Colonoscopic identification of a foreign body causing an hepatic abscess

Karl Y. Bilimoria, Roger K. Eagan, Douglas K. Rex*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background: Hepatic abscesses often result from a perforation of the gastrointestinal tract. Although rare, this may occur via puncture by a foreign body. The object may directly extend from the stomach or duodenum into the liver, or rarely, the object may perforate the bowel distal to the duodenum and indirectly extend to the liver leading to the formation of an abscess. Case Report: A 44-year-old man developed an hepatic abscess. Although the abscess was identified on computed tomography, various imaging studies were unable to identify the cause of the infection. After an extended ICU course, the patient was deemed stable enough to undergo a colonoscopy that demonstrated a foreign body penetrating through the wall of the sigmoid colon. Conclusions: Here we describe the first report of a foreign body leading to a hepatic abscess where the object was identified by colonoscopy. In addition, we present a comprehensive literature review examining the method of identification of gastrointestinal foreign bodies that led to liver abscesses. These findings emphasize that in cases of hepatic abscesses of unknown etiology, direct visualization by colonoscopy may be a useful tool to elucidate the cause of the abscess.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-85
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2003


  • Colonoscopy
  • Foreign body
  • Hepatic abscess

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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