14 Mar 09
By A Peris, S Matano, G Manca, G Zagli, M Bonizzoli, G Cianchi, A Pasquini et al
Delayed diagnosis of intraabdominal pathology in the intensive care unit (ICU) increases rates of morbidity and mortality. Intraabdominal pathologies are usually identified through presenting symptoms, clinical signs, and laboratory and radiological results; however, these could also delay diagnosis because of inconclusive laboratory tests or imaging results, or the inability to safely transfer a patient to the radiology room. In the current study we evaluated the safety and accuracy of bedside diagnostic laparoscopy to confirm the presence of intraabdominal pathology in an ICU setting.
This retrospective study, carried out between January 2006 and June 2008, evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of bedside diagnostic laparoscopy performed on patients with a suspicion of ongoing intraabdominal pathology. Clinical indications for bedside diagnostic laparoscopy were: ultrasonography (US) images of gallbladder distension or wall thickening of more than 3 to 4 mm, with or without pericholecystic fluid; elevation of laboratory tests (bilirubin, transaminases, myoglobin, lactate dehydrogenase, creatine phosphokinase, gamma-glutamyltransferase); high level of lactate/metabolic acidosis; CT images inconclusive for intraabdominal pathology; or inability to perform a CT scan. Patients did not undergo bedside diagnostic laparoscopy if they presented clear indications for open surgery, coagulopathy, abdominal wall infection or high intraabdominal pressure.
Thirty-two patients underwent bedside diagnostic laparoscopy (Visiport Plus, Autosuture, US), 14 of whom had been admitted to the ICU for major trauma, 12 for sepsis of unknown origin and 6 for complications after cardiac surgery. The procedure was performed on an average of eight days after ICU admission (95% confidence interval = 5 to 15 days) and mean procedure duration was 40 minutes. None of the procedures resulted in complications. Bedside diagnostic laparoscopy was diagnostic for intraabdominal pathology in 15 patients, who subsequently underwent surgery, except in two cases of diffuse gut hypoperfusion. Diagnosis of cholecystitis was obtained in seven cases: two were treated with laparotomic cholecystectomy and five with percutaneous gallbladder drainage positioning.
Bedside diagnostic laparoscopy represents a safe and accurate technique for diagnosing intraabdominal pathology in an ICU setting and should be taken into consideration when patient transfer to radiology or the operating room is considered un