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Published: August 2012

Open Access Gateway

Acute Inflammatory Bowel Disease Complicating Chronic Alcoholism and Mimicking Carcinoid Syndrome

Ballo P.a · Dattolo P.b · Mangialavori G.a · Ferro G.b · Fusco F.c · Consalvo M.c · Chiodi L.a · Pizzarelli F.b · Zuppiroli A.d

Author affiliations

aCardiology Unit, bNephrology and Dialysis Unit and cRadiology Unit, S. Maria Annunziata Hospital, and dDepartment of Cardiology, Local Health Unit, Florence, Italy

Corresponding Author

Dr. Piercarlo Ballo

Cardiology Unit, S. Maria Annunziata Hospital, via dell'Antella 58

IT–50012 Florence (Italy)

Tel. +39 055 693 6382, E-Mail pcballo@tin.it

Related Articles for ""

Case Rep Gastroenterol 2012;6:545–549

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Abstract

We report the case of a woman with a history of chronic alcohol abuse who was hospitalized with diarrhea, severe hypokalemia refractory to potassium infusion, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, alternations of high blood pressure with phases of hypotension, irritability and increased urinary 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid and cortisol. Although carcinoid syndrome was hypothesized, abdominal computed tomography and colonoscopy showed non-specific inflammatory bowel disease with severe colic wall thickening, and multiple colic biopsies confirmed non-specific inflammation with no evidence of carcinoid cells. During the following days diarrhea slowly decreased and the patient’s condition progressively improved. One year after stopping alcohol consumption, the patient was asymptomatic and serum potassium was normal. Chronic alcohol exposure is known to have several deleterious effects on the intestinal mucosa and can favor and sustain local inflammation. Chronic alcohol intake may also be associated with high blood pressure, behavior disorders, abnormalities in blood pressure regulation with episodes of hypotension during hospitalization due to impaired baroreflex sensitivity in the context of an alcohol withdrawal syndrome, increased urinary 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid as a result of malabsorption syndrome, and increased urinary cortisol as a result of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysregulation. These considerations, together with the regression of symptoms and normalization of potassium levels after stopping alcohol consumption, suggest the intriguing possibility of a alcohol-related acute inflammatory bowel disease mimicking carcinoid syndrome.

© 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Published: August 2012

Published online: August 16, 2012
Issue release date: May – August

Number of Print Pages: 5
Number of Figures: 1
Number of Tables: 0


eISSN: 1662-0631 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/CRG


Open Access License / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer

Open Access License: This is an Open Access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC) (www.karger.com/OA-license), applicable to the online version of the article only. Distribution permitted for non-commercial purposes only.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
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