Ann Coloproctol.  2018 Aug;34(4):175-179. 10.3393/ac.2017.06.14.1.

Obstructive Ileocolitis in Patients With Obstructed Colorectal Cancer – A Matched Case Control Study

  • 1Division of Colorectal Surgery, University Surgical Cluster, National University Health System, Singapore.


Obstructive ileocolitis is an ulcero-inflammatory condition which typically occurs in the ileum or colon proximal to an obstructing colorectal lesion. If left unresolved, it often leads to intestinal perforation. We present a matched case control study of patients with obstructive ileocolitis caused by colorectal cancer to determine if any factors can predict this condition.
This is a retrospective review of 21 patients with obstructive colorectal cancer and histologically proven obstructive ileocolitis from 2005 to 2015 matched for age and sex with 21 controls with obstructing colorectal cancer without obstructive ileocolitis.
The 21 patients with obstructive ileocolitis had a median age of 71 years (range, 52-86 years). The most common presenting symptom was abdominal pain (n = 16, 76.2%), followed by vomiting/nausea (n = 14, 66.7%) and abdominal distension (n = 12, 57.1%). Interestingly, the radiological feature of pneumatosis intestinalis was noted in only 1 case. No significant differences were observed in baseline comorbidities, clinical presentations, or tumor characteristics between the 2 groups. Patients with obstructive ileocolitis were found to have a significantly higher total leucocyte count (17.1 ± 9.4×109/L vs. 12.0 ± 6.8×109/L, P = 0.016), lower pCO2 (32.3 ± 8.2 mmHg vs. 34.8 ± 4.9 mmHg, P = 0.013), lower HCO3 (18.8 ± 4.5 mmol/L vs. 23.6 ± 2.7 mmol/L, P < 0.001), lower base excess (-6.53 ± 5.32 mmol/L vs. -0.57 ± 2.99 mmol/L, P < 0.001) and higher serum lactate levels (3.14 ± 2.19 mmol/L vs. 1.19 ± 0.91 mmol/L, P = 0.007) compared to controls. No radiological features were predictive of obstructive ileocolitis.
Patients with obstructive ileocolitis tend to present with metabolic acidosis with respiratory compensation, raised lactate, and worse leucocytosis. Radiological features are not useful for predicting this condition.


Colorectal cancer; Intestinal obstruction; Obstructive ileocolitis

MeSH Terms

Abdominal Pain
Case-Control Studies*
Colorectal Neoplasms*
Compensation and Redress
Crohn Disease*
Intestinal Obstruction
Intestinal Perforation
Lactic Acid
Retrospective Studies
Lactic Acid
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