MIAMI BEACH – Renal insufficiency significantly increased the risk of major complications after liver surgery.
However, it wasn’t associated with an increased risk of 90-day mortality, suggesting that patients with poor renal function shouldn’t be ruled out as surgical candidates, Dr. Malcolm Squires III said at the annual meeting of the Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association.
"While they may be at a potential risk of major complications – renal failure and respiratory failure – we are ultimately able to get these patients through the postoperative period without any significant increase in mortality," said Dr. Squires of Emory University, Atlanta.
He presented a large retrospective study that examined postoperative outcomes in 1,170 patients (mean age, 57 years) who underwent major hepatectomy at three national academic hospitals from 2000 to 2012. The study determined the link between major complications and preoperative serum creatinine levels. These levels were dichotomized as normal (1.8 mg/dL or less) and elevated (greater than 1.8 mg/dL).
Most patients (1,148) had normal levels; only 22 had elevated serum creatinine, considered to be reflective of chronic renal insufficiency.
Pathology included cholangiocarcinoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, metastatic colorectal cancer, other cancers, and benign lesions. Cirrhosis was present in 4% and steatosis in 39%.
Most (83%) had open surgery; 17% had a laparoscopic procedure. The mean blood loss was 510 cc; 25% needed an intraoperative blood transfusion.
Postoperative complications arose in 56% of the group. A quarter (24%) had a major complication, including renal failure (3%) and respiratory failure (5%). Three-month mortality in the entire group was 5%.
In a multivariate model, preoperative renal insufficiency conferred a fourfold increased risk of developing a major postoperative complication. Other significant predictors were a high American Society of Anesthesiologists classification score (odds ratio, 1.6), having a bile duct resection (OR, 1.7), and a low preoperative albumin level (OR, 1.6).
Renal insufficiency also significantly predicted postoperative respiratory failure (OR, 4.4). Other predictors of respiratory failure were older age (OR, 1.06) and cirrhosis (OR, 6.6).
Renal insufficiency was also a significant risk factor for renal failure, increasing the odds by 4.6.
The biggest predictor of 90-day mortality was hepatitis C, which conferred a ninefold increased risk. Cardiac disease also significantly increased the risk (OR, 2), as did bile duct resection (OR, 2.3), intraoperative transfusion (OR, 2) and cirrhosis (OR, 4.7).
Preoperative renal insufficiency did not significantly increase the risk of death, Dr. Squires noted.
"These findings should be taken into consideration when evaluating patients with preoperative renal insufficiency for hepatic resection," he said. "Careful patient selection and appropriate preoperative counseling are critical."
Dr. Squires had no financial disclosures.