The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of oral care in prevention of postoperative pneumonia associated with esophageal cancer surgery.
Postoperative pneumonia is a severe adverse event associated with esophageal cancer surgery. It is thought to be caused by aspiration of oropharyngeal fluid containing pathogens. However, the relationship between oral health status and postoperative pneumonia has not been well investigated.
This study included 539 patients with esophageal cancer undergoing surgery at 1 of 7 university hospitals. While 306 patients received perioperative oral care, 233 did not. Various clinical factors as well as occurrence of postoperative pneumonia were retrospectively evaluated. Propensity-score matching was performed to minimize selection biases associated with comparison of retrospective data between the oral care and control groups. Factors related to postoperative pneumonia were analyzed by logistic regression analysis.
Of the original 539 patients, 103 (19.1%) experienced postoperative pneumonia. The results of multivariate analysis of the 420 propensity score-matched patients revealed longer operation time, postoperative dysphagia, and lack of oral care intervention to be significantly correlated with postoperative pneumonia.
The present findings demonstrate that perioperative oral care can reduce the risk of postoperative pneumonia in patients undergoing esophageal cancer surgery.