Scientific article
Open access

Severity of oEsophageal Anastomotic Leak in patients after oesophagectomy: the SEAL score

Published inBritish journal of surgery, vol. 109, no. 9, p. 864-871
Publication date2022-06-27

Background: Anastomotic leak (AL) is a common but severe complication after oesophagectomy. It is unknown how to determine the severity of AL objectively at diagnosis. Determining leak severity may guide treatment decisions and improve future research. This study aimed to identify leak-related prognostic factors for mortality, and to develop a Severity of oEsophageal Anastomotic Leak (SEAL) score.

Methods: This international, retrospective cohort study in 71 centres worldwide included patients with AL after oesophagectomy between 2011 and 2019. The primary endpoint was 90-day mortality. Leak-related prognostic factors were identified after adjusting for confounders and were included in multivariable logistic regression to develop the SEAL score. Four classes of leak severity (mild, moderate, severe, and critical) were defined based on the risk of 90-day mortality, and the score was validated internally.

Results: Some 1509 patients with AL were included and the 90-day mortality rate was 11.7 per cent. Twelve leak-related prognostic factors were included in the SEAL score. The score showed good calibration and discrimination (c-index 0.77, 95 per cent c.i. 0.73 to 0.81). Higher classes of leak severity graded by the SEAL score were associated with a significant increase in duration of ICU stay, healing time, Comprehensive Complication Index score, and Esophagectomy Complications Consensus Group classification.

Conclusion: The SEAL score grades leak severity into four classes by combining 12 leak-related predictors and can be used to the assess severity of AL after oesophagectomy.

  • Anastomosis, Surgical / adverse effects
  • Anastomotic Leak / diagnosis
  • Anastomotic Leak / etiology
  • Anastomotic Leak / surgery
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / complications
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Esophagectomy / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Medtronic -
Citation (ISO format)
UBELS, Sander et al. Severity of oEsophageal Anastomotic Leak in patients after oesophagectomy: the SEAL score. In: British journal of surgery, 2022, vol. 109, n° 9, p. 864–871. doi: 10.1093/bjs/znac226
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ISSN of the journal0007-1323

Technical informations

Creation09/29/2022 9:36:00 AM
First validation09/29/2022 9:36:00 AM
Update time03/16/2023 10:27:37 AM
Status update03/16/2023 10:27:33 AM
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