International Journal of Colorectal Disease

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 463–470 | Cite as

Use of severity classification systems in the surgical decision-making process in emergency laparotomy for perforated diverticulitis

  • Itai Pasternak
  • Michael Dietrich
  • Richard Woodman
  • Urs Metzger
  • David A. Wattchow
  • Urs Zingg
Original Article



Hartman’s procedure (HP) or primary anastomosis (PA) are the two surgical techniques used in patients undergoing emergency colectomy for perforated diverticulitis. There are no objective criteria to guide the surgeon’s choice of procedure. This study assesses whether classification and scoring systems can be used in the decision-making process.


One hundred eleven patients undergoing emergency laparotomy for perforated diverticulitis were analyzed. Logistic regression and interaction models were used to determine the predictive value in the two settings.


Sixty five patients underwent HP and 46 patients underwent PA. Patients with HP had significantly higher scores, median age, and were more often on immunosuppressive medication. Mortality and surgical morbidity did not differ between the groups. The clinical anastomotic leak rate was 28.3% in the PA group. In the univariate logistic regression for in-hospital death, all scores showed a significant influence. The multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that only Charlson comorbidity index (CCI) and American Society of Anesthesiologists score had a significant influence on mortality. Each score was analyzed for its predictive value regarding mortality and morbidity with respect to type of operative procedure. Only CCI revealed a trend towards statistical significance. The risk of death increases with increasing CCI when PA is performed compared to HP.


None of the tested scores can be used to help the surgeon decide whether a PA or HP is appropriate in a specific patient. Comorbidity, represented as CCI in this study, might be more important than the locoregional situation.


Perforated diverticulitis Severity scoring Decision-making process Hartmann’s procedure Primary anastomosis 



The authors thank Dr. Robert Whitfield, MBBS, for assistance in preparing the manuscript in English. No financial support is disclosed by the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Itai Pasternak
    • 1
  • Michael Dietrich
    • 1
  • Richard Woodman
    • 2
  • Urs Metzger
    • 1
  • David A. Wattchow
    • 3
  • Urs Zingg
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryTriemli HospitalZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of General PracticeFlinders UniversityBedford ParkAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Surgery, Flinders Medical CentreFlinders UniversityBedford ParkAustralia
  4. 4.Discipline of SurgeryUniversity of Adelaide, Royal Adelaide HospitalAdelaideAustralia

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