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Bhangu A, Li E; COVIDSurg Collaborative, Fisher A, Manku B.

Aim: This study aimed to describe the change in surgical practice and the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on mortality after surgical resection of colorectal cancer during the initial phases of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

Method: This was an international cohort study of patients undergoing elective colon or rectal cancer resection, without preoperative suspicion of SARS-CoV-2. Centres entered data from their first recorded case of COVID-19 until 19 April 2020. The primary outcome was 30-day mortality. Secondary outcomes included anastomotic leak, postoperative SARS-CoV-2, and a comparison with a pre-pandemic European Society of Coloproctology cohort data.

Results: From 2073 patients in 40 countries, 1.3% (27/2073) had a defunctioning stoma and 3.0% (63/2073) had an end stoma instead of an anastomosis only. 30-day mortality was 1.8% (38/2073), the incidence of postoperative SARS-CoV-2 was 3.8% (78/2073), and the anastomotic leak rate was 4.9% (86/1738). Mortality was lowest in patients without a leak or SARS-CoV2 (14/1601, 0.9%), and highest in patients with both a leak and SARS-CoV-2 (5/13, 38.5%). Mortality was independently associated with an anastomotic leak (adjusted odds ratio 6.01, 95% confidence interval 2.58-14.06), postoperative SARS-CoV-2 (16.90, 7.86-36.38), male sex (2.46, 1.01-5.93), age >70 years (2.87, 1.32-6.20), and advanced cancer stage (3.43, 1.16-10.21). Compared to pre-pandemic data, there were fewer anastomotic leaks (4.9% versus 7.7%), an overall shorter length of stay (6 versus 7 days), but higher mortality (1.7% versus 1.1%).

Conclusion: Surgeons need to further mitigate against both SARS-CoV-2 and anastomotic leak when offering surgery during current and future COVID-19 waves based on patient, operative, and organisational risks.

Essangri H, Majbar MA, Benkabbou A, Amrani L, Mohsine R, Souadka A.

Background: Sphincter sparing surgery is oftentimes associated with bowel dysfunction complaints, namely the low anterior resection syndrome (LARS). The LARS questionnaire is widely used to assess this syndrome. The aim of this observational study is to translate this tool into arabic and test its psychometric properties in rectal cancer patients, in order to ease its use in clinical practice and future research.

Methods: The LARS questionnaire was translated to arabic and administered to a total of 143 patients. A subgroup of 42 patients took the test twice for test-retest reliability. Internal consistency was examined through cronbach’s alpha. The score results were correlated to the EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire for convergent validity assessment, while discriminant validity was established through the ability of the LARS score to differentiate patients with different clinical and pathological criteria.

Results: The Moroccan Arabic version of the LARS score was completed by 143 patients. The internal consistency was demonstrated through a cronbach alpha score of 0.66. The agreement between the test and retest was established by a Bland Altman plot with 95% limits of agreement. 85.6% of patients remained in the same LARS category. The LARS score showed negative correlation with all five of the QLQ-C30 functional scales as well as positive correlation to the diarrhea symptom scale. The questionnaire score differed between patients according to their tumor location, chemoradiotherapy, type of mesorectal excision and anastomosis.

Conclusion: The Moroccan Arabic version of the LARS score shows good psychometric properties and can be used for bowel dysfunction assessment in clinical and research settings.

Souadka A, Majbar MA, Essangri H, Amrani L, Benkabbou A, Mohsine R, Souadka A.

J Surg Oncol. 2020 Jun 20. doi: 10.1002/jso.26074. Online ahead of print.


Background and objectives: Pseudocontinent-perineal colostomy (PCPC) following abdominoperineal resection (APR) is a promising technique associated with good quality of life. This study evaluates over time the functional results after PCPC using the Kirwan score.

Methods: All PCPC patients operated on from January 2001 to January 2016 were followed with their functional results assessed at four checkpoints. A/B Kirwan scores and a 48 to 72 hours colonic irrigation rhythm were considered « good » and « convenient » and their overall variations over time were assessed by means of Cochran’s Q test corrected by Bonferroni post hoc test.

Results: Fifty-seven eligible patients were included in the study with 33 (58%) women. We noted a significant difference in both Kirwan score and colic irrigation rhythm during the four checkpoints in follow-up with Q(1) = 85.01 and Q(2) = 69. 86. By the fourth checkpoint, 86% of patients had a Kirwan score of A/B. Concerning the rhythm of colonic irrigation, there was a significant improvement between 6 months and other checkpoints. In the second year, 63% of patients reduced their colonic irrigation rhythm.

Conclusions: The functional results of PCPC after APR improve and stabilize from 6 months to 1 year after surgery thus making PCPC a good alternative that surgeons can present to their patients.

