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Am Surg. 2013 Oct;79(10):1058-63.

Predictive risk factors of early postoperative enteric fistula in colon and rectal surgery.

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Department of Surgery, University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, Irvine, California, USA.


Early postoperative enteric fistula (PEF) is a complication associated with a high rate of morbidity and mortality in colon and rectal surgery. We evaluated the effect of patient characteristics, comorbidities, pathology, resection type, surgical technique, lysis of adhesions, and admission type on the rate of PEF in colorectal surgery. Using the National Inpatient Sample database, we examined the clinical data of patients who underwent colon and rectal resection from 2009 to 2010. A total of 646,414 patients underwent colorectal resection during this period. Overall, the rate of PEF was 0.37 per cent (2407 patients). Using multivariate regression analysis, Crohn's disease (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 4.68), lysis of abdominal adhesions (AOR, 4.25), open procedure (AOR, 3.18), and transverse colectomy (AOR, 2.13) significantly impacted the risk of PEF. Although teaching hospitals (AOR, 1.69), obesity (AOR, 1.40), male gender (AOR, 1.30), emergent surgery (AOR, 1.27), age older than 65 years (AOR, 1.24), and diabetes mellitus (AOR, 1.21) also had statistically significant impact on rates of PEF, these were less clinically significant than the other factors. The presence of Crohn's disease and lysis of abdominal adhesions are strongly associated with the development of PEF after colorectal surgery. Laparoscopic surgery was associated with a lower rate of PEF; further studies would be needed to evaluate the importance of this finding.

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