Infection Incidence After Spinal Tumor Surgery ~10 Percent

Risk factors include previous surgery, comorbidities, prior infection, longer hospital stay

TUESDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of surgical site infections (SSIs) following spinal tumor surgery ranges from 8.89 to 13.7 percent, and the risk is associated with perioperative factors, including previous spinal surgeries, increased number of comorbidities, previous hospital-acquired infection, and increased hospital stay, according to a study published in the Aug. 1 issue of Spine.

Ibrahim A. Omeis, M.D., from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues investigated the incidence and risk factors for SSIs among 739 patients who had undergone surgery for spinal tumors between 1995 and 2008. Data for 895 surgical procedures (excluding sacral tumors) on 678 patients were collected. Logistic regression modeling was used to identify the risk factors associated with SSIs by analyzing 65 infected cases and 162 controls.

The investigators found that 364 men and 314 women with an average age of 47.2 years underwent surgery for spinal tumors. Among these, 65 patients with SSIs underwent 162 procedures, including 78 procedures for wound debridement and washout. The SSI incidence for primary nonbony spinal tumors, metastatic spinal tumors, and primary bony spinal tumors was 8.89, 9.5, and 13.7 percent, respectively. Staphylococcus aureus was isolated in 33 percent of the infected patients. Previous spinal surgeries, complex plastic closures, increased number of comorbidities, previous hospital-acquired infection at the time of a previous surgery, and increased hospital stay duration during primary surgery significantly increased the likelihood of developing SSIs following surgery.

"Surgery for spine tumors appears to be associated with a higher incidence of SSI than nontumor spine surgery. Identification of perioperative risk factors will help delineate this subset of patients with high risk for developing SSIs," the authors write.

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