Keywords: Kirwan score; Schmidt’s technique; abdominoperineal resection; pseudocontinent-perineal colostomy; rectal adenocarcinoma.

GlobalSurg Collaborative

BJS Open. 2019 Feb 28;3(3):403-414. doi: 10.1002/bjs5.50138. eCollection 2019 Jun.


Background: End colostomy rates following colorectal resection vary across institutions in high-income settings, being influenced by patient, disease, surgeon and system factors. This study aimed to assess global variation in end colostomy rates after left-sided colorectal resection.

Methods: This study comprised an analysis of GlobalSurg-1 and -2 international, prospective, observational cohort studies (2014, 2016), including consecutive adult patients undergoing elective or emergency left-sided colorectal resection within discrete 2-week windows. Countries were grouped into high-, middle- and low-income tertiles according to the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI). Factors associated with colostomy formation versus primary anastomosis were explored using a multilevel, multivariable logistic regression model.

Results: In total, 1635 patients from 242 hospitals in 57 countries undergoing left-sided colorectal resection were included: 113 (6·9 per cent) from low-HDI, 254 (15·5 per cent) from middle-HDI and 1268 (77·6 per cent) from high-HDI countries. There was a higher proportion of patients with perforated disease (57·5, 40·9 and 35·4 per cent; P < 0·001) and subsequent use of end colostomy (52·2, 24·8 and 18·9 per cent; P < 0·001) in low- compared with middle- and high-HDI settings. The association with colostomy use in low-HDI settings persisted (odds ratio (OR) 3·20, 95 per cent c.i. 1·35 to 7·57; P = 0·008) after risk adjustment for malignant disease (OR 2·34, 1·65 to 3·32; P < 0·001), emergency surgery (OR 4·08, 2·73 to 6·10; P < 0·001), time to operation at least 48 h (OR 1·99, 1·28 to 3·09; P = 0·002) and disease perforation (OR 4·00, 2·81 to 5·69; P < 0·001).

Conclusion: Global differences existed in the proportion of patients receiving end stomas after left-sided colorectal resection based on income, which went beyond case mix alone.

Souadka A, Majbar MA, Benkabbou A, Serji B, Souiki T, Bouchentouf SM, Abid M, El Khannousi B, El Harroudi T, El Malki HO, Raiss M, Ifrine L, Mazaz K, Zentar A, Mohsine R, Souadka A, Belkouchi A, Ahallat M, Hrora A; Moroccan Society of Surgery.

BMC Cancer. 2019 Oct 28;19(1):1008. doi: 10.1186/s12885-019-6239-3.


Background: Many data suggest that patients with low rectal adenocarcinoma who achieved ypT0N0 status have improved survival and disease-free survival (DFS) compared to all other stages however only few data are available regarding the specific prognosis factors of this subgroup. This study aimed to evaluate predictive factors for disease free survival after complete pathological response (CPR) in cases of low rectal adenocarcinoma.

Materials and methods: From January 2005 to December 2013, all patients with low rectal adenocarcinoma who underwent neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy followed by total mesorectal excision and achieved CPR were included at 7 Moroccan and 1 Algerian centres. Predictive factors for disease-free survival were analysed by uni and multivariate analysis.

Results: Eigthy-four (12.1%) patients achieved a CPR (ypT0N0). Multivariate analysis revealed that both poorly differentiated tumors (OR, 9.23; 95 CI 1.35-62.82; P = 0.023) and the occurrence of perineal sepsis (OR, 13.51; 95 CI 1.96-93.12; P = 0.008) were independently associated with impaired DFS.

Conclusions: Patients with low rectal cancer who exhibited a CPR after neoadjuvant therapy have good prognoses; however, the occurrence of perineal sepsis and/or poor initial differentiation may be associated with impaired DFS in these patients.

Trial registration: The study was retrospectively registered the 28th July 2018 in register with the reference NCT03601689.

Keywords: Complete pathological response; Disease-free survival; Neoadjuvant treatment; Predictive factors; Rectal neoplasm.

2017 European Society of Coloproctology (ESCP) collaborating group.

 2018 Sep;20 Suppl 6:58-68. doi: 10.1111/codi.14361.



The mainstay of management for locally advanced rectal cancer is chemoradiotherapy followed by surgical resection. Following chemoradiotherapy, a complete response may be detected clinically and radiologically (cCR) prior to surgery or pathologically after surgery (pCR). We aim to report the overall complete pathological response (pCR) rate and the reliability of detecting a cCR by conventional pre-operative imaging.


A pre-planned analysis of the European Society of Coloproctology (ESCP) 2017 audit was performed. Patients treated by elective rectal resection were included. A pCR was defined as a ypT0 N0 EMVI negative primary tumour; a partial response represented any regression from baseline staging following chemoradiotherapy. The primary endpoint was the pCR rate. The secondary endpoint was agreement between post-treatment MRI restaging (yMRI) and final pathological staging.


