Risk Factors for Postsurgical Gout Flares after Thoracolumbar Spine Surgeries

Kuan Jung Chen, Yen Chun Huang, Yu Cheng Yao, Wei Hsiung, Po Hsin Chou, Shih Tien Wang, Ming-Chau Chang, Hsi Hsien Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Gouty arthritis is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis and flares frequently after surgeries. Such flares impede early patient mobilization and lengthen hospital stays; however, little has been reported on gout flares after spinal procedures. This study reviewed a database of 6439 adult patients who underwent thoracolumbar spine surgery between January 2009 and June 2021, and 128 patients who had a history of gouty arthritis were included. Baseline characteristics and operative details were compared between the flare-up and no-flare groups. Multivariate logistic regression was used to analyze predictors and construct a predictive model of postoperative flares. This model was validated using a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis. Fifty-six patients (43.8%) had postsurgical gout flares. Multivariate analysis identified gout medication use (odds ratio [OR], 0.32; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.14–0.75; p = 0.009), smoking (OR, 3.23; 95% CI, 1.34–7.80; p = 0.009), preoperative hemoglobin level (OR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.53–0.87; p = 0.002), and hemoglobin drop (OR, 1.93; 95% CI, 1.25–2.96; p = 0.003) as predictors for postsurgical flare. The area under the ROC curve was 0.801 (95% CI, 0.717–0.877; p < 0.001). The optimal cut-off point of probability greater than 0.453 predicted gout flare with a sensitivity of 76.8% and specificity of 73.2%. The prediction model may help identify patients at an increased risk of gout flare.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3749
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number13
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2022


  • flare
  • gout
  • postsurgical gout flare
  • risk factor
  • spine surgery


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