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. 2017 Dec;402(8):1233-1239.
doi: 10.1007/s00423-017-1605-6. Epub 2017 Aug 2.

Value of Gastrografin in Adhesive Small Bowel Obstruction


Value of Gastrografin in Adhesive Small Bowel Obstruction

Anna Weiss et al. Langenbecks Arch Surg. .


Background: Small bowel obstruction (SBO) from adhesive disease presents great burden for the healthcare system. Some groups have reported water soluble contrast agents (WSCA) protocols, but published studies are underpowered. This study introduces a WSCA protocol to improve outcomes and streamline patient care.

Study design: The study ran July 1, 2013-June 30, 2015, at Kaiser Permanente San Diego; protocol started July 1, 2014. Data was collected prospectively, on an intention to treat basis. We excluded patients whose SBO were not due to adhesive disease. Protocol included nasogastric tube, intravenous resuscitation, liquid docusate, and gastrografin study if symptoms persisted at 24 h. Colon contrast determined resolution vs operative consideration. Primary outcomes were operative rates and hospital length of stay (LOS).

Results: Seven hundred fifteen were patients admitted with SBO; after exclusions there were 261 pre-protocol and 243 protocol patients. One hundred sixty patients resolved within 24 h; 96% of remaining patients stayed on protocol (n = 154). After WSCA protocol began, 15.6% required an operation, compared to 19.8% of pre-protocol patients (NS). The WSCA protocol significantly decreased the time to surgery (2.8 vs 4.88 days, p = 0.03), and the LOS of operated patients (9.51 vs 15.78 days, p = 0.02).

Conclusions: A standardized SBO protocol using WSCA significantly decreased time to operation and hospital LOS. This approach improves utilization of resources and may improve outcomes. More work should be done to investigate the positive effects of WSCA protocol for patients with SBO.

Keywords: Gastrografin in small bowel obstruction; Prospective study; Treatment of small bowel obstruction; Water-soluble contrast use in small bowel obstruction.

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