Background: Neutrophil:lymphocyte ratio (NLR) is an emerging biomarker that is used to predict postoperative mortality and morbidity in cardiac and cancer surgeries. The association of this biomarker with systemic illness and its usefulness in risk assessment of preoperative patients has not been fully elucidated.
Objectives: To determine the prevalence of elevated NLR in preoperative patients and to examine the relationship between elevated NLR and the presence of systemic illnesses as well as anaesthesia risk indices such as American Society of Anesthesia (ASA) and the revised cardiac risk index (RCRI) scores.
Design: Cross-sectional study
Setting: Anaesthesia pre-admission clinic, Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, Canada
Patients: We evaluated 1117 pre-operative patients seen at an anesthesia preadmission clinic.
Results: NLR was elevated (>3.3) in 26.6% of target population. In multivariate analysis, congestive cardiac failure, diabetes mellitus and malignancy were independent risk factors predicting raised NLR. After regression analysis, a relationship between NLR and ASA score (Odds Ratio 1.78; 95% CI: 1.42-2.24) and revised cardiac risk index (RCRI, odds ratio 1.33; 95% CI: 1.09-1.64, p-value: 0.0063) was observed.
Conclusions: NLR was elevated (> 3.3) in 26.6% of patients. Congestive cardiac failure and malignancy were two constant predictors of elevated NLR at >3.3 and > 4.5. There was a strong association between NLR and anesthesia risk scoring tools of ASA and RCRI.