Background: Controlling nutritional status (CONUT) score, calculated from serum albumin and total cholesterol concentrations and total lymphocyte count, is reportedly valuable for nutritional assessment. This study investigated whether CONUT score was predictive of outcomes in colorectal cancer (CRC) patients undergoing surgical resection. Methods: Preoperative CONUT scores were retrospectively evaluated in 417 CRC patients who underwent potentially curative resection at Kumamoto University Hospital from March 2005 to August 2014. Patients were divided into four groups based on preoperative CONUT scores: normal, light, moderate, and severe. The associations of CONUT score with clinicopathological factors, patient survival, and postoperative complications were examined. Results: CONUT score correlated significantly with age (P < 0.001), body mass index (P = 0.005), carcinoembryonic antigen (P = 0.002), and carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (P = 0.005) concentrations. Overall survival (OS) rate was significantly lower in patients with moderate/severe than light or normal CONUT scores. CONUT score was independently prognostic of OS [moderate/severe vs. normal, hazard ratio = 5.92, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 2.30–14.92; P < 0.001)]. Patients with moderate/severe CONUT scores were at greater risk for complications, especially for severe complications. Multivariate analysis showed that CONUT score was independently predictive of severe complications (moderate/severe vs. normal, odds ratio = 4.51, 95 % CI 1.89–10.74; P < 0.001). Conclusions: CONUT score may predict survival and postoperative severe complications in CRC patients undergoing potentially curative resection. Management of CRC patients may need consideration of host nutritional status.
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