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01.12.2016 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2016 Open Access

BMC Surgery 1/2016

Postoperative pneumatosis intestinalis (PI) and portal venous gas (PVG) may indicate bowel necrosis: a 52-case study

Zeitschrift:
BMC Surgery > Ausgabe 1/2016
Autoren:
Kazuya Higashizono, Hideaki Yano, Ouki Miyake, Kunihiro Yamasawa, Masanori Hashimoto

Abstract

Background

The significance of pneumatosis intestinalis (PI) and portal venous gas (PVG) is controversial. This retrospective study evaluated the risk factors for bowel necrosis in patients with PI and/or PVG.

Methods

Between 2002 and 2015, 52 patients were diagnosed with PI and/or PVG and were included in this study. The patients were classified according to the presence or absence of bowel necrosis in surgical findings or at autopsy. Patient characteristics and clinical findings related to bowel necrosis were investigated.

Results

Bowel necrosis was diagnosed in 17 (32.7 %) patients. Amongst these 17, 10 patients received salvage surgical intervention, and seven of those diagnosed with bowel necrosis survived after the operation. The remaining 35 patients received conservative treatment with or without exploratory laparotomy. Between patients with and without bowel necrosis, laboratory data revealed significant differences in the levels of C-reactive protein (P = 0.0038), creatinine (P = 0.0054), and lactate (P = 0.045); clinical findings showed differences in abdominal pain (P = 0.019) and peritoneal irritation signs (P = 0.016); computed tomography detected ascites (P = 0.011) and changes of bowel wall enhancement (P = 0.03) that were significantly higher in patients with bowel necrosis. The rate of PI and/or PVG detected in patients postoperatively was significantly higher in patients with bowel necrosis (P < 0.0001). Multivariate analysis showed that bowel necrosis was significantly more likely when PI or PVG was detected in postoperative patients than in patients who had not had surgery (P = 0.003).

Conclusions

PI and/or PVG, alone, are not automatically indicative of bowel necrosis. However, when these conditions occur postoperatively, they indicate bowel necrosis requiring reoperation.
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