OBJECTIVE: Intraoperative blood loss in patients undergoing oncological spine surgery poses a major challenge for vulnerable patients. The goal of this study was to assess how the surgical procedure, tumor type, and tumor anatomy, as well as anesthesiological parameters, affect intraoperative blood loss in oncological spine surgery and to use this information to generate a short preoperative checklist for spine surgeons and anesthesiologists to identify patients at risk for increased intraoperative blood loss.
METHODS: The authors performed a retrospective analysis of 430 oncological patients who underwent spine surgery between 2013 and 2018 at the university medical spine center. Enrolled patients had metastatic tumor of the spine requiring surgical decompression of neural structures and/or stabilization including tumor biopsy using an open, percutaneous, and/or combined dorsoventral approach. Patients requiring vertebro- and kyphoplasty or biopsy only were excluded. Statistical analyses performed included a multiple linear regression analysis.
RESULTS: The mean intraoperative blood loss in the study patient cohort was 1176 ± 1209 ml. In total, 33.8% of patients received intraoperative red blood cell transfusions. The statistical analyses showed that tumor histology indicating myeloma, operative procedure length, epidural spinal cord compression (ESCC) score, tumor localization, BMI, and surgical strategy were significantly associated with increased intraoperative blood loss or risk of needing allogeneic blood transfusions. Anesthesiological parameters such as the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) Physical Status classification score were not associated with blood loss. Multiple linear regression analysis demonstrated good predictive value (r = 0.437) for a five-item preoperative checklist to identify patients at risk for high intraoperative blood loss.
CONCLUSIONS: The analyses performed in this study demonstrated key factors affecting intraoperative blood loss and showed that a simple preoperative checklist including these factors can be used to identify patients undergoing surgery for metastatic spine tumors who are at risk for increased intraoperative blood loss.
ABBREVIATIONS: ABT = allogeneic blood transfusion; ASA = American Society of Anesthesiologists; ESCC = epidural spinal cord compression; KW = Kruskal-Wallis; MET = metabolic equivalent of task; RBC = red blood cell.