PURPOSE: Pouchitis and Crohn's-like complications can plague patients after IPAA. NOD2 is an intracellular sensor for bacterial cell wall peptidoglycan. NOD2 mutations compromise host response to enteric bacteria and are increased in Crohn's disease. We hypothesize that IPAA patients with complications (Crohn's disease-like/pouchitis) have a higher rate of NOD2 mutations compared with asymptomatic IPAA patients.
METHODS: Patients were retrospectively subclassified into the following groups: 1) IPAA with Crohn's-like complications (n = 28, perianal fistula, pouch inlet stricture/upstream small-bowel disease, or biopsies showing granulomata) occurring at least 6 months after ileostomy closure; 2) IPAA with mild pouchitis (n = 33, ≤3 episodes/y for 2 consecutive years); 3) IPAA with severe pouchitis (n = 9, ≥4 episodes/y for 2 consecutive years or need for continuous antibiotics); 4) IPAA without complications or pouchitis (n = 37); 5) patients with Crohn's disease with colitis undergoing total proctocolectomy/ileostomy (n = 11); and 6) healthy controls (n = 269). The 3 NOD2 single-nucleotide polymorphism mutations (rs2066844, rs2066845, and rs2066847) previously identified as associated with Crohn's disease were genotyped using polymerase chain reaction. Groups were compared by use of χ2 with Yates continuity correction.
RESULTS: NOD2 mutations were found in 8.5% of healthy controls. NOD2 mutations were significantly higher in the severe pouchitis group (67%) compared with both asymptomatic IPAA (5.4%, P < .001) and IPAA with Crohn's disease-like complications (14.3%, P = .008) groups.
CONCLUSIONS: 1) Asymptomatic IPAA patients have a low incidence of NOD2 mutations not significantly different from patients with mild pouchitis or healthy controls. 2) Patients with severe pouchitis had the highest incidence of NOD2 mutations, suggesting that this group may have a compromised host defense mechanism to enteric bacteria. 3) Patients with Crohn's-like complications after IPAA have a significantly lower incidence of NOD2 mutations than patients with severe pouchitis, suggesting a different genetic makeup in these 2 patient groups. Preoperative assessment of NOD2 in the equivocal IPAA candidate may predict severe pouchitis and might assist in preoperative surgical decision making.