Purpose: Prediction of the postoperative course of esophagectomy is an important part of the strict perioperative management of patients undergoing surgery for esophageal cancer. Methods: To evaluate their clinical importance, peripheral blood values, including white blood cell count (WBC), lymphocyte count, and the levels of total protein, transferrin, factor XIII, D-dimer, fibrin, and fibrinogen degradation products (FDP) were measured before and after esophagectomy for esophageal cancer in 24 patients. Results: The preoperative WBC and the pre- and postoperative lymphocyte count were decreased remarkably in patients who received preoperative chemoradiotherapy. The values of perioperative serum transferrin were significantly lower in patients with postoperative pneumonia than in those without. The activity of plasma factor XIII was suppressed on postoperative day (POD) 7 in patients with pneumonia and on POD 14 in patients with leakage. Conclusions: These results suggest that patients who receive preoperative chemoradiotherapy are potentially immunosuppressed, the preoperative serum transferrin level is a possible predictive marker of postoperative pneumonia, and suppression of factor XIII activity is related to anastomotic insufficiency.
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