Outcomes Associated With Infection of Chronic Pain Spinal Implantable Electronic Devices: Insights From a Nationwide Inpatient Sample Study

Vasudha Goel, Varun Kumar, Shivani N. Agrawal, Amol M. Patwardhan, Mohab Ibrahim, Daniel C. DeSimone, Eellan Sivanesan, Ratan K. Banik, Hariharan Shankar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objectives: Chronic pain spinal implantable electronic devices (CPSIEDs) include devices that provide spinal cord stimulation and intrathecal drug therapy. In this study, we sought to evaluate the trends of CPSIED infections, related complications, and outcomes following the treatment of infection. Materials and Methods: The Nationwide Inpatient Sample database contains data from 48 states, and the District of Columbia was used to identify patients with a primary diagnosis of CPSIED infection during the years 2005–2014. Patients with intrathecal pumps for the treatment of spasticity were excluded to limit the study population to patients with chronic pain disorders. Treatments were categorized as: 1) without device removal, 2) pulse generator or pump only removal, 3) intrathecal pump system removal, and 4) spinal cord stimulation system removal. Complications associated with CPSIED infections were identified using administrative billing codes. Results: During the study period 2005–2014, a total of 11,041 patients were admitted to the hospital with CPSIED infections. The majority of the patients were treated without surgical intervention (56%), and a smaller proportion underwent complete system explantation (22.7%). In-hospital mortality or permanent disability due to paralysis after CPSIED infection was around 1.83% and 2.77%, respectively. Infectious complications such as meningitis, abscess formation, and osteomyelitis occurred in 4.93%, 5.08%, and 1.5%, respectively. The median cost of hospitalization was around US $14,118.00, and the median length of stay was approximately six days (interquartile range = 4–13 days). Conclusions: The complications of CPSIED infection were higher among patients that did not undergo device removal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-134
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 14 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 International Neuromodulation Society


  • Intrathecal pump infections
  • outcomes
  • spinal cord stimulator infections


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