Failure to extubate and delayed reintubation in elective lumbar fusion: An analysis of 57,677 cases

Yaroslav Gelfand, Michael Longo, Rafael De la Garza Ramos, Zachary T. Sharfman, Murray Echt, Mousa Hamad, Merritt D. Kinon, Reza Yassari, David C. Kramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objectives: There is a scarcity of literature exploring the consequences of Failure To Extubate (FTE) and Delayed Reintubation (DRI) in spine surgery. While it is reasonable to believe that patients who FTE or undergo DRI after Posterior Lumbar Fusion (PLF) and Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF) are at risk for graver outcomes, there is minimal data to explicitly support that. The goal of this study was to investigate the morbidity and mortality associated with FTE and DRI after lumbar spine surgery in a large pool of patients. Patients and Methods: We conducted a retrospective multicenter study of patients that underwent elective posterior lumbar fusion (PLF) and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) using the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS-NSQIP) database from 2006 to 2016. We excluded patients with disseminated cancer, metastatic disease to the neural axis, patient with spinal epidural abscess, and patients with ventilator dependency prior to the operation. Results: 57,677 patients from 2006 to 2016 were identified; 55 patients (0.1 %) had FTE and 262 patients (0.46 %) had DRI. The incidence of pneumonia was 27.2-fold greater in the FTE group and septic shock was 63.5-fold greater. All complications listed below are significance to p < 0.001. Deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, myocardial infarction and cardiac arrest were respectively, 10.4-, 12.2-, 22.8-, and 45.5- fold greater in the FTE group. Overall complication rate differed significantly between the two groups and were 9.8-fold greater in the FTE group. FTE was associated with increased, length of stay and all complications except DVT and pulmonary embolism. FTE was profoundly associated with severe complications (OR 13.0, 95 % CI 7.2–23.5) and mortality (OR = 21.5, CI = 7.5–61.0). The DRI group had a significantly higher morbidity (OR = 71.0, CI = 44.1–114.4), including overall complication (OR = 21.2, CI = 16.0–28.0) and severe complications (OR = 34.4, CI = 26.1–45.3). The DRI group had significantly higher rates of pneumonia (OR = 37.0), DVT (OR = 9.6) and pulmonary embolism (OR = 7.0), septic shock (OR = 60.5), myocardial infarction (OR = 32.1,) and cardiac arrest (OR = 236.4). Conclusion: FTE and DRI were highly predictive of morbidity and mortality. Overall, investigations of the effects of FTE and DRI following spine procedures are lacking. This large multi-center national database review is one of the first to provide insight into the consequences of FTE and DRI in lumbar fusion cases. Future investigation into the consequences and predictors of FTE and DRI in spine surgery are required.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105771
JournalClinical Neurology and Neurosurgery
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Complications
  • Extubation
  • Lumbar fusion
  • Reintubation
  • Spine surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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