Impact factor 0.175

Signa Vitae

Journal of Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine

Serum cortisol level as a useful predictor of surgical disease in patients with acute abdominal pain


Introduction. The immediate aim should be to identify potentially resuscitative acute abdominal pain that requires prompt investigation or early surgical intervention. We aimed to evaluate whether serum cortisol levels differentiate surgical and non-surgical disease in patients with acute abdominal pain.

Materials and methods. In this prospective cross-sectional study, the primary end-point was defined as differences in serum cortisol levels between surgically and non-surgically treated patients with non-traumatic acute abdominal pain. The secondary end-point was to compare the cortisol levels with defined complete blood count (CBC) parameters in those groups.

Results. One hundred eleven patients with acute abdominal pain were included in the study. Three most frequent diagnoses were nonspecific abdominal pain, acute appendicitis and dyspeptic complaints. Thirty patients were hospitalized and 22 of them were operated. The median cortisol level was 23.13 µg/dl in surgically treated patients and 13.94 µg/dl in non-surgically treated patients (p<0.001). The area under the ROC curve using cortisol to detect surgical disease was 0.750 (95% CI, 0.659-0.827) and the accuracy of cortisol to detect surgical disease was not inferior to defined CBC parameters. A cortisol value of 17.98 µg/dl had a sensitivity of 67.4% and a specificity of 77.3% for surgical disease.

Conclusion. Operated patients had higher serum cortisol levels. High serum cortisol levels may indicate surgical disease at the early stage on admission in ED patients with acute abdominal pain and may be used as a marker in the prediction of acute surgical abdomen.

Key words: abdominal pain, cortisol, emergency department, surgery

Read More

Posttraumatic hepatic artery pseudoaneurysm presenting as gastrointestinal bleeding


Posttraumatic hepatic artery pseudoaneurysm is a rare, but life threatening condition which should be considered in patients with a history of blunt abdominal trauma who present with abdominal pain or gastrointestinal bleeding. We report a case of a patient with such a pseudoaneurysm discovered five months after a bicycle accident resulting in hepatic rupture that was treated conservatively. The patient presented with fatigue, dizziness, inability to tolerate major exertion and gastrointestinal bleeding. After extensive diagnostic procedures, a right hepatic artery pseudoaneurysm was found. The condition was treated successfully with transcatheter coil embolization.

Key words: blunt abdominal trauma, hepatic artery, pseudoaneurysm, embolization, gastrointestinal bleeding, abdominal pain

Read More

© 2019. Signa Vitae. Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.