BackgroundFollowing oesophagectomy, the most concerning complication is that of anastomotic leak (AL). Prompt diagnosis and intervention are crucial to facilitate an optimal outcome. Other complications, particularly respiratory, are not infrequent. Early identification of AL versus other sources of the inflammatory response can be problematic.AimsTo evaluate the role of serial CRP as a prognosticator for oesophagogastric AL.MethodsAll oesophagectomies carried out at our institution from 2010 to 2017 were included. Serial C-reactive protein (CRP) and white cell count (WCC) were recorded pre-operatively and on each consecutive day up to day 10 post-op. All complications were recorded and the timing of diagnosis compared with serial CRP and WCC measurements to determine any correlation.ResultsOne hundred and two patients underwent oesophagectomy (84 male, 18 female) with a mean age of 62.5 years (9.8). Forty-seven patients developed post-operative complications, with pulmonary (n=28) the most common. There were 5 cases of AL. Patients in the AL group (n=5) had a significantly higher mean CRP compared to those who did not develop AL (n=97) pre-operatively (50 vs. 14, p=0.046), on post-op day 3 (300 vs. 218, p=0.02) and on post-op day 4 (279 vs. 184, p=0.009). There was no significant difference in mean daily CRP between patients with pulmonary complications (PC, n=29) and those who did not develop complications (NC, n=54).Conclusionsp id=ParElevated CRP may be a useful marker in facilitating the prompt diagnosis of AL following oesophagectomy. Serial CRP may not contribute to identifying lower respiratory tract infections, partly as a result of the pro-inflammatory response following surgery.