Case Report

Fish bone perforation mimicking colon cancer: A case report

Thokozani Sibanda, Pria Pakkiri, Anne Ndlovu
South African Journal of Radiology | Vol 24, No 1 | a1885 | DOI: | © 2020 Thokozani Sibanda, Pria Pakkiri, Anne Ndlovu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 April 2020 | Published: 29 September 2020

About the author(s)

Thokozani Sibanda, Department of Radiology, Baines Imaging Group, Harare, Zimbabwe
Pria Pakkiri, Department of Pathology, Baines Pathology, Harare, Zimbabwe
Anne Ndlovu, Department of Radiology, Baines Imaging Group, Harare, Zimbabwe


Most patients who ingest fish bones do not develop any complications. The small proportion of patients who do complicate, present with non-specific symptoms. A 64-year-old female patient presented with a 2-month history of abdominal pain. Following clinical evaluation and computed tomography scan of the abdomen, a provisional diagnosis of colon cancer was made. Histology of the resected bowel at hemicolectomy demonstrated a perforation by fish bone with an associated abscess. The case illustrates how fish bone perforation may mislead unsuspecting clinicians and may be misdiagnosed as colonic cancer.


bowel perforation; fish bone; hemicolectomy; colonic malignancy; abscess; computed tomography.


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