Clinically Significant Thromboembolic Disease in Adult Spinal Deformity Surgery: Incidence and Risk Factors in 737 Patients

The International Spine Study Group (ISSG)

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Study Design: Retrospective cohort study. Objectives: Describe the rate and risk factors for venous thromboembolic events (VTEs; defined as deep venous thrombosis [DVT] and/or pulmonary embolism [PE]) in adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery. Methods: ASD patients with VTE were identified in a prospective, multicenter database. Complications, revision, and mortality rate were examined. Patient demographics, operative details, and radiographic and clinical outcomes were compared with a non-VTE group. Multivariate binary regression model was used to identify predictors of VTE. Results: A total of 737 patients were identified, 32 (4.3%) had VTE (DVT = 14; PE = 18). At baseline, VTE patients were less likely to be employed in jobs requiring physical labor (59.4% vs 79.7%, P <.01) and more likely to have osteoporosis (29% vs 15.1%, P =.037) and liver disease (6.5% vs 1.4%, P =.027). Patients with VTE had a larger preoperative sagittal vertical axis (SVA; 93 mm vs 55 mm, P <.01) and underwent larger SVA corrections. VTE was associated with a combined anterior/posterior approach (45% vs 25%, P =.028). VTE patients had a longer hospital stay (10 vs 7 days, P <.05) and higher mortality rate (6.3% vs 0.7%, P <.01). Multivariate analysis demonstrated osteoporosis, lack of physical labor, and increased SVA correction were independent predictors of VTE (r2 =.11, area under the curve = 0.74, P <.05). Conclusions: The incidence of VTE in ASD is 4.3% with a DVT rate of 1.9% and PE rate of 2.4%. Osteoporosis, lack of physical labor, and increased SVA correction were independent predictors of VTE. Patients with VTE had a higher mortality rate compared with non-VTE patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-230
Number of pages7
JournalGlobal Spine Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2018



  • adult spinal deformity
  • complications
  • deep venous thrombosis
  • DVT
  • PE
  • pulmonary embolism
  • risk factors
  • thromboembolic events

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology

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