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Il Giornale di Chirurgia

Small bowel adenocarcinoma in a patient with a 5-year history
of untreated Crohn’s disease: a case report

Clinical practice, 383 - 387
doi: 10.11138/gchir/2018.39.6.383
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Abstract
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Aim. Complication of Crohn’s disease (CD) of the small intestine is small bowel adenocarcinoma (SBA). A lot of studies on Crohn's disease have estimated the increased relative risk of small bowel carcinoma compared to the general population. In clinical settings, it is difficult to detect SBA in CD, therefore most of cases are diagnosed after surgery for strictures without suspicion of malignancy.
Case report. The present case concerns a 48-year-old man with a suspicious 5-year history of untreated chronic inflammatory bowel disease.
The patient was admitted to our unit with persistent abdominal pain, 20 kg weight loss and intestinal obstruction, confirmed at CT scans. It was performed an emergency laparotomy, terminal ileus was resected and intestinal continuity was restored. Histological examination revealed a poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma.
Discussion. The risk factors of SBA include long-standing and extensive Crohn’s disease, young age, male sex, smoke, early onset, complications such as strictures and fistulas The most common clinical presentation of small bowel carcinoma in Crohn’s disease is intestinal obstruction accompanied by wheight loss. The diagnosis is very difficult because imaging techniques may not be able to differentiate areas of small bowel carcinomas from benign fibrotic or acute inflammatory strictures.
Conclusion. Small bowel adenocarcinoma is a rare disease but this evenience must be considered in patients with strictures for Crohn’s disease. Preoperative diagnosis is still highly challenging despite significant radiological and endoscopic progress.

Vol. XL (No. 1) 2019 January - February

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