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Am Surg. 2009 May;75(5):378-84.

Impact of hollow viscus injuries on outcome of abdominal gunshot wounds.

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Department of Surgery, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky 40292, USA.


Abdominal gunshot wounds (GSW) are a source of morbidity and mortality. Limited data are available on the effect of hollow viscus injuries (HVI) secondary to gunshot wounds. GSW sustained in the Louisville area from 2004 to 2007 were reviewed. Attention was given to the impact of HVI from abdominal GSW. Statistical significance was determined. One-hundred ten patients sustained GSW with peritoneal violation. Eighty-six had HVI. Eighteen died after laparotomy with 15 having an HVI. Patients undergoing damage control (DC) have a significant increase in mortality compared with those not requiring DC. Exsanguination was the major cause of mortality (67%). Mortality directly related to HVI was found in 11 per cent. Twenty patients underwent DC with 11 deaths. Isolated HVI did not show a significantly increased mortality compared with other injury patterns involving solid organ or major vascular structures. Various methods of repair showed no significant survival advantage. Recognition and repair of HVI in abdominal GSW is crucial to patient salvage. Definitive repair of HVI at the initial operation should be considered. Primary repair of HVI is preferred although no survival disadvantage is seen in other forms of repair in marginally stable patients. Definitive repair at the initial operation decreases complications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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