Prognostic factors in thyroid cancer patients following surgical resection: a retrospective study of optimal care strategies for postoperative complications
Keywords prognostic factor, thyroid cancer, impaired calcium metabolism, postoperative hypothyroidism, DPC/PDPS Abstract Background : This study analyzed the effects of four candidate prognostic factors on length of hospital stay among inpatients following thyroid cancer resection; specifically, age ≥ 45 years, cervical lymph node metastasis, impaired calcium metabolism, and postoperative hypothyroidism. Methods : This was a retrospective study reviewing 434 patients' medical and claim records
... and claim records (n=434; male 21.0%/female 79.0%, age: 57.31±13.52). Results : Patients who met one of the four prognostic criteria were more likely to have a longer hospital stay using acute-care beds than corresponding cases negative for these criteria. Regression analysis indicated that patient's length of hospital stay was increased with each factor by the following rates: 1) 14.57% if 45 years or older, 2) 26.24% if positive for cervical lymph node metastasis, 3) 28.79% if positive for impaired calcium metabolism, and 4) 29.95% if positive for postoperative hypothyroidism. Moreover, estimations of cumulative probability of length of hospital stay indicate that: 1) 26.6% of the age≥45 patient group is expected to be discharged by the 7 th day in contrast to 42.9% of age<45 patient group (91.0%,97.4% at 14 th day); 2) 16.1% of the cervical lymph node metastasis patient group is expected to be discharged by the 7 th day in contrast with 30.5% of non-patient group (83.9%,92.8% at 14 th day); 3) 14.8% of the impaired calcium metabolism patient group is expected to be discharged by the 7 th day in contrast with 30.5% of non-patient group (70.4%,93.6% at 14 th day), and 4) 21.4% of the postoperative hypothyroidism patient group is expected to be discharged by the 7 th day in contrast with 29.8% of non-patient group (71.4%,92.9% at 14 th day). Conclusions : Disorders of calcium metabolism and postoperative hypothyroidism were the most likely postoperative complications to occur, yet these are not identified as prognostic factors in the Diagnosis Procedure Combination / Per-Diem Payment System (DPC/PDPS) framework in Japan. The findings suggest that patients with these two conditions should receive care in beds of a lower, sub-acute category, and they should be quickly transferred to such beds or, if possible, to outpatient care.