Are Biologics Safe in the Immediate Postoperative Period? A Single-Center Evaluation of Consecutive Crohn's Surgical Patients

Amy L. Lightner, Fabian Grass, Ahmad M. Alsughayer, William S. Harmsen, Molly Petersen, Edward V. Loftus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

BACKGROUND: There is no study to date examining the safety of initiating or restarting biologic therapy after major abdominal surgery for Crohn's disease. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine differences in the rates of 90-day superficial surgical site infections, intra-abdominal sepsis, and overall postoperative infectious complications among patients who were initiated on or restarted a biologic within 90 days postoperatively compared with those who were not. DESIGN: This was a retrospective cohort study. SETTINGS: The study was conducted at an IBD referral center. PATIENTS: Adult patients with Crohn's disease who received a biologic therapy within 90 days of a major abdominal operation between May 20, 2014, and December 31, 2018, were included. MAIN OUTCOMES MEASURES: Ninety-day superficial surgical site infection, intra-abdominal sepsis, and overall postoperative infectious complications were measured. RESULTS: A total of 680 patients with Crohn's disease were included: 351 were initiated on biologic therapy within 90 days after surgery and 329 were not. Patients exposed to biologic therapy postoperatively were younger (p < 0.001), had a lower BMI (p = 0.0014), were less often diabetic (p = 0.0011), and were more often exposed preoperatively to biologics (p < 0.0001) and immunomodulators (p < 0.0001) but not corticosteroids (p = 0.8399). Of those exposed postoperatively, nearly all (93.7%) had been on a biologics preoperatively, and most resumed the same biologic (68.0%). The median time to starting biologic therapy postoperatively was 31 days (range, 7-89 d). Postoperative biologic exposure was not associated with an increased risk of superficial surgical site infection (HR = 1.02 (95% CI, 0.95-1.09) per week; p = 0.59), intra-abdominal sepsis (HR = 1.07 (95% CI, 0.99-1.16); p = 0.73), or overall postoperative infectious complications (HR = 1.02 (95% CI, 0.98-1.07); p = 0.338); the overall rates of each at 90 days was 13%, 8%, and 28%. LIMITATIONS: The study was limited by its retrospective design and single-center data. CONCLUSIONS: Postoperative initiation or resumption of biologic therapy did not increase 90-day rates of superficial surgical site infection, intra-abdominal sepsis, or total infectious complications after major abdominal surgery for Crohn's disease. See Video Abstract at http://links.lww.com/DCR/B207.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)934-943
Number of pages10
JournalDiseases of the colon and rectum
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

Keywords

  • Crohn's disease
  • Postoperative biologics
  • Restarting biologics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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