Liver abscess secondary to an endoscopic tattoo in the colon

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Endoscopic tattooing of colonic lesions has been used safely for their localization.


We report a 61-year-old female who had left hemicolectomy in 2006 for adenocarcinoma of the left colon (pT3, pN0, M0). Cancer in the transverse colon was discovered during annual colonoscopy surveillance. The lesion was tattooed 5cm proximal to the lesion. Twenty-four days after tattooing, she was admitted to the emergency department with increased levels of inflammatory markers. CT showed an abscess in the left lobe of the liver adjacent to the tattoo site. The abscess was drained under ultrasound guidance. She had antibiotic treatment for 3 weeks and made a full recovery.


Endoscopic tattooing of colonic lesions is safe but this case report highlights the possibility of a rare (but serious) complication that must be taken into consideration.

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