The association between performance parameters of physical fitness and postoperative outcomes in patients undergoing colorectal surgery: An evaluation of care data

A. F. J. M. Heldens*, B. C. Bongers, A. F. Lenssen, L. P. S. Stassen, W. F. Buhre, N. L. U. van Meeteren

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: Preoperative cardiorespiratory fitness, as measured by cardiopulmonary testing or estimated using the less sophisticated incremental shuttle walk test, timed up-and-go test or stair climb test is known to be associated with postoperative outcome. This study aimed to evaluate whether parameters of physical fitness are associated with postoperative outcome in patients with colorectal cancer scheduled for elective resection.

Patients-and Methods: Perioperative data of patients who underwent colorectal resection at Maastricht University Medical Center were retrospectively analyzed. Preoperative variables (e.g., age, body mass index, comorbidities, physical fitness, tumour characteristics, neoadjuvant treatment, American Society of Anesthesiologists score, level of perceived fatigue and nutritional status) were compared with postoperative outcomes.

Results: Out of 80 consecutive cases, 75 (93.8%) were available for analysis (57.3% male, median +/- interquartile range age 69.2 +/- 11.7 years). A higher Charlson comorbidity index (odds ratio (OR) of 1.604, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.120-2.296), worse functional exercise capacity (in meters, OR of 0.995, 95% CI 0.991-1.000), a lower physical activity level (in min/day, OR of 0.994, 95% CI 0.988-1.000), and a higher level of perceived fatigue (OR of 1.047, 95% CI 1.016-1.078), were associated with a slower time to recovery of physical functioning. A better functional exercise capacity was associated with a lower OR (OR of 0.995, 95% CI 0.991-1.000) for nonsurgical complications.

Conclusion: There is an association between preoperative parameters and postoperative outcomes in patients with colorectal cancer scheduled for resection. Patients benefit from an optimal preoperative physical fitness level. Specific interventions can target this physical fitness level. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd, BASO similar to The Association for Cancer Surgery, and the European Society of Surgical Oncology. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2084-2092
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


  • Physical fitness
  • Exercise testing
  • Risk stratification
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Colorectal resection
  • STAY
  • RISK

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