Background and aims: The management of anal fistula is debatable. Although several procedures have been described, none of them is free from complications, such as anal incontinence and anal pain. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the employment of a glue composed of N-butil-2-cyanoacrylate and methacryloxysulfolane (Glubran 2) to treat fistula-in-ano.
Patients and methods: Twenty-one patients (14 men and 7 women) with cryptoglandular anal fistula were enrolled in the study and treated as day-cases. Fistulas were assessed both clinically and by trans-rectal endosonography with a rotating 10-MHz 360 degrees endoscopic probe. Assessment of continence was also performed. The fistula tract was identified, curetted and washed-out with normal saline and hydrogen peroxide; then the glue was injected from the syringe nozzle through a catheter previously inserted into the fistula. Additional treatments were performed when the first failed.
Results: Five of seven simple fistulas (71.4%) healed with primary glue treatment; the other two needed second and third injections, and both healed. Ten of 14 (71.4%) complex fistulas healed with primary treatment; of the other four patients, one showed signs of intolerance to cyanoacrylate, which required re-intervention to remove the applied glue. In the second patient, treatment was successful after a second session; in the third case, three glue injections were required; while the fourth patient was lost at follow-up after three unsuccessful sessions. The ratio of cumulative healing with only one treatment was 15/21 (71.4%), and the ratio of overall healing after more than one session was 19/21 (90.2%). There was no sign of recurrence of the disease after 18 months of follow-up.
Conclusion: Cyanoacrylate glue seems to be ideal to treat fistula-in-ano, as it is a safe, cost-effective, repeatable and muscle-sparing technique. The incidence of recurrence is low, and post-procedure complicated fistulas or perianal abscesses were not reported.