Surprising Results: Inflammation Not a Significant Indicator of Postoperative Complications

C-reactive protein (CRP) levels and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) indicate inflammation in the body, and CRP has also been inversely connected to cardiovascular fitness. Surgeons have monitored these levels preoperatively in an effort to determine whether there is a significant correlation between them and operative time and complications during and after surgery.

In “Preoperative Acute Inflammatory Markers as Predictors for Postoperative Complications in Primary Total Knee Arthroplasty,” Godoy and colleagues performed a retrospective cohort study of 351 total knee arthroplasty surgeries evaluating CRP and ESR levels before surgery in relation to postoperative complications. Though previous smaller studies have suggested a link between CRP levels and complications after surgery, this larger study showed no significant difference where CRP levels were concerned. In fact, the majority of patients had levels in the low to normal range. Such inconclusive information leaves much room for further study of this intriguing issue.

The winter issues of the Ochsner Journal contains original research, reviews, and case reports—peruse the table of contents here.

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