Analysis of the outcome of ileal pouch-anal anastomosis in patients with Crohn's disease

J E Hartley, V W Fazio, F H Remzi, I C Lavery, J M Church, S A Strong, T L Hull, A J Senagore, C P Delaney
Diseases of the Colon and Rectum 2004, 47 (11): 1808-15

PURPOSE: Ileal pouch-anal anastomosis has come to represent the procedure of choice for patients requiring surgery for mucosal ulcerative colitis. In contrast, a proven diagnosis of Crohn's disease is generally held to preclude ileal pouch-anal anastomosis. However, patients with ileal pouch-anal anastomosis for apparent mucosal ulcerative colitis who are subsequently found to have Crohn's disease have a variable course. We reviewed our experience in this scenario to determine whether selected patients with Crohn's disease may be candidates for ileal pouch-anal anastomosis.

METHODS: A retrospective review of the prospectively maintained ileal pouch-anal anastomosis database was undertaken to identify patients with a diagnosis of Crohn's disease after ileal pouch-anal anastomosis. Clinical outcome and quality-of-life data were obtained from the database and chart review. End points were the development of recrudescent Crohn's disease, pouch failure, and quality of life and functional outcome at the time of data collection. Differences between groups were calculated using the chi-squared test. Cumulative incidence of recrudescent Crohn's disease and pouch loss were calculated by the Kaplan-Meier method. Factors predictive of development of recrudescent Crohn's disease and pouch loss were examined by univariate analysis.

RESULTS: Sixty patients (32 females; median age, 33 (range, 15-74) years) who underwent ileal pouch-anal anastomosis for mucosal ulcerative colitis subsequently had that diagnosis revised to Crohn's disease. Median follow-up of all patients was 46 (range, 4-158) months at time of data collection by which time 21 patients (35 percent) had developed recrudescent Crohn's disease. No pre-ileal pouch-anal anastomosis factors examined were predictors of the development of recrudescent Crohn's disease on univariate analysis. Median follow-up of the latter group was 63 (range, 0-132) months from time of diagnosis, by which time six patients underwent pouch excision and another patient was permanently defunctioned. The overall pouch loss rate for the entire cohort was 12 percent and 33 percent for those with recrudescent Crohn's disease. Median daily bowel movements in those with ileal pouch-anal anastomosis in situ at the time of data collection was 7 (range, 3-20), with 50 percent of patients rarely or never experiencing urgency and 59 percent reporting perfect or near perfect continence. Median quality of life, health, and happiness scores were 9.9 and 10 of 10.

CONCLUSIONS: The secondary diagnosis of Crohn's disease after ileal pouch-anal anastomosis is associated with protracted freedom from clinically evident Crohn's disease, low pouch loss rate, and good functional outcome. Such results only can be improved by the continued development of medical strategies for the long-term suppression of Crohn's disease. These data support a prospective evaluation of ileal pouch-anal anastomosis in selected patients with Crohn's disease.

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