Perioperative use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and the risk of anastomotic failure in emergency general surgery

Nadeem N. Haddad, Brandon R. Bruns, Toby M. Enniss, David Turay, Joseph V. Sakran, Alisan Fathalizadeh, Kristen Arnold, Jason S. Murry, Matthew M. Carrick, Matthew C. Hernandez, Margaret H. Lauerman, Asad J. Choudhry, David S. Morris, Jose J. Diaz, Herb A. Phelan, Martin D. Zielinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly used analgesic and anti-inflammatory adjuncts. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug administration may potentially increase the risk of postoperative gastrointestinal anastomotic failure (AF). We aim to determine if perioperative NSAID utilization influences gastrointestinal AF in emergency general surgery (EGS) patients undergoing gastrointestinal resection and anastomosis. METHODS Post hoc analysis of a multi-institutional prospectively collected database was performed. Anastomotic failure was defined as the occurrence of a dehiscence/leak, fistula, or abscess. Patients using NSAIDs were compared with those without. Summary, univariate, and multivariable analyses were performed. RESULTS Five hundred thirty-three patients met inclusion criteria with a mean (±SD) age of 60 ± 17.5 years, 53% men. Forty-six percent (n = 244) of the patients were using perioperative NSAIDs. Gastrointestinal AF rate between NSAID and no NSAID was 13.9% versus 10.7% (p = 0.26). No differences existed between groups with respect to perioperative steroid use (16.8% vs. 13.8%; p = 0.34) or mortality (7.39% vs. 6.92%, p = 0.84). Multivariable analysis demonstrated that perioperative corticosteroid (odds ratio, 2.28; 95% confidence interval, 1.04-4.81) use and the presence of a colocolonic or colorectal anastomoses were independently associated with AF. A subset analysis of the NSAIDs cohort demonstrated an increased AF rate in colocolonic or colorectal anastomosis compared with enteroenteric or enterocolonic anastomoses (30.0% vs. 13.0%; p = 0.03). CONCLUSION Perioperative NSAID utilization appears to be safe in EGS patients undergoing small-bowel resection and anastomosis. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug administration should be used cautiously in EGS patients with colon or rectal anastomoses. Future randomized trials should validate the effects of perioperative NSAIDs use on AF. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE Therapeutic study, level III.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)657-661
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017


  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • anastomosis
  • anastomotic failure
  • emergency general surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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