Procalcitonin in abdominal exudate to predict prolonged postoperative ileus following colorectal carcinoma surgery

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Prolonged postoperative ileus (PPOI) is a common problem after major abdominal surgery and can cause postoperative morbidity, extended hospitalization, as well as increased health care costs.


To investigate whether the levels of cytokines from abdominal exudate are predictive for early diagnosis of PPOI after colorectal surgery.


One hundred patients who had undergone elective resection for carcinoma of the sigmoid or rectum were recruited. The abdominal exudate was obtained from a drain tube after surgery to examine the levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), procalcitonin (PCT), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α). The relationship between cytokine levels on postoperative day 1, 3 and 5 and the occurrence of PPOI was analyzed.


Eight patients developed PPOI, which was diagnosed on postoperative day 10-15. PCT levels on postoperative day 1 and 3 were not significantly different between the 8 patients who developed PPOI and the 92 patients without PPOI. In contrast, PCT levels on day 5 were significantly higher in patients who developed PPOI than in patients without PPOI. The levels of CRP and TNF-α were irregular from day 1 to 5, and were not significantly different.


Increased PCT levels in abdominal exudate may predict PPOI in the early period following colorectal surgery.

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