Readmission-Free Survival Analysis in Metastatic Spine Tumour Surgical Patients: A Novel Concept

Ann Surg Oncol. 2021 May;28(5):2474-2482. doi: 10.1245/s10434-020-09404-7. Epub 2021 Jan 3.


Background: Outcomes commonly used to ascertain success of metastatic spine tumour surgery (MSTS) are 30-day complications/mortality and overall/disease-free survival. We believe a new, effective outcome indicator after MSTS would be the absence of unplanned hospital readmission (UHR) after index discharge. We introduce the concept of readmission-free survival (ReAFS), defined as 'the time duration between hospital discharge after index operation and first UHR or death'. The aim of this study is to identify factors influencing ReAFS in MSTS patients.

Patients and methods: We retrospectively analysed 266 consecutive patients who underwent MSTS between 2005 and 2016. Demographics, oncological characteristics, procedural, preoperative and postoperative details were collected. ReAFS of patients within 2 years or until death was reviewed. Perioperative factors predictive of reduced ReAFS were evaluated using multivariate regression analysis.

Results: Of 266 patients, 230 met criteria for analysis. A total of 201 had UHR, whilst 1 in 8 (29/230) had no UHR. Multivariate analysis revealed that haemoglobin ≥ 12 g/dL, ECOG score of ≤ 2, primary prostate, breast and haematological cancers, comorbidities ≤ 3, absence of preoperative radiotherapy and shorter postoperative length of stay significantly prolonged the time to first UHR.

Conclusions: Readmission-free survival is a novel concept in MSTS, which relies on patients' general condition, appropriateness of interventional procedures and underlying disease burden. Additionally, it may indicate the successful combination of a multi-disciplinary treatment approach. This information will allow oncologists and surgeons to identify patients who may benefit from increased surveillance following discharge to increase ReAFS. We envisage that ReAFS is a concept that can be extended to other surgical oncological fields.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Neoplasms*
  • Patient Readmission
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Spine
  • Survival Analysis