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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 17, Issue 12, Pages 727-729
Brief Communication

Waiting-List Induced Proctitis: The Hydrogen Peroxide Enema

S Ian Gan and Lawrence M Price

Division of Gastroenterology, Dept of Medicine, Foothills Medical Centre, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Received 3 April 2003; Revised 9 June 2003

Copyright © 2003 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.


Hydrogen peroxide is a widely available disinfectant that has been reported to cause colitis. We report a case of a 67-year-old man who presented with an acute proctitis caused by a self-inflicted 3% hydrogen peroxide enema. The patient’s intention was to cure himself of a recently diagnosed prostate cancer, because the waiting list for oncological consultation was deemed too long. The pathogenesis of hydrogen peroxide mucosal injury and a review of the literature is discussed.