Infectious Complications After Hepatic Resection

September 2004
American Surgeon;Sep2004, Vol. 70 Issue 9, p787
Academic Journal
The purpose of this study was to assess the characteristics of surgical infections after hepatic resection (HR) to identify factors accounting for increased postoperative mortality. Advances in operative technique and care have decreased morbidity and mortality after HR. However, infections after HR continue to be a major contributor to postoperative morbidity and mortality. All HR done during a 7-year period were analyzed and compared to our prospective surgical infection database. Factors contributing to infectious complications and mortality were identified. HR (n = 207) were performed with an overall mortality of 5.8 per cent. Nine patients (3.3%) had 18 infections; 6 (60%) had multiple infection sites, most commonly the peritoneum, blood, or wound. Three infected patients died. Lung and line infections occurred in 2 (67%) infection-related deaths. No single comorbidity increased postoperative infection risk, but an average of 6.7 comorbid conditions were present. All infection-related deaths were associated with ventilator- dependence. All infection-related deaths occurred after resection of a mean of four segments. Additional procedures at the time of BR, operative drains, or transfusion requirements did not impact infectious complications or mortality. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus sp. was isolated in all infection-related deaths. The mean time from HR to initiation of treatment was 8 days for infection survivors and 13.3 days for infection-related deaths. Infectious mortality after BR remains significant. Contributing risk factors are advanced age, multiple comorbid conditions, and extent of HR. Ventilator-dependence and delays in antibiotic therapy were associated with infectious mortality. Although gram-negative enteric infections were more common, abdominal, lung, and line infections with gram-positive cocci had higher associated mortality; especially when antibiotic resistant strains were present.


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