Preoperative infliximab treatment in patients with ulcerative and indeterminate colitis does not increase rate of conversion to emergent and multistep abdominal surgery
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- Bordeianou, L., Kunitake, H., Shellito, P. et al. Int J Colorectal Dis (2010) 25: 401. doi:10.1007/s00384-009-0800-5
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A recent study has raised concerns that infliximab treatment, by postpoing surgery for ulcerative and indeterminate colitis patients, may result in a greater need for high-risk emergent or multistep surgical procedures (subtotal colectomies). Our aim was to assess whether infliximab exposure affects rates of subotal colectomy in a large cohort of patients.
We evaluated 171 consecutive patients with ulcerative or indeterminate colitis who had a total proctocolectomy or a subtotal colectomy between 1993 and 2006 for symptoms of unremitting disease. Forty-four patients (25.7%) received infliximab prior to surgery. We compared the surgical procedures employed on these 44 patients to the surgical procedures employed on the 127 non-infliximab patients, using Fisher’s exact or Student’s t test.
Infliximab exposure did not appear to affect the rate of emergent surgery (4.5% vs 4.4%, p = 0.98), rate of subtotal colectomy (19.2% vs. 18.0%, p = 0.99), or rate of ileoanal J pouch reconstruction (53.8% vs. 62%, p = 0.98). Nor did it affect intraoperative findings of perforation, toxic megacolon, and active disease. The infliximab and non-infliximab cohorts were similar in age, Charlson Comorbidity Index, concomitant steroid use, and albumin levels, although infliximab patients had higher rates of concomitant exposure to 6-mercaptopurine (34.1% vs 16.6%, p = 0.02) and azathioprine (40.9% vs 22.6%, p = 0.02).
Infliximab does not appear to increase rates of emergent surgery or multistep procedures in patients undergoing treatment for ulcerative or indeterminative colitis at our institution.