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Abstract

Objective:

To find out if strict assessment of organ function preoperatively predicted morbidity and mortality in patients being operated on for oesophageal carcinoma.

Design:

Retrospective study.

Setting:

Teaching hospital, Japan.

Subjects:

178 patients operated on for oesophageal cancer 1989–1993.

Interventions:

Oesophagectomy and reconstruction (using either stomach or colon) in one stage by a right thracoabdominal approach in 173, and transhiatal resection in 5 with either poor pulmonary reserve or early lesions.

Main outcome measures:

Correlation between preoperative assessment of organ function and postoperative development of complications.

Result:

79 patients (44%) developed complications and 6 died (3%). Pulmonary dysfunction preoperatively was significantly associated with the development of all complications (p = 0.001) and of postoperative pulmonary complications (p = 0.04). No other preoperative assessment correlated significantly with the development of postoperative complications.

Conclusion:

Accurate preoperative assessment of pulmonary function is a valuable indicator of postoperative morbidity. Copyright © 1998 Taylor and Francis Ltd.