Diagnosis and Management of Cuffitis: A Systematic Review

Amy E. Hembree, Ellen Scherl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: In patients with ulcerative colitis or familial adenomatous polyposis who develop neoplasia or fail medical therapy and require colectomy, restorative proctocolectomy with IPAA is often indicated. Although often well tolerated, IPAA can be complicated by cuffitis or inflammation of the remaining rectal cuff. Although much has been published on this subject, there is no clear and comprehensive synthesis of the literature regarding cuffitis. METHODS: Our systematic literature review analyzes 34 articles to assess the frequency, cause, pathogenesis, diagnosis, classification, complications, and treatment of cuffitis. RESULTS: Cuffitis occurs in an estimated 10.2% to 30.1% of pouch patients. Purported risk factors include rectal cuff length >2 cm, pouch-rectal anastomosis, stapled anastomosis, J-pouch configuration, 2- or 3-stage IPAA, preoperative Clostridium difficile infection, toxic megacolon, fulminant colitis, preoperative biologic use, medically refractory disease, immunomodulator/steroids use within 3 months of surgery, extraintestinal manifestations of IBD, and BMI <18.5 kg/m2at the time of colectomy. Adverse consequences associated with cuffitis include decreased quality-of-life scores, increased risk for pouchitis, pouch failure, pouch excision, and pouch neoplasia. CONCLUSIONS: Given the similarities between pouchitis and cuffitis, diagnosis and treatment of cuffitis should proceed according to the International Ileal Pouch Consortium guidelines. This review found that the majority of the current literature fails to distinguish between classic cuffitis (a form of reminant ulcerative proctitis) and nonclassic cuffitis (resulting from other causes). Further work is needed to distinguish the unique risk factors and endoscopic characteristics associated with each subtype, and further randomized clinical trials should be conducted to strengthen the evidence for treatment options.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S85-S91
JournalDiseases of the Colon and Rectum
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Cuff
  • Cuffitis
  • Diagnosis
  • Ileal pouch
  • Restorative proctocolectomy
  • Treatment


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