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Trop Doct. 2017 Oct;47(4):355-359. doi: 10.1177/0049475517724690. Epub 2017 Aug 1.

Segmental colectomy for bleeding diverticular disease guided by the PEEP test.

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Consultant Surgeon, Department of Clinical Surgical Sciences, St Augustine Campus, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago.


Many patients with massive lower gastrointestinal (GI) haemorrhage from diverticulosis are subjected to total colectomy when preoperative localisation is unavailable. We dissected colectomy specimens and noted that there was limited retrograde reflux in most of these cases. Therefore, we sought to assess the value of a positive endoluminal erythrocyte presence (PEEP) test (presence of fresh blood in the caecum) to direct segmental colectomies in 14 patients who required emergency operations for massive lower GI haemorrhage. Overall, 13 (93%) patients who had segmental colectomy guided by the PEEP test had successful control of bleeding. There was no mortality and a 14% postoperative morbidity after segmental resections guided by the PEEP test. One patient had persistent bleeding and required a completion colectomy on the third postoperative day. We propose that the PEEP test be added to the surgical armamentarium to guide segmental resection in the absence of localisation by conventional means. However, we advocate blind total colectomy if the PEEP test is equivocal and early completion colectomy if there is significant re-bleeding.


Colectomy; bleeding; emergency; gastrointestinal; segmental; total

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