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Br J Surg. 2002 Dec;89(12):1516-24.

Meta-analysis of relaparotomy for secondary peritonitis.

Author information

1
Departments of Surgery and Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. B.Lamme@amc.uva.nl

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Planned relaparotomy and relaparotomy on demand are two frequently employed surgical treatment strategies for patients with abdominal sepsis.

METHODS:

The available literature was evaluated to compare the efficacy of both surgical treatment strategies. A systematic search for studies comparing planned and on-demand relaparotomy strategies in adult patients with secondary peritonitis was employed. Studies were reviewed independently for design features, inclusion and exclusion criteria, and outcomes. The primary outcome measure was in-hospital mortality.

RESULTS:

No randomized studies were found; eight observational studies with a total of 1266 patients (planned relaparotomy, 286; relaparotomy on demand, 980) met the inclusion criteria and were included in the meta-analysis. These eight studies were heterogeneous on clinical and statistical grounds (chi2= 40.7, d.f. = 7, P < 0.001). Using a random-effects approach, the combined odds ratio for in-hospital mortality was 0.70 (95 per cent confidence interval 0.27 to 1.80) in favour of the on-demand strategy.

CONCLUSION:

The combined results of observational studies show a statistically non-significant reduction in mortality for the on-demand relaparotomy strategy compared with the planned relaparotomy strategy when corrected for heterogeneity in a random-effects model. Owing to the non-randomized nature of the studies, the limited number of patients per study, and the heterogeneity between studies, the overall evidence generated by the eight studies was inconclusive.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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