Preoperative Serum Albumin Predicts Wound Dehiscence but Not Infection After Surgery for Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

PURPOSE: Inadequate nutrition is common in individuals diagnosed with cancer. The present study evaluated the association between preoperative albumin and postoperative complications in otherwise healthy patients presenting with newly diagnosed squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity primarily managed with ablative surgery. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A retrospective cohort study of patients with newly diagnosed oral squamous cell carcinoma from 2005 to 2019 was performed. Patients referred to and managed by a single surgeon (ERC) and who had not received any nutritional support in the preoperative period were included in the study. The primary predictor variable was preoperative albumin level. Other studied variables were patient demographic data and TNM stage. Complications related to primary ablative surgery represented the primary outcome variable. χ2 analysis was completed to assess for significant associations between independent albumin groups (4+, 3.5 to 3.9, and 3.0 to 3.4 g/dL) in relation to postoperative complications. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was completed to control for clinical variables and medical comorbidities when testing the association between albumin and dehiscence. RESULTS: The patient cohort included 268 individuals; of whom, 154 were men. The average age of the patients at surgery was 63 years. When controlling for all other variables, albumin was the only statistically significant predictor of postoperative dehiscence, P = .005. Patients with albumin of 3.5 to 3.9 g/dL had 3.24 times higher odds of dehiscence (95% confidence interval 1.42 to 7.38) in comparison with participants in the 4+ g/dL group. There was no difference of odds between the 3.0 to 3.4 group and the 4+ reference group. CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrated that among those individuals meeting the inclusion criteria, there is a statistically significant association between lower albumin levels and postoperative complication rates, specifically dehiscence.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Fahmy, MD; Hechler, BL; Carlson, ER; Gross, AJ; Heidel, RE

Published Date

  • June 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 79 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 1355 - 1363

PubMed ID

  • 33460561

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1531-5053

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.joms.2020.12.021


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States