Risk factors for anastomotic leakage after preoperative chemoradiation therapy and low anterior resection with total mesorectal excision for locally advanced rectal cancer

Saúl E Rodríguez-Ramírez, Arizbeth Uribe, Erika Betzabé Ruiz-García, Sonia Labastida, Pedro Luna-Pérez
Revista de Investigación Clínica; Organo del Hospital de Enfermedades de la Nutrición 2006, 58 (3): 204-10

BACKGROUND: Risk factors for anastomotic leakage after preoperative chemoradiation plus low anterior resection and total mesorectal excision remain uncertain.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze, the associated risk factors with colorectal anastomosis leakage following preoperative chemo-radiation therapy and low anterior resection with total mesorectal excision for rectal cancer.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Between January 1992 and December 2000, 92 patients with rectal cancer were treated with 45 Gy of preoperative radiotherapy and bolus infusion of 5-FU 450 mg/m2 on days 1-5 and 28-32, six weeks later low anterior resection was performed. Univariate analysis was performed as to find the risk factors for colorectal anastomotic leakage.

RESULTS: There were 48 males and 44 females, mean age was 55.8 years. Mean tumor location above the anal verge was 7.4 +/- 2.6 cm. Preoperative mean levels of albumin and lymphocytes were 3.8 g/dL and 1,697/microL, respectively. Mean distal margin was 2.9 +/- 1.4 cm. Multivisceral resection was performed in 11 patients (13.8%), 32 patients (35%) had diverting stoma. Mean preoperative hemorrhage was 577 +/- 381 mL, and 27 patients (24%) received blood transfusion. Ten patients (10.9%) had anastomotic leakage. No operative mortality occurred. Risk factors for anastomotic leakage were: gender (male) and tumor size > 4 cm. Three patients of the group without colostomy required a mean of six days in the unit of intensive care; mean time of hospital stay of patients with and without protective colostomy was 12.4 +/- 4.5 days vs. 18.3 +/- 5.2 days (p = 0.01).

CONCLUSION: In male patients with rectal adenocarcinoma measuring > 4 cm, treated by preoperative chemoradiotherapy + low anterior resection with total mesorectal excision, a diverting stoma should be performed to avoid major morbidity due to anastomotic leak.

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