Pneumatosis Intestinalis in Patients With Severe Thermal Injury
Journal of Burn Care & Research
Severe thermal injury is associated with pronounced changes in intestinal physiology, which may cause ischemia, infarction, and pneumatosis intestinalis (PI). PI is a pathologic condition defined as infiltration of gas into the gastrointestinal tract wall. Historically, PI prompted urgent surgery, yet some surgeons "watch and wait" to avoid the risks of a negative laparotomy. The authors reviewed experience with PI at a single burn center. They retrospectively identified burn center intensive
... center intensive care unit patients with radiographic or pathologic evidence of PI. Data included demographics, injury severity score, TBSA burned, operative findings, length of stay, and mortality. From January 2003 through August 2009, 1129 patients were admitted to the authors' burn center intensive care unit. Fifteen had PI. Twelve had radiographic evidence of PI, and 10 had PI associated with intestinal infarction. Nonsurvivors had lower base deficits (P ؍ .02), higher lactate levels (P ؍ .05), and required vasopressor support (P ؍ .02) within 24 hours of developing PI. Massive intestinal infarction (P ؍ .004) and open abdomens (P ؍ .004) were more common among nonsurvivors. PI can be identified by radiologic or pathologic findings. The authors' experience with PI among patients with burn injury revealed a high mortality rate. Because of the association of bowel ischemia with PI, exploratory laparotomy should be strongly considered in patients with burn injury with radiographic evidence of PI. (J Burn Care Res 2011; 32:e37-e44) Public reporting burden for the collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to Washington Headquarters Services, Directorate for Information Operations and Reports, 1215 Jefferson Davis Highway, Suite 1204, Arlington VA 22202-4302. Respondents should be aware that notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person shall be subject to a penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information if it does not display a currently valid OMB control number.