Background: Studies have shown a variety of nutritional indices to be prognostic predictors for esophageal cancer patients. However, which nutritional index should be used and when it should be measured during the perioperative period remain unclear. This study attempted to clarify the details surrounding predictive nutritional evaluation by assessing the longitudinal data of serologic indices in perioperative esophageal cancer patients. Methods: The study included 141 esophageal cancer patients who underwent neoadjuvant chemotherapy after radical esophagectomy at Tohoku University Hospital from April 2008 to December 2017. The nutritional status was retrospectively assessed during the perioperative period, and the prognostic factors related to survival were analyzed. Results: Use of the controlling nutritional status (CONUT) score showed that malnutrition occurred only from 14 days after surgery in most cases. Use of the prognostic nutritional index (PNI) showed that the ratio of malnutrition increased gradually from presurgery to 14 days after surgery. The timing of malnutrition that affected survival was 14 days after surgery with the CONUT score and presurgery and 4 months after surgery with the PNI. A multivariable analysis of independent prognostic factors predicting survival identified malnutrition 14 days after surgery with the CONUT score and a low PNI before surgery, invasion depth of the primary lesion, and node metastasis. Conclusions: Malnutrition occurring during the perioperative state of esophageal cancer was shown to be a survival prognostic factor. Development of an optimal nutritional intervention is recommended for esophageal cancer patients to prevent malnutrition both before and after surgery.
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