JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Cecal necrosis: infrequent variant of ischemic colitis. Report of five cases.

PURPOSE: Spontaneous nonocclusive ischemic colitis involving only the right colon is an infrequent occurrence. Because this problem is less recognized than its counterpart involving the left colon, the correct diagnosis may not be considered. The purpose of this article was to describe the presentation and management of this unusual clinical problem.

METHODS: Five cases of nonocclusive ischemic cecal necrosis are described. Four of the patients presented with right-sided abdominal pain, tenderness, and leukocytosis. The preoperative diagnosis was incorrect in all patients, although cecal necrosis was considered in one. Two patients were thought to have. appendicitis, two were thought to have carcinoma, and one was thought to have a perforated viscus. Each patient underwent a right hemicolectomy and four survived.

RESULTS: Each of the patients had ischemic cecal necrosis without evidence of emboli or vasculitis. Although cecal gangrene may occur after systemic hypotension, no such event preceded these patients' presentation. We believe that the patients we treated had a form of nonocclusive ischemic colitis, which occasionally affects only the right colon.

CONCLUSION: Ischemic necrosis of the cecum is an infrequent variant of ischemic colitis that should be considered in the differential diagnosis of the elderly patient presenting with right lower quadrant pain.

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