VOLUME 40 - NUMBER 5 - 2019

The surgical management of acute bowel ischemia in octogenarian patients to avoid Short Bowel Syndrome: a multicenter study

  • Lauro A., Sapienza P., Vaccari S., Cervellera M., Mingoli A., Tartaglia E., Canavese A., Canavese A., Caputo F., Falvo L., Casella G., Isaj E., Di Matteo F.M., D'Andrea V., Tonini V.
  • Original Article, 405-412
  • Full text PDF

  • Background. This is a multicenter study performed in two Italian tertiary care centers: General Emergency Surgery Unit at St. Orsola University Teaching Hospital - Bologna and Department of Surgical Sciences at Umberto I University Teaching Hospital - Rome. The aim was to compare the results of different approaches among elderly patients with acute bowel ischemia.

    Methods. Sixty-three patients were divided in two groups: 1) DSgroup- 28 patients treated in Vascular Unit and 2) GEgroup- 35 patients treated in Emergency Surgery Unit.

    Results. Mean age was 80 years, significantly higher for the GEgroup (p<0.001). Gender was predominantly female in both groups, without statistical difference. Pre-operatively, laboratory tests didn’t show any difference in white blood cell count, serum lactate levels or serum creatinine among patients, while increase of c-reactive protein was observed in DSgroup with significant difference (p<0.001). The Romamain cause of acute bowel ischemia was embolism in DSgroup (p=0.03) and vascular spasm in GEgroup (p<0.001). On CT scan, bowel loop dilation was present in 58.7% of patients without statistical difference in both groups. The time lapse from diagnosis to operation didn’t show significant differences between two groups (mean 349.4 min). Pre-operative heparin therapy was administered in DSgroup more frequently (p< 0.001). Among DS patients, thrombectomy was the most frequent procedure (19 patients) associated with bowel resection in 9 cases. In GEgroup, 22 patients had an explorative laparotomy (p<0.001), 8 had a bowel resection with anastomosis and 5 a bowel resection plus stoma. A second look was required more significantly in DSgroup (p<0.002). Post-operative morbidity affected significantly GEgroup (p=0.02). The 3-day survival was significantly higher in the DSgroup (p< 0.001). At discharge 32 patients (50.8%) were alive, 21 in DSgroup (p< 0.001). Only one patient among both groups (1.6%) developed a short bowel syndrome.

    Conclusions. In octogenarian patients with acute bowel ischemia, surgery should be always pursued whenever the interventional radiology is not assessed as a viable option. Both groups of patients showed an excellent outcome in terms of avoiding a short bowel syndrome. A multidisciplinary management by a dedicated team could offer the best results to prevent large intestinal resections.

  • KEY WORDS: Intestine ischemia - Short bowel syndrome - Octogenarian patients - Bowel rescue - Surgery.