Dr Subramanian and colleagues examined the use of immunomodulators and the risk of complications after abdominal surgery in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
The researchers conducted a systematic review searching electronic databases including PubMed, Embase, Ingenta, Zetoc and Ovid.
The reference lists in all articles identified were hand-searched for further relevant papers.
|None of the 11 studies showed an increased risk of infectious complications|
|British Journal of Surgery|
The team included studies if they evaluated postoperative complications and defined exposure to individual immunomodulators.
All 11 studies that met the inclusion criteria were observational studies.
The team noted that 2 studies were reported only in abstract form.
A further 5 studies reported risks associated with azathioprine, 5 reported risks associated with cyclosporine, and 3 reported risks associated with infliximab.
The team observed that none of the studies showed an increased risk of either total or infectious complications associated with immunomodulator use.
However, subgroup analysis in 1 study suggested increased rates of anastomotic complications and reoperation associated with azathioprine.
Dr Subramanian's team commented, “Available evidence does not suggest an increased rate of postoperative complications associated with immunomodulator use.”