PMID: 1826625Feb 1, 1991

Role of fine catheter peritoneal cytology and laparoscopy in the management of acute abdominal pain

The British Journal of Surgery
R J BaigrieJ N Thompson


Laparoscopy and fine catheter peritoneal cytology (FCPC) have been advocated as aids in the assessment of acute abdominal pain. In all, 411 patients admitted to a district general hospital during a 10-month period were managed using a standard protocol incorporating these techniques. After initial assessment by a surgical registrar, 151 patients were excluded from further progress through the protocol (age less than 16 years, definite diagnosis made or contraindication to FCPC. The remaining 260 patients were placed in one of four management groups: (A) urgent operation (23 patients); (B) 'look and see' (40 patients); (C) 'wait and see' (59 patients); (D) urgent operation not indicated (138 patients). Eighty-eight of 99 patients (88 per cent) in groups B and C, where the need for operation was uncertain, underwent successful FCPC and 39 patients (39 per cent) underwent laparoscopy. In these patients the initial registrar management decision proved to be incorrect in 33 cases (33 per cent), but by following the protocol the number of management errors actually made was reduced to 13 (13 per cent, P less than 0.001). This would have been reduced to 8 per cent if the protocol had not been violated in five patients. This study demo...Continue Reading


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