Inflammatory bowel disease and the lung: is there a link between surgery and bronchiectasis?

Int J Colorectal Dis. 2006 Dec;21(8):754-7. doi: 10.1007/s00384-006-0094-9. Epub 2006 Apr 20.


Purpose: One-third of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has extracolonic manifestations. Inflammatory bowel-associated pulmonary disease is one of the less commonly recognized and more recently described manifestations. Here, we report the experience of our patients with inflammatory bowel-associated bronchiectasis.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of case notes of patients with IBD and respiratory manifestations was undertaken. Relevant demographic, clinical, radiological, and pulmonary physiology laboratory results were reviewed.

Results: Ten patients with IBD and bronchiectasis were identified. Eight developed respiratory symptoms after surgery for IBD. Five of the ten had ulcerative colitis. Their lung function abnormality is mild to moderate in severity. Small airways disease (forced expiratory flow between 25-75% is <50%) was evident in seven of the ten patients.

Conclusions: This preliminary study supports an association between surgery for IBD and development of symptomatic lung disease, particularly bronchiectasis, in susceptible patients. The pulmonary manifestations of IBD in some patients may only become clinically significant after surgery and the withdrawal of medical treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bronchiectasis / diagnostic imaging
  • Bronchiectasis / drug therapy
  • Bronchiectasis / etiology*
  • Bronchiectasis / physiopathology
  • Colectomy / adverse effects*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / surgery
  • Crohn Disease / surgery
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / complications
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / surgery*
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / complications*
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Maximal Midexpiratory Flow Rate
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Diffusing Capacity
  • Radiography, Thoracic
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Spirometry
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Total Lung Capacity
  • Treatment Outcome