A call for clarity: a scoping review of predictors of poor outcome after emergency abdominal surgery for inflammatory bowel disease

Colorectal Dis. 2023 Dec;25(12):2317-2324. doi: 10.1111/codi.16783.Epub 2023 Oct 23.


J A Bunce 1 2J J S Wall 1 2J N Lund 1 2 3G M Tierney 1 3


Author information

1Division of Health Sciences and Graduate Entry Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Nottingham at Derby, Royal Derby Hospital, Derby, UK.

2Department of General Surgery, Royal Derby Hospital, Derby, UK.

3Department of Colorectal Surgery, Royal Derby Hospital, Derby, UK.


Aim: The medical management of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is rapidly progressing; however, many patients with the disease still require surgery. Often this is done as an emergency. Initiatives such as the National Emergency Laparotomy Audit have shown how evidence-based emergency surgery improves outcomes for the patient. The aim of this scoping review is to describe the current evidence base on risk stratification in emergency abdominal surgery for IBD.

Methods: A literature search, abstract and full paper screening resulted in 17 articles representing 63 472 patients from seven countries.

Results: It is likely that age, the American Society of Anesthesiologists grade, comorbidity and organ dysfunction play a similar role in risk stratification in IBD patients as in other emergency abdominal surgery cohorts. However, the reporting of what is considered an IBD emergency is variable. Six studies include clear definitions of emergency in our study. The range of what is considered an emergency is within 12 h of admission to any time within an unplanned admission.

Conclusion: To have data driven, evidence-based emergency surgical practice in IBD we need consistency of reporting, including the definitions of emergency and urgency. Core descriptor sets in IBD would be valuable.

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