Trends in Diverting Loop Ileostomy vs Total Abdominal Colectomy as Surgical Management for Clostridium Difficile Colitis

Yen-Yi Juo, Yas Sanaiha, Ziyad Jabaji, Peyman Benharash
JAMA Surgery 2019 July 3

Importance: Diverting loop ileostomy and colonic lavage has generated much interest since it was first reported as a potential alternative to total abdominal colectomy for treating Clostridium difficile colitis in 2011. To our knowledge, few studies have validated the benefit reported in the initial description, and the association of this new approach with practice patterns has not been described.

Objective: To examine the national adoption pattern and outcomes of diverting loop ileostomy vs total abdominal colectomy as treatment for fulminant C difficile colitis.

Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective cohort study used data from hospitals participating in the National Inpatient Sample database across the United States from January 2011 to September 2015 and included 3021 adult patients who underwent surgery for C difficile colitis during the study period, comprising 2408 subtotal colectomies and 613 loop ileostomies. The data were analyzed between November 2018 and April 2019.

Exposures: Loop ileostomy as surgery of choice.

Main Outcomes and Measures: In-hospital mortality.

Results: Of 2408 participants, 1416 (58.8%) were women, 1781 (78.4%) were white, and 627 (21.6%) were individuals of color and the mean (SD) age was 68.2 (14.8) years. During the overall study period, 613 patients (20.28%) underwent diverting loop ileostomy without total abdominal colectomy. The annual proportion of patients undergoing only diversion increased from 11.16% in 2011 to 25.30% in 2015. Significantly more loop ileostomies were performed within the first day of hospitalization, in contrast to subtotal colectomies (23.31% vs 12.21%; P < .01). There was no significant difference in in-hospital mortality rates between the 2 groups (25.98% vs 31.18%; P = .28).

Conclusions and Relevance: This study demonstrates the adoption of diverting loop ileostomy to treat C difficile colitis across the United States. While fulminant C difficile colitis remains a condition with high mortality rates, no significant difference in this outcome was observed between loop ileostomy and total abdominal colectomy. Loop ileostomy may represent a viable surgical alternative to total abdominal colectomy, although the grounds for selection of treatment need to be clarified.


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