Sagittal spinal parameters after en bloc resection of mobile spine tumors

Spine J. 2019 Oct;19(10):1606-1612. doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2019.05.012. Epub 2019 May 21.


Background context: En bloc resection and reconstruction (EBR) in patients with spinal malignancy aims to achieve local disease control. This is an invasive procedure with significant alterations of the physiological anatomy and subsequently, the spino-pelvic alignment. Sagittal spinal parameters are useful measurements to objectively identify disproportionate alignment on a radiograph. In the field of spinal deformities, there is increasing evidence for a relationship between sagittal alignment and patient reported outcomes.

Purpose: To determine sagittal spino-pelvic alignment after EBR in patients with spinal malignancies and the effect of these parameters on surgical and patient reported outcomes.

Study design: A retrospective case series.

Methods: We included 35 patients who underwent EBR for spinal malignancies between 2000 and 2018. Radiographic measurements were performed using semi-automatic software; the parameters included were pelvic incidence (PI), sacral slope, pelvic tilt (PT), global tilt and lumbar lordosis. We calculated PI-based Global Alignment and Proportion (GAP) scores and prospective patient reported outcome scores Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Information System-Physical Function (PROMIS-PF) were used.

Results: Twenty-one (60%) patients filled out the PROMIS-PF score at a median of 16 months (Interquartile Range (IQR) 4-108) after surgery with a median score of 39 (IQR 32-42), the median GAP score was 7 (IQR 5-9). Bivariate analysis showed no statistically significant relationship between GAP score and instrumentation failure or need for revision surgery. Multivariable analysis of GAP score and PROMIS-PF score corrected for local disease recurrence showed a statistically significant correlation coefficient of -1.721 (p=.026; 95%CI=-3.216, -0.226).

Conclusion: In this cohort, all patients had a moderate or severe disproportioned spinal alignment after EBR and reconstruction surgery. The degree of sagittal spino-pelvic misalignment after EBR for spinal malignancies seems to be associated with patient reported health status in terms of PROMIS-PF scores. Further research with a larger patient cohort and standardized imaging and follow-up protocols is necessary in order to accurately use sagittal alignment as a predictive value for instrumentation failure and revision surgery.

Keywords: En bloc resection; Lumbar lordosis; PROMIS; Pelvic incidence; Pelvic tilt; Sacral slope; Sagittal alignment; Spinal parameters; Spino-pelvic alignment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lordosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Lordosis / epidemiology*
  • Lordosis / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / methods
  • Pelvis / diagnostic imaging
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnostic imaging
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Posture
  • Radiography
  • Sacrum / diagnostic imaging
  • Spinal Neoplasms / surgery*