Stercoral perforation

Case contributed by Dr Ian Bickle


Acute abdominal pain. Peritonism. No abdominal distension. No past history.

Patient Data

Age: 64
Gender: Female

Thickened (odematous) rectosigmoid, with a large volume of adjacent extra-luminal free air.

Adjacent to the recto-sigmoid is a mass with an appearance similar to feces, lying outside of the colon.

Free air in the upper abdomen.

Case Discussion

In stercoral perforation a faecaloma if formed (a localized hard, inspissated, or calcified fecal mass) usually of a diameter equal to or greater than the colonic lumen.  This is thought to cause pressure necrosis on the colonic wall, resulting in perforation.   This then causes both local and sometimes distant extra-luminal air and an adjacent extruded fecal content.  The recto-sigmoid is by far the commonest location.

The absence of another cause for perforation, such as a diverticulum, tumor of inflammed colonic wall is also often a clue.

Laparotomy identified a large faeculoma and a stercoral perforation.

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Case information

rID: 43070
Published: 22nd Feb 2016
Last edited: 1st Oct 2017
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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