Volume 2 (2018) Issue 2 Pages 113-120
Introduction: Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a risk of mortality following spine surgery. Many studies have demonstrated that deep venous thrombosis (DVT) may affect and actually advance to PE, but few studies have shown how venous thromboembolism (VTE), including PE and DVT, affect blood markers after spine surgery. In this study, we examined changes in blood markers with PE or DVT after low-risk spine surgery, namely cervical laminoplasty or lumbar laminectomy.
Methods: Seventy-two spine surgery patients were studied. A 16-row multidetector computed tomography was performed before and 3 d after the surgery. Patients with a history of cerebral vascular accident or arterial thrombotic episode or pre-surgical asymptomatic PE or DVT were excluded. Plasma levels of soluble fibrin monomer complex, D-dimer, plasminogen activator inhibitor type-1 (PAI-1), and white blood cell and platelet counts were measured preoperatively and postoperatively at days 1, 3, and 7.
Results: No patient developed symptomatic post-surgical VTE. Six patients with asymptomatic PE and six with asymptomatic DVT were detected post-surgery, including one patient with both. D-dimer postoperatively at days 3 and 7 was significantly higher in the post-op PE group than in the no-PE group. PAI-1 preoperatively was significantly higher in the DVT and VTE groups than in the no-DVT and no-VTE groups.
Conclusions: Elevated D-dimer at postoperative days 3 and 7 is a predictive factor for the early diagnosis of PE after spine surgery. Moreover, elevated PAI-1 preoperatively is a predictive factor for the early diagnosis of DVT and VTE. Consequently, PE may occur through a pathway other than DVT.