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Dig Dis Sci. 1998 Feb;43(2):420-8.

Disseminated aseptic abscesses associated with Crohn's disease: a new entity?

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Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Gabriel Montpied, Clermont-Ferrand, France.


Our purpose is to describe seven cases of disseminated aseptic abscesses with regard to clinical, biological, radiological, and histological information, treatment, and outcome. Data were collected on seven Caucasian patients who had proven sterile deep abscesses diagnosed in French university hospitals. The onset of the disease related to abscesses began at times from June 1988 to August 1994. Follow-up periods were 1 year, 7 months to 8 years, 2 months. The age of the patients ranged from 15 to 26 years old. At onset, all had fever and six had abdominal pain. Abscesses involved spleen and abdominal lymph nodes in six cases; liver in three; pancreas, brain, and chest in one. All had polymorphonuclear leukocytosis. Pathological examination showed granulomatous abscesses. Direct and indirect investigations failed to identify any causal microorganism. On six occasions, Crohn's disease was revealed 1 to 41 months later and in one case, it preceded the onset of abscesses. One subsequently developed Sweet's syndrome. Various antibiotic regimes were inefficient. Steroids, associated in three cases with immunosuppressive agents, resulted in a rapid improvement in six patients. In one case, splenectomy followed by 5-ASA therapy was used successfully. The dramatic effectiveness of steroids and immunosuppressive agents as well as follow-up suggest that disseminated aseptic abscesses might be an extraintestinal manifestation of Crohn's disease. Although the pathogenesis of this condition remains unknown, this entity may be related to neutrophilic dermatosis in which sterile deep abscesses have been reported.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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