Hospital length of stay (LOS) and readmissions continue to be expensive and unexpected events following colorectal surgery (CRS) whether patients follow enhanced recovery pathways or traditional care. Predictors of these adverse events could facilitate identification and optimization of CRS patients.
<bold>The aim of the study </bold>was to examine the impact of white blood cell count (WBC) and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels as predictors of delayed recovery or hospital readmission following CRS.
<bold>Material and methods. </bold>Patients undergoing laparoscopic or open abdominal colorectal surgery by a single surgeon were managed using standardized enhanced recovery pathways. Those with postoperative day 2 CRP and white blood cell values were evaluated. Outcomes included 30-day hospital readmission rates and postoperative length of hospital stay.
<bold>Results. </bold>CRP values were available for 193 patients (86 Male, mean age 58.6 years). Ninety-nine patients had surgery for colon cancer, 23 for Crohn’s disease, 19 for ulcerative colitis, 31 for diverticulitis and 18 for other reasons. Twenty patients (10.4%) were readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of surgery. POD2 CRP accurately predicted short length of hospital stay (p< 0.01). Average CRP was 6.3 in the LOS of < 3 days or less, and 11.7 in patients with LOS >4 days. The mean CRP of the readmission and non-readmission groups was 11.8 and 9.9, respectively (p=0.29). The average POD 2 WBC of the readmission and non-readmission groups was 10.6 and 9 respectively (p=0.01).
<bold>Conclusion. </bold>A low POD2 CRP level was correlated with a shorter LOS, but it did not predict readmission. Conversely, POD2 WBC, and the difference in WBC from baseline were associated with readmission. These markers may be useful indicators to predict suitability of early discharge in an ERP. Further evaluation in prospective trials is warranted.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.