(HealthDay News) – The overall incidence of cardiac complications is 6.7 per 1,000 lumbar spine surgical procedures, and complications are more frequent with lumbar fusion vs. decompression, according to a study published in the July 15 issue of Spine.

Steven J. Fineberg, MD, from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, and colleagues utilized data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (2002–2009) to identify patients undergoing lumbar decompression or lumbar fusion for degenerative etiologies. The incidence, mortality, and associated risk factors for cardiac events were assessed for 578,457 lumbar spine procedures.

The researchers found that the incidence of cardiac complications was 6.7 per 1,000 cases overall. In the lumbar fusion group cardiac events were significantly more frequent (9.3 per 1,000 cases) than in the lumbar decompression group (4 per 1,000 cases). Compared to patients without complications, patients with cardiac events were significantly older (by 9.4 years). When a cardiac event was present, hospitalizations, costs, and mortality were significantly increased. Age ≥65 years, acute blood loss anemia, and several comorbidities were identified as independent predictors for cardiac events.

“Cardiac events tend to occur in patients with noted risk factors and result in increased hospitalizations, costs, and mortality,” the authors write. “On the basis of these findings, we think that patients with specified risk factors should be monitored closely and medically optimized in the perioperative period.”

One or more authors disclosed relevant financial activities outside the submitted work.

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