The 5-factor modified Frailty Index (mFI-5) predicts adverse outcomes after elective Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF)

N Am Spine Soc J. 2022 Dec 5:13:100189. doi: 10.1016/j.xnsj.2022.100189. eCollection 2023 Mar.


Background: The 5-factor modified frailty index (mFI-5) has been shown to be a concise and effective tool for predicting adverse events following various spine procedures. However, there have been no studies assessing its utility in patients undergoing anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF). Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyze the predictive capabilities of the mFI-5 for 30-day postoperative adverse events following elective ALIF.

Methods: The National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database was queried from 2010 through 2019 to identify patients who underwent elective ALIF using Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes in patients over the age of 50. The mFI-5 score was calculated using variables for hypertension, congestive heart failure, comorbid diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and partially or fully dependent functional status which were each assigned 1 point. Univariate analysis and multivariate logistic regression models were utilized to identify the associations between mFI-5 scores, and 30-day rates of overall complications, readmissions, reoperations, and mortality.

Results: 11,711 patients were included (mFI-5=0: 4,026 patients, mFI-5=1: 5,392, mFI-5=2: 2,102, mFI-5=3+: 187. Multivariate logistic regression revealed that mFI-5 scores of 1 (OR: 2.2, CI: 1.2-4.2, p=0.02), 2 (OR: 3.6, CI: 1.8-7.3, p<0.001), and 3+ (OR: 7.0, CI: 2.5-19.3, p<0.001) versus a score of 0 were significant predictors of pneumonia. An mFI-5 score of 2 (OR: 1.3; CI: 1.01-1.6, p=0.04), and 3+ (OR: 1.9; CI: 1.1-3.1; p=0.01) were both independent predictors of related readmissions. An mFI score of 3+ was an independent predictor of any complication (OR: 1.5, CI: 1.01-2.2, p=0.004), UTI (OR: 2.4, CI: 1.1-5.2, p=0.02), and unplanned intubation (OR: 4.5, CI: 1.3-16.1, p=0.02).

Conclusions: The mFI-5 is an independent predictor for 30-day postoperative complications, readmissions, UTI, pneumonia, and unplanned intubations following elective ALIF surgery in adults over the age of 50.

Keywords: ALIF; Anterior lumbar interbody fusion; Complications; Frailty; Lumbar; Modified frailty index.