Factors Predictive of Recurrence and Mortality after Surgical Repair of Enterocutaneous Fistula

Department of General and Gastrointestinal Surgery, UMAE Hospital de Especialidades-Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXI (IMSS), Av.Cuauhtémoc 330, 3er piso, Colonia Doctores, Delegación Cuauhtémoc, México, DF, CP 06725, Mexico.
Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery (Impact Factor: 2.8). 01/2012; 16(1):156-63; discussion 163-4. DOI: 10.1007/s11605-011-1703-7
Source: PubMed


Many enterocutaneous fistulas (ECF) require operative treatment. Despite recent advances, rates of recurrence have not changed substantially. This study aims to determine factors associated with recurrence and mortality in patients submitted to surgical repair of ECF. Consecutive patients submitted to surgical repair of ECF during a 5-year period were studied. Several patient, disease, and operative variables were assessed as factors related to recurrence and mortality through univariate and multivariate analysis. There were 35 male and 36 female patients. Median age was 52 years (range, 17-81). ECF recurred in 22 patients (31%), 18 of them (82%) eventually closed with medical and/or surgical treatment. Univariate analyses disclosed noncolonic ECF origin (p = 0.04), high output (p = 0.001), and nonresective surgical options (p = 0.02) as risk factors for recurrence; the latter two remained significant after multivariate analyses. A total of 14 patients died (20%). Univariate analyses revealed risk factors for mortality at diagnosis or referral including malnutrition (p = 0.03), sepsis (p = 0.004), fluid and electrolyte imbalance (p = 0.001), and serum albumin <3 g/dl (p = 0.02). Other significant variables were interval from last abdominal operation to ECF operative treatment ≤20 weeks (p = 0.03), preoperative serum albumin <3 g/dl (p = 0.001), and age ≥55 years (p = 0.03); the latter two remained significant after multivariate analyses. Interestingly, recurrence after surgical treatment was not associated with mortality (p = 0.75). Among several studied variables, recurrence was only independently associated with high output and type of surgical treatment (operations not involving resection of ECF). Interestingly, once ECF recurred its management was as successful as non-recurrent fistulas in our series. Mortality was associated to previously-reported bad prognostic factors at diagnosis or referral.

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