C-reactive protein in predicting major postoperative complications are there differences in open and minimally invasive colorectal surgery? Substudy from a randomized clinical trial

Jennifer Straatman, Miguel A. Cuesta, Jurriaan B. Tuynman, Alexander A. F. A. Veenhof, Willem A. Bemelman, Donald L. van der Peet

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35 Citations (Scopus)


In search of improvement of patient assessment in the postoperative phase, C-reactive protein (CRP) is increasingly being studied as an early marker for postoperative complications following major abdominal surgery. Several studies reported an attenuated immune response in minimally invasive surgery, which might affect interpretation of postoperative CRP levels. The aim of the present study was to compare the value of CRP as a predictor for major postoperative complications in patients undergoing open versus laparoscopic colorectal surgery. A subgroup analysis from a randomized clinical trial (LAFA-trial) was performed, including all patients with non-metastasized colorectal cancer. In the LAFA trial, patients were randomized to open or laparoscopic segmental colectomy. In a subgroup of 79 patients of the LAFA trial, postoperative assessment of CRP levels was conducted routinely preoperatively and 1, 2, 24 and 72 h after surgery. Thirty-seven patients were randomized to the open group and 42 patients to the laparoscopic group. Major complications occurred in 19% of laparoscopic procedures and 13.5% of open procedures (p = 0.776). CRP levels rise following surgical procedures. In uncomplicated cases, the rise in CRP levels was significantly lower at 24 and 72 h following laparoscopic resection in comparison to open resection. No differences in CRP levels were observed when comparing open and laparoscopic resection in patients with major complications. In patients with an uncomplicated postoperative course, CRP levels were lower following minimally invasive resection, possibly due to decreased operative trauma. No differences in CRP were observed stratified for surgical technique in patients with major complications. These results suggest that CRP may be applied as a marker for major postoperative complications in both open and minimally invasive colorectal surgery. Future research should aim to assess the role of standardized postoperative CRP measurements
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2877-2885
Number of pages9
JournalSurgical endoscopy
Issue number6
Early online date27 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • C-reactive protein
  • Colorectal surgery
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Postoperative complications
  • Quality control

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