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Background

Postoperative adverse outcomes in patients with liver cirrhosis are not completely understood. This study evaluated the association between liver cirrhosis and adverse outcomes after non-hepatic surgery.

Methods

Reimbursement claims were used to identify patients with preoperative liver cirrhosis who underwent non-hepatic surgery from 2004 to 2007. Control patients without cirrhosis were matched by age, sex, type of surgery and anaesthesia. The adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95 per cent confidence intervals (c.i.) of postoperative adverse events associated with liver cirrhosis were analysed by multivariable logistic regression.

Results

Thirty-day mortality rates among 24 282 patients with cirrhosis and 97 128 control patients were 1·2 per cent (299 deaths) and 0·7 per cent (635 deaths) respectively. Liver cirrhosis was associated with postoperative 30-day mortality (OR 1·88, 95 per cent c.i. 1·63 to 2·16), acute renal failure (OR 1·52, 1·34 to 1·74), septicaemia (OR 1·42, 1·33 to 1·51) and intensive care unit admission (OR 1·39, 1·33 to 1·45). Postoperative mortality increased in patients who had liver cirrhosis with viral hepatitis (OR 2·87, 1·55 to 5·30), alcohol dependence syndrome (OR 3·74, 2·64 to 5·31), jaundice (OR 5·47, 3·77 to 7·93), ascites (OR 5·85, 4·62 to 7·41), gastrointestinal haemorrhage (OR 3·01, 2·33 to 3·90) and hepatic coma (OR 5·11, 3·79 to 6·87).

Conclusion

Patients with liver cirrhosis had increased mortality and complications after non-hepatic surgery, particularly those with cirrhosis-related clinical indicators.