Adverse events of computed tomography colonography: An Italian National Survey

Franco Iafrate, Gabriella Iussich, Loredana Correale, Cesare Hassan, Daniele Regge, Emanuele Neri, Paolo Baldassari, Maria Ciolina, Alessandro Pichi, Marcella Iannitti, Davide Diacinti, Andrea Laghi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: To retrospectively study the frequency and magnitude of complications associated with computed tomography (CT) colonography in clinical practice. Methods: A questionnaire on complications of CT colonography was sent to Italian public radiology departments identified as practicing CT colonography with a reasonable level of training. The frequency of complications and possible risk factors were retrospectively determined. Responses were collated and row frequencies determined. A multivariate analysis of the factors causing adverse events was also performed. Results: 40,121 examinations were performed in13 centers during the study period. No deaths were reported. Bowel perforations occurred in 0.02% (7 exams). All perforations were asymptomatic and occurred in patients undergoing manual insufflation. Five perforations (71%) occurred in procedures performed following a recent colonoscopy. There was no significant difference between perforations associated with rectal balloon (0.017%) and those that were not (0.02%). Complications related to vasovagal reaction (either with or without spasmolytic) occurred in 0.16% (63 exams). All vasovagal reactions resolved in less than 3. h, without any sequelae. Conclusions: Perforation rate at CT colonography in Italy is comparable with elsewhere in the world, occurring regardless of the experience of radiology centers. Although the risk is very small, it may not be negligible when compared with the risk of diagnostic colonoscopy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)645-650
Number of pages6
JournalDigestive and Liver Disease
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


  • Colon cancer
  • CT colonography
  • Perforation
  • Survey
  • Vasovagal syncope
  • Virtual colonoscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Hepatology


Dive into the research topics of 'Adverse events of computed tomography colonography: An Italian National Survey'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this