Outcomes Following Surgical Management of Cauda Equina Syndrome: Does Race Matter?

Amit Jain, Emmanuel Menga, Addisu Mesfin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cauda equina syndrome (CES) is a surgical emergency requiring urgent spinal decompression. Our objective is to analyze the association between race and in-hospital outcomes (complications, mortality, length of stay, and discharge disposition) in patients with CES. This is a retrospective cohort study of CES patients identified via the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) from 2000 to 2010 in inpatient hospitalizations in the USA. The patient sample includes 46,017 patients ≥18 undergoing spine surgery for CES. Using ICD9-CM codes, patient records with a diagnosis of CES from 2003 to 2010 were selected from the NIS database and sorted by mortality, complications, length of hospital stay, and discharge status. Demographic information (age, gender, race, and insurance status) and hospital characteristics were evaluated. African-American patients were 1.38-fold (p OpenSPiltSPi 0.02; 95% odds ratio [OR] 1.05–1.83) more likely than Caucasian patients to develop complications based on a multivariate logistic regression model adjusted for patient age, insurance status, surgical approach, and hospital size. There was no difference in mortality among patients of various races in both univariate and multivariate analysis. A multivariate linear regression model adjusted for insurance status, surgical approach, and hospital size revealed that, compared to Caucasian patients, length of hospitalization in African-American patients was 1.92 days longer (p OpenSPiltSPi 0.01), 1.34 days longer (p OpenSPiltSPi 0.01) in Hispanic patients, and 2.24 days longer (p OpenSPiltSPi 0.01) in Asian-American patients. African-American patients were 0.59-fold (p OpenSPiltSPi 0.01; 95% OR 0.494–0.708) less likely than Caucasian patients to have routine discharge to home. African-American patients hospitalized for surgical management of CES experience significantly more complications, longer length of hospitalizations, and higher discharge to non-home locations, compared to Caucasian patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-292
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018


  • Cauda equina syndrome
  • Complication
  • Disparities
  • Nationwide inpatient sample
  • Race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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