Intestinal perforation in Crohn's disease. Factors predictive of surgical resection

Gastroenterol Clin Biol. 2005 Nov;29(11):1105-11. doi: 10.1016/s0399-8320(05)82174-8.


New medical therapeutic options challenge the usual surgical management of Crohn's disease patients with intestinal perforation.

Objectives: To determine factors predictive of surgery for perforation in Crohn's disease and define a group of patients that may benefit from non-surgical treatment.

Methods: One hundred and sixty-two patients (69 males, 93 females, mean age 39) with perforated Crohn's disease (fistula, abscess, inflammatory mass) between January 1995 and September 2003 were studied retrospectively.

Results: One hundred and fifty-one patients (93%) underwent surgery: 70 had planned surgery and 81 had surgery for symptomatic deterioration. At two years, the cumulative probability of intestinal resection was 0.89 +/- 0.03, and the cumulative probability of unplanned intestinal resection was 0.72 +/- 0.05. Predictive factors of unplanned surgery were elevated platelet count (adjusted hazard ratio 3.15; 95% CI 2.21-4.50) and absence of fistula (adjusted hazard ratio 3.14; 95% CI 2.48-3.99). The rate of postoperative complications, the need for a stoma, and the length of bowel resection were not significantly different whether the surgery was planned or not.

Conclusion: A significant proportion of patients with intestinal perforation complicating Crohn's disease, particularly those with a fistula, might benefit from non-surgical treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Abscess / etiology
  • Abscess / surgery
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Crohn Disease / complications*
  • Crohn Disease / surgery*
  • Digestive System Fistula / etiology*
  • Digestive System Fistula / surgery
  • Digestive System Surgical Procedures*
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Intestinal Perforation / etiology*
  • Intestinal Perforation / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Selection
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors