Postoperative Glycemic Variability and Adverse Outcomes Afte
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Posterior cervical decompression and fusion (PCDF) is a procedure commonly performed to help alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life in patients experiencing cervical spondylotic myelopathy, multilevel stenosis, and cervical deformity. Although various risk factors have been linked to adverse outcomes in patients after PCDF, this is the first study that specifically explores postoperative glycemic variability and its association with adverse outcomes.

A retrospective cohort study was conducted with a total of 264 patients after PCDF procedures that had available postoperative blood glucose measurements. Patients were divided into tertiles based on their coefficient of variation as an indicator of glycemic variability. Outcomes measured included inpatient complications, length of stay (LOS), 90-day readmission, revision, and surgical site infection rates.

Results showed a significant difference in glycemic variability among tertiles with respect to LOS. The average LOS for the first, second, and third tertiles was 3.90, 5.73, and 6.06, respectively. Logistic regression analysis showed significantly higher odds of readmission (odds ratio: 4.77) and surgical site infections (odds ratio: 4.35) in the high glycemic variability group compared with the low glycemic variability group within 90 days of surgery. No significant difference was noted among tertiles with respect to inpatient complications.

This study establishes a relationship between postoperative glycemic variability and LOS, as well as 90-day readmission and surgical site infection rates after PCDF. The results suggest that limiting fluctuations in blood glucose levels may curtail inpatient healthcare costs related to in-hospital stay. Although immediate postoperative glycemic variability is ultimately acceptable, before discharge, proper glucose management plans should be in place to help prevent adverse patient outcomes.