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A prospective cohort study of postoperative complications in the management of perforated peptic ulcer


With dwindling rates of postoperative mortality in perforated peptic ulcer that is attributable to H2-receptor blocker usage, there is a need to shift the focus towards the prevention of postoperative morbidity. Further, the simultaneous contribution of several putative clinical predictors to this postoperative morbidity is not fully appreciated. Our objective was to assess the predictors of the risk, rate and number of postoperative complications in surgically treated patients of perforated peptic ulcer. Methods: In a prospective cohort study of 96 subjects presenting as perforated peptic ulcer and treated using Grahams omentoplatsy patch or gastrojejunostomy (with total truncal vagotomy), we assessed the association of clinical predictors with three domains of postoperative complications: the risk of developing a complication, the rate of developing the first complication and the risk of developing higher number of complications. We used multiple regression methods – logistic regression, Cox proportional hazards regression and Poisson regression, respectively – to examine the association of the predictors with these three domains. Results: We observed that the risk of developing a postoperative complication was significantly influenced by the presence of a concomitant medical illness [odds ratio (OR) = 8.9, p = 0.001], abdominal distension (3.8, 0.048) and a need of blood transfusion (OR = 8.2, p = 0.027). Using Poisson regression, it was observed that the risk for a higher number of complications was influenced by the same three factors [relative risk (RR) = 2.6, p = 0.015; RR = 4.6, p < 0.001; and RR = 2.4, p = 0.002; respectively]. However, the rate of development of complications was influenced by a history suggestive of shock [relative hazards (RH) = 3.4, p = 0.002] and A- blood group (RH = 4.7, p = 0.04). Conclusion: Abdominal distension, presence of a concomitant medical illness and a history suggestive of shock at the time of admission warrant a closer and alacritous postoperative management in patients of perforated peptic ulcer.
BMC Surg. 2006;6:8.

By: Sharma SS, Mamtani MR, Sharma MS, Kulkarni H

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