Abstract Background Perianal fistula is an abnormal communication between the anal canal and perianal skin. Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic, auto-inflammatory skin disease in the intertriginous body areas, presenting with recurring abscesses, inflammatory nodules, and sinus tracts. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of HS in patients with a perianal fistula. Methods All patients with perianal fistula visiting a specialized proctology clinic between July and September 2017 were included and asked a validated diagnostic question for HS. Subsequently, physical examination was performed to objectively assess the diagnosis and relevant patient characteristics. Results In 6.6% (8/122) of patients, HS was diagnosed outside the perianal region. Four of these patients were newly diagnosed. The fistulas in HS patients were classified as a superficial fistula (three), a blind ending fistula (two), and a transsphincteric fistula (two). One patient had more than one type of fistula. Conclusion The prevalence of HS in patients with a perianal fistula is at least 6.6%. This is higher than the prevalence reported in the general European population (1%) suggesting an association between perianal fistulas and HS. We stress the importance to screen for HS in patients with perianal fistulas in order to start appropriate anti-inflammatory treatment to reduce symptoms and disease progression.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00384-019-03313-2, hdl.handle.net/1765/117842
Journal International Journal of Colorectal Disease: clinical and molecular gastroenterology and surgery
Citation
Ardon, C, Molenaar, C., van Straalen, K.R, Scholtes, V.C., Prens, E.P, & van der Zee, H.H. (2019). High prevalence of hidradenitis suppurativa in patients with perianal fistula. International Journal of Colorectal Disease: clinical and molecular gastroenterology and surgery, 34(7), 1337–1339. doi:10.1007/s00384-019-03313-2