BACKGROUND: Studies comparing the outcome of ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA) in children and adults are scarce. This complicates decision-making in young patients. The aim of this study was to compare adverse events and pouch function between children and adults who underwent IPAA.
METHODS: This cross-sectional cohort study included all consecutive children (aged less than 18 years) and adults with a diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease or familial adenomatous polyposis who underwent IPAA in a tertiary referral centre between 2000 and 2015. Adverse events were assessed by chart review, and pouch function by interview using a pouch function score (PFS).
RESULTS: In total, 445 patients underwent IPAA: 41 children (median age 15 years) and 404 adults (median age 39 years), with a median follow-up of 22 (i.q.r. 8-68) months. Being overweight (P = 0·001), previous abdominal surgery (P = 0·018), open procedures (P < 0·001) and defunctioning ileostomy (P = 0·014) were less common among children than adult patients. The occurrence of anastomotic leakage, surgical fistulas, chronic pouchitis and Crohn's of the pouch was not associated with paediatric age at surgery, nor was pouch failure. The development of anastomotic strictures was associated with having IPAA surgery during childhood (odds ratio 4·22, 95 per cent c.i. 1·13 to 15·77; P = 0·032). Pouch function at last follow-up was similar in the children and adult groups (median PFS 5·0 versus 6·0 respectively; P = 0·194).
CONCLUSION: Long-term pouch failure rates and pouch function were similar in children and adults. There is no need for a more cautious attitude to use of IPAA in children based on concerns about poor outcome.