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OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to determine the relationship between early postoperative nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) administration and postoperative acute kidney injury (AKI) and anastomotic leak. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: NSAIDs have analgesic, opioid-sparing, and anti-inflammatory effects. However, their postoperative use is limited by concerns around increased risk of AKI and anastomotic leak. METHODS: A secondary analysis of a multicenter, prospective cohort study including patients undergoing elective or emergency major gastrointestinal surgery from September to December 2015 across 173 hospitals in the United Kingdom and ireland. Exposure to early postoperative NSAIDs was defined as NSAID administration on postoperative days 0 to 3. The primary outcome was the 7-day postoperative AKI rate. Propensity score matching was used to balance treatment groups and estimate treatment effects that are presented as odds ratios, alongside the corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI). RESULTS: Overall 19.8% (1039/5240) of patients received early NSAIDs. AKI rates were 10.6% in the early NSAID group and 14.9% in the no NSAID group. The anastomotic leak rate in patients who received an anastomosis was 4.8% in the NSAIDs group and 6.0% in the no NSAIDs group. Following propensity score matching, early use of NSAIDs was not significantly associated with AKI (adjusted odds ratio 0.80, 95% CI 0.63-1.00, P = 0.057). This finding was consistent in subgroup analyses by NSAID dosage and timing. In patients who had a gastrointestinal anastomosis, NSAIDs were not associated with anastomotic leak (adjusted odds ratio 0.85, 95% CI 0.58-1.21, P = 0.382). CONCLUSIONS: Administration of NSAIDs in the early postoperative period is safe in selected patients following major gastrointestinal surgery.

Original publication




Journal article


Ann surg

Publication Date





904 - 910


Acute Kidney Injury, Anastomotic Leak, Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal, Cohort Studies, Digestive System Surgical Procedures, Female, Humans, Male, Prospective Studies