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Strangulated small bowel obstruction in children

Background

Diagnosing intestinal strangulation as a complication of small bowel obstruction (SBO) remains a considerable challenge in children. We evaluated the clinicoradiological parameters for predicting the presence of a strangulated intestine.

Methods

We reviewed the medical records of 69 pediatric patients who underwent operation for acute SBO. Regression analysis was used to identify the parameters for predicting strangulated SBO.

Results

Of the 69 patients with SBO, 27 patients had intestinal strangulation and were awarded one point each towards the overall clinical score: intractable continuous abdominal pain, tachycardia, white blood cell count >13,600/mm3, and abdominal distention. Patients with a clinical score ≥2 combined with the presence of ascites in ultrasound (US) results or with wall thickness and reduced wall contrast enhancement in abdominal computed tomography (CT) scans showed strong evidence for intestinal strangulation.

Conclusion

The combination of two or more clinical parameters, including intractable continuous abdominal pain, tachycardia, leukocytosis, and abdominal distention with the presence of ascites in US or wall thickness and reduced wall contrast enhancement in, is useful for the identification of strangulated SBO.

The type of study and level of evidence

Prognosis study; Level III.

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