, Volume 41, Issue 9, pp 848-854

Leukocyte removal therapy for ulcerative colitis does not affect postoperative complications

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We investigated the incidence of postoperative complications in patients treated with or without preoperative leukocyte removal therapy (LRT).


The case notes of 387 patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) who underwent surgical intervention were retrospectively reviewed. One hundred nine patients were treated with LRT within 8 weeks before surgery (LRT group), and 278 had not received LRT since at least 8 weeks before surgery (without LRT group). We reviewed the postoperative complications according to type of initial operation.


Of the patients who underwent an ileal J-pouch anal anastomosis (IPAA) without an ileostomy, 3 (6.5%) in the LRT group developed pouch-related complications (PRC), while 11 (7.5%) in the without LRT group developed PRC. The overall postoperative complication rates were 28.3% in the LRT group and 21.8% in the without LRT group. For patients who underwent an IPAA with an ileostomy, the overall rates of postoperative complications were 39.1% in the LRT group and 31.8% in the without LRT group. Among those undergoing a total colectomy, 33.3% in the LRT group and 18.2% in the without LRT group had postoperative complications. No statistically significant differences were demonstrated between the two groups with respect to postoperative complications.


Our results suggest that preoperative LRT does not influence the rate of postoperative complications in UC patients.