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Vol. 46, No. 4, 2011
Issue release date: May 2011
Eur Surg Res 2011;46:163–168

Infliximab in Drug-Naïve Patients with Failed Ileorectal Anastomosis for Crohn’s Disease: A New Chance for Sparing the Rectum?

Sciaudone G. · Pellino G. · Riegler G. · Selvaggi F.
Divisions of aGeneral Surgery and bGastroenterology, Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy

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The aim of this intervention study is to determine whether long-term infliximab therapy can decrease the proctectomy rate in patients with failed total colectomy and ileorectal anastomosis (IRA) for Crohn’s disease (CD). Twelve patients (5 females) – with a median age of 36.6 years (range 18–56 years), previously treated with IRA (5 in our institution and 7 referred) for colorectal and perianal CD (median Crohn’s Disease Activity Index 334.5, range 220–426), with rectal disease recurrence requiring proctectomy, no responders to conventional therapy but infliximab-naïve – were treated with infliximab infusions (Remicade™ 5 mg/kg at 0, 2, 6 weeks and then every 8 weeks) to avoid proctectomy. The main outcome measures consisted of IRA preservation and bowel function at study end. Mortality and major adverse reactions have not been observed. At the time of the median follow-up (57.4 months, range 36–92), the rectum was preserved in 10 patients (83.3%). One patient underwent proctectomy 6 weeks after the beginning of the treatment for unresponsiveness to drugs and another after 26 weeks for rectal stenosis. Anorectal function (maximum tolerated volume: 239 ± 43 vs. 294 ± 36 ml) and quality of life (Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire score 89.2 ± 20.6 vs. 173.8 ± 31.9) improved, and the Wexner Continence score (4.4 ± 2.4 vs. 1.7 ± 1.0) and daily defecations (5.2 ± 1.03 vs. 2.7 ± 1.05) decreased in 10 patients. Our results, although preliminary, are encouraging and seem to justify a less aggressive approach in patients with rectal and perianal recurrence after IRA for CD.

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