, Volume 22, Issue 9, pp 1061-1069
Date: 30 May 2007

Surgical predictors of recurrence of Crohn’s disease after ileocolonic resection

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Anastomotic recurrence after bowel resection is a major problem in Crohn’s disease (CD) surgery. The aims of this retrospective study are to assess the role of anastomotic configuration, the type of suture and the type of surgical approach (laparoscopy-assisted vs laparotomy) in CD recurrence. Secondary end points were to identify any possible predictor that would help the selection of patients for medical prophylaxis.

Materials and methods

In this retrospective study, we enrolled 141 consecutive patients who had undergone ileocolonic resection for CD. Univariate actuarial analysis was performed according to demographic, clinical and surgical predictors. Variables that resulted to be significant at the univariate analysis were included in two multivariate Cox proportional hazards models that analyzed symptomatic and surgical recurrence, respectively.


In the long-term, handsewn side-to-side anastomosis reported a significantly lower surgical recurrence rate than stapled end-to-side (p < 0.05). At multivariate analysis, anastomosis type, surgical and intestinal complications (p < 0.01) and age at CD onset (p < 0.05) resulted to be significant predictors for re-operation for CD recurrence. Multivariate analysis showed that surgical complication was also a significant predictor of symptomatic recurrence.


Side-to-side anastomosis configuration seems to delay re-operation and can be assumed as the standard configuration in ileocolonic anastomosis in CD. Post-operative complications and young age at disease onset might be a signal of aggressive CD that may warrant prophylactic pharmacological therapy.

In memory of Professor Andrea Tropea.