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Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2017 Apr;18(3):350-356. doi: 10.1089/sur.2016.222. Epub 2017 Feb 23.

Predicting Value of Serum Procalcitonin, C-Reactive Protein, Drain Fluid Culture, Drain Fluid Interleukin-6, and Tumor Necrosis Factor-α Levels in Anastomotic Leakage after Rectal Resection.

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1 Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty, Department of General Surgery, Istanbul University , Istanbul, Turkey .
2 Medical Faculty, Department of General Surgery, Acibadem University , Istanbul, Turkey .
3 Clinical Laboratory, Koc University Hospital , Istanbul, Turkey .
4 Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Microbiology, Bahcesehir University , Istanbul, Turkey .
5 Istanbul Medical Faculty, Department of Biostatistics, Istanbul University , Istanbul, Turkey .



Anastomotic leak is the most dreaded septic complication of colorectal surgical procedures. Death is proportional to the time between occurrence and diagnosis of the leakage. Biomarkers, which may help to predict anastomotic leakage before appearance of its clinical features, may be beneficial in preventing adverse outcomes. This study investigates a biomarker that might be useful to predict rectal anastomotic leakage before its clinical presentation.


Serum procalcitonin and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, bacterial proliferation, interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) levels of drain fluid were evaluated in 50 consecutive patients who underwent low anterior resection without diverting ostomy for rectal carcinoma.


Anastomotic leakage occurred in seven of 50 (14%) patients. Serum CRP and procalcitonin levels at post-operative day three were higher in patients with anastomotic leakage (p = 0.01, p = 0.02 respectively). Drain TNF-α values were increased 63.2% on post-operative day five when compared with post-operative day three in patients with anastomotic leakage, but were decreased in patients without leakage. There was no statistical difference for drain IL-6 levels between groups. The bacterial proliferation rate of drain fluid culture in the leakage group was 42.9% at post-operative day three and 85.7% at post-operative day five (p = 0.29 and p = 0.0001, respectively).


High serum CRP and procalcitonin values on post-operative day three are alarming, and assessment of anastomotic leakage by abdominal imaging with rectal contrast is suggested. In addition, increasing levels of TNF-α and bacterial proliferation in drain fluid are predictive, whereas IL-6 is not.


C-reactive protein; drain fluid culture; interleukin-6; procalcitonin; rectal anastomotic leakage; tumor necrosis factor-α

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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