Primary anastomosis vs Hartmann's procedure in patients undergoing emergency left colectomy for perforated diverticulitis

U Zingg, I Pasternak, M Dietrich, B Seifert, D Oertli, U Metzger
Colorectal Disease: the Official Journal of the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland 2010, 12 (1): 54-60

OBJECTIVE: Comparison of primary anastomosis (PA) and Hartmann's procedure (HP) in perforated diverticulitis is biased as the patient groups are different in age, comorbidity and severity of disease. Still, PA has been advocated as the procedure of choice. The aim of this study was to compare the two surgical procedures after eliminating this selection bias using a propensity score model.

METHOD: Sixty-five HP and 46 PA patients who underwent emergency laparotomy for perforated diverticulitis were analysed. Multivariate logistic regression using the Mannheim peritonitis index, Colorectal Physiological and Operative Severity Score for the enUmeration of Mortality and Morbidity, Charlson comorbidity index and Hinchey score was performed to determine the propensity score.

RESULTS: Patients with HP had significantly higher scores, median age and were more often on immunosuppressive medication. Unadjusted logistic regression for outcome showed a significant risk of HP vs PA for nonsurgical morbidity (odds ratio 3.25, 95% CI: 1.26-8.43; P = 0.015), but not for mortality and surgical morbidity. After adjusting for the propensity score, outcome was not significantly different. Patients with PA had a clinical leak rate of 28% and none of the patients with leakage had a protective ileostomy. Patients with PA and leak had higher Charlson scores whereas all other scores were similar to nonleak patients.

CONCLUSION: The theory that PA is generally superior to HP cannot be supported. HP remains a safe technique for emergency colectomy in perforated diverticulitis, especially in elderly patients with multiple comorbidities. If PA is performed, a protective ileostomy must be considered.

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