Emergencies in inflammatory bowel disease

M. E. Zenilman, J. M. Becker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


A review of acute emergencies in inflammatory bowel disease is presented. Caveats include prompt surgical drainage of loculated abscesses and aggressive management of bleeding or perforation. Adequate nutritional and immunologic assessment of all patients prior to surgery is paramount and has resulted in the widespread use of total parenteral nutrition. Aggressive medical therapy, particularly steroids, may be useful in 'cooling down' cases of acute inflammation prior to surgery. This is particularly useful in Crohn's disease, in which recurrences abound and surgery has a significant degree of complication and recurrence. When urgent operation is necessary for acute ulcerative colitis, abdominal colectomy with ileostomy and preservation of the rectum is generally indicated. This will allow subsequent mucosal proctectomy and ileoanal anastomosis. When urgent colectomy is indicated from Crohn's colitis without rectal involvement, ileorectal anastomosis can be considered either as a primary or secondary procedure. If toxic megacolon is present, an initial trial of medical therapy is warranted in order to allow a single-staged operation to be performed electively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-408
Number of pages22
JournalGastroenterology Clinics of North America
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


Dive into the research topics of 'Emergencies in inflammatory bowel disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this