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Gastroenterology. 1983 Jan;84(1):171-4.

Ischemic colitis complicating sickle cell crisis.


Abdominal pain is quite common in sickle cell crisis, although the cause of abdominal pain is seldom determined and remains controversial. We have recently seen an 18-yr-old man with sickle cell disease who developed acute abdominal pain during a crisis. Rebound tenderness on physical exam and "thumbprinting" on barium enema examination suggested possible colon infarction. Histopathologic review of the resected ascending colon demonstrated mucosal necrosis and submucosal edema consistent with ischemic colitis. Hypotheses regarding the cause of abdominal pain in sickle crises are reviewed; the pathophysiology of sickle-cell induced vasocclusion and its relation to the development of ischemic colitis in our patient is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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