Colonic perforation at CT colonography: Assessment of risk in a multicenter large cohort

Jacob Sosna*, Arye Blachar, Michal Amitai, Elisha Barmeir, Natan Peled, S. Nahum Goldberg, Jacob Bar-Ziv

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

134 Scopus citations


Purpose: To assess retrospectively the incidence, clinical features, and treatment of colonic perforation at computed tomographic (CT) colonography in a large multicenter cohort. Materials and Methods: The study was performed in accordance with the institutional ethics committees' requirements of a retrospective review in each of the participating centers, and no informed consent was required. A review of all patients who underwent CT colonography between January 2001 and December 2004 in 11 medical centers representing more than 95% of studies performed in a single country was performed to determine the rate of colorectal perforation. Data about patient demographics and patient- and procedure-related risk were recorded. Information about the location of the perforation, its likely mechanism, and treatment was collected. Analysis included calculation of rates of colonic perforation and surgical treatment and of 95% confidence intervals. Results: A total of 11 870 CT colonographic studies were performed in 6837 (57.6%) men and 5033 (42.4%) women (mean age, 59.9 years; range, 38-90 years) with seven cases of colrectal perforation, yielding a risk rate of 0.059% (one of 1696 studies; 95% confidence interval: one of 974, 971 of 6537). The mean age of the patients with perforation was 77.8 years. Six (84%) of seven cases of perforation occured in symptomatic patients at high risk for colorectal neoplasia, and one (16%) occurred in an asymptomatic average-risk patient. All studies were performed after insufflation of room air. Six (84%) cases of perforation occured in patients in whom a rectal tube was inserted, and in five of them, a balloon was inflated. Five (71%) cases of perforation occured in the sigmoid colon; and two (29%), in the rectum. Four (57%) patients (one in 2968 patients; 95% confidence interval: 1.5 in 10 000, 14.7 in 10 000) required surgical treatment. Possible factors that contributed to perforation were left inguinal hernia containing colon (n = 4) diverticulosis (n = 3), and obstructive carcinoma (n = 1). Conclusion: Perforation of the colon and rectum is a rare complication of CT colonography. Older age and underlying concomitant colonic disease were present in patients with perforation.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)457-463
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2006
Externally publishedYes


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