C-Reactive Protein on Postoperative Day 1: a Predictor of Early Intra-abdominal Infections After Bariatric Surgery

Obes Surg. 2018 Sep;28(9):2760-2766. doi: 10.1007/s11695-018-3240-x.


Background: Early intra-abdominal infections (IAI) compromise short-term outcomes in bariatric surgery. The timely detection of IAI is challenging but essential to prevent major sequelae of such complications. C-reactive protein (CRP) is a reliable marker for detecting IAI after colorectal surgery. In bariatric surgery, data on CRP as a marker for IAI are limited, particularly for postoperative day one (POD1).

Objective: The objective of this study was to assess CRP on POD1 as a predictor for early IAI (within 7 days following surgery) in patients after laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) and Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGB).

Methods: Patients with bariatric surgery between 08/2010 and 06/2017 were included. The predictive capacity of CRP for early IAI was determined using a receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis.

Results: In 523 patients (68.5% female, LSG = 358, LRYGB = 165), 16 (3%) early IAI were observed. ROC analysis revealed a significant predictive capacity of POD1 CRP for early IAI, with a sensitivity and a specificity of 81.2 and 94.3%, respectively, at a CRP cut-off value of 70 mg/L. In patients with confirmed early IAI, 81.3% had a CRP level ≥ 70 mg/L (LSG 85.7%, LRYGB 77.8%). The negative predictive value for a CRP level < 70 mg/L was 99.4% overall and was 100 and 98% for LSG and LRYGB, respectively.

Conclusion: In patients with a CRP level < 70 mg/L on POD1, early IAI can be excluded with high accuracy in bariatric patients. Thus, early postoperative CRP may be used to assess the risk of early IAI in enhanced recovery programs.

Keywords: C-reactive protein; Intra-abdominal infections; Organ space surgical site infections; Postoperative complications; ROC curve analysis; Roux-en-Y gastric bypass; Sleeve gastrectomy.

MeSH terms

  • Bariatric Surgery / adverse effects*
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intraabdominal Infections* / blood
  • Intraabdominal Infections* / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications* / blood
  • Postoperative Complications* / epidemiology
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • C-Reactive Protein