This work was a systematic review.
The objective of this work was to review the literature on the outcomes of en bloc resection of isolated spinal metastasis.
Of background data: En bloc resection of isolated spinal metastasis is rarely performed and its utility debated, with the last review of the literature being performed over a decade ago. With significant advances in adjunctive oncology treatments, an updated review of whether there remains a role for this type of surgery is necessary.
The authors performed a systematic review of English literature over the last decade on en bloc resection of isolated spinal metastasis in adults using the PubMed, Google Scholar, OVID, and Cochrane database. They excluded studies with <5 reported cases. The studies were appraised by 2 coauthors and examined for the patient and tumor characteristics, surgical time, estimated blood loss, length of hospital stay, cost, complications, functional outcomes, rates of local recurrence, metastasis, and survival.
Only 5 articles (148 patients) were included in this study. The average operative time was 6.5 hours, and estimated blood loss was 1742 mL. Only 73% of patients maintained their functional independence, but 35.1% experienced a complication, 6.1% had local recurrence, and the overall survival was 52% with an average time to death of 15 months.
There remains a paucity of data limiting the understanding of the value of en bloc resection for isolated spinal metastasis. However, despite this limitation, our literature review suggests that en bloc resection offers a low local recurrence rate (6.1%) and maintained functional independence (73%), but requires long operative times (mean 6.5 h), causes significant blood loss (mean 1742 mL), and results in high complication rates (35.1%) with poor overall survival (52% with an average time to death of 15 mo).