Splenic rupture: An unusual complication of colonoscopy AMERICAN JOURNAL OF GASTROENTEROLOGY Ahmed, A., Eller, P. M., Schiffman, F. J. 1997; 92 (7): 1201-1204


Splenic rupture is an uncommon complication of colonoscopy. A high index of suspicion is a crucial factor in the prompt diagnosis of this rare but potentially fatal complication. We report a case of splenic rupture diagnosed 3 days after a colonoscopy and requiring splenectomy. We also reviewed 17 reported cases of splenic rupture after colonoscopy, including our case. The presumed mechanisms of splenic rupture during colonoscopy are direct trauma to the spleen, excessive splenocolic ligament traction, and decrease in the relative mobility between the spleen and the colon. Of the 17 cases reviewed, 10 had polypectomy and/or biopsy performed during colonoscopy. Other probable risk factors are identified and tabulated. The hemodynamic status of the patient is the primary factor used to determine the therapeutic option. Computed tomographic (CT) scan of the abdomen reliably demonstrates well-contained splenic laceration and subcapsular hematoma, and differentiates these splenic complications from perisplenic clot and hemoperitoneum. Thus, CT scan may help decide which patients may be managed operatively or nonoperatively. Splenectomy is the operative procedure of choice for splenic rupture after colonoscopy. Conservative management includes broad spectrum antibiotics, intravenous fluids, blood transfusion, and close hemodynamic monitoring. The factors mandating further evaluation of persistent abdominal pain after colonoscopy are hemodynamic instability, clinical features of acute abdomen, leukocytosis, and/or acute anemia. The onset of abdominal pain associated with one or more of these critical factors is usually within 24 h after colonoscopy. An emergent CT scan of the abdomen is the modality of choice to further evaluate these clinical features, but intestinal perforation and external bleeding must first be excluded.

View details for Web of Science ID A1997XK10700029

View details for PubMedID 9219800