This study aimed to investigate the usefulness of intraluminal Pco 2 (Pico 2) monitoring by air tonometry for the assessment of the vascular condition of the transferred jejunum after surgery for hypopharyngeal cancer. Pico 2 in the transplanted jejunum of 24 patients was monitored using air tonometry after radical surgery for hypopharyngeal cancer from 2003 to 2010. All but 1 patient, who removed the catheter before monitoring began, were monitored safely. Pico 2 in the transferred jejunum correlated with arterial Pco 2 (Paco 2) that was measured concurrently, and dissociation of Pico 2 from Paco 2 was observed in cases with vascular complication. In those cases without postoperative vascular complication, the Pico 2 value gradually increased for 3 hours but then decreased by 12 hours after surgery. Three patients experienced major vascular complication. All 3 patients had continuous elevation of Pico 2 >100mm Hg, although vascular flow in 1 patient recovered by removal of a venous thrombosis and reanastomosis of the vein 7.5 hours after surgery. Four other patients who experienced elevation of Pico 2 had their skin suture released for decompression of their neck wound, resulting in a decrease in Pico 2 after treatment. The current results demonstrated that continuous monitoring of Pico 2 by air tonometry accurately reflects the vascular condition of the transferred jejunum, and this method is one of the best options for postoperative monitoring of jejunum blood perfusion.
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