Development of a dedicated risk-adjustment scoring system for colorectal surgery (colorectal POSSUM)

Br J Surg. 2004 Sep;91(9):1174-82. doi: 10.1002/bjs.4430.


Background: The aim of the study was to develop a dedicated colorectal Physiological and Operative Severity Score for the enUmeration of Mortality and morbidity (CR-POSSUM) equation for predicting operative mortality, and to compare its performance with the Portsmouth (P)-POSSUM model.

Methods: Data were collected prospectively from 6883 patients undergoing colorectal surgery in 15 UK hospitals between 1993 and 2001. After excluding missing data and 93 patients who did not satisfy the inclusion criteria, 4632 patients (68.2 per cent) underwent elective surgery and 2107 had an emergency operation (31.0 per cent); 2437 operations (35.9 per cent) for malignant and 4267 (62.8 per cent) for non-malignant diseases were scored. Stepwise logistic regression analysis was used to develop an age-adjusted POSSUM model and a dedicated CR-POSSUM model. A 60:40 per cent split-sample validation technique was adopted for model development and testing. Observed and expected mortality rates were compared.

Results: The operative mortality rate for the series was 5.7 per cent (387 of 6790 patients) (elective operations 2.8 per cent; emergency surgery 12.0 per cent). The CR-POSSUM, age-adjusted POSSUM and P-POSSUM models had similar areas under the receiver-operator characteristic curves. Model calibration was similar for CR-POSSUM and age-adjusted POSSUM models, and superior to that for the P-POSSUM model. The CR-POSSUM model offered the best overall accuracy, with an observed : expected ratio of 1.000, 0.998 and 0.911 respectively (test population).

Conclusion: The CR-POSSUM model provided an accurate predictor of operative mortality. External validation is required in hospitals different from those in which the model was developed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Colonic Diseases / mortality
  • Colonic Diseases / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rectal Diseases / mortality
  • Rectal Diseases / surgery*
  • Risk Adjustment*
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index*