Accordion severity grading system: assessment of relationship between costs, length of hospital stay, and survival in patients with complications after esophagectomy for cancer

Journal of the American College of Surgeons, 06/12/2012

The Accordion Severity Grading System provides a meaningful approach to classifying complications according to resource use, which also directly correlates with treatment costs and length of stay. Survival is affected by overall occurrence of complications, but was not related to individual Accordion grades in this study. The Accordion Severity Grading System should be a component of prospective data collections and can be used in major cancer surgery to study areas appropriate for quality improvement and cost containment.


  • A retrospective review of patient demographics, perioperative outcomes, and costs was performed using a prospective IRB–approved database of patients undergoing esophagectomy from 2000 to 2008.


  • This study included 285 consecutive patients, 83% were male, and mean age was 63.7 years.
  • Histology was predominantly adenocarcinoma (80%).
  • For patients with invasive cancer, overall survival at 5 years was 50%.
  • Mean overall cost and length of stay were $23,419 and 10.4 days, respectively.
  • Neoadjuvant therapy was used in 156 patients (54.7%) and operative mortality rate was 0.7%.
  • Complications were documented in 144 patients (50.5%), with Accordion grades assigned as 1 (29%), 2 (59%), 3 (3%), 4 (6%), 5 (2%), and 6 (0.7%).
  • Accordion grade was significantly related to costs and length of stay in univariate (p < 0.005) and multivariate analyses (p < 0.005).
  • There was a statistically significant difference in survival between those patients who did and did not experience complications; however, no significant differences were noted among individual Accordion grades.
  • Cox regression multivariate analysis demonstrated a significant relationship between overall survival and occurrence of postoperative complications.

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