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Factors affecting recurrence after surgery for Crohn's disease.

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  • 1UllevĂ„l Hospital, Oslo, Norway.


The prospect of recurrence following surgery for Crohn's disease (CD) poses an important and difficult problem in routine clinical practice. Out of the 1247 CD patients registered in the OMGE multinational inflammatory bowel disease survey, a high proportion came to surgery. A detailed study has been undertaken of 154 patients (77 who did recur matched with 77 who did not recur) who had undergone surgery for CD. An assessment was made which established a 'risk factor' (RF) for each item of patient information. Findings indicated the risk of recurrence to be higher in patients under 20 years both at onset of disease (RF, 2.2:1) and at time of their operation (RF, 2.7:1) and in patients with distal colonic Crohn's disease (RF, 1.8:1). Histopathologic findings, number of previous operations, and symptomatic status prior to operation did not appear to affect the subsequent risk of recurrence. The margin of clearance at operation appeared to affect further recurrence. Amongst patients with 10cm or more margin of clearance (i.e. histopathologically normal bowel) only 21% recurred during follow-up, versus 50% in those with a smaller margin of clearance.

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