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Isolated ischemic necrosis of the cecum in patients with chronic heart disease

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Diseases of the Colon & Rectum


Isolated ischemic necrosis of the cecum is an infrequently described entity. We report three cases seen at our institution within a three-year period. All three patients had been hospitalized for congestive heart failure in the past, but none was in failure at the time of the most recent hospitalization. All three patients prsented with clinical and laboratory findings consistent with acute appendicitis. At surgery the cecum was ischemic in each case, while the appendix and the remainder of the intestine appeared normal. There was no evidence of major vascular occlusion or embolization at the time of original operation. We propose that the cecum, like the splenic flexure, is a “watershed area”, with poor blood supply relative to that of the adjacent intestine. While cecal ischemia has been described in association with a variety of clinical entities, we propose a newly recognized association with poor myocardial function. In such patients, isolated ischemic necrosis of the cecum should be considered in the differential diagnosis of right lower quadrant pain.

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Rist, C.B., Watts, J.C. & Lucas, R.J. Isolated ischemic necrosis of the cecum in patients with chronic heart disease. Dis Colon Rectum 27, 548–551 (1984).

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