Background: Despite the importance of predicting adverse postoperative outcomes, functional performance status as a proxy for frailty has not been systematically evaluated in emergency abdominal surgery. Our aim was to evaluate if the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance score was independently associated with mortality following high-risk emergency abdominal surgery, in a multicentre, retrospective, observational study of a consecutive cohort.
Methods: All patients aged 18 or above undergoing high-risk emergency laparotomy or laparoscopy from four emergency surgical centres in the Capitol Region of Denmark, from January 1 to December 31, 2012, were included. Demographics, preoperative status, ECOG performance score, mortality, and surgical characteristics were registered. The association of frailty with postoperative mortality was evaluated using multiple regression models. Likelihood ratio test was applied for goodness of fit.
Results: In total, 1084 patients were included in the cohort; unadjusted 30-day mortality was 20.2%. ECOG performance score was independently associated with 30-day mortality. Odds ratio for mortality was 1.70 (95% CI (1.0, 2.9)) in patients with ECOG performance score of 1, compared with 5.90 (95% CI (1.8, 19.0)) in patients with ECOG performance score of 4 (p < 0.01). Likelihood ratio test suggests improvement in fit of logistic regression modelling of 30-day postoperative mortality when including ECOG performance score as an explanatory variable.
Conclusions: This study found ECOG performance score to be independently associated with the postoperative 30-day mortality among patients undergoing high-risk emergency laparotomy. The utility of including functional performance in a preoperative risk assessment model of emergency laparotomy should be evaluated.
- Emergency laparotomy
- 30-day mortality