Anti-TNF biologic therapy does not increase postoperative morbidity in pediatric Crohn's patients

Amy L. Lightner, Nicholas P. McKenna, Ahmad Alsughayer, Edward V. Loftus, Laura E. Raffals, William A. Faubion, Christopher Moir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: Limited knowledge exists as to what impact preoperative biologic therapy has on postoperative complications in pediatric patients undergoing abdominal surgery for Crohn's disease (CD). Therefore, we sought to determine the 30-day postoperative infectious complication rate among pediatric CD patients who received biologic therapy within 12 weeks of an abdominal operation. Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed on pediatric (< 18 years of age) CD patients who underwent an abdominal operation between 1/1/2008 and 12/31/2017. Patients were grouped according to whether they received an anti-TNF (infliximab, adalimumab, certolizumab pegol) or no biologic therapy within 12 weeks prior to the operation. The primary outcome was the overall 30-day postoperative infectious complication rate. Secondary outcomes included 30-day readmission rate and return to the operating room (ROR). Results: A total of 69 pediatric CD patients met inclusion criteria (n = 54 anti-TNF therapy, n = 15 received no biologic therapy). There were no differences between the anti-TNF and no biologic cohorts with respect to demographics or CD characteristics. No significant differences in overall 30-day postoperative infectious complications existed between patients exposed to anti-TNF agents and those with no preoperative exposure, or in its subcategories of surgical infectious complications and nonsurgical infectious complications. There was also no difference in the rate of ileus, readmission, or ROR. Conclusions: Preoperative exposure to anti-TNF biologic therapy does not add to overall or infectious 30-day postoperative morbidity in pediatric CD patients. Level of evidence: III. Type of study: Retrospective review.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2162-2165
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2019


  • Anti-TNF
  • Crohn's disease
  • Postoperative outcomes
  • Ustekinumab
  • Vedolizumab

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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