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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 2795176, 7 pages
Research Article

Bowel Ischemia in ICU Patients: Diagnostic Value of I-FABP Depends on the Interval to the Triggering Event

Department of General, Visceral and Vascular Surgery, Jena University Hospital, Jena, Germany

Correspondence should be addressed to Stefan Ludewig

Received 2 February 2017; Accepted 9 April 2017; Published 28 May 2017

Academic Editor: Kazuhiko Uchiyama

Copyright © 2017 Stefan Ludewig 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.


Background. Intestinal fatty acid-binding protein (I-FABP) has been shown to be of high diagnostic value in patients with acute mesenteric ischemia. Whether these results can be reproduced in critically ill patients on the ICU was to be investigated. Materials and Methods. I-FABP was measured in serum and urine of 43 critically ill patients in ICU when mesenteric ischemia was suspected. Bowel ischemia was confirmed in 21 patients (group 1). 22 patients who survived at least seven days without confirmation of ischemia were assigned to group 2. I-FABP levels were compared between the groups, and interval from the event that has triggered ischemia to I-FABP measurement was recorded. Results. For the identification of patients with mesenteric ischemia, sensitivity, specificity, and area under the curve (AUC) for serum and urine I-FABP were 33.3%, 95.5%, and 0.565 and 81.3%, 70.0%, and 0.694, respectively. I-FABP measurements performed within 12 to 48 h after the event that triggered ischemia showed a sensitivity, specificity, and AUC for serum and urine of 75%, 100%, and 0.853 and 100%, 73.3%, and 0.856, respectively. Conclusions. In ICU patients, one single I-FABP measurement at the time of clinical suspicion failed to reliably detect or exclude mesenteric ischemia. A higher diagnostic value of I-FABP was only confirmed in the early stages of mesenteric ischemia. I-FABP may be used most appropriately in perioperative monitoring.