Colectomy is a risk factor for venous thromboembolism in ulcerative colitis

Gilaad G. Kaplan, Allen Lim, Cynthia H. Seow, Gordon W. Moran, Subrata Ghosh, Yvette Leung, Jennifer Debruyn, Geoffrey C. Nguyen, James Hubbard, Remo Panaccione

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


AIM: To compare venous thromboembolism (VTE) in hospitalized ulcerative colitis (UC) patients who respond to medical management to patients requiring colectomy. METHODS: Population-based surveillance from 1997 to 2009 was used to identify all adults admitted to hospital for a flare of UC and those patients who underwent colectomy. All medical charts were reviewed to confirm the diagnosis and extract clinically relevant information. UC patients were stratified by: (1) responsive to inpatient medical therapy (n = 382); (2) medically refractory requiring emergent colectomy (n = 309); and (3) elective colectomy (n = 329). The primary outcome was the development of VTE during hospitalization or within 6 mo of discharge. Heparin prophylaxis to prevent VTE was assessed. Logistic regression analysis determined the effect of disease course (i.e., responsive to medical therapy, medically refractory, and elective colectomy) on VTE after adjusting for confounders including age, sex, smoking, disease activity, comorbidities, extent of disease, and IBD medications (i.e., corticosteroids, mesalamine, azathioprine, and infliximab). Point estimates were presented as odds ratios (OR) with 95%CI. RESULTS: The prevalence of VTE among patients with UC who responded to medical therapy was 1.3% and only 16% of these patients received heparin prophylaxis. In contrast, VTE was higher among patients who underwent an emergent (8.7%) and elective (4.9%) colectomy, despite greater than 90% of patients receiving postoperative heparin prophylaxis. The most common site of VTE was intra-abdominal (45.8%) followed by lower extremity (19.6%). VTE was diagnosed after discharge from hospital in 16.7% of cases. Elective (adjusted OR = 3.69; 95%CI: 1.30-10.44) and emergent colectomy (adjusted OR = 5.28; 95%CI: 1.93-14.45) were significant risk factors for VTE as compared to medically responsive UC patients. Furthermore, the odds of a VTE significantly increased across time (adjusted OR = 1.10; 95%CI: 1.01-1.20). Age, sex, comorbidities, disease extent, disease activity, smoking, corticosteroids, mesalamine, azathioprine, and infliximab were not independently associated with the development of VTE. CONCLUSION: VTE was associated with colectomy, particularly, among UC patients who failed medical management. VTE prophylaxis may not be sufficient to prevent VTE in patients undergoing colectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1251-1260
Number of pages10
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 28 2015


  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Surgery
  • Ulcerative colitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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