The Long-Term Clinical Course of Pouchitis After Total Proctocolectomy and IPAA for Ulcerative Colitis

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Pouchitis is the most common long-term complication after restorative total proctocolectomy and IPAA for ulcerative colitis.


We examined the incidence, clinical aspects, and long-term outcome of patients with idiopathic pouchitis.


This study was a retrospective review of medical records.


Included in the study were 284 patients with ulcerative colitis who underwent a total proctocolectomy and IPAA.


We evaluated the cumulative risk and long-term outcome of pouchitis including the duration of disease, pattern of relapse, and responsiveness to antibiotic therapy.


Sixty-four patients developed idiopathic pouchitis. The cumulative risk was 10.7% at 1 year, 17.2% at 2 years, 24.0% at 5 years, and 38.2% at 10 years. At their first pouchitis episode, 45 patients had acute pouchitis, 19 patients had chronic pouchitis, and all patients received antibiotic therapy with oral ciprofloxacin and/or metronidazole. The efficacy of the therapy was 96.6% initially. Forty-five patients had antibiotic-responsive pouchitis, 17 patients had antibiotic-dependent pouchitis, and 2 patients had antibiotic-refractory pouchitis at their first episode. Whereas 20 of 45 patients (44.4%) with initially acute pouchitis experienced 2 or more relapses, 16 of 19 patients (84.2%) with initially chronic pouchitis had 2 or more relapses. After taking into account the relapses, the number of patients with antibiotic-responsive pouchitis decreased from 45 to 40, the number with antibiotic-dependent pouchitis increased from 17 to 20, and the number with antibiotic-refractory pouchitis increased from 2 to 4. Among the 4 patients with antibiotic-refractory pouchitis, 3 patients had Clostridium difficile-associated pouchitis.


This study was retrospective.


The patients with chronic pouchitis at the first episode tend to have a higher incidence of relapse. In some patients, the responsiveness to antibiotic therapy changes during follow-up. When patients with pouchitis do not respond to standard antibiotic therapy, then the occurrence of C difficile infection should be considered.

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