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Dis Colon Rectum. 1996 May;39(5):504-8.

Effect of systemic steroids on ileal pouch-anal anastomosis in patients with ulcerative colitis.

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  • 1Department of Colorectal Surgery, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ohio, USA.



Long-term steroid therapy predisposes to postsurgical complications, especially in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.


This study was undertaken to determine incidence of early septic complications after ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA) in patients who are undergoing prolonged steroid therapy.


We reviewed charts of 692 patients undergoing restorative proctocolectomy and IPAA to treat ulcerative colitis. Incidence of early (within 30 days) septic complications and sepsis-related reoperations, in patients who were having high-dose (>20 mg of prednisone per day) and low-dose steroid therapy (<20 mg of prednisone per day) for more than one month before surgery, was compared with patients who were not receiving steroid therapy. Follow-up included an annual questionnaire and physical examination.


Patients without steroid dose data recorded were excluded (n = 21). Of the 671 remaining patients, 310 received no steroids, 169 received low-dose steroids, and 192 received high-dose steroids. These three groups were similar in gender composition, age at surgery, types of anastomosis (stapled or handsewn), and incidence of diabetes mellitus, peripheral vascular disease, and obesity. Early septic complications were found in 18 (6 percent), 14 (8 percent), and 12 (6 percent) patients without steroid therapy, those having low-dose steroid therapy, and those having high-dose steroid therapy (P = 0.57), respectively. Sepsis- related reoperation rate (P = 0.73) and number of sepsis-related pouch excisions (P = 0.79) did not differ between groups. In patients undergoing IPAA without ileostomy, early septic complications were found in one (3.8 percent), two (20 percent), and five (50 percent) patients without steroid treatment, low-dose steroid therapy, and high-dose steroid therapy (P = 0.004), respectively.


In patients who are undergoing IPAA with diversion for ulcerative colitis, prolonged systemic steroid therapy before surgery is not associated with increased septic complications.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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