Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 19, Issue 12, pp 3963–3970 | Cite as

Incidence and Risk Factors of Postoperative Delirium in Patients with Esophageal Cancer

  • Mari Takeuchi
  • Hiroya TakeuchiEmail author
  • Daisuke Fujisawa
  • Kaya Miyajima
  • Kimio Yoshimura
  • Saori Hashiguchi
  • Soji Ozawa
  • Nobutoshi Ando
  • Joichiro Shirahase
  • Yuko Kitagawa
  • Masaru Mimura
Thoracic Oncology



Postoperative delirium is a common complication after major surgery and is characterized by acute confusion with fluctuating consciousness. The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence and risk factors of postoperative delirium in patients with esophageal cancer.


We conducted a retrospective cohort analysis of 306 consecutive patients who had undergone an esophagectomy at Keio University Hospital from January 1998 to December 2009. All data were assessed by psychiatrists, and delirium was diagnosed according to criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Disorder, fourth edition. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed.


Postoperative delirium developed in 153 (50.0 %) of 306 patients. One hundred fourteen (37.3 %) of the 306 patients required psychoactive medication for symptoms associated with delirium. Univariate analyses showed that older age, male gender, additional flunitrazepam for sedation in intensive care unit (ICU) after surgery, longer periods of time under mechanical ventilation after surgery, longer ICU stays, occurrence of postoperative complications, and longer hospital stays were significantly associated with postoperative delirium. Multivariate analysis revealed that development of delirium was linked to older age, additional flunitrazepam in ICU, and occurrence of postoperative complication.


The development of postoperative delirium in patients with esophageal cancer is a problem that cannot be ignored. Our results suggest that the risk of developing delirium is associated with older age, use of flunitrazepam in ICU, and postoperative complications.


Esophageal Cancer Intensive Care Unit Stay Dexmedetomidine Flunitrazepam Postoperative Delirium 
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Copyright information

© Society of Surgical Oncology 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mari Takeuchi
    • 1
  • Hiroya Takeuchi
    • 2
    Email author
  • Daisuke Fujisawa
    • 1
    • 3
  • Kaya Miyajima
    • 1
  • Kimio Yoshimura
    • 4
  • Saori Hashiguchi
    • 5
  • Soji Ozawa
    • 6
  • Nobutoshi Ando
    • 7
  • Joichiro Shirahase
    • 1
  • Yuko Kitagawa
    • 2
  • Masaru Mimura
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeuropsychiatryKeio University School of MedicineTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryKeio University School of MedicineTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Psycho-Oncology Division, Research Center for Innovative OncologyNational Cancer Center Hospital EastChibaJapan
  4. 4.Department of Health Policy and ManagementKeio University School of MedicineTokyoJapan
  5. 5.Department of AnesthesiaKeio University School of MedicineTokyoJapan
  6. 6.Department of Gastroenterological SurgeryTokai University School of MedicineKanagawaJapan
  7. 7.Department of SurgeryTokyo Dental College Ichikawa General HospitalChibaJapan

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