Different clinical features according to the anastomotic leakage subtypes after rectal cancer surgeries: Contained vs. Free leakages

Eun Jung Park, Jeonghyun Kang, Hyuk Hur, Byung Soh Min, Seung Hyuk Baik, Kang Young Lee, Nam Kyu Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background Anastomotic leakage can be classified by free and contained leakage according to clinical manifestations. The risk factors and their comparison between these leakage subtypes are uncertain. This study aims to evaluate anastomotic leakage patterns and to compare clinical features between free and contained leakages after low anterior resection for rectal cancer. Materials and methods Between January 2005 and December 2012, a total of 2035 consecutive patients who underwent low anterior resection for primary rectal cancer were evaluated retrospectively at two-tertiary referral centers. The primary end points of this study were to assess detailed clinical features among leakage subtypes. The secondary end point was to compare risk factors between free and contained leakages. Results Patients were subdivided into a no leakage group (n = 1890), free leakage group (n = 73), and contained leakage group (n = 72). Free leakage occurred more frequently in laparoscopic and robotic surgeries than open surgery (p = 0.015). On the other hand, contained leakage was developed in a higher rate of patients who received preoperative chemoradiotherapy (p<0.001). The mean development time was 4.6 days in the free leakage group, and 23.6 days in the contained leakage group. Patients with free leakage had a lower rate of a defunctioning stoma than contained leakage (5.5% vs. 29.2%, p<0.001). Risk factors for free leakage were smoking, tumor location, and laparoscopic surgery. However, tumor location and preoperative chemoradiotherapy increased the risk for contained leakage. Conclusions Contained leakage in rectal cancer surgery showed different clinical manifestations and risk factors compared to free leakage. It is necessary to pay more attention to patients with particular risk factors for anastomotic leakage subtypes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0208572
JournalPloS one
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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