Does a histologically inflamed resection margin increase postoperative complications in patients with Crohn's disease?

Research paper by Gisele G Aaltonen, Ari A Ristimäki, Ilona I Keränen, Monika M Carpelan-Holmström, Anna A Lepistö

Indexed on: 13 Feb '18Published on: 13 Feb '18Published in: Scandinavian journal of gastroenterology


Our study assessed whether the presence of histologically inflamed resection margins increased postoperative anastomotic complications in Crohn's disease (CD) patients. We also examined the influence of other risk factors for postoperative complications.Presence of chronic inflammation and activity of inflammation was scored from the resection margin specimens of 70 patients undergoing surgery due to CD. Anastomotic complications were recorded with a one-month follow-up. We also analysed other risk factors for postoperative complications, such as patient age, previous surgeries, preoperative C-reactive protein, faecal calprotectin, albumin and haemoglobin levels, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) classification, preoperative immunosuppressive medication, surgical approach and the presence of intraoperative fistula or abscess.In total, 46 patients (65.7%) had active inflammation in the bowel resection margin - 12 patients (17.1%) with mild, five patients (7.1%) with moderate and 29 patients (41.4%) with strong activity. We found 14 (20.0%) postoperative complications, of which three (4.6%) were anastomotic. The presence of active inflammation at the resection margin did not significantly influence the occurrence of postoperative anastomotic complications. None of the other risk factors examined significantly increased postoperative complications among our sample.After bowel-sparing surgery for CD, the frequency of histologically inflamed resection margins is high. However, postoperative complication rate remains low. The current practice with resection of only the most affected bowel segments for CD seems to be a safe choice. We still need further research concerning risk factors for postoperative complications in Crohn's patients.