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Am Surg. 1994 Jan;60(1):35-9.

A prospective reappraisal of primary repair of penetrating duodenal injuries.

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Department of Surgery, New York Medical College, Bronx.


Based on a retrospective analysis of 100 penetrating duodenal injuries, the role of primary repair or resection and anastomosis was assessed prospectively in 66 patients (1986-1992). Duodenal exclusion was reserved for extensive combined pancreato-duodenal injuries. Seven of the 66 patients died from extensive abdominal trauma (mean Abdominal Trauma Index, ATI 70) within 48 hours of admission. Fifty-six patients had primary repair, while pyloric exclusion was performed for three patients with extensive pancreatico-duodenal injuries. Three patients (5.1%) developed duodenal fistula, two being in the primary repair group (3.6%). All three patients had associated injury to the head of the pancreas. Four of the 59 patients died, one attributed to the duodenal repair, for a duodenal mortality of 1.7 per cent. Of the anatomic (ATI, duodenal, vascular, and pancreatic injury scores) and physiologic variables (shock, transfusions) analyzed, the ATI, the Duodenal Injury Score, and the Colon Injury Score were significantly higher in the fistula group. We conclude that the vast majority of penetrating duodenal injuries should be managed by primary repair or resection and anastomosis. Complex duodenal decompression or diverticulization rarely are necessary. Complex procedures should be considered for patients with ATI > 40, Duodenal Injury Score > 12, and the presence of injury to the head of the pancreas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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