Explosions of Colonic Gas

B. H.Gerald Rogers, Michael D. Levitt

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


To the Editor: In his editorial on “Methane Production in the Gut” (N Engl J Med 291:528–529, 1974) Dr. Levitt states, “the only known effect of this gas is its influence on the buoyant properties of stools.” It is well known that methane in the colon can reach explosive concentrations.1 After oxygen has been introduced into the colon, explosions have occurred during electrosurgery.2 This disastrous effect of methane has resulted in serious injury and even in death to some patients. When I read the article I was surprised that this point was not emphasized, particularly since Dr. Levitt has done.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number20
StatePublished - Nov 14 1974

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