Introduction: In elderly patients with cervical spinal cord injury, comorbidities such as cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases are common, with frequent administration of antiplatelet/anticoagulant (APAC) drugs. Such patients may bleed easily or unexpectedly during surgery despite prior withdrawal of APAC medication. Few reports have examined the precise relationship between intraoperative blood loss and history of APAC use regarding surgery for cervical spine injury in the elderly. The present multicenter database survey aimed to answer the question of whether the use of APAC drugs affected the amount of intraoperative blood loss in elderly patients with cervical spinal cord trauma. Methods: The case histories of 1512 patients with cervical spine injury at 33 institutes were retrospectively reviewed. After excluding cases without spinal surgery or known blood loss volume, 797 patients were enrolled. Blood volume loss was the outcome of interest. We calculated propensity scores using the inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW) method. As an alternative sensitivity analysis, linear mixed model analyses were conducted as well. Results: Of the 776 patients (mean age: 75.1±6.4 years) eligible for IPTW calculation, 157 (20.2%) were taking APAC medications before the injury. After weighting, mean estimated blood loss was 204 mL for non-APAC patients and 215 mL for APAC patients. APAC use in elderly patients was not significantly associated with surgical blood loss according to the IPTW method with propensity scoring or linear mixed model analyses. Thus, it appeared possible to perform surgery expecting comparable blood loss in APAC and non-APAC cases. Conclusions: This multicenter study revealed no significant increase in surgical blood loss in elderly patients with cervical trauma taking APAC drugs. Surgeons may be able to prioritize patient background, complications, and preexisting conditions over APAC use before injury when examining the surgical indications for cervical spine trauma in the elderly.
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