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Intestinal Pneumatosis, Chronic Bronchopneumopathy and Autoimmune Diseases: A Rare Finding with Variable Clinical Onset. A Case-Series

, , , , , , and . Emergency Medicine Investigations 8 (01): 05 (28 June, 2019 28 June, 2019)

Abstract

Intestinal Pneumatosis (PI) has been reported to be associated with many gastrointestinal disorders including obstruction, ischemia and infection 1. PI has also been described in patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), leukaemia, connective tissue disorders, organ transplantation and various immunodeficiency conditions 2-5. There is a strong link with autoimmune diseases such as Sjögren Syndrome and Systemic Sclerosis 6. PI is characterized by gas-filled cystic lesions within the wall of the bowel and can have a wide spectrum of clinical severity, ranging from benign to life threatening. This wide range of clinical presentation, the relationship with different pathologies and comorbidities, the varied evolution and the scant knowledge of aetiology, often lead to difficulty in recognizing PI and frequently it is an occasional finding. In this paper the Authors present three cases with very different age and clinical onset, all related to chronic or sub-acute bronchopneumopathy causing dyspnoea and persistent cough in the previous months. The PI, associated with these pathologies, can be caused by a mechanical pressure gradient, but also by a currently unknown inflammatory mechanism.

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