Predictive factors for surgical indication in adhesive small bowel obstruction.
ABSTRACT Small bowel obstruction (SBO) after abdominal surgery is usually treated successfully with intestinal decompression using a long nasointestinal tube (LT), but some cases fail to respond.
Clinical background and laboratory data on admission were evaluated retrospectively for 53 patients with adhesive SBO to determine predictive factors for failure of LT decompression, and the appropriate timing of laparotomy was investigated.
Complete SBO (no evidence of air within the large bowel) and increased serum creatine phosphokinase (>or=130 IU/L) were independent predictive factors for LT decompression failure. Laparotomy was indicated in 14 patients (9 and 5 with complete and partial SBO, respectively), whereas successful LT decompression occurred in 39 patients (9 and 30, respectively). Resolution of SBO took significantly longer for complete SBO (6.3 days) than for partial SBO (2.6 days).
Patients with complete SBO or high serum creatine phosphokinase (CPK) may not respond to LT decompression. Laparotomy is appropriate after non-response for 7 and 3 days for complete and partial SBO, respectively.