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Rev Invest Clin. 2001 Sep-Oct;53(5):388-95.

Morbidity and mortality following abdominoperineal resection for low rectal adenocarcinoma.

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Colorectal Service, Surgical Oncology Department, Hospital de Oncologiía, Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXI, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS), México, D. F.



Abdominoperineal resection (APR) has been the standard treatment of low rectal cancer, but it is associated with significant morbidity and mortality.


To analyze the morbidity and mortality rates associated with this surgical procedure performed at a tertiary-level cancer center.


From 1995-1999, 137 patients with rectal cancer located between 0 and 8 cm from the anal verge underwent APR. Covariates were analyzed mean chi 2 and those favorable or adverse covariates affecting the perineal infection and recurrences were analyzed by logistic regression analysis.


There were 78 males and 59 females, with a mean age of 57.4 +/- 14.6 years. Mean intraoperative hemorrhage was 739 +/- 547 mL; 51 (37.2%) patients received blood transfusion. Seventy-two patients received preoperative radiotherapy (PRT): 22, postoperative chemo-radiation therapy; 21, PRT + chemotherapy, and 22, APR only. Seventeen patients (12.4%) had major complications and 47 (34.3%) had minor complications. Twenty patients (14.6%) developed perineal wound infection. The main factors influencing these complications were administration of PRT +/- chemotherapy and age over 55 years. Operative mortality was 0.7%. Median follow-up was 32 months. Twelve patients (8.8%) had local recurrence and 35 (25.7%) had distant recurrence. Overall five-year survival was 75%.


APR is a surgical procedure associated with significant morbidity but low postoperative surgical mortality. The main cause of morbidity was perineal would infection influenced by administration of PRT +/- chemotherapy and age over 55 years. However, this treatment association is linked with low rate of local recurrence.

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