OBJECTIVE: The aging population in industrialized countries shifts the age limit for neurosurgical interventions toward increasingly older patients. This study investigates whether octogenarians (≥80 years) stand out in outcome and incidence of perioperative complications.
METHODS: Consecutive patients ≥80 years operated on between January 2013 and August 2016 were compared against a control group of patients aged 55-75 years matched by indication for surgery. Status at admission, perioperative complications, functional outcome, and mortality were assessed in a prospective patient registry. Complications were classified in the therapy-oriented Clavien-Dindo grading (CDG) system.
RESULTS: We compared 266 octogenarians (median age, 83 years; interquartile range, 81-86 years; 154 men) with 232 controls (median age, 67 years; interquartile range, 60-71 years; 151 men). At follow-up (median, 53 vs. 49 days), median modified Ranking Scale scores were 2 versus 1 and median Karnofsky Performance Status was 80 versus 90; both improved significantly compared to baseline (P < 0.0001). Only admission Karnofsky Performance Status was significantly associated with clinical outcome at follow-up (odds ratio, 1.05; P < 0.0001). Pharmacologic treatment (CDG 2) was sufficient in 56% of all complications in octogenarians (controls, 43%). Octogenarians were more prone to complications as an inpatient (36% vs. 28%; P = 0.04) because of a higher incidence of CDG 2 complications (20% vs. 12%; P = 0.02). The rate of complications that required more extensive therapy did not differ significantly between cohorts.