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Emerging trends and risk factors for perianal surgery in Crohn’s disease: a 20-year national population-based cohort study

Chhaya, Vivek; Saxena, Sonia; Cecil, Elizabeth; Subramanian, Venkataraman; Curcin, Vasa; Majeed, Azeem; Pollok, Richard C.

European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology: August 2016 - Volume 28 - Issue 8 - p 890–895
doi: 10.1097/MEG.0000000000000651
Original Articles: Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Background Little is known about the rates of perianal surgery (PAS) in Crohn’s disease (CD). Our aim was to determine trends in PAS, the timing of surgery relative to the diagnosis of CD and to identify subgroups at risk of PAS.

Materials and methods We identified 9391 incident cases of CD between 1989 and 2009. We defined three eras: era 1 (1989–1995), era 2 (1996–2002) and era 3 (2003–2009), and determined trends in procedure type and the time to first PAS relative to the date of diagnosis. We used Kaplan–Meier analysis to calculate the rate of first PAS and performed Cox regression to determine subgroups at risk of PAS.

Results Among the 9391 incident cases of CD, 405 (4.3%) underwent PAS. The overall rate of PAS was 5.5% [95% confidence interval (CI): 4.9–6.2%] 10 years after diagnosis. 34% (n=137) of all patients undergoing PAS had surgery in the 5 years before CD diagnosis. Abscess drainage increased from 34 to 58%, whereas proctectomy decreased from 16 to 6% between eras 1 and 3, respectively. Men [hazard rate (HR) 1.51, 95% CI: 1.24–1.84], those aged 17–40 years (HR 1.69, 95% CI: 1.09–2.02 vs. those aged >40 years) and those with a history of previous intestinal resection (HR 28.5, 95% CI: 22.2–36.5) were more likely to have PAS.

Conclusion Around one-third of patients have a PAS in the 5 years preceding their diagnosis of CD. Surgical practice has changed over 20 years, with a decrease in proctectomy and a concurrent increase in abscess drainage that is likely to reflect improvements in therapeutic practice.

aDepartment of Gastroenterology, St George’s University Hospital

bDepartment of Primary Care and Public Health, Imperial College

cDepartment of Primary Care and Public Health Sciences, King’s College, London

dDepartment of Gastroenterology, St James University Hospital, Leeds, UK

Correspondence to Richard C. Pollok, MBBS, FRCP, BSc, PhD, DTM&H, Department of Gastroenterology, St George’s University Hospital NHS Trust, Blackshaw Road, SW17 0QT London, UK Tel: +44 20 8725 1206; fax: +44 20 8725 0830; e-mail:

Received January 13, 2016

Accepted March 14, 2016

Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.