• Colon infarction is a lethal complication of ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm. We compared multiple anatomic, hemodynamic, and clinical features in 25 patients with ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm who suffered colon ischemia and 25 initial survivors of ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm in whom this complication did not develop. Prior impressions notwithstanding, preoperative shock or volume administration did not correlate with the development of colon ischemia, nor did aneurysm location, cross-clamp site, graft type, or inferior mesenteric artery patency. However, patients with colon ischemia had a significantly lower perioperative cardiac output and were significantly more likely to have received α-adrenergic vasoconstrictor agents. Seventeen patients (68%) with colon ischemia died compared with nine patients (36%) without colon ischemia. Perioperative maintenance of cardiac output and avoidance of α-adrenergic vasopressor agents are critical elements in prevention of this lethal complication.
(Arch Surg. 1992;127:979-985)