Long-term outcome of anastomosis leakage after curative resection for mid and low rectal cancer

Shih-Ching Chang, Jen-Kou Lin, Shung Haur Yang, Jen-Kae Jiang, Wei-Chone Chen, Tzu-Chen Lin
Hepato-gastroenterology 2003, 50 (54): 1898-902

BACKGROUND/AIMS: The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship of the disease recurrence and prognosis of rectal cancer with anastomosis leakage after curative low anterior resection.

METHODOLOGY: The records of 566 patients with primary rectal adenocarcinoma in the Veterans General Hospital-Taipei, Taiwan between 1991 and 1997 were reviewed. Patients who did not have anastomosis (abdominoperineal resection 72, Hartmann's operation 15), did not have curative resection (62) or expired within 30 days after operation (11) were excluded from the study. Another 34 patients were excluded because they did not visit our clinic or could not be reached by telephone or questionnaire after operation. 372 patients who received restorative curative resection with a colorectal anastomosis were analyzed. The product-limit method (Kaplan-Meier) and Cox proportional hazard model were used to analyze survival rate and tumor recurrence.

RESULTS: Twenty-five out of the 406 patients had anastomosis leakage after the operation. The 5-year disease-free, local recurrence-free survival of the leakage group (32.5%, 58.7%) was significantly lower than that of the non-leakage group (71%, 88.3%). The multivariate analysis showed TNM staging (p = 0.0001) and histological differentiation (p = 0.0002) were associated with overall tumor recurrence. The factors affected local tumor recurrence were TNM staging (p = 0.006) and anastomosis leakage (p = 0.014).

CONCLUSIONS: These results suggested that anastomotic leakage after curative rectal surgery is associated with the local tumor recurrence-free survival rate even after adjusting for stage.

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