Steroids and poor nutrition are associated with infectious wound complications in children undergoing first stage procedures for ulcerative colitis

Troy A. Markel, Derek C. Lou, Marian Pfefferkorn, L. R. Scherer, Karen West, Thomas Rouse, Scott Engum, Alan Ladd, Frederick J. Rescorla, Deborah F. Billmire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Scopus citations


Background: Risk factors for postoperative infections have not been evaluated in pediatric patients with ulcerative colitis (UC). This review was undertaken to evaluate the effects of immunosuppressive therapy and other preoperative factors on infectious wound complications in children undergoing first stage surgical therapy for UC. Methods: A 10-year retrospective review of children under 18 years of age receiving first stage surgical therapy for UC at a major children's hospital was performed. Preoperative clinical and treatment variables were identified and correlated with postoperative wound complications. Results: A total of 51 children were identified: 19 underwent colectomy with ileo-anal-pouch anastomosis and 32 underwent total abdominal colectomy with Hartmann's pouch. A total of 20 infectious complications were identified in 18 patients. Preoperative steroid use was associated with a greater postoperative wound infection rate. Preoperative hemoglobin less than 10 g/dL (P < .05) and albumin less than 3 g/dL (P = 0.1) were associated with greater rates of postoperative infection. Preoperative body mass index and other immunosuppressive agents did not influence postoperative infectious morbidity. Conclusions: The majority of pediatric patients who require operative intervention for UC are debilitated from their disease and medication use. Children with normal serum albumin and hemoglobin who are not on steroid therapy have a low risk of postoperative infectious complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)540-547
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2008


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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