The mode of delivery does not influence the occurrence of post-partum perianal disease flares in patients with inflammatory bowel disease

BMC Gastroenterol. 2024 Jan 16;24(1):34. doi: 10.1186/s12876-023-03018-5.


Ana M Otero-Piñerio 1N Aykun 1M Maspero 1Stefan Holubar 1Tracy Hull 1Jeremy Lipman 1Scott R Steele 1Amy L Lightner 2 3


Author information

1Department of Colorectal Surgery, Digestive Disease Surgical Institute, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH, 44195, USA.

2Department of Colorectal Surgery, Digestive Disease Surgical Institute, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH, 44195, USA. amylightner8@gmail.com.

3National Center for Regenerative Medicine, Cleveland, OH, USA. amylightner8@gmail.com.


Introduction: Perianal disease occurs in up to 34% of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients. An estimated 25% of women will become pregnant after the initial diagnosis, thus introducing the dilemma of whether mode of delivery affects perianal disease. The aim of our study was to analyze whether a cesarean section (C-section) or vaginal delivery influence perianal involvement. We hypothesized the delivery route would not alter post-partum perianal manifestations in the setting of previously healed perianal disease.

Methods: All consecutive eligible IBD female patients between 1997 and 2022 who delivered were included. Prior perianal involvement, perianal flare after delivery and delivery method were noted.

Results: We identified 190 patients with IBD who had a total of 322 deliveries; 169 (52%) were vaginal and 153 (48%) were by C-section. Nineteen women (10%) experienced 21/322 (6%) post-partum perianal flares. Independent predictors were previous abdominal surgery for IBD (OR, 2.7; 95% CI, 1-7.2; p = 0.042), ileocolonic involvement (OR, 3.3; 95% CI, 1.1-9.4; p = 0.030), previous perianal disease (OR, 22; 95% CI, 7-69; p < 0.001), active perianal disease (OR, 96; 95% CI, 21-446; p < 0.001) and biologic (OR, 4.4; 95% CI,1.4-13.6; p < 0.011) or antibiotic (OR, 19.6; 95% CI, 7-54; p < 0.001) treatment. Negative association was found for vaginal delivery (OR, 0.19; 95% CI, 0.06-0.61; p < 0.005). Number of post-partum flares was higher in the C-section group [17 (11%) vs. 4 (2%), p = 0.002].

Conclusions: Delivery by C-section section was not protective of ongoing perianal disease activity post-delivery, but should be recommended for women with active perianal involvement.

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