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World J Surg. 2000 Jul;24(7):851-6.

Risk factors and true incidence of pouchitis in patients after ileal pouch-anal anastomoses.

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  • 1Section of General, Thoracic, and Vascular Surgery, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA 98111, USA.


Total colectomy, mucosal proctectomy, and ileal J pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA) has become the procedure of choice for patients with ulcerative colitis and familial adenomatous polyposis. The purpose of this study was to determine the short- and long-term outcomes of patients undergoing IPAA by a single surgeon, correlating intraoperative technical aspects with outcomes, and to characterize better the clinical syndrome of pouchitis. A retrospective review was performed of 114 consecutive patients who underwent IPAA by a single surgeon between December 1987 and August 1996. Clinical follow-up and operative notes were reviewed, and patient questionnaires were obtained for all patients. The mean follow-up was 3 years (range 0.5-8.0 years). The average age of the patients was 39 years (range 16-72 years). There were 64 males and 50 females. Indications for operation were ulcerative colitis (n = 101) and familial polyposis coli (n = 13). Long-term morbidity occurred in 41% of patients (small bowel obstruction 10%, anastomotic stricture 9%). Pouch excision was required in only three patients. Stool frequency (mean +/- SE) was 6.1 +/- 0.2 and did not change with duration of follow-up. Only 7% of patients reported fecal soilage. The incidence of pouchitis was 59% (n = 67), with 4.2 +/- 0.3 episodes of pouchitis per patient. Using multivariate analysis, the factors significantly associated with the incidence of pouchitis were gender (p = 0.008) and duration of follow-up (p = 0. 02). A total of 37 of 50 women (74%) but only 30 of 64 men (47%) developed pouchitis. The incidence of pouchitis increased with the duration of follow-up. The incidences of pouchitis in patients followed for 6 months, 1 year, and 3 years were 25%, 37%, and 50%, respectively. Of patients followed more than 6 years, the incidence of pouchitis was 94% (15/16). There was not a significant correlation between anastomotic tension or the extent of arterial dissection of the ileal mesentery required to achieve IPAA and the incidence of pouchitis. The best antibiotics for pouchitis were metronidazole (54% of patients) and ciprofloxacin (37%). Eleven patients have required nearly continuous antibiotics. Patient satisfaction with the outcome is high, with a mean satisfaction of 8. 4 (0, dissatisfied; 10, extremely satisfied). This review demonstrates a high incidence of pouchitis in patients after IPAA, which is due to the more liberal definition of the syndrome and the complete follow-up achieved in this report compared to previous series. This study also is unique in identifying the significantly higher incidence of pouchitis in women, although the overall satisfaction with the clinical outcome in patients undergoing IPAA remains high.

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