Patients undergoing surgery for esophageal cancer (EC) frequently experience postoperative pneumonia (POP). POP promotes poor prognosis as well as increased medical costs and longer hospital stays. Therefore, it is desirable to prevent and strictly control high-risk cases to reduce the incidence of pneumonia. The present study aimed to determine the risk factors for POP in EC.

Patients and Methods

The subjects of this retrospective study were 151 patients with EC who underwent subtotal esophagectomy in our department between January 2012 and December 2021. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to evaluate the association between the incidence of POP and clinical factors.


Among 151 patients, 33 cases (21.8%) developed POP. Multivariate analysis identified preoperative C-reactive protein-to-albumin ratio (CAR) ≥0.03 (odds ratio (OR): 2.69, P=0.0352), chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) (OR: 7.32, P=0.0001), and diabetes mellitus (DM) (OR: 3.35, P=0.0252) as independent risk factors for POP. In accordance with the number of risk factors, the incidence rate of POP drastically increased, and its rate in patients with three risk factors was 80%.


High CAR, COPD, and DM are independent risk factors for the development of POP in patients undergoing subtotal esophagectomy for EC. Clinicians should be aware of the risk factors for POP and consider more intensive preventive measures and postoperative management in patients with EC.

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Author notes

Competing interests: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.