BACKGROUND - Perforation during colonoscopy is a rare but well recognized complication with significant morbidity and mortality. We aim to systematically review the currently available literature concerning care and outcomes of colonic perforation. An algorithm is created to guide the practitioner in management of this challenging clinical scenario.
DATA SOURCES - A systematic review of the literature based on PRISMA-P guidelines was performed. We evaluate 31 articles focusing on findings over the past 10 years.
CONCLUSION - Colonoscopic perforation is a rare event and published management techniques are marked by their heterogeneity. Reliable conclusions are limited by the nature of the data available - mainly single institution, retrospective studies. Consensus conclusions include a higher rate of perforation from therapeutic colonoscopy when compared to diagnostic colonoscopy and the sigmoid as the most common site of perforation. Mortality appears driven by pre-existing conditions. Treatment must be tailored according to the patient's comorbidities and clinical status as well as the specific conditions during the colonoscopy that led to the perforation.
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