Postoperative outcomes after preoperative ustekinumab exposure in patients with Crohn’s disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Authors Rajat Garg, Babu P. Mohan, Suresh Ponnada, Miguel Regueiro, Amy L. Lightner, Benjamin Click.


Background Recent studies have reported conflicting data on the risk of postoperative complications in patients with Crohn’s disease (CD) exposed to ustekinumab (UST) preoperatively. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to better assess and quantify the risk of postoperative complications in this population undergoing major abdomino-pelvic surgery.

Methods We conducted a comprehensive search of multiple electronic databases and conference proceedings (earliest inception through October 2020) to identify studies that reported the postoperative outcomes in CD patients with preoperative UST exposure. We estimated and compared the pooled rates of postoperative complications, including intra-abdominal sepsis, surgical site infection, any infection, any adverse event, readmission, and reoperation.

Results A total of 5 studies were included in the analysis. The last dose of the drug was at most 16 weeks prior to abdomino-pelvic surgery. A total of 172 CD patients (61% female; median age 35 years) were included. The pooled rate of any complication and any infectious complications was 23.5% (95% confidence interval [CI] 16-33.1) and 20.2% (95%CI 10.3-35), respectively. There was no difference in rates of intra-abdominal sepsis between the UST group (7.2%, 95%CI 3-16.4) and the anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) group (11.9%, 95%CI 5.9-22.5; P = 0.4). The rates of readmission and reoperation in the UST group were 17.4% (95%CI 7.9-34) and 14.6% (95%CI 9-22.7), respectively.

Conclusions The postoperative complication rate in patients with preoperative UST exposure may be similar to that for anti-TNF medication. Preoperative exposure to UST does influence postoperative complication risk. Future prospective studies are needed to validate these findings.

Keywords Ustekinumab, postoperative, complications, Crohn’s disease

Ann Gastroenterol 2021; 34 (5): 691-698

Original Articles