Stapled side-to-side anastomosis might be benefit in intestinal resection for Crohn's disease: A systematic review and network meta-analysis

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Background and aim:

Intestinal anastomosis is an essential step in the intestinal resection in patients with Crohn's disease (CD). Anastomotic configuration such as handsewn end-to-end anastomosis (HEEA), stapled side-to-side anastomosis (SSSA) and so on may be a predictor of prognosis for postoperative CD patients. However, the association between anastomotic types and surgical outcomes are controversial. The aim of this review is to identify the optimal anastomosis for intestinal resection in patients with CD.


Clinical trials comparing anastomosis after intestinal resection in patients with CD were searched in the database of MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library. Outcomes such as postoperative hospital stay, complications, mortality, recurrence, and reoperation were evaluated. Pairwise treatment effects were estimated through a random-effects network meta-analysis based on the frequency framework by using the STATA software and reported as the estimated summary effect for each comparison between the 2 treatments in the network with a 95% credible interval.


A total of 1113 patients in 11 trials were included. In pair-wise comparisons between groups, for overall postoperative complications, SSSA showed a more probability of superiority to HEEA; for complications other than anastomotic leak, anastomotic leak, wound infection, postoperative hospital stay and mortality, there were no significant difference between groups; for clinical recurrence, SSSA showed a more probability of superiority to HEEA; for reoperation, SSSA showed a more probability of superiority to HEEA. The number of eligible randomized controlled trails (RCTs) was small, and more than half of the included trials were retrospective studies; selection bias may lead to a less power in this assessment; follow-up time between different groups was different, which may possibly have affected the interpretation of the analysis of long-term outcome.


By comprehensive analyzing all the postoperative outcomes, SSSA appeared to be the optimal anastomotic strategy after intestinal resection for patients with CD.

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