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Comparative Study
, 23 (10), 1051-4

Oral Urografin in Postoperative Small Bowel Obstruction

Comparative Study

Oral Urografin in Postoperative Small Bowel Obstruction

S C Chen et al. World J Surg.


The aim of our study was to determine whether Urografin has the potential to offer surgeons a way of differentiating complete from partial small bowel obstruction and whether partial small bowel obstruction can be treated nonoperatively. Altogether 116 patients who had postoperative small bowel obstructions without any toxic signs underwent Urografin studies. Urografin (40 ml) mixed with 40 ml of distilled water was administrated either orally or via nasogastric tube to each patient. Serial plain abdominal radiographs were taken 2, 4, and 8 hours later. A total of 74 patients (63.8%) whose contrast medium reached the colon within the first 8 hours were considered to have partial obstruction and were successfully treated with intravenous hydration and nasogastric decompression. The remaining 42 patients (36.2%) in whom the contrast medium failed to reach the colon within the first 8 hours were regarded as having complete obstruction, and 34 of those patients (81.0%) underwent surgery; 8 (19.0%) received conservative treatment. Adhesion bands with complete bowel obstruction were observed in all 34 patients (100.0%) during laparotomy. Regardless of the presence of an air-fluid level on a plain abdominal radiograph or abdominal pain, a liquid diet followed by a soft diet could be given to those patients whose Urografin emptied into the colon. All the patients with partial bowel obstruction were treated successfully with nonoperative methods. The presence of Urografin in the colon within 8 hours of ingestion as an indicator for nonoperative treatment had a sensitivity of 90.2%, a specificity of 100%, and an accuracy of 93. 1%. Urografin, a safe and reliable water-soluble contrast medium, can be used to differentiate partial intestinal obstruction from complete intestinal obstruction. Early oral intake was found to be a major advantage of Urografin use in this study, and the potential of Urografin use to shorten the period of conservative treatment for postoperative small bowel obstruction needs further investigation.

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