A Procalcitonin-based Algorithm in Adhesion-related Small Bowel Obstruction

  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, Amiens
Updated on 15 August 2022


Adhesion-related small bowel obstruction is a common digestive emergency that can be managed either conservatively or surgically. However, the choice between these two approaches can be difficult due to the absence of specific signs. The objective of this study is to evaluate the clinical impact of a procalcitonin-based algorithm.


Acute adhesion-related small bowel obstruction (ASBO) is a common digestive emergency accounting for 1% to 3% of all digestive emergencies. It is associated with a mortality rate of between 2% and 8%, although this figure may be as high as 25% when surgical treatment is delayed. In 2013, the World Society of Emergency Surgery's working group on ASBO suggested two distinct approaches for the management of acute ASBO. Conservative management includes the use of a nasogastric tube (NGT), intravenous administration of fluids, and clinical and biochemical monitoring for 24 to 72 hours or surgical management. However, the efficacy of conservative management in this setting is a subject of debate, as it might delay the decision to perform surgery and increase the frequency of bowel resection (e.g. in the presence of bowel necrosis) or, in contrast, prompt an excessive number of unnecessary laparotomies. The efficacy of water-soluble contrast medium in this setting is also subject to debate, as data from a recent randomized clinical trial including 242 patients (ABOD study) combined with a meta-analysis in 2015 including 990 patients failed to demonstrate any value of gastrografin to reduce the surgery rate and length of stay. Three years ago, our team proposed the use of a marker of bacterial infection and bowel ischemia, procalcitonin (PCT), to help distinguish patients in whom conservative management is likely to be successful from those in whom surgical management was mandatory. Cutoffs of 0.2 g/L (for failure of conservative management ) and 0.6 g/L (for need for surgery) accurately identified more than 80% of patients. These cutoffs and data were confirmed in a second independent cohort, and were then used to propose an algorithm for the management of patients with ASBO. In this single-center, retrospective , case-control study, the investigators showed that introduction of this algorithm into patient management reduced i/ the time to surgery with no increase of the surgical management rate; ii/ the length of stay (with a 2-day difference). The investigators propose the hypothesis that introduction of the PCT-based algorithm improves the quality of management of patients with ASBO.

Condition Small Bowel Obstruction
Treatment Algorithm
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03905239
SponsorCentre Hospitalier Universitaire, Amiens
Last Modified on15 August 2022

Similar trials to consider


Not finding what you're looking for?

Every year hundreds of thousands of volunteers step forward to participate in research. Sign up as a volunteer and receive email notifications when clinical trials are posted in the medical category of interest to you.

Sign up as volunteer

user name

Added by • 



Reply by • Private

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur, adipisicing elit. Ipsa vel nobis alias. Quae eveniet velit voluptate quo doloribus maxime et dicta in sequi, corporis quod. Ea, dolor eius? Dolore, vel!

  The passcode will expire in None.

No annotations made yet

Add a private note
  • abc Select a piece of text from the left.
  • Add notes visible only to you.
  • Send it to people through a passcode protected link.
Add a private note