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BMJ Case Rep. 2016 Jan 27;2016. pii: bcr2015213465. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2015-213465.

Difficult case of Cronkhite-Canada syndrome with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, Clostridium difficile infection and polymyalgia rheumatica.

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Department of Internal Medicine III-Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Medical University Vienna, Vienna, Austria.


A 64-year-old woman presented with heavy diarrhoea, nausea and weight loss accompanied by alopecia and dystrophic fingernails and toenails. The preceding diagnosis of an inflammatory bowel disease, a common pitfall, was excluded by endoscopic work up. Instead, Cronkhite-Canada syndrome (CCS), a rare polyposis condition, was identified as the reason for this almost pathognomonic combination of diagnostic findings including various polyps throughout the entire intestine and ectodermal abnormalities. This case exemplifies common risks and complications in terms of gastrointestinal malabsorption, infections and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), including its treatment as well as a hereto unreported association with polymyalgia rheumatica. In CCS, long-term immunosuppressive therapy and close endoscopic cancer screening of the patient is essential. The treatment of vitamin deficiency and recurring SIBO helps to reduce symptoms.

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