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Evolution of surgical treatment of amebiasis-associated colon perforation.

BACKGROUND: Amebiasis is a worldwide health problem that mainly affects developing countries. Invasive amebiasis tends to develop complications, and among these, perforation of the colon, although infrequent (1.9-9.1%), is the most lethal. Surgical treatment in these cases should be carried out in a timely fashion prior to the presentation of systemic repercussions or death. In the present study, we analyzed a total of 122 cases of invasive amebiasis-associated colon perforation.

METHODS AND STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a clinical, retrospective, and observational study and presented cases of colonic perforation observed over the past 30 years at the Medical-Surgical Emergency Service of the Mexico City-based Hospital General de México OD during the 1970-1999 period.

RESULTS: During this time, a total of 19,916 emergency abdominal surgeries were performed. One hundred twenty-two of these procedures corresponded to cases of colon perforation by ameba, which represents 0.6%; 80 patients were men (65.6%) and 42 were women (34.4%), with an average age of 48 years. Multiple colon perforation was 74%, with right colon the most affected (90.5%). Depending on the perforation's extension and localization, right hemicolectomy with ileostomy were performed in 53 patients (43.45%), subtotal colectomy with ileostomy in 43 (35.25%), left hemicolectomy with transverse colostomy in 12 (9.83%), exteriorization of perforated left colon (stoma) in 13 (10.65%), and primary closure with exteriorization in one patient (0.8%). Post-operative complications were present in 48 patients (39.3%), and 20 cases were related with the creation of a stoma. Eighteen of these cases were due to persistent abdominal sepsis and ten due to toxic colon; the latter correspond solely to patients with initial nonresective treatment. General mortality was 40%, with 32% (17 of 53 cases) of mortality in those submitted to right hemicolestomy, 16.7% (two of 12) of left hemicolestomy, 44.2% (19 of 43) in those in whom a subtotal colectomy was performed, with 76.9% (ten of 13) patients with exteriorization of the perforated right colon, and with 100% (one of one patient) mortality with primary closure.

CONCLUSIONS: Perforation is the most frequent surgical complication of invasive amebiasis of the colon, occurring principally in masculine gender and in the fourth decade of life. Resection and stoma creation is the procedure of choice that can resolve the septic focus from the first surgical procedure, depending on the general status of the patient. However, morbidity and mortality are high, and there is a tendency for these to be lower on comparing initial cases with those with recently conducted surgical procedures.

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