To evaluate perioperative morbidity in patients undergoing minimally invasive spine surgery of the lumbar spine while continuing the antiplatelet drug (APD) perioperatively as compared with those not continuing these drugs and those not on these drugs.
Summary of Background Data.
While discontinuation of antiplatelet drugs carries with it the risk of thrombosis of the cardiac stents, myocardial infarction, peripheral vascular occlusion, cerebro-vascular events and other thrombotic complications, continuation of these drugs has the risk of intra spinal bleeding and the serious consequences of subsequent epidural hematoma with associated spinal cord compression.
This institutional review board approved study included 1587 patients from 2011 to 2018. Perioperative parameters were analyzed for 216 patients who underwent spinal surgery after the discontinuation of anticoagulation therapy, 240 patients who continued to take APD daily through the perioperative period and 1131 patients who were never exposed to APD therapy. The operative time, intraoperative estimated blood loss, length of hospital stay, incidence of clinically evident hematoma, and transfusion of blood products were also recorded and compared in three cohorts.
The patients who continued taking APD in the perioperative period had a longer length of hospital stay on average (2.5 ± 0.67 vs. 1.59 ± 0.76 and 1.67 ± 0.83, P < 0.05), whereas there was no significant difference in the operative time, estimated blood loss, the amount of blood products transfused, and overall intra and postoperative complication rate. There were no instances of postoperative wound soakage or neurological deficit suggestive of possible spinal epidural hematomas in either of the study groups.
The current study has observed no appreciable increase in perioperative morbidities including bleeding related complication rates in patients undergoing lumbar minimally invasive spine surgery while continuing to take APD compared with patients who either discontinued APD prior to surgery or those not taking APD.
Level of Evidence: 4