The impact of cirrhosis and portal hypertension on mortality following colorectal surgery: a nationwide, population-based study

Dis Colon Rectum. 2009 Aug;52(8):1367-74. doi: 10.1007/DCR.0b013e3181a80dca.


Purpose: Population-based data on outcomes associated with colorectal procedures in cirrhotic patients are sparse. We sought to assess the impact of liver cirrhosis and portal hypertension on mortality following colorectal surgery.

Methods: We queried patients who underwent colorectal surgery in the United States in the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (1998-2005). In-hospital mortality was determined for patients with no cirrhosis, compensated cirrhotic patients, and cirrhotic patients with portal hypertension. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to adjust for sociodemographic and clinical covariates.

Results: Patients with cirrhosis and cirrhosis with portal hypertension had significantly higher in-hospital mortality than patients with no cirrhosis (14% and 29% vs. 5%, respectively, P < 0.0001). In-hospital mortality was also significantly higher for emergent and urgent colorectal procedures compared with elective procedures (9.2% vs. 1.8%, P < 0.0001). Among elective colorectal procedures, adjusted mortality was increased in cirrhotic patients (adjusted odds ratio, 3.91; 95% confidence interval, 3.12-4.90) and cirrhotic patients with portal hypertension (adjusted odds ratio, 11.3; 95% confidence interval, 8.46-15.1) compared with patients with no cirrhosis. For nonelective procedures, the adjusted odds ratio for mortality in cirrhotic patients was 2.40 (95% confidence interval, 2.07-2.79) and in cirrhotic patients with portal hypertension the adjusted odds ratio was 5.88 (95% confidence interval, 4.90-7.06). Postoperative complications were more likely in cirrhotic patients (adjusted odds ratio, 1.35; 95% confidence interval, 1.20-1.52) and cirrhotic patients with portal hypertension (adjusted odds ratio, 1.82; 95% confidence interval, 1.55-2.15) relative to patients with no cirrhosis.

Conclusions: Patients with liver cirrhosis, in particular, those with portal hypertension, have increased in-hospital mortality and morbidity following colorectal surgery. Strategies are needed to optimize preoperative risk.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Colectomy / methods*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / complications
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospital Mortality / trends
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Portal / complications
  • Hypertension, Portal / diagnosis
  • Hypertension, Portal / epidemiology*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / complications
  • Liver Cirrhosis / diagnosis
  • Liver Cirrhosis / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate / trends
  • United States / epidemiology