Analysis of the short-term outcomes after esophagectomy for esophageal cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic using data from a nationwide Japanese database

Masashi Takeuchi, Hideki Endo, Taizo Hibi, Ryo Seishima, Yutaka Nakano, Hiroyuki Yamamoto, Hiroaki Miyata, Hiromichi Maeda, Kazuhiro Hanazaki, Akinobu Taketomi, Yoshihiro Kakeji, Yasuyuki Seto, Hideki Ueno, Masaki Mori, Yuko Kitagawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic had adversely impacted cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment. We investigated the change in medical resource, such as the intensive care unit use, and short-term outcomes after esophagectomy during the pandemic. Methods: Data of patients who underwent esophagectomy for esophageal cancer registered in the National Clinical Database (NCD) in Japan from January 2018 to December 2021 were analyzed. The time series change in the number of surgical cases; usage of intensive care unit; incidence of morbidity and mortality; standardized mortality and morbidity ratio (SMR) for 30-days mortality; surgical mortality; and morbidities for pneumonia, sepsis, unplanned intubation, and anastomotic leakage were evaluated. Results: The annual number of patients undergoing esophagectomy remained similar from 2018 to 2021. The negative impact of the pandemic on medical resources was strongly identified in the patients from an epidemic area where there is a higher cumulative number of infections per population as compared to all prefectures. The proportions of patients admitted to the intensive care unit were 91.4%, 93.0%, 91.6%, and 90.5% in 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021, respectively. Moreover, 93.3%, 94.0%, 92.0%, and 90.9% patients who underwent surgery in an epidemic area were admitted to the intensive care unit in 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021, respectively. However, the morbidity and mortality rates during the pandemic did not worsen according to the SMR values. Conclusions: Esophagectomy was performed during the pandemic despite limited medical resources by a systematic endeavor of the entire surgical department in Japan, without increasing the incidence rate of worse outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-625
Number of pages9
JournalEsophagus
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Oct

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Esophagectomy
  • Pandemic
  • Surgical outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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