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A population-based study of 30-day incidence of ischemic stroke following surgical neck dissection


The objective of this study was to determine the 30-day incidence of ischemic stroke following neck dissection compared to matched patients undergoing non-head and neck surgeries. A surgical dissection of the neck is a common procedure performed for many types of cancer. Whether such dissections increase the risk of ischemic stroke is uncertain. A retrospective cohort study using data from linked administrative and registry databases (1995-2012) in the province of Ontario, Canada was performed. Patients were matched 1-to-1 on age, sex, date of surgery, and comorbidities to patients undergoing non-head and neck surgeries. The primary outcome was ischemic stroke assessed in hospitalized patients using validated database codes. A total of 14,837 patients underwent surgical neck dissection.The 30-day incidence of ischemic stroke following the dissection was 0.7%. This incidence decreased in recent years (1.1% in 1995 to 2000; 0.8% in 2001 to 2006; 0.3% in 2007 to 2012; P for trend <0.0001). The 30-day incidence of ischemic stroke in patients undergoing neck dissection is similar to matched patients undergoing thoracic surgery (0.5%, P = 0.26) and colectomy (0.5%, P = 0.1). Factors independently associated with a higher risk of stroke in 30 days following neck dissection surgery were of age ≥75 years (odds ratio (OR) 1.63, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.05-2.53), and a history of diabetes (OR 1.60, 95% CI 1.02-2.49), hypertension (OR 2.64, 95% CI 1.64-4.25), or prior stroke (OR 4.06, 95% CI 2.29-7.18).Less than 1% of patients undergoing surgical neck dissection will experience an ischemic stroke in the following 30 days. This incidence of stroke is similar to thoracic surgery and colectomy.



MacNeil SD, Liu K, Garg AX, Tam S, Palma D, Thind A, Winquist E, Yoo J, Nichols A, Fung K, Hall S, Shariff SZ. Medicine (Baltimore). 2015; 94(33):e1106.

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