Background and study aims: Endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) is a novel technique used for the treatment of gastrointestinal neoplasia. One of its major limitations, however, is the complication of perforation. Patients and methods: We included in our study all the cases of perforation that occurred during ESID procedures for gastrointestinal epithelial neoplasia between February 2000 and February 2005. Clinical outcomes after perforation were investigated. Results: Perforation was experienced at 27 lesions in 27 patients (four in the esophagus, fourteen in the stomach, seven in the colon, and two in the rectum). Fibrosis under the lesions was confirmed histologically in seven patients (26%). Immediate closure using endoclips was performed in all patients except for three asymptomatic patients in whom a stomach perforation was first noticed when free air was noticed on a radiograph the morning after the ESD procedure. Air accumulation was detected radiographically in 21 patients (78 %). The mean duration of antibiotic treatment was 6.7 days and the patients were fasted for a mean period of 5.3 days. The mean maximum body temperature was 37.3 °C, the mean white blood cell count was 9733/MM3, and the mean C-reactive protein level was 5.0 mg/dl. All the patients were discharged well from the ward after a mean time of 12.1 days after ESD, and no recurrence caused by tumor spread from the perforation occurred in any patient after a median follow-up period of 36 months (range 9 - 52 months). Conclusion: Successful nonsurgical management after ESD complicated by perforation is a highly feasible option if intensive conservative treatments are used following immediate endoscopic closure of the perforation.
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