Purpose: Infectious complications occur frequently after major abdominal surgery and have a major influence on patient outcome and hospital costs. A marker that can rule out postoperative infectious complications (PICs) could aid patient selection for safe and early hospital discharge. C-reactive protein (CRP) is a widely available, fast, and cheap marker that might be of value in detecting PIC. Present meta-analysis evaluates the diagnostic value of CRP to rule out PIC following major abdominal surgery, aiding patient selection for early discharge. Methods: A systematic literature search of Medline, PubMed, and Cochrane was performed identifying all prospective studies evaluating the diagnostic value of CRP after abdominal surgery. Meta-analysis was performed according to the PRISMA statement. Results: Twenty-two studies were included for qualitative analysis of which 16 studies were eligible for meta-analysis, representing 2215 patients. Most studies analyzed the value of CRP in colorectal surgery (eight studies). The pooled negative predictive value (NPV) improved each day after surgery up to 90 % at postoperative day (POD) 3 for a pooled CRP cutoff of 159 mg/L (range 92–200). Maximum predictive values for PICs were reached on POD 5 for a pooled CRP cutoff of 114 mg/L (range 48–150): a pooled sensitivity of 86 % (95 % confidence interval (CI) 79–91 %), specificity of 86 % (95 % CI 75–92 %), and a positive predictive value of 64 % (95 % CI 49–77 %). The pooled sensitivity and specificity were significantly higher on POD 5 than on other PODs (p < 0.001). Conclusion: Infectious complications after major abdominal surgery are very unlikely in patients with a CRP below 159 mg/L on POD 3. This can aid patient selection for safe and early hospital discharge and prevent overuse of imaging.

Abdominal surgery, C-reactive protein, Diagnostic accuracy, Postoperative infectious complications
dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00384-015-2205-y, hdl.handle.net/1765/90536
International Journal of Colorectal Disease: clinical and molecular gastroenterology and surgery
Department of Surgery

Gans, S.L, Atema, J.J, Van Dieren, S, Groot Koerkamp, B, & Boermeester, M.A. (2015). Diagnostic value of C-reactive protein to rule out infectious complications after major abdominal surgery: a systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Colorectal Disease: clinical and molecular gastroenterology and surgery (Vol. 30, pp. 861–873). doi:10.1007/s00384-015-2205-y