Acute small bowel obstruction caused by endometriosis: a case report and review of the literature

World J Gastroenterol. 2008 Jun 7;14(21):3430-4. doi: 10.3748/wjg.14.3430.


Gastrointestinal involvement of endometriosis has been found in 3%-37% of menstruating women and exclusive localization on the ileum is very rare (1%-7%). Endometriosis of the distal ileum is an infrequent cause of intestinal obstruction, ranging from 7% to 23% of all cases with intestinal involvement. We report a case in which endometrial infiltration of the small bowel caused acute obstruction requiring emergency surgery, in a woman whose symptoms were not related to menses. Histology of the resected specimen showed that endometriosis was mainly prevalent in the muscularis propria and submucosa and that the mucosa was not ulcerated but had inflammation and glandular alteration. Endometrial lymph node involvement, with a cystic glandular pattern was also detected.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Colectomy
  • Endometriosis / complications
  • Endometriosis / pathology*
  • Endometriosis / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ileal Diseases / complications
  • Ileal Diseases / pathology*
  • Ileal Diseases / surgery
  • Ileum / pathology*
  • Ileum / surgery
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Intestinal Obstruction / etiology*
  • Intestinal Obstruction / pathology
  • Intestinal Obstruction / surgery
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Treatment Outcome