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Dig Liver Dis. 2015 Jun;47(6):465-9. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2015.02.007. Epub 2015 Feb 23.

Endo-sponge therapy for management of anastomotic leakages after colorectal surgery: A case series and review of literature.

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Department of Gastroenterology, IRCCS Istituto Clinico Humanitas, Milan, Italy.
Gastronterology and Digestive Endoscopy, 'Nuovo Regina Margherita' Hospital, Rome, Italy. Electronic address:
Gastronterology and Digestive Endoscopy, 'Nuovo Regina Margherita' Hospital, Rome, Italy.



Endo-sponge treatment is a novel approach to manage selected patients with anastomotic leakage following colorectal surgery. However, the available data are still scanty.


To evaluate the efficacy and safety of the endo-sponge therapy in a large series, and to perform a review of the current evidence concerning such a treatment.


Consecutive patients diagnosed with partial colonic anastomotic leakage managed with endo-sponge placement were enrolled. The endo-sponge system was changed every 48-72 h as outpatient, until to cavity closure. Literature review was performed for pooled-data analysis.


Twenty-five patients were enrolled, including 13 (52%) with diverting ileostomy. Following endo-sponge applications (median sessions: 9, range: 1-39; median treatment duration: 4 weeks, range: 1-32), a complete healing was achieved in 22 (88%) patients. Three (12%) patients developed a major complication (1 uretheric fistula, 1 ileal fistula, and 1 pararectal abscess), all successfully treated by surgery. Ileostomy closure was achieved in 11 (84.6%) patients. No mortality related to the procedure was observed. Overall, 174 patients treated with endo-sponge were reported in literature. By considering data of the larger 7 studies, a complete healing of presacral cavity was achieved in 131 (94.3%) out of 149 patients.


Our relatively large series of patients confirmed the efficacy, tolerability, and an acceptably low complication rate of endo-sponge therapy for colorectal anastomosis leakage treatment.


Anastomotic leakage; Colon surgery; Endo-sponge; Endoscopic treatment

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