- •CT-guided aspiration was safe, with no post-procedural complications in our cohort.
- •Most patients experienced symptomatic improvement following aspiration.
- •Collections that produced serous fluid were less dense on pre-procedure CT.
- •Volume of fluid aspirated and symptomatic outcome were not associated in our cohort.
Sterile postoperative seromas can develop after posterior spinal surgery and cause pain, weakness, and numbness. Management typically involves operative evacuation. We propose that these collections can be managed with percutaneous computed tomography (CT) guided aspiration, potentially saving the patient an additional surgery. Here, we evaluate the safety and efficacy of this approach. Patients who developed symptomatic postoperative seromas within 60 days following surgery for spinal canal stenosis and had stable neurologic exams were considered for CT-guided percutaneous aspiration. To be considered for this approach, patients had to have pre-procedural evidence of radiographic spinal cord or cauda equina compression, hemodynamic stability, and low suspicion for infection. A total of 16 symptomatic collections were aspirated among 15 patients. The mean volume of fluid removed was 32.0 mL. There were no peri- or post-procedural complications. Eight (50%) had resolution or substantial improvement of their symptoms (p = 0.0002 when compared to the null hypothesis). One patient had short interval improvement but return of their initial symptoms 12 h following aspiration, 3/16 (19%) had minimal improvement, and 4/16 (25%) had no change in symptoms. Fluid collections that appeared denser on the pre-procedural CT were associated with retrieval of more sanguineous appearing fluid (p = 0.08). Neither the amount nor quality of fluid aspirated was associated with outcome. We conclude that percutaneous CT-guided aspiration of postoperative seromas is safe and should be considered as an alternative to open surgical evacuation in patients with stable neurologic exams.
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Published online: August 25, 2018
Accepted: August 7, 2018
Received: February 16, 2018
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.