The impact of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection on the postoperative complication rate is unknown. We identified a population of surgical patients (n = 2457) for whom the HCV antibody (anti-HCV) had been measured and compared after surgical complications and mortality between those who were positive (17.9%) versus negative. The complication rates were 10% in the anti-HCV positive and 13% in the negative group (P = 0.125), whereas the mortality rates were 0.7% and 2.5%, respectively (P = 0.017). The anti-HCV positive patients were younger, had lower ASA physical status, and underwent shorter procedures. In the univariate analysis, emergent surgery and high ASA physical status but not anti-HCV positivity were associated with a more frequent complication. In the multivariate analysis, the urgency of surgery, age, ASA physical status, length of surgery, and preoperative hematocrit (but not platelet count) were associated with complications. Anti-HCV positivity was associated with an odds ratio for having a complication of 1.08 (95% confidence interval, 0.90-1.30), which was not statistically significant (P = 0.405). In conclusion, we were unable to show HCV antibody status to be an independent risk factor for postoperative complications when other co-factors were considered.In this large study at a Veterans Administration medical center, the urgency of surgery, age, ASA physical status, length of surgery, and preoperative hematocrit were all independently associated with postoperative complications. However, hepatitis C infection was not an independent risk factor for postoperative complications.
View details for DOI 10.1213/01.ANE.0000068984.22840.FE
View details for Web of Science ID 000184354600044
View details for PubMedID 12873952