Omental Infarction: a Reappraisal of Conservative Management in Children

José Estevão-Costa, Ana Sofia Alvarenga, Ana Catarina Fragoso, Maria Garcia, Miguel Campos

Abstract


Introduction: Accurate recognition of omental infarction has resulted in increasing supporters of non-operative approach. In order to assess the efficacy and safety of conservative management, we surveyed the cases of omental infarction treated at a single institution.
Material and Methods: Primary omental infarction treated between 2004 and 2011 were reviewed. Cases recognized by imaging studies were submitted to conservative treatment that consisted of intravenous analgesics and antibiotics. Demographics, clinical presentation, laboratory findings, imaging diagnosis and outcome were analyzed.
Results: There were 9 cases of omental infarction. Eight patients (4 males; median age, 8.5 years) presented at initial course of disease; all had right-sided abdominal pain and a normal or lightly increased leukocyte count. Six cases, diagnosed by CT scan after US suspicion in four, were managed conservatively, recovered uneventfully, and were discharged after a median hospital stay of 3 days. Two patients were only recognized at surgery. An additional case presented with intestinal obstruction due to an internal hernia and was successfully resolved by laparoscopy.
Discussion: Imaging techniques were diagnostic of omental infarction in the majority of cases, enabling a conservative approach to be adopted. Non-operative management was successful with no complications in all patients presenting at the initial course of disease. One patient presented with a harmful complication that required operative treatment.
Conclusion: In the absence of a standard approach for omental infarction, conservative management is an effective noninvasive alternative but it claims for active surveillance.
Keywords: Infarction; Omentum.


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