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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017, Article ID 8038796, 5 pages
Research Article

Can the Preoperative Serum Lactate Level Predict the Extent of Bowel Ischemia in Patients Presenting to the Emergency Department with Acute Mesenteric Ischemia?

Department of Surgery II, HELIOS Universitätsklinikum Wuppertal, Witten-Herdecke University, Heusnerstr. 40, 42283 Wuppertal, Germany

Correspondence should be addressed to Peter C. Ambe; ed.hw-inu@ebma.retep

Received 28 August 2016; Revised 29 November 2016; Accepted 6 December 2016; Published 5 February 2017

Academic Editor: Hideo Inaba

Copyright © 2017 Peter C. Ambe et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. Early recognition of acute mesenteric ischemia (AMI) can be challenging. Extensive bowel necrosis secondary to AMI is associated with high rates of mortality. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between preoperative serum lactate level and the extent of bowel ischemia in patients with AMI. Methods. Data of patients with abdominal pain and elevated serum lactate undergoing emergency laparotomy for suspected AMI within 24 hours of presentation was retrospectively abstracted. The length of the ischemic bowel segment was compared with the preoperative serum lactate level. Results. 36 female and 39 male patients, with median age 73.1 ± 12.3 years, were included for analysis. The median preoperative lactate was 2.96 ± 2.59 mmol/l in patients with ≤50 cm, 6.86 ± 4.08 mmol/l in patients with 51–100 cm, 4.73 ± 2.76 mmol/l in patients with >100 cm ischemic bowel, and 14.07 ± 4.91 mmol/l in the group with multivisceral ischemia. Conclusion. Although elevated serum lactate might permit an early suspicion and thus influence the clinical decision-making with regard to prioritization of surgery in patients with suspected AMI, a linear relationship between serum lactate and the extent of bowel ischemia could not be established in this study.