Immunosuppressed Patients with Crohn's Disease Are at Increased Risk of Postoperative Complications: Results from the ACS-NSQIP Database.

Research paper by Maria M Abou Khalil, Jad J Abou-Khalil, Jennifer J Motter, Carol-Ann CA Vasilevsky, Nancy N Morin, Gabriela G Ghitulescu, Marylise M Boutros

Indexed on: 30 Apr '19Published on: 20 Mar '19Published in: Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery


The impact of immunosuppressants on postoperative complications following colon resections for Crohn's disease remains controversial. This study aimed to compare postoperative outcomes between immunosuppressed and immunocompetent patients with Crohn's disease undergoing elective colon resection. Analysis of 30-day outcomes using a cohort from the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program colectomy-specific database was performed. The database is populated by trained clinical reviewers who collect 30-day postoperative outcomes for patients treated at participating North-American institutions. Adult patients who underwent an elective colectomy between 2011 and 2015 were included. Immunosuppression for Crohn's disease was predefined as use of regular corticosteroids or immunosuppressants within 30 days of the operation. Patients who received chemotherapy within 90 days of surgery, and patients who had disseminated cancer, preoperative shock, or emergency surgery were excluded. Primary outcome was infectious complications. Three thousand eight hundred sixty patients with Crohn's disease required elective colon resection and met the inclusion criteria. Of these, 2483 were immunosuppressed and 1377 were immunocompetent. On multivariate analysis, the odds of infectious complications [OR 1.25; 95% CI (1.033-1.523)], overall surgical site infection [1.40; (1.128-1.742)], organ space surgical site infection [1.47; (1.094-1.984)], and anastomotic leak [1.51; (1.018-2.250)] were significantly higher for immunosuppressed compared to immunocompetent patients with Crohn's disease. Patients with Crohn's disease who were on immunosuppressant medications within 30 days of elective colectomy had significantly increased rates of infectious complications, overall surgical site infection, organ space surgical site infection, and anastomotic leak compared to patients who were not on immunosuppressive agents.