Association of Mortality and Charlson Comorbidity Index in Surgical Spinal Trauma Patients at a Level I Academic Center

Academic Article


  • OBJECTIVES: The Charlson Comorbidity Index score (CCI) records the presence of comorbidities with various weights for a total score to estimate mortality within 1 year of hospital admission. Our study sought to assess the association of CCI with mortality rates of patients undergoing surgical intervention. STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective study. METHODS: Retrospective study of patients with surgical spinal trauma at a large academic level I trauma tertiary center from 2015 to 2018. Information collected included age, sex, American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status, body mass index, Charlson comorbidities, injury severity score, the presence of spinal cord injury, and mortality. Mortality was measured at 30 days, 90 days, and 1 year. Descriptive and bivariate analyses were completed. The results were significant at P < 0.05. RESULTS: The highest proportion of 1-year mortality was in the patients with cervical (11.3%) and thoracolumbar injuries (7.4%) (P = 0.002). Patients with low CCI had low 1-year mortality (1.7%). Patients with high CCI had high 1-year mortality (13.8%) (P < 0.001). A significant association existed between CCI and mortality at 30 days, 90 days, and 1 year (P < 0.001). Mortality was higher in patients with spinal cord injury (14/108; 13%) than in those without (11/232; 5%) (P = 0.021). No association existed between ISS and mortality (P = 0.26). DISCUSSION: The CCI was associated with a higher proportion of deaths at 30 days, 90 days, and 1 year. This association may help predict this unfortunate complication and guide the surgical team in formulating treatment plans and counseling patients and families regarding mortality associated with these injuries and the risks of surgical intervention.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • McGee A; Levitt EB; Prather JC; Crowther D; McGwin G; Theiss S; Rajaram S
  • Start Page

  • 215
  • End Page

  • 222
  • Volume

  • 30
  • Issue

  • 5