Factors That Predict Outcome of Abdominal Operations in Patients With Advanced Cirrhosis

Dana A. Telem, Thomas Schiano, Robert Goldstone, Daniel K. Han, Kerri E. Buch, Edward H. Chin, Scott Q. Nguyen, Celia M. Divino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Background & Aims: Patients with cirrhosis have an increased risk of complications during surgery that is relative to the severity of liver disease; it is a challenge to determine which patients are the best candidates for surgery. We performed a hospital-based study to identify factors that might facilitate selection of operative candidates and guide their management. Methods: A retrospective review was performed of 100 cirrhotic patients (50 classified as Child-Turcotte-Pugh [CTP] A, 33 as CTP B, and 17 as CTP C) who underwent abdominal surgery at an institution specializing in liver medicine and transplant from 2002-2008. Significant univariate variables were evaluated by multivariate logistic regression models to identify factors that correlate with outcome. Results: The overall, 30-day postoperative mortality rate was 7%. The mortality for patients who were CTP A was 2%, CTP B was 12%, and CTP C was 12%; 33 patients had a Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score ≥15, with 29% mortality. On the basis of multivariate analyses, risk factors for adverse outcome were American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) score >3; procedures being emergent; intraoperative blood transfusion; intraoperative blood loss >150 mL; presence of ascites; total bilirubin level >1.5 mg/dL; and albumin level <3 mg/dL. Addition of serum albumin to MELD score showed that patients with MELD score ≥15 and albumin ≤2.5 mg/dL (vs >2.5 mg/dL) had significantly increased mortality (60% vs 14%, P < .01) and independently increased probability of adverse outcome (odds ratio, 8.4; P = .015). Conclusions: For patients with MELD scores ≥15, the preoperative albumin level correlates with outcome and could guide operative decisions. Intraoperative packed red blood cell transfusion correlates with adverse outcome and should be limited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-457
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010


  • CTP
  • Cirrhosis
  • General Surgery
  • MELD
  • Operative Outcome


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