Preoperative Nutritional Status as a Risk Factor for Major Postoperative Complications Following Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion

Chierika O. Ukogu, Samantha Jacobs, Willliam A. Ranson, Sulaiman Somani, Luilly Vargas, Nathan J. Lee, John Di Capua, Jun S. Kim, Khushdeep S. Vig, Samuel K. Cho

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10 Scopus citations


Study Design: Retrospective study. Objectives: To determine rates of medical and surgical postoperative complications in adults with hypoalbuminemia undergoing anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF). Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data from the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS-NSQIP) database of patients (≥18 years old) undergoing ALIF procedures, identified by CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) code from 2011 to 2014. Poor nutritional status was defined by a preoperative serum albumin level <3.5 g/dL, and albumin levels above this were considered normal. Multivariate logistic regression models were utilized to assess preoperative risk factors including nutritional status as predictors of specific postoperative complications. Significance was defined as P <.05 and odds ratios (ORs) were calculated with a 95% confidence interval (CI). This model was used to determine the strength of nutritional status as an adjusted predictor of adverse postoperative events. Results: There were 3184 ALIF cases, including 1,275 (40%) of which had preoperative serum albumin levels. 53 (4.15%) patients were classified as having poor nutrition status. Poor preoperative nutritional status was shown to be a strong independent predictor of length of stay ≥5 days (OR = 2.56, 95% CI 1.43-4.59, P =.002), urinary tract infection (OR = 5.93, 95% CI 2.11-16.68, P =.001), and sepsis (OR = 5.35, 95% CI 1.13-25.42, P =.035) compared to patients with normal preoperative serum albumin levels. Conclusions: Our analysis shows that patients with poor nutritional status before ALIF are independently at risk for sepsis as well as increased length of stay and urinary tract infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)662-667
Number of pages6
JournalGlobal Spine Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2018


  • ALIF
  • complications: multi-institutional
  • lumbar interbody fusion
  • multivariate logistic regression model
  • outcomes


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