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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2003 June;58(3):351-4

language: English

A rare surgical complication of Crohn's diseases: free peritoneal perforation

Veroux M., Angriman I., Ruffolo C., Barollo M., Veroux P., Caglia P., Sommariva A., Fiamingo P., D'Amico D. F.


Background. Free peritoneal perforation is a rare complication of Crohn's disease.
Methods. We evaluated the incidence of free peritoneal perforation among 208 patients with Crohn's disease surgically treated in the period 1992-2000.
Results. Five patients (2.4%) suffered from free peritoneal perforation. In 1 patient free peritoneal perforation was the first symptom of Crohn's disease. In 3 cases the perforation was in the small bowel and in 2 in the large bowel. All patients underwent surgery: all cases had a resection of the involved bowel and in two cases an ileostomy was performed in order to prevent severe peritonitis. We did not observed mortality or major complications.
Conclusions. Free peritoneal perforation is rare with about 100 cases reported in literature. No correlation seems to exist with previous corticosteroid treatment. The surgical treatment is mandatory. Simple suture should be avoided. The most appropriate treatment, whenever it is feasible, is resection of the involved bowel with immediate or, in case of severe sepsis, delayed anastomosis.

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