Impact of visceral obesity and metabolic syndrome on the postoperative immune, inflammatory, and endocrine response following surgery for esophageal adenocarcinoma

Type Article

Journal Article


S. L. Doyle; A. M. Mongan; C. L. Donohoe; G. P. Pidgeon; M. Sherlock; J. V. Reynolds; J. Lysaght

Year of publication



Dis Esophagus








Visceral obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetSyn) represent a constellation of inflammation, insulin resistance, and hyperglycemia and are established risk factors for gastrointestinal cancer. However, their impact on the immune and inflammatory response after major upper gastrointestinal oncologic surgery is unknown. In 125 consecutive patients who underwent esophagectomy, C-reactive protein (CRP) and CRP:albumin levels were recorded preoperatively and on days 1, 3, 7, and 14 postoperatively. In a subset of 30 patients, circulating levels of IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12p70, IFN-γ, TNF-α, TGF-β, and cortisol were measured. Incidences of postoperative complications were prospectively recorded. In the study cohort, 51% of patients were viscerally obese, 40.7% had MetSyn, and 33.6% were hyperglycemic. Viscerally obese and MetSyn-positive patients demonstrated greater postoperative CRP levels and CRP:albumin levels on day 7 and day 14 compared with nonobese and MetSyn-negative patients (P < 0.05). Higher postoperative circulating levels of cortisol were observed in the viscerally obese and hyperglycemic patients compared to nonobese and normoglycemic patients. No association was observed between visceral obesity, MetSyn or hyperglycemia, and postoperative cytokine profile. Viscerally obese patients had an increased overall incidence of postoperative complications compared to nonobese patients (67.2% vs. 47.5%, P = 0.031) on univariate but not multivariate analysis (P = 0.078) and visceral obesity was not associated with an increased incidence of specific complications. Visceral obesity, MetSyn, and hyperglycemia are prevalent in patients undergoing major upper gastrointestinal resection and are associated with an exaggerated acute-phase inflammatory response postoperatively. Further research is warranted to determine whether this association is directly causal.