Adhesive small bowel obstruction is one of the most common causes of surgical emergencies, representing about 15% of hospital admissions. Defining the need and timing of surgical intervention still remains a challenge.
To report the experience of using meglumine-based water-soluble contrast in a tertiary hospital in southern Brazil, comparing with the world literature.
Patients suspected of having adhesive small bowel obstruction, according to their clinical conditions, underwent an established protocol, consisting of the administration of water-soluble contrast, followed by plain abdominal radiograph within 12 hours and by a new clinical evaluation. The protocol was initiated after starting conservative management, including fasting and placement of a nasogastric tube, as well as intravenous fluid reposition.
A total of 126 patients were submitted to the protocol. The water-soluble contrast test sensitivity and specificity after the first radiograph were 94.6 and 91.0%, respectively; after the second radiograph, these values were 92.3 and 100%. The general test values for sensitivity and specificity were 91.9 and 100%, respectively.
The measure parameters evaluated in this study were similar to those found in the literature, contributing to endorse the importance of this test in the evaluation of patients with adhesive small bowel obstruction. The particular relevance of this study was the similar results that were found using a different type of meglumine-based contrast, which is available in Brazil.
Intestinal Obstruction; Contrast Media; Laparotomy