Comparison of long-term functional results of colonic J-pouch and straight anastomosis after low anterior resection for rectal cancer: a five-year follow-up

Jin-ichi Hida, Takehito Yoshifuji, Tadao Tokoro, Kiyohiko Inoue, Tomohiko Matsuzaki, Kiyotaka Okuno, Hitoshi Shiozaki, Masayuki Yasutomi
Diseases of the Colon and Rectum 2004, 47 (10): 1578-85

PURPOSE: Few reports on the long-term functional outcome of colonic J-pouch reconstruction have been published, and data comparing J-pouch and straight reconstruction are contradictory. This prospective study compares the functional outcome of colonic J-pouch and straight anastomosis five years after low anterior resection for rectal cancer.

METHODS: Functional outcome was compared in 46 patients with J-pouch reconstruction (J-group) and 48 patients with straight anastomosis (S-group). Clinical status was evaluated with a 17-item questionnaire inquiring about different aspects of bowel function. Reservoir function was evaluated by manovolumetry. The Fisher's exact test and Wilcoxon's rank-sum test were used to compare categoric and quantitative data, respectively.

RESULTS: Among patients with an ultralow anastomosis (< or = 4 cm from the anal verge), the number of bowel movements during the day (> or = 5, 4.3 vs. 29.2 percent; P = 0.028) and at night (> 1/week, 4.3 vs. 33.3 percent; P = 0.013) and urgency (4.3 vs. 33.3 percent; P = 0.013) and soiling (21.7 vs. 50.0 percent; P = 0.043) were less in the J-group than in the S-group. Among patients with a low anastomosis (5 to 8 cm from the verge), patients in the J-group had fewer bowel movements at night (> 1/week, 0 vs. 20.8 percent; P = 0.028) and less urgency (0 vs. 20.8 percent; P = 0.028). Reservoir function was better in the J-group than in the S-group in both the ultralow (maximum tolerable volume (mean), 101.7 vs. 76.3 ml; P = 0.004; threshold volume (mean), 46.5 vs. 30.4 ml; P < 0.001; compliance (mean), 4.9 vs. 2.5 ml/cm H2O; P < 0.001) and low-anastomosis (maximum tolerable volume, 120.4 vs. 97.9 ml; P < 0.001; threshold volume, 58.3 vs. 40.8 ml; P < 0.001; compliance, 5.2 vs. 3.1 ml/cm H2O; P < 0.001) groups.

CONCLUSIONS: J-pouch reconstruction increased reservoir function and provided better functional outcome than straight anastomosis, even five years after surgery, especially in patients whose anastomosis is less than 4 cm from the anal verge.

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