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Splenic Injury Due to Colonoscopy: Analysis of the World Literature, a New Case Report, and Recommendations for Management

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Splenic injury is a rare complication of colonoscopy. Most literature on the topic is case-report based. Our objective was to perform a comprehensive analysis of characteristics of splenic injury due to colonoscopy from available published reports in the world literature, to compare and contrast this entity with that of traumatic splenic injury, and provide recommendations for management based on the analysis. We reviewed the PubMed database without restrictions using the terms splenic trauma after colonoscopy, splenic rupture from colonoscopy, splenic injury following colonoscopy, and splenic complications of colonoscopy, and also reviewed the references from the resulting publications. Retrieved manuscripts (case reports, reviews, and abstracts) were reviewed by two authors, and data extracted for 15 specific characteristics of each patient reported using a standardized data collection tool. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Splenic injury due to colonoscopy is extremely rare as reported in published literature. The majority of patients that seek medical attention have delayed symptoms, and most require splenectomy. Subcapsular hematoma is the most common injury pattern seen. Selection criteria for operative management may be extrapolated from management guidelines for traumatic splenic injury, although nonoperative failure rates are higher for splenic injury due to colonoscopy than for trauma.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Inova Regional Trauma Center, Inova Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church, Virginia, USA

Publication date: November 1, 2010

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