The fate of the rectal segment after diversion of the fecal stream in crohn's disease: Its implications for surgical management

Burton I. Korelitz, Lawrence J Cheskin, Norman Sohn, Sheldon C. Sommers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Diverting the fecal stream has been considered to benefit the course of Crohn's disease. Clinical signs and symptoms have not, however, been distinguished previously from the objective inflammatory changes in the distal segment. We reviewed the course of 16 consecutive patients with Crohn's disease in whom sigmoidoscopy showed normal mucosa at the time of diversion and who underwent an ileostomy or colostomy, the rectal segment being left in place. As early as 3 months after diversion, all 16 patients showed progressive friability, ulceration, and exudation in the retained rectum. Stricture occurred in four and lead to abdominoperineal resection in three. Four of eight patients with only moderate inflammation on sigmoidoscopy underwent reanastomosis which was followed by a return to a normalappearing rectal mucosa. The rectal segment inflammed after diversion rarely shows the histological characteristics of Crohn's disease when resected. This leads us to suspect that the disorder of nonspecific “diversion colitis” might account for this phenomenon entirely, or at least it may accelerate the Crohn's disease process. Continuity of the intestinal tract should be maintained in the course of Crohn's disease surgery if feasible. If a diversion is clinically warranted, reanastomosis should be considered as early as possible despite progressive inflammation of the rectal mucosa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-43
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Gastroenterology
Volume7
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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