PURPOSE: We thought to determine the influence of anastomotic leakages (AL) and septic complications (SC) on the incidence of local recurrence (LR) in patients undergoing curative surgery for rectal cancer. METHODS: The records of 479 patients (286 male, 193 female; median age 67 years) who received, between 1966 and 1975 (Group A) and 1976 and 1985 (Group B), curative surgery for middle to low rectal cancer were retrospectively reviewed. All patients received meso rectal excision in the course of abdominoperineal excision (Group A) and of anterior resection with colorectal anastomosis (Group B). The outcome of SC in both groups and that of AL in Group B were investigated. AL were divided into clinical leaks (CL) and radiological leaks (RL). All patients surviving surgery were followed up for a mean period of 71 months. The development of pelvic recurrence was registered. The effect of SC and AL on LR was statistically analyzed. RESULTS: LR was diagnosed in 24 (9.3%) patients of Group A. No difference was detected between patients with SC (9.3%) and those without (9.3%). In Group B, LR occurred in 28 (12.7%) patients: 12.5% without SC and 12.7% with SC. A significant difference in the prevalence of LR was found between patients with CL (14.2%) and those with RL (30.0%). When CL were excluded, RL resulted as an independent predictor of LR. DISCUSSION: Many factors have been shown to affect the rate of LR, including operative technique and surgeon expertise as well as margins of clearance and tumor stage. In our study, overall LR rate of Group B was 13.2%. The incidence of this event in patients with AL (24%) was significantly higher than that in the nonleakage group (11.1%). Correspondent results have been reported by some authors who evidenced RL as a negative prognostic factor for higher rates of LR. The mechanism by which AL affects LR remains to be elucidated. CONCLUSIONS: All were found to be associated with higher rates of LR, especially if associated with prolonged inflammatory local reaction.
Anastomotic leakage and septic complications: impact on local recurrence in surgery of low rectal cancer / Miccini, Michelangelo; Borghese, Ottavia; Scarpini, Massimo; Cassini, Diletta; Gregori, Matteo; AMORE BONAPASTA, Stefano; Tocchi, Adriano. - In: ANNALI ITALIANI DI CHIRURGIA. - ISSN 0003-469X. - 82:2(2011), pp. 117-123.