Postoperative Mortality Among Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Population-Based Studies

Gastroenterology. 2015 Oct;149(4):928-37. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2015.06.001. Epub 2015 Jun 6.


Background & aims: There have been varying reports of mortality after intestinal resection for the inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs). We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of population-based studies to determine postoperative mortality after intestinal resection in patients with IBD.

Methods: We searched Medline, EMBASE, and PubMed, from 1990 through 2015, to identify 18 articles and 3 abstracts reporting postoperative mortality among patients with IBD. The studies included 67,057 patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) and 75,971 patients with Crohn's disease (CD), from 15 countries. Mortality estimates stratified by emergent and elective surgeries were pooled separately for CD and UC using a random-effects model. To assess changes over time, the start year of the study was included as a continuous variable in a meta-regression model.

Results: In patients with UC, postoperative mortality was significantly lower among patients who underwent elective (0.7%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.6%-0.9%) vs emergent surgery (5.3%; 95% CI, 3.8%-7.4%). In patients with CD, postoperative mortality was significantly lower among patients who underwent elective (0.6%; 95% CI, 0.2%-1.7%) vs emergent surgery (3.6%; 95% CI, 1.8%-6.9%). Postoperative mortality did not differ for elective (P = .78) or emergent (P = .31) surgeries when patients with UC were compared with patients with CD. Postoperative mortality decreased significantly over time for patients with CD (P < .05) but not UC (P = .21).

Conclusions: Based on a systematic review and meta-analysis, postoperative mortality was high after emergent, but not elective, intestinal resection in patients with UC or CD. Optimization of management strategies and more effective therapies are necessary to avoid emergent surgeries.

Keywords: Complication; Death; Survival; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Colitis, Ulcerative / diagnosis
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / mortality*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / surgery*
  • Crohn Disease / diagnosis
  • Crohn Disease / mortality*
  • Crohn Disease / surgery*
  • Digestive System Surgical Procedures / adverse effects
  • Digestive System Surgical Procedures / mortality*
  • Elective Surgical Procedures
  • Emergencies
  • Humans
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome