Acta Neurochirurgica

, Volume 161, Issue 2, pp 287–306 | Cite as

Adverse events in brain tumor surgery: incidence, type, and impact on current quality metrics

  • Stephanie SchipmannEmail author
  • Tobias Brix
  • Julian Varghese
  • Nils Warneke
  • Michael Schwake
  • Benjamin Brokinkel
  • Christian Ewelt
  • Martin Dugas
  • Walter Stummer
Original Article - Brain Tumors
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Brain Tumors



The aim of the study was to determine pre-operative factors associated with adverse events occurring within 30 days after neurosurgical tumor treatment in a German center, adjusting for their incidence in order to prospectively compare different centers.


Adult patients that were hospitalized due to a benign or malignant brain were retrospectively assessed for quality indicators and adverse events. Analyses were performed in order to determine risk factors for adverse events and reasons for readmission and reoperation.


A total of 2511 cases were enrolled. The 30 days unplanned readmission rate to the same hospital was 5.7%. The main reason for readmission was tumor progression. Every 10th patient had an unplanned reoperation. The incidence of surgical revisions due to infections was 2.3%. Taking together all monitored adverse events, male patients had a higher risk for any of these complications (OR 1.236, 95%CI 1.025–1.490, p = 0.027). Age, sex, and histological diagnosis were predictors of experiencing any complication. Adjusted by incidence, the increased risk ratios greater than 10.0% were found for male sex, age, metastatic tumor, and hemiplegia for various quality indicators.


We found that most predictors of outcome rates are based on preoperative underlying medical conditions and are not modifiable by the surgeon. Comparing our results to the literature, we conclude that differences in readmission and reoperation rates are strongly influenced by standards in decision making and that comparison of outcome rates between different health-care providers on an international basis is challenging. Each health-care system has to develop own metrics for risk adjustment that require regular reassessment.


Quality indicators Brain tumor Readmission Reoperation Surgical site infection 



No funding was received for this research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This study was approved by the local ethic committee. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all participants included in the study.

Financial sources



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryUniversity Hospital MünsterMünsterGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Medical InformaticsUniversity Hospital MünsterMünsterGermany

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