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Open access

Frank Eder, Frank Meyer, Christof Huth, Zuhir Halloul and Hans Lippert

Penetrating Abdomino-Thoracic Injuries: Report of Four Impressive, Spectacular and Representative Cases as Well as Their Challenging Surgical Management

Gunshot wounds are rare events in European countries, but stab and impalement injuries occur more frequently and are often spectacular.

The aim of the study was to describe several types of penetrating abdomino-thoracic injuries as well as the appropriate surgical interventions, including complex wound management.

Material and methods. The representative case series includes four patients with abdomino-thoracic penetrating trauma (two impalements and two stabbings), who were treated in a surgical university hospital (tertiary) centre during a 12-month period.

Results. 1. A man was impaled on a steel pipe, which entered the body above the right kidney and behind the liver through the mediastinum via the right thorax, passing the heart and aortic arch up to the left clavicle. The rod was removed via sternotomy and median laparotomy. Only the left subclavian vein required repair. Postoperatively, a residual lesion of the left brachial plexus caused temporary pneumonia. 2. A leg of a collapsing chair drilled into a woman's left foramen obturatorium and exited the body at the right anterior iliac spine. At a regional hospital, the chair leg was removed and the canal caused by gluteal penetration was excised. Exploratory laparotomy revealed peritonitis resulting from a perforated ileum. The injury was repaired with segmental resection and anastomosis. Postoperative right inguinal wound necrosis necessitated excision and vacuum-assisted closure sealing. The patient has residual paresthesia in her left leg resulting from a sacral plexus lesion. 3. During an altercation, a man was stabbed twice in the right thorax. The right pulmonary lobe, the diaphragm, and the liver dome between segment VIII and V were injured. The patient also had a large scalp avulsion at the left and right parietooccipital site and transection of the biceps muscle at the middle third of the right humerus. The chest injuries, approached via right subcostal incision and right anterior thoracotomy were managed with liver packing (two towels, removed after 2 days), suture of the diaphragm, and pleural drainage. 4. A man was stabbed in the left thorax, resulting in pneumothorax and lesions of the diaphragm and left third of the transversal colon, and the neck, resulting in lesions of the pharynx and internal jugular vein. These injuries were approached with left thoracic drainage and suture of the colon and diaphragm lesions. Subsequent right thoracotomy was required to treat right pleural empyema caused by bronchopneumonia as a consequence of blunt thoracic trauma. In addition, the patient required relaparotomy to drain an abscess within the Douglas space and Billroth II gastric resection to control recurrent Forrest-Ia bleeding.

Conclusions. Penetrating abdomino-thoracic injuries demand immediate life-saving measures, transfer to a trauma centre, appropriate resuscitative care, prompt diagnosis, and surgical intervention by an interdisciplinary team of abdominal, vascular, and cardiac surgeons. If these measures are provided, outcomes are maximized, mortality is minimized, and permanent damage can be avoided.

Open access

Andrej Udelnow, Manfred Schönfelder, Peter Würl, Zuhir Halloul, Frank Meyer, Hans Lippert and Paweł Mroczkowski

The aim of the study.

The overall survival (OS) of patients suffering From various tumour entities was correlated with the results of in vitro-chemosensitivity assay (CSA) of the in vivo applied drugs.

Material and methods. Tumour specimen (n=611) were dissected in 514 patients and incubated for primary tumour cell culture. The histocytological regression assay was performed 5 days after adding chemotherapeutic substances to the cell cultures. n=329 patients undergoing chemotherapy were included in the in vitro/in vivo associations. OS was assessed and in vitro response groups compared using survival analysis. Furthermore Cox-regression analysis was performed on OS including CSA, age, TNM classification and treatment course.

Results. The growth rate of the primary was 73-96% depending on tumour entity. The in-vitro response rate varied with histology and drugs (e.g. 8-18% for methotrexate and 33-83% for epirubicine). OS was significantly prolonged for patients treated with in vitro effective drugs compared to empiric therapy (log-rank-test, p=0.0435). Cox-regression revealed that application of in vitro effective drugs, residual tumour and postoperative radiotherapy determined the death risk independently.

Conclusions. When patients were treated with drugs effective in our CSA, OS was significantly prolonged compared to empiric therapy. CSA guided chemotherapy should be compared to empiric treatment by a prospective randomized trial.

Open access

Andrej Udelnow, Michael Goertler, Frank Meyer and Zuhir Halloul


Primitive carotido-basilar anastomoses (PCA) are persistent fetal vessels. The aim of the study was to compare the clinical characteristics of patients operated on for internal carotid artery (ICA) stenosis with or without PCA in order to evaluate the impact of PCA on the treatment. Material and methods. Consecutive patients operated on for ICA stenosis at our university hospital were included. Surgical treatment consisted in carotid endarterectomy (CEA) with patch plastic. Results. Of the 380 CEA performed between 2006 and 2012, PCA were found in six patients (1.6%). All patients with PCA were symptomatic vs. 54% of patients without PCA (p=0.035). Significantly less posterior collateral flow was present in patients with PCA (33%) compared to those without PCA (85%, p=0.01). Only two of the six patients with PCA were diagnosed prior to surgery, none was ligated intraoperatively. PCA was not associated with stroke and restenosis at long-term follow up. Conclusions. PCA are rarely diagnosed prior to surgery in patients with ICA stenosis and need not to be ligated during CEA

Open access

Frank Meyer, Thomas Buerger, Zuhir Halloul, Hans Lippert, Brigitte König and Joerg Tautenhahn


The aim of the study was to investigate the immune-modulatory potential of commercially available PTFE and polyester vascular grafts with and without gelatine-coating. The biomaterial-cell-interaction was characterized by changes of established parameters such as PMN-related receptors/mediators, phagocytosis potential and capacity as well as the effect of an additional plasma-dependent modulation.

Material and methods. By means of a standardized experimental in vitro model, various vascular graft material (PTFE/polyester/uncoated/gelatine-coated) was used for incubation with or without plasma and co-culturing with human neutrophile granulocytes (PMN) followed by analysis of representative receptors and mediators (CD62L, CD11b, CXCR2, fMLP-R, IL-8, Elastase, LTB4). Oxidative burst assessed phagocytosis capacity.

Results. Comparing the vascular grafts, un-coated PTFE induced the lowest magnitude of cell stimulation whereas in case of gelatine-coating, cell response exceeded those of the other vascular grafts. This was also found comparing the polyester-based prosthetic material. Gelatine-coated polyester led to a more pronounced release of elastase than gelatine-coated PTFE and the uncoated materials. The results of oxidative burst indicated a reduced phagocytosis capacity in case of gelatine-coated polyester. Plasma incubation did also provide an impact on the cellular response. While in case of gelatine-coating, PMN-related receptor stimulation became lower, it increased by native polyester. The latter one did also induce more mediators such as IL-8 and LTB4 than gelatine-coated material.

Conclusions. There have been no extensive data on cell-cell interactions, cytokines and general histo-/hemocompatibility of human cells by the new generation of vascular grafts. It remains still open whether healing process and infectious resistance can be compromised by material-dependent over-stimulation or reduced phagocytosis potential of the immune cells of the primary unspecific immune response induced by gelatine-coated materials.