Objective Acute mesenteric ischemia (AMI) is a surgical emergency for which delays in treatment have been closely associated with high morbidity and mortality. Although the duration of ischemia as a determinant of outcomes for AMI is well known, the objective of this study was to identify hospital-based determinants of delayed revascularization and their effects on postoperative morbidity and mortality in AMI.
Methods All patients who underwent any surgery for AMI from a multi-center hospital system between 2010 and 2020 were divided into two groups based on timeliness of mesenteric revascularization after presentation. Early revascularization (ER) was defined as having both vascular consultation ≤12 hours of presentation and vascular surgery performed at the patient’s initial operation. Delayed revascularization (DR) was defined as having either delays to vascular consultation or vascular surgery. A retrospective review of demographic and postoperative data was performed. The effect of DR on major postoperative outcomes, including 30-day and 2-year mortality, total length of bowel resection, and development of short bowel syndrome, were analyzed. Effects of delayed vascular consultation alone, delayed vascular surgery alone, no revascularization during admission, and admitting service on outcomes were also examined on subgroup analyses.
Results A total of 212 patients were analyzed. Ninety-nine patients received ER, whereas the remaining 113 patients experienced a DR after hospital presentation. Among the DR group, 55 patients (25.9%) had delayed vascular consultation, whereas vascular surgery was deferred until after the initial operation in 37 patients (17.4%). Fifty-one patients (24.0%) were never revascularized during admission. DR was a significant predictor of 30-day (odds ratio [OR], 2.09; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.4-4.9; P = .03) and 2-year mortality (hazard ratio, 1.55, 95% CI, 1.0-2.3; P = .04). DR was also independently associated with increased bowel resection length (OR, 7.47; P < .01) and postoperative short bowel syndrome (OR, 2.4; P = .03) on multivariate analyses. When examined separately on subgroup analysis, both delayed vascular consultation (OR, 3.38; P = .03) and vascular surgery (OR, 4.31; P < .01) independently increased risk of 30-day mortality. Hospital discharge after AMI without mesenteric revascularization was associated with increased risk of short bowel syndrome (OR, 2.94; P < .01) and late mortality (hazard ratio, 1.60; P = .04).
Conclusions Delayed vascular consultation and vascular surgery are both significant hospital-based determinants of postoperative mortality and short bowel syndrome in patients with AMI. Timing-based management protocols that emphasize routine evaluation by a vascular surgeon and early, definitive mesenteric revascularization should be established and widely adopted for all patients with clinically suspected AMI at presentation.
From the Society for Clinical Vascular Surgery
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