Abstract Hypocholesterolemia seems to represent a significant predictive factor of morbidity and mortality in critically ill patients. The authors, on the basis of recent literature data, aim to clarify the possible correlation between preoperative hypocholesterolemia and the risk of septic postoperative complications .205 patients undergoing to surgery for gastrointestinal diseases were the object of the study. Patients undergoing "minor" abdominal surgery or video-laparoscopic surgery and classified ASA III-IV were excluded. In all the patients, we considered retrospectively risk factors for postoperative septic complications as follows: preoperative blood concentration of cholesterol, malnutrition, obesity, diabetes, neoplasm, preoperative sepsis, type and duration of operations, antibiotics and regimen of use. Type and incidence of postoperative local or systemic septic complications were recorded. The patients have been stratified according to blood concentration of cholesterol and to the presence or absence of other risk factors. The incidence of postoperative sepsis was 35.1%. The highest incidence of postoperative septic complications (72.7%) was encountered, significantly (X2 = 7.6, p < 0.001), in the patients (11 cases, 5.9%) with cholesterol levels below 105 mg/dl). The results of this study seems to indicate a significant relationship between preoperative hypocholesterolemia and the incidence of septic complications after surgery. Moreover, evaluation of blood cholesterol levels before major surgery might represent a predictive factor of septic risk in the postoperative period.
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