A South African central hospital’s experience with malignant colorectal obstruction

Keywords: obstructive colorectal cancer, malignant bowel obstruction, obstruction, colon cancer

Abstract

Background: The spectrum and outcome of colorectal cancer (CRC) presenting with obstruction is not well studied in low- to middle-income countries (LMIC) and could have implications for health policy. This study aimed to address this deficit in an LMIC setting.

Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted of patients with large bowel obstruction, during the period 2000–2019 from the prospective Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital (IALCH) CRC registry data. Data analysed included the site of CRC, tumour differentiation, management of patients with obstructive CRC, resection margins post resection, oncological management and reasons for failure to receive oncological therapy. Patient follow-up and recurrence were recorded.

Results: Malignant obstruction from CRC occurred in 510 patients (20% of the CRC registry). Median age at presentation was 57 years (IQR 48–67). One hundred and seventy-six (34.5%) and 135 (26.5%) had stage III and IV disease respectively. Moderately differentiated cancer was seen in 335 (65.6%). Management was resection (370; 72.5%), diverting colostomy (123; 24.1%) and stent insertion (55; 10.8%). Twenty-one patients (5.7%) had positive resection margins. Recurrence occurred in 34 patients (6.7%), all of whom had initially undergone resection, giving a recurrence rate of 9.8% in those receiving surgery. Median disease-free interval for patients developing recurrence was 21 months (IQR 12–32).

Conclusion: One in five patients with CRC presented with obstruction. These patients were younger than in high incomecountry (HIC) series. Over 70% underwent resection. Stomas were used twice as frequently as stents to relieve the obstruction, a finding that is the reverse of that in HICs.

Author Biographies

N J Ndlovu, University of KwaZulu Natal

Gastrointestinal Cancer Research Group, Department of Surgery, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

S Kader, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Gastrointestinal Cancer Research Group, Department of Surgery, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Y Moodley, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Gastrointestinal Cancer Research Group, Department of Surgery, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, Central University of Technology and Department of Global Health, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

S Cheddie, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Gastrointestinal Cancer Research Group, Department of Surgery, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

T E Madiba, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Gastrointestinal Cancer Research Group, Department of Surgery, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Published
2023-05-09
How to Cite
Ndlovu, N., Kader, S., Moodley, Y., Cheddie, S., & Madiba, T. (2023). A South African central hospital’s experience with malignant colorectal obstruction. South African Journal of Surgery, 61(1), 139-143. Retrieved from http://sajs.redbricklibrary.com/index.php/sajs/article/view/3854
Section
General Surgery