The effect of frailty on post-operative outcomes and health care expenditures in patients treated with partial nephrectomy

Published: January 7, 2022
Category: Bibliography
Authors: Alberto Briganti, Alberto Martini, Alessandro Larcher, Alexandre Mottrie, Andrea Salonia, Carlo Andrea Bravi, Chiara Re, Elio Mazzone, Francesco Montorsi, Gabriele Sorce, Gianfranco Baiamonte, Giuseppe Fallara, Giuseppe Rosiello, Pierre I. Karakiewicz, Roberto Bertini, Umberto Capitanio, Zhe Tian
Countries: United States
Language: English
Types: chronic condition, Outcomes, Surgical Care
Settings: Government



To examine the effect of frailty on short-term post-operative outcomes and total hospital charges (THCs) in patients with non-metastatic renal cell carcinoma, treated with partial nephrectomy (PN).


Within the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) database we identified 25,545 patients treated with PN from 2000 to 2015. We used the Johns Hopkins Adjusted Clinical Groups (ACG) frailty-defining indicator and we examined the rates of frailty over time, as well as its effect on overall complications, major complications, blood transfusions, non-home-based discharge, length of stay (LOS) and THCs. Time trends and multivariable logistic, Poisson and linear regression models were applied.


Overall, 3574 (14.0%) patients were frail, 2677 (10.5%) were older than 75 years and 2888 (11.3%) had Charlson comorbidity index (CCI) ≥ 2. However, the vast majority of frail patients were neither elderly nor comorbid (83%). Rates of frail patients treated with PN increased over time, from 8.3 in 2000 to 18.1% in 2015 (all p < 0.001). Frail patients showed higher rates of overall complications (43.5 vs. 30.3%), major complications (16.6 vs. 9.8%), blood transfusions (11.6 vs 8.3%) and non-home-based discharge (9.9 vs. 5.4%). longer LOS [4 (IQR: 3–6) vs. 4 (IQR: 2–5) days] and higher THCs ($43,906 vs. $38,447 – all p < 0.001). Moreover, frailty status independently predicted overall complications (OR: 1.73), major complications (OR: 1.63), longer LOS (RR: 1.07) and higher THCs (RR: +$7506). Finally, a dose-response on the risk of suboptimal surgical outcomes was shown in patients with multiple risk factors.


One out of seven patients is frail at time of surgery and this rate is on the rise. Moreover, frailty is associated with adverse outcomes after PN. In consequence, preoperative assessment of frailty status should be implemented, to identify patients who may benefit from pre- or postoperative measures aimed at improving surgical outcomes in this patient population.

National inpatient sample database,Renal cell carcinoma,Partial nephrectomy,Post-operative complications,Johns Hopkins frailty indicator

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