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The surgical stress response and postoperative immune function after laparoscopic or conventional total mesorectal excision in rectal cancer: a randomized trial.

Author(s): Veenhof AA, Sietses C, von Blomberg BM, van Hoogstraten IM, vd Pas MH, Meijerink WJ, vd Peet DL, vd Tol MP, Bonjer HJ, Cuesta MA

Affiliation(s): Department of Surgery, VU University Medical Center, Post bus 7057, 1007 MB, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. a.veenhof@vumc.nl

Publication date & source: 2011-01, Int J Colorectal Dis., 26(1):53-9. Epub 2010 Oct 5.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial

PURPOSE: This study evaluated differences in stress response and immunological function following laparoscopic and conventional total mesorectal excision (TME) for rectal cancer. METHODS: Patients with non-metastasized rectal cancer were prospectively randomized to open (n = 18) or laparoscopic (n = 22) TME. Blood samples were taken preoperatively (baseline), 2, 24, and 72 h following surgery. Systemic white blood cell and monocyte count, C-reactive protein, interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-8 (IL-8), HLA-DR expression on monocytes, growth hormone, prolactin, and cortisol were measured. RESULTS: Forty patients with a median age of 66 years (interquartile range, 60-74 years) were included. Eighteen patients (45%) were randomized to open surgery and 22 patients (55%) to laparoscopic surgery. Patient demographics in terms of gender, age, BMI, ASA classification, localization of the tumor, and type of neoadjuvant therapy were comparable for both groups. Laparoscopic surgery resulted in a significantly better short-term preservation of postoperative immune function. HLA-DR expression on monocytes was significantly higher (64% vs 50%, P = 0.014) and IL-6 level increase was significantly lower (4.6 vs 10.8, P = 0.003) 2 h after laparoscopic surgery. No differences between the open and laparoscopic technique were observed in postoperative white blood cell count, monocyte count, C-reactive protein, IL-8, growth hormone, prolactin, and cortisol levels. CONCLUSION: Short-term postoperative immune and inflammatory functions tended to be better after laparoscopic rectal surgery. However, the differences were not consistent at all time intervals, making a definitive conclusion difficult. Better preserved inflammatory function 2 h after surgery may reflect a reduction in operative trauma when the laparoscopic technique is compared with open rectal procedures.

Page last updated: 2011-12-09

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