Publication Date



Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine


INTRODUCTION: Intestinal ischemia after open thoracoabdominal aortic repairs, is a rare but devastating complication, associated with high mortality. Notoriously challenging to diagnose, visceral malperfusion necessitates immediate surgical attention. Intestinal fatty acid-binding protein (IFABP) has been proposed as a biomarker for the diagnosis of intestinal wall damage. In this prospectively conducted, observational study we evaluated the diagnostic capacity of IFABP levels in patients' serum and their correlation with visceral malperfusion.

METHODS: 23 patients undergoing open thoracoabdominal aortic repairs were included in this study and 8 of them were diagnosed postoperatively with visceral malperfusion-defined as a partial or complete thrombotic occlusion of the superior mesenteric artery and/or the coeliac trunk. IFABP levels and laboratory parameters often associated with intestinal ischemia (leucocytes, CRP, PCT and lactate) were measured at baseline, directly postoperatively, and at 12, 24 and 48 h after surgery. Postoperative visceral malperfusion-as revealed in CT angiography-was assessed and the predictive ability of IFABP levels to detect visceral malperfusion was evaluated with receiver-operator curve analysis.

RESULTS: Patients with visceral malperfusion had a relevant risk for a fatal outcome (

CONCLUSION: We conclude, that IFABP measurements during the first postoperative hours after open thoracoabdominal aortic surgery can be a valuable tool for reliable and timely detection of visceral malperfusion.


aortic aneurysm, intestinal ischemia, open aortic repair, postoperative management, thoracoabdominal aorta, visceral malperfusion



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