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Single-level posterior lumbar fusions in patients with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome not found to be associated with increased postoperative adverse events or five-year reoperations

June 28, 2022

Journal: North American Spine Society Journal

Who: Michael J. Gouzoulis, Alexander J. Kammien, Justin R. Zhu, Stephen M. Gillinov, Harold G. Moore, Jonathan N. Grauer

Overview: Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) is a rare connective tissue disorder that results from mutations in collagen genes. Potentially related to laxity and resultant degenerative changes, adult EDS patients may require posterior lumbar fusion (PLF). However, with low numbers, adequately powered outcome studies have been limited. The purpose of this study was to investigate risk of complications, readmissions and reoperations in adult patients with EDS following single-level PLF.

A retrospective study using the 2010 to 2020 MSpine Pearldiver dataset was performed. Adult patients undergoing single-level PLF (excluding any with anterior procedures) with and without EDS for which at least 90-day follow up was available were identified. Any cases performed for trauma, tumor, or infection were excluded.

Single-level PLF EDS patients were then matched 1:4 with PLF non-EDS patients based on age, sex, and Elixhauser Comorbidity Index (ECI). Rates of ninety-day any, severe, and minor adverse events as well as readmissions were tabulated and compared with chi-square tests. Multivariate logistical regression was then performed (controlling for age, sex, and ECI).

Reoperation surgeries over five years were assessed, Kaplan-Meier survival curves generated, and curves of those with and without EDS were compared with log rank test.

In total, there were 170,100 single-level PLF case identified, of which 242 (0.14%) had EDS. After matching, there were 957 without EDS and 239 with EDS. On multivariate regression, there were no significant differences in 90-day any, severe, or minor adverse events, or readmissions (p>0.05 for each). Over five years, there were also not significant differences in rates of reoperation (p> 0.05).

For EDS patients undergoing PLF, the current study identified similar 90-day adverse events and 5-year reoperation rates compared to those without EDS. These findings may be useful for patient counseling and surgical planning for those with this rare condition.

Submitted by John Ready on June 28, 2022