Training prediction models for individual risk assessment of postoperative complications after surgery for colorectal cancer

V. Lin*, A. Tsouchnika, E. Allakhverdiiev, A. W. Rosen, M. Gögenur, J. S.R. Clausen, K. B. Bräuner, J. S. Walbech, P. Rijnbeek, I. Drakos, I. Gögenur

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The occurrence of postoperative complications and anastomotic leakage are major drivers of mortality in the immediate phase after colorectal cancer surgery. We trained prediction models for calculating patients’ individual risk of complications based only on preoperatively available data in a multidisciplinary team setting. Knowing prior to surgery the probability of developing a complication could aid in improving informed decision-making by surgeon and patient and individualize surgical treatment trajectories. Methods: All patients over 18 years of age undergoing any resection for colorectal cancer between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2019 from the nationwide Danish Colorectal Cancer Group database were included. Data from the database were converted into Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership Common Data Model maintained by the Observation Health Data Science and Informatics initiative. Multiple machine learning models were trained to predict postoperative complications of Clavien–Dindo grade ≥ 3B and anastomotic leakage within 30 days after surgery. Results: Between 2014 and 2019, 23,907 patients underwent resection for colorectal cancer in Denmark. A Clavien–Dindo complication grade ≥ 3B occurred in 2,958 patients (12.4%). Of 17,190 patients that received an anastomosis, 929 experienced anastomotic leakage (5.4%). Among the compared machine learning models, Lasso Logistic Regression performed best. The predictive model for complications had an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) of 0.704 (95%CI 0.683–0.724) and an AUROC of 0.690 (95%CI 0.655–0.724) for anastomotic leakage. Conclusions: The prediction of postoperative complications based only on preoperative variables using a national quality assurance colorectal cancer database shows promise for calculating patient’s individual risk. Future work will focus on assessing the value of adding laboratory parameters and drug exposure as candidate predictors. Furthermore, we plan to assess the external validity of our proposed model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)665-675
Number of pages11
JournalTechniques in Coloproctology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Innovative Medicines Initiative, 806968, Ismail Gögenur, Region Sjælland, Uddannelses- og Forskningsministeriet.

Publisher Copyright: © 2022, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


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