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Perioperative statin medication impairs pulmonary outcome after abdomino-thoracic esophagectomy

Perioper Med (Lond). 2022 Sep 14;11(1):47. doi: 10.1186/s13741-022-00280-1.


BACKGROUND: Although surgery is the curative option of choice for patients with locally advanced esophageal cancer, morbidity, especially the rate of pulmonary complications, and consequently mortality of patients undergoing abdomino-thoracic esophagectomy remain unacceptably high. Causes for developing post-esophagectomy pulmonary complications are trauma to the lung and thoracic cavity as well as systemic inflammatory response. Statins are known to influence inflammatory pathways, but whether perioperative statin medication impacts on inflammatory response and pulmonary complication development after esophagectomy had not been investigated, yet.

METHODS: Retrospective analysis and propensity score matching of patients, who either received perioperative statin medication [statin( +)] or not [statin( -)], with regard to respiratory impairment (PaO2/FiO2 < 300 mmHg), pneumonia development, and inflammatory serum markers after abdomino-thoracic esophagectomy.

RESULTS: Seventy-eight patients who underwent abdomino-thoracic esophagectomy for cancer were included into propensity score pair-matched analysis [statin( +): n = 26 and statin( -): n = 52]. Although no differences were seen in postoperative inflammatory serum markers, C-reactive protein values correlated significantly with the development of pneumonia beyond postoperative day 3 in statin( -) patients. This effect was attenuated under statin medication. No difference was seen in cumulative incidences of respiratory impairment; however, significantly higher rate (65.4% versus 38.5%, p = 0.0317, OR 3.022, 95% CI 1.165-7.892) and higher cumulative incidence (p = 0.0468) of postoperative pneumonia were seen in statin( +) patients, resulting in slightly longer postoperative stay on intensive care unit (p = 0.0612) as well as significantly prolonged postoperative in-hospital stay (p = 0.0185).

CONCLUSIONS: Development of pulmonary complications after abdomino-thoracic esophagectomy is multifactorial but frequent. The establishment of preventive measures into the perioperative clinical routine is mandatory for an improved patient outcome. Perioperative medication with statins might influence pneumonia development in the highly vulnerable lung after abdomino-thoracic esophagectomy. Perioperative interruption of statin medication might be beneficial in appropriate patients; however, further clinical trials and translational studies are needed to prove this hypothesis.

PMID:36104793 | DOI:10.1186/s13741-022-00280-1

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