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Table of Contents
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 303-304

Anesthetic management for patients with perforation peritonitis

Department of Anaesthesiology & Critical Care, AIIMS, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India

Date of Web Publication9-Apr-2014

Correspondence Address:
Vandana Sharma
Vishwkarma Udyog, Ladnu House, Bagar Chowk, Jodhpur - 342 001, Rajasthan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-9185.130135

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How to cite this article:
Bhatia P, Sharma V. Anesthetic management for patients with perforation peritonitis. J Anaesthesiol Clin Pharmacol 2014;30:303-4

How to cite this URL:
Bhatia P, Sharma V. Anesthetic management for patients with perforation peritonitis. J Anaesthesiol Clin Pharmacol [serial online] 2014 [cited 2020 Nov 26];30:303-4. Available from:


We read with interest a recently published review article by Sharma et al. entitled, "Anesthetic management for patients with perforation peritonitis." [1] There are some issues that can affect the anesthesia management and outcome hence need discussion:

  1. There is just a passing remark that "Abnormalities in electrolyte balance and acid base balance should be corrected." The causes of these abnormalities and their anesthetic implications need elaboration. Hypokalemia (in addition to chloride loss) may be caused by vomiting, nasogastric tube (NGT) aspiration, or prolonged inadequate intake in patients with intestinal perforation, whereas hyperkalemia could be due to hypotensive metabolic acidosis or renal insufficiency. [2] Similarly, metabolic acidosis could be due to shock or decrease renal functions while prolonged nasogastric aspiration in such patients may cause mixed metabolic disorder. Inadvertent intraoperative hyperventilation can further complicate the picture by worsening the hypokalemia. As these metabolic and electrolyte derangements can cause arrhythmias, hemodynamic disturbances and delayed recovery, preoperative blood gas and electrolyte estimation and simultaneous correction is important.
  2. The authors have mentioned that "hemoglobin (Hb) should be raised by packed cell infusion and kept close to 11 g/dl" The authors have failed to mention the source of this statement. In fact this may encourage unnecessary transfusions and associated complications (including worsening of sepsis and organ failure). The intraoperative blood loss in such patients is generally small and transfusion should be considered only when the Hb levels are below 7 g/dl as per Surviving Sepsis guidelines [3] recommendations, with a target to achieve 7-9 g/dl level. Only in patients with myocardial ischemia, severe hypoxemia or acute hemorrhage, Hb levels are recommended to be kept above 10 g/dl.
  3. The authors have mentioned a lot about the antibiotic therapy, but have not mentioned anything about fungal infections. The patients with perforation peritonitis may also have intra-abdominal fungal infection, which has a poor prognosis and early recognition and treatment is advisable which is often difficult due to its nonspecific presentation. [4]
  4. Routine nasogastric decompression postoperatively should be done only selectively and not in all cases as it could lead to increased incidence of pneumonia, atelectasis, ileus and causes persistent sense of irritation and foreign body in the throat. [5] It does not reduce postoperative nausea and vomiting or reduce anastomotic or other complications. [6] Avoidance of NGTs is one component of the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery protocols. [7]
  5. In order to decrease the incidence and duration of ileus in the postoperative period, there is an important role of epidural analgesia, opioid-sparing analgesia, fluid restriction, early enteral feeding, and prokinetic drugs. [8]
  6. We agree with authors that enteral feeding should be started as early as possible. The ESPEN guidelines on enteral nutrition: Surgery including organ transplant [7] suggests that oral intake, including clear liquids, can be initiated within hours after surgery to most patients undergoing colon resections. Limited data are available regarding immediate oral nutrition in patients with anastomoses in the proximal gastrointestinal tract but many studies have shown the benefits and feasibility of feeding via jejunostomy, or nasojejunal tube.
  7. We regret to state that a large part of the text of "Intraoperative management" in the article has been lifted verbatim from an article published in the BJA, [9] which is unethical.

  References Top

1.Sharma K, Kumar M, Batra UB. Anesthetic management for patients with perforation peritonitis. J Anaesthesiol Clin Pharmacol 2013;29:445-53.  Back to cited text no. 1
  Medknow Journal  
2.Miller RD, Eriksson LI, Fleisher LA,Wiener-Kronish JP, Young WL. Anesthetic implications of concurrent diseases. In: Roizen MF, Fleisher LA, editors. Miller's Anesthesia. 7 th ed. Churchill Livingstone Elsevier Inc.; 2010. p. 1122-4.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Dellinger RP, Levy MM, Rhodes A, Annane D, Gerlach H, Opal SM, et al. Surviving sepsis campaign: International guidelines for management of severe sepsis and septic shock:2012. Crit Care Med 2013;41:580-637.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Prakash A, Sharma D, Saxena A, Somashekar U, Khare N, Mishra A, et al. Effect of Candida infection on outcome in patients with perforation peritonitis. Indian J Gastroenterol 2008;27:107-9.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Nelson R, Tse B, Edwards S. Systematic review of prophylactic nasogastric decompression after abdominal operations. Br J Surg 2005;92:673-80.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Cheatham ML, Chapman WC, Key SP, Sawyers JL. A meta-analysis of selective versus routine nasogastric decompression after elective laparotomy. Ann Surg 1995;221:469-76.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Weimann A, Braga M, Harsanyi L, Laviano A, Ljungqvist O, Soeters P, et al. ESPEN guidelines on enteral nutrition: Surgery including organ transplantation. Clin Nutr 2006;25:224-44.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Luckey A, Livingston E, Taché Y. Mechanisms and treatment of postoperative ileus. Arch Surg 2003;138:206-14.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Eissa D, Carton EG, Buggy DJ. Anaesthetic management of patients with severe sepsis. Br J Anaesth 2010;105:734-43.  Back to cited text no. 9


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