The predictive value of inflammation at ileocecal resection margins for postoperative crohn's recurrence: A cohort study

Karin A. T. G. M. Wasmann, Jojanneke van Amesfoort, Maurits L. van Montfoort, Lianne Koens, Willem A. Bemelman, Christianne J. Buskens

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Resections for Crohn's disease should be limited and only resect macroscopically affected bowel. However, recent studies suggest microscopic inflammation at resection margins as a predictor for postoperative recurrence. The clinical impact remains unclear, as non-uniform pathological criteria have been used. The aim of this study was to assess the predictive value of pathological characteristics at ileocecal resection margins for recurrence. Methods: Both resection margins of 106 consecutive patients undergoing ileocecal resection for Crohn's disease between 2002 and 2009 were revised and scored for active inflammation, myenteric plexitis, and granulomas. Pathological findings were correlated to recurrence, defined as recurrent disease activity demonstrated by endoscopy (modified Rutgeerts score ≥i2) requiring upscaling medical treatment, using multivariate analysis. Results: Active inflammation was found at the proximal and distal resection margin in 27% and 15% of patients, respectively, myenteric plexitis in 37% and 32%, respectively, and granulomas in 4% and 6%, respectively. In total, 47 out of 106 patients developed recurrence. Only active inflammation at the distal colonic resection margin was an independent significant predictor for recurrence (88% vs 43% vs 51% for distal, proximal, and no involved margins, respectively; P < 0.01). Conclusion: Active inflammation at the distal colonic resection margin after ileocecal resection identifies a patient group at high risk for postoperative recurrence both at the anastomotic site and the colon because it identifies undiagnosed L3 disease. These patients have a different and more aggressive natural history and require more intense medical treatment. Therefore, pathological evaluation of the distal resection margin should be implemented in daily practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1691-1699
Number of pages9
JournalInflammatory bowel diseases
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


  • Geboes
  • histological inflammation
  • ileocolonic resection
  • postoperative recurrence

Cite this