Is postoperative atelectasis following lumbar fusion more prevalent among patients with chronic opioid use?

Ronan J. Doherty, Yagiz U. Yolcu, Waseem Wahood, Jad Zreik, Anshit Goyal, Halena M. Gazelka, Elizabeth B. Habermann, Kingsley Abode-Iyamah, Brett A. Freedman, Mohamad Bydon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Chronic opioid use (COU) remains on the rise globally, acting as a marker for patient morbidity and a risk factor for adverse health outcomes. Opioid use is a risk factor for respiratory depression, which may lead to dysfunctional breathing, a known cause of atelectasis. The objective of this study was to determine whether COU is associated with increased rates of postoperative atelectasis among patients undergoing lumbar fusion. Materials & Methods: Three State Inpatient Databases were used to identify patients who underwent an elective lumbar fusion through an anterior, posterior or circumferential approach in Florida, Kentucky and New York between 2013−2015. Patients with COU and those with postoperative atelectasis were identified using ICD diagnosis codes. Three operative groups were created and subsequently matched using propensity scores in order to provide comparable cohorts for analysis. Three-to-one propensity score matching was conducted using the variables of age, sex, race, number of chronic diagnoses and geographic state of admission. Multivariable logistic regressions were used to examine the relationship between COU and postoperative atelectasis. Results: A total of 3618 lumbar fusions were identified. Atelectasis was noted in 1.33 % of NCOU patients and 2.32 % of COU patients. On multivariable analysis, while controlling for the Elixhauser Mortality Index and patient insurance status, COU was significantly associated with atelectasis in posterior lumbar fusion (OR = 2.27; CI: 1.09–4.72; p = 0.028) and circumferential lumbar fusion (OR = 4.68; CI: 1.52–14.45; p = 0.007). The Elixhauser Mortality Index was also significantly associated with atelectasis in posterior lumbar fusion (OR = 1.08; CI: 1.04–1.11; p < 0.001) and circumferential lumbar fusion (OR = 1.09; CI: 1.03–1.16; p = 0.002). Conclusion: Higher rates of postoperative atelectasis were found among patients with COU following posterior and circumferential lumbar fusions. The Elixhauser Mortality Index was also independently associated with atelectasis. Knowledge of these risks may allow for earlier identification and intervention in patients who are at risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106308
JournalClinical Neurology and Neurosurgery
Volume199
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Anterior lumbar fusion
  • Atelectasis
  • Chronic opioid use
  • Circumferential lumbar fusion
  • Lumbar fusion
  • Posterior lumbar fusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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