Christopher P. Ames

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background Context: Complication rates for adult cervical deformity are poorly characterized given the complexity and heterogeneity of cases. Purpose: To compare perioperative complication rates following adult cervical deformity corrective surgery between a prospective multicenter database for patients with cervical deformity (PCD) and the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS). Study Design/Setting: Retrospective review of prospective databases. Patient Sample: A total of 11,501 adult patients with cervical deformity (11,379 patients from the NIS and 122 patients from the PCD database). Outcome Measures: Perioperative medical and surgical complications. Methods: The NIS was queried (2001-2013) for cervical deformity discharges for patients ≥18 years undergoing cervical fusions using International Classification of Disease, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) coding. Patients ≥18 years from the PCD database (2013-2015) were selected. Equivalent complications were identified and rates were compared. Bonferroni correction (p<.004) was used for Pearson chi-square. Binary logistic regression was used to evaluate differences in complication rates between databases. Results: A total of 11,379 patients from the NIS database and 122 patiens from the PCD database were identified. Patients from the PCD database were older (62.49 vs. 55.15, p<.001) but displayed similar gender distribution. Intraoperative complication rate was higher in the PCD (39.3%) group than in the NIS (9.2%, p<.001) database. The PCD database had an increased risk of reporting overall complications than the NIS (odds ratio: 2.81, confidence interval: 1.81-4.38). Only device-related complications were greater in the NIS (7.1% vs. 1.1%, p=.007). Patients from the PCD database displayed higher rates of the following complications: peripheral vascular (0.8% vs. 0.1%, p=.001), gastrointestinal (GI) (2.5% vs. 0.2%, p<.001), infection (8.2% vs. 0.5%, p<.001), dural tear (4.1% vs. 0.6%, p<.001), and dysphagia (9.8% vs. 1.9%, p<.001). Genitourinary, wound, and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) complications were similar between databases (p>.004). Based on surgical approach, the PCD reported higher GI and neurologic complication rates for combined anterior-posterior procedures (p<.001). For posterior-only procedures, the NIS had more device-related complications (12.4% vs. 0.1%, p=.003), whereas PCD had more infections (9.3% vs. 0.7%, p<.001). Conclusions: Analysis of the surgeon-maintained cervical database revealed higher overall and individual complication rates and higher data granularity. The nationwide database may underestimate complications of patients with adult cervical deformity (ACD) particularly in regard to perioperative surgical details owing to coding and deformity generalizations. The surgeon-maintained database captures the surgical details, but may underestimate some medical complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSpine Journal
StateAccepted/In press - 2017


  • Adult cervical deformity
  • Complication rates
  • Nationwide inpatient sample
  • Spinal malalignment
  • Surgeon-maintained database
  • Surgical approach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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