Fecal Diversion for Perianal Crohn Disease in the Era of Biologic Therapies: A Multicenter Study

Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2021 May 14;izab086. doi: 10.1093/ibd/izab086. Online ahead of print.

Jeffrey D McCurdy 1 2, Jacqueline Reid 3, Russell Yanofsky 4, Vigigah Sinnathamby 1, Edgar Medawar 4, Lara Williams 5, Talat Bessissow 4, Greg Rosenfeld 3


Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada.
  • 2The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Canada.
  • 3Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
  • 4Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, McGill University Health Center, Montreal, Canada.
  • 5Department of Surgery, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada.


Background: The natural history of perianal Crohn disease (PCD) after fecal diversion in the era of biologics is poorly understood. We assessed clinical and surgical outcomes after fecal diversion for medically refractory PCD and determined the impact of biologics.

Methods: We performed a retrospective, multicenter study from 1999 to 2020. Patients who underwent fecal diversion for refractory PCD were stratified by diversion type (ostomy with or without proctectomy). Times to clinical and surgical outcomes were estimated using Kaplan-Meier methods, and the association with biologics was assessed using multivariable Cox proportional hazards models.

Results: Eighty-two patients, from 3 academic institutions, underwent a total of 97 fecal diversions: 68 diversions without proctectomy and 29 diversions with proctectomy. Perianal healing occurred more commonly after diversion with proctectomy than after diversion without proctectomy (83% vs 53%; P = 0.021). Among the patients who had 68 diversions without proctectomy, with a median follow-up of 4.9 years post-diversion (interquartile range, 1.66-10.19), 37% had sustained healing, 31% underwent surgery to restore bowel continuity, and 22% underwent proctectomy. Ostomy-free survival occurred in 21% of patients. Biologics were independently associated with avoidance of proctectomy (hazard ratio, 0.32; 95% confidence interval, 0.11-0.98) and surgery to restore bowel continuity (hazard ratio, 3.10; 95% confidence interval, 1.02-9.37), but not fistula healing.

Conclusions: In this multicenter study, biologics were associated with bowel restoration and avoidance of proctectomy after fecal diversion without proctectomy for PCD; however, a minority of patients achieved sustained fistula healing after initial fecal diversion or after bowel restoration. These results highlight the refractory nature of PCD.

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