Implications of transfer status on bowel loss in children undergoing emergency surgery for malrotation

Stephanie F. Polites*, Timothy B. Lautz, Todd M. Jenkins, Roshni Dasgupta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: Malrotation with midgut volvulus is a time-sensitive pediatric surgical disease that requires emergent operative exploration to avoid bowel loss; however, it also requires specialized pediatric care. The purpose of this study was to identify disparities in bowel resection in children who underwent emergency surgery for malrotation; particularly the role of transfer status. Methods: The Pediatric Health Information System was used to identify a multicenter cohort of patients who underwent emergency surgical intervention for malrotation. Univariate and multivariable analyses were used to determine factors associated with the primary outcome of bowel resection; secondary outcomes included surgical complications, prolonged length of stay, TPN dependence, and death. Results: Of 3373 patients with malrotation included, 44.8% were transferred in. Younger age, prematurity and other comorbidity, nonwhite race, and public insurance were associated with transfer. Transferred patients were more likely to undergo bowel resection on univariate (30.7 vs 16.4%, p < .001) and multivariable analysis (RR = 1.38, p < .010). After adjusting for bowel resection, only patient factors including age and comorbidity were associated with surgical complications, TPN dependence, and death. Conclusion: Patients who require hospital-to-hospital transfer for emergent surgical management of malrotation are more likely to require bowel resection which is in turn associated with greater morbidity. Further work is needed to optimize access to prompt surgical care for this condition especially given race and insurance disparities in transfer status. Level of evidence: III, prognostic study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1848-1853
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2019


  • Bowel resection
  • Disparity
  • Malrotation
  • Pediatric surgery
  • Transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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