JOURNAL ARTICLE

[Chronic inflammatory bowel disease and cardiovascular complications]

Philipp Rellecke, Bodo Eckehard Strauer
Medizinische Klinik 2006 March 22, 101 Suppl 1: 56-60
16802521
The most common extraintestinal manifestations of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are iritis and uveitis, primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) and nodal erythema and pyoderma gangrenosum. Complications within the cardiovascular system seem to be uncommon, but there are no systematic investigations concerning the epidemiology of these manifestations. There are more than 100 cases reported about pericarditis and perimyocarditis in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Other patients with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis suffer from vasculitis, representing a further mechanism of inflammatory diseases of the cardiovascular system. There are several case reports showing a combination of Takayasu's arteritis and Crohn's disease, and cross-reacting antibodies against gut mucosa and aortic tissue were found. Some patients developed thrombotic complications by activating the coagulation system, which can result in atrial thrombi, embolism of the pulmonary arteries, myocardial infarction and disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (DIC). Furthermore, a few case were reported about atrio ventricular blocks, amyloidosis of the heart, dilative cardiomyopathy and endomyocardial fibrosis in patients with chronic inflammatory bowel disease. Here, a 27-year-old patient with known ulcerative colitis for 2 years is reported, who presented in the authors' department with unstable angina pectoris. Coronary angiographic examination was immediately performed and diffuse intracoronary thrombi were found, which could be removed by the catheter procedure. A myocardial infarction did not develop. Because of positive anti neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (p-ANCA) a p-ANCA-positive arteritis of the coronary vessels with intracoronary thromboembolism due to ulcerative colitis was diagnosed. Systematic studies or investigations concerning the epidemiology of the cardiovascular complications are still lacking, so that an overview about the published data is given.

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