Importance of surgical margins in rectal cancer

Devi Mukkai Krishnamurty, Paul E. Wise

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Distal resection margin (DRM) and circumferential resection margin (CRM) are two important considerations in rectal cancer management. Although guidelines recommend a 2 cm DRM, studies have shown that a shorter DRM is adequate, especially in patients receiving neoadjuvant chemoradiation. Standardization of total mesorectal excision has greatly improved quality of CRM. Although more patients are undergoing sphincter-saving procedures, abdominoperineal resection is indicated for very distal tumors, and pelvic exenteration is often necessary for tumors involving pelvic organs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-332
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of surgical oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • circumferential resection margin
  • distal resection margin
  • rectal cancer
  • total mesorectal excision


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