IPAA (Pouch) for Crohn’s Disease and Indeterminate Colitis

A recent review (S Chang, B Shen, F Remzi. Gastroenterology & Hepatology 2017; 13: 466-75 Full text link: When Not to Pouch: Important Considerations for Patient Selection for Ileal Pouch-Anal Anastomosis) makes recommendations regarding Ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA) for Crohn’s disease and indeterminate colitis. Key points:

  • In CD patients with isolated colitis and without perianal disease, “there were no differences in the rates of postoperative complications, pelvic sepsis, or pouch failure compared with UC patients” (GE Reese et al. Dis Colon Rectum 2007; 50: 239-50).
  • Rates of pouch retention for CD (Table 2) ranged from 43% to 94% in 19 studies. Most of these studies had small numbers (less than 40 patients). In the two largest studies with 97 patients and 150 patients, both with ~10 year followup, pouch retention rates were 74% and 87% respectively.
  • “Patients carrying the diagnosis of IC have pouch function on par with patients with UC, with no significant difference in the number of bowel movements…However, ..are more likely to develop CD of the pouch. Nevertheless, pouch failure rates among IC, IBD-unclassified, and UC are similar in multiple cohorts.”
  • Rates of pouch retention for IC ranged from 73%-100% among the 13 cited studies, though only 2 studies reported rates less than ~90%. The two largest studies with ~340 patients had retention rates of ~95% and followup of 3.4 yrs and 10.2 years.

This review also discusses IPAA and other issues including obesity (which increases the likelihood of complications), sphincter dysfunction, elderly patients, and radiation therapy.

Of note, recent ESPGHAN IBD Porto Group guideline for surgical Crohn’s disease management in children (J Amil-Dias et al JPGN 2017; 64: 818-35) at first glance seems to be at odds with Chang et al recommendations:

  • “Statement 8. Ileal pouch-anal anastomosis is not recommended when a patient has CD. (Agreement 100%)”
  • The body of the report is more nuanced: “There is, however, recent growing evidence that supports highly selective use of restorative proctocolectomy with ileal pouch-anal anastomosis for CD. These patients have isolated colonic CD and no evidence of ileal or perianal involvement.”

To me, statement 8 should have been worded to include “except in limited circumstances.”  As it stands now, it misleads those who do not carefully review the entire report.

My take: The report by Chang et al makes a strong case for its conclusion: “Although it is true that the diagnosis of CD is a potential contraindication to IPAA, patients with isolated Crohn’s colitis may thrive after pouch surgery.  At this time, patients with isolated Crohn’s colitis (without perianal disease or small bowel involvement) have good pouch retention rates.”  Their review prompted me to look more closely at the ESPGHAN IBD Porto Group guideline; their Statement 8 recommendation is, in fact, quite misleading.

Disclaimer: These blog posts are for educational purposes only. Specific dosing of medications (along with potential adverse effects) should be confirmed by prescribing physician.  This content is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition.

Keyhole view , looking into the Rotunda UVa, of Thomas Jefferson (or TJ for those in the know)