Primary repair for pediatric colonic injury; are there differences among adult and pediatric trauma centers?

Muhammad Khan, Faisal Jehan, Terence OKeeffe, Viraj Pandit, Narong Kulvatunyou, Andrew Tang, Lynn Gries, Bellal Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background Management of colonic injuries (colostomy [CO] versus primary anastomosis [PA]) among pediatric patients remains controversial. The aim of this study was to assess outcomes in pediatric trauma patient with colonic injury undergoing operative intervention. Methods The National Trauma Data Bank (2011-2012) was queried including patients with isolated colonic injury undergoing exploratory laparotomy with PA or CO with age ≤18 y. Missing value analysis was performed. Patients were stratified into two groups: PA and CO. Outcome measures were mortality, in-hospital complications, and hospital length of stay. Multivariate regression analysis was performed. Results A total of 1151 patients included. Mean ± standard deviation age was 11.61 ± 2.8 y, and median [IQR] Injury Severity Score was 12 [8-16]; 39% (n = 449) of the patients had CO, and 35.6% (n = 410) were managed in pediatric trauma centers (PC). Patients with CO had a higher Injury Severity Score (P < 0.001), a trend toward lower blood pressure (P = 0.40), and an older age (P < 0.001). There was no difference in mortality between the PA and CO groups. However, patients who underwent PA had a shorter length of stay (P < 0.001) and lower in-hospital complications (P < 0.001). A subanalysis shows that, after controlling for all confounding factors, patients managed in PC were 1.2 times (1.2 [1.1-2.1], P = 0.04) more likely to receive a CO than those patients managed in adult trauma centers (AC). Moreover, there was no difference in mortality between the AC and the PC (P = 0.79). Conclusions Our data demonstrate no difference in mortality in pediatric trauma patients with colonic injury who undergo primary repair or CO. However, adult trauma centers had lower rates of CO performed as compared to a similar cohort of patients managed in pediatric trauma centers. Further assessment of the reasons underlying such differences will help improve patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-181
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Colonic injury
  • Colostomy
  • Pediatric trauma centers
  • Primary repair

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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