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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Outcome after hepatectomy-delirium as an independent predictor for mortality

Dalila Veiga1, Clara Luís1, Daniela Parente1 and Fernando Abelha12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Anesthesia, Hospital de São João, Porto, Portugal

2 Anesthesiology and Perioperative Care Unit-Surgical Department of Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Alameda Professor Hernani Monteiro, 4200-319, Porto, Portugal

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BMC Anesthesiology 2013, 13:4  doi:10.1186/1471-2253-13-4

Published: 2 February 2013



Most studies that follow up hepatectomy cases are limited in scope to an investigation of mortality and morbidity rates or the costs and length of hospital stay. In this study the authors aimed to characterize the quality of life and to evaluate mortality and its determinants after hepatectomy.


This prospective study was carried in a Post-Anaesthesia Care Unit (PACU) over 15 months, and 70 patients submitted to hepatectomy were enrolled. Demographic and peri-operative characteristics were evaluated for associations with mortality. At admission and 6 months after discharge, patients completed a Short Form-36 questionnaire (SF-36) and have their independence in Activities of Daily Living (ADL) was evaluated. Binary and multiple logistic regression analyses were used to evaluate of associations with mortality, and the Wilcoxon signed rank test was used to compare SF-36 scores before and after 6 months after hepatectomy.


The mortality rate was 19% at 6 months. Multivariate analysis identified postoperative delirium as an independent determinant for mortality. Six months after discharge, 46% patients stated that their health in general was better or much better than that 1 year previously. Six months after hepatectomy, patients had worse scores in the physical function domain of SF-36; however, scores for all the other domains did not differ. At this time point, patients were more dependent in instrumental ADL than before surgery (32% versus 7%, p = 0.027).


This study identified postoperative delirium as an independent risk factor for mortality 6 months after hepatectomy. After 6 months, survivors were more dependent in instrumental ADL tasks and had worse scores in the physical function domain of SF-36.

Quality of life; Hepatectomy; Outcome; Mortality; Activities of daily living