Pulmonary Complications in Esophagectomy Based on Intraoperative Fluid Rate: A Single-Center Study

Ryan S. D'Souza, Charles R. Sims, Nicole Andrijasevic, Thomas M. Stewart, Timothy B. Curry, James A. Hannon, Shanda Blackmon, Stephen D. Cassivi, Robert K. Shen, Janani Reisenauer, Dennis Wigle, Michael J. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Esophagectomy is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The authors assessed the relationship between intraoperative fluid (IOF) administration and postoperative pulmonary outcomes in patients undergoing a transthoracic, transhiatal, or tri-incisional esophagectomy. Design: Retrospective cohort study (level 3 evidence). Setting: Tertiary care referral center. Participants: Patients who underwent esophagectomy from 2007 to 2017. Interventions: The IOF rate (mL/kg/h) was the predictor variable analyzed both as a continuous and binary categorical variable based on median IOF rate for this cohort (11.90 mL/kg/h). Measurements: Primary outcomes included rates of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) within ten days after esophagectomy. Secondary outcomes included rates of reintubation, pneumonia, cardiac or renal morbidity, intensive care unit admission, length of stay, procedure-related complications, and mortality. Multivariate regression analysis determined associations between IOF rate and postoperative outcomes. Analysis was adjusted for age, sex, body mass index, procedure type, year, and thoracic epidural use. Main Results: A total of 1,040 patients comprised this cohort. Tri-incisional esophagectomy was associated with a higher hospital mortality rate (7.8%) compared with transthoracic esophagectomy (2.6%, p = 0.03) or transhiatal esophagectomy (0.7%, p = 0.01). Regression analysis revealed a higher IOF rate was associated with greater ARDS within ten days (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 1.03, p = 0.01). For secondary outcomes, a higher IOF rate was associated with greater hospital mortality (adjusted OR = 1.05, p = 0.002), although no significant association with 30-day hospital mortality was identified. Conclusions: Increased IOF administration during esophagectomy may be associated with worse postoperative pulmonary complications, specifically ARDS. Future well-powered studies are warranted, including randomized, controlled trials comparing liberal versus restrictive fluid administration in this surgical population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2952-2960
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • esophagectomy
  • esophagectomy outcomes
  • liberal fluid strategy
  • postoperative pulmonary complications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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