Background/aimsEndoscopic closure is technically feasible in the majority of gastrointestinal defects. The aim of this study is to evaluate the technical and clinical outcomes, and identify variables predicting successful outcomes in patients with attempted closure.MethodsThis is a retrospective study of patients undergoing endoscopic closure of gastrointestinal defects between December 2007 and May 2013 at a single tertiary care center. Technical success (TS) was defined as successful closure of the defect at the time of endoscopy. Clinical improvement (CI) was defined as improvement in symptoms. Clinical resolution (CR) was defined as documented radiographic closure of defect or clinical resolution of symptoms. Acute defects were diagnosed within 6 weeks, while chronic defects were those that persisted for >6 weeks, prior to index therapeutic endoscopy.ResultsFifty patients underwent 77 endoscopies for leaks (n = 23), fistulas (n = 22), and perforations (n = 5). TS occurred in 46/50 (92 %). Overall, 34/50 (68 %) patients had CR. CR was significantly higher for acute defects as compared to chronic defects (89.7 vs. 38.1 %, OR 14.1, CI 3.19–62.1, p < 0.001). Of 24 patients who required repeat attempts at endoscopic closure, 14 (58 %) achieved CR. Acute defects (p = 0.04) and those with initial CI (p = 0.001) were statistically more likely to achieve CR after a repeat attempt.ConclusionTS and CR are achieved in majority of patients. Acute defects are more likely to achieve CR. In cases where a defect persists, a repeat attempt at endoscopic closure should be attempted.