Case Fatality Rate and Length of Hospital Stay among Patients with Typhoid Intestinal Perforation in Developing Countries: A Systematic Literature Review
Two hundred and forty eight cases of proved typhoid ileal perforation were admitted and treated in three phases in the department of surgery during 1966-1998. Of these, 71% patients belonged to second and third decades of life. Male female ratio was 4:1. Abdominal pain (100%) fever (95%) and constipation (87%) were the main presenting symptoms. Abdominal guarding and rigidity (84%) were the principal physical signs. Plain radiograph of abdomen showed evidence of pneumoperitoneum in 57% of cases. The Widal test was positive for S. typhi in 74% of cases. Blood and bone marrow culture were positive for S. typhi in 9% and 30% respectively. Histology of the excised edges of perforation confirmed typhoid pathology in 62% of specimens. Many of the patients were treated conservatively in the first phase. In phase two and three vigorous resuscitation and early surgery was resorted to. Simple closure in two layers and wedge resection were the treatment of choice in most of the cases. Bypass, ileostomy and resection were done on few occasions. Chloramphenicol was the only drug used in the first phase. Other broad spectrum antibiotics were added to chloramphenicol with metranidazole in the second phase. Ciprofloxacin and metronidazole were the drugs of choice in the third phase. The mortality rate showed a dramatic improvement from 47.2% (first phase) to 17.7% (second phase) and as low as 7% in the last phase. The lag period (advent of symptoms to time of admission to hospital) showed definite correlation with mortality. Septicemia, wound infection, dehiscence, enterocutaneous fistula were the principal postoperative complications.