Diagnosis and management of colonic injuries following blunt trauma

World J Gastroenterol. 2007 Jan 28;13(4):633-6. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v13.i4.633.


Aim: To retrospectively evaluate the preoperative diagnostic approaches and management of colonic injuries following blunt abdominal trauma.

Methods: A total of 82 patients with colonic injuries caused by blunt trauma between January 1992 and December 2005 were enrolled. Data were collected on clinical presentation, investigations, diagnostic methods, associated injuries, and operative management. Colonic injury-related mortality and abdominal complications were analyzed.

Results: Colonic injuries were caused mainly by motor vehicle accidents. Of the 82 patients, 58 (70.3%) had other associated injuries. Laparotomy was performed within 6 h after injury in 69 cases (84.1%), laparoscopy in 3 because of haemodynamic instability. The most commonly injured site was located in the transverse colon. The mean colon injury scale score was 2.8. The degree of faecal contamination was classified as mild in 18 (22.0%), moderate in 42 (51.2%), severe in 14 (17.1%), and unknown in 8 (9.8%) cases. Sixty-seven patients (81.7%) were treated with primary repair or resection and anastomosis. Faecal stream diversion was performed in 15 cases (18.3%). The overall mortality rate was 6.1%. The incidence of colonic injury-related abdominal complications was 20.7%. The only independent predictor of complications was the degree of peritoneal faecal contamination (P = 0.02).

Conclusion: Colonic injuries following blunt trauma are especially important because of the severity and complexity of associated injuries. A thorough physical examination and a combination of tests can be used to evaluate the indications for laparotomy. One stage management at the time of initial exploration is most often used for colonic injuries.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Colon / injuries*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laparotomy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / diagnosis*
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / therapy