JOURNAL ARTICLE

Ischemic Colitis after Cardiac Surgery: Can We Foresee the Threat?

Rawa Arif, Mina Farag, Marcin Zaradzki, Christoph Reissfelder, Frank Pianka, Thomas Bruckner, Jamila Kremer, Maximilian Franz, Arjang Ruhparwar, Gabor Szabo, Carsten J Beller, Matthias Karck, Klaus Kallenbach, Alexander Weymann
PloS One 2016, 11 (12): e0167601
27977704

INTRODUCTION: Ischemic colitis (IC) remains a great threat after cardiac surgery with use of extracorporeal circulation. We aimed to identify predictive risk factors and influence of early catecholamine therapy for this disease.

METHODS: We prospectively collected and analyzed data of 224 patients, who underwent laparotomy due to IC after initial cardiac surgery with use of extracorporeal circulation during 2002 and 2014. For further comparability 58 patients were identified, who underwent bypass surgery, aortic valve replacement or combination of both. Age ±5 years, sex, BMI ± 5, left ventricular function, peripheral arterial disease, diabetes and urgency status were used for match-pair analysis (1:1) to compare outcome and detect predictive risk factors. Highest catecholamine doses during 1 POD were compared for possible predictive potential.

RESULTS: Patients' baseline characteristics showed no significant differences. In-hospital mortality of the IC group with a mean age of 71 years (14% female) was significantly higher than the control group with a mean age of 70 (14% female) (67% vs. 16%, p<0.001). Despite significantly longer bypass time in the IC group (133 ± 68 vs. 101 ± 42, p = 0.003), cross-clamp time remained comparable (64 ± 33 vs. 56 ± 25 p = 0.150). The majority of the IC group suffered low-output syndrome (71% vs. 14%, p<0.001) leading to significant higher lactate values within first 24h after operation (55 ± 46 mg/dl vs. 31 ± 30 mg/dl, p = 0.002). Logistic regression revealed elevated lactate values to be significant predictor for colectomy during the postoperative course (HR 1.008, CI 95% 1.003-1.014, p = 0.003). However, Receiver Operating Characteristic Curve calculates a cut-off value for lactate of 22.5 mg/dl (sensitivity 73% and specificity 57%). Furthermore, multivariate analysis showed low-output syndrome (HR 4.301, CI 95% 2.108-8.776, p<0.001) and vasopressin therapy (HR 1.108, CI 95% 1.012-1.213, p = 0.027) significantly influencing necessity of laparotomy.

CONCLUSION: Patients who undergo laparotomy for IC after initial cardiac surgery have a substantial in-hospital mortality risk. Early postoperative catecholamine levels do not influence the development of an IC except vasopressin. Elevated lactate remains merely a vague predictive risk factor.

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