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World J Surg. 2013 Dec;37(12):2935-43. doi: 10.1007/s00268-013-2194-3.

Effect of left colonic artery preservation on anastomotic leakage in laparoscopic anterior resection for middle and low rectal cancer.

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Department of Gastroenterological and Transplant Surgery, Applied Life Sciences, Institute of Biomedical & Health Sciences, Hiroshima University, 1-2-3 Kasumi, Minami-ku, Hiroshima, 734-8551, Japan,



High morbidity rates related to anastomotic leakage and other factors restrict the application of laparoscopic rectal excision. The aim of the present study was to assess the effect of left colonic artery (LCA) preservation on postoperative complications after laparoscopic rectal excision.


Data from 888 patients from 28 leading hospitals in Japan who underwent laparoscopic-assisted sphincter-preserving resection of middle and low rectal cancers between 1994 and 2006 were analyzed. The effects of LCA preservation were analyzed among all anterior resection (AR) cases (n = 888) and among AR cases with radical lymph node excision (n = 411).


Among all AR cases, the tumor size, number of lymph nodes collected with evidence of metastasis, TNM factor, and TNM staging were smaller in the LCA preservation group. Regarding complications, the rate of anastomotic leak was significantly higher in the LCA non-preservation group among all AR cases, as well as among AR cases with radical lymph node excision. Nevertheless, there was no difference in survival rate between LCA preservation group and non-preservation group, as measured by the Kaplan-Meier method.


Our data suggest that the preservation of the LCA in laparoscopic AR for middle and low rectal cancer is associated with lower anastomotic leak rates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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