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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 15, Issue 4, Pages 265-267
Brief Communication

Spontaneous Peritonitis from Perforation of the Colon in Collagenous Colitis

HJ Freeman,1 D James,2 and CJ Mahoney2

1Department of Medicine (Gastroenterology), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
2Campbell River and District Hospital, Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada

Received 13 July 1999; Accepted 10 October 1999

Copyright © 2001 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A 37-year-old woman presented with an acute abdomen following the onset of watery diarrhea. Spontaneous peritonitis was detected, along with evidence of a focal sigmoid colon perforation. Subsequent postoperative colonoscopic studies revealed collagenous colitis with a focal, deep, nongranulomatous ulcer in the sigmoid colon. Although the literature suggests that collagenous colitis tends to have a relatively 'benign' clinical course characterized by chronic or episodic watery diarrhea. Potentially serious and life- threatening complications may occur in this microscopic form of inflammatory bowel disease.