Our experience with peristomal ulcers suggested that peristomal pyoderma gangrenosum (PPG) is an infrequent and usually unrecognized complication of inflammatory bowel disease. We hypothesized that a review of our experience with PPG would clarify the essentials of its diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment.
A case series of 20 consecutive patients with PPG complicating inflammatory bowel disease were treated at our institution between 1986 and 1999. There were 15 women and 5 men. At the time of development of peristomal pyoderma, 10 of 20 patients had a diagnosis of Crohn disease (CD), while 9 had a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis (UC). One patient was diagnosed as having CD only after first developing PPG.
Main Outcome Measure:
Healing of PPG.
All patients had failed local enterostomal care prior to referral. Debridements and/or stomal revisions were uniformly unsuccessful. Biopsies, when performed, did not provide clinically important information. Treatment was directed toward inflammatory bowel disease, with variable clinical responses to corticosteroids, metronidazole, cyclosporine, sulfasalazine, and infliximab.
Ultimately, 13 patients had a diagnosis of CD. Of these patients, 12 (92%) of 13 developed PPG coincident with recurrent disease. Two patients had a remote history of proctocolectomy for UC and subsequent evaluation revealed CD. One patient developed PPG adjacent to a urinary Kock pouch after cystectomy; ultimately, a diagnosis of CD was made. No patients were lost to follow-up, but in 1 case of UC, no evaluation for latent CD was carried out. The final diagnosis was CD disease in 13 (65%) of 20 and UC in 7 (35%) of 20 patients. All PPG ulcers healed completely, within an average of 11.4 months (median, 8 months; range, 1-41 months). Ulcer resolution was achieved with medical therapy alone in 14 (70%) of 20 cases. Resection of active gastrointestinal CD resulted in healing in 5 (83%) of 6 cases. One case healed 2 months after conservative therapy only.
This review of the largest reported series of PPG suggests the following: (1) PPG complicating inflammatory bowel disease is uncommon and often misdiagnosed by clinicians; (2) local wound care measures have little role in the healing of PPG; (3) PPG usually heralds active CD; (4) in patients with prior history of UC, PPG indicates CD until proven otherwise; (5) prolonged medical therapy (11 months), usually with immunosupression, is required for healing of PPG; and (6) if feasible, surgical resection of all active CD leads to the healing of PPG ulcers.