A generally accepted explanation for the etiology of anorectal abscess and fistula-in-ano is that the abscess results from obstruction of an anal gland and the fistula is due to chronic infection and epithelialization of the abscess drainage tract. Anorectal abscesses are defined by the anatomic space in which they develop and are more common in the perianal and ischiorectal spaces and less common in the intersphincteric, supralevator,and submucosal locations.

Continue reading

Article of interest: Clinical practice guideline for the management of anorectal abscess, fistula-in-ano, and rectovaginal fistula

Vogel JD, et al. Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Anorectal Abscess, Fistula-in-Ano, and Rectovaginal Fistula. Dis Colon Rectum. 2016 Dec;59(12):1117-1133. Full-text for Emory users.

Recommendations: Treatment of Rectovaginal Fistulas (p. 1123-1125)

Continue reading

Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) Antagonists in Treatment of Internal Fistulizing Crohn’s Disease

Bouguen G, et al.; GETAID. Efficacy and Safety of Tumor Necrosis Factor Antagonists in Treatment of Internal Fistulizing Crohn’s Disease. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2020 Mar; 18(3):628-636.

Results: After a median follow-up period of 3.5 years, 68 patients (43.6%) underwent a major abdominal surgery. The cumulative probabilities for being surgery-free were 83%, 64%, and 51% at 1, 3, and 5 years, respectively. A concentration of C-reactive protein >18 mg/L, an albumin concentration <36 g/L, the presence of an abscess at the fistula diagnosis, and the presence of a stricture were associated independently with the need for surgery. The cumulative probabilities of fistula healing, based on imaging analyses, were 15.4%, 32.3%, and 43.9% at 1, 3, and 5 years, respectively. Thirty-two patients (20.5%) developed an intestinal abscess and 4 patients died from malignancies (3 intestinal adenocarcinomas). One patient died from septic shock 3 months after initiation of anti-TNF therapy.

Conclusions: In a retrospective analysis of data from a large clinical trial, we found that anti-TNF therapy delays or prevents surgery for almost half of patients with CD and luminal fistulas. However, anti-TNF therapy might increase the risk for sepsis-related death or gastrointestinal malignancies.

Continue reading