Serena Hu, MD

  • Serena Shaw Hu


Orthopaedic Surgery

Work and Education

Professional Education

McGill University, Montreal, Canada, 1984


Beth Israel Medical Center - New York, New York, NY, 1985


Hospital For Special Surgery, New York, NY, 1989


Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center, Downey, CA, 1990

Board Certifications

Orthopaedic Surgery, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

Conditions Treated


All Publications

Predicting complication risk in spine surgery: a prospective analysis of a novel risk assessment tool. Journal of neurosurgery. Spine Veeravagu, A., Li, A., Swinney, C., Tian, L., Moraff, A., Azad, T. D., Cheng, I., Alamin, T., Hu, S. S., Anderson, R. L., Shuer, L., Desai, A., Park, J., Olshen, R. A., Ratliff, J. K. 2017: 1-11


OBJECTIVE The ability to assess the risk of adverse events based on known patient factors and comorbidities would provide more effective preoperative risk stratification. Present risk assessment in spine surgery is limited. An adverse event prediction tool was developed to predict the risk of complications after spine surgery and tested on a prospective patient cohort. METHODS The spinal Risk Assessment Tool (RAT), a novel instrument for the assessment of risk for patients undergoing spine surgery that was developed based on an administrative claims database, was prospectively applied to 246 patients undergoing 257 spinal procedures over a 3-month period. Prospectively collected data were used to compare the RAT to the Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) and the American College of Surgeons National Surgery Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) Surgical Risk Calculator. Study end point was occurrence and type of complication after spine surgery. RESULTS The authors identified 69 patients (73 procedures) who experienced a complication over the prospective study period. Cardiac complications were most common (10.2%). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were calculated to compare complication outcomes using the different assessment tools. Area under the curve (AUC) analysis showed comparable predictive accuracy between the RAT and the ACS NSQIP calculator (0.670 [95% CI 0.60-0.74] in RAT, 0.669 [95% CI 0.60-0.74] in NSQIP). The CCI was not accurate in predicting complication occurrence (0.55 [95% CI 0.48-0.62]). The RAT produced mean probabilities of 34.6% for patients who had a complication and 24% for patients who did not (p = 0.0003). The generated predicted values were stratified into low, medium, and high rates. For the RAT, the predicted complication rate was 10.1% in the low-risk group (observed rate 12.8%), 21.9% in the medium-risk group (observed 31.8%), and 49.7% in the high-risk group (observed 41.2%). The ACS NSQIP calculator consistently produced complication predictions that underestimated complication occurrence: 3.4% in the low-risk group (observed 12.6%), 5.9% in the medium-risk group (observed 34.5%), and 12.5% in the high-risk group (observed 38.8%). The RAT was more accurate than the ACS NSQIP calculator (p = 0.0018). CONCLUSIONS While the RAT and ACS NSQIP calculator were both able to identify patients more likely to experience complications following spine surgery, both have substantial room for improvement. Risk stratification is feasible in spine surgery procedures; currently used measures have low accuracy.

View details for DOI 10.3171/2016.12.SPINE16969

View details for PubMedID 28430052

Intervertebral disc/bone marrow cross-talk with Modic changes. European spine journal Dudli, S., Sing, D. C., Hu, S. S., Berven, S. H., Burch, S., Deviren, V., Cheng, I., Tay, B. K., Alamin, T. F., Ith, M. A., Pietras, E. M., Lotz, J. C. 2017


Cross-sectional cohort analysis of patients with Modic Changes (MC).Our goal was to characterize the molecular and cellular features of MC bone marrow and adjacent discs. We hypothesized that MC associate with biologic cross-talk between discs and bone marrow, the presence of which may have both diagnostic and therapeutic implications.MC are vertebral bone marrow lesions that can be a diagnostic indicator for discogenic low back pain. Yet, the pathobiology of MC is largely unknown.Patients with Modic type 1 or 2 changes (MC1, MC2) undergoing at least 2-level lumbar interbody fusion with one surgical level having MC and one without MC (control level). Two discs (MC, control) and two bone marrow aspirates (MC, control) were collected per patient. Marrow cellularity was analyzed using flow cytometry. Myelopoietic differentiation potential of bone marrow cells was quantified to gauge marrow function, as was the relative gene expression profiles of the marrow and disc cells. Disc/bone marrow cross-talk was assessed by comparing MC disc/bone marrow features relative to unaffected levels.Thirteen MC1 and eleven MC2 patients were included. We observed pro-osteoclastic changes in MC2 discs, an inflammatory dysmyelopoiesis with fibrogenic changes in MC1 and MC2 marrow, and up-regulation of neurotrophic receptors in MC1 and MC2 bone marrow and discs.Our data reveal a fibrogenic and pro-inflammatory cross-talk between MC bone marrow and adjacent discs. This provides insight into the pain generator at MC levels and informs novel therapeutic targets for treatment of MC-associated LBP.

