Profile of preoperative fecal organic acids closely predicts the incidence of postoperative infectious complications after major hepatectomy with extrahepatic bile duct resection: Importance of fecal acetic acid plus butyric acid minus lactic acid gap

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Abstract

Background.

To investigate the association between preoperative fecal organic acid concentrations and the incidence of postoperative infectious complications in patients undergoing major hepatectomy with extrahepatic bile duct resection for biliary malignancies.

Methods.

The fecal samples of 44 patients were collected before undergoing hepatectomy with bile duct resection for biliary malignancies. The concentrations of fecal organic acids, including acetic acid, butyric acid, and lactic acid, and representative fecal bacteria were measured. The perioperative clinical characteristics and the concentrations of fecal organic acids were compared between patients with and without postoperative infectious complications.

Results.

Among 44 patients, 13 (30%) developed postoperative infectious complications. Patient age and intraoperative bleeding were significantly greater in patients with postoperative infectious complications compared with those without postoperative infectious complications. The concentrations of fecal acetic acid and butyric acid were significantly less, whereas the concentration of fecal lactic acid tended to be greater in the patients with postoperative infectious complications. The calculated gap between the concentrations of fecal acetic acid plus butyric acid minus lactic acid gap was less in the patients with postoperative infectious complications (median 43.5 vs 76.1 μmol/g of feces, P = .011). Multivariate analysis revealed that an acetic acid plus butyric acid minus lactic acid gap <60 μmol/g was an independent risk factor for postoperative infectious complications with an odds ratio of 15.6; 95% confidence interval 1.8–384.1.

Conclusion.

The preoperative fecal organic acid profile (especially low acetic acid, low butyric acid, and high lactic acid) had a clinically important impact on the incidence of postoperative infectious complications in patients undergoing major hepatectomy with extrahepatic bile duct resection.

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