Patient frailty association with cerebral arteriovenous malformation microsurgical outcomes and development of custom risk stratification score: an analysis of 16,721 nationwide admissions

Oliver Y. Tang, Ankush I. Bajaj, Kevin Zhao, James K. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE Patient frailty is associated with poorer perioperative outcomes for several neurosurgical procedures. However, comparative accuracy between different frailty metrics for cerebral arteriovenous malformation (AVM) outcomes is poorly understood and existing frailty metrics studied in the literature are constrained by poor specificity to neurosurgery. This aim of this paper was to compare the predictive ability of 3 frailty scores for AVM microsurgical admissions and generate a custom risk stratification score. METHODS All adult AVM microsurgical admissions in the National (Nationwide) Inpatient Sample (2002–2017) were identified. Three frailty measures were analyzed: 5-factor modified frailty index (mFI-5; range 0–5), 11-factor modified frailty index (mFI-11; range 0–11), and Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) (range 0–29). Receiver operating characteristic curves were used to compare accuracy between metrics. The analyzed endpoints included in-hospital mortality, routine discharge, complications, length of stay (LOS), and hospitalization costs. Survey-weighted multivariate regression assessed frailty-outcome associations, adjusting for 13 confounders, including patient demographics, hospital characteristics, rupture status, hydrocephalus, epilepsy, and treatment modality. Subsequently, k-fold cross-validation and Akaike information criterion–based model selection were used to generate a custom 5-variable risk stratification score called the AVM-5. This score was validated in the main study population and a pseudoprospective cohort (2018–2019). RESULTS The authors analyzed 16,271 total AVM microsurgical admissions nationwide, with 21.0% being ruptured. The mFI-5, mFI-11, and CCI were all predictive of lower rates of routine discharge disposition, increased perioperative complications, and longer LOS (all p < 0.001). Their AVM-5 risk stratification score was calculated from 5 variables: age, hydrocephalus, paralysis, diabetes, and hypertension. The AVM-5 was predictive of decreased rates of routine hospital discharge (OR 0.26, p < 0.001) and increased perioperative complications (OR 2.42, p < 0.001), postoperative LOS (+49%, p < 0.001), total LOS (+47%, p < 0.001), and hospitalization costs (+22%, p < 0.001). This score outperformed age, mFI-5, mFI-11, and CCI for both ruptured and unruptured AVMs (area under the curve [AUC] 0.78, all p < 0.001). In a pseudoprospective cohort of 2005 admissions from 2018 to 2019, the AVM-5 remained significantly associated with all outcomes except for mortality and exhibited higher accuracy than all 3 earlier scores (AUC 0.79, all p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS Patient frailty is predictive of poorer disposition and elevated complications, LOS, and costs for AVM microsurgical admissions. The authors’ custom AVM-5 risk score outperformed age, mFI-5, mFI-11, and CCI while using threefold less variables than the CCI. This score may complement existing AVM grading scales for optimization of surgical candidates and identification of patients at risk of postoperative medical and surgical morbidity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberE14
JournalNeurosurgical focus
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


  • Aging
  • Avm
  • Cerebrovascular
  • Comorbidities
  • Microsurgery
  • Patient frailty
  • Risk stratification
  • Skull base


Dive into the research topics of 'Patient frailty association with cerebral arteriovenous malformation microsurgical outcomes and development of custom risk stratification score: an analysis of 16,721 nationwide admissions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this