Exploratory Laparotomy for Potential Abdominal Sepsis in Patients With Multiple-Organ Failure

Ltc Victor A. Ferraris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


We studied 29 patients with multiple-organ failure (MOF) who underwent exploratory laparotomy because of suspected intra-abdominal sepsis. The purpose was to identify predictors of continuing abdominal sepsis and to assess outcome of operation in these severely ill patients. The strongest predictor of continuing intra-abdominal sepsis was development of unexplained single-organ failure, which occurred in 17 patients. Physical findings were not a totally reliable indicator of abdominal sepsis since only 15 of 29 patients had acute abdominal findings. The main clue to sepsis in patients with-out acute abdominal findings was worsening organ failure. Fifteen of 29 patients died of continuing MOF. Only one patient older than 50 years survived. We suggest that earlier operation is indicated in certain patients with organ failure. Particularly aggressive operative therapy seems justified in young patients with unexplained single-organ failure or worsening MOF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1130-1133
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Surgery
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploratory Laparotomy for Potential Abdominal Sepsis in Patients With Multiple-Organ Failure'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this