, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 326-331
Date: 30 Nov 2006

Impact of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus Infection on Outcome after Esophagectomy

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Infection with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has reached endemic proportions in the United Kingdom. The aim of the present study was to determine the frequency of MRSA infection in patients undergoing esophagectomy and to report its impact on patient outcome.

Patients and Methods

The study population was 98 patients undergoing esophagectomy for carcinoma during the years 1998–2004. Patient information was collected prospectively and entered into a computerized database and analyzed retrospectively by univariate and multivariate analysis.


Overall, 20 of the 98 patients (20%) developed infection with MRSA after esophagectomy. Patients who developed MRSA infection had greater levels of postoperative morbidity, longer intensive care unit (ICU) stays (median 2 days versus 1 day, P = 0.005) and hospital stays (21 days versus 16 days, P < 0.001) compared to those who did not develop infection. Multivariate analysis identified preoperative chemotherapy (P = 0.006) and readmission to the ICU (P = 0.007) as significant risk factors with MRSA infection. Overall, 17 of 46 patients (37%) who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy developed MRSA infection, compared to 3 of 52 (6%) who did not receive this treatment (P = 0.0001).


Overall, one in five patients undergoing esophagectomy developed MRSA infection, with those patients who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy identified as being at greatest risk of this complication. This is an alarming finding, as neoadjuvant chemotherapy is the standard of care for patients with esophageal carcinoma in the United Kingdom.