Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and perforated diverticular disease: a case-control study.Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2002 Mar; 84(2):93-6.AR
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have a wide range of side-effects in the gastrointestinal tract and the large intestine. This study examines the hypothesis that the use of NSAIDs is associated with colonic perforation in diverticular disease. Histological evidence was used to confirm perforation. A retrospective review of case records and pathology reports identified 20 patients admitted over 3 consecutive years. A total of 125 age- and sex-matched patients diagnosed with diverticular disease not complicated by perforation formed the control group. The incidences of NSAID use in the two groups were compared. A second control group consisted of 600 age- and sex-matched randomly selected patients with no known diverticular disease admitted as emergencies in the same period. Of the 20 patients with perforation, 9 were taking NSAIDs for 4 weeks or longer, compared with 19 (15%) of the 125 patients who did not have perforation (relative risk 2.961, 95% confidence interval 1.507-5.348, P < 0.01). 19% of all patients with diverticular disease were taking NSAIDs compared with 10% of the second control group (relative risk 1.869, 95% confidence interval 1.237-2.781, P < 0.01). The findings indicate a strong association between the use of NSAIDs and the perforation of colonic diverticula. The majority of the indications for the use of NSAIDs were cardiovascular and musculoskeletal conditions. Prescribing NSAIDs to patients with diverticular disease carries an increased risk of colonic perforation.