Background/Aims : Blunt duodenal injuries are relatively rare. Diagnosis is usually delayed resulting in significant morbidity and mortality. Treatment of the injured duodenum varies according to severity of injury and duration before diagnosis. Duodenal fistulas are serious complications with potential mortality. The purpose of this study was to examine results of treatment of patients with blunt duodenal injuries at our institution.
Patients and Method : This is a retrospective study of patients who sustained blunt duodenal injuries and were admitted to King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand from January 1990 to December 2003. During the study period, management of duodenal injuries at our institution depended largely on severity of injuries, timing of diagnosis and the presence of retroperitoneal infections. Intramural hematoma of the duodenum was treated conservatively. Uncomplicated wounds of the duodenum (grade II and grade III injury) with no obvious retroperitoneal infections were treated by simple duodenal repair. Pyloric exclusion was performed in cases of difficult duodenal repair and/or delayed diagnosis (> 24 hours after injury) with obvious evidence of retroperitoneal infections.
Results : Twenty six patients were entered into the study. Five patients (19.2%) had intramural hematoma of the duodenum, all were successfully treated by conservative treatment. Twenty one patients (80.8%) had transmural tear of the duodenal wall. Ten of them (47.6%) underwent simple repair, 10 (47.6%) underwent simple repair of the duodenal wounds combined with pyloric exclusion (2 of them underwent the operations elsewhere), and 1 (4.8%) underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy. Seven patients who had transmural tear of the duodenum developed complications (33.3%). Two patients had duodenal fistulas (9.5%); 1 in the simple repair group and 1 in the pyloric exclusion group. One patient who underwent pyloric exclusion had leakage of the gastrojejunostomy anastomosis with intact duodenal repair resulting in a complicated and prolonged hospital course. There was no mortality in this study.
Conclusions : The outcome in management of blunt duodenal injuries at our institution was acceptable with low morbidity and no mortality. Intramural hematomas were safely treated conservatively. Uncomplicated duodenal wounds were treated by simple suture repair. Pyloric exclusion was a useful additional procedure in patients with complicated duodenal injuries. Retroperitoneal infections was a strong indication to perform this procedure in addition to simple repair of the duodenal wounds. Pancreaticoduodenectomy should be reserved for only severed combined duodenal and pancreatic head injuries.
Keyword : Blunt duodenal injury, Duodenal fistula, Pyloric exclusion, Pancreaticoduodenectomy