PURPOSE: This study was designed to assess clinical and pathologic features of duodenal Crohn's disease (CD) and address its management according to different patterns of disease. METHODS: Twelve cases of duodenal involvement in CD are reported out of 336 patients treated between 1978 and 1993. They represent 3.6 percent of all cases. Three patients had a duodenal fistula, and nine had an intrinsic duodenal lesion. The duodenal fistula was in all cases a manifestation of recurrent CD involving an ileocolic anastomosis and the third portion of the duodenum. RESULTS: Treatment consisted of resection of the fistula's source and primary closure of duodenal breach. Of nine patients with intrinsic CD, five had stenosis and the remaining four had peptic ulcer-like lesions. Duodenal stenosis was treated with strictureplasty in three cases and duodenojejunostomy in two. No patient with ulcer-like lesions underwent surgery. CONCLUSIONS: Differences encountered in intrinsic duodenal lesions apparently reflect two different clinical patterns. Stenosis is not usually associated with multifocal disease and is often the first evidence of disease. Ulcer-like lesions are not specific; they do not evolve into stenosis as do ulcers in other sites of the disease, spontaneously disappear and relapse, and do not require surgery, except for complications. They are always associated with other locations of the disease.
- Crohn's disease
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