Is Patient Diagnosis a Risk Factor for Organ Space Infection After Colorectal Resections?

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Validated risk adjustment programs do not use patient diagnosis as a potential covariate in the evaluation of organ space infections.


We hypothesized that patient diagnosis is an important risk factor for organ space infection after colorectal resections.


We conducted a retrospective cohort study abstracting data from the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program from January 2005 through December 2009.


Patients who underwent 1 of 3 types of colorectal resections (ileocolostomy, partial colectomy, and coloproctostomy) were identified by the use of Current Procedural Terminology codes. We excluded patients with concomitant formation of diverting or end stoma.


The primary outcome measured was organ space infection.


Validated risk adjustment models were used with the addition of diagnostic codes.


We identified 52,056 patients who underwent a colorectal resection of whom 1774 patients developed an organ space infection (3.4%) and 894 (50.2%) returned to the operating room for further surgery. For ileocolostomy, operations for endometriosis (OR, 7.8; 95% CI, 1.7-36.6) and intra-abdominal fistula surgery (OR, 3.0; 95% CI, 1.5-6.0) were associated with increased risk of organ space infection. For partial colectomy, operations for intra-abdominal fistula surgery (OR, 2.3; 95% CI, 1.2-4.3), IBD (OR, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.6-3.8), and bowel obstruction (OR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.2-2.6) were associated with an increased risk of organ space infection. For coloproctostomy, operations for malignant neoplasm (OR, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.1-4.3) and diverticular bleeding (OR, 3.1; 95% CI, 1.1-9.0) were associated with an increased risk of organ space infection.


This study was limited by the retrospective study design.


After adjustment for National Surgical Quality Improvement Program covariates, intra-abdominal fistula, endometriosis, and diverticular bleeding were the diagnoses associated with the highest risk of organ space infection following colorectal resections.

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