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The triune of intestinal microbiome, genetics and inflammatory status and its impact on the healing of lower gastrointestinal anastomoses

Lee, Jou A., Chico, Timothy J. A., Renshaw, Stephen A.
The FEBS journal 2018 v.285 no.7 pp. 1212-1225
gastrointestinal system, genetics, intestinal microorganisms, microbiome, patients, resection, tissue repair
Gastrointestinal resections are a common operation and most involve an anastomosis to rejoin the ends of the remaining bowel to restore gastrointestinal (GIT) continuity. While most joins heal uneventfully, in up to 26% of patients healing fails and an anastomotic leak (AL) develops. Despite advances in surgical technology and techniques, the rate of anastomotic leaks has not decreased over the last few decades raising the possibility that perhaps we do not yet fully understand the phenomenon of AL and are thus ill‐equipped to prevent it. As in all complex conditions, it is necessary to isolate each different aspect of disease for interrogation of its specific role, but, as we hope to demonstrate in this article, it is a dangerous oversimplification to consider any single aspect as the full answer to the problem. Instead, consideration of important individual observations in parallel could illuminate the way forward towards a possibly simple solution amidst the complexity. This article details three aspects that we believe intertwine, and therefore should be considered together in wound healing within the GIT during postsurgical recovery: the microbiome, the host genetic make‐up and their relationship to the perioperative inflammatory status. Each of these, alone or in combination, has been linked with various states of health and disease, and in combining these three aspects in the case of postoperative recovery from bowel resection, we may be nearer an answer to preventing anastomotic leaks than might have been thought just a few years ago.