Ann Coloproctol.  2020 Aug;36(4):223-228. 10.3393/ac.2019.09.30.

Factors Predicting the Need for Early Surgical Intervention for Small Bowel Obstruction

  • 1Department of Surgery, Inje University Sanggye Paik Hospital, Seoul, Korea


Small bowel obstruction (SBO) is a common disease that requires hospitalization. The most common cause of SBO is postoperative adhesion. Delayed timing of operations in patients who need surgical intervention results in mortality or morbidity. A number of studies on SBO have established criteria for emergency surgery. However, few objective clinical parameters are available for screening patients who need a delayed operation. Therefore, we analyzed factors that affect the clinical course of SBO to select appropriate therapeutic plans for reducing the risk of complications in these patients.
We investigated the clinical characteristics of patients admitted to the surgery department of our hospital between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2016, who were diagnosed with SBO. Patients were divided into an operative treatment group (n = 12) and a conservative treatment group (n = 96). We compared clinical characteristics between the 2 groups.
The operative treatment group underwent more operations before SBO than the conservative treatment group (P = 0.007). Initial leukocyte counts (P = 0.004) and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels (P = 0.028) were elevated in the operative group. Body mass index (BMI) was lower in the operative group (P = 0.013).
The number of operations before SBO, leukocyte counts, CRP levels, and BMI were useful parameters for selecting patients who needed an urgent operation for SBO.


Body mass index; C-reactive protein; Leukocyte; Small bowel obstruction
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