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Publication Title

Neurosurgical review


The work relative value unit (wRVU) is a commonly cited surrogate for surgical complexity; however, it is highly susceptible to subjective interpretation and external forces. Our objective was to evaluate whether wRVU is associated with perioperative outcomes, including complications, after brain tumor surgery. The 2006-2014 American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database was queried to identify patients ≥ 18 years who underwent brain tumor resection. Patients were categorized into approximate quintiles based on total wRVU. The relationship between wRVU and several perioperative outcomes was assessed with univariate and multivariate analyses. Subgroup analyses were performed using a Current Procedural Terminology code common to all wRVU groups. The 16,884 patients were categorized into wRVU ranges 0-30.83 (4664 patients), 30.84-34.58 (2548 patients), 34.59-38.04 (3147 patients), 38.05-45.38 (3173 patients), and ≥ 45.39 (3352 patients). In multivariate logistic regression analysis, increasing wRVU did not predict more 30-day postoperative complications, except respiratory complications and need for blood transfusion. Linear regression analysis showed that wRVU was poorly correlated with operative duration and length of stay. On multivariate analysis of the craniectomy subgroup, wRVU was not associated with overall or respiratory complications. The highest wRVU group was still associated with greater risk of requiring blood transfusion (OR 3.01, p < 0.001). Increasing wRVU generally did not correlate with 30 days postoperative complications in patients undergoing any surgery for brain tumor resection; however, the highest wRVU groups may be associated with greater risk of respiratory complications and need for transfusion. These finding suggests that wRVU may be a poor surrogate for case complexity.

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ePub ahead of print



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