Association between C-reactive protein and postoperative complications in elective colorectal surgery

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Alejandro D. Moreira Grecco
Gonzalo H. Zapata
María F. Montesinos
Rodrigo Morales Saifen
Tomás A. Flores
Luis E. Sarotto (h)


Background: The use of C-reactive protein (CRP) has gained relevance as a marker of marker of postoperative complications. As the incidence of complications of colorectal surgery is estimated to be of 30%, measures should for their early identification and treatment.
Objective: To describe the performance of consecutive CRP determinations and their relationship with the development of postoperative complications and with white blood cell count in a series of patients undergoing colorectal surgery.
Materials and methods: A retrospective review was performed using a prospective registry of 2205 patients operated on at the Department of Digestive Surgery of Hospital de Clínicas, between January 2019 and July 2020. A total of 69 patients fulfilling the selection criteria were included. Clinical follow-up data, CRP levels, white blood cell count, type of approach and development of complications were recorded.
Results: Mean age was 59 years (SD 13.6; range 33-85) and 31 were men (43%). The complication rate was 13.04%. Anastomotic leak (fistula, fluid collection) was the most common complication, followed by surgical site complications (hematoma, evisceration). All patients showed an initial increase in CRP values between days 2 and 3, in relation with the surgical lesion, and then decreased in those without complications. Patients with complications had second rise or lack of decrease in serial CRP measurements, and higher CRP values each day.  


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Moreira Grecco, A. D., Zapata, G. H., Montesinos, M. F., Morales Saifen, R., Flores, T. A., & Sarotto (h), L. E. (2022). Association between C-reactive protein and postoperative complications in elective colorectal surgery. Revista Argentina De Cirugía, 114(2), 133–144. Retrieved from
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