Influence of K-line on intraoperative and hidden blood loss in patients with ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament when undergoing unilateral open-door laminoplasty.

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The K-line is a virtual straight line that connects the midpoints of the anteroposterior spinal canal diameter from C2 to C7 on a cervical lateral X-ray film. Patients with cervical ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL), in which the peak of the OPLL exceeds the K-line (K-line [-]), are less likely to experience sufficient decompression after laminoplasty compared with patients for whom the OPLL does not exceed the K-line (K-line [+]). This retrospective study investigated the influence of K-line position relative to the OPLL on intraoperative and hidden blood loss during unilateral open-door laminoplasty for OPLL.Data were retrospectively analyzed of 108 patients with OPLL who underwent unilateral open-door laminoplasty between April 2015 and March 2018. Patient cases were categorized as K-line (+) or (-). The evaluated perioperative parameters were haematocrit, haemoglobin, intraoperative and hidden blood loss, surgical time, postoperative drainage, and complications. Radiological parameters included ossification occupancy ratio and C2-7 lordosis.The K-line (+) and K-line (-) groups were statistically comparable with regard to age, gender, body mass index, OPLL classification, medication history, C2-7 lordosis, postoperative haemoglobin and haematocrit, postoperative drainage, hidden blood loss, and complications. The occupying ratio of the K-line (-) group was significantly greater than that of the K-line (+) group (49.5 ± 15.3% cf. 42.3 ± 10.1%; P = 0.006), and the intraoperative blood loss was also significantly higher (286 ± 110.5 mL cf. 205.5 ± 98.3 L, P = 0.003). The hidden blood loss of the K-line (-) group was higher than that of the K-line (+), but not significantly (295.5 ± 112.6 mL cf. 265.6 ± 103.8 mL; P = 0.072).Intraoperative and hidden blood loss associated with unilateral open-door laminoplasty can be predicted by the spatial relationship of the K-line and osteophyte. This relationship is a simple and practical index that may help surgeons determine the appropriate surgical strategy for patients with OPLL.

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