World Journal of Surgery

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 944–954 | Cite as

Microdialysis in Postoperative Monitoring of Gastrointestinal Organ Viability: A Systematic Review

  • Jonas Emil Sabroe
  • Niels QvistEmail author
  • Mark Bremholm Ellebæk
Scientific Review



Microdialysis is a technique for continuous measurement of extracellular substances. It may be used to monitor tissue viability. The clinical implications of using microdialysis as a tool in gastrointestinal surgery have yet to be defined. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the clinical significance of microdialysis with special attention to different markers measured to predict the clinical outcome of surgical patients.


Embase, MEDLINE, and the Cochrane Library were searched systematically for human studies written in English. Study selection, data extraction, and quality assessment were performed independently by two authors. We included studies in which the microdialysis technique was used for postoperative monitoring of patients undergoing gastrointestinal surgery. To be eligible, studies had to compare patients with and without postoperative complications.


Twenty-six studies were included in this review. MINORS score ranged from 3 to 12 (median 10.5). Most studies showed that levels of biomarkers obtained by microdialysis correlated with the postoperative clinical course. Lactate, pyruvate, glucose, and glycerol were the most frequently measured biomarkers. Several studies found that changes in biomarkers in complicated patients preceded symptoms of complications and/or changes in conventional paraclinical methods of postoperative monitoring.


Studies show that microdialysis may have the potential to become a tool in postoperative surveillance of surgical patients. Larger randomized studies are needed to define the clinical implications of microdialysis.



Thanks to Herdis Foverskov, Librarian, The Medical Research library, The University Library of Southern Denmark, Odense University Hospital, and Svendborg Hospital.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Société Internationale de Chirurgie 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonas Emil Sabroe
    • 1
  • Niels Qvist
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mark Bremholm Ellebæk
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryOdense University HospitalOdenseDenmark

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