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Ann Surg Oncol. 2016 Sep;23(9):2832-40. doi: 10.1245/s10434-016-5204-5. Epub 2016 Mar 25.

Postoperative Systemic Inflammatory Response, Complication Severity, and Survival Following Surgery for Colorectal Cancer.

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Academic Unit of Surgery, School of Medicine, University of Glasgow, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, UK.
Academic Unit of Surgery, School of Medicine, University of Glasgow, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, UK.



This study examined the relationship between the magnitude of the postoperative systemic inflammatory response (SIR), the severity of complications, and long-term outcomes following surgery for colorectal cancer.


Data were recorded prospectively for patients undergoing potentially curative surgery for colorectal cancer in a single centre between 2008 and 2013. The magnitude of the SIR was measured using C-reactive protein (CRP). Complications were classified by Clavien-Dindo grade. The impact on disease specific and overall survival was assessed using univariate and multivariate Cox regression.


Of 377 patients included, the majority were male (55 %), older than age 65 years (68 %), with colonic (63 %) and node-negative disease (66 %). A total of 138 patients (37 %) had a complication, of which 26 (6 %) were Clavien-Dindo grade 3 or 4 severity. Complication severity was significantly associated with the established CRP thresholds of 150 mg/L on postoperative day (POD) 3 (p < 0.001) and POD 4 (p < 0.001). Median follow-up was 42 months with disease-specific survival 86 % and overall survival 78 %. On univariate analysis, complication severity [hazard ratio (HR) 1.66, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.13-2.43, p = 0.009], and POD 4 CRP > 150 mg/L (HR 2.53, 95 % CI 1.43-4.48, p = 0.001) were associated with disease-specific survival. On multivariate survival analysis, POD 4 CRP > 150 mg/L (HR 2.00, 95 % CI 1.12-3.59, p = 0.020), but not complication severity, was significantly associated with disease-specific survival independent of TNM stage (HR 2.46, 95 % CI 1.52-4.12, p < 0.001).


The magnitude of the postoperative SIR, evidenced by CRP, was significantly associated with long-term outcomes following surgery for colorectal cancer, independent of complications and stage.

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