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Gastroenterologie
a hepatologie

Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Gastroent Hepatol 2021; 75(1): 165–169. doi: 10.48095/ccgh2021165.

Benign asymptomatic pneumoperitoneum in the patient after CT colonography

Radim Gerstberger1, Matej Straka1, Jiří Pánek1, Filip Marek2, Lumír Kunovský2,3, Daniel Bartušek Orcid.org  1

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Summary

Pneumoperitoneum is a condition that refers to the presence of free air (gas) in the abdominal cavity. Differential diagnosis of the causes of pneumoperitoneum varies widely and represents varying degrees of severity. In the patients who have not recently underwent laparotomy or laparoscopy, the finding of pneumoperitoneum is usually a sign of gastrointestinal perforation that requires immediate surgical approach due to the risk of peritonitis with subsequent life-threatening sepsis. However, not all causes of pneumoperitoneum require surgery. In our case report, we present a rare case of clinically asymptomatic pneumoperitoneum that developed in a 66-year-old patient after CT colonography. In this diagnostic method, we inflate colon with carbon dioxide (CO2 ); therefore this kind of pneumoperitoneum can de facto be called capnoperitoneum. In this patient, free air (gas) in the abdominal cavity manifested itself in the so-called benign pneumoperitoneum, which is defined as asymptomatic free air in the abdominal cavity and pneumoperitoneum without peritonitis. Despite the fact that CT colonography is considered a method with a very low incidence of complications, it is necessary to take into account the presence of risk factors in its indication and to contraindicate to avoid the number of postoperative complications. The fundamental message of our case report is that extensive pneumoperitoneum after proven CT colonography can be asymptomatic and can be treated conservatively (if clinical and laboratory results are favorable).

Keywords

CT colonography, pneumoperitoneum, perforace střeva

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