Background or Purpose: As we previously indicated, postoperative pneumonia has a negative impact on the overall survival after planned esophagectomy. However, the impact of postoperative pneumonia after salvage esophagectomy on long-term oncologic outcomes still remains unclear. This study aimed to indicate the association between postoperative pneumonia and long-term outcomes of definitive chemoradiotherapy followed by salvage esophagectomy. Furthermore, we determined a prediction model for overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) using a survival classification and regression tree (CART). Methods: Ninety-three patients who underwent CRT followed by esophagectomy for thoracic esophageal cancer were identified for this study. Forty-nine patients and 44 patients were included in the salvage and neoadjuvant groups, respectively. We investigated the association between postoperative pneumonia and long-term oncologic outcomes following salvage esophagectomy. Results: Patients from the salvage group tended to have a lower OS compared to neoadjuvant group (median survival: salvage, 24 months vs neoadjuvant, 43 months, p = 0.117). Multivariate analyses revealed that postoperative pneumonia adversely affected both OS (p < 0.001) and DFS (p = 0.044) after salvage esophagectomy. We generated the prediction model for OS and DFS in the salvage group using survival CART. Postoperative pneumonia was the most important parameter for predicting the OS. Discussion: The present study demonstrates the long-term outcomes and risk factors for mortality of salvage esophagectomy. To improve OS after salvage surgery, the development of a means of decreasing pulmonary complications is needed.
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