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Am J Surg. 2008 May;195(5):679-82; discussion 682-3. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2008.01.011.

Management and outcome of pneumatosis intestinalis.

Author information

1
Department of Surgery, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR, USA. morrisme@ohsu.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Pneumatosis intestinalis (PI), infiltration of gas into the bowel wall, has traditionally been associated with immediate operative intervention and a high mortality rate.

METHODS:

We retrospectively reviewed the diagnosis and management of pneumatosis in an attempt to characterize the disease, and examined management strategies.

RESULTS:

Ninety-seven patients had a computed tomography (CT) diagnosis of pneumatosis. The location of pneumatosis was as follows: 46% colon, 27% small bowel, 5% stomach, and 7% both small and large bowel. Fourteen patients also had portal venous gas and 6 (43%) of these patients died. Management strategy was non-operative in 52%, operative in 33%, and futile care in 15%. The overall mortality rate was 22% (16% operative, 6% non-operative, and 87% futile). Patients who died had a higher mean APACHE II score (25 vs 11, P <.001).

CONCLUSIONS:

Approximately 50% of patients with pneumatosis can be successfully managed non-operatively. The combination of PI and portal venous gas may confer a higher mortality rate.

PMID:
18424288
DOI:
10.1016/j.amjsurg.2008.01.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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