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World J Surg. 2000 May;24(5):533-7; discussion 538.

Complicated enterocutaneous fistulas: failure of octreotide to improve healing.

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  • 1Surgical Service, Baltimore Veterans Administration Medical Center, Maryland 21201, USA.


Octreotide has been promoted as a potential aid during closure of enterocutaneous fistulas (ECFs) on the basis of clinical and experimental evidence that it can reduce gastrointestinal secretions. We retrospectively reviewed the records of patients admitted with ECF to our tertiary referral center to ascertain whether use of octreotide affected fistula duration, length of hospitalization, closure rate, and morbidity. Of 60 patients diagnosed and treated for ECF over a 4-year period, 13 underwent a therapeutic trial with octreotide. Thirteen patients from the group who did not receive octreotide were matched by cause, location, and output of the fistula, age, and primary diagnosis to the treatment group. Octreotide was administered in therapeutic dosage for a mean course of 57 +/- 29 days, resulting in a substantial acute decrease (84.7 +/- 4.8%) in fistula output. Prolonged therapy nevertheless failed to affect the outcome parameters studied, particularly fistula duration, spontaneous closure rate, and length of hospitalization. There was a significantly higher incidence of septic and thrombotic complications associated with octreotide use. In this patient population with complicated ECFs, use of octreotide showed no benefit and was associated with increased morbidity.

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