The morbidity of penetrating colon injury

Eileen M. Bulger, Kerry McMahon, Gregory Jurkovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study is to define the current morbidity and mortality associated with penetrating colon injury and to determine the impact of management strategy on outcome. Methods: A retrospective review was performed of all penetrating colon injuries managed at a level I trauma center (1990-2000), n=186. Stepwise logistic regression was used to determine the independent predictors for colostomy and morbidity following colon injury. Results: Fifty-three percent of the patients were managed with primary repair or anastomosis while 47% received a colostomy. Independent predictors of colostomy included gunshot wound (GSW), degree of peritoneal contamination, and location of injury. The complication rate for patients requiring a colostomy was 57% versus 42% for the primary repair group, P=0.01. When adjusted for injury severity and hypotension, the presence of a colostomy was not associated with a significant increase in the complication rate (OR 1.7, 95% CI: 0.9-3.25). Independent predictors for the development of intra-abdominal abscess were hypotension on admission (OR 2.4, 95% CI: 1.1-5.8) and penetrating abdominal trauma index (PATI) score >25 (OR 4.2, 95% CI: 2.0-8.9). The complication rate for colostomy takedown was 17%. Conclusion: Penetrating colon injury carries a high rate of infectious morbidity. The development of infectious complications is related to the injury severity and haemodynamic status of the patient, not the type of operation performed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-46
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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