Decision Making for Relaparotomy in Secondary Peritonitis

O. van Ruler, B. Lamme, R. de Vos, H. Obertop, J. B. Reitsma, M. A. Boermeester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle*Academicpeer-review


Background/Aims: To provide a qualitative ranking of clinical variables by surgeons that influence their decision for reoperation and to evaluate whether these variables are related to positive findings at relaparotomy. Methods: Importance in decision making for relaparotomy was evaluated for 21 factors using a 10-point visual analogue scale (VAS). Variables with median VAS scores >5.0 were labeled 'important'. Predictive value for positive findings was evaluated by multivariate analysis. Results: The response rate was 64%. For each variable, a wide range of VAS scores was given. Of variables labeled 'important', a diffuse extent of abdominal contamination (odds ratio, OR 1.9; 95% CI 0.99-3.8; p = 0.052), localization of the infectious focus (upper gastrointestinal tract including small bowel: OR 2.6, 95% CI 0.98-7.0, p = 0.055; colon: OR 2.4, 95% CI 0.93-6.0, p = 0.071), and both low ( <3 x 10(9)/l: OR 4.6, 95% CI 1.3-17, p = 0.021) and high ( 1 20 x 10(9)/l: OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.0-4.9, p = 0.042) leukocyte counts independently predicted positive relaparotomy. As a set, these variables had only moderate predictive accuracy (c-statistic 0.69). Conclusions: There was no consensus among surgeons which variables were important in decision making for relaparotomy. Only three out of ten variables labeled as 'important' were indeed independently predictive, but even as a set had only moderate predictive accuracy. Copyright (c) 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-346
JournalDigestive surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Cite this