August 1984

Inaccuracy of Diagnostic Peritoneal Lavage in Penetrating Colonic Trauma

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Trauma Surgery, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit.

Arch Surg. 1984;119(8):906-908. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1984.01390200026006

• As part of an ongoing study of the operative treatment of colon injuries, 33 patients proved to have colon injury at operation had diagnostic peritoneal lavage as part of their preoperative examination. Gunshot wounds were the cause of injury in 22 (67%) of these patients and stab wounds in 11 patients (33%). The lavage was positive in only 23 (70%) of the 33 patients with operatively proved penetrating injuries of the colon. Lavage was accurate in 16 (73%) of 22 patients with gunshot wounds of the colon and seven (64%) of 11 patients with stab wounds. The overall false-negative rate for this series of patients was 30%. This study indicates that diagnostic peritoneal lavage is relatively inaccurate in the evaluation of colonic injury secondary to penetrating abdominal trauma.

(Arch Surg 1984;119:906-908)