Utility of the Surgical Apgar Score in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Academic Article


  • Objectives: To recognize the utility of the surgical Apgar score (SAS) in a noncutaneous head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) population. Study Design: Retrospective case series with chart review. Setting: Academic tertiary medical center. Subjects and Methods: Patients (n = 563) undergoing noncutaneous HNSCC resection between April 2012 and March 2015 were included. Demographics, medical history, intraoperative data, and postoperative hospital summaries were collected. SASs were calculated following the published schema. The primary outcome was 30-day postoperative morbidity. A 2-sample t test, analysis of variance, and χ2 (or Fisher exact) test were used for statistical comparisons. A multivariable logistic regression analysis was conducted to identify independent predictors of 30-day morbidity. Results: Mean SAS was 6.2 ± 1.5. SAS groups did not differ in age, sex, or race. Sixty-five patients (11.6%) had a SAS between 0 and 4, with 40 incidences of morbidity (61.5%), while 31 (5.5%) patients with SAS from 9 to 10 had 3 morbidity occurrences (9.7%). Results show that 30-day postoperative morbidity is inversely related to increasing SAS (P <.0001). Furthermore, lower SAS was associated with significantly increased operative time (SAS 0-4: 9.3 ± 2.6 hours vs SAS 9-10: 3.0 ± 1.1 hours) and lengths of stay (SAS 0-4: 10.0 ± 7.3 days vs SAS 9-10: 1.6 ± 1.0 days), P <.0001. SAS remained highly significant after adjusting for potential confounding variables in the multivariable analysis (P <.0001). Conclusions: An increasing SAS is associated with significantly lower rates of 30-day postoperative morbidities in a noncutaneous HNSCC patient population.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Prince AC; Day KE; Lin CP; Greene BJ; Carroll WR
  • Start Page

  • 466
  • End Page

  • 472
  • Volume

  • 159
  • Issue

  • 3