Colon perforation is a serious illness with mortality reported from 0-39%. Surgery used to be the gold standard but treatment has changed as studies have indicated comparable results with less invasive treatment. The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence of acute colon perforations in Iceland, causes and treatment.
A retrospective, nationwide, multicenter analysis was performed based on ICD-10 codes from databases of the main hospitals in Iceland. Age, gender, year of perforation, cause, means of diagnosis, treatment and outcome were registered. Patients under 18 years and post mortem diagnosis were excluded.
225 patients met criteria, 131 women (58%) and 94 men (42%), median age 70 years (range 30-95). The most common causes were diverticulitis (67%), colonoscopy (12%) and complications during operations (5%). During the first five study years, 27% received conservative treatment while 71% underwent surgery. By the end of the study era this ratio was 45% and 54% respectively. The rate of permanent stoma was 10%.
Diverticulitis was the most common cause of colon perforation in Iceland during the study period. Many patients still undergo surgery but there has been a dramatic change toward more conservative treatment. The rate of stoma closure is comparable to studies elsewhere. 1University Hospital of Iceland, Dept. General Surgery, 2University of Iceland, Faculty of Medicine, 3Akureyri Teaching Hospital, 4Akranes Hospital and Health Care Center, Iceland. Key words: Colon perforation, diverticulitis, Hartmann's reversal. Correspondence: Elsa B. Valsdottir, firstname.lastname@example.org.