Does the Global Alignment and Proportion score overestimate mechanical complications after adult spinal deformity correction?

Publication Date


Journal Title

J Neurosurg Spine


OBJECTIVE:The goal of this study was to validate the Global Alignment and Proportion (GAP) score in a cohort of patients undergoing adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery. The GAP score is a novel measure that uses sagittal parameters relative to each patient's lumbosacral anatomy to predict mechanical complications after ASD surgery. External validation is required. METHODS:Adult ASD patients undergoing > 4 levels of posterior fusion with a minimum 2-year follow-up were included. Six-week postoperative standing radiographs were used to calculate the GAP score, classified into a spinopelvic state as proportioned (P), moderately disproportioned (MD), or severely disproportioned (SD). A chi-square analysis, receiver operating characteristic curve, and Cochran-Armitage analysis were performed to assess the relationship between the GAP score and mechanical complications. RESULTS:Sixty-seven patients with a mean age of 52.5 years (range 18-75 years) and a mean follow-up of 2.04 years were included. Patients with < 2 years of follow-up were included only if they had an early mechanical complication. Twenty of 67 patients (29.8%) had a mechanical complication. The spinopelvic state breakdown was as follows: P group, 21/67 (31.3%); MD group, 23/67 (34.3%); and SD group, 23/67 (34.3%). Mechanical complication rates were not significantly different among all groups: P group, 19.0%; MD group, 30.3%; and SD group, 39.1% (χ2 = 1.70, p = 0.19). The rates of mechanical complications between the MD and SD groups (30.4% and 39.1%) were less than those observed in the original GAP study (MD group 36.4%-57.1% and SD group 72.7%-100%). Within the P group, the rates in this study were higher than in the original study (19.0% vs 4.0%, respectively). CONCLUSIONS:The authors found no statistically significant difference in the rate of mechanical complications between the P, MD, and SD groups. The current validation study revealed poor generalizability toward the authors' patient population.

Document Type





School of Medicine

Primary Department


Additional Departments

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation





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