Has the use of anti-adhesion barriers affected the national rate of bowel obstruction?
ABSTRACT In this study, we analyzed temporal trends in anti-adhesion barrier application and admission rates for small bowel obstruction. We used data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample and identified patients with ICD-9 codes for "application or administration of anti-adhesion barrier substances" from October 2002 through December 2007. Next, we identified cases of bowel obstruction coded from January 1997 through December 2007. We then used Kendall correlation analyses and the Joinpoint regression program to evaluate changes in trends. From October 1, 2002 through December 31, 2007, a total of 28,014 patients had an anti-adhesion barrier substance applied. During the study period, application of anti-adhesion barriers increased from 0.7 applications per 100,000 to 2.6 applications per 100,000 population (Joinpoint and Kendall; P < 0.002). Since 1997 there has been a steady rise in hospitalizations for bowel obstruction, increasing from 18.3 cases per 100,000 to 19.8 cases per 100,000 population (Joinpoint and Kendall; P < 0.002). In conclusion, the application of anti-adhesion barriers has increased significantly since 2002, yet bowel obstructions continue to be a major health problem.