Nutritional Insufficiency as a Predictor for Adverse Outcomes in Adult Spinal Deformity Surgery

Kevin Phan, Jun S. Kim, Joshua Xu, John Di Capua, Nathan J. Lee, Parth Kothari, Khushdeep S. Vig, James Dowdell, Samuel K. Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Study Design: Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data. Objective: The effect of malnutrition on outcomes after general surgery has been well reported in the literature. However, there is a paucity of data on the effect of malnutrition on postoperative complications during adult deformity surgery. The study attempts to explore and quantify the association between hypoalbuminemia and postoperative complications. Methods: A retrospective cohort analysis was performed on the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) database from 2010 to 2014. Patients (≥18 years of age) from the NSQIP database undergoing adult deformity surgery were separated into cohorts based serum albumin (<3.5 or >3.5 g/dL). Chi-square and multivariate logistic regression models were used to identify independent risk factors. Results: A total of 2236 patients met the inclusion criteria for the study, of which 2044 (91.4%) patients were nutritionally sufficient while 192 (8.6%) patients were nutritionally insufficient. Multivariate logistic regressions revealed nutritional insufficiency as a risk factors for mortality (odds ratio [OR] = 15.67, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 6.01-40.84, P <.0001), length of stay ≥5 days (OR = 2.22, 95% CI = 1.61-3.06, P <.0001), any complications (OR = 1.82, 95% CI = 1.31-2.51, P <.0001), pulmonary complications (OR = 2.29, 95% CI = 1.29-4.06, P =.005), renal complications (OR = 2.71, 95% CI = 1.05-7.00, P =.039), and intra-/postoperative red blood cell transfusion (OR = 1.52, 95% CI = 1.08-2.12, P =.015). Conclusions: This study demonstrates that preoperative hypoalbuminemia is a significant and independent risk factor for postoperative complications, 30-day mortality, and increased length of hospital in patients undergoing adult deformity surgery surgery. Nutritional status is a modifiable risk factor that can potentially improve surgical outcomes after adult deformity surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-171
Number of pages8
JournalGlobal Spine Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • ACS
  • adult spinal deformity
  • complications
  • fusion
  • hypoalbuminemia
  • insufficiency
  • malnutrition
  • mortality
  • nutrient


Dive into the research topics of 'Nutritional Insufficiency as a Predictor for Adverse Outcomes in Adult Spinal Deformity Surgery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this