Objective: To evaluate changes in serial Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II scores in patients with intrathoracic oesophageal anastomotic leaks and to assess their prognostic significance. Design: Retrospective study. Setting: Teaching hospital, Taiwan. Subjects: 18 patients (4%) who developed intrathoracic oesophageal anastomotic leaks in a total of 491 patients who underwent oesophagogastrectomy for adenocarcinoma of the gastric cardia between 1980 and 1994. Main outcome measure: APACHE II scores in those that survived (n = 10) compared with those who died (n = 8). Results: Of the 18 patients, 8 (44%) died. The preoperative general condition, biochemical data, and perioperative APACHE II scores were similar in the two groups. Leakage from the oesophageal anastomoses caused similar degrees of sepsis in the two groups in terms of APACHE II scoring, but the APACHE II scores of survivors started to decline within a week of initial management. In contrast, the APACHE II scores of those who died had increased one week after the leak had been diagnosed despite initial management. There were significant differences in the APACHE II scores of survivors and those who died from one week after leakage until discharge or death (p <0.001). Only one patient (1/9) survived if the APACHE II score one week after diagnosis of the leak was more than 10. None died of the leak if the APACHE II scores were equal to or less than 10 after a week. Conclusions: Adequate surgical drainage, antibiotic cover according to the microbiological picture, and nutritional support are essential in the management of intrathoracic oesophageal fistulas. Early reoperation to close early leaks by simple suture or secondary wrapping and to improve local drainage is recommended. The APACHE II scoring system is valuable in evaluating the severity of sepsis caused by intrathoracic oesophagovisceral anastomosis leaks and may serve as an indicator of adequate management. Aggressive surgical measures should be considered if APACHE II scores rise during initial management.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||European Journal of Surgery, Acta Chirurgica|
|Publication status||Published - 1997|
- APACHE II
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