Diffuse duodenitis associated with ulcerative colitis

Am J Surg Pathol. 2000 Oct;24(10):1407-13. doi: 10.1097/00000478-200010000-00011.


Backwash ileitis and postcolectomy pouchitis are well-recognized complications of ulcerative colitis (UC), whereas inflammation of the proximal small intestine is not. In contrast, small intestinal disease at any level is common in Crohn's disease (CD). Despite this well-established and accepted dogma, rare cases of histologically proven diffuse duodenitis (DD) associated with UC appear in the literature. In this study, we report our experience with similar cases exhibiting this unusual inflammatory phenomenon. Routine histologic sections from four cases of DD associated with well-documented UC were reviewed and the findings correlated with all available medical records. Multiple endoscopic biopsies showing histologic features of UC and colectomy specimens confirming severe ulcerative pancolitis were available for all cases. Varying degrees of active chronic inflammation and architectural mucosal distortion identical to UC were observed in pre- and postcolectomy duodenal biopsies of one of four and four of four cases, respectively. Similar inflammatory patterns were present postoperatively in the ileum in three of four cases and in the jejunum in one case. Endorectal pull-through (ERPT) procedures were performed in three of four patients and an end-to-end ileorectal anastomosis was done in one patient. Despite extensive upper gastrointestinal tract involvement, none of the patients developed postsurgical Crohn's-like complications during a follow-up period of 12 to 54 months. This suggests that patients with pancolitis and DD do not necessarily have CD, but rather may have UC and, most importantly, that successful ERPT procedures may be performed in these patients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biopsy
  • Child
  • Colectomy
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / complications*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / pathology
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / surgery
  • Crohn Disease / etiology
  • Duodenitis / etiology*
  • Duodenitis / pathology
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Treatment Outcome