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Crohn Disease : Complications

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Colon_Gross2_ColovesicalFistula_resized.jpg

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Complications of Crohn Disease: Fistulas can develop between loops of bowel and can also involve urinary bladder, vagina, abdominal skin, and perineum. Perforation resulting in peritoneal abscess or peritonitis are additional complications.

Anal involvement is seen in about 75% of cases of Crohn colitis and usually presents as perianal fissures, fistulas and ulcers. Skin ulceration can also develop around colostomies and ileostomies. Patients with Crohn disease are at a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer than general population, although the risk is lower than that seen with ulcerative colitis.

This sigmoid colectomy specimen is from a young male with Crohn disease who developed colovesical fistula. The fistulous tract can be seen in the lower left of the image. Note the cobblestone pattern of the mucosa due to deep ulcers and fissures running along the length of the bowel. Image copyright: pathorama.ch

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