The Association of Preoperative Anemia and the Postoperative Course and Oncological Outcome in Patients Undergoing Rectal Cancer Surgery: A Multicenter Snapshot Study

Bruns, E. R. J., Borstlap, W. A., van Duijvendijk, P., van der Zaag-Loonen, H. J., Buskens, C. J., van Munster, B. C., Bemelman, W. A. & Tanis, P. J., Jul-2019, In : DISEASES OF THE COLON & RECTUM. 62, 7, p. 823-831 9 p.

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  • The Association of Preoperative Anemia and the Postoperative Course and Oncological Outcome in Patients Undergoing Rectal Cancer Surgery

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  • Emma R. J. Bruns
  • Wernard A. Borstlap
  • Peter van Duijvendijk
  • Hester J. van der Zaag-Loonen
  • Christianne J. Buskens
  • Barbara C. van Munster
  • Willem A. Bemelman
  • Pieter J. Tanis

BACKGROUND: There is still controversy about the relationship between preoperative anemia and outcomes after rectal cancer surgery. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to analyze the association between preoperative anemia and postoperative complications and the survival of patients undergoing surgery for rectal cancer in the era of laparoscopic surgery and modern perioperative care. DESIGN: This was a cohort study. SETTINGS: Data were gathered from 71 hospitals in The Netherlands. PATIENTS: Patients who underwent resection for rectal cancer in 2011, for whom preoperative hemoglobin level was registered, were included. INTERVENTIONS(s): There were no interventions. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Short-term outcome parameters were any postoperative complication or mortality within 30 days postoperatively, and pelvic infectious complications defined as anastomotic leakage and presacral abscess. Long-term outcomes were chronic sinus diagnosed at any time during 3-year follow-up, 3-year local and distant recurrence rates, and 3-year overall survival. RESULTS: Of 2095 patients, 1857 had a registered preoperative hemoglobin level; 576 (31%) of these patients anemic and 1281 (69%) were nonanemic. Preoperative anemia was not independently associated with postoperative complications (HR, 1.1; 95% CI, 0.9-1.4; p = 0 center dot 24) or 30-day mortality (HR, 1.4, 95% CI, 0.7-2.8; p = 0 center dot 29). Preoperative anemia was associated with 3-year overall survival (HR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.7-2.5; p <0.0001), after multivariable analysis (HR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.1-1.8; p = 0 center dot 008), and with local recurrence rate (HR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.1-2.4; p = 0.026), but not with distant recurrence rate (HR, 1.2; 95% CI, 1.0-1.5; p = 0.054). LIMITATIONS: Preoperative anemia appeared to have only limited association with postoperative and disease-specific outcome after rectal cancer surgery in contrast to published meta-analysis of small historical series. CONCLUSIONS: Anemia is associated with overall survival. It might be considered as one of the warning signs in identifying high-risk patients. See Video Abstract at .

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)823-831
Number of pages9
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2019



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