Ann Coloproctol.  2021 Oct;37(5):281-290. 10.3393/ac.2021.03.15.

The Effect of Anastomotic Leakage on the Incidence and Severity of Low Anterior Resection Syndrome in Patients Undergoing Proctectomy: A Propensity Score Matching Analysis

  • 1Department of Surgery, Yeungnam University College of Medicine, Daegu, Korea


Proctectomy for the treatment of rectal cancer results in inevitable changes to bowel habits. Symptoms such as fecal incontinence, constipation, and tenesmus are collectively referred to as low anterior resection syndrome (LARS). Among the several risk factors that cause LARS, anastomotic leakage (AL) is a strong risk factor for permanent stoma formation. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between the severity of LARS and AL in patients with rectal cancer based on the LARS score and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) defecation symptom questionnaires.
We retrospectively analyzed patients who underwent low anterior resection for rectal cancer since January 2010. Patients who completed the questionnaire were classified into the AL group and control group based on medical and imaging records. Major LARS and MSKCC scores were analyzed as primary endpoints.
Among the 179 patients included in this study, 37 were classified into the AL group. After propensity score matching, there were significant differences in the ratio of major LARS and MSKCC scores of the control group and AL group (ratio of major LARS: 11.1% and 37.8%, P<0.001; MSKCC score: 67.29±10.4 and 56.49±7.2, respectively, P<0.001). Univariate and multivariate analyses revealed that AL was an independent factor for major LARS occurrence and MSKCC score.
This study showed that AL was a significant factor in the occurrence of major LARS and defecation symptoms after proctectomy.


Proctectomy; Anastomotic leakage; Low anterior resection syndrome; Rectal neoplasms
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