A Rai, A Kumar, H Pahwa, S Rajamanickam, A Sonkar, G Kaur
fistula, spontaneous enterocutaneous fistula
A Rai, A Kumar, H Pahwa, S Rajamanickam, A Sonkar, G Kaur. Spontaneous Enterocutaneous Fistula – A Rare Presentation. The Internet Journal of Surgery. 2008 Volume 18 Number 2.
The spontaneous perforation of the intestine through the abdominal wall is an extremely rare condition. We encountered a case of spontaneous enterocutaneous fistula through the anterior abdominal wall in the right inguinal region. In view of the rarity of this complication and the paucity of published articles, a case of spontaneous enterocutaneous fistula is being reported here.
This is a case report of a 60-year-old farmer who developed spontaneous enterocutaneous fistula in the right inguinal region. He presented in the surgical emergency ward of CSMMU with the complaints of pain in abdomen, fever, localized pain and swelling in the right inguinal region, absolute constipation, later he developed a wound in the right inguinal region with feculent discharge through its centre.
There was no history suggestive of pervious inguinal swelling or previous surgery. On examination, findings were suggestive of acute peritonitis. The patient had a distended abdomen with guarding and rigidity with masked liver dullness on percussion. There was discharge of fecal matter through the wound. This wound of the size of 5x5cm was situated in the right inguinal region and right lower abdominal wall (fig.1). The patient was toxic, had high temperature (1010F) and tachycardia (100/min). X-rays of the abdomen in erect posture showed gas under the diaphragm.
After intravenous fluids, antibiotics, and blood transfusion the patient underwent explorative laparotomy. This revealed that the distal ileum was attached to the posterior surface of the anterior abdominal wall with a perforation of 0.5cm. There were three more perforations about 6” proximal to the ileum adherent to the abdominal wall, the bowel in between was looking normal. Resection of the perforated segment of the ileum was done with double-barrel ileostomy with extensive debridement of the gangrenous patch of the abdominal wall and inguinal skin. The resected bowel segment and parietal contents were subjected to histopathological examination and findings were consistent with non-specific inflammation.
In the above mentioned patient there was no history suggestive of any kind of hernia or previous swelling in the inguinal region. Spontaneous fistula arises in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, radiation enteritis, diverticular disease or intestinal tuberculosis. A surgical intervention is regarded as one of the major causes of development of a fecal fistula in adults. Few cases of the pediatric age group with incarcerated inguinal hernia developing to fecal fistula have been reported. The incision of hernia or other interventions by quacks have been reported as causes of fecal fistula in adults. None of these interventions was observed as cause of the fecal fistula in our patient.
A detailed clinical history of the patient regarding possible etiologies for the development of such fistulae should be sought after clinching a proper diagnosis. The absence of prior surgery, features suggestive of intestinal tuberculosis and the other mentioned etiologies made the above case a rare presentation. The presence of intra-abdominal infection leading to an abscess that ruptured internally into bowel and externally through the skin could be the possible sequence of events explaining this presentation.
Dr. Anurag Rai, MS Chief Resident, Department of Surgery. Chhatrapathi Shahuji Medical University, (Formerly King George’s Medical University), Lucknow - 226003, Uttar Pradesh, India. Email: email@example.com