J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2007 Dec;11(2):98-103.

A Pilot Study of Postoperative Delirium in Spine Surgery

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Dong-A University, Korea. bmchoe@dau.ac.kr
  • 2Busan, Handaum Hospital, Sachun, Korea.
  • 3Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Dong-A University, Busan, Korea.
  • 4Department of Orthopedic Surgery, College of Medicine, Dong-A University, Busan, Korea.


Delirium is a common postoperative complication in old adults associated with adverse events including functional decline, longer lengths of stay, and risk of institutionalization. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the incidence, preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative risk factors of postoperative delirium in spine surgery.
Seventy-nine patients who underwent spine surgery were included. Preoperative assessments included current medical illness, number of comorbid problems, and the number of medications by past medical history, medical record, and interview with patients and caregivers. Intraoperative risk factors were evaluated. Laboratory data were checked preoperatively and postoperatively. The presence of delirium was determined by the Korean version of Delirium Rating Scale (K-DRS).
Postoperative delirium was found in patients (7.6%). There was an association suggested between older age and postoperative delirium in spine surgery (p<0.05). An association was suggested between increasing numbers of medical conditions and postoperative delirium (p<0.05). Preoperative hemoglobin, hematocrit, sodium, potassium, calcium, albumin levels and postoperative hemoglobin and total protein levels were in the delirium group was significantly lower than those in control group (p<0.05). CONCLSION: This study showed that the postoperative delirium in spine surgery is not rare and several preoperative and postoperative factors are involved in the development of delirium. This pilot study is the first prospective trial in the area of postoperative delirium in spine surgery with a small sample size and short-term period, so further research with large sample size will be necessary.


Postoperative delirium; Spine surgery; Risk factors; Elderly
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