Colonoscopic perforation: incidence, risk factors, management and outcome

World J Gastroenterol. 2010 Jan 28;16(4):425-30. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v16.i4.425.


This review discusses the incidence, risk factors, management and outcome of colonoscopic perforation (CP). The incidence of CP ranges from 0.016% to 0.2% following diagnostic colonoscopies and could be up to 5% following some colonoscopic interventions. The perforations are frequently related to therapeutic colonoscopies and are associated with patients of advanced age or with multiple comorbidities. Management of CP is mainly based on patients' clinical grounds and their underlying colorectal diseases. Current therapeutic approaches include conservative management (bowel rest plus the administration of broad-spectrum antibiotics), endoscopic management, and operative management (open or laparoscopic approach). The applications of each treatment are discussed. Overall outcomes of patients with CP are also addressed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Colonoscopy / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Intestinal Perforation / diagnosis
  • Intestinal Perforation / etiology*
  • Intestinal Perforation / mortality
  • Intestinal Perforation / therapy
  • Risk Factors