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Dis Colon Rectum. 1994 Jan;37(1):12-5.

Colonic anastomoses: bursting strength after corticosteroid treatment.

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Department of Surgery, Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, Nebraska.



This study was designed to determine the effect of corticosteroids on healing colonic anastomoses.


Bursting pressure measurements were performed on 108 male albino rats receiving corticosteroid treatment. Twelve animals were sacrificed at time zero to determine the bursting pressure of nonoperated, nonsteroid-treated colon. The remaining 96 animals underwent division and reanastomosis of their midtransverse colon. They were then separated into four groups of 24 each. Twelve animals in each group received steroid treatment while the remaining 12 acted as controls. The groups were sacrificed at 4, 6, 8, and 20 days. The bursting pressures of the anastomoses were then noted.


There was no significant difference in bursting strength between treated animals and controls at four days (P = 0.27). A significant difference occurred at 6, 8, and 20 days (P = 0.01, 0.003, 0.009, respectively). The colonic bursting pressure of operated controls returned to that of a normal, nonoperated colon by 20 days.


This study demonstrates that steroids do have an adverse effect on colonic anastomotic healing.

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