(HealthDay News) – Risk factors have been identified for medical complications following cervical spine surgery, with cardiac and pulmonary complications correlating with death within two years, according to research published in the Feb. 1 issue of Spine.

To examine risk factors for medical complications following cervical spine surgery, Michael J. Lee, MD, from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues analyzed prospectively collected data, including demographic and medical information, from 582 patients listed in the Spine End Results Registry (2003–2004).

The researchers found that, per organ system, the cumulative incidence of complications after cervical spine surgery was 8.4% for cardiac, 13% for pulmonary, 3.9% for gastrointestinal, 7.4% for neurological, 10.8% for hematological, and 9.2% for urologic complications. Multivariate-adjusted significant risk factors varied for the different organ system complications and included prior cardiac event for cardiac complications; diabetes, drug use, and trauma diagnosis for pulmonary complications; congestive heart failure and liver disease for neurologic complications; and hypertension and surgical invasiveness for hematologic complications. Cardiac and respiratory complications correlated significantly with death within two years (relative risk, 4.32 and 6.43, respectively).

“Although these data are useful, future studies, specifically predictive models, may further assist physicians and clinicians when considering surgical options for treatment,” the authors write.

One or more of the authors disclosed financial ties to a commercial entity related directly or indirectly to the study.

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