Enterocolic Lymphocytic Phlebitis: Clinical, Radiologic, and Pathologic Features

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Venous compromise as a cause of ischemic colitis and enteritis is infrequent. Enterocolic lymphocytic phlebitis, a rare cause of such compromise, to our knowledge has been reported in only three patients. We describe a patient with this condition who had hematochezia and a cecal mass that was mistaken endoscopically and radiologically for carcinoma and required resection. The mass, which was ulcerated, was due to intense submucosal edema. The patient had no history of taking hydroxyethylrutoside, a drug used in Europe in treating varicose veins that has been implicated in all three previously reported cases. This entity is characterized by a mixed T- and B-cell vasculitis affecting veins exclusively in the wall and mesentery of the colon and small bowel, without systemic involvement, leading to fibrointimal proliferation, thrombosis, venous occlusion, and subsequent edema and ischemic necrosis. It should be distinguished from other enterocolic phlebitides, including Behçet disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, and myointimal hyperplasia of mesenteric veins, and can be treated by local excision of the affected bowel.

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