Evaluation of outcomes following subtotal colectomy for the treatment of idiopathic megacolon in cats

Rachel M. Grossman, Julia P. Sumner, Daniel J. Lopez, Josephine A. Dornbusch, Ameet Singh, Cassie N. Lux, Susannah J. Sample, Julius M. Liptak, Janet A. Grimes, David A. Upchurch, Michael S. Blumenthal, Marine Traverson, Nicole J. Buote, Sarah J. Marvel, Michelle A. Steffey, Shiori Arai, Jeffrey P. Little, Aylin Atilla, Jennifer L. Huck, Kathryn A. Pitt

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3 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE To evaluate outcomes in cats undergoing subtotal colectomy for the treatment of idiopathic megacolon and to determine whether removal versus nonremoval of the ileocecocolic junction (ICJ) was associated with differences in outcome. ANIMALS 166 client-owned cats. PROCEDURES For this retrospective cohort study, medical records databases of 18 participating veterinary hospitals were searched to identify records of cats with idiopathic megacolon treated by subtotal colectomy from January 2000 to December 2018. Data collection included perioperative and surgical variables, complications, outcome, and owner perception of the procedure. Data were analyzed for associations with outcomes of interest, and Kaplan-Meier survival time analysis was performed. RESULTS Major perioperative complications occurred in 9.9% (15/151) of cats, and 14% (12/87) of cats died as a direct result of treatment or complications of megacolon. The median survival time was not reached. Cats with (vs without) a body condition score < 4/9 (hazard ratio [HR], 5.97), preexisting heart disease (HR, 3.21), major perioperative complications (HR, 27.8), or long-term postoperative liquid feces (HR, 10.4) had greater hazard of shorter survival time. Constipation recurrence occurred in 32% (24/74) of cats at a median time of 344 days and was not associated with retention versus removal of the ICJ; however, ICJ removal was associated with long-term liquid feces (OR, 3.45), and a fair or poor outcome on owner assessment (OR, 3.6). CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that subtotal colectomy was associated with long survival times and a high rate of owner satisfaction. Removal of the ICJ was associated with less favorable outcomes in cats of the present study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1292-1299
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number11
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

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