Colonoscopy Complications in an Iranian Teaching Hospital

Ali Ali Asgari, Saharnaz Sazgarnejad, Bahar Haghdoost, Marjan Ghasemi, Anahita Sadeghi, Reza Malekzadeh



Colonoscopy is generally a safe procedure with a limited number of adverse events. Few studies have addressed the rate of adverse events in teaching hospitals. This study aimed to investigate the rate of complications after colonoscopy performed by gastroenterology fellows in a teaching hospital in Tehran.


A historical cohort study was carried out to link the colonoscopy reports and the hospital information system to identify serious adverse events leading to unplanned hospitalization, unplanned procedures or interventions (e.g. surgery), prolongation of existing hospitalization, or death within 30 days after colonoscopy.


We included 9928 colonoscopies (mean age of the patients 53.0±15.9 years, 52.3% men) in this study. In-hospital patients comprised (34.8%) of the procedures. The indications of colonoscopy included 7137 diagnostic (71.9%), and 2519 screening (25.4%) reasons. Colorectal polyps were found in 2005 (20.2%) patients. Major complications were seen in 17 patients (0.2%), including serious bleeding in seven patients, cardiopulmonary complications in five patients, perforation in four patients, and sepsis in one patient.


Serious adverse events after colonoscopy are relatively rare. The rate of complications does not appear to be higher in an academic teaching hospital when performed by fellows under supervision.


Colonoscopy complications; Intestinal perforation; Gastrointestinal hemorrhage; Graduate medical education

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