J Clin Anesth. 2023 Nov 7;92:111294. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinane.2023.111294. Online ahead of print.
STUDY OBJECTIVE: Hypernatremia is a treatable biochemical disorder associated with significant morbidity and mortality in patients undergoing surgery. However, its impact on patients who undergo elective craniotomy is not well understood. This study aimed to investigate the prognostic implications of postoperative hypernatremia on the 30-day mortality of patients undergoing elective craniotomy.
DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study.
SETTING: The Department of Neurosurgery of a high-volume center.
PATIENTS: Adult patients undergoing elective craniotomy except those with pituitary tumors, intracerebral hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage, or traumatic brain injury.
MEASUREMENTS: Perioperative laboratory data were collected for all study participants, including sodium levels, neutrophil count, serum albumin, lymphocyte count, and blood glucose. These measurements were obtained as part of routine clinical care and provided valuable information for data analysis.
MAIN RESULTS: Of the 10,223 identified elective craniotomy patients who met our inclusion and exclusion criteria, 14.9% (1519) developed postoperative hypernatremia. This population’s overall postoperative 30-day mortality rate was 1.7% (175). After performing an adjusted logistic regression analysis, we found that the odds of 30-day mortality increased gradually with increasing severity of hypernatremia: 2.9 deaths (OR, 3.79; 95% CI, 2.46-5.85) in patients with mild hypernatremia, 13.9 deaths (OR, 17.73; 95% CI, 11.17-28.12) in those with moderate hypernatremia, and 38.3 deaths (OR, 67.00; 95% CI, 40.44-111.00) in those with severe hypernatremia.
CONCLUSIONS: Hypernatremia is common after elective craniotomy, and its presence is associated with increased mortality and complications, particularly in cases of severe hypernatremia. These results emphasize the significance of risk evaluation in neurosurgical patients and propose the advantages of closely monitoring serum sodium levels in high-risk individuals. Future randomized controlled trials could provide more insight into the effect of treating postoperative hypernatremia in these patients.