Timing of tracheostomy in acute traumatic spinal cord injury: a systematic review and meta-analysis [post]

Sarah Foran, Shaurya Taran, JM Singh, Demetrios James Kutsogiannis, Victoria McCredie
2021 unpublished
Background Patients with acute traumatic cervical or high thoracic level spinal cord injury (SCI) typically require mechanical ventilation (MV) during their acute admission. Placement of a tracheostomy is preferred when prolonged weaning from MV is anticipated. However, the optimal timing of tracheostomy placement in patients with acute traumatic SCI remains uncertain. We systematically reviewed the literature to determine the effects of early versus late tracheostomy or prolonged intubation in
more » ... patients with acute traumatic SCI on important clinical outcomes.Methods Six databases were searched from their inception to January 2020. Conference abstracts from relevant proceedings and the gray literature were searched to identify additional studies. Data was obtained by two independent reviewers to ensure accuracy and completeness. The quality of observational studies was evaluated using the Newcastle Ottawa Scale (NOS).Results Seventeen studies (2,804 patients) met selection criteria, 14 of which were published after 2009. Meta-analysis showed that early tracheostomy was not associated with decreased short-term mortality (risk ratio [RR] 0.84; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.39 to 1.79; p = 0.65; n = 2,072), but was associated with a reduction in MV duration (mean difference [MD] 13.1 days; 95% CI -6.70 to -21.11; p = 0.0002; n = 855), intensive care unit (ICU) length of stay (MD -10.20 days; 95% CI -4.66 to -15.74; p = 0.0003; n = 855), and hospital length of stay (MD -7.39 days; 95% CI -3.74 to -11.03; p < 0.0001; n = 423). Early tracheostomy was also associated with a decreased incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) and tracheostomy-related complications (RR 0.86; 95% CI 0.75 to 0.98; p = 0.08; n = 2,043 and RR 0.08; 95% CI -0.01 to -0.15; p = 0.02; n = 812 respectively). The majority of studies ranked as good methodologic quality on the NOS. Conclusions Early tracheostomy in patients with acute traumatic SCI may reduce duration of mechanical ventilation, length of ICU stay, and length of hospital stay. Current studies highlight the lack of high-level evidence to guide the optimal timing of tracheostomy in acute traumatic SCI. Future research should seek to understand whether early tracheostomy improves patient comfort, decreases duration of sedation and improves long-term outcomes.PROSPERO registration number: CRD42020162488
doi:10.21203/rs.3.rs-157790/v1 fatcat:h4hn7a2635aztf7n5xdush622m