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JAMA Surgery Clinical Challenge

An Uncommon Surgical Disease

Image of Figure 1

Figure 1.

Julien Jarry, MD
Thierry Peycru, MD
Manu Shekher, MD
Jean Luc Faucheron, MD, PhD

A woman in her 50s was hospitalized for a painful anal mass. She had a history of hypertension and depression and was receiving omeprazole and paroxetine. The mass had appeared 2 days before presentation and was associated with vomiting. Additionally, the patient had not passed stools or had intestinal gas for 2 days. On physical examination, the mass was exteriorized through the anal canal. It was covered by hypoxemic rectal mucosa, but no digestive lumen could be identified inside the mass (Figure 1). Furthermore, the patient had a distended abdomen, absent bowel sounds, and no tenderness to palpation. No abdominal scar was visible, and no groin hernia was palpable. Her blood pressure was 160/80 mm Hg and her temperature was 37.8°C. Results of complete blood cell count, coagulation tests, and basic chemistry panel were all within normal limits. An abdominal radiograph showed several air-fluid levels without pneumoperitoneum, confirming an intestinal occlusion.

See the full article for an explanation and discussion.

Author Affiliations: Jarry (julienjarry@hotmail.com) is affiliated with the Department of Digestive Surgery, Military Hospital Desgenettes, Lyon, France, Peycru is affiliated with the Department of Digestive Surgery, Military Hospital Robert Picqué, Bordeaux, France, Shekher is affiliated with Emergency Medicine, St Vincent's Medical Center, Bridgeport, Connecticut, and Faucheron is affiliated with the Department of Colorectal Surgery, University Hospital, Grenoble, France.