Background: Anoperineal Crohn's disease (APCD) runs an unpredictable course. Although this course is relatively benign in most patients, some will eventually require abdominoperineal resection (APR). The aim of this study was to identify prognostic factors of longterm APR in patients with APCD.
Study design: From 1980 to 1996, 119 patients were operated on for APCD (mean +/- SD age 30 +/- 13 years; range 11 to 96 years). Patients were divided into two groups: those undergoing APR and patients without APR at the end of followup. The following prognostic criteria were studied: (1) age at onset of Crohn's disease (CD) and at the first manifestation of APCD, gender, APCD as the first manifestation of CD, and interval between the onset of CD and the first manifestation of APCD; (2) for the first manifestation of APCD, the type and number of lesions and the results of surgical treatment; and (3) associated intestinal localizations of CD and the type and number of manifestations of APCD during followup.
Results: Mean followup from the first manifestation of APCD was 93 months (range 1 to 398 months). At the end of followup, 30 patients had undergone APR (25%). Logistic regression analysis showed that four criteria seemed to be associated with an increased risk of APR: age at first APCD (p < 0.02), fistula as the first manifestation of APCD (p < 0.04), more than three APCD lesions during followup (p < 0.01), and rectal involvement by CD (p < 0.000001). When, as in eight patients, these criteria were all present, APR was performed during followup in 100% of patients. In the absence of all four criteria (eight patients), APR was never performed.
Conclusions: This study allowed us to identify patients with APCD at high risk of APR. For these patients, early prevention of CD recurrence should be attempted by aggressive medical therapy.