Similar Functional Results and Complications After Ileal Pouch-Anal Anastomosis in Patients With Indeterminate vs Ulcerative Colitis

Arch Surg. 2002 Jun;137(6):690-4; discussion 694-5. doi: 10.1001/archsurg.137.6.690.


Hypothesis: Patients who undergo ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA) for indeterminate colitis (IC) have a pouch complication and pouch loss rate only slightly higher than that associated with ulcerative colitis (UC). The functional outcome in patients with IC is no different from that in patients with UC.

Design: Retrospective review of prospectively gathered data comparing complication rates and outcomes of patients with IC vs UC who have undergone IPAA at a single institution during 19 years.

Setting: University teaching hospital.

Patients: Between July 1, 1982, and July 1, 2001, 723 patients underwent IPAA, 644 for colonic inflammatory bowel disease. A further breakdown of the latter group revealed 79 patients (12.3%) with IC and 565 (87.7%) with UC. These 2 patient populations were compared with regard to postoperative complications, pouch loss, and functional outcome.

Main outcome measures: Patients with IC and UC were compared with regard to pouch complications, such as J-pouch leak, fistula, cuff abscess, stricture, redo IPAA, Crohn diagnosis, and pouch loss. They were also compared with regard to 24-hour stool frequency and nighttime incontinence at 1, 3, 6, and 9 months after surgery.

Results: Approximately 98% of patients had 1 year of follow-up and 89% had long-term follow-up (mean, 78.5 months). Patients with IC were compared with those with UC with regard to pouch complications, such as cuff abscess (1.3% vs 1.6%), J-pouch leak (5.1% vs 2.3%), intra-abdominal abscess (0% vs 1.1%), stricture (7.6% vs 4.8%), and fistula (2.5% vs 1.6%). These 2 groups were also compared with regard to small bowel obstruction (6.3% vs 5.5%), pouchitis (34.2% vs 25.0%), eventual diagnosis of Crohn disease (1.3% vs 0.7%), redo IPAA (1.3% vs 0.9%), and eventual pouch loss (2.5% vs 1.2%). An evaluation of functional results revealed no significant differences between the 2 groups with regard to 24-hour stool frequency or nighttime incontinence. The pathologists classified patients with IC into 3 groups: IC but favor UC (group 1), IC but favor Crohn (group 2), and IC (group 3). Most of the postoperative complications occurred in group 1 patients, but the only pouch loss occurred in those in group 2.

Conclusions: The incidences of pouch complications after IPAA were slightly higher in the IC group compared with the UC group, but the differences were not statistically significant. Functional results were the same in both groups. Pouch loss was high in group 2 patients, but was otherwise not significantly higher in the IC group overall (P =.36). Most patients with IC can undergo IPAA and expect an outcome equivalent to that of patients with UC.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anal Canal / surgery
  • Anastomosis, Surgical
  • Colitis / surgery
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Proctocolectomy, Restorative* / adverse effects
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome