Potential Link Between Tonsillectomy and High Risk of Crohn's Disease

Tonsillectomies have typically been considered to be one of the surgical procedures younger patients often irrationally fear.

Tonsillectomies have typically been considered to be one of the surgical procedures younger patients often irrationally fear.

New research may prove that fear may be valid, as a study reported a relationship between the operation and significant risk of developing Crohn’s disease (CD), but not ulcerative colitis (UC).

In the study, published in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Weili Sun, MD, from the Shanghai Institute of Digestive Disease, and team conducted a systematic review to assess this potential relationship.

Using a random effects model, the team calculated the pooled estimates of odds ratios with data from 23 observational studies with 19,569 patients — 17 and 22 examined the correlation between tonsillectomy and CD and UC, respectively.

While the researchers saw a positive correlation between tonsillectomy and CD development, no relationship was seen for the UC patients.

The authors concluded, “This meta-analysis demonstrated that tonsillectomy is associated with an increased risk of developing CD. We found no evidence to suggest that tonsillectomy exerts a protective effective on the development of UC, as is the case with appendectomy.”

The researchers did acknowledge; however, further studies were needed to confirm their preliminary observations.