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Anastomotic leakage in rectal cancer surgery: The role of blood perfusion
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences.
2015 (English)In: World Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery, ISSN 1948-9366, Vol. 7, no 11, 289-292 p.Article in journal, Editorial material (Other academic) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

Anastomotic leakage after anterior resection for rectal cancer remains a common and often devastating complication. Preoperative risk factors for anastomotic leakage have been studied extensively and are used for patient selection, especially whether to perform a diverting stoma or not. From the current literature, data suggest that perfusion in the rectal stump rather than in the colonic limb may be more important for the integrity of the colorectal anastomosis. Moreover, available research suggests that the mid and upper rectum is considerably more vascularized than the lower part, in which the posterior compartment seems most vulnerable. These data fit neatly with the observation that anastomotic leaks are far more frequent in patients undergoing total compared to partial mesorectal excision, and also that most leaks occur dorsally. Clinical judgment has been shown to ineffectively assess anastomotic viability, while promising methods to measure blood perfusion are evolving. Much interest has recently been turned to near-infrared light technology, enhanced with fluorescent agents, which enables intraoperative perfusion assessment. Preliminary data are promising, but large-scale controlled trials are lacking. With maturation of such technology, perfusion measurements may in the future inform the surgeon whether anastomoses are at risk. In high colorectal anastomoses, anastomotic revision might be feasible, while a diverting stoma could be fashioned selectively instead of routinely for low anastomoses.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 7, no 11, 289-292 p.
Keyword [en]
Anastomotic leakage, Blood perfusion, Rectal cancer, Anterior resection, Diverting stoma
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-114917DOI: 10.4240/wjgs.v7.i11.289ISI: 000367892500002OAI: diva2:925884
Available from: 2016-05-03 Created: 2016-01-29 Last updated: 2016-05-03Bibliographically approved

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Rutegård, MartinRutegård, Jörgen
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