Of 2572 patients undergoing rectal cancer surgery in 277 participating centres across 44 countries, 673 (26.2%) underwent chemoradiotherapy and surgery. The pCR rate was 10.3% (67/649), with a partial response in 35.9% (233/649) patients. Comparison of AJCC stage determined by post-treatment yMRI with final pathology showed understaging in 13% (55/429) and overstaging in 34% (148/429). Agreement between yMRI and final pathology for T-stage, N-stage, or AJCC status were each graded as ‘fair’ only (n = 429, Kappa 0.25, 0.26 and 0.35 respectively).


The reported pCR rate of 10% highlights the potential for non-operative management in selected cases. The limited strength of agreement between basic conventional post-chemoradiotherapy imaging assessment techniques and pathology suggest alternative markers of response should be considered, in the context of controlled clinical trials.

PMID: 30255641 / DOI: 10.1111/codi.14361

2017 European Society of Coloproctology (ESCP) collaborating group.

 2018 Sep;20 Suppl 6:33-46. doi: 10.1111/codi.14376.



Transanal total mesorectal excision (TaTME) has rapidly emerged as a novel approach for rectal cancer surgery. Safety profiles are still emerging and more comparative data is urgently needed. This study aimed to compare indications and short-term outcomes of TaTME, open, laparoscopic, and robotic TME internationally.


A pre-planned analysis of the European Society of Coloproctology (ESCP) 2017 audit was performed. Patients undergoing elective total mesorectal excision (TME) for malignancy between 1 January 2017 and 15 March 2017 by any operative approach were included. The primary outcome measure was anastomotic leak.


Of 2579 included patients, 76.2% (1966/2579) underwent TME with restorative anastomosis of which 19.9% (312/1966) had a minimally invasive approach (laparoscopic or robotic) which included a transanal component (TaTME). Overall, 9.0% (175/1951, 15 missing outcome data) of patients suffered an anastomotic leak. On univariate analysis both laparoscopic TaTME (OR 1.61, 1.02-2.48, P = 0.04) and robotic TaTME (OR 3.05, 1.10-7.34, P = 0.02) were associated with a higher risk of anastomotic leak than non-transanal laparoscopic TME. However this association was lost in the mixed-effects model controlling for patient and disease factors (OR 1.23, 0.77-1.97, P = 0.39 and OR 2.11, 0.79-5.62, P = 0.14 respectively), whilst low rectal anastomosis (OR 2.72, 1.55-4.77, P < 0.001) and male gender (OR 2.29, 1.52-3.44, P < 0.001) remained strongly associated. The overall positive circumferential margin resection rate was 4.0%, which varied between operative approaches: laparoscopic 3.2%, transanal 3.8%, open 4.7%, robotic 1%.


This contemporaneous international snapshot shows that uptake of the TaTME approach is widespread and is associated with surgically and pathologically acceptable results.

PMID: 30255642 / DOI: 10.1111/codi.14376

2017 European Society of Coloproctology (ESCP) collaborating group.

 2018 Sep;20 Suppl 6:15-32. doi: 10.1111/codi.14362.



The optimal bowel preparation strategy to minimise the risk of anastomotic leak is yet to be determined. This study aimed to determine whether oral antibiotics combined with mechanical bowel preparation (MBP+Abx) was associated with a reduced risk of anastomotic leak when compared to mechanical bowel preparation alone (MBP) or no bowel preparation (NBP).


A pre-planned analysis of the European Society of Coloproctology (ESCP) 2017 Left Sided Colorectal Resection audit was performed. Patients undergoing elective left sided colonic or rectal resection with primary anastomosis between 1 January 2017 and 15 March 2017 by any operative approach were included. The primary outcome measure was anastomotic leak.


Of 3676 patients across 343 centres in 47 countries, 618 (16.8%) received MBP+ABx, 1945 MBP (52.9%) and 1099 patients NBP (29.9%). Patients undergoing MBP+ABx had the lowest overall rate of anastomotic leak (6.1%, 9.2%, 8.7% respectively) in unadjusted analysis. After case-mix adjustment using a mixed-effects multivariable regression model, MBP+Abx was associated with a lower risk of anastomotic leak (OR 0.52, 0.30-0.92, P = 0.02) but MBP was not (OR 0.92, 0.63-1.36, P = 0.69) compared to NBP.


This non-randomised study adds ‘real-world’, contemporaneous, and prospective evidence of the beneficial effects of combined mechanical bowel preparation and oral antibiotics in the prevention of anastomotic leak following left sided colorectal resection across diverse settings. We have also demonstrated limited uptake of this strategy in current international colorectal practice.

PMID: 30255646 / DOI: 10.1111/codi.14362

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