Anastomotic leakage after anterior resection for rectal cancer with mesorectal excision: incidence, risk factors, and management
Am Surg. 2015 Jan;81(1):41-7.
Tortorelli AP, Alfieri S, Sanchez AM, Rosa F, Papa V, Di Miceli D, Bellantone C, Doglietto GB.
Digestive Surgery Division, Department of Surgical Sciences, Catholic University, School of Medicine, Rome, Italy.
ABSTRACT: We investigated risk factors and prognostic implications of symptomatic anastomotic leakage after anterior resection for rectal cancer, and the influence of a diverting stoma. Our retrospective review of prospective collected data analyzed 475 patients who underwent anterior resection for rectal cancer. Uni- and multivariate analysis was made between anastomotic leakage and patient, tumor, and treatment variables, either for the overall group (n = 475) and in the midlow rectal cancer subgroup (n = 291). Overall rate of symptomatic leakage was 9 per cent (43 of 475) with no related postoperative mortality. At univariate analysis, significant factors for leak were a tumor less than 6 cm from the anal verge (13.7 vs 6.6%; P = 0.011) and intraoperative transfusions (16.9 vs 4.3%; P = 0.001). Similar results were observed in the midlow rectal cancer subgroup. At multivariate analysis, no parameter resulted in being an independent prognostic factor for risk of leakage. In patients with a leakage, a temporary enterostomy considerably reduced the need for reoperation (12.5 vs 77.8%; P < 0.0001) and the risk of a permanent stoma (18.7 vs 28.5%; P = 0.49). The incidence of anastomotic failure increases for lower tumors, whereas it is not influenced by radiotherapy. Defunctioning enterostomy does not influence the leak rate, but it mitigates clinical consequences.