BACKGROUND: Pneumatosis intestinalis (PI) is a rare condition characterized by gas collection in the intestinal wall. We aimed to determine the etiology and affected segments associated with complications, treatment, and outcome. METHODS: We conducted a multicenter epidemiological survey using a standardized data collection sheet in Japan. Complicating PI was defined as strangulation or bowel necrosis, bowel obstruction, adynamic ileus, sepsis, shock, and massive gastrointestinal bleeding requiring blood transfusion. RESULTS: We enrolled 167 patients from 48 facilities. Multivariate analysis revealed that older age (adjusted OR, 1.05 and 95% confidence intervals [CI], 1.02-1.09, P = 0.0053) and chronic kidney disease (adjusted OR, 13.19 and 95% CI 1.04-167.62, P = 0.0468) were independent predictors of the small-bowel-involved type. Complicating PI was associated with the small-bowel-involved combined type (adjusted OR, 27.02 and 95% CI 4.80-152.01, P = 0.0002), the small-bowel-only type (adjusted OR, 3.94 and 95% CI 1.02-15.27, P = 0.0472), and symptomatic PI (adjusted OR, 16.24 and 95% CI 1.82-145.24, P = 0.0126). Oxygen therapy was performed in patients with a past history of bowel obstruction (adjusted OR, 13.77 and 95% CI 1.31-144.56, P = 0.0288) and surgery was performed in patients with complicating PI (adjusted OR, 8.93 and 95% CI 1.10-72.78, P = 0.0408). Antihypertensives (adjusted OR, 12.28 and 95% CI 1.07-140.79, P = 0.0439) and complicating PI (adjusted OR, 11.77 and 95% CI 1.053-131.526; P = 0.0453) were associated with exacerbation of PI. The complicating PI was the only indicator of death (adjusted OR, 14.40 and 95% CI 1.09-189.48, P = 0.0425). DISCUSSION: Small-bowel-involved type and symptomatic PI were associated with complications which were indicators of poor prognosis.
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