Anti-tumor necrosis factor and postoperative complications in Crohn's disease: Systematic review and meta-analysis

Uri Kopylov, Shomron Ben-Horin, Oded Zmora, Rami Eliakim, Lior H. Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antibodies are efficacious in patients with Crohn's disease (CD) but the influence of these medications on surgical outcomes in CD patients has been frequently debated. The aim was to evaluate the impact of preoperative treatment with anti-TNF antibodies on postoperative complications in CD patients undergoing abdominal surgery. Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis of comparative cohort studies was performed assessing postoperative complication rates in CD patients who were treated with anti-TNF antibodies within 3 months before surgery versus patients who were not. The primary outcome was overall complication rate within 1 month of surgery. Secondary outcomes included the rate of infectious and noninfectious complications. The quality of studies was assessed based on selection of patients and controls, comparability of the study groups, and assessment of outcomes. Odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were computed. Results: A total of eight studies including 1641 patients were included in our meta-analysis. Preoperative infliximab therapy in CD patients undergoing abdominal surgery was associated with a trend toward an increased rate of total complications (OR 1.72, 95% CI, 0.93-3.19). Anti-TNF treatments were associated with a modestly increased risk of infectious complications (OR 1.50, 95% CI 1.08-2.08), mostly remote from the surgical site (OR 2.07 95% CI 1.30-3.30) and with a trend toward a higher rate of noninfectious complications (OR 2.00, 95% CI 0.89-4.46). Conclusion: Preoperative infliximab treatment is associated with an increased risk of postoperative infectious complications, mostly nonlocal. A trend toward an increased risk of noninfectious and overall complications was also observed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2404-2413
Number of pages10
JournalInflammatory Bowel Diseases
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • Crohn's disease
  • adverse effective
  • anti-TNF
  • complications
  • infectious
  • infliximab
  • postoperative


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