Cyclic neutropenia with colonic perforation and nonhealing colocutaneous fistula

J Pediatr Surg. 1990 Mar;25(3):346-8. doi: 10.1016/0022-3468(90)90084-m.


Cyclic neutropenia is an hereditary disorder of white blood cells, characterized by profound neutropenic episodes approximately every three weeks. Septic complications are usually limited to cutaneous and oropharyngeal infections. A 4-year-old boy with known cyclic neutropenia was in shock with neutropenia, clostridial septicemia, and right lower quadrant peritonitis when he was admitted. At the time of laparotomy, inflammation of the cecum, with no gross perforation, was found; no resection or appendectomy was done. He subsequently developed a right lower quadrant abscess that was drained, resulting in a colocutaneous fistula. For the next 8 months his fistula persisted, with intermittent episodes of fever, increased fistula output, and abdominal pain during his neutropenic periods. Standard nonoperative approaches to healing the fistula failed (ie, elemental feeds, total parenteral nutrition, irrigations, antibiotics, and drains). Attempts to medically abolish his neutropenic episodes using lithium, gammaglobulin, and steroids also failed. Ultimately, he underwent an ileocecal resection with primary anastamosis; the operation was done immediately following a neutropenic episode, in order to allow adequate healing of his anastamosis before his next period of neutropenia. Postoperative course was satisfactory, and he remains well after 8 months follow-up. This case, and several similar previously reported cases, illustrate that cyclic neutropenia may present with serious surgical complications. They also underlines the important role that neutrophils play in the healing of enteric fistulae.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Agranulocytosis / complications*
  • Anastomosis, Surgical
  • Cecum / surgery
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Ileum / surgery
  • Intestinal Perforation / etiology*
  • Intestinal Perforation / surgery
  • Male
  • Neutropenia / complications*
  • Neutropenia / therapy
  • Periodicity
  • Time Factors