Case Examine: Painful Distended Stomach and Weight Loss — What Is the Trigger?

A 57-year-old girl with long-term cirrhosis and ulcerative colitis introduced to an emergency division with a massively distended and painful stomach. Twenty years earlier she had declined to have a colonoscopy for suspected inflammatory bowel illness (IBD). Now, a CT scan revealed that the untreated IBD was the least of her issues. Saud A. Al Buthi, MD, of King Saud bin Abdulaziz College for Well being Sciences in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and colleagues described the remainder of the story of their report in American Journal of Case Experiences.

The girl defined that for the previous 2 weeks, her abdomen ache has been accompanied by alternating bouts of constipation and unfastened bowel actions. On additional questioning, clinicians discovered that she has had no urge for food for meals, and was losing a few pounds over the previous 2 years. Requested about her medical historical past, she described one remoted incident 20 years earlier of extreme belly ache with diarrhea and rectal bleeding; as a consequence of suspected IBD, clinicians suggested a colonoscopy, however the affected person declined and thus was neither recognized nor handled.

Bodily Examination, Lab Exams, CT Findings

Though the affected person’s very important indicators had been regular, she appeared malnourished and dehydrated. Her distended stomach was considerably tender on palpation, and with “shifting dullness” on percussion.

Laboratory take a look at findings at admission had been inside regular ranges, aside from considerably decrease ranges of hemoglobin (9.7 g/dL vs a traditional vary of 12.1 to fifteen.1 g/dL) and sodium (117 mEq/L vs 135 to 145 mEq/L), and tumor markers displaying elevated ranges of CA-125 (233 U/mL vs regular ranges <35 U/mL).

CT of the stomach and pelvis confirmed important distension of the massive bowel — the diameter of the cecum was 8.5 cm, reducing to a brief stricture of two cm on the mid-transverse colon and one other stricture of 5 cm on the distal descending colon. The scan additionally confirmed a polypoid mass positioned on the medial colonic wall a brief distance from the descending colon.

Al Buthi and co-authors famous that a number of findings instructed IBD, significantly ulcerative colitis (UC), together with proof of irritation marked by irregular mucosal thickening, hyper-enhancement, and fats stranding adjoining to the colon, in addition to the lead pipe signal.

Cirrhosis, HCV

The scan additionally confirmed that the affected person’s liver was cirrhotic, with proof of a number of hypodense micro-nodules and thrombosis affecting the proper hepatic vein.

Clinicians had been involved concerning the discovering of cirrhosis, and ordered further lab checks, which indicated the presence of hepatitis C virus (HCV), categorized as Little one-Pugh rating B with ascites and hepatic vein thrombosis.

A willpower was due to this fact made, based mostly on the findings of co-morbid liver cirrhosis and bowel obstruction, that the affected person’s situation was unstable and he or she was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU).

Surgical procedure, Pathology

Clinicians deliberate surgical procedure to divert the stoma, quickly relieve the obstruction, and permit for biopsies of the lesions to be able to provide the affected person a whole prognosis and stage of the most cancers. In addition they hoped to strengthen the affected person clinically in preparation for “definitive resection, and correct planning of the extent of resection.”

The pathology report for the biopsy specimen from the transverse colon famous massive cells with reflecting adenocarcinoma and neuroendocrine carcinoma morphology. Immunohistochemical staining revealed that over half of the tumor was constructive for synaptophysin and CDX2, with a Ki67 index of 75%. Moreover, CK20 positivity was famous in additional than 40% of the carcinoma cells.

Prognosis: Blended Neuroendocrine Non-neuroendocrine Neoplasms

Thus, the biopsy findings mirrored poorly differentiated blended neuroendocrine-non-neuroendocrine neoplasms (MiNEN) in a background of energetic power colitis, which confirmed the UC prognosis.

Moreover, an MRI of the liver lesions taken to exclude metastasis confirmed a redemonstration of the cirrhosis, with no proof of any lesions of concern.

The affected person was began on hydrocortisone in addition to supportive medical care whereas within the hospital, however there was no proof of great enchancment. After session with the tumor board committee, the choice was made to proceed with high-risk surgical procedure for complete colectomy, given the affected person’s UC and a number of malignant lesions on the transverse and descending colon.

Examination of the colon revealed one stricture on the transverse colon and one other two lots on the descending colon. The staff then carried out a complete colectomy with end-ileostomy, and despatched the specimens for pathologic examination.

The report recognized a multifocal colonic tumor with three distinct lots. The mass positioned on the transverse colon on the location of the stricture confirmed MiNEN of poorly differentiated neuroendocrine carcinoma, Ki67 >70%, and poorly differentiated signet cell carcinoma positioned inside 1 mm from the serosal floor.

Of the remaining two lots on the descending colon, one was poorly differentiated signet cell carcinoma and the opposite was reasonably differentiated adenocarcinoma. The pathologic remaining staging was mpT3 N2b M0.

