The significance of abdominal radiographs with paucity of gas in pediatric adhesive small bowel obstruction

Brittany L. Johnson, Giovanni A. Campagna, Jonathan M. Hyak, Adam M. Vogel, Sara C. Fallon, Sohail R. Shah, Mary L. Brandt, Bindi J. Naik-Mathuria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Management of children with adhesive small bowel obstruction (ASBO) is often based on abdominal radiographs (AXR). Our purpose was to determine the significance of paucity of gas on initial AXR. Methods: Retrospective, single center review of children with ASBO between 2011 and 2015. Analysis included chi-square, non-parametric tests and multivariate regression. Results: Of 207 cases, 99 were operative. Initial AXR showed paucity of gas in 41% and gaseous loops in 59%. Paucity was more common in operative patients (49% vs. 32%, p = 0.01). At operation, 71% of patients with paucity had closed loop or high-grade obstruction, compared to 29% of patients with gaseous loops (p = <0.001). Conclusion: For children with ASBO with paucity of gas on AXR, complicated obstruction (closed loop or high-grade) should be considered. In children with high clinical suspicion of complicated obstruction, additional imaging with CT or SBFT may clarify the clinical picture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)208-213
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Volume220
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Abdominal radiograph
  • Adhesive small bowel obstruction
  • Closed loop obstruction
  • Paucity of gas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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