September 27, 2023

Inflammation following abdominal surgery key marker for adverse outcomes

Editor's Note

In this retrospective cohort study, researchers looked at the association between inflammation and various outcomes following major abdominal surgery. The study, titled "Postoperative systemic inflammation after major abdominal surgery: patient-centered outcomes," was published in the journal Anaesthesia, of the Association of Anaesthetists, in August 2023.

Data came from the RELIEF (Restrictive Versus Liberal Fluid Therapy for Major Abdominal Surgery) trial, a multicenter study assessing different intravenous fluid regimens administered to patients from May 2013 to September 2016. In this August 2023 study, researchers monitored patients’ plasma C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in order to assess inflammation.

Among the findings:

  • Postoperative complications after major surgical procedures account for millions of deaths each year. 
  • Up to 90 days post-procedure, inflammation was associated with persistent disability or death.
  • Patients with the maximum 3-day CRP levels have the greatest risks for the above outcomes. 

Based on the findings, the authors recommend using maximum postoperative CRP (up to day 3) as a valuable inflammatory marker and to monitor CRP in patients who have undergone surgical procedures to guide discharge decisions and assess recovery risks.

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