Dysphagia Weakly Correlates With Other Patient-Reported Outcomes After Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion.
Introduction Dysphagia is a common complication after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF), but it is not a routinely asked question in legacy patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs). This study analyzes whether there are associations between dysphagia and legacy outcome measures. Methods We retrospectively reviewed 168 patients who underwent ACDF surgery from 2017 to 2019 at a single institution. Demographics, anthropometric data, Neck Disability Index (NDI), Visual Analog Scale (VAS)-Arm and VAS-Neck Pain scores, Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS)-Physical and PROMIS-Mental scores, Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI), and Eating Assessment Tool-10 (EAT-10) were obtained for each patient preoperatively and at one, three, six, and 12 months postoperatively. Pearson's correlation coefficients were used to evaluate the bivariate correlations between legacy, PROMIS, and EAT-10 measures. Results Significant but weak correlations existed between NDI and EAT-10 at one, three, and six months postoperatively (correlation coefficient (R) = 0.31, 0.42, and 0.34 at one, three, and six months, p < 0.001) and VAS-Neck Pain and EAT-10 scores at one, three, and six months postoperatively (R = 0.27, 0.30, and 0.28 at one, three, and six months, p ≤ 0.004). Both PROMIS-Physical and PROMIS-Mental scores showed significant but weak correlations with EAT-10 scores at three and six months postoperatively (R = -0.29 and -0.25, p ≤ 0.01, at three months and R = -0.25 and -0.28, p < 0.01, at six months). In all comparisons of EAT-10 scores with legacy outcome measures, the significance of correlations disappeared by 12 months postoperatively. In addition, there was a positive association between CCI and EAT-10 score (β = 0.37, p < 0.05). Conclusion Weak correlations exist between self-reported dysphagia scores and legacy patient-reported outcome measures in patients undergoing ACDF. The correlation strength decreases over time; therefore, dysphagia scores should be reported separately when looking at outcomes after ACDF. Patients with more comorbidities are also at increased risk for dysphagia.
Zakko P, Kasir R, Chen NW, Park D. Dysphagia Weakly Correlates With Other Patient-Reported Outcomes After Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion. Cureus. 2021 Dec 27;13(12):e20742. doi: 10.7759/cureus.20742. PMID: 35111434; PMCID: PMC8792121.