Postoperative Outcomes in Ustekinumab-Treated Patients Undergoing Abdominal Operations for Crohn's Disease

Amy L Lightner, Nicholas P McKenna, Chung Sang Tse, Neil Hyman, Radhika Smith, Gayane Ovsepyan, Phillip Fleshner, Kristen Crowell, Walter Koltun, Marc Ferrante, Andre D'Hoore, Nathalie Lauwers, Bram Verstockt, Antonino Spinelli, Francesca DiCandido, Laura E Raffals, Kellie L Mathis, Edward V Loftus

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Introduction: Ustekinumab, a monoclonal antibody targeting interleukins-12 and -23 is used to treat adults with Crohn's disease (CD). We determined the 30-day postoperative infectious complication rate among CD patients who received ustekinumab within 12 weeks prior to an abdominal operation as compared to patients who received anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) agents.

Methods: A retrospective chart review of adults with CD who underwent an abdominal operation between 1/1/2015 and 5/1/2017 was performed across six sites. Surgical site infection (SSI) was defined as superficial skin and soft tissue infection, intra-abdominal abscess, anastomotic leak, and mucocutaneous separation of the stoma.

Results: Forty-four patients received ustekinumab and 169 patients received anti-TNF therapy within the 12 weeks prior to surgery. The two groups were similar except anti-TNF patients were more likely to have received combination therapy with an immunomodulator (p=0.006). There were no significant differences in postoperative SSI (13% in ustekinumab versus 20% in anti TNF-treated patients, p=0.61) or hospital readmission rates (18% versus 10%, p=0.14), but ustekinumab-treated patients had a higher rate of return to the operating room (16% versus 5%; p=0.01). There were no significant predictors identified on multivariable analysis.

Conclusions: Of the 44 patients with CD who received ustekinumab within 12 weeks of a major abdominal operation, 13% experienced a 30-day postoperative SSI, not statistically different from the 20% found in the anti-TNF cohort. Ustekinumab treatment within 12 weeks of surgery does not appear to increase the risk of postoperative SSI above that of CD patients treated with anti-TNF medications.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Crohn's & colitis
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Dec 6 2017


  • Journal Article


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