Closed Or Open after Source Control Laparotomy for Severe Complicated Intra-Abdominal Sepsis (the COOL trial): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Abstract Background Severe complicated intra-abdominal sepsis (SCIAS) has an increasing incidence with mortality rates over 80% in some settings. Mortality typically results from disruption of the gastrointestinal tract, progressive and self-perpetuating bio-mediator generation, systemic inflammation, and multiple organ failure. Principles of treatment include early antibiotic administration and operative source control. A further therapeutic option may be open abdomen (OA) management with active negative peritoneal pressure therapy (ANPPT) to remove inflammatory ascites and ameliorate the systemic damage from SCIAS. Although there is now a biologic rationale for such an intervention as well as non-standardized and erratic clinical utilization, this remains a novel therapy with potential side effects and clinical equipoise. Methods The Closed Or Open after Laparotomy (COOL) study will constitute a prospective randomized controlled trial that will randomly allocate eligible surgical patients intra-operatively to either formal closure of the fascia or use of the OA with application of an ANPTT dressing. Patients will be eligible if they have free uncontained intra-peritoneal contamination and physiologic derangements exemplified by septic shock OR a Predisposition-Infection-Response-Organ Dysfunction Score ≥ 3 or a World-Society-of-Emergency-Surgery-Sepsis-Severity-Score ≥ 8. The primary outcome will be 90-day survival. Secondary outcomes will be logistical, physiologic, safety, bio-mediators, microbiological, quality of life, and health-care costs. Secondary outcomes will include days free of ICU, ventilation, renal replacement therapy, and hospital at 30 days from the index laparotomy. Physiologic secondary outcomes will include changes in intensive care unit illness severity scores after laparotomy. Bio-mediator outcomes for participating centers will involve measurement of interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-10, procalcitonin, activated protein C (APC), high-mobility group box protein-1, complement factors, and mitochondrial DNA. Economic outcomes will comprise standard costing for utilization of health-care resources. Discussion Although facial closure after SCIAS is considered the current standard of care, many reports are suggesting that OA management may improve outcomes in these patients. This trial will be powered to demonstrate a mortality difference in this highly lethal and morbid condition to ensure critically ill patients are receiving the best care possible and not being harmed by inappropriate therapies based on opinion only. Trial registration , NCT03163095 .
World Journal of Emergency Surgery. 2018 Jun 22;13(1):26