Background: Resections for esophageal cancer are invasive, with high mortality and morbidity rates. The object of this study was to clarify the factors associated with in-hospital death while also evaluating any associated historical changes in the characteristics of such deaths. Methods: The factors associated with mortality were examined by logistic regression analysis in 1106 patients who underwent an esophagectomy for esophageal cancer. The historical changes in the characteristics of in-hospital deaths were also evaluated. Results: A multivariate analysis revealed that not only undergoing an esophagectomy before 1979, but also a patient's age (odds ratio 1.070 for every increase in age by year) and an incomplete resection (odds ratio 2.265) were independent factors associated with in-hospital death. The in-hospital mortality rates were 16.1%, 5.8%, 2.5%, and 3.1%, while the 30-day mortality rates were 9.2%, 2.2%, 0.8%, and 0.3% during 1964-1979, the 1980s, the 1990s, and the 2000s, respectively. Eight patients had preoperative comorbidities among 11 patients who died in the hospital after 1997. The mortality rate was 5.5% in patients with any comorbidities, while it was 1.3% in patients without any comorbidities (P = 0.026). The most common direct cause of in-hospital death was previous pulmonary complications; however, cancer progression has recently become the most common cause. Conclusions: To prevent in-hospital mortality after an esophagectomy, strict indications for surgery and careful perioperative management are important, especially in high-risk patients with advanced esophageal cancer.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes