Ileocecal Resection in Pediatric Crohn’s Disease

A recent retrospective study (K Diederen et al. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2017; 23: 272-82) provides data on the likelihood of complications and recurrence following ileocecal resection in pediatric Crohn’s disease (n=122).

Key findings:

  • Severe postoperative complications were noted in 9.8%.  Risk factors included colonic disease (Odds ratio 5.6), microscopically positive resection margins (OR 10.4), and emergency surgery (OR 6.8)
  • Overall complication rate was reported as 29.5% which is similar to rates reported in adults
  • Clinical recurrence rates after 1, 5, and 10 years: 19%, 49%, and 71%
  • Surgical recurrence rates after 1, 5, and 10 years: 2%, 12%, and 22%
  • Immediate postoperative therapy reduced the risk of clinical recurrence (HR 0.3) and surgical recurrence (HR 0.5)
  • “In this study, postoperative catch-up growth was found in patients younger than 16 years in the year after surgery.” Thus, surgery could be an important to reverse growth retardation.

Complications within 30 days of surgery were categorized with the Clavien-Dindo classification. Those with grade ≥III which required either surgical, endoscopic or radiologic intervention were considered severe.  In this population, the complications included intraabdominal septic complications and/or anastomotic leakage.

My take: In some patients, ileocecal resection should NOT be a last resort.  Waiting too late, increases the risk of complications.  The task at hand is prospectively identifying those who merit surgery sooner and then convincing the family to proceed.

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