The impact of postoperative intensive care on outcomes in elective neurosurgical patients in good physical condition: a single centre propensity case-matched study.
ABSTRACT In the last three years, all elective neurosurgical cases were performed by a single surgeon at Nara Medical University. For the last year and a half, all patients were transferred to a newly created neurosurgical intensive care unit. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of admission to an intensive care unit after elective neurosurgery.
This study was conducted as a retrospective clinical chart review. Institutional ethics approval was waived, and we reviewed the charts of 296 neurosurgical patients who were American Society of Anesthesiologists' physical status I-II. To avoid channelling bias, propensity score analysis was used to generate a set of matched cases (patients transferred to the intensive care unit [ICU]) and controls (patients transferred to the neurosurgical ward). This process resulted in 104 matched pairs of elective surgical patients who did or did not have an ICU admission after surgery. Glasgow outcome scale (GOS) at discharge or at three months after the operation was compared as the primary outcome measure. As secondary outcome measures, we also compared rates of severe early complications and patient satisfaction regarding perioperative patient care.
With an unmatched population, poor GOS tended to occur more often in the non-ICU group than in the ICU group (6.5% vs 2.3%, respectively). Mortality rates and severe early complication rates also tended to be higher in the non-ICU group than in the ICU group (2.4% and 5.3%, respectively, non-ICU group vs 0.8% and 2.3%, respectively, ICU group). However, after propensity score matching, there was no difference regarding the GOS between groups. Both groups showed very high good outcome percentages (98.1% ICU vs 97.1% non-ICU). With regard to mortality rates and severe early complications, both groups showed low mortality (0.96% vs 0.96%) and complication rates (2.89% ICU vs 3.85% non-ICU). Patient care in the ICU failed to increase patient satisfaction regarding the overall hospital care.
The results of this analysis suggest that admission to an ICU after elective neurosurgery has little impact on outcomes.