, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 397-403
Date: 19 Jan 2011

Preoperative Infliximab is not Associated with an Increased Risk of Short-Term Postoperative Complications After Restorative Proctocolectomy and Ileal Pouch-Anal Anastomosis

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Considerable controversy exists over whether the preoperative use of infliximab (IFX) for refractory ulcerative colitis (UC) increases the risk for surgical complications after restorative proctocolectomy and ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA). The aim of this study was to assess the association between preoperative IFX use and short-term surgical complications in a single-surgeon cohort at a tertiary care academic center.


UC patients who underwent IPAA from September 2005 through May 2009 were retrospectively identified. Twenty-nine patients treated with IFX within 12 weeks of surgery and 52 non-IFX control subjects were identified. Short-term postoperative outcomes were compared between groups occurring within 30 days of loop ileostomy closure.


Patients were similar with respect to demographics, co-morbidities, rate of emergency surgery, hand-sewn anastomosis, and preoperative use of cyclosporine, azathioprine, and high-dose steroids. IFX patients were more likely to have received a laparoscopic hand-assisted IPAA, low-, medium-, and any-dose steroids, 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP), methotrexate, and to have failed medical therapy. There was no short-term mortality. Overall postoperative and infectious complications were similar between IFX and non-IFX groups. Multivariate regression models revealed no independent predictors for postoperative complications when including IFX [odds ratio (OR) 0.78, p = 0.67], laparoscopic hand-assisted IPAA, 6-MP, methotrexate, steroids, failure of medical therapy, and body mass index.


Preoperative IFX use was not associated with an increased risk of short-term postoperative complications after IPAA.

This study was presented, in part, at the 51st Annual Meeting of the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract in New Orleans, LA on May 5, 2010 and published in abstract form in Gastroenterology May 2010; 138(5):S-867.

Source of financial support

The Robert and Dana Smith Family Foundation and the Smithwick Endowment Fund, Department of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine