JOURNAL ARTICLE

Risk factors and oncologic impact of anastomotic leakage after rectal cancer surgery

Sang Hun Jung, Chang Sik Yu, Pyong Wha Choi, Dae Dong Kim, In Ja Park, Hee Cheol Kim, Jin Cheon Kim
Diseases of the Colon and Rectum 2008, 51 (6): 902-8
18408971

PURPOSE: The impact of anastomotic leakage on the long-term oncologic outcome is not clear. This retrospective study evaluated risk factors and oncologic impacts of anastomotic leakage after rectal cancer surgery.

METHODS: Data were analyzed from 1,391 patients who underwent sphincter preservation for rectal cancer between January 1997 and August 2003. Operations were classified as anterior resection (n = 164), low anterior resection (n = 898), or ultralow anterior resection (n = 329).

RESULTS: The anastomotic leakage rate was 2.5 percent. Multivariate analysis identified male (hazard ratio, 3.03), old age (hazard ratio, 2.42), and lower anastomosis level (hazard ratio, 2.68) as risk factors for leakage. The local recurrence rates were 9.6 and 2.2 percent for the leakage and nonleakage groups, respectively but were not significant (P = 0.14). The overall five-year survival rates were 55.1 and 74.1 percent in the leakage and nonleakage groups, respectively (P < 0.05), and the cancer-specific survival rates were 63 and 78.3 percent in the leakage and nonleakage groups, respectively (P = 0.05). However, in subgroup analysis, significant differences were identified only in Stage III patients.

CONCLUSIONS: Age, sex, and ultralow anterior resection were found to be risk factors for anastomotic leakage after rectal cancer surgery. In addition, leakage was associated with poor survival.

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