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Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody–associated Glomerulonephritis Complicated by Pneumatosis Intestinalis

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      Abstract

      Pneumatosis intestinalis is a characteristic imaging phenomenon indicating the presence of gas in the bowel wall. The link between pneumatosis intestinalis and various kinds of autoimmune diseases has been reported anecdotally, while information regarding the cases with antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA)–associated vasculitis complicated by concurrent pneumatosis intestinalis is lacking. In this report, we describe our serendipitous experience with one such case of pneumatosis intestinalis in a patient with ANCA-associated glomerulonephritis. We also discuss several therapeutic concerns that arose in the current case, which had an impact on the pathogenesis of the disease.

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      Most cited references 26

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      Pneumatosis intestinalis in the adult: benign to life-threatening causes.

      The frequency of detection of pneumatosis intestinalis (PI) appears to be increasing. This increase may be the result of increased CT use. New medications and surgical procedures have been reported to be associated with an increase in the incidence of PI. The purpose of this review is to provide an update on the imaging features and clinical conditions associated with PI. This article illustrates the imaging findings of PI due to benign and life-threatening causes, with emphasis placed on describing newly associated conditions and also the imaging appearance on CT.
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        Pneumatosis intestinalis: a review.

         B Pear (1998)
        This review illustrates the changing paradigms in the understanding of the pathogenesis of pneumatosis intestinalis. Although many theories have been evoked, pragmatically there appear to be four major clinical and diagnostic imaging considerations. The most common and most emergent life-threatening cause of intramural bowel gas is the result of bowel necrosis due to bowel ischemia, infarction, necrotizing enterocolitis, neutropenic colitis, volvulus, and sepsis. In the stomach, intramural gas can be caused by emphysematous gastritis or ingestion of caustic agents. These situations represent surgical emergencies. Pneumatosis is found secondary to mucosal disruption presumably due to over-distention from peptic ulcer, pyloric stenosis, annular pancreas, and even to more distal obstruction. Disruption can also be caused by ulceration, erosions, or trauma, including the trauma of child abuse. Disruption can also be iatrogenic from intracatheter jejunal feeding tubes, stent perforation, sclerotherapy, or surgical or endoscopic trauma. In these cases, the gas may be focal or linear. Treatment depends on the extent of the disruption and the underlying cause. A more subtle form of mucosal disruption may occur due to mucosal erosions and also to defects in intestinal crypts secondary to acute and subclinical enteritides that allow intraluminal bacterial gas under pressure to percolate into the bowel wall layers, particularly the submucosa (29). Pneumatosis, often linear or cystic in appearance, is seen with increased frequency in patients who are immunocompromised because of steroids, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or AIDS. In these cases, the pneumatosis may result from intraluminal bacterial gas entering the bowel wall due to increased mucosal permeability caused by defects in bowel wall lymphoid tissue. Clinical and imaging findings are important in the differentiation of this transient pneumatosis from fulminant life-threatening causes in this subset of patients. A pulmonary cause must still be considered in cases of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, and cystic fibrosis. It can occur with barotrauma and after chest tube placement. It may relate to increased intrathoracic pressure associated with retching and vomiting. The possibility remains that occasionally the origin of pneumatosis intestinalis will remain cryptogenic--caused but unexplained.
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          Pneumatosis intestinalis: a review.

          Pneumatosis intestinalis (PI) is an uncommon but important condition in which gas is found in a linear or cystic form in the submucosa or subserosa of the bowel wall. PI is a sign, not a disease; therefore, its relevance should be interpreted within the whole clinical context. PI has been found in several distinctive clinical settings: 1) in premature infants with necrotizing enterocolitis; 2) in adults with obstructive pulmonary disease; 3) in adults and children with a wide variety of associated conditions, including pyloric stenosis, jejunoileal bypass, progressive systemic sclerosis, transplantation, ischemic bowel, and drug therapy, particularly steroids, chemotherapy, and immunosuppression; 4) in adults as a primary benign problem; and 5) as an incidental finding in endoscopic mucosal biopsies. The two most important tasks of the physician include: 1) recognition of the entity of PI so that patients are not misdiagnosed and mismanaged as having malignancy or polyposis; and 2) differentiation of the benign variety, in which no intervention is indicated, from the life-threatening form, in which immediate surgery is necessary. Once life-threatening illnesses such as bowel necrosis, perforation, and infections are excluded, patients symptomatic from the cysts per se may be treated with oxygen and/or antibiotics. Because the reports of treatment of PI are at best anecdotal, the decision to treat and the treatment chosen should be carefully balanced with the risks.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, Jichi Medical University, Tochigi, Japan.
            Author notes
            Journal
            Clin Med Insights Case Rep
            Clin Med Insights Case Rep
            Clinical Medicine Insights: Case Reports
            Clinical Medicine Insights. Case Reports
            Libertas Academica
            1179-5476
            2015
            10 August 2015
            : 8
            : 65-70
            4533850
            10.4137/CCRep.S26155
            ccrep-8-2015-065
            © 2015 the author(s), publisher and licensee Libertas Academica Ltd.

            This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC 3.0 License.

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