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Am Surg. 1991 Apr;57(4):237-40.

Decision for surgical management of perforation following endoscopic sphincterotomy.

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Department of Surgery, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver 80262.


Duodenal perforation resulting from endoscopic sphincterotomy (ES) is a serious complication with a high mortality. Diagnosis is often problematic and the optimum treatment is controversial. Eight proven perforations occurred following 441 ES at University of Colorado Hospital, a rate of 1.8 per cent. Physical and laboratory findings were of little diagnostic value, whereas plain abdominal radiographs showed evidence of perforation in 86 per cent. All patients were operated on promptly after diagnosis of perforation. Delay in diagnosis of perforation beyond 24 hours in six patients was associated with a high morbidity and two deaths. Analysis of published series confirmed that delay in diagnosis and delay in operation after perforation were associated with a higher mortality rate than early diagnosis with or without operation. We recommend operative intervention in all patients with clinical evidence of perforation following ES.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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