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Emerg Radiol. 2011 Dec;18(6):539-44. doi: 10.1007/s10140-011-0982-3. Epub 2011 Sep 2.

Delayed presentation of splenic rupture following colonoscopy: clinical and CT findings.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, E3/311 Clinical Science Center 600 Highland Ave., Madison, WI 53792-3252, USA.


The purpose of this study is to investigate the clinical and CT findings in patients with symptomatic colonoscopy-induced splenic rupture, and to assess for common features among this cohort. Multi-center search yielded 11 adults with symptomatic splenic injury related to colonoscopy. Workup included abdominal CT in 10 (91%) cases and abdominal radiography in two patients (one patient had both). Colonoscopy findings, post-procedural course, and CT findings were systematically reviewed. Mean patient age was 62.2 years (range, 51-84 years); 8 (73%) of 11 were female. The majority (64%) of colonoscopies were for screening. No immediate complications were reported at optical colonoscopy; tortuosity/redundancy was noted in five cases. Except for a small (8 mm) polyp in one case and a large (10 mm) polyp in another, the remaining nine patients had either diminutive or no polyps. Only one patient presented with hemodynamic instability during post-colonoscopy recovery; the other ten had a delayed presentation ranging from 8 h to 8 days (mean, 2.1 days). All 11 patients presented with abdominal pain. CT was diagnostic for splenic injury with subcaspular and/or perisplenic hematoma in all ten CT cases. Hemoperitoneum was present in eight, visible splenic laceration in three cases, and splenic artery pseudoaneurysm in one case. Five patients underwent splenectomy (four emergent) and six patients were treated conservatively. Average hospital stay was 5.5 days (range, 3-10 days). Colonoscopy-induced splenic rupture characteristically presents as a delayed and often serious complication. In cases of apparent non-traumatic splenic hematoma or rupture at CT, eliciting a history of recent colonoscopy may identify the etiology.

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