Length of Stay and ICU Stay Are Increased With Repair of Traumatic Superior Mesenteric Vein Injury

Joseph Sabat, Chiu Hsieh Hsu, Navdeep Samra, Quyen Chu, Craig Weinkauf, Kaoru Goshima, Wei Zhou, Tze Woei Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Traumatic superior mesenteric vein (SMV) injury is rare, and the ideal treatment is controversial. We compared the outcomes of ligation versus repair of SMV injury using the National Trauma Databank. Materials and methods: All adult patients who suffered from traumatic SMV injury were identified from the National Trauma Databank (2002-2014) by International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes. Patients were stratified by treatment modality into no repair, ligation, and surgical repair using ICD procedure codes. Patient characteristics were compared between ligation and surgical repair groups using the Kruskal–Wallis test for continuous variables and Fisher's exact test for categorical variables. Outcomes, including mortality, rates of small bowel resection, length of stay (LOS), and ventilation days were compared using logistic regression. Results: Among 952 patients with SMV injury, 192 patients (20.2%) had ligation, 428 (50%) underwent surgical repair, and 332 patients (34.9%) had neither repair nor ligation of the SMV. Overall hospital mortality was 32%. Age, gender, injury severity score (ISS), and Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) were similar between groups that underwent ligation and surgical repair. Although the mortality rate (29.4% versus 36.5%, P = 0.20) and bowel resection rate (4% versus 3%, P = 0.12) were similar, patients who underwent repair had significantly longer hospital LOS (19.4 ± 24.8 versus15.2 ± 24.4 d, P < 0.001) and ICU LOS (13 ± 17.1 versus 9.3 ± 11.8 d, P = 0.02) compared to ligation. Similar results were observed in multivariable analysis when adjusted for race, associated vascular injuries, and other associated injuries. Conclusions: In patients with traumatic SMV injury, surgical repair does not appear to confer a significant survival advantage over ligation and can be associated with greater LOS and ICU LOS. Ligation may be an acceptable option for management of a traumatic SMV injury, especially when surgical repair cannot be performed, without compromising patient mortality or bowel resection rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-99
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Oct 2019


  • Superior mesenteric vein
  • Trauma
  • Vascular surgery
  • Vascular trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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