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J Clin Gastroenterol. 2002 Mar;34(3):252-4.

An unusual presentation of enterocolic lymphocytic phlebitis.

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Internal Medicine Residency Program, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA.


Enterocolic lymphocytic phlebitis (ELP) is a recently described disease characterized by phlebitis in the wall and mesentery of the colon and small bowel. Unlike other systemic or localized vasculitic diseases that can have similar gastrointestinal manifestations, there is no involvement of the arterial system or evidence of systemic vasculitis. The lymphocytic phlebitis affects not only the grossly involved intestinal segment but also the apparently healthy bowel. The diagnosis of ELP is histologic, and other systemic vasculitis must be ruled out. Surgical resection of the bowel not only provides the diagnostic tissue but also leads to resolution of the symptoms. In the literature, ELP has most commonly been reported to present as an acute abdomen. We describe a case of ELP presenting as a large abdominal mass, without evidence of an acute abdomen. This mass was actually diffusely thickened colonic serosa, caused by extensive organizing fat necrosis and marked edema of the serosa and bowel wall.

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