Does microscopic involvement of the surgical margins after ileocecectomy in Crohn’s patients predict early recurrence?

Meir Zemel, Elian Solo, Hagit Tulchinsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The primary aim of this study was to determine whether the microscopic presence of Crohn’s disease (CD) in the resected specimen margins in patients undergoing ileocecectomy predicts disease recurrence. The secondary aim was to identify other risk factors which can predict recurrence. Methods: All CD patients who underwent ileocecectomy in a single colorectal unit between 2000 and 2015 were retrospectively evaluated. The diagnosis of CD and margin involvement status were retrieved from pathology reports. Recurrence was determined according to medical records or via a telephone questionnaire. Demographic, clinical, and surgical parameters were compared between patients with and without histopathologic evidence of CD in the resected margins. Results: A total of 202 CD patients were included, 49 with and 153 without evidence of microscopic involvement in the resected margins. The main demographic characteristics, surgical approach and procedure, and postoperative course, including medical treatment, clinical or endoscopic recurrence, and reoperation rates, were similar for both groups. Patients who were operated laparoscopically (n=58, p 0.016), conversion from laparoscopic to open (n=25, p 0.016), stapled anastomosis (n=150, p 0.004), when stricturoplasty was required (n=12, p 0.046), and those with perianal disease (n=32, p 0.045) had shorter time to recurrence. Male gender had increased hazard ratio (n=106, HR 1.38) for reoperation, but not significantly (p=0.058). Conclusions: The presence of microscopic CD at the resected specimen margins was not associated with the risk of disease recurrence. Other demographic, clinical, and technical features that did correlate with early recurrence were identified. These results support a conservative approach to the extent of resection in CD patients undergoing ileocecectomy. Trial registration: Not relevant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2427-2435
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Colorectal Disease
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ileocecectomy
  • Margins
  • Recurrence
  • Surgery


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