Etiology and Outcome of Acute Intestinal Obstruction: A Review of 367 Patients in Eastern India

Adhikari, Souvik; Hossein, Mohammed Zahid; Das, Amitabha; Mitra, Nilanjan; Ray, Udipta
October 2010
Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology;Oct2010, Vol. 16 Issue 4, p285
Academic Journal
Background/Aim: The etiology of acute intestinal obstruction, which is one of the commonest surgical emergencies, varies between countries and has also changed over the decades. We aimed to provide a complete epidemiological description of acute intestinal obstruction in a tertiary care hospital in Eastern India. Materials and Methods: This was a retrospective study of patients admitted in our unit with a diagnosis of acute intestinal obstruction between the years 2005 and 2008 at Medical College, Calcutta. The study comprised of 367 patients. Results: Acute intestinal obstruction was the diagnosis in 9.87% of all patients admitted with males (75.20%) grossly outnumbering females. The commonest age group affected was 20-60 years. In our patients, the main cause of obstruction was obstructed hernia followed by malignancy with adhesions coming third. Intestinal tuberculosis was an important cause for obstruction in our patients comprising 14.17% of patients. Conservative management was advocated in 79 patients while the rest underwent surgery. Postoperative complications occurred in 95 patients and of these, 38 patients had a single complication and the rest, more than 1. The main complications were wound infection, basal atelectasis, burst abdomen and prolonged ileus. The mortality rate was 7.35% (27 patients). The highest mortality occurred in those with intestinal tuberculosis. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that the pattern of intestinal obstruction differs from the Western world with obstructed hernias being the most important cause and also emphasizes the fact that intestinal tuberculosis assumes a prominent role. It also highlights the necessity of using universal precautions because of the ever increasing number of HIV patients in those with intestinal obstruction.


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