Only a few small studies have evaluated risk factors related to early death following emergency surgery for colonic cancer.
Dr Iversen and colleagues identified risk factors for death within 30 days after such surgery.
Some 2,157 patients who underwent emergency treatment for colonic cancer from 2001 to 2005 were identified from the national colorectal cancer registry.
|The overall 30-day mortality rate was 22%|
|British Journal of Surgery|
The research team calculated 30-day mortality rates, and risk factors for early death were identified using logistic regression analysis.
The overall 30-day mortality rate was 22%.
The strongest risk factor for early death was postoperative medical complications, with an odds ratio of 12.
The team found such complications occurred in 24% of patients, of whom 58 died.
Other independent risk factors were age at least 71 years, male sex, and American Society of Anesthesiologists grade 3 or more.
Palliative outcome, tumour perforation, splenectomy and adverse intraoperative surgical events were also independent risk factors.
Postoperative surgical complications were noted in 20% of the patients but had no statistically significant influence on mortality.
Dr Iversen's team concluded, "Emergency surgery for colonic cancer is still associated with an increased risk of death."
"There is a need for a system providing increased safety in the perioperative period."