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Can J Gastroenterol. 2003 Jul;17(7):445-7.

Crohn's disease and cheilitis.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Alberta Children's Hospital, Calgary, Canada.


A five-year-old boy presented to his family physician with painless swelling of both lips. One year later he developed abdominal pain, nonbloody diarrhea, weight loss and joint pains. Colonoscopic examination demonstrated patchy erythema, friability and multiple aph-thous ulcers consistent with the appearance of Crohn's colitis, and treatment with prednisone was initiated. Colonic biopsies displayed a chronic inflammatory cell infiltrate, focal cryptitis and fissure formation. The patient's lip swelling relapsed on multiple occasions when steroids were tapered, despite minimal intestinal symptoms of Crohn's disease. The objective of the present report is to alert physicians to this unusual presentation of Crohn's disease and that cheilitis may run a protracted course.

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