Hypoalbuminemia is a predictor of delayed postoperative bowel function and poor surgical outcomes in right-sided colon cancer patients.

Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2007;16(2):213-7.

Lohsiriwat V, Chinswangwatanakul V, LLohsiriwat S, Akaraviputh T, Boonnuch W, Methasade A, Lohsiriwat D.Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Prannok Rd, Bangkoknoi, Bangkok 10700, Thailand. sislr@mahidol.ac.th.

Purpose: To determine the relationship between preoperative serum albumin and postoperative bowel function as well as surgical outcomes in right-sided colon cancer patients.

Methods: This retrospective study in a university hospital included 84 patients who underwent elective right hemicolectomy for adenocarcinoma of the right-sided colon between January 2004 and December 2005. The patients had a preoperative serum albumin assessment. Serum albumin less than 3.5 g/dL was regarded as hypoalbuminemia. Postoperative outcomes were classified into mortality, morbidity (infectious and noninfectious complications), time to first bowel movement, time to resume normal diet, and hospital stay. Results: Forty males (48%) and forty-four females (52%) with a mean age of 64 (range, 27-89) years were included. Forty-eight patients (57%) had hypoalbuminemia. No 30-day postoperative mortality occurred. All 14 postoperative complications occurred in hypoalbuminemic cases. Therefore, 29% of the hypoalbuminemics had complications whereas none occurred in nonhypoalbuminemics (p=0.001). In univariate analysis, hypoalbuminemia and postoperative complications were the risk factors for delayed postoperative recovery of bowel function and prolonged length of hospital stay. In multivariate analysis, hypoalbuminemia was the significant risk factor for postoperative complications (p<0.001) and delayed time to first bowel movement (p=0.018) whereas postoperative complications were the significant risk factor for delayed time to resume normal diet (p<0.001) and prolonged hospital stay (p<0.001). Conclusion: Hypoalbuminemia is a potential predictor of delayed recovery of bowel function postoperatively and significantly associated with postoperative complications in right-sided colon cancer patients undergone right hemicolectomy.