Impact of Botulinum Toxin on Hirschsprung-Associated Enterocolitis After Primary Pull-Through.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.jss.2020.12.018


BACKGROUND: Hirschsprung-associated enterocolitis (HAEC) is a serious potential complication after primary pull-through surgery for Hirschsprung's disease (HSCR). Administration of anal botulinum toxin (BT) injection may improve obstructive symptoms at the internal anal sphincter, leading to improved fecal passage. The timing of administration and effects on delay or prevention of HAEC are unknown. We hypothesized that BT administration increased the postoperative time to HAEC and aimed to investigate whether anal BT administration after primary pull-through surgery for HSCR is associated with increased time to inpatient HAEC admission development.

METHODS: We performed a retrospective cohort study examining children with HSCR at US children's hospitals from 2008 to 2018 using the Pediatric Health Information System database with an associated primary pull-through operation performed before 60 d of age. The intervention assessed was the administration of BT concerning the timing of primary pull-through, and two groups were identified: PRO (received BT at or after primary pull-through, before HAEC) and NOT (never received BT, or received BT after HAEC). The primary outcome was time from pull-through to the first HAEC admission. The Cox proportional hazards model was developed to examine the BT administration effect on the primary outcome after controlling for patient-level covariates.

RESULTS: We examined a total of 1439 children (67 in the PRO and 1372 in the NOT groups). A total of 308 (21.4%) developed at least one episode of HAEC, including 76 (5.3%) who had two or more episodes. Between 2008 and 2018, the frequency of BT administration has increased from three to 20 hospitals with a frequency of administration between 2.2% and 16.2%. Prophylactic BT (PRO) was not associated with increased time to HAEC event on adjusted analysis.

CONCLUSIONS: Among children with HSCR undergoing primary pull-through surgery, prophylactic BT administration did not demonstrate increased time to first HAEC event. A better-powered study with prophylactic BT is required to determine the effect on HAEC occurrence and timing.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level II (retrospective cohort study).

Journal Title

The Journal of surgical research



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Botulinum toxin; Enterocolitis; Hirschsprung's disease; Hirschsprung-associated enterocolitis (HAEC); Internal anal sphincter; Obstructive symptoms; Pull-through

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