View details for DOI 10.1007/s00586-017-4955-4

View details for PubMedID 28138783

View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5409869

In Patients with Lumbar Spinal Stenosis, Adding Fusion Surgery to Decompression Surgery Did Not Improve Outcomes at 2 Years. journal of bone and joint surgery. American volume Hu, S. S. 2016; 98 (22): 1936-?

View details for PubMedID 27852913

The Relationship Between Cervical Degeneration and Global Spinal Alignment in Patients With Adult Spinal Deformity. Clinical spine surgery Fujimori, T., Le, H., Schairer, W., Inoue, S., Iwasaki, M., Oda, T., Hu, S. S. 2016: -?


To examine the relationship between cervical degeneration and spinal alignment by comparing patients with adult spinal deformity versus the control cohort.The effect of degeneration on cervical alignment has been controversial.Cervical and full-length spine radiographs of 57 patients with adult spinal deformity and 78 patients in the control group were reviewed. Adult spinal deformity was classified into 3 types based on the primary characteristics of the deformity: "Degenerative flatback" group, "Positive sagittal imbalance" group, and "Hyperthoracic kyphosis" group. Cervical degeneration was assessed using the cervical degeneration index scoring system.The "Degenerative flatback" group had significantly higher total cervical degeneration index score (257) than the control group (168), the "Positive sagittal imbalance" group (188), and the "Hyperthoracic kyphosis" group (127) (P<0.01). The "Degenerative flatback" group had significantly less cervical lordosis than the other groups. This reduced amount of cervical lordosis was thought to be induced by a compensatory decrease in thoracic kyphosis. In this group, increased cervical degeneration was significantly associated with a decrease in cervical lordosis. Significantly greater compensatory increase in cervical lordosis was noted in the "Positive sagittal imbalance" group (2015 degrees) and the "Hyperthoracic kyphosis" group (269 degrees) compared with the control group (1112 degrees) (P<0.02).Flat cervical spine coexisted with cervical degeneration when compensatory hypothoracic kyphosis was induced by degenerative flatback. In other situations, cervical lordosis could increase as a compensatory reaction against sagittal imbalance or hyperthoracic kyphosis.

View details for PubMedID 26469769

The fellowship match process: the history and a report of the current experience. journal of bone and joint surgery. American volume Cannada, L. K., Luhmann, S. J., Hu, S. S., Quinn, R. H. 2015; 97 (1)

View details for DOI 10.2106/JBJS.M.01251

View details for PubMedID 25568401

The Increased Prevalence of Cervical Spondylosis in Patients With Adult Thoracolumbar Spinal Deformity JOURNAL OF SPINAL DISORDERS & TECHNIQUES Schairer, W. W., Carrer, A., Lu, M., Hu, S. S. 2014; 27 (8): E305-E308


Retrospective cohort study.To assess the concomitance of cervical spondylosis and thoracolumbar spinal deformity.Patients with degenerative cervical spine disease have higher rates of degeneration in the lumbar spine. In addition, degenerative cervical spine changes have been observed in adult patients with thoracolumbar spinal deformities. However, to the best of our knowledge, there have been no studies quantifying the association between cervical spondylosis and thoracolumbar spinal deformity in adult patients.Patients seen by a spine surgeon or spine specialist at a single institution were assessed for cervical spondylosis and/or thoracolumbar spinal deformity using an administrative claims database. Spinal radiographic utilization and surgical intervention were used to infer severity of spinal disease. The relative prevalence of each spinal diagnosis was assessed in patients with and without the other diagnosis.A total of 47,560 patients were included in this study. Cervical spondylosis occurred in 13.1% overall, but was found in 31.0% of patients with thoracolumbar spinal deformity (OR=3.27, P<0.0001). Similarly, thoracolumbar spinal deformity was found in 10.7% of patients overall, but was increased at 23.5% in patients with cervical spondylosis (OR=3.26, P<0.0001). In addition, increasing severity of disease was associated with an increased likelihood of the other spinal diagnosis. Patients with both diagnoses were more likely to undergo both cervical (OR=3.23, P<0.0001) and thoracolumbar (OR=4.14, P<0.0001) spine fusion.Patients with cervical spondylosis or thoracolumbar spinal deformity had significantly higher rates of the other spinal diagnosis. This correlation was increased with increased severity of disease. Patients with both diagnoses were significantly more likely to have received a spine fusion. Further research is warranted to establish the cause of this correlation. Clinicians should use this information to both screen and counsel patients who present for cervical spondylosis or thoracolumbar spinal deformity.

View details for DOI 10.1097/BSD.0000000000000119

View details for Web of Science ID 000359974800009

View details for PubMedID 24901877