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Papers of the Week

2019 Apr

J Surg Case Rep



A rare case of lupus-related gastrointestinal vasculitis presenting as rectal gangrene.


Liang Y, Di Re A, El Khoury T
J Surg Case Rep. 2019 Apr; 2019(4):rjz128.
PMID: 31044066.


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) related gastrointestinal vasculitis is a rare condition limited to case studies within the literature however, no cases of rectal gangrene and perforation have been previously described. A 32-year-old male presented with abdominal pain, vomiting and fevers. CT demonstrated free gas and free fluid around the rectum indicative of a perforation. He proceeded to urgent laparotomy, confirming a diagnosis of rectal infarction and perforation. Uniquely, the involved segment of gangrene extended from the rectosigmoid to the anorectal junction. A Hartmanns procedure was performed. Histopathology confirmed underlying stenosis of the rectal arteries secondary to chronic vasculitis related to the affected areas. The current case is a unique presentation of SLE-related vasculitis. It highlights the need to judiciously investigate SLE patients presenting with surgical acute abdomen.