Prospective study of the incidence, timing and treatment of pouchitis in 104 consecutive patients after restorative proctocolectomy

Arch Surg. 1996 May;131(5):497-500; discussion 501-2. doi: 10.1001/archsurg.1996.01430170043007.


Objective: To determine the incidence timing and effectiveness of treatment of symptomatic pouchitis following restorative proctocolectomy with ileal J-pouch anal anastomosis.

Design: A cohort analytical study.

Setting: University hospitals, a tertiary referral center; all subjects entered into the study followed up for a minimum of 12 months (mean follow-up, 40 months).

Patients: One hundred four consecutive patients undergoing restorative proctocolectomy with ileal J-pouch anal anastomosis for either ulcerative colitis (n = 97) or familial adenomatous polyposis (n = 7) between June 1986 and December 1994.

Interventions: Patients with symptomatic pouchitis were treated with either oral metronidazole or ciprofloxacin.

Outcomes: Diagnosis of pouchitis was determined by clinical symptoms and confirmed with endoscopy. Response to oral antibodies was determined by resolution of symptoms.

Results: Fifty-two patients (50%) experience at lest 1 episode of pouchitis. The first episode of pouchitis occurred within the first 12 months after restoration of intestinal continuity in 56% of the cases. In 2 patients it occurred after 30 months. Response to antibiotic treatment was 96%. Two thirds of patients had multiple episodes. Chronic pouchitis occurred in 6 patients, necessitating pouch removal in 2.

Conclusions: The incidence of pouchitis after ileal J-pouch anal anastomosis is approximately 50% with two thirds of these patients having multiple episodes. Chronic pouchitis occurs in a minority of patients. In chronic pouchitis, the risk of pouch loss is substantial.

MeSH terms

  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli / surgery
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Ciprofloxacin / therapeutic use
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ileal Diseases / drug therapy
  • Ileal Diseases / etiology*
  • Inflammation
  • Male
  • Metronidazole / therapeutic use
  • Postoperative Complications* / drug therapy
  • Proctocolectomy, Restorative*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Time Factors


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Metronidazole
  • Ciprofloxacin