HealthDay News — For patients with central cord syndrome (CCS), patient, surgical, and institutional factors influence surgical management and mortality, according to a study published in the March 1 issue of The Spine Journal.

David W. Brodell, from the University of Rochester in New York, and colleagues used data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample to examine how patient, surgical, and institutional factors influence surgical management and mortality after CCS. Demographic information and hospital characteristics were assessed for 16,134 patients.

The researchers found that 39.7% of patients underwent surgery — most frequently anterior cervical decompression and fusion, followed by posterior cervical decompression and fusion, and posterior cervical decompression (19.4, 7.4, and 6.8%, respectively).

Management increased by an average of 40% each year from 2003 to 2010. Overall inpatient mortality was 2.6% in the cohort. Higher rates of patient mortality and a decreasing surgical rate were seen in association with increasing age and comorbidities.

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A higher surgical rate was seen in hospitals with more than 249 beds and in the South. Higher inpatient mortality was seen at rural hospitals and for people in the second income quartile.

“These results are valuable in health care settings across the United States and will assist clinicians when discussing risks with a diverse set of patients,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to AO Spine.


  1. Brodell DW et al. J Spine. 2015; doi:10.1016/j.spinee.2014.09.015.