Put up-Surgical procedure Developments and Comply with-up

Following surgical procedure, the affected person’s general situation improved and he or she was discharged from the ICU and suggested to return for monitoring of her liver cirrhosis. Clinicians agreed that her co-morbidities and efficiency standing put her at excessive threat for adjuvant chemotherapy.

Two weeks after discharge, she returned to the clinic the place a bodily examination indicated that her surgical incisions had healed utterly. After receiving a proof of her superior illness standing, the affected person and household determined to proceed solely with palliative care.

Six months later, the affected person returned to the emergency division as a consequence of excessive fatigue and poor oral consumption; assessments confirmed she was affected by extreme electrolyte derangements, with extreme hyponatremia and extreme hyperkalemia (sodium degree 118 mEq/L, potassium degree 7.1 mEq/L). She was admitted and obtained medical and supportive administration, however in the end died of respiratory failure.


Discussing this case of MiNEN – i.e., a mix of each adenocarcinoma and neuroendocrine carcinoma – Al Buthi and co-authors stated that within the context of underlying power inflammatory illness, this uncommon aggressive subtype of neuroendocrine neoplasms involving the colon accounts for simply 1.16 instances per 1,000,000 people.

Concerning the bigger image, the case authors famous that sufferers with UC have a higher threat of growing colorectal most cancers (CRC) than the final inhabitants, with an general threat of 1.29 instances per 1,000 IBD sufferers.

Of all CRCs, NENs very not often happen within the colon, accounting for lower than 1% of CRCs, and even fewer IBD sufferers, the authors wrote, noting that solely 16 instances have been reported within the literature. As nicely, NENs related to UC have an effect on twice as many males as females. This case is one among solely 4 reviews of coexisting IBD and MiNEN, making the present case much more uncommon.

NEN is understood to have a poor end result, partially as a result of it often metastasizes — to the liver in additional than half of reported instances, the authors defined, including that general, reported 1-year survival charges are 40%.


MiNEN is outlined because the presence of >30% of adenocarcinomatous part of the tumor lots, characterised by sturdy staining for synaptophysin and constructive Ki67 marker in additional than 70% of instances, together with this case, Al Buthi and co-authors stated.

Of the opposite three reported MINEN instances, two concerned the rectum and one the sigmoid colon, whereas on this explicit affected person’s case, the case authors stated, a transverse colon MiNEN was discovered with two different lots within the descending colon.

MINENs are identifiable as a discrete part with not less than 30% of the neoplasm morphologically and immunohistochemically recognizable, the authors famous. “Most epithelial neoplasms within the GI tract are subdivided into both pure glandular or squamous neoplasms (or their precursors) or pure neuroendocrine neoplasms.”

Histopathological evaluation of glandular and squamous neoplasms might determine a number of interspersed neuroendocrine cells — “however this discovering doesn’t have an effect on the classification,” the group stated, noting that actually, in uncommon cases, epithelial neoplasms might embody important populations of neuroendocrine and non-neuroendocrine cells.

Beforehand, blended neoplasms during which every part accounted for 30% or extra of the neoplasm had been categorized amongst blended adenoneuroendocrine carcinoma. The brand new time period of blended neuroendocrine/non-neuroendocrine neoplasm is used because the neuroendocrine part will not be adenocarcinoma, and to mirror the chance that one or each elements will not be carcinoma, Al Burhi and co-authors defined

Based on the 2019 WHO classification of tumors of the digestive system, “MiNEN is considered a conceptual class of neoplasms moderately than a selected prognosis,” since numerous varieties of MiNENs can develop in numerous areas all through the gastroenteropancreatic system.

Administration Suggestions

Al Buthi and co-authors famous that whereas little is understood concerning the prognosis, and an method to remedy stays to be outlined, they suggested surgical procedure for resectable intermediate-grade MiNEN in addition to chemotherapy focusing on each tumor elements when a distant metastasis is detected.

“Excessive-grade MiNEN is essentially the most generally seen, as in our affected person, and is taken into account essentially the most aggressive kind,” the group wrote. Therapy approaches for MiNENs embody surgical procedure and adjuvant chemotherapy for localized lesions that haven’t metastasized, and systemic chemotherapy for distant metastasis. The staff additionally cited the most recent tips of the Nationwide Complete Most cancers Community, which state that MiNENs of the GI tract are related to a poor prognosis and ought to be managed as suggested by the adenocarcinoma of the colon and rectum tips.

“After encountering this case and reviewing the literature, a transparent affiliation was recognized and particular traits had been discovered between MiNENs and UC,” the case authors concluded. “As it’s thought-about uncommon, this could symbolize distinct illness options that require additional analysis. Additional analysis research with bigger pattern sizes would assist to know the pathogenesis, prognosis, administration, and prognosis.”

  • author['full_name']

    Kate Kneisel is a contract medical journalist based mostly in Belleville, Ontario.


The case report authors famous no conflicts of curiosity.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *