Total proctocolectomy and ileal pouch anal anastomosis (IPAA) is the preferred operation for patients with chronic ulcerative colitis (CUC) refractory to medical therapy. Infliximab (IFX), an antitumor necrosis factor−α antibody, has demonstrated efficacy in medical management of CUC. The aim of this study is to determine if IFX before IPAA impacts short-term outcomes.
A prospective institutional database was retrospectively reviewed for short-term complications after IPAA for CUC. Postoperative outcomes were compared between patients who received pre-IPAA IFX and those who did not.
Between 2002 and 2005, 47 patients received IFX before IPAA, and 254 patients received none. There were no gender (p = 0.16) or body mass index (p = 0.07) differences between groups. IFX patients were younger than non-IFX patients (mean age 28.1 to 39.3 years) (p < 0.001). In IFX patients, 70% were receiving preoperative IFX, azathioprine, and corticosteroids. Mortality was nil. Overall surgical morbidity was similar: 61.7% and 48.8%, IFX and non-IFX, respectively (p = 0.10). Anastomotic leaks (p = 0.02), pouch-specific (p = 0.01) and infectious (p < 0.01) complications were more common in IFX patients. Multivariable analysis revealed IFX as the only factor independently associated with infectious complications (odds ratio [OR] = 3.5; CI, 1.6−7.5). In a separate analysis, incorporating age, high-dose corticosteroids, azathioprine, and severity of colitis, IFX remained significantly associated with infectious complications (OR = 2.7; CI, 1.1−6.7).
CUC patients treated with IFX before IPAA have substantially increased the odds of postoperative pouch-related and infectious complications. Additional prospective studies are required to determine if IFX alone or other factors contribute to the observed increases in infectious complications.
Abbreviations and Acronyms: 5-ASA: 5-aminosalicylic acid; AZA: azathioprine; CUC: chronic ulcerative colitis; IFX: infliximab; IPAA: ileal pouch anal anastomosis; 6-MP: 6-mercaptopurine; OR: odds ratio.