P489 Surgery for enterocutaneous fistula: the strongest predictor of postoperative mortality in Crohn’s disease patients

Iesalnieks, I.(1)*;Adamou, A.(2);Magdalena, B.(2);

(1)Evangelisches Krankenhaus Kalk, Department of surgery, Cologne, Germany;(2)Evangelisches Krankenhaus Kalk, Surgery, Cologne, Germany;


To access the risk of bowel resection in Crohn’s disease patients with enterocutaneous fistulae.


Consecutive patients undergoing intestinal resections for Crohn’ disease between 1992 and 2021 were included in the present prospective observational study. Exclusion criteria were: a) abdominoperineal resections for perianal disease, b) surgery for colorectal cancer complicating Crohn’s disease, c) abdominal surgery without intestinal resection (e.g. stoma formation or closure, mere adhesiolysis etc. Enterocutaneous fistulae occurring after previous bowel resection were named “postresection fistulae”, all other – “non-postresection fistulae”.


750 patients were included. At all, 70 patients (9%) underwent intestinal resections due to enterocutaneous fistulae. The frequency of surgery for enterocutaneous fistula decreased significantly during the last decade of the study (1992-2000: 13% of surgeries, 2001-2010: 12% of surgeries, 2011-2021: 6% of surgeries; p=0.05). The postoperative intraabdominal septic complication rate was 15% (n=111), six patients (0.8%) died. The mortality rate was 7% (5 of 79%) in patients with enterocutaneous fistulae. All latter death occurred only in patients with postresection fistulae. By multivariate analysis, surgery for enterocutaneous fistula (Hazard ratio 27.4, 95% CI: 2.9 – 255.6; p=0.004), age of 50 years and older (Hazard ratio 13.2; 95% CI: 2.0 – 87.7; p=0.008) and presence of intraabdominal abscess (Hazard ratio 11.8; 95% CI: 1.2 – 116.5; p=0.035) were associated with an increased risk of postoperative death. Age over 50 years was associated with an increased risk of death in patients with enterocutaneous fistulae (mortality rate 20% vs. 3.6%, Hazard ratio 16.61; 95% CI: 1.28 – 216.07; p=0.032).


Surgery for enteroctunaeous fistulae still poses significant risks, specially, when they occurred after bowel resection and in older patients.