Feasibility of a Modified E-PASS and POSSUM System for Postoperative Risk Assessment in Patients with Spinal Disease

Dong Hyun Chun, Do young Kim, Sun Kyu Choi, Dong Ah Shin, Yoon Ha, Keung Nyun Kim, Do Heum Yoon, Seong Yi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This retrospective case control study aimed to evaluate the feasibility of using Estimation of Physiological Ability and Surgical Stress (E-PASS) and Physiological and Operative Severity Score for the enumeration of Mortality and Morbidity (POSSUM) systems in patients undergoing spinal surgical procedures. Degenerative spine disease has increased in incidence in aging societies, as has the number of older adult patients undergoing spinal surgery. Many older adults are at a high surgical risk because of comorbidity and poor general health. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 217 patients who had undergone spinal surgery at a single tertiary care. We investigated complications within 1 month after surgery. Criteria for both skin incision in E-PASS and operation magnitude in the POSSUM system were modified to fit spine surgery. We calculated the E-PASS and POSSUM scores for enrolled patients, and investigated the relationship between postoperative complications and both surgical risk scoring systems. To reinforce the predictive ability of the E-PASS system, we adjusted equations and developed modified E-PASS systems. Results: The overall complication rate for spinal surgery was 22.6%. Forty-nine patients experienced 58 postoperative complications. Nineteen major complications, including hematoma, deep infection, pleural effusion, progression of weakness, pulmonary edema, esophageal injury, myocardial infarction, pneumonia, reoperation, renal failure, sepsis, and death, occurred in 17 patients. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) for predicted postoperative complications after spine surgery was 0.588 for E-PASS and 0.721 for POSSUM. For predicted major postoperative complications, the AUC increased to 0.619 for E-PASS and 0.842 for POSSUM. The AUC of the E-PASS system increased from 0.588 to 0.694 with the Modified E-PASS equation. Conclusions: The POSSUM system may be more useful than the E-PASS system for estimating postoperative surgical risk in patients undergoing spine surgery. The preoperative risk scores of E-PASS and POSSUM can be useful for predicting postoperative major complications. To enhance the predictability of the scoring systems, using of modified equations based on spine surgery-specific factors may help ensure surgical outcomes and patient safety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e95-e102
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Conflict of interest statement: This study was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (NRF-2014M3A7B4051596), and by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE, Korea) under Industrial Technology Innovation Program. No.10062712.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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