Significant factors associated with fatal outcome in emergency open surgery for perforated peptic ulcer

World J Gastroenterol. 2003 Oct;9(10):2338-40. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v9.i10.2338.


Aim: To evaluate the main factors associated with mortality in patients undergoing surgery for perforated peptic ulcer referred to an academic department of general surgery in a large southern Italian city.

Methods: One hundred and forty-nine consecutive patients (M:F ratio=110:39, mean age 52 yrs, range 16-95) with peptic ulcer disease were investigated for clinical history (including age, sex, previous history of peptic ulcer, associated diseases, delayed abdominal surgery, ulcer site, operation type, shock on admission, postoperative general complications, and intra-abdominal and/or wound infections), serum analyses and radiological findings.

Results: The overall mortality rate was 4.0%. Among all factors, an age above 65 years, one or more associated diseases, delayed abdominal surgery, shock on admission, postoperative abdominal complications and/or wound infections, were significantly associated (chi2) with increased mortality in patients undergoing surgery (0.0001<P<0.03).

Conclusion: Factors such as concomitant diseases, shock on admission, delayed surgery, and postoperative abdominal and wound infections are significantly associated with fatal outcomes and need careful evaluation within the general workup of patients admitted for perforated peptic ulcer.

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers / statistics & numerical data
  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peptic Ulcer Perforation / mortality*
  • Peptic Ulcer Perforation / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications / mortality
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Risk Factors
  • Shock / mortality
  • Shock / surgery
  • Time Factors