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Intensive Care Med. 2002 May;28(5):594-8. Epub 2002 Mar 15.

Daily organ-system failure for diagnosis of persistent intra-abdominal sepsis after postoperative peritonitis.

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Department of Anesthesiology and Surgical ICU, Department of General Surgery, University Hospital Bichat-Claude Bernard, 46 Rue Henri Huchard, 75018 Paris, France.



To evaluate the time-course of two organ failure scores (SOFA and Goris) after surgery for postoperative peritonitis in critically ill patients according to the persistence/nonpersistence of intraabdominal sepsis (IAS).


Retrospective study.


Sixty-two consecutive patients (SAPSII = 38+/-14) admitted in the surgical ICU.


Patients were classified according to the persistence of IAS (IAS+, n=36) confirmed by a second laparotomy or the lack of IAS (IAS-, n=26) assessed by a favorable 30-day evolution without reintervention. Scores were calculated daily from day 0 preoperatively to postoperative day 5.


In both groups, SOFA scores were higher on day 1 when compared to day 0 (8.3+/-3.1 vs 6.1+/-3.7 in the IAS+ group and 5.2+/-3.4 vs 2.7+/-2.7 in the IAS- group). In the IAS- patients, the SOFA score displayed a decrease starting on day 2 when compared to day 1 (4.4+/-3.6 vs 5.2+/-3.4, P=0.03). In contrast, in the IAS+ patients, the SOFA score remained unchanged until day 5. The time course of the Goris score was strictly similar to the SOFA scores.


In critically ill patients with postoperative peritonitis, the postoperative time course of the SOFA and the Goris organ failure scores was different between patients with or without intra-abdominal persistent sepsis. The lack of improvement of one of these scores on postoperative day 2 may suggest persistent intraabdominal sepsis and supports the need for a new surgical exploration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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