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Journal of Korean Neurosurgical Society 2005;38(3): 206-210.
Diagnostic Value of Early Inflammatory Reaction in Postoperative Infection of the Lumbar Spine.
Ji Hun Mun, Dong Hyun Kim, Kyeong Sik Ryu, Chun Kun Park, Moon Chan Kim
Department of Neurosurgery, Kang Nam St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea. kdh9805@catholic.ac.kr
Our aim is to evaluate the early changes of biologic markers such as white blood cell(WBC) count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate(ESR) and C-reactive protein(CRP) in early diagnosis of postoperative infection and to differentiate infection from inflammatory reaction in lumbar spine surgery. METHODS: We reviewed 330patients who had undergone spinal operations between May 1999 and October 2001. For this study, the patients were classified into two groups, which include a group that underwent spinal decompressive surgery without instrumentation(SD), and the other group that underwent fusion surgery with spinal instrumentation(SI). And each group was also subdivided into two groups respectively, one with infection and the other without infection. We retrospectively analyzed the WBC count, ESR and CRP preoperatively and postoperatively, according to their operation type and postoperative infection history. RESULTS: Inflammatory indices were physiologically affected by instrumentation itself. But ESR and CRP elevations were more prolonged and sustained under infection. In SD patients without infection, ESR and CRP were stabilized 5 days after surgery. In SI patients without infection, CRP was stabilized about 7days after surgery, but ESR showed sustained and variously elevated. In both SD and SI groups, the stabilization of CRP was the most reliable behavior of surgery without infection. CONCLUSION: C-reactive protein is most sensitive parameter for postoperative spine infection. The knowledge of the inflammatory indices and their relatively uniform patterns with or without infection offers surgeons the ability to infer the state of surgical wound.
Key Words: C-reactive protein; Erythrocyte sedimentation rate; Spinal surgery; Infection; Inflammation
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