Background: Low circulating levels of adiponectin are associated with the occurrence
of infection after surgery in patients with cancer. Data are lacking on whether surgical
stress is associated with a reduction in circulating levels of adiponectin. Furthermore,
the relationship between oxidative stress and postoperative complications has not been investigated.
Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the pre-, intra-, and postoperative levels of
adiponectin in patients who underwent major abdominal surgery for malignancy and their
association with postoperative complications.
Methods: An observational, prospective, single-center study was conducted in patients undergoing
abdominal surgery for cancer. Circulating levels of adiponectin and of two biomarkers
of oxidative stress were measured preoperatively, at the end of surgery, 24 and 48
hours after surgery. Patients were divided into two groups: complicated (CL+) and uncomplicated
(CL-), according to the Clavien-Dindo classification. Temporal patterns of adiponectin
and markers of oxidative stress were followed at different time points.
Results: Twelve patients were enrolled, seven with postoperative complications (CL+) and
five without (CL-). The preoperative median levels of adiponectin were statistically different
between CL+ and CL- groups (3.2 µg/ml vs 10.9 µg/ml; p=0.03). Levels of preoperative
adiponectin were inversely related to the severity of postoperative complications (Rho=
-0.68; p= 0.02). Pre-, intra- and postoperative levels of oxidative stress products were not
statistically different between the two groups. Adiponectin levels decreased during surgery
in both groups, while those of oxidative stress tended to increase.
Conclusions: Preoperative adiponectin levels correlate with postoperative complications after